drank and it was all downhill from there For all of the women their abuser was

Drank and it was all downhill from there for all of

This preview shows page 117 - 120 out of 240 pages.

drank, and it was all downhill from there . For all of the women, their abuser was verbally abusive from the very beginning of their marriages. In addition, Alice’s husband sold all of the property, including her car, which she had brought into the marriage. He has kept total control of her assets and earned income over the years. As was seen in the previous section, he was also physically and sexually violent and coercive. Cathy said that her husband would drink on weekends, and when he drank he would hit me, he would bite me, strangle me ... While he employed tactics of shoving, pushing and some hitting, Beth claimed not to have been too concerned, because her husband never told her that he would kill her. She said that mainly, he took it out on other things, for instance he smashed furniture, for instance one time he flipped the dining room table over...he punched holes in the walls, so, you know, he just directed it somewhere else . It was interesting to learn that all four of the women married men that they knew, or should have known, had drinking problems. The only one of the women who reported
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108 drinking with her husband was Dot. She said that when she was 40 she stopped drinking because I just decided that it was bad for me, so I stopped . Her husband stopped drinking after a DUI arrest and conviction about 20 years ago. Alice’s husband stopped drinking after undergoing a military alcohol treatment program he was compelled to participate in towards the end of his Army career. Beth’s husband stopped drinking after he got out of the Navy. She said that because he wasn’t working, he didn’t have enough money to buy alcohol. He never resumed drinking, even after he started working regularly. However, she said he began gambling addictively in the place of drinking. In each of these marriages, verbal abuse was present from the beginning. All of the men were in the military at the time, where disrespect for women was considered normal and acceptable. Consistent with feminist theory, the pattern of abuse was set immediately. Physical abuse or threats to harm occurred either simultaneously or soon after. Usual treatment. Abusive relationships are not uniformly unpleasant. During the honeymoon phase of the cycle of violence (Walker, 1979), abusers can be charming, loving, and attentive. But between the extremes of this phase and violence is where the less severe forms of abuse occur. This section explores the abuser’s customary treatment and attitudes towards their partner. It is here that we see what their everyday interactions were like. As expected by feminist theory, the women uniformly stated that their husbands were insensitive, hypercritical, disrespectful, and seemed to have a strong sense of
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109 entitlement. This treatment still exists for the two women who remain with their abusive husbands. The other women say that on the rare occasions that they see their former spouses, they are unchanged. Both of these men profess to be mystified as to why their former wives left them. They both insist that they were never abusive and that the
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