Husband Abuse: Can a Wife Abuse Her Husband?

Dollar Photo - Psychotic WomanWhen we think of domestic violence, we don’t often hear about husbands being abused. It’s usually the wife who is the reported sufferer. Yet, it’s being revealed that there are many husbands who are the victims of spousal abuse.

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.”

Yes, Husband Abuse DOES Happen

We, at Marriage Missions, can testify that many, many husbands are the victims of abuse, more than people realize. Part of this is because it’s difficult for men to report their abuse and find help —especially in the Christian community. We’ve received a number of emails from husbands who are dealing with their wives abusive behavior. They write that they want to be honorable men and won’t 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, written on this subject to help. But there seems to be very, very little help available for abused husbands.

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.

This article is written to give abused husbands a voice that is MUCH needed and overdue.

Different Types of Attacks

Maxine Marz wrote a Metronews.ca 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. But still, the abusive woman’s slaps, bites, kicks and/or pulling of her partner’s hair are nevertheless very hurtful. 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 spouse uses their children to assert her control over the 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. 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. We need to eliminate the current gender bias in our system that re-victimizes them all over again when they step into the legal arena.”

Out in the Open

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 it will help husbands to better protect themselves.

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:

Different Standards

You know, what struck me about the featured story is that if that man would have been the abuser, 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. Plus, the audience didn’t seem as moved, like they would have been if a woman was getting berated by the man. If he was acting as she did to him, the outrage 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. And yet, that’s the way society views that type of thing. This is so, so wrong.

Stories of Battered Men

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

ABUSED MEN SPEAK OUT

BATTERED MEN: MEN’S PERSONAL STORIES

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. Please be aware of that. However, we believe they 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 then throw away that, which doesn’t apply to your situation. As you pray, the Lord will show you what 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?

MALE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

— ALSO —

I KNOW MEN ARE BATTERED: 
Why Men in Abusive Relationships Remain Silent

HELP FOR BATTERED MEN

Read, Even if the Article Needs to Be Adapted

In addition, please read other articles that are provided on this web site in the “Abuse in Marriage” topic. They mostly address wives who are victimized by husbands. (Sadly, it’s difficult to find info that addresses husbands who are victimized.) Even so, we encourage you to ask God to show you how  to apply the advice that is given to your own situation. God can show you what advice you can use, and what you shouldn’t, or won’t be able to use.

We hope you 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.

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Comments

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

  1. My wife began slowly, a punch in the arm here and there and worked her way to my face and even testicles. We as men reinforce this behavior with empty threats of leaving and calling the cops. One evening she hit me, I stated I was calling the police, she ran and locked herself in the bathroom; needless to say I did not call the cops like I should have!!! I did walk outside to peek in the very large open window to find her looking in the mirror PUNCHING HERSELF IN THE MOUTH!!!! One can only imagine why? That new fat lip would have been blamed on me if the cops had really arrived and my butt would have been locked up!! She accuses me daily of cheating because I have female friends!! She states daily how much she hates me! Tells me she hopes I die in a car accident or heart attack (ha! I’ve had both) all in front of my children!! She slams and breaks thing’s in rage! One day my kittens head in the door who was following her! Blood splattered everywhere including my 8 year old daughter! This is very real!!!!! Every person has a breaking point…I pray she never meets mine!! Being a codependent sucks.

    1. My wife says the same things to me how much she hates me and she wishes I was dead. When she’s not drinking she’s a completely different person. I don’t know how much longer I can hang on; I just don’t know what to do anymore.

  2. I’m dealing with this issue now, but its a slippery slope. Even refraining your wife from striking you can be viewed as abusive on the man’s end. The verbal abuse, it was unreal. I never grew up in that environment so it was shocking for things to go south during those moments. I regret it the most.

  3. To Whom It May Concern: I have been trying my hardest to reach out for help. I’ve been screaming from the top of my lung but I’m still sinking in darkness.

    My name is Du Hua and I am an injured Navy veteran. I escaped from the communists of Vietnam with eleven attempts and finally found the freedom in America in 1982. I was so grateful of my new country and I believed that in order to show my attitude and appreciation toward my new motherland, it was my duty to help protect the freedom and democracy in America so I enlisted the US-Navy. I served multiple deployments but I was so unfortunate to get injured on the line of duty. I had to get out of the US-Navy with honorable medical discharge. It saddened my heart and soul to leave my Navy. I’m now a Disabled American Veteran.

    I had to fight with my life to take care and keep my family’s survival. I went back to school and got a new job, working extremely hard to provide for my big family of five. I was so proud of my accomplishments but the chronic pains from my injury got worse to a point that I had to give up my new career. This has turned my life upside down with severe depression.

    To make the matters even more serious was that I was forced to live under the controlling, disrespect and abuse by my own wife because of my physical state for many years. She even used violence and she showed her brutality toward me on many occasions and even in front of our toddler son at that time.

    This darkness has been following me for many years and all this time has caused my feelings that my life is not worth living. My life is still in the deep sadness and my daily feelings are still in deep trouble. I’m reaching out to you for help. I believe many wounded and injured veterans out there have the same struggle. Please help me to have a voice so many other veterans could learn and be aware that they are not alone! I truly believe this is the only way for me to get healed! Thank you for listening and please help! Sincerely, Du Hua

    1. Dear Du Hua, We are so sorry for all you have had to endure…and continue to endure. The way you phrase your story you make it sound like you are no longer under the influence of the wife who had abused you. Nonetheless, you are still experiencing the repercussions from all of the the trauma you’ve experienced in your life. I may be asking the obvious, but have you exhausted possible help from the V-A? I know there are “good” V-A hospitals and then there are some bad ones that don’t provide all of the different kinds of help that you need. Unfortunately, Du, we here at Marriage Missions are not equipped to do much to provide what you so desperately need right now. But we know where you can go to start to find the help. Call Focus On The Family during normal business hours at 1-800-A-FAMILY. Explain to the operator you are a disabled vet and need to speak with a counselor. They have an excellent counseling department and even have a division especially for military people, including vets. They can also point you to resources/counselors in your area who specialize in what you need (including dealing with spousal abuse).

      There’s also a web site you may be able to find some additional support relating to the abuse issues: http://www.Batteredmen.com This web site provides information and support for men who have been abused by women. They give personal encouragement to men in helping them to heal and grow in their many roles as men, husbands, fathers, and mentors. This is not a Christian web site, but appears to be a very helpful one. We encourage you to glean what the Lord shows you to use and leave alone whatever is not useful and helpful, as the Holy Spirit leads in your personal situation.

      I wish we could do more to help you, Du Hua. You have given much to our country and we are so grateful for your service and you deserve to receive the best care possible. I hope these few suggestion prove to be the start of getting you to the right place for the right help. Blessings!

  4. I have found this site a blessing as a man. I got married for first time at 58 to a Christian woman a godly woman. Married over 3 years. Had financial abuse and stopped that. She lost her job for medical reasons after “I do”. Now the verbal abuse. No groups out there for men.

    1. So sorry Greg, that you find yourself in this place. I’m glad this article has helped you (as well as the web site). You are SO right that there isn’t help for men who suffer from abuse, even though we have seen that there is a lot of husband abuse happening. That is literally a crying shame. I pray the Lord opens your wife’s eyes. That DOES happen sometimes. I hope that happens for you.

  5. I was married to an abusive wife for 19 years. I am currently married to my second wife, and we have been married for 18 years. I am a retired, 70% service-connected disabled U.S. Navy veteran. I receive over $1800 in military retirement and VA disability compensation every month. I also have a part-time job as an instructor for a local recreation center close to my home. My wife and I also started an organic gardening business this year. The income for a start-up business is questionable, at best, during the first couple of years.

    I am working so hard doing all these things -and I can do more productive work in one hour than most people go in five hours -that I am been fatigued beyond my limits. My wife’s continual demand that I get more paying work at another part-time job has been wearing in me, as well. I’ve spent the entire growing season prepping our 6 gardens, tending and caring for them, while she works as a caregiver for disabled clients. The gardening is grueling work, especially with my disabilities. My back is always in pain. But my wife’s insistence that it is necessary for us to work so hard because we have to get out of debt (we are utilizing Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball technique), is taking its toll on my health.

    Last Tuesday, I had a doctor’s appointment where I wanted her to determine why my neck and upper back pain was above the normal range (this is one of my disabilities). I also noticed that the tip of my tongue was numb. When I told her about my symptoms, she suggested that I had a pinched nerve and to take ibuprofen and get some rest.

    I went home, took some ibuprofen, but it didn’t make a dent in my pain level. So, I took some cyclobenzaprine later that afternoon and went to bed. Two days later, on Veterans’ Day, after taking cyclobenzaprine for those two days, I woke up with the right side of my face feeling numb. I began to wonder what was happening to me. I noticed that I couldn’t blink or close my right eye, I couldn’t chew my food in the right side of my mouth and everything on the right side of my face wasn’t working right – actually, it wasn’t working at all.

    I called the VA’s Nurses’ Hotline. When I told the nurse my symptoms she said that I needed to get to the Denver VA Hospital’s ER as soon as possible. She said that it was either a stroke or Bell’s Palsy. I hung up the phone and told my wife what the nurse said. My wife replied, “You’re not having a stroke!” She kept repeating this to me, as if she had the qualifications to determine whether I was having a stroke or not, which she doesn’t. She is a caregiver only.

    I told her that my stress level was so high lately that I was concerned that it could be a stroke, to which she replied, “What are YOU so stressed out about?!?!” I replied, “You are the reason I am so stressed out. Your constant badgering about getting a part time job, when I have been working so hard around the house and the gardens, making sure that they were productive enough for this year’s harvest and sales, has pushed me over the edge!”

    She got so angry at me, she started yelling at me about me getting a part time job, all the while the right hand side of my face is drooped and useless. She continued yelling at me and took me straight home and left me there, then went to pick up her client at work. I was so upset at her, I texted her and told her that I would find my own way to the ER. I then called a Christian buddy and asked if he would take me to the Denver VA Hospital’s ER. He said he would, and a short time later, he picked me up and took me to the hospital.

    I was in the ER for 5 hours. While I was there being treated, my wife texted me and asked me where I was. I told her I was at the ER and that my friend had taken me. No reply. The ER did a CT scan, an EKG and blood work, and determined (thank God) that I hadn’t had a stroke, but that I did have Bell’s Palsy. They prescribed prednisone, daily eye drops and nightly eye ointment, to keep my right eye moist because it wouldn’t close by itself.

    On Monday, I had a follow up appointment with my doctor. When she found out how long it took for me to get to the ER, no matter what the final diagnoses was, she was NOT a happy camper! She told me emphatically that in the future, if I were EVER to have any sign of facial paralysis again, I was to go IMMEDIATELY to the ER, and my wife’s opinion in that matter didn’t count. To this day, my wife will not admit that she did anything wrong, either in her insistence that I wasn’t having a stroke, or in her lack of care for me in my condition. I have been told by FOUR medical professionals that IF I HAD been having a stroke, a part-time job probably would never be happening for me in this lifetime, based on how slowly I had gotten to the ER.

    My concern is this: why is it more important for my wife to pay closer attention to me getting a part-time job, rather than to my health? Being a 70% disabled veteran doesn’t even matter to her. Money is all she thinks about.

    Now, I am sleeping on the couch because she won’t admit that she had any responsibility for not getting me to the ER in a timely fashion (we are a one-car family). She still emphatically states that I wasn’t having a stroke, even up to an hour ago, as if that justifies her behavior. I am so completely exhausted, that even after only working for one hour in the garden today, I could barely stand up. I called the VA’s Nurses’ Hotline again this afternoon and the nurse told me to “rest.” Period. My wife, in the other hand, simply wants me busy, busy, busy. No rest for the weary. I am wondering who I am now married to and if this woman I am now married to just wants me dead. When I pray and ask the Lord what HE wants me to do, all I hear is, “Rest in me! Just rest!”

    How can I rest in my condition without having my wife insist that I get up and get working on the gardens or go get a job delivering pizzas? Please help!

  6. Ok, I’m so not sure where to begin? I was in a relationship w/my girlfriend/fiancé. She abused me physically, hit, slapped, punched, kicked, struck with objects causing black eyes, bruises, and bleeding. I can recall 9 times I bled. I started taking pictures. What can I do legally, if anything? I have moved out.

    1. I’m not sure if you can do anything legally. It’s your word against hers (even with pictures) because you didn’t call the police when it happened. You can read from other comments here that women can get away with MUCH more of this than men can. People don’t give men the sympathy and help they need with this type of thing… so sorry. It should never be. Abuse is abuse, no matter who does it –a man or a woman. The only thing I could say is to stay as far away from her as you can. She’s toxic. Pity and pray for the next man who is with her. He will have his hands full. I’m glad you’re in a safer place away from her. Make better choices the next time you get involved with someone.