One of the more terrifying aspects of living with an abuser can be the reputation and career he has built outside of the home. At family gatherings and dinner parties, he is charming and sophisticated and doesn't fit the "typical" abuser profile. That is exactly what makes the intellectual abuser so effective.
We are socialized to believe that most abusers are tough guys who live in tough neighborhoods, and the intellectual abuser benefits from these stereotypes. When his partner reaches out for help, friends and family are dumbfounded that her successful and witty partner could be capable of emotional or financial abuse. When police show up at her home and he calmly tells them, "She threatened to call you if I didn't give her money," he benefits. His status in his community allows him to continue his abusive behavior and manipulation, and often leaves his partner feeling helpless.
As Lundy Bancroft points out in his work with abusive clients, "Sometimes the more educated the abuser, the more knots he knows how to tie in a woman's brain, the better he is at getting her to blame herself, and the slicker is his ability to persuade other people that she is crazy. The more socially powerful an abuser, the more powerful his abuse can be - and the more difficult it can be to escape."
Does this guy sound familiar? Have you lived with him or grown up with him? Is someone you love living with him now?
There is no amount of money or status that makes any form of abuse okay. We are here for you.