The wheel of power and control

My ex-husband and abuser beat me many times during our 15-year relationship. He left many hundreds of times in anger and with threats of divorce and financial ruin. My abuser cursed me out more times than I can count and lied to me just as much. Sometimes he lied about little, silly things. Sometimes he lied about very large things. Lying was his most common form, in fact.

I used to say, as if I was the only person on the planet trying to figure out abuse, that it was like he had a toolbelt of horrible attacks that he would use against me. I knew why he was using those tools. He was looking to better his position, no matter the circumstance. My abuser, like most abusers, was unable or unwilling to take personal responsibility for anything, so the tools in his belt helped him wiggle out from under blame.

When I look at the well publicized Wheel of Power and Control, I’ve highlighted all the tools that my ex did and still used on me whenever he feels he is in emotional trouble or his sense of control is slipping.

Here is a look at what I’ve experienced beyond the list above:

6 thoughts on “The wheel of power and control

  1. chaotican September 16, 2012 / 8:37 pm

    Control. That is the key. Big hugs to you as you keep working through this. You are not alone.

    • Blogger September 17, 2012 / 8:03 pm

      Thank you for your support! It means a ton.

  2. meinventing September 17, 2012 / 11:29 am

    The Wheel of Power is so true! My daughter and I embraced homelessness while escaping a 22 year abusive marriage. That was not enough for him. His “best friend/boss” laid him off so that he would not have to pay alimony. Money is not everything. The peace I have is priceless. Keep moving forward and thank you for this inspiring article.

    • Blogger September 17, 2012 / 8:00 pm

      Thank you so much for your words. You are correct that you are better off. It is very sad for your daughter to have to live with this but she has you and that is enough.

  3. b September 17, 2012 / 11:34 am

    i was given a copy of this wheel years ago by a couples therapist when my husband kept insisting that verbal abuse was not abuse. i honestly thought that ” i ” was loosing my mind and that my husband must be right. after all, like he kept telling me over and over ~ it’s not like he goes out drinking every night (doesn’t drink at all) spends all our money, comes home and beats me (he hasn’t hurt me physically although he has some with the kids) that he is not an abuser. that i could have it much worse. my reply, i could have it much better.
    the therapist handed me the paper with the wheel and i had never seen it before. he asked me to look at it and to let him know if i could relate to any of the items listed on the wheel.
    intimidation.., every one of the emotional abuse (which my husband still swears is NOT abuse), minimizing, denying, blaming, using the children, coertion and threats (leaving, suicide, etc) oh yes.
    i have done a lot of reading and research over the years to try to learn, to try to understand. wanting to ‘fix’ him, fix things so we can stay together as a family.
    i guess there are times where that is not the best answer to the problem.

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