One of the most difficult truths to grasp is the realization that the domestic abuser does not think like us. Your abuser’s thoughts are not your thoughts. Let me explain by illustration. Victor Davis Hanson, in his book The Second World Wars [Basic Books, 2017] a statement by the British statesman Anthody Eden is quoted. Eden said that very few Brits had, as Davis says, “ever encountered anyone quite like Hitler or Mussolini.” Eden said:
You know, the hardest thing for me during that time [leading up to the war] was to convince my friends that Hitler and Mussolini were quite different from British business men or country gentlemen as regards their psychology, motivations and modes of action. My friends simply refused to believe me. They thought I was biased against the dictators and refused to understand them. I kept saying, ‘When you converse with the Fuhrer or the Duce, you feel at once that you are dealing with an animal of an entirely different breed from yourself.’
Eden had it pegged, but as it is today in most cases, very few would listen. Most people felt that, like themselves, Hitler really didn’t want war. Why? Because they didn’t. And they assumed that ultimately everyone wanted peace.
But there are people in this world who do not want peace. They want power. They want control. And the attainment of those stations usually requires war, oppression, the making of victims, and the infliction of suffering.
Psa 55:21 His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.
Psa 62:4 They only plan to thrust him down from his high position. They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. Selah
Of course this is where the vast majority of counselors, pastors, church members, book-writers and so on go wrong. They believe that everyone can be reasoned with. Counseled into good behavior. Just like anyone else.
But the abuser does not think like we do.
This deception is one of the most common tools used by the wicked against their victims. Abusers, sociopaths, psychopaths and their conscienceless kind seem by nature to know that we believe their thoughts are like our thoughts. That like us, they have a conscience. That like us, they feel remorse when they abuse us. That like us, they want to do better. But they aren’t like us. And we begin to get free of them when we finally understand them.
Your abuser wants war. He does not want peace. He benefits from war and oppression and sleeps quite well at night after carrying it out. That is to say, your abuser does not love you or anyone else. He never did, and he never will.
It took a world war with the deaths of some 60 million people to show Eden’s countrymen that he was right. The longer we delay grasping the truth about the abuser, the more suffering he will be able to dish out.