How somebody can abuse a accomplice to cover their infidelity

The more I work with scammers and their betrayed partners, the more I see how the men and women who commit infidelity sometimes bully and abuse their betrayed partners — usually as part of justifying or covering up their behavior. Sometimes this abuse is unintentional and scammers don’t even know they are doing it. In other cases it is intentional.

The most common ways scammers bully and abuse their partners are described below with examples.

1. Verbal abuse. Abusive language, or the use of words and body language to inappropriately criticize another person, often involves putdowns intended to make the victim feel unworthy of love and respect. Examples include:

  • Belittle a partner’s appearance, character, or ability.
  • attribution.
  • Heavy sighs when a partner speaks or acts.
  • Deliberately embarrassing or embarrassing a partner.
  • Telling a partner that they are weak, defective, or not worthwhile.

Example: “I told my wife that she was letting herself go and that she wasn’t attractive anymore. I did this to explain why I’m not having sex with her (the real reason being that I was having an affair).”

2. Threatening behavior. This can include any act or spoken threat to physically, psychologically, emotionally, or sexually harm another person, such as:

  • Saying they’re leaving, taking the kids, etc. to manipulate their partner.
  • Pretending to hit, hit, kick, hit, use objects or weapons, hurt children or pets, throw things, etc.
  • Threatening to publicly embarrass your partner if they don’t do what the abuser wants.
  • Threatening not to support a partner and/or children if the partner files for divorce.
  • Threatening to physically harm the partner or someone important to them if they don’t behave the way the abuser wants them to.

Example: “I told my wife that if she wants me to continue caring for her and the children, she has to put up with my porn use. I did this because I wanted her to agree that my porn use is not a form of cheating.”

3. Physical Abuse. Physical abuse includes any forced or violent physical act designed to intimidate or get another person to do something (or accept something) against their will. Examples include:

  • Hitting, hitting, choking, kicking, etc.
  • Throwing things at your partner.
  • Physically getting your partner to do something against their will.
  • Use of objects or weapons against partner.
  • Push, grab or hold your partner.

Example: “I threw my phone at my husband and told him to check it out so he could see I wasn’t cheating.” Then I got the phone back before he could look at it because I knew what was on it. I did this to convince him that he was wrong about my cheating when he wasn’t.”

4. Sexual Abuse. Any non-consenting sexual act or behavior is considered sexual abuse. Non-consent can include behavior that “consented” to minors, intoxicated adults, people with intellectual disabilities, and adults who are being manipulated. Examples include:

  • Pushing a partner to have sex when they’re afraid to say no.
  • Demand sex or pretend a marriage license is a mating license.
  • Asking the partner to be sexual after an incident of verbal abuse, threats, physical abuse, or psychological abuse.
  • Demanding, coercing, or forcing a partner to engage in sexual activity in which he or she does not wish to engage.
  • Forcing sexual activity when partner says no, sleeping, drunk or high, etc.

Example: “I used my wife for sex and forced her into sexual behaviors that she did not want. I told her that if she didn’t have sex when and how I wanted, I would leave her.”

5. Psychological Abuse. Emotional abuse, sometimes referred to as mind games, is designed to induce fear and/or confusion in the victim. It can include:

  • Control and/or limit partner’s use of phone, ability to see friends, etc.
  • Blaming your partner for your own mistakes or when things go wrong.
  • gas lighting; For example, someone accused of cheating may deny it and say that their partner misinterpreted, made things up, etc.
  • Controlling partner with money – not giving enough for groceries and other needs, withholding child support, recklessly spending money on yourself while partner is on a tight budget, etc.
  • Treating the partner like a servant or a sex object without rights, excluding him from decisions, pretending to be property, etc.

Example: “I accused my wife of being paranoid about my cheating, even in the face of direct evidence that I was.

6. Neglect. Neglect includes failure to provide for the basic needs of one or more dependents. Basic needs include sufficient and adequate food, shelter, clothing, hygiene and love.

  • Leave children alone and unsupervised while being cheated.
  • Not showing the partner the necessary attention and affection.
  • Failing to protect partner from dangers, including STIs, that the cheating partner may bring to the relationship.
  • Not stopping one’s own end of housework, gardening and other household chores.
  • Emotionally leaving a partner and/or children.

Example: “I distanced myself emotionally and physically from my partner and told her I was working overtime so we could have a better life, when in fact I was cheating and spending money on my affair partner.”

Infidelity is inherently a betrayal of the highest order. When a partner is betrayed by cheating, the person they trust the most has basically put a knife in their back. And the abuse that so often accompanies betrayal is like twisting that knife and doing more, deeper damage. The good news is that betrayed partners can heal from both intimate betrayal and associated forms of victimization and abuse.

Facebook image: SrdjanVrebac/Shutterstock

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