Abused Men: Battered and Emotionally Abused Male Victims of Domestic Violence

Abused men are men and teenage boys who are in physically, mentally and emotionally abusive relationships involving partners, girlfriends or wives. Men who are abused do not get the respect, understanding, encouragement or support from society as a whole and are often criticized and ridiculed unfairly, further victimizing men who are abused.

Victims of domestic violence are not just women, wives or girlfriends. Domestic violence occurs with men too, and it’s about time abused men and society in general wake up to the alarming statistics about women, girlfriends and wives who abuse men and stop turning a deaf ear to the abuse men are experiencing.

Boyfriend and husband abuse is a reality in society and men who are abused by women need help, encouragement and support just as much as abused women do. Domestic violence against men, and abusive relationships of all types, do not discriminate and abuse occurs in all ethnic, racial and socio-economic groups.

When you hear the words “domestic violence” and physical, mental and/or emotional abuse, do you tend to think about women or girls who has been slapped, hit, punched, kicked, bullied, ridiculed, degraded, criticized and humiliated by a man? Domestic violence against women by men who claim to love them has been a serious problem for a very long time, but what about the men? What about men who are abused by women? Why do abused men stay in abusive relationships if it’s so bad, you may wonder.

Some women, girlfriends and wives are physically, mentally and emotionally aggressive in relationships with their boyfriends, partners or husbands. Abused men rarely come forward to share their experiences as domestic abuse victims because of fear. Abused men stay in abusive relationships and marriages for much the same reasons abused woman stay, with fear being the primary reason.

Men who are abused are often afraid of being stigmatized by others with fear of being labeled a dependent, spineless doormat, passive-aggressive “wimp” or “whipped” man with low self-worth. Men who are abused are often too afraid to tell or admit to others that they are being mentally or emotionally abused, if not physically, and view telling as a loss of their manhood.

The statistics for abused men who are beaten or battered by the women who claim to love them say that men are abused more than women are abused, battered, beaten and bruised by men. Unfortunately, physically abused and battered men tend not to call the police or report the abuse they have suffered at the hands of girlfriends or wives, and even when these men do call the police to report the violence, they’re pleas for help are often ignored.

The myths about abused men are astounding. Teen boys and men who are abused need to identify and recognize the warning signs of abusive relationships and take action. Love Doesn’t Hurt. Teenage girls, women or wives who are physical, emotional or psychological abusers gradually chip away at a man’s feelings of self-worth and independence in the same way angry, controlling, abusive men act towards women.

Emotionally Abused Men

Male victims of emotional abuse may feel that there is no way out of the relationship or marriage, often ignoring the symptoms that they are in an emotionally abusive relationship that can so quickly become physically abusive. Emotional abuse includes verbal attacks such as yelling, blaming, ridiculing, name-calling, intimidation, controlling behaviors, isolation from family or friends, shaming, threats of physical violence and more. Abuse of any kind – physical, mental or emotional abuse is an absolute deal breaker in my book and should be for anyone who experiences domestic violence in some form or fashion.

The scars of having been emotionally abused are very real and run very, very deep. Emotional abuse often escalates to the point of physical abuse and battery. Even death. Abusers do not change. Let me repeat that: Abusers do not change, and if you are a man or teenage boy who feels he must “walk on eggshells” around his partner, girlfriend or wife in order to “keep the peace” and try to prevent her from having a conniption fit about everything or anything – you are very likely in an unhealthy, controlling, abusive relationship and need to get out now.

See Toxic Relationships-Toxic Family Members for help figuring out if your girlfriend or wife is toxic or not.

There are many signs of an emotionally abusive relationship, and they are much the same as those that apply to women who are abused by men. Physically or emotionally abused men must not be allow abusive women to control them any longer. Not for one more minute, not for one more hour, and definitely not for one more day of their lives.

Having heard from several men who felt they were pressured into marriage by emotionally abusive girlfriends, plus having written articles about women abused by men, I feel a responsibility and desire to address the issues involving abused men.

Just as I recommended to these men that they read the book, Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence authored by Phillip W. Cook, I implore and strongly suggest that men who feel they are being physically, mentally or emotionally abused by a partner, girlfriend or wife to not only read the abused men book but also seek help now. Your very life may depend on it.

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46 Responses to “Abused Men: Battered and Emotionally Abused Male Victims of Domestic Violence”

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  1. David says:

    I have recently escaped an abusive relationship of 5 years. I am finally out yet I am chastised for reporting it and the City Attorney as well as the victim’s advocate have sided with her simply giving her a slap on the wrist. I have a daughter with her who has been in the middle of her rages from time to time yet the have denied me access to her and have let her keep custody. I am really having a hard time with this. I was lucky enough to have an attorney who had just recently gone through the same thing with his wife pick up papers for a protective order at the same time as me and started asking about my case. When he realized what we shared in common, he talked about the difficulty even for him as an attorney to get access to resources that the state I live in reserves for women and children. He has offered to give me counsel pro-bono and I am grateful, but still feeling that justice will never be served to these abusive women. I went through hell as a child at the hands of my dad’s ex-wife. I watched her beat him with all sorts of things then when he finally got the divorce they gave her custody of us and the abuse turned worse and worse till I was finally hospitalized for two weeks. Even then they tried to blame my dad that I hadn’t seen in over 7 months because she was denying him visit’s even though it is in contempt of court nothing was done. My dad for the crime of battery and aggravated assault of a child was looking at 15 years in prison when they found out it was her that was doing it. She got 2 weeks in jail and lost her teachings license for Utah. I am in desperate need of help. I need people to stand up against the system. I am trying to get the governor of Utah involved yet I need 2000 names on a petition for equal resources and punishments for the abusers in these crimes. No leniency just because they have breasts and can suck off the DA. I am tired of being hurt by women and if i stand up for myself I get thrown in jail. If you are willing to give your name and signature please contact me @ davewillward13@gmail.com and put, “Petition to Governor Herbert”, as the Subject. I promise if one of us starts it the chain will get moving and things will be set right. If you need help doing the same in your state please feel free to contact me. We have to stand together as one voice against abuse if we are to be heard. I do not mean any ill to women victims and if you are willing to help as well that is only going to be better. Thank you.

  2. jon says:

    I was a Battered man.For almost 10 of 15 years of my first marriage, We had three Children .I Had a good job , a Fire Captain in the local department for years, Made great money.Had a nice home in a nice neighborhood. My spouse wanted for nothing. But that wasn’t enough. It was an insidious thing that began when we first started dating ,a slap here a punch there, minor berating usually in public. Than it went away, for years. Than came back with a vengeance. . I remember times at the super market the woman would start berating me because I Saw Something I liked. She would start the name calling,hitting and throwing of stuff until i just plain got fed up and would walk out and leave her at the check stand.Than the affairs began, not designed to be kept secret and always in my face in one form or another. Finally it all came to a point were i couldn’t stand to look at the man in the mirror, I hardly knew myself anymore.One Weekend I went to the bank cleared out the savings and rented myself a place near my kids school so i could care for them after they got out .convenience.Than the real fun began. The break in of my apartment, trashing of my personal things,the nasty calls to my employer.I filed for divorce. Than the woman really became unglued, the gravy train was over.Any time Id go to pick up the kids for the weekend i would be assaulted by her.Punched ,kicked screamed at, usually in front of the children.It was horrible.Some might say ,why didn’t you try the counseling thing, I and we did, Fingers were always pointed at me,by her. Dammed if I couldn’t win. A wise woman shrink who saw the dynamics of the abuse finally took me aside and told me exactly what I needed to do. Get the hell out. So I did.It finally came to the point I had to pin my x to the wall by her throat and tell her if she ever hit me again ,id clean the floor with her. That worked. I finally got my Testicles back.Sometimes the reverse effect does work. Let her know your a man.Today I’m remarried to a wonderful woman,20 years later I’m able to heal from the scars that person left on my mind.By the grace of God.

  3. Roger says:

    It’s not always that the men are ashamed of being abused. Sometimes they don’t realize it. I didn’t realize until after my wife left (and took my kid) that She had been abusive almost the whole time. Reading articles like this helped me figure it out, as well as just talking to people about it.
    The reason I put up with it was because I figured I could handle it. She had told me stories of abusive exes when we met, so I felt bad for her. Later she would use those excuses, as well as others, to justify her abusive actions. I let her get away with it, because I thought I was trying to “help” her.

  4. Jon says:

    In reading these articles,i find that most of the men in here have much in common.Its been 25 years since I left that woman, and im still having some PTS over that. Its gotten way better over time. And I assure you. No woman will physically or emotionally abuse me again.Lifes lessons can hurt.

  5. Jessica says:

    I’d appreciate some insight from those of you who have been through it. I have reconnected with an old friend who is in an emotionally abusive relationship. He knows he needs to get out, but he keeps finding things he needs to do first, e.g. home repairs. I realize it’s fear. He insists it isn’t & that it’s just because he can get the work done for less than hiring someone.

    How do I cut through this denial and get him to admit he’s afraid? In my experience, the first step in overcoming fear is owning up to it. I’ve been trying to help him for awhile now, but I have reached my limit for watching him continuing to sit there too paralyzed to act.

    Once, or if, he gets out of there, I know he’d like to pursue a relationship with me (we dated a long time ago & it was good so that’s not out of the question), but I don’t know if I can be with him if he doesn’t learn to stand up for himself. He has sold himself short for so long that it hurts to think about. But I need to know that I can rely on him to take care of himself. I don’t want that job. It would risk turning me into the hyper-vigilant she-b#@*th he is currently with.

    There have been some wonderful posts in this discussion with insight far beyond mine. I would really appreciate your thoughtful responses to this situation. He is a dear, dear man & I just don’t know what to do or think anymore. Thanks so much.

    • john says:

      Run as far and as fast as you can. This is toxic.

    • Jon says:

      Jessica, I did much the same things to keep my mind off my problem, I always had some fix it or remodel project going on just for the excuse to keep my mind occupied.Your friend needs to file for devoice, have a restraining order in place and kick that woman to the curb. Hopefully he has kept a journal of his experience, this can be helpful in court.Thats my advice.Its a harsh step but in the long run healthier for him.

    • Victor says:

      I would beg of you–if you truly care about this man–to not leave his side; and also not to place any kind of pressure on him. I’m concerned about your comments that you don’t know if you can be with him if he doesn’t learn to stand up for himself. Do you see him as a prize or as a human being suffering deep emotional distress? It sounds to me like there may be some potential abuser issues you should address within yourself. He is suffering, and he feels he has nobody to turn to. I know what he must feel. I felt it for almost 9 years. He needs a friend to show him that there is beauty in this world to live for. He does not need someone to harry him about things he already knows and feels powerless to do anything about. Show him what a healthy relationship is like. Show him what a real woman is. Show him that you respect him as a human being. Be patient. He is suffering, my dear. Ask him to go do something together where you can relax and have a conversation; and just be with him. He will open up to you once he knows he is safe and in a supportive relationship. Do not pressure him, please! Good luck

      • Jessica says:

        Victor, I’m going with the assumption that you haven’t been out of your abusive situation long enough to recognize someone with boundaries. I see this man put himself last All The Time and I know that if I were with him, I’d be last in line right there with him. That isn’t how I want to live and I have removed myself from the situation. I told him what I couldn’t live with and why. Whether or not he heard me is another question since denial is a big part of his troubles. If I were to stay and try to change him, that would be abusive.

        I don’t control him. His situation is his to resolve … or not. Even if I could do that for him, I wouldn’t because then he’d never learn to set and enforce his own boundaries for acceptable treatment. In the time I did spend trying to help him – listening, offering a different perspective or sometimes just confirming that he was being treated poorly – it quickly went from being a supportive friend to me feeling I was just enabling him to endure his daily life by providing an outlet for his emotions. That’s how I got to this forum – I began to wonder if I was one of those “co-” people. Once I realized that I wasn’t co-dependent because I didn’t derive any satisfaction from the situation (that was my understanding of the co-dependent), I knew it was time to do what my head was telling me – leave. He was always going to have a reason not to act and I knew I couldn’t listen to that endlessly if he wasn’t going to do anything to change it.

  6. surinder says:

    I am glad to know there are lot others think like i think . I know about men abuse it happened to my brother and he committ suicide. Now its happening with my son who is getting emotional abuse by not letting to see his kids. There should be fully support to men. i need to know where these type of men can get support. thanks

    • Jon says:

      I’m truly sorry about your brother. Have your son get a real good family law attorney.He will prevail.

    • Jon says:

      Also check your local mens advocacy groups for assistance, Goggle it.Some can be very helpful filing the correct paperwork and providing legal advise,

  7. Victor says:

    Hello everybody,
    My name is Victor. I suffered emotional abuse from my ex-wife for almost 9 years, before I ended that relationship. It’s not like I didn’t put up a fight for all of those years, though. I kicked her out of my life twice, but I went back into the fire because of my two beautiful daughters. She used me. I worked myself lie a zombie earning a living at my graveyard shift job only to return home to have to take care of 90% of the home stuff as well. She was a louse. When I finally called it quits last year I knew the road to peace would be arduous, but I hadn’t realized at the time that I was a victim of abuse. It took me a long time to finally be brave enough to confront the reality within me. I am a survivor of domestic abuse. She pulled all of the classic abuser tricks: blaming, keeping our kids and me apart, attacking me verbally, playing the part of the victim, etc. One of the men here mentioned that the “system” helps abusive women get away with their crimes, and exacerbates the troubles and pains that are tearing apart their victim’s hearts. I have first-hand experience. I applied for an Ex-Parte (Emergency) Hearing in Riverside County, CA, because my ex was keeping our kids from me. It was granted, and we met in Court a few days later. When we got there, I felt like I was being put on trial by the Judge. She exaggerated minor details, and the Judge told her that if I were to show up intoxicated to pick up our kids then she would have the right to not release our kids to me. I RAISED THEM FROM THE MOMENT THEY LEFT THE WOMB! I was homeless after the split, and I was living in my car, because I was wrongfully terminated and my family lived in Northern California. It was like that damned judge didn’t even care about what she was IN FACT doing to me, whereas he went with whatever hearsay she alleged; and it has been going on like that since. I’ve written declarations, and they don’t even care. It feels like the judges and courts don’t even care about what these abusive women are doing to us men. They make us pay for their cars, excessive child support, and take our precious children away from use, without compassion or legal regard for what we have suffered. All I have wanted all of this time is to be with my kids, and those freaking judges have only joined her in ruining my life. I was severely depressed, from which I only recovered a few days ago–and I hope it lasts. I was depressed, because I felt that she is invincible; that short of assaulting me physically, she could play her abusive games with me, and there was nothing that I could do about it. I got a lawyer a few weeks ago–even though I really can’t afford one–and it helps to know that someone cares. Thank you all for the support. It’s the mark of a victim that even after enduring so much abuse, they still don’t want to hurt their abuser.

  8. Steve says:

    My wife is mentally and emotionally abusing me in front of my son. She has estranged us from everyone one in our family (my side and hers) and she blames everyone else for it instead of blaming herself, which is really where the fault lies. She has threatened me if I leave (that she will divorce me and I will never see my son again), and I do and say what she wants me to do or say just because I’m afraid she’s going to do something evil to me or our son. I know that she has some sort of mental imbalance and that she needs extreme psychotherapy, but because she spends every penny I make (she doesn’t work) on things she/we don’t need, we don’t have the money to get her help. We are losing everything because of her actions, and I feel there’s no way out and because of how she has caused fights with our families, I don’t even have a family to go to for help. Sometimes I think my only way out of this living hell is if I just didn’t wake up in the morning

    • Lou says:

      i am 25 and going through the same. My wife is verbally, and physically abusive. We have a one year old child whom i love dearly, and i’ve been trying to hold on for her sake. It has gotten to the point where i am starting do defend myself when she has these crazy episodes. Just the other day she punched me in the face about three times so I laid her out. I am not nor have i ever been an abusive person but i just cant take it anymore. Im afraid for my freedom and sanity. She has absolutely no self control, and looses all sense of morality all for the sake of being angry.

      • Jessica says:

        You need to be dialing 911 when she goes crazy. Tell the operator there is a small child in the house and you fear for his / her safety. If you continue to defend yourself, especially by laying her out, you risk never seeing your child again. It will become “he said, she said” and you will lose that argument.

    • val DiGiorgio says:

      Ironically, Steve, you are describing my boyfriend’s situation, & his name is also Steve. I urge you to try to get both you and your son out. My boyfriend feels trapped as well, and I swear its as if you had written on his behalf, but in much less detail. His son still lives at home, but just started college this year. His son is the baby of his two kids, & I know that he would put his son’s safety above his own, hence his staying.

      Do any of your male friends know what is going on? Is there any way you could confide in a friend who has seen her in action? I know that most sociopaths are able to put on an act in front of everyone necessary to make them look good, so that you will seem incredulous.

      Maybe if you can secretly record her going off with your cell phone and gather enough evidence, you could get a lawyer to work pro bono, or at least a restraining order and kick her ass out?

      Please don’t give up, your son needs you.

  9. logan says:

    I am writing this because I have been told this is happening to me. I trust the people telling me, but I just don’t know. I only know that I feel bad enough now that I have seriously considered killing myself. I have planned, and covered all thoughts and actions around this. After many months now I have grown comfortable with it, and now almost welcome the chance to stop the pain I am in. There is no fear, no sadness, no apprehension. I even had a blog where I tried to put the feelings out there. I actually got no response. The comment about “walking on eggshells” almost made me choke because I have used the same words to describe where I am now.

    • Jessica says:

      Without having seen your blog, I suspect you got no response for a couple of reasons. Strong possibility that people didn’t believe you – there’s so much fake stuff on the internet that we should all be cautious with what we accept as truth. Another possibility is that the people who believed you didn’t feel qualified to comment on a dire situation. I would put myself in that camp. Sheesh, even the advice columnists, people paid to respond, recognize situations beyond their expertise and refer the letter writer to a professional.

      I don’t have the answer for you, but I have noticed in my own life that when I am feeling down, lonely, or lost … going on the internet has only reinforced those feelings. When I’m in that place, I have learned that’s when I call a friend and make plans that get me out of the house, out of my own head. It doesn’t fix things, but the change of scenery (physical & mental) feels like a life saver. After that, I am able to remind myself to be brave and face whatever it is that is getting me down. I don’t mean to sound like Pollyanna, but in my experience, the dread is usually worse than the reality when I finally act. I now try to minimize the dread.

      There are others on this forum with more experience in this and suggestions of more concrete steps for you to take and I defer to them. Good luck.

  10. val DiGiorgio says:

    Please refrain from criticism anout this situation: My boyfriend is in an abusive marriage; afraid to get out. He was upfront with me when we first started dating ten years ago. His marriage had technically but not legally been over for five years prior to meeting me. He has his own room and they basically exist as roommates. He’s always on eggshells around her. He hates going home except for the fact that his kids live there. He had low self esteem when we first started dating; it took me years to get him to acknowledge that he IS handsome & intelligent.

    She lives beyond their means as a way of further controlling him, besides being passive aggressive and verbally abusive. Because she’s spending money faster than he can make it, he can’t afford to move out. Because of her, and the stress he’s under, he suffers from migraines. When we’ve spent a week or more together, he NEVER has migraines.

    He’s a very gentle man; he’s 6’4/220 lbs and he’s a police officer. I think that’s what makes it even harder for him to admit to being abused by her. He’s told me that she’s mentally unstable, & that he never knows what to expect when he gets home.

    After 8 years of dating him, she found out about us, & now I fear for his life. She’s very vindictive, & ever since she found out, his health has been suffering. He’s a marathon runner, works out religiously, eats healthy, organic foods, watches his sugar & salt intake, but has been so stressed by her in the past year that he’s had several episodes of passing out from low blood sugar, & has been hospitalized several times because of his blood sugar as well as because of chest pains that turned out to be panic attacks.

    I think she’s slowly killing him with her toxicity. I’ve been buying him supplements for his blood sugar and his heart, as well as to help him sleep. A few years ago he was diagnosed as pre diabetic, & has consulted with his dr about all the supplements I give him to help keep his stress levels down, like St. John’s wort, melatonin, Sam-E, COQ-10, etc.

    looking back at some emails he’s sent me over the years, it’s obvious he’s been depressed for quite some time, & it’s getting progressively worse because she is being more abusive towards him. He tells me when she “blows up” on him, but doesn’t go into detail about it because I think he’s ashamed or embarrased.

    We’re closer than any two people I know, & he has confided in me about many intense subjects, but won’t go jnto detail about the abuse because I think he feels like less of a man, especially since he’s a big guy & a cop. We’ve discussed spending the rest of our lives together, but he’s afraid to get divorced because of what she’ll do.

    I don’t know how to help him. He can’t afford a place of his own, not just because she’s keeping him in debt, but he’s also paying his parents mortgage on top of his own, & she’s unemployed. I’m willing to buy him a 5th wheel and some land to live on, just so he can escape and have a place of his own until we figure something else out. (I’m unemployed but will do whatever it takes to keep him safe and get his health, both physical & emotional, back on track).

    Whats most important to me is his health-emotional & physical, & that he gets out of the negative environment that he’s in, not just to be with me, but for his own personal safety & well being, whether we ultimately end up together or not.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  11. Jon says:

    Leave , fast, run to the nearest court and file a restraing order. Get the hell out. It took me 5 years to do this.

  12. Jon says:

    Run fast to the nearest courthouse and file the paperwork.Might just save your life.


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