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Time to Turn the Tables

Turning the tables on your abuser. How to take yourself back from the control and manipulation in a verbally abusive relationship.

Okay, my friend, this page might just be what you need! But be careful with the information here. Let me say it again -

BE CAREFUL

I say that because if you handle it right, he won't catch on. This info is designed to help you begin to take yourself back from his control and manipulation. It will be a long, hard road, but if you follow these instructions EXACTLY and be STRONG, you will BREAK FREE of his control.

Are you ready?

Okay, first of all, let me tell you that all the techniques I am describing here are in THE BOOK - The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans. They work. How do you think I got here? I encourage you to GET THE BOOK!!! It would be the best $10 or so you'll ever spend.

Here we go...

Whatever you are talking about at the time, the abuser is good at "turning it around" on you. You know what I mean:

YOU: Where is the money in the savings account?

HIM: You just don't trust me - you've NEVER trusted me.

YOU: Yes, I do.

HIM: No, you always accuse me of stuff I didn't do.

YOU: I didn't accuse you of anything.

HIM: And you always think I'm up to something.

Sound familiar? That's called "diverting." You start one conversation, then all of a sudden YOU are on the defense! And later you think, "how did that happen?!"


 


This is what you do: whatever your question, ask it. Then, when he starts his diversion tricks, ASK THE SAME QUESTION EXACTLY THE SAME WAY AGAIN. No matter what he says, no matter where he tries to take you, EXACTLY AS BEFORE.

YOU: Where is the money in the savings account?

HIM: You just don't trust me - you've NEVER trusted me.

YOU (calmly): Where is the money in the savings account?

HIM: It's my money! You didn't work for it!

YOU (still calm): Where is the money in the savings account?

After a few minutes, he will become confused, which will be a small victory for you, since you are usually the one confused by now. DO NOT LET HIM DIVERT YOU! If you practice this technique, after a while it will get easier and easier. BE WARNED: once he sees that this doesn't work anymore, he may try something new.

Another thing that I noticed I was doing was trying to defend myself against his accusations. If he accused me of having a boyfriend (which was one of his favorites), I'd deny it. DON'T DENY ANYTHING TO DEFEND YOURSELF. Check this out:

HIM: You've been gone too long. Have a good time with your boyfriend?

YOU: I don't have a boyfriend. The grocery store was just busy.

HIM: Oh, sure. The meat is probably gone bad. You were in some motel.

YOU: No, I wasn't. I told you, it was crowded and the cashier was really slow.

Been there? Okay, try this next time:

HIM: You've been gone too long. Have a good time with your boyfriend?

YOU (calmly): I do not have to listen to this. I'm leaving.

[at this point, leave the room - chances are, he'll follow you]

HIM: Your boyfriend must be really good in bed. Where did you meet this time?

YOU (still calm): I do not have to listen to this. I'm leaving.

[leave the room again - sometimes I ended up leaving the HOUSE - go for a walk!]

Again, just stay calm, and keep repeating. DO NOT DIGNIFY HIS ACCUSATION WITH DENIAL. After a while, as before, it'll get easier.

WARNING! After some time, this becomes FUN. Yes, you will begin to think of it as a game, how do I get him this time? This is sad, in a way, but it's true. I will be saying "I told you so."

next: For Friends and Family of Domestic Violence Victims
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~ all abuse library articles
~ all articles on abuse issues

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, December 5). Time to Turn the Tables, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, April 8 from https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/articles/verbal-abuse-dealing-with-the-abuser

Last Updated: May 5, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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