My next research topic is the verbally abusive relationship.

So here’s the idea.

One of my heroines is in a long term relationship with a man who verbally abuses her. Since his behavior is totally unacceptable to me, I cannot get into his mind and introduce his character in a realistic way because he makes me really mad. I have been trying to identify a possible source for his attitude, but I’d hate to find excuses for him. For instance, does he have an empathy deficit because he has been a victim of abusive behavior in childhood? Or is this the outcome of a mental health disorder?  How easy is it for him to realize what he’s doing and stop himself? Is he even worth the effort?

I know I can help my heroine see that it’s pointless to try to reason with him. I know I can help her out of the relationship, eventually. Because I’ve been watching the damage he’s caused to her and it’s so unfair. She deserves so much better.

So, if you have any feedback to offer, it’ll be really helpful. Have you ever come across that guy or do you know someone who has? How would you describe his behaviour?  Do you know how he got there?