The consensus among experts is that abusers never emotionally matured past that stage. Except that they are adults, smart and strong and violent like adults, and their temper tantrums, their revenge, are far from amusing. They’re terrifying. And can be very, very dangerous.
I saw my abuser be completely outraged any time something didn’t go the way he wanted. Be absolutely furious anytime someone refused to do what he wanted. It was an injustice, an insult which couldn’t be tolerated and had to be punished at once. It was something he was entitled to that was being denied to him, which was unacceptable.
4. Disproportionate Reactions
You might have witnessed your abuser react with insane rage and temper tantrums to minor issues. My abuser, for instance, was completely unable to tolerate not getting his way in any occasion, no matter how irrelevant:
Once, he told me, his girl wanted to visit a different place than he did: he was furious, drove like a madman with her on his motorcycle to frighten her, then abandoned her alone in the place and left, never to talk to her again.
Once, his friends wanted to stay in one place and he wanted to leave: he threw a fit and stomped away to walk all the way back, forcing them all to leave and chase after him.
Once, a song he didn’t like was playing in a club and, when he wasn’t allowed to change it, he stormed off in a rage.
Once, he was given notice that he would be let go from a job he’d had for two months: he ranted for days about insane plans to destroy the business, verbally abused his staff and dumped me because, he said, ‘someone had to pay’.
Once, he wanted sex and I wanted to sleep a bit longer: he started sulking and complaining that it wasn’t fair he had to wait…
Your abuser truly believes he is entitled to get anything he wants, whenever he wants, and if he doesn’t – that’s unfair. You are taking away something he feels he is owed. And that makes him furious, and he has every right to punish you.
You have to do what he wants, or else.
And that, to him, is perfectly normal.
5. What Can You Do About It?
Such feelings of entitlement are so deeply embedded in your abuser’s psyche – not only are they fundamental convictions, but rather a core part of his personality – that they are impossible to eradicate.
As a rational person, you might think the solution might be patiently explaining to him that it is completely irrational to expect the world and everyone in it to instantly cater to his every wish without fail, and that no well-adjusted adult would react with unfettered fury any time his whims and desires aren’t met. It’s so elementary, it is baffling that it needs explaining at all, right?
However, if after a lifetime he hasn’t reached such a basic understanding of how to function in the world, it is far too late: your abuser will never change.
Trying to obey his every wish and satisfy his every request will not work. No matter how obedient you are and how much you sacrifice to become perfectly compliant and subservient, it will never be enough. He will keep raising the bar, and will invariably find something else to get mad about.
Trying to explain that his behavior is irrational will not work. It’s a fundamental structure of his psyche, and it cannot be changed. Most importantly, he has no interest in changing, because his abusive behavior gets him what he wants. For him, it works just fine.
Trying to have a rational discussion about finding compromises will not work. He’s not interested in compromising anything. Your needs and wants are irrelevant: remember, it’s all about what he wants.
Trying to explain that he is hurting you and appealing to his empathy and his love for you will not work. He knows that he is hurting you: he simply doesn’t care. Remember, in his mind you fully deserve to be hurt as a punishment for having displeased him somehow.