An abusive man is not unable to resolve conflicts nonabusively; he is unwilling to do so. The skill deficits of abusers have been the subject of a number of research studies, and the results lead to the following conclusion: Abusers have normal abilities in conflict resolution, communication, and assertiveness when they choose to use them. They typically get through tense situations at work without threatening anyone; they manage their stress without exploding when they spend Thanksgiving with their parents; they share openly with their siblings regarding their sadness over a grandparent’s death. But they don’t want to handle these kinds of issues nonabusively when it involves their partners. You can equip an abuser with the most innovative, New Age skills for expressing his deep emotions, listening actively, and using win-win bargaining, and then he will go home and continue abusing.
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