How to Spot an Abusive Man

Today on Soul Fit, we are going to talk about how to spot an abusive man. And ladies, let me say this: Abuse is not always physical. Physical abuse leaves scars to prove its existence, but wounds caused from emotional abuse create invisible scars. Both cause tremendous damage. Read the rest or watch here:

mason jarMen who are abusive prey on women with some type of vulnerability that makes them an easy target. None of us are immune to being vulnerable at some point in our lives, so the more we recognize these patterns that predict abusive tendencies, the more educated we can become and the more we can protect ourselves.

Men who are abusive pull out all the charm in the beginning until they have conquered their prey. Then by the time the real man is unleashed, it’s not pretty story. Once they have their victim held captive, they do an about face leaving their victim wondering what they did wrong. She is usually convinced he is still the charming dotting loving man she feel in love with but what she doesn’t realize is that his charm was deceitful. It was just a front, a lure to hook her into their control.

I’m not saying all men who are charming are abusive, but most men who are abusive are initially charming. That is part of the bait and conceal tactic they use to lure their victims into their realm of control and power.

Since so many women are drawn to men who use charm, I want to bring some clarity and help you understand an important distinction between charm and charisma. Charm and charisma both look the same on the surface, but charm has nothing underneath.

Proverbs 26:24-25 says, “A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart.”

You see, charm is deceptive and superficial. It’s all for show. But charisma, on the other hand, is different. Charisma is derived from the Hebrew word, charis, which means grace and loving kindness. It’s a spiritual quality given for the purpose of gaining influence. Charm is also used to gain influence, but influence for a selfish motive.

Charisma is backed up with character and integrity. It’s impossible to tell the difference without a deeper investigation.

There is no speed test to determine whether or not someone has character. The only way to tell the difference between charm and charisma is to evaluate a guys actions and reactions, especially when things don’t go their way. And that takes time to examine.

Charm can be an admirable quality, but unless character is underneath that charm, deceit will bite you like a snake.

Eve fell for the first snake.

So here’s my top 10 list for spotting a man with abusive tendencies:

  • They come on strong, full speed ahead
  • They move quickly for instant intimacy and an exclusive relationship.
  • Like a snake charmer they use flattery to captivate you. Compliments about your beauty abound. You are perfect for me. I’ve waited for you all my life. No one understand me like you do. I’ve dreamed of a woman like you.
  • They wine and dine you
  • They lavish you with gifts that seem too quick. Gifts that are appropriate for a more mature relationship
  • They plan romantic get-aways
  • They want you all to themselves. At first this may seem romantic, but it’s a deceitful part of the plan to move you away from outside influences.
  • They are critical of your friends and family, moving quickly to isolate you so you become completely dependent on their approval. It’s just a power play so they can keep you all to themselves and increase their dominance and influence
  • They are controlling. This one is hard to observe when it’s just you and him together, because until he has captured you under his spell, he will hide all control tendencies. He is in conquering mode. He won’t try to control you until he is convinced that you are under his spell. That’s why it’s so important to observe his interactions with others he knows. Watch how they respond to him. Are they warm, friendly and affectionate? Or are they reserved, disengaged, afraid, aloof or disbelieving? If he only wants to do things with you and him and refuses to introduce you to his friends, you will have no way to judge how he engages with others. Remember, he works best at concealing his agenda to conquer you when he can isolate you.
  • And the last tip is this: They seem too good to be true.
  • Well, ladies, when someone is too good to be true, guess what? He’s probably not for real. My best advice: Guard your heart, take it slow, check him out thoroughly and trust you gut. And above all, pray for wisdom! For more to read on this issue, check out the articles at ChristyJohnson.org. And stay tuned on this video journey as we explore ways to improve our soul health and avoid the toxic love rut. Thanks for watching. See you next time on Soul Fit.

 

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13 Responses to How to Spot an Abusive Man

  1. Bobby February 12, 2015 at 4:44 pm #

    I have identified some of these traits of a controlling man from previous relationships. Whereas, I have not been wined and dined because I am fiercely independent and successful, I was desperately in need of affection and attention. I realized that when you are lonely and feeling vulnerable you are more likely to become a victim.

  2. Christy Johnson February 12, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    You nailed it Bobbie. The need for affection and attention makes us vulnerable!

  3. Elizabeth March 1, 2015 at 3:04 am #

    Wow!! This has my name written all over it including Bobby’s feedback. I am successful in my career but I’m noticing a lot of those characteristics in my current and previous relationship.

    I think God is telling me that my goal for this Lenten season is to get soul healthy. Thank you Christy for the Love Junkies book and your inspirational website.

  4. Christy Johnson March 2, 2015 at 10:41 am #

    You are so welcome Elizabeth. Praying for God to bring more revelation as you continue to seek HIm!

  5. Laura March 23, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

    I have been trying to make sense of the demise of my relationship with my fiance who I believe was emotionally abusive. What makes it even harder is that he is a “Christian” who is very smart, charming and wonderful to the outside world. Only a few friends and my family believe that he is controlling and verbally abusive. I keep reading articles like this over and over to remind myself what he is really like to ease my sadness. The worst part is that he uses scripture to make me feel guilty for not coming back. If I was really a Christian I would forgive him. He has a blog where he blasts me indirectly for not resolving things as Jesus would have me resolve them and on and on…Anyways, thank you for encouragement from a Godly perspective. This has been tough.

  6. Tina May 12, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

    Most people like your fiance (ex and keep it that way!) are silver tounged and have no qualms about using it to their best interest. A true blue man that is secure in his faith,heart and beliefs would offer alternative ways to make it work (i.e couples counseling). Just because someone can talk louder, faster, and spout more Scripture, facts or statistics than you or anyone else does not mean that they are right. Setting boundaries is hard to do at first but with each one it gets easier and
    and easier. Setting boundaries is actually healthy and allows you to open your mind , heart and Spirit to your highest good. If we are continually in a state of a confusion, especially if it’s set off by anothers words and actions, then you are closed off from seeing or hearing the truth either through Scripture, a trusted friend , elder or professional counselor. I am not a Bible scholar by any means, however, the words of Jesus comes to mind, Do not throw your pearls before swine. Hang tough and allow the way to be opened up by turning your EX!, your self, and the situation over to the will and care of GOD., AND listening to the inner voice of your own wisdom, also known as intuition or your gut instincts. One last thought, to live in the past = depression, to live in the future = anxiety, to live in the moment = happiness and contentment. Take care, wishing you boundless blessings.

  7. Christy Johnson May 12, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

    Ohhh, Tina! I love this quote. It needs to be a picture quote!! Did you write this or did someone else say it?

    To live in the past = depression.
    To live in the future = anxiety.
    To live in the moment = happiness and contentment.

  8. Gayle May 26, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    I married a verbally abusive man. It was exactly as you have stated. Everything was MY fault according to him. He really made my self esteem suffer and it took many years to feel normal again . We were married only two years but it seemed an eternity.

  9. James August 13, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    Does this count for a woman who does these things? A lot of what you describe can be me , as a love junkie, but even more sounds like my current girlfriend… We feel in love quickly and she said it first. She seems so sweet most the time, but can be passive aggressive, she said she loved me very early and told me she prayed for a man to help heal her from her demons of child sexual abuse. I don’t know any of her friends and she has never met mine. I did get to meet some of her family when I was working on her house, but under the guise of me being a contractor that had recently asked her out (she’s hid our relationship from her family for 3 months). I have a domestic violence on my record (though honestly did not actually hit or hurt the girl who filed charges, we had only dated 3 months), which her family found out about, and note she hides or relationship again… I have always been open and honest with her (and everyone really) about my past, but she feels judged by her family.. Don’t want to go on and on but this article seemed to strike me after reading it because I know I’m a love junkie, and so does she..

    • Christy Johnson August 17, 2015 at 6:58 am #

      Of course the same principles can apply to women. Toxic relationships know no gender. It’s all because unhealed wounds of our past make us vulnerable to others with unresolved issues and then we continue the dance of hurting each other until we allow Christ full control. My book, Love Junkies, 7 Steps for Breaking the Toxic Relationship Cycle, is written for women, but my husband and I have taught the principles that I wrote about in the book to singles groups of both men and women. Maybe someday I’ll write a book for men. Until then, maybe you and your girlfriend could read it together and discuss. It’s available on Amazon or my website on the store page. http://www.christyjohnson.org/store/ Blessings!

    • Sharon January 19, 2019 at 2:12 pm #

      Gayle, I also married a verbally & emotionally abusive man. I wish I had this information years ago. You are lucky to have broken free of it. I stayed for my children (it’s a long story involving abusive in-laws as well). I have been married for 25 years now, and now that the kids are all grown, I am having a hard time finding a reason to stay. I’ve learned to accommodate him over the years to survive. But I am sooo tired now, I feel as though I’m just waiting to die. I have had the divorce conversation with him several times over the years… he refuses to grant me a divorce. I don’t know how to break free. I am here to hopefully learn how to find my peace and freedom.

      Christy… any specific book you can recommend for my situation would be appreciated.

  10. Lydia October 1, 2018 at 5:50 am #

    Wow I wish I had this list before. He was always there, made sure that I cancel other engagements with my family, friends name it, until I broke free. Then the insults, non commitments started. Anyway I am free now…

    • Christy Johnson October 1, 2018 at 12:16 pm #

      So glad you broke away. At first all the attention seems like flattery and interest, but it’s camouflaged control!

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