Signs of an Abuser

7 Aug

Signs of an Abuser


Desi Women: What Were They Thinking?

Submitted for Soch Lo! contest. Please click to vote

 The phrase washing dirty linen in the public is used by communities and families to maintain status quo on an issue that is not acceptable or is oppressive to some members. Gone are the days when washing dirty linen in public meant a private matter exposed to neighbors or those in the vicinity but these days this phrase has acquired new heights. Those involved in interpersonal squabbles rush to media instead to law enforcement and courts for intervention. Media channels kill two birds with one stone by acting as mediators by bringing in so called experts (read any one with a private practice or some credentials basically you have never heard about) and the warring parties to the table and raking moola at the same time. Recently two incidents drew Desi Girl’s attention. Realities TV fame Rahul Mahajan and his already known antics and another TV actress Sehrish Ali. There are many other similar incidents that do not get media attention go unreported one such incident is click to read.

The current wife experienced the same outcome that the first wife reported and sought divorce for. In between another lady reported similar abusive outcome in a short relationship. There appears to be an established pattern in Mr. Mahajan’s intimate relationship that women intimately associated to him have ignored or are not able to decipher. Sehrish, the young actress is dealing with similar issues with a man who not only publically assaulted her but also went out to media with the details of intimate SMSs they exchanged. What were these women thinking? Yeh, the initial euphoria of romance and hormones induces a sort of reality blindness. Also abuse begins gradually in a very systematic way where the intermingling of love and abuse is hard to separate.

Desi Girl wonders if media responsibility is limited to reporting or it goes beyond to raise awareness about preventive measures about the reported issues. I guess when visual media provides titillation in the name of information it should also extend information about gender issues and gender violence. None of the channels or print media have deemed it appropriate to research and report how such incidents can be prevented.

 Overdose of bollywood romance (plus Mills & Boons) and desi wisdom have established classic signs of an abuser as pure love. Be it middle aged Kishore Kumar acting as college student and chasing Vaijantimala or some recent lovelorn hero. Research has shown abusers display distinct personality traits. If one is observant they can easily identify signs of an abuser. Some of the readers will be quick to say even women exhibit these signs. That is true, abuse is a learned behavior. But most statements here will use pronoun “he’ in cognition to the fact all incidents mentioned in this post are of male to female aggression.

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Here are classic signs of an abuser:

Pushes for Quick Involvement:

Soon after meeting he starts talking about exclusive commitment and wants to take the relationship to next level be it physical intimacy or engagement or not seeing other people. In case of Mahajan, agreed he was on the show exclusively for marriage but both of them could have asked for more time to know each other than be surprised after marriage.


Excessively possessive; calls constantly; crashes on you; is always suspicious either you are looking at someone or someone is looking at you. He feels insecure all the time. Mahajan insisted in the middle of the night his wife tell him who sent her an SMS. If it was urgent she would have told him but he could not wait because he was jealous and insecure.



Calls you constantly and too much or asks too many questions and cross questions about your day such as, where were you? Who was with you? Why did it take so much time etc? If you named a person you were with he may even call them to confirm if you are telling the truth. He may monitor your phone calls, may visit your work unexpectedly Don’t be surprised if he keep a tab on your car/scooter mileage. Makes most of the decisions in the relationship, you don’t voice your opinion because you are afraid of upsetting him. 

Another dimension of control is manipulation. Often abusers in the beginning of the relationship are readily available to meet all your fancies. They’ll go far and beyond to meet your expectations in a way that you’ll feel obligated to meet their requests.

Unrealistic Expectations:

Wants you too meet all his needs be it of affection or releasing anger. You should be perfect woman, ideal wife, girlfriend etc.


Prevents you from meeting your family and friends or people who do not approve of him. He accuses your supporters or his detractors as “trouble makers,” or “causing trouble in the relationship.” Checks or insists on checking your purse, diary, phone. Prevents you from meeting your friends. All this doesn’t have to be direct.It can be done very lovingly like, “I want to spend all my time with you,” “I feel lost when you are not around.” “I miss you when you go away.” It is a way of controlling your every wake moment and isolating you from people. He can even go to an extent to jeopardize your job by delaying you from reporting on time, showing up at your work, calling you too many times at work. If this continues either you’ll quit or you’ll be fired. 

Blame it on the World:

The angry young man of 70s and 80s is still around. Every thing wrong is someone’s fault. You made me angry by not following what I said. He cut me on the road that made me loose my temper. It is always someone’s fault.

 You can Save Me or I Die:

Never takes responsibility for his actions and behavior. You made me angry, you made me do X. I am unhappy because you won’t do X for me. I am sulking because you did not agree with me. It is your job to keep me calm and happy. Devdas is drunk and dying of cirrhosis because Paro won’t forgive him. To save him from cruel death is her job.

Hypersensitivity/Drama Junkie:

Every thing is about the abuser. He/she is easily insulted, feels hurt a about minor things. People are looking at me. I know what you are thinking. Rants about divine injustice meted out to him, as if the whole world is after him/her. The universe is out to get him.

His relationship be it with his parents and siblings are pretty dramatic regular fights, pouting and make up.

Cruelty to Animals and Children:

Yells at, beats or kills animals. Expects little children to perform beyond their age. May tease children to such an extent that they start crying. 65% abusers who beat their partner will also abuse children.


Is rude and abusive to those with less power than him/her. Feels entitled to the services of those with less power and prestige. May yell at beggar; be rude to waiter or porter. Look out for these signs they can blow away a very polished exterior.

Verbal Abuse:

Uses foul language, curses, degrades, calls names, and says cruel and mean things.

Rigid Gender Roles:

Believes in stereotypical gender roles, expectations and entitlements. Example, house keeping is a woman’s job; if a man helps he is doing her a favor. Man is the head of the household etc.

Unexplained Mood Swings:

Switches from sweet nothings to violent verbal berating or physical violence. Breaks things and plays rough while still talking sweet nothings. In all desi languages there is a saying “his/her anger is like boiling milk,” it is a way of endorsing and minimizing abusive behavior. Someone just released their pent up anger at another person for no reason or someone just released their displaced anger on a wrong person. After a release they are normal and the recipient is dealing with the after effects and confusion.

Past Battering:

Reluctantly admits battering previous partner but blames it on her for instigating him. “She made me do it.” Mr. Mahajan has classic history of partner battering. Had Ms Ganguly paid attention she could have saved the heartache. Past behavior is the mirror of future behavior. It is very hard for abusers to keep up the façade, sooner or later their true colors show. Yes, people can change only if they take responsibility of their behavior and realize there is a problem. None had happened here.

Makes Threats of Violence:

Threatens to use force if you do not submit to his demands. “I’ll beat you.” Then immediately denies it. “I was just joking.” “Do X or I’ll kill my self.” “If you try to leave I’ll kill you or I’ll spread rumors about you.” In a way he’ll blackmail you. You are affraid of his threats because you know he is capable of executing them. You are afraid of breaking up the relationship. May be you do not know how to break up.

Violent Sexual Fantasies:

Playful use of force during sex. Finds rape exciting. Throws or pins you down during sex.

According to latest reports Mahajans are back together. Nothing unusual about it. It is a cycle of violence. The honeymoon phase will soon fade away again…

It takes 8 to 9 times before a woman can actually leave her abuser. She keeps trying to make things work out until she finally realizes she can do no more or else she’ll loose her sanity or her life.

An average middle class dating scene will some thing like this click to read…

Read How Abuse Begins…

Desi Girl is repeating and cross referencing previous work. She’ll keep doing it until very reader is thorough on what is abuse and how to identify it 🙂

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17 Responses to “Signs of an Abuser”

  1. nolongeraslave July 12, 2011 at p07 #

    Regarding why some women date abusers even after knowing that they are, they may feel that they’re the special ones that will be treated differently.

    If one comes from an abusive background, I can sympathize with why women are drawn to such men. It’s true what they say about how “there’s no place like home.” “Home” is sadly the dysfunctional environment that some people grew up in.


  2. chitra July 9, 2011 at p07 #

    nice one hear my gadget speak

    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    Will have to approve your comment to see your gadget speak 🙂

    Please share your this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
    Desi Girl


  3. Shail Raghuvanshi August 26, 2010 at p08 #

    Hi V,

    One needs to be abused to really understand what goes on in the mind of the the abused. It needs a person to get out of an abusive relationship to know what goes on in the mind of the abuser.

    I referred your post to as many friends and readers I could. It is a relevant piece. Sadly, we have too many women tolerating humiliation having no other place to go and live life with dignity.

    Carry on your good work V.
    God bless.


  4. Cilla August 13, 2010 at p08 #

    As part of the media, I would just say two things. One many in the business itself dont understand abuse (I have this belief that you either have to have gone through or seen someone going through it and learned from it to recognise it). Another is that TV just doesnt give the kind of time to reflect on subjects like abuse because it tends to throw up the same experts and descend into a talk show. Print still seems to do a better job at social-psycho trends.

    Yes, you are right about how stealthy abuse is. You are bang in the middle of it when it starts and it takes time to get to the truth of it. Anyways in the case of Dimpy, I dont really sympathise with her because Mr. Mahajan was a known abuser, it wasnt a secret she found out after marriage. yes that doesnt make it alright, but still makes one wonder what were they thinking. What saddens me though is that her family wants her to return. Pawn your daughter for connections, yeah right.

    Also somehow the society has some sort of an approval for abusers. Which is why abusive boyfriends leaking tapes and smses is seen as a condemnation of the girl’s loose character.


    • girlsguidetosurvival August 19, 2010 at p08 #

      Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.

      Yes, print media does give some space to gender issues. What worries desi Girl is the pace with which it is vanishing in this age of AV and net revolution.

      …I dont really sympathise with her because Mr. Mahajan was a known abuser, it wasnt a secret she found out after marriage. …

      That is really how most people think. I’ll have to do a whole post on how abusers get the most beautiful and intelligent women to be their spouses. Here is a brief fact sheet.

      Desi Girl knows exactly why Dimpy married Rahul Mahajan in the first place because Rahul is an abuser and abusers are charmers. What do you expect from a 21 year old? He is 20 yrs her senior who knows the tricks of the trade called brainwashing and manipulation. Abusers tend to pose as wronged by the world and in need of resuce that only their object of affection can provide. Women attracted to abusers have rescue fantasies and feel obligated to help them. (At other times they are coerced into relationship through emotional or physical blackmail and threats of violence against their loved once, financial dependence, borrowing, debt etc.) By the time women walk into abusive relationship abusers have chipped their self worth for good and mounted mountains of guilt over them, and suicide threats are always there.

      So much premium is placed on women’s being married and remaining married that parents will force them to continue until their lives are in danger and sometimes even that is not a question. Some parents will prefer their daughters dead than returning home after a broken marriage.

      Desi Girl knows it because she was married to one such Rahul…

      Men abuse women because society if not condones it then definitely does not condemn it. If there were any repercusssions for abusing a partner abuser will refrain. There are all sort of socially acceptable justifications for abusing, be it skimpy clothing or private SMSs, charecter assasination etc.

      Desi girl will definitely do a post on the myths of intimate partner violence /domestic violence.

      Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.

      Desi Girl


  5. namit August 9, 2010 at p08 #

    well i must admit u write so well .. its so vivid n evident…panache…

    do visit
    and promote it if u like it,ur feedback awaited…

    Thank you Namit. Kindly share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit. Let us join hands to end abuse.
    Will visit your blog at leisure. 🙂
    Desi Girl


  6. girlsguidetosurvival August 9, 2010 at p08 #


    These are not good points they are actually “The Points” as they based on standardized CTS1 and CTS2 (Conflict Tactics Scale) tested and retested more than 70,000 times in empirical studies across the world.

    I am responsing to your comment in the form of a post because post size responses don’t reach out…


    Desi Girl


  7. Bikram August 9, 2010 at p08 #

    ah ha good points OH Teri a lot i can check on myself ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hayeeeeeeeeee i am an abuser mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
    he hehehe

    no seriously i think its a give and take situation, and it most happens in celebrities or wanna be .. and media is doing its part too in this out as some of these problems are also for the sake of it to get some Attention or publicity…

    If you are in a relation you soon find out what the person is like if you still continue to carry on with the relation then you are doing it at your own will, knowing pretty well what sort of relation this is …
    so why cry later on I beleive BOTH parties are at fault…

    But good points…


  8. restless August 9, 2010 at p08 #

    Desi girl, i sincerely wish and pray all the girls know what you have written. Abusive relationships are like slow poison. They kill you slowly, when you go through the bouts of guilt, blaming yourself and then finally wake up after years,and nobody believes you u were being abused.

    Every girl should read it and check and chuk the abusive parter as soon as possible. May God bless u desi girl.


    Thank you. Desi Girl is doing her share of raising awareness. Please join her in ending abuse. Kindly share this message of hope with who ever may benefit.
    Desi Girl


  9. Sakhi August 8, 2010 at p08 #


    Its been a while. This post, as always, was well-written, well-researched and well-presented.

    Keep writing.

    Thanks. Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
    Desi Girl


  10. हमारा धन्यवाद लें…देसी भाषा में…

    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.

    Desi Girl


  11. girlsguidetosurvival August 7, 2010 at p08 #

    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    You are right these are persistent problems and no one wants to discuss them because it is uncomfortable to accept I am being abused by my loved ones and I am abusing someone. It pay to turn a blind eye. also, it is easy to play a tit for tat game than no game at all.
    Someone had to do it so why not me 🙂 .
    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit. 🙂


    Thank you. Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit. 🙂

    …there’s no need to be with an abuser anymore.

    Yes, indeed there is no need to be in an abusive relationship but abuser systematically brainwashes the victim into believing that she needs the abuser and can not survive on her own. Even the society plays the same role in sending similar messages to the abused. The stigma attached to a divorcee prevents many women to walk away, then there is financial dependence on abuser, survival issues, children involved the list is endless. Wish it was easier…
    But together we all can work to end abuse. 🙂

    You are welcome.
    …the husband after a bout of humiliation, insults comes back apologizing and crying and asking for forgiveness but this phase is short lived as he again reverts back to his usual abusive self.

    Yes, it is true. It is a cycle of violence. The honeymoon phase lasts only as much. Abusers cannot put up a facade for ever. There is no incentive in being good. Throwing a tantrum and abusing makes them feel in control and powerful. So why would they treat their partners as equal humans?

    Unless there are detrimental consequences for battering intimate partner or abusing women in general it will not end. Even if women want to press charges their families dissuade and discourage them by withdrawing support. Check the link Mahajans are back together.

    Desi Girl is glad she could help. Commitment phobia has it’s roots in our families of origin. When children’s needs of acceptance and nurturance remain partially unfulfilled due to family patterns and absence of rewards they tend to withdraw effort. We all are basically five year olds in adult bodies, still looking for acceptance, nurturance and rewards. Constant failures have made us shy to even try…
    In Feb 2010, DG devoted a page to relationship patterns. She hopes it could help. But you are always welcome to discuss during the chat sessions. 🙂

    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit. 🙂


    Desi Girl


  12. preetidutta August 7, 2010 at p08 #

    very neatly put together ..

    I realised it later that my ex had this habbit of blaming all his ex girl friends for break up .
    I have also been analysing my behaviour and relationships after raeding ur blogs .
    DG can you do a post on the pattern of choosing a partner i sometime feel that as am commitment phobic i always get into relationships that are not easy to maintain(in a way that suit me in long run) ..and there is always a pattern in relations. we shall discuss more on this offline 🙂


  13. anjugandhi August 7, 2010 at p08 #

    the worst part is most of the women accept it as a part and parcel of married life.
    the stereotyped roles which are assigned to men and women, the conditioning right from birth are responsible for their accepting as common traits of men.
    thanx desi girl for enlightening the world about this horrible aspect of life.


  14. anjugandhi August 7, 2010 at p08 #

    as usual an excellent post, written after thorough research
    Be it Indian women or women from any other part of world they go on tolerating such inhumane treatment from their partners with just one hope that he will change, it is a temporary phase. the forgiving nature of women encourages the abuser to go on and on with his abuse
    i know of many cases where the husband after a bout of humiliation, insults comes back apologizing and crying and asking for forgiveness but this phase is short lived as he again reverts back to his usual abusive self
    is there is no end to it?


  15. Haresh August 7, 2010 at p08 #

    “It takes 8 to 9 times before a woman can actually leave her abuser.”

    It’s really sad to see a woman tolerating a painful relationship in hope that things might be better. Of course, there’s no need to be with an abuser anymore.

    A wonderful article!


  16. Tbg August 7, 2010 at p08 #

    Thanks for putting this up. Someone needed to do this. 🙂


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