Are you a man in an abusive relationship?
Anger and conflict can be a part of any relationship, but what if things get out of hand? What if your partner gets so angry that things turn abusive and/or violent? What could be considered normal behaviour in a relationship and what is abusive?
Does your partner:-
- Keep a constant “track” on all of your time?
- Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
- Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
- Prevent you from going to work?
- Criticise you for the most insignificant things?
- Fly into a rage when drinking or on drugs?
- Control all your finances and force you to account in for every penny you spend?
- Humiliate you and put you down in front of other people?
- Destroy your personal or sentimental property?
- Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you?
- Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
- Threaten to hurt you or the children or themselves if you don’t do what they say?
- Force you to have sex against your will?
If you have said yes to any one of the above then you may be a victim of domestic abuse.
Victims of domestic abuse come from all walks of life — all cultures, all income groups, all ages, and all religions. Many men who are victims experience feelings of helplessness, isolation, guilt, fear, and shame. They hope it won’t keep happening, but usually it does. It’s a pattern that once it starts very rarely stops.
The problem is more commonplace than you think because many men do not speak up about it. They fear they’ll be considered a wimp or not a “real” man.
Some women (as some men) can be incredibly controlling and violent. There have been many jokes over the years about angry wives and rolling pins but for some men this isn’t a joke its reality.
They don’t speak out because they feel ashamed of what’s happening. They worry about what people would think if they knew. They cover up by saying it’s a private matter – it belongs in the family.
They also worry if they say anything, that she’ll tell everyone that he’s the abusive one and shame him in public. Moreoften it is the woman who is believed.
Sometimes they feel helpless and ashamed that they’re not strong enough to defend themselves.
Men are also less likely to call the police, even when there is injury, because, like women, they feel shame about disclosing family violence. For many men, the shame is compounded by the embarrassment of not being able to keep their wives under control.
If a man’s self worth has been eroded he may believe that he deserves it or he may justify the situation saying that it’s not really that bad. Sometimes he still really loves his wife and doesn’t think he will cope without her.
Another reason for staying in an abusive relationship is to protect the children. Research shows that women (and men) with anger problems who assault their partners are likely to assault their children, too. If he leaves, there may be a chance he’ll never be able to come back. There’s a possibility that she’ll be able to allege that he has assaulted her or assaulted or even sexually abused the children, and get a protection order on her say-so, barring him from seeing his children.
The whole situation can be confusing, painful and incredibly difficult.
If you’re a victim of domestic violence and don’t know where to turn then please get in touch. I offer a completely confidential, supportive space for you to consider and talk through your options.