“Take Me Back” Tactics
How Abusers Stage Their Returns
Smooth talk is used to get the victim to take back the abuser. There are five major “strategies” used by abusers to lure back their partner:
1 THE HONEYMOON SYNDROME
“Hearts and Flowers”; any bribe that will get you to return, and the sooner the better. The abuser will turn on the charm and promise to change. He will apologize, bring you flowers and tell you how much he loves you. He will promise to get therapy, promise not to hurt you again, and tell you how wonderful you are, saying things like “I know I don’t deserve you, but if you’ll take me back….”
2 THE SUPER PARENT SYNDROME
He will become “Father of the Year.” Your partner will use this, especially if he has neglected the children in the past. The abuser may promise to be a better parent or may remind you how good they already are with the children. The abuser will use the children to manipulate you. He will pump them for information about you and may threaten to kidnap them if you won’t take them back.
3 THE REVIVAL SYNDROME
“I have been going to church since you left. I have accepted religion into my life.” So he says, but so what? Has the violence stopped? Don’t fall for it. Just because he says he goes to church does not mean that the abuse and violence can’t be right around the corner. Many “God-fearing” people abuse, rape, beat and murder their partners! Abusers will tell you that good women submit to men….that you must forgive him and give him another chance.
4 THE SOBRIETY SYNDROME
Abusers have a higher incidence of substance use. Most are aware they have a problem or are aware that YOU believe they have a problem, even when they deny it. When faced with losing their partner, they suddenly “see the light” and swear they will never touch it again. You want to hear it and believe it and you will support his effort. You should! BUT don’t just breathe a sigh of relief. Know that addictions are one of the most difficult things to overcome. Withdrawal is very unpleasant. Encourage him to see a doctor, join a support group and seek therapy. Don’t fall for only the promise unless and until you see him actively participating in sobriety with OUTSIDE HELP. Counseling can also address problems and issues to help the abuser substitute healthier behaviors for his destructive coping mechanisms.
5 COUNSELING SYNDROME
This tactic is used to get you to stay and to maintain control and intimidation. Abusers cannot just stop their behavior without assistance to overcome issues and replace destructive behaviors with healthy ones. Appropriate counseling cannot be done WITH the victim present. The victim is not free to say what they think without fear of repercussion. Batters must take full responsibility for their actions, must understand and admit that THEY have the problem and must be dedicated to make positive long-term changes. Couples counseling can come later, when the abuser begins to show positive changes in his behavior.
Remember that in no case, no way, or no how does ANYTHING excuse the fact that your partner batters you. Don’t fall into the trap of allowing your partner BUY their way out of violence in the relationship. UNLESS AND UNTIL the batters owns up and gets help to change their behavior, your relationship, your children and your family are neither healthy nor SAFE.
YOU GET THE PICTURE. LIFE WITH AN ABUSER IS ALL ABOUT POWER AND CONTROL. EVERY SINGLE THING HE SAYS AND DOES IS AIMED AT MANIPULATING YOU. EVERYTHING HE SAYS IS A LIE. IT IS ALL ABOUT CONTROLLING YOU. DO NOT FALL FOR IT!
Contact the LPSO victim advocate for more information at 318-992-2067.