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Excuses and Justifications for Being Controlling, Abusive, and Violent with Women and Others

by Dave Decker M.A.

There are a many reasons that men choose to become controlling, abusive, and even violent with their partners and others. The list below highlights some of the excuses that men have offered in the past to avoid taking clear responsibility for what they have said or done with their partners and children.

JUSTIFICATIONS FOR EMOTIONAL, VERBAL, AND PHYSICAL ABUSE
AND OTHER CONTROLLING BEHAVIORS:

• IT'S THE WAY I WAS RAISED
...It's the only way I know
...My father/mother was abusive
...It's because of my upbringing
...It's the way I was treated when I was a kid
...That's what my father/mother did to me
...What I do isn't nearly as bad as what my father(mother) did to me

• SHE MADE ME DO IT/IT'S HER FAULT
...She pushed my buttons
...She knows how to get me going
...She pissed me off
...She had an “attitude”
...She made me angry
...She pushed me too hard
...She pushed me too far
...I'm just reacting to her/what she does
...She's intentionally trying to get a rise out of me

• IT'S HUMAN NATURE/THAT'S JUST THE WAY MEN ARE
... It's biological/genetic
...A real man never backs down
...It's just the way I am

• SHE DESERVED IT
...She started it
...She provoked me
...She was hysterical/out-of-control/”out of it”
...It takes two to tango/It takes two to fight/It takes two to argue
...She's the real problem in this relationship
...I only get angry/have problems with her
...She brought it on herself

• SHE'S THE ONE WITH THE ANGER PROBLEM/SHE'S THE REAL ABUSER IN THIS RELATIONSHIP
...She should be in an anger management group
...She's the one who's always so pissed off

• IT WAS SELF-DEFENSE
...She grabbed/pushed/hit/slapped me first
...She hurt me
...She was abusive/threatening/violent to me
...I was the real victim here
...I was only reacting to what she did
...I can't/won't let her push me around

• I WAS DRUNK/HIGH
...I just "blacked out"
...I was in a “dry drunk'” blackout
...It was just the alcohol and drugs talking

• IT'S NORMAL/EVERYBODY GETS ANGRY AND ABUSIVE AT TIMES
...All families have fights
...Abuse is part of all long-term relationships

• SHE DOESN'T LOVE ME/CARE ABOUT ME/RESPECT ME ENOUGH

• I WAS OUT OF CONTROL
...I didn't know what I was doing
...I was just “seeing red”
...It shows how angry I was
...I didn't mean to get violent
...It's not my fault
...I was in the wrong place at the wrong time
...This isn't the real me
...I didn't mean to do it
...It was an “accident”

• I NEEDED TO GET CONTROL OF THE SITUATION
...It worked to get what I wanted
...It stopped the argument
...I got what I wanted
...It shut her up
...I got her to “back off”

• A MAN HAS A RIGHT TO BE IN CONTROL/”IN CHARGE”
...I should be the one in charge
...I'm supposed to run the show
...A man has a right to 'discipline' his wife when he needs to
...A man has the right to 'wear the pants' in his family
...The man is the head of the household
...I make the money and pay the bills around here

...The Bible says it's okay
...It's my house, I'll do whatever I want in my own home
...It's a private family matter/It’s nobody else’s business
...I'm the boss
...I wanted to “bring her down a notch”
...It's the way things are supposed to be
...She was getting too “uppity”/cocky

• I'M REALLY SORRY FOR WHAT I DID/I'LL NEVER DO IT AGAIN
...It was a mistake
...It will never happen again

• SHE WOULDN'T LISTEN
...She just wouldn't shut up
...She wasn't “hearing”/understanding me
...She wouldn't leave me alone
...She wasn't being fair
...She 'called my bluff'
...It made her listen to me
...It was the only way to get my message across
...She was ignoring me
...She wasn't dealing with the issue
...She's always bitching/complaining/nagging
...It was the only way to get her attention

• I HAVE A RIGHT TO GET HER BACK FOR WHAT SHE SAID/DID TO ME
...I needed to “get even”/get revenge
...She hurt me, She put me down
...She disrespected me

• THIS WILL TEACH HER A LESSON
...This will make her a better person
...She'll learn from this
...This will help her
...This will protect her from herself

• IT WAS JUST INSTINCT
...I just reacted
...It was a reflex

• WOMEN ARE INFERIOR TO MEN
...Women should be subservient/submissive
...She's my wife
...She belongs to me
...She's my property
...She's mine
...She's supposed to follow my lead
...She didn't do what she was supposed to do

• I WAS STRESSED OUT
...I had a bad day
...I had an “attitude”
...I was “wigged-out” on my meds
...I was depressed/anxious
...I didn't get enough sleep,
...Little things just built up for me
...I couldn't take it anymore
...I felt completely overwhelmed

• I HAD NO CHOICE ABOUT WHAT I DID
...She crossed the line
...She pushed me into a corner
...She backed me up against the wall
...The issue was too important to just let it pass
...I had to act that way
...I only have two choices in a situation like that ("fight or flight")

• I WAS RIGHT/SHE WAS WRONG
...It was the right thing to do
...I didn't do anything wrong

• IT'S OKAY TO BE VIOLENT/ABUSIVE IN SOME SITUATIONS
...I can get away with it
...I know how to handle these sorts of situations
...I'm big/ tough enough to “throw my weight around”
...I know karate
...I learned how to handle myself in the military

• IT WASN'T THAT BIG A DEAL
...It wasn't that bad
...I didn't really hurt her
...She bruises easily
...We'll get through this
...She's just exaggerating how bad it was

• IT WON'T HURT OUR RELATIONSHIP
...She'll get over it
...She'll still love me
...She'll never leave me
...We've gotten through worse fights in the past

• I WAS JEALOUS/SHE'S A WHORE/SHE'S A SLUT
...She was staring at another guy
...She's a flirt
...She's always looking at other men
...She went out on me
...She had an affair
...She is always “hitting on other guys”

• IT WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED IF I DIDN'T LOVE HER SO MUCH
...What I did proves how much I really care about her
...I wouldn't have acted that way if she wasn't so important to me
...I guess I just love her too much

• SHE WAS “OFF HER PEDESTAL”
...A gentleman should never hit a lady, but because of what she did, she's not a lady

• I'VE BEEN GOOD TO HER/SHE OWES ME
...I've given her everything

• SHE DOESN'T THINK ABOUT ME ENOUGH
...She worries about everyone but me
...She doesn't understand/know me

JUSTIFICATIONS FOR SEXUAL ABUSE OF A PARTNER:

• She wanted it
• She said “no” but she really meant “yes”
• I deserve to get it whenever I want it
• Boys will be boys
It's my right to have sex because I'm her husband/boyfriend
• I need it/I can’t live without it
• She's cold/frigid
• She owes it to me because she’s my wife/girlfriend
• She gave it to me whenever I wanted it we first got together

JUSTIFICATIONS FOR CHILD ABUSE:

• Spare the rod, spoil the child
• A father has the right to discipline his kids however he sees fit
It's nobody's business what I do with my own kids
• A man has the right to control his children and their behavior
• A father has the responsibility to teach his children what's right
• The kids shouldn't have talked back to me
• There's nothing wrong with a little spanking
• My father hit me worse when I was a kid
I got hit and I turned out fine
• Kids need to know who's the boss in this house
• It's my job as their parent



(Excuses) © 1987 David J. Decker, MA, LP: 612-725-8402; 651-646-4325; www.ANGEResources.com

     

 

 

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