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In the book “Why Does He Do That?” Lundy Bancroft outlines ten types of abusers. You can see the brief description of each type in my previous post on identifying types of abusive men.
Today we are going to dive more into the mindset of the Player.
The Attitudes That Drive the Player Abuser
The Player is often a sexy, good looking guy, though sometimes he just thinks he is. His core belief is that women were placed on this earth to have sex with men, and he is the ultimate man they should desire to fulfill their divine purpose with.
The Player knows how to please a woman, and in the beginning can make her believe that she is the center of his world. He is a master at making each woman feel she’s the special one, yet also keeping her just enough off balance to doubt herself and work hard for his attention. He’s the kind of man that can keep his wife begging him to stay and his mistress begging him to divorce and neither one of them willing to give him up.
The Player can’t be satisfied with one woman for long, or even two or three. He flirts with every woman he meets and sexual undertones seem to color every conversation. Women are nothing more than a trophy to be earned or a toy to be played with.
Chronic infidelity is abuse on its own, but the Player does even more. He is notorious for the callous way he puts down his partners feelings. If she expresses hurt over his unfaithfulness he twists things around to be angry at her for snooping or not trusting him. He may even accuse her of having affairs to take the spotlight off himself.
The Player hypocritically believes that women who won’t have sex with him are uptight, but the women who do are too loose. He also places all the blame for his acting out on the women themselves. It’s not his fault they throw themselves at him. How can he possibly refuse the temptation that is all around him?
The Player also likes to blame his partner for his lack of fidelity. After all, if she could sexually satisfy him he wouldn’t have to stray now would he? He also resents her for having needs and desires outside of sexual pleasure and uses this resentment as another excuse to turn elsewhere. After all if he’s not “good enough” for her why should he feel committed to her.
Players may or may not be sex addicts. There are sex addicts who do not treat their partners in other abusive ways. There are other addicts who are extremely abusive. Many men get sober from sex addiction and stop their entitled abusive behaviors. Many others, however, continue abusing because the root resentments and entitlements driving their abuse haven’t been addressed. This is why a 12 step program isn’t enough for any addict/abuser. These men need to do some real hard work with a trained therapist to unravel their stinkin’ thinkin’.
The Partner of The Player
The Player’s partner is initially swept off her feet by the loving attention he shows her. He makes her feel special and oh boy is he good in between the sheets. She feels incredibly lucky to have caught this delicious hunk of a man.
It doesn’t take long, however, for her to start noticing little problems. She realizes that he doesn’t show much interest in her life or feelings and may even become hostile when she asks him to listen to her feelings or participate in her favorite activity.
The Player’s partner soon finds that many of the things that attracted her to him in the first place are becoming sources of pain and irritation. His constant flirting and the sexual undertones in his relationships with other females leave her doubting her own attractiveness and worth.
The Player’s partner may begin to hear rumors of his activities with other women. She initially dismisses them as hurtful gossip from jealous cats. It doesn’t take long, however, before she realizes they are likely true and may even find proof of his infidelities in mind and deed. If she doesn’t find proof she’s constantly left wondering if he’s cheating or if he’s just flirting with other women to keep her unbalanced.
The Player’s partner becomes more and more isolated as she realizes that any woman can be a threat to her relationship. Even your sister or best friend aren’t off limits for his flirting and if they respond a little too warmly then they are no longer a safe person. Even if she shuns his advances it can still make the partner uncomfortable and unwilling to be around them if her Player is present.
The Player’s partner can actually experience PTSD symptoms from betrayal trauma due to his actions. The more her trauma symptoms surface the more resentful the Player becomes and the more abuse she endures.
Do You Know A Player
If you are swept away by a good looking guy who is an expert flirt take a step back and asses his motives. Is he quick to get women in bed, but slow to commit? Is he flirting with other women while pursuing or “committed” to you? Are there rumors about his conquests? Does he talk about other women as if they are property or discuss their sexuality calling them skanks, whores, prissy, uptight etc?
Remember not every abuser fits neatly into one package. You may know someone who has a few of these traits, but not all of them. You may know someone who has all of these traits, plus a few dozen more. The important part is to recognize the attitudes of abuse at work here.
If you believe that you are in an abusive relationship please reach out and seek help using the resources at the bottom of the abusive types post here.
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