You’re in fear. You get hit when you make mistakes. You're shouted at. You're called names. She doesn't listen, reason or compromise.
She denys all blame and you're constantly accused of things you didn't do.
You're computer or phone is being monitored.
You're scared you'll lose the kids and your money.
The list goes on and on...
Domestic abuse towards men is a big issue. It's real & it's happeneing. However sadly, it's not the focus of the public eye.
No one has ever wanted (nor wished) to be in a relationship that purposely hurts and harms them. In the event that you detect a seemingly red flag from your partner, heed the warning and take a pause - think. The earlier you take steps to ensure this never happens again, or you completely exit the relationship, the better.
How to men & women differenciate when it comes to abuse?
Looking at the behaviour of school children is a simplified way of understanding how men and women differ from each other when it comes to abusive behaviour.
Males, being physically stronger & bigger than females, are more likely to use physical violence as the primary choice of abuse towards other kids or teenagers. It's the obvious 'go-to' solution, for a boy child who wishes to inflict harm on someone else or to defend himself.
Girls on the other hand, tend to use different methods. They can gossip, lie, cause all kinds of reputational damage, play mind games, isolate, destroy someones integrity, try to get their enemy into 'trouble' by authority or parents, and/or gang up together in groups to completely emotionally break their target victim. This kind of abuse is just as damaging, if not potentially worse than physical abuse. Yet our system doesn't do very much to address this kind of behaviour.
If this behaviour isn't dealt with, as it often isn't by parents, the educational system or the police, and it's carried into adult life, the female may believe it's a normal & acceptable way to behave. Not only this, but her peers and parents may also see very little wrong in how she behaves. It's ok for her to be a 'bossy little queen' that 'gets what she wants'. Forgetting or simply not caring about the toll it takes on men.
To make a safe and accurate assessment of your current situation, learn more of the possible types and signs of abuse that you might encounter as a man, perpetrated by a woman or man against you.
Why men don’t leave & don't report abusive relationships
Ending a relationship can be extremely difficult. There are so many unknowns and it's even harder if your partner is an abusive one, as you could be isolated from friends & family, threatened, stolen from, manipulated, controlled physically or beaten down mentally. Sadly you may also be at risk of facing false allegations, arrested by the police and losing access to your children.
Many men feel they have to continue with this level of abuse because:
They feel ashamed - It can be very embarrasing for a man to admit this to anyone. It's extremely damaging to his self-esteem and masculinity, and he may feel like a failure as a father, partner or parent. He will not want other people to know what seems like a failure in his own mind.
Religious beliefs - can compell you to stay or your self-worth is so low that you believe you can't progress or achieve anything else.
Lack of resources for men - Some men don't believe that the authorities will believe them, or that they won't be taken seriously. There are also not many resources out there to support men in this situation however there are many for women - that's why we exist. This can lead to an increased feeling of 'they will win anyway' or 'what's the point'.
Denial - Denying that there is a problem in your relationship will only make the abuse continue longer. The male may still love their partner dearly especially during the good times, and feel that they must give them more chances to change, or believing all the sorrys that come afterwards.
They worry about their children - Obtaining custody of children is always an extremely difficult process for fathers, but even if you are confident that you can do so, you may still feel scared at the prospect of raising them alone. It's important to speak to others who can help you, and don't suffer alone.
Find out more about 'How To Prepare For a Breakup' HERE.
● Physical Abuse
A review by Archer (2000) & many other studies have commonly that found women were slightly more likely to use physical aggression than men in a relationship; however, men were more likely to inflict an injury. This illustrates that many women are not only suffering with anger problems and do not know how to deal with their own behaviours, but also that many many are simply 'taking it' and absorbing the abuse in silence.
It's possible that you habe been kicked, pushed, scratched, slapped, shoved aside, or your furniture and personal items may have been damaged.
Qualifying as physical abuse, it’s best to solve this aggression by calmly discussing and talking things out and seeking help from the police or other professionals if necessary. If you're a man, and your woman strikes you, you should always report it to the police.
Emotional abuse is any non-physical behavior or attitude that is designed to control, subdue, punish, or isolate another person through the use of humiliation or fear (Engel, 2002). Acts such as name-calling, fault-finding, accusing and talking about all your negative aspects can be classed as emotional abuse. Ridiculing you in front of others, gossiping or intentionally trying to destroy your self-esteem is also classed as emotional abuse.
A report by Gunnar Karakurt & Kristin E. Silver concluded that the effects of emotional abuse are just as detrimental as the effects of physical abuse.
● Psychological & verbal
The kind of abuse your partner may do can also be verbal or psychological. Manipulation, illogical mood swings, shaming, and suspicions out of excessive jealousy prove to be the most hurtful and harmful. These emotional challenges are, most of the time, subtle and less detected. However, signs include constantly being lied to, being ignored, and being threatened by your partner.
In 2018, the Mankind Initiative (a charity in the UK), registered that approximately one out of six men experience abuse in their lifetime. Unfortunately, it has also been reported that only one out of 20 will seek help to deal with it meaning that the reported figure of one in six is actually not very accurate and it's highly likely that the number of men suffering is far higher.
You’ve “surrendered” your credit card, and you already pledged each and every pay check that will ever come in your life. Is your partner being too restrictive on money matters? Are you prevented from using your own money? Some partners do confiscate their wives’ or husbands’ credit cards and bank statements. Without good reason, this is a sign of financial abuse.
It's time to break the silence and start taking action.
Other acts commonly perpetrated against men include:
Threatening to leave you and prevent you from seeing your kids. "If you leave me, you're leaving the kids too!" or "You're not going to see your kids again"
Making false allegations about you to your friends, employers, or the police, in an attempt to destroy your reputation, credibility and chances of seeing your children.
Belittling or ridiculing you in front of friends, colleagues, family, or on social media.
Being possessive, acting jealous, or harassing you with accusations of cheating
Taking away your car keys or medications, tringy to control where you go and who you see.
Trying to control how you spend money or deliberately defaulting on joint financial obligations.