Have you ever felt afraid of your partner? If so, take those feelings seriously. Notice whether you tell yourself things like:
- “I’m overreacting — he would never really hurt me.”
- “He gets extremely angry, but he won’t hit me.”
- “Yes, he has harmed me in the past, but he swears he won’t do it again.”
- “He pushed me into having sex when I didn’t want it, but it isn’t like he assaulted me or anything.”
These are all danger signs. Women’s intuitions about their partners are crucial. As Gavin de Becker explains in his book The Gift of Fear, those scary feelings are there to alert you to dangerous situations.
Women get subjected to a stream of societal messages saying that they’re too sensitive, that they perceive problems where none lie, and that they have nothing to be afraid of. This cultural training tells you, “Don’t trust yourself, go ahead and walk right into danger.”
An intimate relationship is a place where you should never be frightened, no matter how furious or hurt your partner feels. If he’s telling you that your fear is coming from somewhere else — such as your childhood experiences, or your supposed hypersensitivity — don’t buy it. Ditto for anyone else who tells you that your fear of him is your own issue.
[Entry from Lundy Bancroft’s book, Daily Wisdom for Why Does He Do That?* p96]
[Copied from a post from https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2016/08/25/thursday-thought-caution/]