Why Does He Do That? Book Summary - Why Does He Do That? Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro
00:00

Why Does He Do That? summary

Lundy Bancroft

Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

4.5 (226 ratings)
28 mins

Brief summary

Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft is an insightful examination of abusive behavior in relationships and offers guidance for recognizing and addressing it.
Table of Contents

    Why Does He Do That?
    Summary of 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    Men can exhibit abusive behavior in multiple ways.

    When Kristen first met Maury, he seemed like the man of her dreams. He was charming, funny, smart, and, best of all, he was crazy about her.

    But after they moved in together, things started to change. Maury began to accuse Kristen of being self-centered, overweight, and lazy. He also seemed to want to have sex less often.

    Things got worse when they had a baby together. Maury’s moods would change in a flash. One moment, he’d be kind and loving; the next, he’d be cruel and unforgiving. 

    The worst part of it all? Kristen blamed herself for not living up to what Maury needed.

    The key message here is: Men can exhibit abusive behavior in multiple ways.

    Male abusers exhibit a spectrum of behaviors. Some abusers are what the author calls physical batterers. These men seek to inflict physical damage on their partner.

    This style of abuse is more common than you might think: The American Medical Association has reported that one in three women will be a victim of violence by a husband or boyfriend in her lifetime. In the United States, statistics show that two to four million women are assaulted by their partner each year.

    Then there’s emotional abuse. This includes verbal assaults, humiliation, sexual coercion, and psychological manipulation. These behaviors can be just as damaging as physical violence. In fact, many abuse survivors that the author has worked with have told him that emotional abuse caused them the greatest harm. 

    Just think of Maury. He never physically harmed Kristen. But his anger, his unstable behavior, and his cruel insults were enough to inflict real psychological damage. 

    And the damage can be substantial. Statistics show that the emotional effects of partner violence contribute to a quarter of female suicide attempts in the US. Partner abuse is also the primary cause of substance abuse in adult women. 

    Of course, the categories of physical abuse and emotional abuse aren’t entirely clean-cut. For example, physically abusive men are usually also verbally abusive to their partners. And manipulative and controlling men tend to use physical intimidation, too. 

    As a counselor, the author has worked with many abusive men. According to him, abusive behaviors often stem from the same source. Abusive men seek power; they desire control. They delight in making themselves seem superior to their partners. 

    In the following blinks, we’ll take a deeper look at how abusive thinking works. And we’ll explore the reasons why some men grow up to be abusers. 

    Want to see all full key ideas from Why Does He Do That??

    Key ideas in Why Does He Do That?

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Why Does He Do That? about?

    Why Does He Do That? (2003) reveals the psychology behind abusive men. Drawing on his experience as a counselor to male abusers, author Lundy Bancroft explains the nature of abusive thinking, the early warning signs of abuse, and the steps women can take to free themselves from an abusive relationship.

    Why Does He Do That? Review

    Why Does He Do That (2002) is an eye-opening exploration of abusive dynamics in relationships. Here's what makes this book essential:

    • It provides in-depth understanding of the mindset and behaviors of abusive partners.
       
    • The book offers practical advice for recognizing and addressing abusive behavior.
       
    • Its empowering message encourages readers to prioritize their safety and well-being.

    Equip yourself with the knowledge to identify and confront abuse by reading Why Does He Do That.

    Best quote from Why Does He Do That?

    The scars from mental cruelty are as deep as punches and slaps.

    —Lundy Bancroft
    example alt text

    Who should read Why Does He Do That??

    • Anyone who feels trapped in an abusive relationship
    • Mothers considering leaving their abusive partner
    • People who suspect a friend or family member is being abused

    About the Author

    Lundy Bancroft has worked in the fields of abuse, trauma, and recovery for over 25 years. In addition to working with abusive men as a counselor, Bancroft has served as a custody evaluator and child abuse investigator. He’s also the author of five books, including When Dad Hurts Mom (2005) and The Batterer as Parent (2013), which examine the impact of domestic violence on families. 

    Categories with Why Does He Do That?

    Book summaries like Why Does He Do That?

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    30 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Why Does He Do That? FAQs 

    What is the main message of Why Does He Do That?

    The main message of Why Does He Do That is to understand abusive behavior and learn how to recognize and address it in relationships.

    How long does it take to read Why Does He Do That?

    It takes approximately 9-11 hours to read Why Does He Do That, while the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Why Does He Do That a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Why Does He Do That is a valuable resource for understanding and addressing abusive behavior in relationships.

    Who is the author of Why Does He Do That?

    The author of Why Does He Do That is Lundy Bancroft.

    How many chapters are in Why Does He Do That?

    Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft has 16 chapters, each focusing on different aspects of abusive behavior, its causes, and how to address it.

    How many pages are in Why Does He Do That?

    There are 432 pages in Why Does He Do That.

    When was Why Does He Do That published?

    Why Does He Do That was published in 2002.

    What to read after Why Does He Do That??

    If you're wondering what to read next after Why Does He Do That?, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood
    • Emotional Blackmail by Susan Forward with Donna Frazier
    • Gaslighting by Stephanie Moulton Sarkis
    • The No Contact Rule by Natalie Lue
    • Mr Unavailable & the Fallback Girl by Natalie Lue
    • Should I Stay Or Should I Go by Ramani Durvasula
    • How Highly Effective People Speak by Peter Andrei
    • How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
    • 12 Rules For Life by Jordan B. Peterson
    • Doing Good Better by William MacAskill