This segment on HuffPost Live describes the methodical way abusers advance in a relationship. Don’t fool yourself into thinking they will change. They are master manipulators, who have you figured out more than you realize. They do not think of themselves as mentally unstable and the relationship issues will always be your fault. They thrive on one’s weaknesses and know exactly how to push buttons. As far as your strengths go, they will eventually try their best to knock you off the pedastal they propped you up with.
The story below is a typical example of how a pathological abuser operates. He attacks, then minimizes his abuse and flips it back on the victim. An abuser delights in shaming his victim. A smile, following a verbal attack, is very common.
One of the events that took place in our relationship which not only not only shocked me, but came completely out of no where, was when we went out one night and I introduced my ex-boyfriend to a famous guitar player. During the show my ex asked me if I had given the guitar player a bj. I couldn’t believe my ears. I asked: “WHAT?!” He smiled and said: “You heard me.” I was appalled, especially by his delight in having shocked me. I got up to leave the venue, to which he reacted by saying: “You always run away! The wind changes and you run. You’re so unstable! You gotta learn how to let things roll off your back and hang in there!”