Dr. Weitzman says constant emotional abuse can cause a woman to begin questioning her own feelings.
"A lot of the men will say, 'Oh, toughen up. Get a thicker skin. You're being too sensitive,'" Dr. Weitzman says. "And again they'll turn it on the woman and she'll say, 'Maybe, am I being too sensitive? Maybe it is my fault.' And that is part of the erosion of her self-esteem…. In other words, now she's doubting her own reality. Her own perceptions are up for grabs and she starts using him as her reality check.
"What's interesting is that the biggest predictor of what [type of] man will change is if there are consequences," Dr. Weitzman says. "If you don't give him any consequences, you really—not to blame you—you're helping to perpetuate it."