Some partners select a relationship based on whether they feel they deserve happiness at the moment or what they experience their self-esteem to be like at the moment. But feelings may change as time heals wounds just as heels have been wounded by time. A batterer may have a sense of powerlessness. Some people dominate others out of feelings of their own inferiority. To escape these feelings of inferiority, such people try to dominate others. See, Key Ideas in Psychology – Google Books Result.
High I.Q. battered wives may be married to men with a low E.Q. (emotional quotient) or may have high intelligence but either low self-esteem, parents with low self-esteem, or an emotional quotient of the moment. Some people choose partner to marry based on their self esteem of the moment. Check out the book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry (2009).
Sometimes a man with less education than his wife feels he needs to dominate and control his wife
It also can work the other way where a man who’s highly educated and holds a prominent job or business still is escaping inner feelings of not measuring up to his parents, society, or his wife’s expectations, in spite of his high earnings.
Other types of batterers need to be in control because they feel out of control on the inside or have mounting stress from their business or professional dealings. Some are entrepreneurs fighting against the authority of their own fathers and needing to feel in control and “the boss.”
It’s more about emotional maturity, empathy, and compassion rather than high intelligence. And some mates are charmers to the outside world, always ready to help a neighbor build or work on a project but at home are strangers or need to control their wives (or husbands).
There are some women who become violent and abuse their husbands. See, Abused Men Articles. But statistics focus in society on safe houses where women and children can run to in the face of abuse.
Men are expected to be able to afford to find ways to survive apart from their wives. Check out the article, 5 Unexpected Downsides of High Intelligence. Check out the site, Test Your Domestic Violence IQ.
Also, soldiers returning from combat duty may have traumatic brain injuries or post traumatic stress disorders, and sometimes there is domestic violence in the home. See, Domestic Aggression and Traumatic Brain Injury | 4therapy.com.
Not many women are willing to publicly admit they are or were battered wives, unless the memory is in the distant past. Yet the issue is banked and spent being passed from one generation to the next, sometimes by those who feel they may not deserve happiness at a given moment.
Women may be raised in a separate, isolated culture from men, geared from infancy to love words and biography. We are trained to be investigative reporters or novelists or fine artists or color counselors. We are steered away from math because studying math isolates women from other women.
There is then no one to exchange complaints with us. Men would only turn up the TV louder if we were to open our mouths and whine. Men want to hear facts, not negative feelings.
Since no one listens to a lot of women, the logical fears to result are: (1) agoraphobia, (2) fear of math, (3) fear of loose dogs, (4) fear of failing math, (5) fear of risks, It is only after age 40, our appeal almost gone, that we are left as asexual partners of impotent, aging men, who discard us at the office door and at home.
Then we turn to physics and computers. People reject age, so we turn to objects, machines. Anything we are, we can count in numbers. We are our real estate. We become our confusion.
Becoming the object we study
At 40 some women may seek out physics. That is one way to reach the stars, the oneness with the ultimate end — becoming the object we study, the universe. We welcome science because it takes the pain out of being alone in a world of youth and vitality. Our memories fade, but we can talk to our disk tapes. The postponed self implodes. Suddenly we want success now in term’s of income.
What some women major in at college depends on whether our fathers treated us as an equal or as a baby-popping machine. Many of my friends who were in high I.Q. associations during the 1970s were, to a large extent, housewives who have never worked outside the home. Their college majors were all in literature (M.A.) and refused to join the typing pool after graduation.
Many of these women had shattered dreams of a glamorous career as a great novelist or editor. Many weren’t rich enough or didn’t have wealthy, successful, or educated parents ‘enough’ to marry ‘well.’ One example is when a lady brings home a date for the first time to meet the parents or see where they live and the upwardly mobile date partner doesn’t like the look of the house or the parents who appear very different from the lady he’s dating.
Women who become estranged from their less educated parents in the quest to marry
As a result, the lady becomes estranged from her usually poor and less educated parents in her quest to find a husband that will take her upwardly mobile economically or find a friend different in attitudes or more affectionate than her parents. She may not realize that in small steps or “red flags” as time passes the lady is treated with less and less actions of respect. Instead of being cherished she’s insulted, belittled, or abused by her partner.
A headline in a San Francisco newspaper once read: “Man with 200 I.Q. Batters Wife for Saying Something Stupid.” See Terry Davidson’s book, Conjugal Crime: Understanding and Changing the Wife-Beating Pattern. In Davidson’s book, therapist Carol Victor surveyed eighty clients, all victims of wifebeating, all socio-economic classes.
In Victor’s survey of 80 clients, four of the battered wives completed graduate school, six completed college, and seventeen had attended college. Nine of the wife beaters completed graduate school. Several were Ph.Ds and M.D.s, and nine had completed college.
The stereotypical myth that wife beaters come from lower socioeconomic classes is false. Domestic violence from child abuse to wife abuse to elderly abuse cuts across all economic classes from dropouts to those with many graduate degrees, from the most poverty-stricken to the rich and famous celebrities.
Professional women who survived abuse by their spouses
In therapist Carol Victor’s study, the type of women who were beaten listed their occupations as one or more of the following: “social worker, psychologist, librarian, teacher, artist, nurse, designer, manager, medical technician, compuer programmer, law enforcement officer, banker, secretary, and accountant. One woman was a waitress.”
The wife-battering men listed their occupations as: “physician, self-employed businessman, draftsman, engineer, teacher, pharmacist, medical technician, librarian, police, career military, and computer programmer. There was one sanitation worker.”
Now we’re all “blue collar” wives. Often we are battered wives. A survey taken of battered wives by psychologist Carole Victor shows the battered wife in her book’s sample to be a high-IQ professional woman, non-working, married to a man with professional job status.
Battering husbands are just as likely to be physicians, military men, chemists, computer experts, lawyers, and engineers as in any other occupation. And battered women are just as likely to be social workers, teachers, nurses, secretaries, technologists, as well as in other so-called “nurturing”, traditionally female (low-pay) jobs, over-educated, often unemployed. Some of these women have masters degrees in liberal arts subjects such as English. Some have small children.
A percentage of battered wives may be agoraphobic or have chronic anxiety from chronic stress. Some may be poets. Many are sensitive, shy, and some are highly intelligent. The point is whether they think they deserve happiness and may not even be aware of their self-esteem at the moment.
Sometimes battered women marry men with a different type of intelligence or interest from them. This could be due to having parents with a different level of education than their own achievements.
Some may be the first in their families to attend college. In former generations, they may have been told to emphasize liberal arts rather than pre-medical studies, technology, business, or various sciences that some women focus on in the current generation.
Some of these women may have had a college major that didn’t prepare them for any specific job in today’s market. In former generations, perhaps they chose traditional female careers in the humanities. If their husband is not working and they found it difficult to earn money, that also may be an issue coupled with the low self esteem of the woman and also of her mate.
When stress is defined as change
The stress of having to earn money and care for a family of small children also adds more stress when stress is defined as change. Of course, there are cases of battered husbands, with few if any safe houses for them.
This attitude of society probably still exists in numerous circles because society expects men to earn enough income to be independent (able to pay rent and buy food and clothing) throughout a man’s working life. Compare society’s attitude toward women who at least in former generations were expected to be stay-at-home moms.
Today, only those who can afford to stay at home do. Most women work, at least as soon as the children are in school. Those who do not have someone in the family supporting them or rely on government subsidies so they can stay home and care for their children and/or elderly relatives.
Poems for Battered Spouses by A. J. D’Arcy, (Vidya, The Journal of the Triple Nine Society) June 14, 1980, pages 8, 9.
Burly Men with Playpen Eyes
It is typical of women…waiting for answers
to come charging down on white horses
instead of playing them out scene by scene.
We study your playpen eyes, and poke our noses into your rancid marriages,
denied of crawling space, blotted behind paper walls,
where we hear your toilets flush.
You reach for a weapon, telling us tonelessly, “You rambled.”
“There was nothing else to do.”
We used our eyes in a theatrical way
and thumbed through your girlie magazines.
But–if we were to create wombs in men, caverns of deep, physical thinking,
then we would risk our lives
for one moment of absolute power.
You see us in a pink mist, our faces blurred by anger.
You gaze with those unfocused eyes that forever stare at a point above our shoulders.
We taunt you with our tongues
and swing our brittle legs like fascists in pantyhose.
An Underground Railroad for Victims
Beneath the white-stemmed tree, ladies of the afternoon
sit at the Backslide Inn, hearts filling with fear
like a layer of crimson petals sprayed with formalin.
You sit, a stranded hulk hell-bent and born to speed. Your red shadow
strikes the treadmill in blind alleys of hotel rooms. Old leeches leaf through
the noon hours to hang salesmen by their itchy ears. The burden of the law
heaves the kittens on their hind legs in the wreckage of blankets.
What power you have, wives of the night, whores of the day!
You make men weep and push their bowels empty, their eyes turned up
so that only the whites show, red-veined and dirty, howling for mercy
under your needle-spiked heels under your whips and black leather.
And at four you come home to your children, telling your husbands
the money came from that real estate job.