acceptance and support, people he believes are of use to him because of their communitystanding, usefulness or other helpful connections. Although at home he is increasingly selfish,domineering, and mean-spirited, the victim's friends and family members will probably perceivethe abuser as welcoming, friendly and likable. As a result, the victim finds herself confused by theirimpressions, and begins to question her own understanding of how he treats her. Since sheseems to be exclusive target of his terror, she arrives at the heart-breaking conclusion that shemust be responsible for his cruel outbursts. That is exactly what he wants. This is a man who arrives at church hand-in-hand with his wife and puts his arm around her duringthe service. He warmly greets his acquaintances and stops for polite and friendly conversation onthe way to the parking lot. He might be a deacon or an elder in the church. The face he shows tothe world defies the one his victim sees when they are alone. This reality cripples his victim.Everyone likes him. The Abuser is the Supreme Authority ...on everything. End of story. The victim has the freedom to ask any questions, or dispute theabuser's perspective - at her own peril. She is entitled to her own opinions as long as they are thesame as his. The victim is not allowed to have much of an identity separate from the abuser.Whether it's music, movies, home decor, politics, or religion, he has the final say. Even in mattersof opinion, his opinion is superior. Get used to it. He has made final, usually derogatory, assessments of the family, friends or acquaintances in thevictim's circle, decreeing them unfit to socialize with or trust. No one knows more than he (unless itis someone he needs to use or impress). The Abuser is a Dictator The abuser controls everything - schedules, finances, priorities, household responsibilities,hobbies, and friendships. The victim is given only whatever limited freedom the abuser chooses toallow. And although he makes the rules, they do not apply to him. The Abuser is a Liar To an abuser, the truth is whatever he decides it is. Even if caught in a lie, he has alreadyrationalized what he believes is a perfectly appropriate justification that made his lie necessary,even helpful. The victim knows what's true, but fears contesting the validity of what is not. Theabuser cannot be trusted, and she's afraid to do anything about it. If she chooses to point thefinger at him, she will likely pay a hefty price for it. He can make her life a living hell. It is best tokeep silent. The Abuser is Selfish He doesn't want to help with the kids, the dinner or the chores, and he is the first to criticize hisvictim for falling short in any one of her areas of responsibility. Often, he controls the bank accounts and expenditures and makes sure his needs are met beforeanyone else's. If that means hiding money or stealing it from the victim's bank account, so be it.