Why Does He Do That? | Lundy Bancroft

Summary of: Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
By: Lundy Bancroft


In the book “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft, readers are given a glimpse into the mindset of abusive men and the impact they have on their partners. The book delves into the various types of abuse, both physical and emotional, that can be exhibited by men, and highlights the alarming statistics regarding the prevalence of abuse in relationships. Through real-life examples and thought-provoking insights, Bancroft helps readers understand the underlying power dynamics and complex thought processes of abusive men while also providing guidance for recognizing early warning signs and safely removing oneself from such relationships.

The Many Forms of Abuse

Kristen thought she had found her dream partner in Maury, but their relationship turned abusive. Abuse can come in many forms, including physical violence and emotional manipulation. Kristen suffered from the latter, and it caused significant psychological harm. It’s crucial to understand that these forms of abuse are not always mutually exclusive and that abusive behavior usually stems from a desire for power and control. It’s time to take a deeper look at these abusive patterns and explore why some men become abusers.

The Abusive Mindset

Glenn’s behavior reflects an abuser’s desire for control and sense of entitlement. This mindset manifests in various forms, including forbidding a partner from speaking to others without permission and using violence as a way of asserting dominance. Such beliefs are ingrained from a young age and result in a sense of ownership over one’s partner. Understanding these thought patterns is crucial in preventing abuse and promoting healthy relationships.

The Roots of Abusive Behavior

Abusive behavior is not a result of emotional trauma but is learned at a young age. A boy’s early education is crucial in shaping how he will behave in his adult relationships. A boy’s father plays a significant role in influencing his behavior towards women. If he sees his father verbally degrade and physically intimidate his mother, he may replicate this behavior in his future relationships. The media also has a severe negative influence on how boys perceive abusive behavior. Many books, songs, and TV shows romanticize the abuse of women, sending a message to young men that being brutal towards women is justified. Abusive behavior becomes deeply entrenched, and by the time these boys reach adulthood, being manipulative and controlling is second nature.

Abusive Men: The Master Of Deception.

Abusers are charming in the beginning, but they don’t stay that way. Abusers have one thing in common, deception. Abusive men maintain their moral high ground by convincing their partner that they are the cause of their behavior. Abused women often struggle to identify when they’re being abused.

Spotting Early Signs of Abuse

There are subtle signs that can indicate an abuser in a relationship. If a man speaks disrespectfully about his former partners or paints himself as the victim in all his past relationships, it is a warning sign. Men who get too serious too quickly, do favors you don’t want, or put on a show of generosity that makes you feel uncomfortable may also be trying to create a sense of indebtedness and claim ownership over you. In the case of Alan, he spent two years doing favors for his girlfriend’s family while constantly disrespecting her. He convinced her that her family had taken advantage of him and drove a wedge between Tory and her family, manipulating her for years after. It is important to check in with yourself if you think you may be in an abusive relationship as abuse can start subtly with control and disrespect before escalating to verbal or physical assault.

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