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Does anyone know- Why do people become EA ? And why are they in denial?

(29 Posts)
dontmentionit Sun 17-Jul-16 22:27:33

Just that really. Reading around it, what it is etc but what happened to create these unstable people?

Itsnowornever01 Sun 17-Jul-16 22:48:33

It's ingrained, upbringing.

gingerbreadmanm Sun 17-Jul-16 22:49:29

i also think a lot of it has to do with how they are brought up.

Northernparent68 Sun 17-Jul-16 23:11:06

I do n'to know why they do it, but I think a lot of EA go into sone sort of disassociative state when they are abusing, which makes treatment particularly difficult.

Resilience16 Mon 18-Jul-16 03:55:24

The two people I have experienced EA with have both had extremely abusive childhoods. Physical violence, abuse, ending up in care, etc etc. In both cases their dads were violent.
I guess if that's what you've seen and experienced as a kid then that's your normal. Not excusing it, but does go some way to explain it.
Also I got the impression from my ex that because he wasn't physically violent the EA wasn't "as bad" as what his dad did, so it wasn't abuse. In their heads if they aren't trying to shoot you or stab you or break your arm then it isn't abuse. It's this denial or minimising that makes it impossible for the abuser to admit they are abusive.
I also got the impression that they were very angry with women because deep down the little kid in them was angry that their mums had failed to "save" them. And as little kids it was safer to be angry at mum than at psycho dad.
Very very sad.

dontmentionit Mon 18-Jul-16 06:38:09

Very very sad indeed. There just seems to be a crazy amount of people doing it , I'm picking up on more and more men ( occasional girl) who EA . Is it any insecurity brought about by childhood? (But we all have our insecurities..).Why can't they see it after its pointed out, specific examples, and they still deny what they are doing grrr

dontmentionit Mon 18-Jul-16 06:40:41

resil I do hear this -" it's not directed at you so it isn't hurtful, I'm not swearing, shouting at you "etc

dontmentionit Mon 18-Jul-16 06:43:06

Thanks for replies, resil I do hear this denial - ' it's not directed at you, the shouting and swearing so it's not hurtful 'shock

LesisMiserable Wed 20-Jul-16 09:10:34

I would counter that not everything that is labelled EA is EA at all. It's just someone being an arse/acting out their own problems/have a run of bad days. Not everything is aimed. Sometimes it proximity. What tends to happen a lot I think is that people refuse to remove themselves from the proximity and then end up over time feeling EA when in fact early doors they had the power to move away from it but didn't.

dontmentionit Wed 20-Jul-16 09:35:42

Hmm les not really clear on what you mean, but the jist is that - not everyone labelled EA is EA? Maybe different degrees of EA , but think a person is either controlling or not. Are you putting the blame on the other person for not walking away? hmm

LesisMiserable Wed 20-Jul-16 09:40:37

Not blame, responsibility to some degree, which I think is entirely reasonable. Also, not everything classed as EA is classical controlling behaviour, not by a long streak.

LesisMiserable Wed 20-Jul-16 09:42:15

If you are being treated in such a way that makes you feel your emotions are being abused - and you don't walk away from that - then that is your responsibility yes. You keep getting that lesson until you learn it as they say.

pallasathena Wed 20-Jul-16 09:45:27

Its a complex issue o/p and I don't think one size fits all here. For some, its upbringing, for others, its nature rather than nurture. People who are EA seldom recognise the fact that they are which implies that they live in a highly distorted personal reality.
How do you fix someone's distorted reality?
Through counselling, through self reflection, through education? Sometimes, you just can't fix it. If its completely ingrained, all you can do is walk away.

dontmentionit Wed 20-Jul-16 09:54:04

Trouble is les it's so subtle people don't realise until a long way down the relationship line sometimes. Also , thought that's the whole point of EA - control ? What else is there?

palas people try and fix them , I guess another reason why they want to stay. Wonder if these 'fixes' actually work confused

LesisMiserable Wed 20-Jul-16 10:02:53

dont I've been in a controlling relationship (you may have been too?). At least half of what is classed as EA on here is not controlling. Its just people being nasty arses who aren't fit for a relationship but are in one because there partners refuse to believe that they won't change. A controlling relationship is when you have a genuine fear of ending it because of the possible repercussions. Not being text back after two days is not a controlling relationship (not actually EA either) it's very skewed.

LesisMiserable Wed 20-Jul-16 10:04:09

That's just an example by the way (the texting!!) Of what has been referred to as EA on here confused

dontmentionit Wed 20-Jul-16 10:09:25

Ok, I see what you are saying- I think we agree what EA is les .

just wondered if people had read around it given a reason as to what creates an abuser? I keep hearing more and more of it angry

Chelazla Wed 20-Jul-16 10:39:57

What is ea?

dontmentionit Wed 20-Jul-16 11:41:55

EA - emotional abuse

psychomath Wed 20-Jul-16 22:32:58

A lot of it I think comes from a deep sense of insecurity - some people find it easier to lash out than to confront their own issues, or they believe their loved ones will leave them unless they're brought down to the abuser's own level of low self-esteem, or they feel like they're justified because their partner has (intentionally or otherwise) hurt them in some way, so now they're just 'redressing the balance', not realising/acknowledging that the reaction is completely disproportionate. Then I suppose there are probably a few legitimate psychopaths who just get a kick out of it.

I think the level of consciousness of abusers' actions varies as well - some people are completely calculating and manipulative, some have a vague awareness that they're not always doing the right thing but have too many underlying mental issues to sort out exactly what is and isn't acceptable, and some don't see anything wrong with their behaviour at all. As someone who has a lot of MH issues I do sometimes feel like it's a constant battle not to act on all of the above feelings, and I do have some empathy with EA people whose intentions aren't necessarily 100% bad - I've been lucky enough to have a stable upbringing and a lot of good friends, and I think it must be a lot harder for people who've had real difficulties with abusive people in their own lives. But in the end you can't justify making someone else's life miserable because you can't deal with your own issues.

I have also very occasionally met people who had behaviours associated with EA but genuinely had no idea that they were hurting anyone, often because they'd had really fucked up lives themselves, then changed the way they acted once they'd spent some time in normal society and better understood other people's reactions. I wouldn't personally consider that true EA, but it is still hurtful to be on the receiving end.

dontmentionit Thu 21-Jul-16 20:37:00

Yes, insecurity would do it, but not everyone who is insecure would go on to EA. It's just not black and white I guess.

Still can't get my head around why people stay in denial after being abusive, making excuses and pushing it back on to the 'victim' 😯

Glad you have a good team around you psycho as def needed x

thestamp Thu 21-Jul-16 21:49:39

I see it like this... all of us use the tools we have to get what we believe we need. And you learn what you "should" need, and what is reasonable/expected behaviour to get those things, from your upbringing.

So... my EA ex learned that he "needs" to get self esteem from a woman in order to feel "ok". And he learned that he can only feel self esteem if a woman is flawlessly sensitive to his every need, takes responsibility for all his feelings, is extremely sexual with him but does not attract any other attention (impossible of course), etc. etc. You can't argue with him about these things because they're so deeply engrained in his brain. They're part of how he sees himself and the world around him.

He also learned that the following behaviours were the most effective (and acceptable) ways of getting those needs met:
- sulking
- silent treatment
- shaming
- criticizing
- getting psychoanalytical, telling the woman what is "wrong" with her so that she can "try harder"

Whereas I was taught different things... for example, while I was also taught that a man should be the source of my self worth, I was also taught that having an intellect should ALSO be part of my self worth, so I don't rely entirely on male validation.

And I was taught that to make a man think you are worthy, I should be nice to him, etc. etc. So, I'm easier to have a relationship with than my ex. Because I didn't learn nearly as many difficult behaviours as he did when he was a child.

The reason EAers are in denial is because their needs and the tools they use are invisible to them. They literally don't know they're there, because they learned it all so young. They can't quite get their heads around the idea that others have different ideas to what they were taught.

It's sad really. All you can do is try to find a partner whose needs and tools fit with what you want... easier said than done typically... especially since many EAers use the tool of concealment during the first years of a rs... It's tricky.

dontmentionit Fri 22-Jul-16 08:49:48

Makes perfect sense stamp thank you for the reply. Did you understand this through counselling?

I understand that EAers are emotionally detached , so perhaps don't have the wisdom to understand about their needs, their actions and put 2 and 2 together .
All very sad.

I should have looked at his parents all those years ago and worked it out for myself😕

thestamp Sat 23-Jul-16 15:45:35

Not something I learned through counselling, just my theory through a lot of talking in circles with my ex. I applied all my problem analysis skills from work to try to save my marriage...! It didn't work but I did come out with a lot of new ways of looking at human behaviour...

It's difficult because yes you can usually tell a lot from parent relationships. But there are always exceptions and when you love someone you want to believe they are the exception.

The most important thing is to fully appreciate that it doesn't actually matter WHY they ea. What matters is creating as much distance as possible between yourself and the ea person. That's the only solution. The "why" questions will fade in time... they're horrible though,,because you just wish you could solve the problem.

ChaChaChaCh4nges Sat 23-Jul-16 18:44:57

In the case of STBXH, I honestly think that on a fundamental level he doesn't believe that other people are as real as he is, or that they have true existence independent from him.

As less-real entities we (as in everyone else in the world) aren't worthy of empathy or respect with regard to any situation where our needs come into conflicts with his own.

As non-independent entities nothing he does can really hurt us; nor does he need to share information with us because on some level he thinks we somehow know what he knows. I've encountered numerous examples where he has been shocked that I don't know information that he has consciously or unconsciously concealed from me. It's utterly unnerving.

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