He's so much fun! He knows how to have a good time. He is courtly, even orders drinks for you so he can show you his favorites. He is well-spoken while he talks to you about his favorite subjects: his adventures, his job, his political opinions. He is charmingly protective.
Pay attention! In a short while, you may see these warning signs.
Control He decides where you will go together. In fact, he dismisses or even ridicules your suggestions for activities.
Superiority He is right. Always. You are wrong. In fact, when he changes his opinion, he won't acknowledge that he ever had a different one.
Manipulative When he becomes angry, it is your fault, never his. He can not accept responsibility for conflict in his relationships and justifies his anger because he is right. Notice that his "friends" are few, male, and mostly relatively new drinking buddies. His old friends have had enough. He has burned more bridges than most people make.
Disrespect Women are stupid, worthless, unfaithful, inept. They include his mother, his sisters, any women he knows. When was the last time you heard him praise a woman for her achievements or personality? The only compliment is probably related to his sexual interest in her.
Verbal Abuse This is generally aimed toward anything you value and is particularly personal and vitriolic.
Jealousy, Possessiveness He wants to know where you have been, who you have been with, and accuses you of cheating. That should keep you off balance while you defend yourself.
Mood Swings While one minute he is having fun and you are relaxed and enjoying that sweet, funny man you know, the next minute he is angry, taking offense, accusing you of something. Again, you defend yourself and are confused by the turn of emotions.
Punishing He withholds emotional intimacy or gives you the silent treatment when he doesn't get his way. Better yet, he tells his version of what you've done to him to other people.
Refuses to seek help Because he does not acknowledge that there is anything wrong with him, and that all his relational problems are the fault of others, there is no need for him to try to change.
History of Abuse You won't find out about this except from the women he has already abused, but then from him you'll hear a version that he believes justifies it. It is common for these men to have been emotionally abused as children (generally by other men) and the rage they could not express then is acted on as an adult.
More Manipulation He may explain how he was mistreated, garnering your sympathy, while he tells you why he gets angry and that he really loves you.
Keep playing with this man and he will have what he wants: a submissive, fearful woman he can control and does not respect.
And you will have the Man of Your Nightmares.
Yes, there are abusive women in relationships, too. The same warning signs apply to the Woman of Your Nightmares.
Marilyn Miller, MS, LPC ~ Psychotherapist
...Delighting every day in helping people find peace in their lives, relieving anxiety, depression, and promoting self-care.