Shame: What will my friends, family, colleagues and neighbors think? What will people think if they knew I let a woman beat up on me? It’s a private matter – it belongs in the family. If I say anything, she’ll tell everyone I’m the abusive one, and shame me in public. I’m ashamed I’m not strong enough to defend myself. Everyone knows it’s men that are the violent ones [the shame of male for being male].
Self-Worth I probably deserved it. This is the best I deserve. With my looks, or age, or personality, or income, this is as good a relationship as I’ll ever be able to get.
Denial: It’s not that bad. All I have to do is leave the house until she cools down. [ That’s what TV star Phil Hartman said just before his wife murdered him then killed herself. ] I can weather this one, just like I did the others.
Reluctance to Give Up the Good: If people got to know her, they’d see what a creative, or loving, or wonderful person she is. She’s like this only some of the time. The sex is great, and I can put up with being batted around a little. I’d be lost without a relationship with her. I’d be lost without a relationship.
Inertia: It’s too hard to do anything. I’m not ready for that much change in my life. I’ll do it tomorrow, or later, when I’m not so busy. Sounds like a lot of work – more to take care of than I can handle right now. Force of habit. I’m used to life the way it is now.