Men Who are Victims of Abuse

Women who abuse men

Yes, it happens. Not very often, but it does happen. Men are sometimes the victim of domestic violence and abuse. Men get it coming and going. Society labels them as wimps if they “allow” their wives to run over them, yet they are admonished that a man should never hit a woman. So, what if she is the one who comes out swinging first? Let me tell you a little story:

There once was a man with a kind heart. He was driven to help others, fix situations for others, to make their lives happy and peaceful. He was convinced that meeting all of his wife’s needs was simply his job. That’s what husbands were to do. He found himself in a marriage with a woman who had extreme emotional and mental problems. She had brought a lot of residue and stress from her former marriage into the relationship. As many women often do, she decided to take it out on him, the one who loved her and wanted to protect her from the sort of harm she had endured for years.

He tried to keep the peace, but it didn’t usually work to the advantage of the marriage. The damage that had been done by her abusive previous spouse was far from repair, and she simply could not accept the fact that love could be as simple as he tried to convey, or offer.

It escalated. She began screaming, accusing and eventually throwing things, then lunging at him. His quandary had now become, “What do I do? If I defend myself, I could end up in jail.” Sometimes, well, okay, most often men are stronger emotionally than women. After all, real men don’t cry (yeah, that’s a pile of hooey, too!). So, putting love aside and drawing from his rational mind, he did the safest and most sound thing he could think of—he left. He chose to end the marriage, rather than continue living in the dysfunction and potential for the unforeseen damages that could result if they remained together.

There are three morals to this story. The first is that verbal and emotional abuse is part of domestic violence, and women, just as well as men, can be and are perpetrators. The human tongue can be sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting to the very soul. With mere words we are capable of destroying another person.

Secondly, there are many women out there who have been terribly damaged by prior relationships and/or partners. They have been belittled, demeaned and even beaten and battered. They are incapable of trusting another man or partner, and until they make life changes they will carry the dysfunction with them, from relationship to relationship. It’s that simple. The harm done was far too great for them to overcome singlehandedly. Can they overcome it? Yes, most definitely they can, but only with a strong desire for change, with proper help, support and usually, extensive counseling.

The third moral to this story is that even though they are only accounted as 5% of the victims of domestic violence, there are men who are verbally, emotionally or physically abused by women every single day of every single week of every single year. If we overlook that, we are negligent in our work as advocates for domestic violence awareness.

Listen to Carolyn’s interview with Cynthia Brennen, on “Help, Hope & Healing.” Visit her Everyday Health blog, Emotional Wellbeing, or her website at orangeblossomwishes.com.

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