Why Does he do That by Lundy Bancroft
Simply put, if you suspect, even a little, that you might be a relationship, or that you’ve been in a relationship, with an emotionally abusive person, you should read this book.
In my own research, trying to figure out why certain things in life have happened to me when I did nothing to deserve those things, I came across recommendations for this book. I was pleased with the subject content.
Lundy runs a program that attempts to reform men who have been abusive, both physically and mentally. This program was really one of the first programs of its kind.
This book describes behavior of the abusive person, why they do it, and what you can do. Unfortunately, the what you can do part is most often getting away rather than reforming because reforming is incredibly rare.
If you’re looking for a text-book explanation of what mental abuse is or can be, this book has you covered.
What I liked
Although this book is full of a terrible subject matter, it is highly useful. I read this book and feelings I had about relationships in the past were confirmed. I was right to trust my gut and err on the side of caution in many cases. I dealt with a “Mr. Right,” as in, someone who is always right, no matter what, you’re always to blame, you’re not as smart as they are, and they seem to have an opinion about everything. I didn’t really have a description for this before I read this book, but it fits.
This book confirmed that my actions were correct, or mostly correct, in dealing with this person. I would have liked to have known more of this when I was in the situation. I would have made different decisions, that got me out of the situation faster.
What I didn’t like
Despite having all of this explained, no one has a right to do any of this behavior, whether they be man or woman, but it still happens. These people don’t think they’re doing anything wrong because of their sense of entitlement, so they’re not just going to wake up one day and realize what they’re doing is awful. They don’t think they’re bad people, and in truth, they may not be all bad, but they’re abusive and it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.
Everyone else just has to deal with it or escape it. There isn’t really the option of reforming this person, because it’s like many other things–they have to make the choice on their own to change and if they don’t realize they’re doing anything wrong, they can’t admit they’re doing anything wrong, and therefore cannot start the process of change.
In my experience, you have to get away from the person–cut them out of your life. No phone calls. No emails. No addresses exchange. The less they know about you, the better. The less you know about them, the better. This person, or persons, whatever the case may be, doesn’t have a right to your life. End of story.
You should read this; no matter where you’re coming from this book will help you recognize abuse whether it’s your own life, or a friend’s. This book will point you in a direction that’s productive.
If you’ve had a toxic person in your life, what did you ultimately end up doing in regards to that person?
If you have been in an abusive relationship, spouse-spouse, parent-child, whatever, do you find that it negatively affected your life views from that point forward?