Marriage Missions International

Husband Abuse: Can a Wife Abuse Her Husband?


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When we think of abuse or domestic violence, we don’t often hear or think about the husband being the victim. It’s usually the wife who is the reported sufferer. Yet more and more it’s coming out into the light that many husbands are victims of spousal abuse, as well.

So why don’t we hear about husbands being abused by their wives? David L. Fontes, Psy.D, in the article titled, “Men Don’t Tell” gives insight into several reasons. He writes:

“When a man is a victim of his wife’s physical abuse he is both shamed by the assaults of his wife and shamed by society for not ‘controlling’ her better. Men are considered ‘wimps’ for letting their wives beat them or for complaining about their wives’ attacks. For many men ‘taking it like a man’ means don’t complain and don’t show you are vulnerable or in pain!

“With the prospect of being viewed as ‘wimps’ and/or having the assaults by their wives not believed or minimized by the general public and law enforcement, it’s no wonder few men report their abuse or discuss it openly.”

We, at Marriage Missions, can testify that it’s difficult for men to report their abuse and find help —especially in the Christian community. We’ve received a number of letters from husbands who are dealing with their wives abusive and sometimes very violent behavior. They write that they want to be honorable men and won’t hit or abuse back, but they don’t know what to do to stop their wives from hurting them in these ways.

We’ve tried to find articles —especially Christian articles and web site postings, written on this subject to help them. But there seems to be very, very little help available.

Does that mean that it’s less important to minister to the hurting husband as it is to the hurting wife, even though the numbers “appear” to be less? Should a husband just accept and silently suffer from abusive behavior, if it is directed at him from his wife? No. Abuse is wrong no matter who is victimizing the other, male or female.

Maxine Marz wrote a article titled, “Husband Abuse Erodes Dignity” where she had the following to say on this issue:

“While it is true that most physical assaults caused by women tend to be less severe when compared to a man’s physical assault on a woman with his fist or a weapon, the abusive woman’s slaps, bites, kicks and/or pulling of her partner’s hair are nevertheless still very hurtful because, in addition to subjecting physical pain, they attack the man’s dignity and erode his sense of self-worth. Many men also encounter emotional abuse when their abusive spouse turns to using their children to assert her control over them and their relationship.

“To add insult to injury, some abusive women not only victimize their spouses by abusing them verbally, emotionally, financially and/or physically, but they also attempt to manipulate the criminal justice system in their favour and against their partner. This unconscionable attempt of some abusive women not only re-victimizes their already abused husbands by denying them equal rights and fair protection under the law, but it simultaneously devalues and undermines the admirable progress women’s groups have achieved over the years in trying to protect the rights of legitimately abused wives and their children in the criminal courts.

“It is evident that our society has made positive strides over the years to bring needed attention to domestic abuse and to better protect women from their abusive husbands or partners. Unfortunately, based on what many abused husbands currently experience, we still have a long way to go to afford them with similar protection of their safety and security and to eliminate the current gender bias in our system that re-victimizes them all over again when they step into the legal arena.”

To help bring this type of victimization out into the open, we will provide several web site links to articles that you can read on this subject. We hope that it will not only give voice to their dilemma, but will also help husbands to better protect themselves and put up proper boundaries in the ways that they should.

The following is a Youtube video that shows a little taste of what some men go through as far as abuse. This is not a marriage situation, but a boyfriend/girlfriend one where she is assaulting him in different ways, with part of it being caught on camera. It’s part 1 of a Tyra Banks television show that featured abusive women. The quality of this video isn’t the best, but the content is enlightening. Please watch and you will see a small part of what some men go through:

You know, what struck me about the story featured here is that if that man would have done that to her, and confessed to that type of abuse, I believe with all my heart that the audience would have been outraged. But the woman was absolutely clueless as to the gravity of it all, and the audience didn’t seem as moved, like they would have been if a woman was getting berated and such by the man. If he was hitting on her and acting as she did to him, the outrage over the whole matter would have been ramped up. But because it’s a woman hitting and berating a man, it’s more palatable. It shouldn’t be, because abuse is wrong no matter who commits it, but that’s the way society views that type of thing. This is so, so wrong.

On a further note, the articles linked below, consist of stories of battered men (some being followers of Christ and others who are not) who share their life experiences of being battered by various women. Please read what they have written. Abused men and husbands need to be heard too:



The following articles and blogs are posted on various web sites that deal with the subject of husband abuse and battered men. These articles are not posted on Christian web sites, so please be aware of that. However, we believe they still give good insights and provide a lot of helpful information. We encourage you to glean what is good —that which lines up with Biblical standards, and throw away that which doesn’t apply to your situation and that which the Lord shows you NOT to use. Let the Lord be your guide.

Please click onto the links provided below to read:

MY SPOUSE HITS ME – Can a Wife Abuse Her Husband?


Why Men in Abusive Relationships Remain Silent


We also want to remind husbands to read other articles that are provided on this web site in the “Abuse in Marriage” section. We recognize that they mostly address wives (sorry about that), but we encourage you to ask God to show you how you can apply the advice that is given to your own situation. God can show you what advice you can, and what you shouldn’t or won’t be able to use.

Ask your “Wonderful Counselor” the Holy Spirit to reveal to you how to adapt different advice given, to apply to your particular situation. We hope you will and we hope you will find the help you need. May He help you as you reach out to Him —that is our prayer for you.

This article was compiled by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.


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188 Responses to “Husband Abuse: Can a Wife Abuse Her Husband?”
  1. Dumisani from South Africa says:

    Hi, I’m one of the abused husbands. I’m married and physically abused and I don’t want to hit back.

  2. Amanda from United States says:

    My neighbor was verbally abused by his wife. I would hear her yelling at him. He may have been physically abused but I never saw it. He told others she didn’t love him anymore and drove him nuts. He just hung himself a few days ago.

  3. Anonymous from United States says:

    I have a wife that is passive aggressive, which withholds love and affection. She tells me she loves me but all her body language and behavior, tells me otherwise.

    She experienced CSA and I feel that is a big part of our marriage issues that are never resolved. She minimizes the affect that had on her. She has zero conflict resolution skills. If pressured to discuss our problems, she is hostle/angry but she would much rather practice avoidance. She always finds a way to be the “victim”. She seems to view me as competition. After 30 years of marriage I am contemplating divorce. Has anyone else experienced this type dilemma? Would this be considered abuse?

    • Matt from United States says:

      I am in the exact situation and worst part with my case is she’s with the advise of her mother and step father who live 5000 miles away from us in our country. Constantly create sin and deliberately starts to argue and the shouting and screaming and tries to push me to my limits to get physical with her and the press charges against me in order to kick me out of the house that I purchased before marrying her and has even no equity on it! she works and keeps all the money and do not spend a dime and basically use the house as a free hotel and there is nothing I can do. I asked her million times to sign a settlement agreement and get divorce after 6 months because we do not have any child but she refuses and wants to make it as ugly as possible because she has a sick manipulative mind. In Virginia if there is no child with a settlement agreement you can get divorce otherwise you have to wait and suffer 12 months then court will decide to hear your case.(this is called justice!!) I can not afford to move because the mortgage is under my name and have to pay that plus rent for new place for 12 months even after that it will take a while for judge to order her to move out or not because she won’t be able to finance the house on her name either. I have been taken as a hostage and there is nothing I can do and this situation emotionally and psychologically is killing me and breaking me. I pray God to help me over come this.

  4. Mohamed from Turkey says:

    Worst part of life is when you want to start a new life with a new person and in a new country this girl I met in the USA, while I was with my familly on a vacation couple of months. Later we got to know each other and we got married. After marriage this girl flipped 180. She abused me, raised her hands surprised; she takes kok and marijuana. She has shown me her other face.

    I got hit a lot of times but never complained cuz God is there I had always believe in God. At the end she called the cops on me. They took me. She stole my stuff and ran away and disappeared. My life is destroyed. I left the USA but for bad can’t go back to where I lived and where my family is. I feel abused to death.

  5. Faz from United Kingdom says:

    Hi, I get abused by my wife. She hits me and gives mental abuse all the time. I get accused of cheating when I’m not. Every time I have to show my phone to her to prove it was a customer who texted me and it’s a guy and if it’s a woman then I get slapped in the face. I’m not allowed to go out to see my mates cause they might take me were there are women. If I go to see my parents then I get accused that I go there to call my kids and talk to my ex mrs. If I send presents to my kids she starts breaking things in the house. But I find it hard to leave her. Can anyone help?

  6. Grfefef from United States says:

    Women can’t beat men up. This is all just for a show, so stop posting this false stuff.

    • Jrlh from United States says:

      There are lots of ways to be abused that are not physical abuse. Living day in and day out with someone who criticizes everything that you do…Day in and Day out, You’re an idiot…stupid…If you say “why do you call me stupid?”…You get….”I don’t know why you’re stupid”. Or “I am not going to lie about it.” If you say I Love You…you get, “No you don’t.”…or “that’s nice.”…or, “I don’t like you.”…if you say “yes you do.”…then it’s…”Whatever you want to tell yourself.”

      You can’t do enough for them. You wait on them hand and foot…It does not change how they treat you. They lock their computer but you better not lock yours though. Better not call your kids…Or when your kids do come to visit, you will get in trouble for ignoring her for them.

      I have never cheated on my wife, but I may as well have, because in her mind I have on numerous occasions. Then there is the good…She will treat you like a king on occasion…splurge on you, make you feel like you two are really close…Until the next argument when she tells you she hates you and wishes you were dead. And don’t ever cry in front of her because she will then taunt and ridicule you telling you you are acting like a baby. It is sad….especially when you really do love this person…or at least with the person they have been on occasion.

      • Missy from United States says:

        You are correct. To me mental abuse hurts worse than the physical abuse. Pain goes away after a while when you’re being hit, but mental abuse tears a way at your soul every day. I’m a woman, but I know that men can be abused also. I felt compelled to write you, because I go through this also every day, to the point that I feel I cannot go on another day. I cry almost every day, not because the physical abuse, but the words that he uses to hurt me.

        Don’t be ashamed for the tears you’ve shed out of pain from the person that you love. Those tears show you have a heart and you care. I would have done anything to see emotion from my husband, just to know there was even a little part of love left for me in him. He says he does love me, but what he loves is that he has control over me and he knows that I’m a faithful person, and no matter what he has done to me, I still stay. I stay mostly out of fear, and also the hopes the man I fell in love with will come back to me.

        When we first met, I had my own home, car, and a good job. Slowly I lost everything, and he has all control, to the point I get an argument from him if I even ask for 5 dollars. I’ve been reading a lot of people’s stories from men and women, and when it comes to abuse it doesn’t discriminate when it comes to gender.

        It has changed who I am. I think about how I used to be. I loved the outdoors, water skiing, snow skiing, horses, and a lot more. I coached cheer leading and was involved in community activities. I was so out going, and now I hide from the world. I want so bad to get rid of the pain I feel every day, and I’m scared that person is gone forever. I recently started going back to school through an online college. It has been a blessing to me, because I’ve poured my sadness into school. I am 43, but it has given me hope again for something better. I’ve kept a 4.0 GPA, and it has made me feel better about myself, and is something he hasn’t been able to take from me.

        I hope things will get better for you. I can feel your pain in your writing, and will pray for you. I wish I could help and give you answers on what to do, but I cannot because I haven’t been able to change my own situation. Love to me is loving a person even through their faults. I definitely don’t have that. I hope that I can find the strength to realize that it’s better to start from scratch than to be abused and hurt every day. And whatever you decide that is right for you, I hope you find some peace in your heart and life. God Bless You!

    • Jan from United States says:

      You can’t be serious.

    • Abusivewoman from United States says:

      As an alcoholic for 7 years, but now a recovering alcoholic for several months now, I can personally state that it’s possible for women to beat up men. I abused my husband verbally and mentally EVERY time I drank but it was also common place for me to hit, kick, scratch, and shove him. It took him 7 years of this abuse and my older sons (all outweigh me and are taller) for him to lose it and hit me back. The police were called by a neighbor and the police arrested my husband for fighting back when I attacked him with a hard plastic bottle of condiment beating him on the head and face.

      Try to tell anyone that I started it or he protected himself from an out of control drunk and all I hear is that I’m a victim and it’s natural for me to claim fault or enable him!!! Sadly, his arrest sobered me up, but it will take me a lot of time to forgive myself, if ever.

      We were together 24 years without him ever hurting me or anyone, clean record of any crime in his life. Now we’re kept apart by court order until they settle the matter in court and maybe even after that. So unless you know what you’re talking about, probably better to stay silent than to speak of things you have no experience with. (Grfefef)

      • BIP from United States says:

        Accountability. Thank you for sharing your story, I am involved with a batterer’s Intervention program and it is refreshing to see offender’s of spousal/partner abuse take full responsibility of their actions. There is a growth in the percentage of reports of Men who are battered. Your story of alcohol driven assaults are unfortunately very common in Domestic Violence cases as well as the legal outlook of the circumstances of the men being charged as the aggressor. Education and awareness is the key to change. Violence against another person is wrong PERIOD.

    • Chris David from United States says:

      I wish that was true but I swear on my life it’s far from not. I’ve been with my wife 3 years now and we recently got married. Since the marriage it’s gotten worst. 2 weeks before thanksgiving I had to get stitches over my left eye and also had a busted mouth. Before this I had a black eye. Her family knew about it and laughed. I guess they figured because I’m much older and I work out I should be able to handle it.

      I’ve been verbally, emotionally, physically and even financially abused by her and the saddest thing is that I can’t let her go. If I try to break up with her she throws things, destroys stuff in the house, and if I walk away she attacks me even worse. Her family now thinks I’m the abusive one because I actually hit her back the last time when I got the stitches, so now everyone thinks I’m the abuser. Her brother witnessed her in action a few months back but his loyalty is to his sister so it doesn’t matter.

      Her best friend and 2 of my closest friends witnessed her attacking me after a night out and they couldn’t believe it; they we’re shocked. I love her and as foolish as it may sound I will always stick by my wife because when times are good we have the best times together. She comes from a broken home and had had a horrible upbringing. I know this is no excuse but she does love me, she just had this uncontrollable anger. So as for your comment I swear to you is very much true!

    • Andrew from Australia says:

      I have recently extricated myself from a very toxic situation which lasted three years. Despite both of us having flaws, my second wife appeared to be an ideal partner for me. She was generous, kind, understanding and supportive. We were in mutually agreed upon counselling to deal with past family issues, particularly abuse by her ex-husband upon her and her children.

      Sadly, however, she began to verbally abuse me, lost all interest in my life and goals, broke important promises she had made prior to the wedding and maintained a “so what?” attitude when I complained about any of this. The abuse began as psychological and verbal, including unprovoked swearing, put-downs in front of her children and our friends, accusations of infidelity and so on. Between these outbursts were times of calm and even happiness, but I came to dread her next outburst. It seemed inevitable, regardless of any strategies employed to calm her when she started to act aggressively.

      Her preferred times of abuse were just after I had fallen asleep, when I woke up or at the dinner table in front of the children. The saddest thing was watching the kids, who seemed to regard her behaviour as normal, even somehow comforting. I left several times, only to be enticed back by more promises; acknowledgment of the abuse and a commitment to “try harder”, remorse, even begging. Month by month, the abuse became worse, rising to slapping and hitting. Finally, she spat in my face and told me to go and die with my father. I left. Even after this final insult she continued to contact me, trying to get me to come back to her. She regards herself as a victim, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

      Many professionals maintain a belief that any woman’s violence is the “fault of men”. So, of course, she can’t get help to address her problems, since even professionals won’t acknowledge the real problem. This in turn means I can never return to a woman I love, despite everything she put me through. Until family violence is acknowledged as a HUMAN problem, not a GENDER problem, there will be little resolution in situations such as this.

  7. Chris from United States says:

    I cheated on my wife in revenge for her hitting me. How do we fix our marriage?

  8. Battered Husband from Australia says:

    For the last 7 years I have been emotionally, verbally and more recently physically abused by my wife. Last year I called the police seeking advice on where to turn for help and as I as on the phone she started punching me non-stop. I didn’t dare respond for fear I would be arrested. The police were sent around and they placed a domestic violence protection order on her telling her to be of good character or she would be arrested next time. She has abused me again and even worse since then and it’s every time her period comes.

    I know she has Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and birth control pills helped, but she refuses to believe she has a problem and stopped taking them; since then the attacks have intensified. I’ve been a missionary and had a successful film & television career. I’ve lost my business because of all her demands for finances and sending money back to her family.

    I finally gave myself a heads up when to expect her period and sure enough right on cue she starts acting out again. I ended up being punched and kicked and almost sent through glass french doors, she also kicked the coffee table and sent a glass flying to the floor where it smashed to smithereens all around my feet. Thankfully I wasn’t injured, but it took me half an hour to get over to the sofa safely. I’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes and I have to look after my feet or else it could end up in amputation.

    The worst part is she doesn’t think she has a problem and is a professional victim.

  9. Bill from United States says:

    I’ve been going through a lot of problems with who is now my ex and I am still going through them. She has managed to get the police on her side in this problem and I have been arrested. It started off with a judge giving her a restraining order against me but allowing her to drink at a bar 200 feet from my house and hanging out at cleaning her clothes when they offer that at her apartment. The back door opens up to the front of my house and the drive by around my house with eyes witness her pulling in my driveway to most recently her sending me a naked picture of herself. The police won’t do anything about it. Instead they threaten me with another arrest. I need help; I’m not sure where to turn from here.

  10. Jon from United States says:

    I am a disabled man, and I am verbally, emotionally, financially abused.

  11. James from United States says:

    Hello my name is James,in 2012 I met a woman online and she seamed to be very kind sweet and loving. Since day one she kept putting pressure for me to marry her,then in November she sent me in the mail a marriage license application. I had never been married before and I wanted to be married but I wanted to get to know someone first. Well she didn’t want to wait, and when I told my family I might be getting married and that thought it might be good, they told me not to trust her because we had never met in person.

    I should have walked away from her, but I fell in love. Then a childhood friend of me and my family told me they where going to take me up to Manchester Iowa where she lived so I could marry her. I was told by everyone not to do it but I did. I quit my job to go up with them and we arrived on the 17th of December 2012 Sally Ann and I were married by judge in the court house. For the first couple of weeks everything was fine then it seamed like all at once she started arguing with me. I wasn’t looking for work, I didn’t love her, I wasn’t taking care of her and paying all the bills. It was her apartment provided by the city as she was on disability. She is a very unhealthy woman and takes a whole drawer full of pills from her doctor.

    It’s been getting worse ever since I recently lost my job and all the time when I was working she kept trying to get me to quit my job because the managers where very abusive to me there too and getting it at home too I couldn’t do my job without worry of being fired or kicked out of my home by my wife or fired from my job.

    Ever since I was terminated my wife has been very hateful and abusive to me. I feel like walking on egg shells no matter what I do. I don’t even want to be here but I have nowhere to turn. What can I do? I need help! What can I d? Please tell me, James

  12. Eugene from United States says:

    I need help. I have no where to go. I have no family to help. My wife left me (abandoned) in 2010 for another man. In 2012 I lost my job, my home and my car. I have no other family so my wife allowed me to stay on her couch, where I’ve been since. She makes me pay $300 a week to stay at her house. She uses comments saying I’m doing it for my daughter but I need personal supplies and meds for my health and she goes bipolar on me. She uses guilt trips on me.

    I’ve got bills I need to pay and IRS issues to tend to but she finds every reason why she needs all my money. I have a car that needs fixed but she won’t allow me to save money to fix it. All I do is work 60 hours a week and come home. I don’t go anywhere unless she takes me or I walk. She doesn’t care about me. All she cares about is the money. I can’t live this way but I have no way to get out because of no money. Help me get help.

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