Husband Abuse: Can a Wife Abuse Her Husband?

Dollar Photo - Psychotic WomanWhen 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 is written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.


Filed under: Abuse in Marriage

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244 responses to “Husband Abuse: Can a Wife Abuse Her Husband?

  1. I’m kind of stuck right now. I’m in a wheelchair and I’m unable to walk. I’ve been pushed while I’m in my chair, kicked, bitten, and called a n_gger in front of my daughter. My wife call the police after I yelled at her and she was “scared”. Even tho she was acting bold calling me that. She got defensive when I called her out for never spending family time together. Always friends going to the bar/club, coming over, on the phone, snap chatting. Etc I would always put our daughter to sleep and read with her, and she’d always ask me, when’s mommy coming home?? Good question, (you’ll see her tomorrow morning…) the designated child care taker.

    We just had our 7 year anniversary. We haven’t celebrated by going out yet cuz she works but she has time to go out to the bar yesterday with a friend, and this very second even with other friends while I sit at home alone hoping I can find someone who wants to spend their time with me, not say be right back and show up home at 1:30 – 2:00am like everything’s cool. I mean am I insane? I tell her I don’t want this type of life and she just continues acting like a college student who doesn’t have a 7 yr marriage to maintain. All of her friends are bisexual or lesbian females who are either single and hooking up or are all about women’s power and put men down because of their inadequate boyfriends.

    Does anyone understand that if I could stand up and stretch my legs real good, I would kick her? Does anyone go through similar isolation, mental, emotional, physical, and financial abuse? I’m literally exploited because of my health and forced to be in isolation with pretty much no human interaction all day.

    1. Sorry to hear that brother. I’ve been dealing with a mentally unstable substance abuser, and we had a child last year. I’ve suffered psychological, emotional, and sometimes physical abuse from her, as a result of her substance abuse getting worse. I tried standing by and pleading daily, for months, for her to get help, but she refused, unless I allowed her to take our baby daughter with her to a facility. She claimed we’d be gone when she got out, if she went, which makes no sense. Why would we put up with nearly a year of abuse, just to leave when she’s doing the right thing for her family?

      I found her stealing my medication and trading them for other prescription medication, even bringing our daughter with her to get them. Enough was enough. I told her the weekend of Father’s Day, that if she would not get help, or leave until she did, we were going to go rent a motel room until she did. She was quiet and distant on Father’s Day, and when I woke up Monday, she had left with my baby already. She text me all day… She was at a doctor appointment, went shopping, went to a church thing that night… Last contact was 9pm. I got worried and called police, thinking they got into an accident on the way home. Instead of, “your family is safe”, I was served a Protection from Abuse Order, for BOTH my wife and daughter! She claimed I was hitting her, and she “feared for their lives”, a guarantee to get a PFA approved.

      I haven’t seen my daughter in over a week, since I went to bed on Father’s Day. I missed her first birthday this passed Sunday. All because I said enough was enough. Getting this temp PFA grants temporary FULL custody, so I have zero say. I called Child Protective Services, and because she’s in treatment, supervised in an abuse shelter, they say my daughter isn’t in immediate danger, though it is a high risk situation, they can’t act. My wife recorded us arguing, but only my yelling, not hers. She stole rent, and hid a nearly $3,000 debt from me, got arrested for stealing, and I paid her fine so she wouldn’t go to jail; she never took care of the home, or worked to help financially, I was abused daily by this woman, and dealt with it in hopes she’d finally get help. When I finally spoke up, and stood my ground, she stole my child and screwed me. Shes using a DV organization to help her kidnap my kid. They are helping the abuser go after her victim.

      I found out why she actually lost her other two daughters in her last relationship. I always wondered how her ex had them, if he abused her, like she told me. It was because he caught her using drugs and selling his stuff, stealing rent money. When he confronted her, just as I did, she did the SAME thing to him!!! Those involved in that case are stepping forward to help me now, but it still hurts. She knew I went through 9 years of an abusive relationship when we meet years ago, and she claimed the same. She manipulated me. She used me. She said she couldn’t abuse me, because I’m a 6′ tall, 250lb man, and she’s a tiny girl.

      I feel where you’re coming from. I’m sorry you have to put up with that. Really though, you don’t. I wanted to stay, to have faith she’d get better, to give my baby two stable parents in life, but that isn’t in either my, or my daughter’s best interest anymore, because it just won’t happen, because she won’t own what she did and is doing. As my counselor said, she needs someone to be the bad guy, and she chose me for that role, but I’m going to fight like hell for my baby girl Thiea. I’m not giving up, and I’m not sitting quiet, enabling three abuse anymore.

      I hope you stand up too. (Sorry if that’s bad wording… Just remembered you’re a wheelchair. You know what I mean though.)

  2. My wife mentally abuses me and tells me what I can and can not do, especially when it comes to meeting my friends. Is this right? She also makes me feel down trodden when I speak to other women. I gave a female neighbour a lift home the other night and she made me sit on the “naughty step” and didn’t talk to me all night. Can someone tell me if this is normal?

  3. Mine is similar to Joseph’s comments. Eighteen months into our marriage, I have suffered verbal and physical assaults from my spouse who shares the same first name and birth month with me. Her abysmal attitudes don’t portray a virtuous woman described in the Bible. She is not submissive at all and wants to dominate in all areas. Despite attending to all domestic needs and pay huge medical bills that cover both of us and our 1yr 4mth old girl, she never contempted. At present, she has stopped dishing my meals on the dinning table, rather she cooks her food alone and stores some in the flasks. Painfully, she extends her foul languages to my parents and other siblings. Though filing a divorce case may not be an option for now, I will rigorously talk to her senses and pray to God for divine intervention.

  4. I feel terrible & broken hearted. I was physically abusive towards my husband. He finally got tired and left home 10 days ago. I am so sorry & I will never do such thing again. I’ve admitted I need help and I’m starting counseling next week. I really love him and want him to come back home. I’m so sad right now.

  5. My name is Jay, and I am an abused husband. My wife is extremely and impulsively aggressive in her abuse towards me. Verbally, physically, emotionally and often calculating in her attacks. She uses information of my past, uses the children, and often anything that she doesn’t agree with. She also uses silence and rejection to control my emotions throughout many days never apologizing and often stating that was because of her frustrations and that I should take it like a man. I take it because I never wanted her to get in trouble, because of the children. I’ve lost my job, my home and connections to family members, because everyone think it’s my fault. I love my wife dearly. And my only desire is that we could get help. I feel lost in our situation, Due to the fact that I do feel disrespected, emasculated. I just don’t know what to do. Even with evidence of abuse, scratches to my face, neck and arms law officials offered no help for me, and even charged me with domestic abuse. I can’t believe that a man of God or any man should be subject to this abuse and forced to accept these conditions.