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Paperback Why Does He Do That? : Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men Book

ISBN: 0425191656

ISBN13: 9780425191651

Why Does He Do That? : Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

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Book Overview

In this groundbreaking bestseller, Lundy Bancroft--a counselor who specializes in working with abusive men--uses his knowledge about how abusers think to help women recognize when they are being controlled or devalued, and to find ways to get free of an abusive relationship. He says he loves you. So...why does he do that? You've asked yourself this question again and again. Now you have the chance to see inside the minds of angry and controlling men--and...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Wish I had read this years ago

I wish I would have come across this book years ago. Everyone should read this book before they start dating and especially before getting into a serious relationship.

Should be required reading in Life 101

This book has already saved two very sweet and spiritual young ladies from bad marriages, that I personally know of. Reading ONE PAGE was enough to pique their interest. By the next morning, they had read all the scripts the SOB had used on them so far plus the ones he would use if they stayed around. Engagement off, and no looking back. I keep score of my life by such events as preventing a nice, loving young woman from becoming an abused, bitter mentally ill mom. These are treasures in Heaven as far as I am concerned and that's why I am writing this review. Remember those few really sweet, really kind, pretty, loving girls you knew in highschool? Remember how the good looking jerks usually got them, and in their 30's they finally divorced some guy? There's a hidden kind of abuse. It's not studied much because it's not considered a mental illness. Most family type counselors are criminally ignorant of the nature and effects of it. I am a civil attorney who doesn't do divorce, but I have a lot of first and second hand experience with this hidden abuse. Example: One day a client of several years' standing came into my office - about 2 years after her husband of several decades had divorced her. She was still the same sweet, loving person, but there was both a glow and a lack of something - perhaps self doubt, perhaps other things as well. I was floored and asked her what had happened. Let's just say, the ex-wife was now secure financially. But the glow and that lack of something? That was from an intensive camp she went to for emotional abuse victims. After 20 years of twice weekly therapy, nobody had told her she was being abused, much less what to do. She finally found out what the mechanisms were, how to deal with them and how to heal; and was a new person in 2 weeks. She was sending her kids to this "camp". I knew an address book full of people who needed this and asked the cost. $20,000.00 or so. "Is there a reading list?" I glumly answered. There was, thank goodness. Why Does He Do That was the first book on the list. I was almost in shock as I read it. The patterns of abuse (and angry and controlling women abusers use most of the same tricks) were so familiar, repetitive and sprang from such a cruel, amoral emotional base that it was stunning. The title explains the syndrome in a nutshell. Nice person links up with seemingly great guy or gal but their life evolves into a self doubting miserable self loathing Hell. Other people blame the "messed up" Nice person, but that's part of the plan. Nice person asks "Why does he do that?" when he/she is abused, because the true answer is literally inconceivable to them. That's how they were picked in the first place. Little digs which didn't get an angry response, facial expression, etc. When something hurtful is said or done by the abuser, and questioned by the abusee, there's always an explanation or, if necessary, a tearful apology and promises of undying

This book will put an end to your denial...

I am still digesting this book having finished it a week or so ago. It was unbelievably enlightening and gave me clarity in so many ways. It is also heart-breaking in that the information in this book makes it hard to face up to the fact that your husband really is abusing you. In the types of abusers section, I was dumbstruck as he perfectly described my husband - a combination of the "Mr. Sensitive" and "The Victim" abuser types. It was also liberating to read how common the abuser has a "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" personality. Part of my struggle has been the fact that our friends and family think my husband is the sweetest, nicest, most huggable teddy-bear of people and never see his controlling, jealous, manipulative and rageful side. This has contributed to my feelings of confusion and buying into my husband's explanations that there is nothing really wrong with his behavior, that I am overly sensitive, and can not be pleased (i.e. - it's all me). Please read this book if you suspect you are in an abusive relationship - have a feeling you are being treated badly, or just can't get clarity on what's going on in the relationship (very typical to feel this way in an abusive relationship). Thank you for this book as it both devastated me by revealing the truth and restored my sanity as it clarified my husband's behavior and tactics.

A MUST-READ if you are or were ever abused by your partner.

This book is by far the best I've read on angry and controlling men, and how to deal with them. Controlling and abusive behavior can be quite confusing as well as infuriating, as abusers tend to use a large repertoire of manipulative tactics such as lying, projection, blackmail, denying being angry, and putting on a "Mr. Wonderful" act to the outside world, etc. "Why Does He Do That" is exceptionally well written, carefully explaining among other things: nine types of abusers; tactics abusive men use to manipulate their partners; early warning signs of abusive relationships; myths about abusers (such as the one that alcohol consumption causes abuse); the legal system and mental health professionals; the effect of abuse on boys and girls; how some families and certain aspects of society grooms boys to be future abusers; and how to help abused women. Bancroft even describes what to look for in men's groups for abusers and how to tell if the abuser is changing for real or is just pretending to change. Prior to writing this book, Lundy Bancroft had been in the trenches for 15 years as a counselor in an abusive men's program. As a seasoned veteran of dealing with manipulative abusive individuals, Bancroft does an outstanding job of alerting the reader to their tactics and debunking common B.S. claims they make. His stories about his clients and the clients of colleagues are fascinating and provide poignant lessons for the reader. One woman had been in couple's counseling for 6 months with her husband and finally revealed that he was abusing her. Appearing on the verge of tears, the husband told the therapist that he had been in denial about his violence and hadn't been facing how badly it was hurting his wife. On the way home from the session, the husband kept one hand on the steering wheel and in the other clutched a large handful of his wife's hair, repeatedly slamming her into the dashboard as he gave her a screaming, expletive-filled lecture for revealing the abuse to someone outside the family. Bancroft strongly recommends against couples counseling for abusers and any program which recommends that the abused individual unilaterally changes her behavior in hopes he'll change too. This type of therapy doesn't work and can even be counterproductive for reasons Bancroft explains in detail, and the abuser often ends up charming the therapist who may end up siding with the abuser. Besides, abusers often are fairly well versed in anger management skills and conflict resolution. They simply don't respect their partner enough to bother using these skills. Other books are often good at describing abusive behavior, but this book describes not only what they do, but why they do it and how these men think. When Dr. Phil sees an undesirable behavior, he asks, "What's the payoff?" I.e. what rewards is the perpetrator reaping from behaving this way? Unlike the other books I've read on abuse, Bancroft thoroughly explains what these abusers are

Because he can!

When most women ask "why does he do that," they are searching for an answer that will help them to make an abusive relationship better. This book makes it very clear that the answer to the question has nothing to do with the abusive man's partner, and everything to do with a sick and destructive need for complete control over another human being.I have read a number of books about abuse and control, and many of them are very good at deconstructing the dynamic between a controller and his victim. The difference for me is that many of those books have been by women who treat victims. This is a book by a man who has worked with batterers. I am not disparaging the work of women (and men) who work with victims--I was once one of them. What I am saying is that, as I read this, I felt a deep sense of validation, that the "other side" of the story, which many books get at through stories with victims, isn't something imagined or theorized. Controllers do know what they are doing. They understand that it hurts. They don't want to change. And I and other victims cannot change them. An outline of the specifics of abusive and controlling men makes it very clear that the "circle of influence" for women does not extend to the abuser. It may sound cliche to say you must save yourself, but after reading the many facets of abuse and the way they surface, a victim will understand will great clarity that her precious energy must be used to care for herself and her children. And pulling back that energy, for me, has been a critical step in surviving.And for going through the family court system, if that is what a woman chooses to do. The other unique and invaluable aspect of this book is the way in which it pinpoints how the family court system--law enforcement, judges, lawywers, GALs--can and often does revisit the trauma of abuse on the victim by becoming triangulated with the offender. A woman who thinks she will find accountability in the family court system may be in for a big surprise. This book can prepare a woman for the reality of the process and help her anticipate what tactics her abuser may engage in. It is daunting, but had I had this book several years ago, my own experience might have been different.This book is easy to read but I have underlining and notes on every page. Even after the fact it has helped me to understand my own situation better, and to give me hope for the life I can give my child. I recommend it strongly.

A very poignant explanation of controlling men - please read

Lundy Bancroft has captured within this book the heart of one of the biggest problems being involved with abusive and controlling men - the constant and neverending struggle to understand why he can be so cruel when he swears he loves so much. It is at times a very painful read, especially when Mr. Bancroft tackles all the myths women have relied upon to rationalize and somehow justify or downplay the abuse. He has de-mystified these types of men and has explained the source of their actions and mindset with a clarity that can be as frightening as it is freeing. You will not find one excuse you've ever used to justify an abusive partner's treatment that isn't addressed in this book and shown for what it truly is. If you are, or even think you might be in an abusive relationship, or trying to recover from one, this book is an absolute must read. In fact, I would even recommend getting it in hardback; it will become your bible of liberation from the crazymaking created from being involved with an angry and controlling man.
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