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Guidelines: Who is The Abuser, Who is the Victim?

Who is The AbuserWho is The Victim

by Dr. Irene

The sign of an intelligent people is their ability to control 
emotions by the application of reason.  - Mayra Mannes

While some cases are "classic" and clear-cut, sometimes it is very difficult to make the distinction between who is the angry controller and who is the codependent victim. Appearances may be deceiving...

Guidelines:

bulletThe abuser may be angry, loud & ugly.
bulletThe victim may be angry, loud & ugly.
bulletThe abuser may never raise their voice.
bulletThe victim may never raise their voice.
bulletThe abuser typically appears "rational," but not always.
bulletThe victim typically appears "irrational" or emotional.
bulletThe abuser thinks they are a victim & the victim agrees - or not.
bulletThe victim thinks they are a victim.  
bulletBoth think they are the victim.
bulletThe abuser complains about how much they do & their partner doesn't.
bulletThe victim is often depressed, anxious, emotional, irrational, or otherwise falling-apart.
bulletThe abuser is often depressed, anxious, emotional, irrational, or otherwise falling-apart.
bulletNone, one, or both may abuse alcohol or other substances.
bulletThe abuser often presents well and has people's sympathy.
bulletThe victim usually does not present well and has people's sympathy.
bulletAbusers appear controlling.
bulletVictims appear controlling.
bulletThe abuser gets angrier if someone gets angry with him or her.
bulletThe codependent "can't stand it" if someone is angry with them.
bulletThe abuser's mood will "flip" for no apparent reason, usually when he or she starts thinking about how their partner doesn't "care."
bulletThe victim's mood may "flip" for no apparent reason, when the last straw breaks the camels back.
bulletThe victim is outraged by the abuser's lies and will accuse the abuser of lying.
bulletThe abuser will twist words, lie, and will accuse the victim of lying.

Confused? Good. This list is intended to dispel myths and to point out how difficult it is to figure out who is who, especially from outside tightly shut doors. Both are controlling and lack self-control.