These are all survival tactics but will not stop the attacks. However, most men will do anything in the vain hope of stopping the abuse. What they fail to do is record the incidents, injuries or pattern of events. They fail to tell any family members of the situation and make excuses for their injuries even when they attend the hospital or the doctor. They fear the humiliation and stigma of disclosure even when the abuse is life-threatening.
Did she ever make you do things you felt were wrong or illegal?
Did she ever belittle your beliefs, or tell you that your faith is wrong?
Did she make you leave social gatherings, or restrict your contact with your friends or family?
Did she make you feel afraid, or like you needed to be "careful" around her?
Did she make you feel guilty or ashamed about yourself, your feelings, your beliefs, or anything else that makes you a unique individual?
Any one of these is a sign of abuse. Only you can decide how many it takes to add up to proof that you were abused.
If you are a man and being abused mentally, emotionally, or physically by your spouse or girlfriend please do not hesitate to contact me for help and advice. Abuse is a universal sin that is being experienced by men also.
If you would like advice or counseling from Patricia Jones, M.A. you may choose either Telephone Counseling or E-Mail Counseling.
Articles by Patricia Jones, M.A.
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"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight." ( Isaiah 5:20-21)
When most people think of domestic violence they think of a man battering a woman. But the reverse is also true. Men can be abused mentally, emotionally, and physically as well. This can take the form or verbal and emotional abuse, mental and emotional castration of the man by the woman, women who use sex as a weapon to get what they want out of the man, and actually punching, kicking, slapping, throwing objects, and destroying the property of the man. All the same things that women who are battered endure from men, men can also endure from women.
Unfortunately, for the man it is extremely embarrassing to let anyone know that he is being beaten up by his spouse, or his girlfriend. And many men allow this, because to fight back would mean she could accuse him of battering her, which would in almost 95% of cases be believed by the police. Years ago, men who battered women got away with it because there were no safeguards in place for the women. No battered women shelters, and the general public had no sympathy for the women. Police did not believe her and churches told her to "be submissive to her husband" and grin and bear it.
But today there is all kinds of help out there for the abused woman. She is believed, she is helped, she is protected, and it all depends on her as to whether or not she will accept and seek out the help that is out there for her. This is not to say that some women still end up being killed by their partners in spite of taking all the right steps.
Men are expected to take responsibility for violence and abuse but no excuses are accepted. Yet when a female is violent society provides a list of excuses: Post-natal depression, stress, PMT, eating disorders, personality disorders, menopause, addictions, childhood traumas, provocation, self-defence, etc. Although most men will be sensitive to these problems, they should not have to suffer violence as a consequence.
In the court room men who are abused face several hurtles. First, they have to prove that they really are a victim, and second, they want to make sure that their children are also protected from the abuse of their wife. Just like women who are abused, men very often remain in an abusive relationship for the sake and protection of their children.
Most men react by stayin silent because it is embarassing and they fear being thought of as not strong enough to handle a woman. They don't want to be made fun of by others and the butt of jokes.
It is extremely hard to prove that the man is the victim when women can claim so many female reasons for their anger. Some of the personality disorders in women that result in men being abused are those women with Borderline Personality Disorder. They can go from being nice to a raging bull in 10 seconds and the man won't even know what he did or did not do.
Some women are just plain selfish, demanding every material item that the man can provide for her and throwing tantrums, and ultimatums if she does not get her way. And women like this use sex as their biggest weapon, with-holding it, or rewarding with sex, if the man does as she wants.
How do men who are being abused react to the violence?
Some men cope and:
They go to another room in the house and lock the door.
Actually leave the house, and go to friends and relatives (without telling the real reason why)
Sleep in another place, like their car, or the basement, or garage, etc.
Give in to her demands and promise to do whatever she asks just to try to keep the peace.
Admit to things they never said or did.
Refuse to admit the partner has been violent for fear of losing her and losing sexual access to her.
Some things that are worth thinking about when you're wondering "Was I abused?" include:
Did she embarrass or humiliate you in front of other people, including your friends or family?
Did she insist that anything you wanted for yourself was selfish and/or wrong?
Did she withhold affection to "punish" you for any violations of her rules?
Did she intimidate you in any way?
Did she threaten you, or threaten to harm herself or anyone else, if/when you left?
Did she force you to ask her for money, or take your money away from you?
Did she have control of the family finances, so you didn't even know what or when money was being spent?
Did she prevent you from taking a job you wanted, or going to school?
Did she force you, either directly or through manipulation, to quit a job you had?
Did she make jokes about her treatment of you, insist that she never did anything to hurt you, or blame you for her behavior?
Did she treat you as if you were her servant?
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Here are some ideas drawn from "It's Not OK Anymore" by Greg Enns and Jan Black