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Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men Paperback – Illustrated, Sept. 2 2003
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“Bancroft has opened a window into the thinking of abusive men, and his book helps open a door out of abusive relationships.”—Gavin de Becker, New York Times bestselling author of The Gift of Fear and Fear Less
“Most books about abuse in relationships focus on women—how they’re hurt, why they stay. As important as these questions are, they can also distract us from the heart of the problem. Bancroft boldly asks—and brilliantly answers—the most important questions of all: Why do so many men abuse women? What can be done about it? This book is desperately needed and long overdue.”—Jackson Katz, creator of the award-winning video Tough Guise: Violence, Media and the Crisis in Masculinity
“This fascinating investigation into what makes abusive men tick is alarming but its candid handling of a difficult subject makes it a valuable resource for professionals and victims alike…Jargon-free analysis is frequently broken up by interesting first-person accounts and boxes that distill in-depth information into simple checklists. Bancroft’s book promises to be a beacon of calm for many storm-tossed families.”—Publishers Weekly
“Bancroft, a former codirector of Emerge, the first U.S. program for abusive men, and a 15-year veteran of work with abusive men, reminds readers that each year in this country, two to four million women are assaulted by their partners and that at least one out of three American women will be a victim of violence by a husband or boyfriend at some point in her life. His valuable resource covers early warning signs, ten abusive personality types, the abusive mentality, problems with getting help from the legal system, and the long, complex process of change…This is essential reading for those in the helping professions and highly recommended.”—Library Journal
About the Author
- Publisher : Berkley; Illustrated edition (Sept. 2 2003)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0425191656
- ISBN-13 : 978-0425191651
- Item weight : 403 g
- Dimensions : 15.21 x 2.26 x 22.86 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from Canada
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Life Saving . Thank you to the author.... you don't know how wonderful you are
Top reviews from other countries
I was so lucky that I happened to meet a lady who works for Women's Aid and she encouraged me to take his behaviour seriously and seek help. In the 3 weeks since breaking up with him, I have been tempted to get back in contact with him so many times and I have to fight to stay strong and not give in to that urge. It is almost a craving, like breaking an addiction.
What I've learned is that I was caught in a trap of 'trauma bonding' which essentially explains why abused women go back to their abusive partners telling themselves he will change. You become emotionally dependent on the one who flies into a rage and terrifies you one minute, then makes you believe it was all your fault and makes YOU feel guilty so you end up being the one to apologise (for something you haven't done), to calm him down and because you are so upset and emotionally raw you cling to him because he's the one you have become emotionally dependent on. You are addicted to the good feelings of when he chooses to be loving and kind to you. Unfortunately, over time, you have to work harder and harder to try to win back that love and affection which he once showered you with. Once he has worn you down he starts to punish you more and more often, making you feel more and more insecure but, crazily you feel like you couldn't cope without him. I know it sounds messed up but there is real science behind how this happens. It is very similar to Stockholm Syndrome in which hostages become attached to their captors.
This book has helped me and is continuing to help me to stay strong every day. When I have weak moments of missing my ex, I turn back to this book. I know eventually I will build myself back up and become strong again and that over time the urge to go back to this man will lessen. Although I have done many, many hours of my own research and already consider myself well informed, this book has lifted a veil and shown me SO much more than I could ever have discovered for myself online. Reading it is like a string of massive 'Aha' moments when all the different jigsaw pieces finally fit together and you finally start to see the overall picture. This book has been a total revelation to me.
Don't be put off by the size of this book - it is very easily readable and the information is presented in a very clear and easy to follow format. It also works well as a book to just dip in and out of as there are gems on every page!
It has been a real shock to me as it has gradually dawned on me that the man I believed truly adored me and only wanted to make me happy (as he claimed over and over), and who treated me like a princess in the beginning, was perhaps not the man I thought he was. I made excuses for his behaviour as I believed he was the one suffering and traumatised as a result of having experienced the traumatic, violent childhood he described to me. I did everything I could to always give him the benefit of the doubt, to try to rationalise and understand why he acted the way he did, and I tried so hard to make the relationship work as if it were my job and my job alone. I stuck with him for as long as I did because I thought that was what you do when you love someone and I believed that in time he would get better. In fact he never took any responsibility for his behaviour and the effect it had on me as he was never interested in listening to me - he was only interested in forcing me to listen to him over and over whilst whenever I tried to speak he shut me down.
Had I not found this book I don't know whether I would have had the strength not to go back to him and allow the cycle of abuse to go on and get worse. Perhaps I might have fallen back into the trap of listening to the manipulative and clever lies he fed me and coming round to believing his story and invalidating my own.
Unfortunately women such as myself make the easiest targets; we are typically very sensitive to others' needs, extremely compassionate, caring, usually we seek to understand the motivation behind another's behaviour instead of to judge and we tend to give others the benefit of the doubt over and above honouring our own needs. We also have a tendency to doubt ourselves and we frequently have low self-esteem which can be born out of having had to try to please our primary caregivers as children to try to win their approval and love and never having experienced enough love and affection as children. Unfortunately, getting into a relationship with a man who turns out to be an abuser lowers our self-belief and self-esteem further, making it harder and harder to get out.
I advise anyone and everyone to read this book - men and women alike. I am impressed by how the author never slips into the pitfall of demonising abusive men or implying that they are bad or evil people - which would be an easy thing to do. He points out that while of course they are human too, that doesn't mean that are ever *any* excuses for their behaviour. He reveals how men who fall into this category are very seldom willing to take responsibility for their behaviour and its terribly damaging effect on those who fall victim to it, instead they make excuses and usually choose to blame the other person.
I feel the most enlightening part of all is that he reveals that deep down, the causal factor behind most of this abuse is the culture some men have grown up in: a culture of masculine entitlement and belittling of women. They think they are entitled to have *their* needs met by women, to the point of almost objectifying them, and not to consider her needs or feelings. Some of them are even devoid of empathy. But they are not born that way. Overall it's these deeply ingrained cultural attitudes that need to change - and each of us has an important role to play in doing something about it.
Thank you Luncdy Bancroft for helping women like me come to grips with something that is so difficult to understand.
I ordered this copy for a friend who is going through a difficult divorce. Again, she had said nothing about her husband, but it was obvious to me that he is controlling and treats her poorly. The information was like giving water to someone who was parched. It is helping her spring back emotionally from a verbally abusive and demanding husband. I do not mean to imply that all the damage done is magically undone but that the information provided helps the abused person begin to think more clearly and more accurately and take steps to protect herself from the abuser's destructive control.
I am in a professional relationship with the same man and now understand the manipulation, conflict and destruction he has caused in our company better. In conclusion, one does not need to be in an abusive marriage to gain helpful insight from this book.