Husband Abuse: Mentally, Physically and Emotionally Abused Men

Husband abuse is no different than wife abuse. Whether the abuse is in the form of physical, verbal, mental or emotional abuse, abuse is abuse is abuse and not to be tolerated. It is a myth that very few men experience domestic violence, and when we hear or read stories of spousal abuse victims, it is often thought that mental, emotional and/or physical abuse is only perpetrated by men against women.

It is a fact that men who are abused by the women they love are often silent victims of abuse at the hands of their wives, girlfriends or partners. Men typically don’t call the police or make a police report. Family members, close friends and even co-workers sometimes recognize the tell-tale signs of abuse, even without any visible bruises, scratches or marks on the male victim, but feel they don’t know how to help.

Emotionally abused men and husbands who are abused by wives are in an unhealthy relationship, hoping upon hope that their abusive spouse or partner will change and the bad relationship will become a healthy, happy marriage that will last a lifetime. The chances that women abusers will change their abusive behaviors and attitudes towards the men in their lives are slim to none. Just like abusive men or husbands who abuse their wives or girlfriends.

Men in abusive relationships need to realize and come to terms with the fact that abuse is a learned characteristic and is deeply ingrained in their wife or girlfriend’s personality, and you can’t just wish it away. Mentally and emotionally abused men, who haven’t yet experienced physical abuse or battery, must not downplay or minimize the abuse in their hearts and minds. Domestic violence or physical abuse towards men often go hand in hand with mental and emotional abuse.

Just because your wife or girlfriend may not have hit, slapped, punched, kicked or stabbed you (yet) doesn’t mean the abuse won’t escalate to the point of physical violence. Abusive partners do not change. The abuse only gets worse as time goes by.

Are You In An Abusive Relationship?

Mental and emotional abuse destroys a person’s self-esteem and self-worth from the inside out, and the negative effects run so deep that it can take years to recover. Domestic violence and abuse of all kinds is an absolute deal breaker for marriages, and children who grow up in abusive homes learn what they live, increasing their chances of becoming abusers or abuse victims themselves.

Greg Enns and Jan Black, authors of the book entitled It’s Not Okay Anymore suggest abuse victims ask themselves the following questions to help identify the signs of abuse in their relationship. See if you can recognize potential problem areas in your relationship or marriage with your spouse or partner. Ask yourself:

  • Does she criticize, embarrass or humiliate you in front of other people, including your friends or family?
  • Does she insist that things you want for yourself are selfish and/or wrong?
  • Does your wife, girlfriend or partner withhold affection or sex to “punish” you for violating her rules?
  • Does she intimidate you or make you feel afraid in some way? How? Do you feel like you have to “walk on eggshells” around her to keep the peace?
  • Does your wife threaten to harm you, threaten to harm herself or anyone else, if/when you decide to leave and divorce her?
  • Does she require or force you to ask her for money, or take your money away from you? How much access do you personally have to the checking account, savings account, bank statements and bills?
  • Does your wife or partner control all of the family finances (financial abuse), where you don’t even know what money there is or how, when or where money is being spent?
  • Has your wife prevented you from taking a job you want, or kept you from going to school/college? Has your wife forced you through manipulation, coercion or intimidation to quit a job you had?
  • Does your wife minimize or deny her abusive treatment of you, or make “jokes” about how she treats you? Does she blame you for her abusive behaviors?
  • Does your girlfriend, wife or partner treat you as if you are her personal servant or slave?
  • Does she make you do things you feel are ethically or morally wrong or illegal?
  • Does your wife or partner criticize or belittle your Christian/religious beliefs, or tell you that your faith or beliefs are wrong?
  • Does your wife restrict or limit your contact with your family or friends, or make you leave social gatherings because she says so?
  • If you have children together, does your girlfriend or wife threaten you’ll never be able to see your children if you leave or divorce her?
  • Has your partner or spouse hit, slapped, punched, kicked, or threatened to cause you physical bodily harm?

Borderline Personality Disorder

Men, you have to decide for yourselves how many “yes” answers it takes to determine if you are in an abusive relationship. Men abused by women need help, support and encouragement from friends, family and society, to give husbands and abused men the strength and courage needed to get away from their abusers once and for all. Are you being battered or abused by your spouse?

Are you married to or in a relationship with a person with borderline personality disorder, also referred to as BPD? Stop Walking on Eggshells is a book written by Paul T Mason and Randi Kregor, with an extensive checklist for abuse victims to determine if they are (unfortunately) involved with or married to someone with BPD and advice on how to break free.

Another excellent resource for abused men and husbands is the book entitled Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence by Philip W. Cook. The authors shine a bright light on studies, statistics, actual percentages of abused men, along with personal stories of men who have been mentally, physically, verbally and/or emotionally abused by women.

There are a lot of battered and abused guys who are experiencing various types of domestic violence in their own homes and relationships, and it’s about time we as a society show our support for male victims and rally around them as they develop the courage and strength to seek help. Men, you are not alone. Read these books, seek out help from local support groups in your area or online, but reach out and get the help you need to live your life free of abuse.

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12 Responses to “Husband Abuse: Mentally, Physically and Emotionally Abused Men”

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  1. Charlie says:

    Sure was good to read this. After 20 years I’am getting out! tried to before just hadn”t known about this and seek support or help from friends.

    • Jon says:

      Good for you Charlie. Do this before you begin to hate yourself for putting up with the abuse.

  2. Kathleen says:

    I am a mother of a 28 year old son, who without a doubt is emotionally abused by his girlfriend of 7 yrs. They have three sons together ( ages 2, 3, & 4 ) The saddest thing to sit back and watch is his attempts to please her at any cost. She belittles him and shows absolutely no respect towards him. He was laid off recently and there have been other times he has as well, but he is a union tradesman and there have been periods of time he’s had no work. I have tried to help, because she often calls to complain about him for one thing or another. It is so stressful, because I realize there is usually two sides to a story. I try to advice her on how a partner is to act or react in difficult times, but she really doesn’t want to listen. I told her, he feels the pressure and stress enough, then to be told he’s not doing enough or that he is a failure. I said I think he feels alone and that he isn’t the head of the household,the kids are allowed to treat him badly as well. Her response to this was ” well, he shouldn’t feel like he’s the head of the household when he’s not working.” His unemployment benefits are of the amount most people only can dream of. every check always has good intentions of paying the bills, but the money ends up for all the necessary to provide the things she needs. he sold his car to pay bills, she has one with a note still owed; she has a phone he does not. He goes without things so she can have what she wants. She did get a waitress job and she has before , but it is crystal clear it’s her money, she contributes nothing to the household. I bring over food ,buy diapers, etc. to try and help, as well as try to come over to help with kids , laundry, etc. but I did this even before she started working. This is because she doesn’t do anything. No housework, no potty training, nothing!!!!!!!! I know there is only so much I can do, or say. I swear I am not in any way mendling, in fact it’s been made my business due to her involving me. She can be very very charming, but you see I know the signs of abuse and manipulation, because I was the victim of spousal abuse. I’m sure he still thinks he can fix her , as I did but of course that will never happen!! I was very good about hiding our problems, so there wasn’t wasn’t any support from others. All I can do now is show him he is loved and he isn’t alone. I am very scared though, he is so depressed. she only then mocks him. any advice would be welcomed. Thank you

    • Been There says:

      He needs counseling, and safe place for himself and the kids. Check your area for abuse shelters or the state or county social programs. However be prepared for a dismissive attitude or even ridicule. Abuse programs teach men are the abusers not women and the folks at most shelters will try to turn it around on your son. They normally aren’t able to accommodate men but your area may be different.

      God Bless

    • Jon says:

      Kathleen ,It sounds like your Son may be suffering from depression also, On top of the abuse. He has some decisions to make. Firstly is the marriage worth the pain? Probably not, its probably the cause. He has a very selfish wife that needs to be kicked to the curb. Hard truth.You cant fix people.They have to do this on their own.

  3. john says:

    Been there. Ive been there myself. Councilors tend to justify a persons bad behavior or make excuses for them. Counseling rarely works.

  4. Sam says:

    Being there day in and out. Lost my personality completely and if I look back I dont know who or what I am. Rarely is there an smile of happiness inside or outside. Feel so claustrophobic and tied by heavy ropes all around me. Issue is I love my kids and I fear that my wife will not take care of them with love and affection if I leave her. The only reason I need to continue in this abusive relationship is for the kids. I work like a dog at home all the time (dishes,clothes,clean up), keep track of finances,pay the bills, take kids to all the classes,do all the shopping,cook at times. At the end she only complains and complains about me. How heartless a person can be. She ensures that I live on paycheck to paycheck and also on loans although I earn much more than her and she has all the money in her account and ofcourse I dont even know how much she has. Its very substantial thats all I know. Added to all this she is cold to me,does not look into my eye and talk or respond to what I have to say. I need help and cant go to my family or go to a counsellor who simply will know my side. She has refused to admit there is any issue here. Its free ride for her.

    • Jon says:

      Call this meeting to order Sam.File for divorce, get a physical restraining order against her and the money in her account cant be legally touched without court approval. Your story sounds real familiar. I too had to make the choices I made and fought hard and long to keep my girls in my life. Keep good notes.Records of incidents. Call the cops if she gets physical with you.Get your balls back man.I hate to be blunt ,but sometimes it gets through to the other man.She wont look you in the eye when talking? Theres probably another man in the picture some were. Wake up.

  5. Dan says:

    Been there done that. I was married to a woman with BPD for 4 years. I feel lucky to have gotten out of the relationship alive and without a criminal record. I ended up bankrupt from all the crazy spending and medical bills that fed her prescription drug addictions (opiates). If I said no to something she wanted she would throw a tantrum that would last for hours, usually involving threats to hurt herself. One time she literally beat her head against the wall. When I restrained her to keep her from hurting herself she grabbed a steak knife out of the kitchen drawer and tried to stab herself.

    As “revenge” for me calling the police one night when she had locked herself in the bedroom and was threatening to kill herself she called the police for me yelling at her (actually while I was taking my morning shower because I was so upset for her spending the money I needed to hire a bankruptcy lawyer) and tried to have me arrested. To her chagrin they didn’t arrest me because I hadn’t done anything illegal, but then she filed a restraining order (TPO), and then thankfully for divorce. She had a new boyfriend living with her within 6 weeks. (Last I could tell they seemed to still be together, which means, either she treats him better, or he is a masochist.)

  6. Richard says:

    I’m going through abuse also have been married for 14 years have four kids with one on the way she constantly belittles me in front of our kids and I always have to tell her not to argue in front of them but it makes her more angry throwing me into a wall hitting me in the face pushing me backwards into a chair all The while she knows I’m disabled have had 4 back surgerys she has been diagnosed with big polar disorder I used to be a confident man now I walk on eggshells will someone reply to me to reassure me that I’m not alone I could use a friend

    • Buck Fuddy says:

      My girlfriend/domestic partner of 4 1/2 years can be very sneaky in her abuse. She deliberately sabotages my sleep by kicking the bed just as I’m dropping off. I know this seems like a small thing but as a man with Autism Spectrum Disorder and depression my sleep is everything to me. When I call her on it (or anything else) she turns it around on me- why am I being so paranoid/unreasonable/acting crazy?
      The thing is, she was emotionally abused as a child, which has ingrained the behavior deeply into her psyche- she learned at a young age that her only way of getting control/attention/making herself feel better was to ruin things for others. She is diagnosed bipolar and I feel quite strongly that she’s got BPD- I had a few aunts with the disorder- but she refuses to seek treatment. Several times I’ve forced her to make appointments, and every time she claims that THEY called HER and cancelled the appointment.
      Her pattern of controlling and manipulative behavior is bad enough, but a more recent episode has really showed the depths to which this woman is willing to sink. I had an ear infection for which I was taking antibiotics. She has a trip coming up, for which she was considering getting antibiotics in case of traveler’s squirts, but she called and cancelled the appointment (I was in the room).
      I had two days’ worth (six pills) left. I took one, and then there were four. I thought perhaps I’d made an error, took another, had three left the next day. Took my morning pill- two left. Came back- one left. Confronted her about it- she started acting like I was being confusing (I was not, I communicate very directly and literally due to my disorder), throwing out a bunch of different numbers in an attempt to confuse me, then simply acted like she didn’t know what I was on about. I’ve now got an infection in the same ear again, funny enough it never seemed to quite go away.

      This woman makes it quite clear that I am entirely responsible for her emotions and happiness. She jokes about our ‘dynamic’ even while tearing me down in front of her family, feels free to have over-the-top emotional outbursts while not allowing me even the slightest show of feeling (if I commit the sin of getting annoyed with her, she immediately attempts to ‘flip the script’ and make me feel bad for having that emotional reaction) and, if all else fails, blames her father, or me, or some such.

      In the past when I have upset her, she has tried to overdose on alcohol, or cut herself, or threatened “jokingly” to harm herself in another way. I refuse to even rise to this kind of behavior anymore.

      The upside? She’s moving to Taiwan soon… and I (despite her best attempts to manipulate me into doing so at great personal expense and sacrifice of career and happiness) am not. Freedom awaits

      • PMO says:

        I was the victim of domestic abuse for several years. Physical and emotional. Even though I was a great provider and gave her great support when she went back to college it was never enuf. I would always grade her papers before she turned them in. And never once complained about the lost income. And I did it in an understanding and supportive way. I can honestly say this because if I didn’t I was a no good SOB. Of course once she got her degree in education I wasn’t good enuf for her. After numerous affairs and an ever increasing amount of mental abuse I finally had enuf. Every person gets to their limit of tolerance. The last straw was being physically assaulted in front of my children. Gratefully my brother and sister-in-law lived next door and rescued me after my children had run over to their home for help. I had been bitten and was bleeding and in the mean time she started banging her own head against the wall. Something I’ll never forget as long as I live. It has been a long road to recovery also. The constant demeaning has played havoc with my self worth and affected me in more ways then I care to even think. She is a very manipulative and an articulate person and knows how to and doesn’t hesitate to degrade me in front of her friends and acquaintances. Only the people that really know me can see through it. We even went to 2 counselors in regards to child visitation and custody and she has managed to swing them to her side. I do have a majority custody of my children now but my only worry is that they think her behavioral tendencies (drinking, partying, sneaking men into the house at night, constantly putting me down etc…)are normal and they may emulate her. Not only her behavior but her mother is very similar to her and validates everything she does. The cycle doesn’t seem to end and that is why I fear for my children’s future. As a teacher I also have fear for her students. Lord knows what they’re subject to. How do I protect my children from her constant barrage of negativity and manipulation. Please help