“Some men have a powerful ability to extinguish the sexual energy of a relationship. Then they blame the woman for it. The man’s jealousy and possessiveness are often the root of the problem. He wants you to be sexy and attractive, but only for him. So he criticizes you if you go out in public looking good. (“What are you going out dressed like that for? You got the hots for some guy?”) Perhaps he starts to call you degrading names for making yourself alluring. The result is that you feel like you’d better not dress up around him. But later he turns it all around and says that you never make yourself sexy anymore.

You can’t win, because he wants other people to be impressed by how attractive you are, but he doesn’t want them to look at you. He doesn’t want you to dress up, but he wants you to be dressy when he sees you. He doesn’t want you to desire sex if he’s not in the mood, but he wants you to always be in the mood. The reason you can’t make any sense out of all this is that it makes no sense.

For you to feel sexual, you have to feel appealing to him. (In other words, in order to feel attracted you have to feel attractive.) And to feel appealing to him, you have to feel attractive in general—in other words, attractive to other people also. There is simply no way to be attractive to him alone. So when a man wants a woman’s sexuality to exist only for him, he is ensuring that it will fade away. And that’s his fault, not hers.”

Daily Wisdom For Women Involved with Angry and Controlling Men, by Lundy Bancroft