BOOK REVIEW: Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

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Author: Lundy Bankcroft
Title: Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
ISBN-10: 0425191656
ISBN-13: 978-0425191651
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This is a very personal book review for me. I’ve read some articles here on abusive marriages and children of abusive marriages. I decided to add this book review because I was in an abusive marriage and this book gave me great courage and insight into my marriage and eventually helped me make the decision to leave.

Lundy Bankcroft, the author, has specialized with domestic abuse for over 20 years. He has worked with abusive men and gained invaluable insights into the minds of abusive men and what makes them tick.

When I was married, I was often left reeling after each episode. I would rack my brain as to what made my ex tick. I would fervently hope to find an answer on the internet, browsing forum after forum to see if someone was in a similar situation. Whatever advice I got, I would try to implement. I tried logic, reasoning, explaining, anything else I would read. My ex controlled everything, and I had no way of making sense of my situation. I think this situation is something many face in an abusive marriage.

After a particularly bad episode, I did my usual research online. “Why does my husband hate me?” I typed in the search bar. Eventually, the search results let me to Lundy Bankcroft’s book.

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When I read through the book, I felt like the author was an insider in my marriage. He talks about the gaslighting, the manipulations, the efforts to scare the spouse, and much more. Lundy Bankcroft even had almost the same dialogues my ex used to use on me. In his book, Lundy Bankcroft talks about a man who used to rail at his partner and say “same **** different wrapper,” when his partner tried to reason with him. My ex used to say “same wine different bottle,” in a situations similar to what the author described.

The first thing I needed to do for myself in the marriage was to understand what was happening. I had plenty of people around me advising me, sharing opinions, placing blame, and offering coping mechanisms to placate my ex. None of it helped. It shoved me deeper into the abyss of ignorance and left me further paralyzed.One of the other great strengths of this book is the compassion Lundy Bankcroft has for the abused partners. He didn’t place the blame on the victims, didn’t talk about how the women should have stood up for themselves earlier, or any other such accusations I faced often during the marriage. He also acknowledges that battered women often do keep trying in their own way to stand up for themselves. He sees the women not as things worthy of pity or contempt but as individuals who are dignified and are seeking protection for themselves and their families.
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There were very dark times where I would reach for this book to give me some clarity. It helped me understand the tactics my ex would use. It helped me understand the maneuvers my ex made to keep me helpless. In fact it also addressed the way my in-laws helped confuse me further.Lundy Bankcroft is an invaluable tool when you’re trying to make sense of an abusive marriage. It helped me grow stronger by giving me much needed wisdom and insights. If you or anyone you know is in an abusive marriage of any kind, this book is highly recommended

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One Response

  1. Janie

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