Guy dating behavior
Constantly wondering which behaviors are the “real” person is absolutely normal and valid, no matter how hurtful a partner has been or for how long.
People who choose to be abusive often have an underlying attitude of entitlement and privilege, which is something that is very difficult to change.
That’s why they don’t show it to most of the people in their lives or treat others with the same level of abuse. When everyone else is saying how great they are and admiring their charming behavior, it might validate the hope that the good behavior is the “real” person.
However, that doesn’t mean the escalation of abusive behavior is predictable.
The phrase “cycle of abuse” isn’t entirely accurate because it implies patterns and levels that can be measured or predicted.
With this tactic, an abuser actively tries to make their victim question reality or if what they believe is actually true.
If you’re constantly questioning your reality or your partner’s behavior, one helpful thing to do is to keep a journal (but only if it’s safe for you to do so, and you’re able to keep it in a place your abusive partner does not have access to).