To make matters worse, everyone she talks to has a different opinion about the nature of his problem and what she should do about it. Her clergyperson may tell her, Love heals all difficulties. Give him your heart fully and he will find the spirit of God. Her therapist speaks a different language, saying, He triggers strong reactions in you because he reminds you of your father and you set things off in him because of his relationship with his mother. You each need to work on not pushing each other’s buttons. A recovering alcoholic friend tells her, He’s a rage addict. He controls you because he is terrified of his own fears. You need to get him into a twelve-step program. Her brother may say to her, He’s a good guy. I know he loses his temper with you sometimes—he does have a short fuse—but you’re no prize yourself with that mouth of yours. You two need to work it out, for the good of the children. And then, to crown her increasing confusion, she may hear from her mother, or her child’s schoolteacher, or her best friend: He’s mean and crazy and he’ll never change. All he wants is to hurt you. Leave him now before he does something even worse. All of these people are trying to help and they are all talking about the same abuser. But he looks different from each angle of view.?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
Lundy Bancroft
Reading his autobiography many years later, I was astonished to find that Edward since boyhood had—not unlike Isaiah Berlin—often felt himself ungainly and ill-favored and awkward in bearing. He had always seemed to me quite the reverse: a touch dandyish perhaps but—as the saying goes—perfectly secure in his masculinity. On one occasion, after lunch in Georgetown, he took me with him to a renowned local tobacconist and asked to do something I had never witnessed before: 'try on' a pipe. In case you ever wish to do this, here is the form: a solemn assistant produces a plastic envelope and fits it over the amber or ivory mouthpiece. You then clamp your teeth down to feel if the 'fit' and weight are easy to your jaw. If not, then repeat with various stems until your browsing is complete. In those days I could have inhaled ten cigarettes and drunk three Tanqueray martinis in the time spent on such flaneur flippancy, but I admired the commitment to smoking nonetheless. Taking coffee with him once in a shopping mall in Stanford, I saw him suddenly register something over my shoulder. It was a ladies' dress shop. He excused himself and dashed in, to emerge soon after with some fashionable and costly looking bags. 'Mariam,' he said as if by way of explanation, 'has never worn anything that I have not bought for her.' On another occasion in Manhattan, after acting as a magnificent, encyclopedic guide around the gorgeous Andalusia (Al-Andalus) exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, he was giving lunch to Carol and to me when she noticed that her purse had been lost or stolen. At once, he was at her service, not only suggesting shops in the vicinity where a replacement might be found, but also offering to be her guide and advisor until she had selected a suitable new sac à main. I could no more have proposed myself for such an expedition than suggested myself as a cosmonaut, so what this says about my own heterosexual confidence I leave to others.
Christopher Hitchens