Concept of the Month -- November/December 2007

The Male Criminal's Choice of Women

The ultimate male chauvinist is the person with a criminal personality. Inasmuch as the world revolves around him, or so he believes, a woman is to do his bidding. He is to have his wishes met. He is not to be challenged. In fact, he may refer to a female as "his" woman as though she is a possession. And he treats her as such.

Actually, there are two patterns. Some criminals find women who are very much like themselves -- excitement seekers and controllers. As one man said, "Us kinds find each other." These relationships are unstable and often explosive as each struggles to control the other. The relationships usually are short-lived. Each partner uses the other for sex, money, and whatever else he or she wants. Domestic violence is common. If such a duo has children, the offspring are often neglected or mistreated, if not physically, then emotionally. If a divorce occurs with a custody battle, the tactics are ferocious by which each seeks to gain the upper hand. Child custody is like a trophy. Winning matters more than the welfare of the child.

The second, and probably more common, pattern is the criminal finding a female who is insecure and emotionally needy. Such a woman may be swept off her feet, so to speak, by a man who is charismatic, charming, and exciting. In short order, her world revolves him. Linda came from a small town and had had little experience with men. She met and quickly fell in love with Douglas. She was captivated by his gregarious personality and his good looks. He showered her with gifts and took her on excursions. One day, he picked her up and surprised her by taking her to a beautiful spot for a camping expedition and a picnic. Linda knew that Douglas worked at a job that didn't pay much, but he had extremely expensive camping equipment. When she asked him about how he afforded this gear, he laughed off her question, then with an edge said, "Don't ask anything you don't want the answer to." She never questioned anything else that he said or did. One day, Linda received a call that Douglas had been arrested for shoplifting. She thought it was her fault, that if she were just kinder and more attentive, he would never do such a thing. The two continued to date. Every minute of her existence that she was not working was given over to her paramour. She was intent on never disappointing Douglas and did whatever he wanted.

The more Linda got to know Douglas, the more she discovered how irritable he became if she disagreed with him about the slightest thing. More than once, she thought maybe she should date others. But she had little confidence in herself, and he led her to believe that no one could ever love her like he did. After months of an increasingly rocky relationship, Linda received another call. Douglas had been arrested for rape. Still Linda believed that it must have been something that she had done or failed to do that "caused" her boy friend to do what he did. Certain she could do no better, she vowed to wait for him, no matter how long he was in jail.

It is typical for a criminal like Douglas to capitalize on the lack of self-confidence of women who develop a strong and unhealthy psychological and financial dependency. Most important is their belief that they could do no better. Furthermore, it becomes increasingly difficult and, in some cases, dangerous to try to leave such a relationship. These women live in abusive relationships often blaming themselves for what goes awry.

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