The Abusive Woman
By Nancy Davis, Ph.D.
Are very good at fooling people initially.
Attract men into the relationship in the same way abusive and sadistic men attract
women by being very nice in the courtship phase, and building up his self-esteem. This
type of woman often picks a very nice and nurturing man who likes to take care of
people, i.e., police officers, ministers, and is a problem solver. She also picks a man who
does not like confrontation or anger, perhaps because he was emotionally abused as a
child or was taught that anger is wrong. In the beginning of the relationship, she
rarely shows anger, seems to love sex, and lets him be in control. They show glimpses
of their true personality, but the man says to himself, "That's not the real her". Once
she feels that she has his love, she begins to switch from positive to negative, putting
down her husband and degrading him, being displeased with him and blaming him for
every wrong she images she has suffered. He keeps trying to "solve the problem" by
changing and doing what she wants. What he does not realize, because he is a problemsolver,
is that she doesn't want the problem solved. She keeps changing what she
wants to keep him off balance. "Before we were married, she was so wonderful. Mary
always brought me meals at work with sweet little notes in them. I thought I had died
and gone to heaven. The day we got married was the last day she ever cooked a thing
Lack boundaries into what is appropriate behavior. Appropriate behavior does not
apply to them. May call a therapist, teacher or husband's boss with her opinions,
believing her opinion is superior to anyone else's. Interrupts conversations.
Constantly bring up problems, but answer "Yes, but" when given solutions to these
problems. They are not looking for solutions, they like to complain and draw attention
Nothing is ever her fault. She may initially seem like a victim to others who do not
know her well, in that she blames others. However, after getting to know her, it is
apparent that she refuses to take responsibility for problems in her life.
Possess an incredible memory for details, especially how others have wronged them.
Rarely forget a mistake that others make and constantly bring these mistakes up, even
years later. Use her memory of mistakes to degrade others in her life.
Rarely compliments anyone; rather, she spends a great deal of time telling others
how they have disappointed her.
Lies and believes her own lies. Her downfall is often her belief that her opinion
and perceptions are the "correct" ones and that everyone else will see things "her"
way. Often tell completely different lies about the same incident to two people that
she should have known might talk to each other. Has problems predicting the
responses of others to her behavior. When others get furious with her has limited
understanding of her role in creating this rage.
Is emotionally about three years old and generally can be predicted to act this age.
This means she is extremely narcissistic and self-centered and generally lacks empathy
for the feelings of others.
Believes she is perfect and others aren't but should be.
Rarely can maintain close friendships with other women except for family members.
Have superficial, short-term intense relationships. May have her husband as her only
close friend and spends all of her time with him, except when with family members.
If their marriage does not last, seem able to convince the men she dates after the
divorce that their last husband misunderstood her or was a monster.
See things in black or white, right or wrong with no grey or middle areas. See
others as either perfect or totally flawed. Usually start out believing someone is great
and treating them as if they are gods. Then something happens in the relationship, so
she switches this person to evil and turns against him or her.
Generally have poor job histories and trouble keeping jobs. May switch from
important job to important job. Often present very well during job interviews, saying
all the right things. However, many can't maintain this type of appropriate behavior for
very long so they are often is fired or quit after working a short time. Of course, she
says this wasn't her fault. If she has a professional degree, may work out of her home
or may bully others at work to get her way.
Are often dependent on their own mothers, even as adults. May call her mother
several times a day, yet may complain to others that she is abusive, "a bitch" or treats
Has a massive rage that may not be evident all the time. When this rage surfaces
it is of incredible intensity. Can switch moods in an instant, often going from smiling to
rage and back to smiling as if they have a feeling "switch" that they can turn on and
off in a way that seems unnatural.
Are vindictive. Like sharks, they rarely give up in attacking someone they hate.
Keep coming back again and again in furious attacks when other people would have let
the anger go. Because she rarely gives up, her husband (and often those who work with
her) learns to give her what she wants because he realizes that she will not give up
until she gets it.
Often crave status, i.e., being associated with "important" people like movie stars,
sports figures or politicians. May have furs, jewelry, expensive "in" things that make
her superficially seem important.
Often write volumes of notes, diaries or letters, sometimes giving them to family
members to let them know how disappointed she is in their behavior.
Have a sense of entitlement. Justifies her behavior no matter how outrageous or
hurtful it is to someone else. Nothing is ever her fault. Little guilt or self-awareness.
Love to turn people against each other. For example, will create tension by
informing one person that another has said something negative about them, which may
be a total lie or a distortion of what was said. This is followed by going to the person
who was quoted and informing that person that the other person said negative things
about them. Often these negative revelations are given only with the promise that this
cannot be repeated or is a secret. She does this to create problems in the relationship
between those two people. Likes to say, "Do you want to hear what ... said about you?"
Seems to have little belief that these two people might compare notes and discover
the distortions in what she has repeated, because they rarely do.
Loves chaos. If there aren't problems and upheaval around her, she seems obsessed
and delighted at creating them.
Women with this disorder often use sex to "snare" men, but do not seem to really
like sex except to manipulate men. Often pretends to like sex to get a man to
marry her; however seems to quickly lose interest in sex after she is sure that she has
the man. May use sex to have babies and then neglect the husband. May treat her
husband as a slave.
May hit, scratch, or throw things at her husband, who rarely tells anyone that this
is happening because he is embarrassed. Often spends a great deal of time degrading
her husband and tearing down his self esteem, at the same time making him feel
responsible for pleasing her, although this is impossible. When she senses that she has
pushed her husband too far and he may leave, she switches behaviors and becomes nice
and loving to keep him from leaving her. Once she senses that her husband believes
she has changed, she returns to abusive behavior. Men married to this type of woman
may detail the abuses he endures, but then say, "But, I love her".
Are impossible to please because she keeps changing the boundaries of what she
wants. For example, a secretary was allowed to design her own desk. When it was
delivered, she complained that it was the wrong size, height, etc. When her boss
pointed out that she had designed it, her reply was that the boss should have told her
that she was designing it incorrectly, i.e. it wasn't her fault.
Often have problems honoring body space or personal space.
May distort the thinking of her husband to the point that he believes what she tells
him to believe, such as "I am a good mother." Getting him to believe these distortions
is helped by her tendency to isolate him from friends and family by her constant
complaints that he should spend all of his time with her as a way of controlling him.
Complains about his friends and family until he gives them up or rarely sees them.
These women rarely improve in therapy because they do not believe that there is
anything wrong with them...it's everyone else who is wrong. Most do not even believe
that they need therapy---are not in pain but give pain to those around them. May refer
friends and relative to therapists or take her children or foster children to therapy.
However, therapy is used to demonstrate that she is a victim or how others have
wronged her or to gain attention. Generally refuses to work on their own problems or
usually to acknowledge that they even have problems. Wants her therapist to believe
her victim story and take her side against others and can be very believable. Leaves
therapy when the therapist is confrontational in saying that she has a role in the
problem or takes the side of someone else in her family. If she is invited in at the
beginning of her child's therapy session, may try to use the whole session for herself,
without any thought of her child needing to be the one in therapy session. She usually
uses the therapy session to complain about others, not to look at herself.
How the Abusive Woman Impacts her Children:
Children grow up without the understanding that that other mothers are different
from theirs. They may never gain insight into the role their mother has played in their
own functioning, unless someone helps them to understand. Because abusive women
believe that nothing is ever their fault, and because they are almost impossible to
please because they continually change the definition of what it takes to please them,
their children grow up with a sense of continually being defeated. It is natural for a
child to try to please their mother; however, with this type mother, the children learn
to give up...what's the use, she will never change. They then generalize this idea to
many parts of life.
Although abusive women may encourage their children and husbands, this is
generally in areas which would make her look good if they excelled (going to college,
winning a beauty contest, being a cheer leader). She often makes negative comments
to her children, but many children who grew up with this type of mother say that their
mother never gave them a compliment. Many adults who grew up with an abusive
mother are unaware of this lack of positive comments, until asked, "What kinds of
compliments did your mother give you?" If she gives them a compliment, it is usually
accompanied by a negative, put-down or is given in front of others, to impress them.
For example, "You are so intelligent so why can't you make straight A's? You are acting
stupid and there is no excuse for it because you are smart. You have a beautiful face
if you just weren't so fat, others could see it. "
Many children with abusive mothers grow up constantly saying, "I'm sorry", for even
the slightest mistake. They were blamed for so many things that they become afraid
of making any mistakes and misinterpret the normal ups and downs of behaviors as
mistakes. (Like cutting something in the kitchen too thin when helping someone cook or
accidentally spilling some water on the table). They may constantly try to read others
to see if their behavior is approved, because that is how they tried to survive their
abusive mother. In adult life, abusers use their constant apologizing and their
problems with confrontation to target them.
Abusive women and other naracisstic and self-centered women and men, do not
seem to find joy in giving to others. In other words, many people love to give gifts to
others, because the receiver shows such appreciation that the giver finds their joy
rewarding. Many children of abusive women indicate that their mother expected
something in return when she did something for them. As adults, children who grew up
with these mothers may not understand when someone gives them a gift just for the
joy in watching them receive it. They feel uncomfortable and may say, "I don't need
that" or believe something is expected in return and feel uncomfortable because they
are not clear in what it is.
Fuse with their female children, sometimes with their sons (can't tell where the
child ends and they begin-doesn't want her children to grow up and be independent).
When the children are young, may seem like a good mother. However, when these
children reach adolescence where rebellion and independence are natural, uses every
technique imaginable to keep the child dependent. Interestingly, she often is most
abusive to the rebellious child, because the compliant child does everything she wants.
Just as many abusive men hate women, the abusive woman almost always hates men.
She uses them and manipulates them and often wants their attention and approval.
However, because she hates men, her sons can become a problem to her when they
grow beyond the cute stage. If a divorce takes place, may want to keep her daughters
and give the x-husbands the sons.
Likes others to believe she is a great mother, so may volunteer to work in her
child's classroom or PTA, talk loudly to her child at the grocery store "When we get
home we are going to read two stories. How many books have we read in the past two
weeks?" May dress her children in stylish clothes or put them in multiple after school
classes or sports so that she can look good.
Although the father of her children is often kind and unabusive to them, he rarely
protects them from the abusive statements and behavior of their mother. The role of
a parent is to protect their children from abuse and harm and to make them feel safe.
Although the father may empathize with the child, he plays the role of a sibling who is
also being abused. He may work long hours to avoid her, leaving the children with the
abusive mother for long periods. He may be unaware of the extent of the abuse,
although he is aware that she is abusive because she abuses him. This distorts the
child's perception of both a mother and a father and has far reaching consequences.
Although they convince their mate they are good mothers, these women are very
self-centered and always puts herself in front of her children. In very extreme cases,
she may kill her children to keep her husband from having them during a divorce.
In these families, the child may be blamed for the mother's temper tantrums, or
irrational behavior. "Don't get your mother started", the child is warned. When the
mother gets out of control, the family says, "See what you did" to the child, who then
takes responsibility for the mother's behavior. She may blame the child for
everything... "It's your fault I got breast cancer; you have kept me so upset because you
are such an awful child that if I die, it's your fault." Accepting responsibility for
things they do not control or did not do, often extends into adult functioning and leads
to a lifetime of guilt.
Tend to be the most abusive to children who are rebellious and who refuse to be
compliant and obedient. Although they seem to hate this child and blame this child for
any and every wrong in their life, do not want her/him to move away as an adult. May
spend hours complaining to other family members about how victimized she is by this
Try to destroy their child's soul and self-worth to keep them tied to her.
Abusive women generally have borderline and/or narcissistic personality disorders.
Although no one has all of the following characteristics, the greater the number that
applies to one person, the more likely it is that this diagnosis applies. These
characteristics have been compiled from research, DSM IV, and personal experience with
numerous individuals and children of abusive women.
Smadar Hameiry is an Abusive Woman who suffers from
Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome (DRMMS)
Adapted from "Relocation as a Strategy to Interfere with the Child/Parent
Relationship," by Ira Turkat, M.D.
With the increasing commonality of divorce involving children,
a pattern of abnormal behavior in mothers has emerged:
A mother who unjustifiably punishes her divorcing or divorced husband by:
Attempting to alienate their mutual children from the father, involving
others in malicious actions against the father, engaging in excessive
litigation. The mother specifically attempts to deny her children: Regular
uninterrupted visitation with the father, uninhibited telephone access
to the father, paternal participation in the children's school life and
extracurricular activities. The pattern is pervasive and includes malicious
acts towards the husband including: Lying to the children, lying to others,
violations of law. The disorder is not specifically due to another mental
disorder, although a separate mental disorder may co-exist.
The number of children involved in divorce has grown dramatically. While the
majority of such cases are "settled" from a legal perspective, outside the
courtroom the battle continues. Everyday, attorneys and therapists are
exposed to horror stories in which vicious behaviors are lodged
against innocent fathers and children.
Serious attacks on divorcing husbands take place which are beyond merely
manipulating the children. Further, these actions include a willingness by
some mothers to violate societal law. There are mothers who persistently
engage in malicious behaviors designed to alienate their offspring
from the father, despite being unable to successfully cause alienation.
The Mother's Abnormal Behaviour Indicates A Serious Mental Disorder
The range of actions taken by a mother to attempt to alienate her children from
their father is impressive. The goal of the alienator is crystalline: to deprive
the lost parent, not only of the child's time, but of the time of childhood.
For example: A mother manipulated a secretary at the children's school to
assist her in kidnapping her children. It is important to note that the
person manipulated by the angry mother has, in a way, been "alienated"
against the divorcing husband. Typically, the individual "fooled" takes
on a righteous indignation, contributing to a rewarding climate for
the mother initiating malicious actions.
Experts are in relative agreement that regular and uninterrupted visitation
with the non-residential parent is desirable and beneficial for children,
except in extreme circumstances. In fact, some states, such as Florida, have
laws written to reflect this view. Unfortunately, even when the father and
children have legal rights to visitation, individuals with Divorce Related
Malicious Mother Syndrome continue to interfere with it.
The President of the Council for Children's Rights (Washington, D.C.) notes
that such alienation is considered a form of child abuse.
Given the physical absence of one parent, the telephone plays an important
role in maintaining the bond between child and non-residential parent.
Individuals suffering from Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome engage
in an array of actions designed to circumvent telephone access.
An integral part of the process of maintaining one's bond with one's child is
to participate in activities that one did before the parents separated.
School plays, team sports, and religious events are just some of the type of
activities of importance. Malicious Mothers frequently engage in maneuvers
designed to prevent participation in these activities.
Given their developmental status, children in a disputed divorce situation
are quite vulnerable when one parent decides to attack the other
by lying to the children.
Individuals suffering from Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome may
engage a wide range of other individuals in their attacks upon the ex-husband.
The individual with Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome specifically
lies to other individuals in the belligerency against the father.
Reports have been made on the difficulty imposed upon legal authorities when
confronted with someone who is an excellent liar. Consistent with research on
the inability of "specialists" to detect lying, a skilled fabricator can be a
compelling witness in the courtroom. While sometimes seen in borderline
personalities, pathological lying (Pseudologia Fantastica) is not
restricted to that particular character disorder.
Individuals suffering from Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome, have few,
if any boundaries in their campaign against the divorcing husband. Violations
of law are common, in some cases, the violations of law may be quite serious.
Certain personality disorders, such as antisocial, borderline, and sadistic, may be
demonstrated by individuals with Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome
who do not appear to meet official diagnostic criteria for an Axis II disorder.
Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome could occur in individuals who
had no prior mental disorder diagnosis or treatment.
From a clinical perspective, families that involve a Divorce Related Malicious
Mother Syndrome are subject to serious episodes of stress and distress. Yet,
there is no scientific evidence on how to treat this phenomenon. Many of
these Malicious Mothers deny that there is anything wrong with them.
The issue of sex distribution of the disorder certainly needs to be addressed.
Although the majority of custodial parents are female, not even one case has
been documented of a father engaging in this type of abnormal behaviour.
Approximately 90 percent of all custody battles involve some aspects of parental
alienation. Further, up to 40 percent of maternal custodians denied visitation to
the ex-husband in order to punish him. 50 percent of a sample of divorce
fathers indicated that visitation was interfered with by the mother.
While the malicious actions may first be noted during a divorce process, it is
possible that maliciousness may have been present earlier but undetected.
Research on pre-divorce parental conflict supports this speculation. It may
also be that there are some cases of pre-existing mental disorder that
have not been discovered until the stress of the divorce itself unfolds.
The Abducted Children Are NOT Safe With Their Mother
Please help us pray for the safety and good health of these children !!!
Please help us save these young innocent and beautiful children !!!
Please help us bring these children back home !!!
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if you have any helpful information.
Thank you !!!
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