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- Social Issues
Does your wife, or girlfriend beat on you?
my wife is a big bully!
When your wife hits you, who is to blame?
When most people hear a story about a husband suffering abuse at the
hands of his wife, they tend to not believe that such a thing could
exist. Sure, they might believe that a woman can get a little
difficult, especially during a certain time of the month, where
hormonal imbalances can play havoc on her nerves and stress level. But
to the point of actually intentionally abusing her husband either
mentally or physically? It is hard for some to believe; yet, it does
happen more often than we think.
The main reason why this type of abuse is not openly discussed is because with it comes the stigma of being perceived as a weak man, something most men would do anything to avoid. That is probably the number one reason why most men just take the abuse without seeking help. But there is much more at play than simple emasculation, and the sooner an abused husband realizes this and plans a course of action, the better his chances are of coping with and surviving spousal abuse.
The first thing a husband should do is make an attempt to rule out any medical etiology for his wife’s aggressive behavior. There are a number of physiological and/or psychological conditions that can cause a person, male or female, to act aggressively, and therefore, a trip to the family doctor may help to either explain or rule out a medical condition from the start. Of course, since, in most abuse cases, the abuser has the upper hand, it may be difficult to get the wife to go along with a suggestion to see a doctor for behavior which she, herself, is not willing to acknowledge. In those cases, the husband should make an appointment to see the family doctor without the wife present. He must be prepared to be as upfront about the situation at home as possible, so that the doctor is aware of what he/she is dealing with. Then, gently, but firmly, the doctor can take the reins and talk to the wife about having some tests done without the wife knowing she has been “outed” by her husband.
In line with the above suggestion, it is important for the husband to know that he is not alone and although this type of abuse is not nearly as common as husband-upon-wife abuse, it still is something that all doctors are aware of and therefore, telling your doctor allows you to take the first step toward acknowledging there is a problem and being able to talk to someone about it. While a course of action is being determined for testing the wife, the doctor may recommend that the husband seek counseling to discuss the problems he faces at home.
Speaking with a mental health professional enables a husband to understand not only the reasons why he allows himself to be treated in such a derogatory way, but also teaches him coping techniques to aid him in trying to keep his marriage together. In the majority of cases, the abusive partner will not agree to counseling unless it is court mandated, leaving the husband to go it alone. But that is ok. At least the person who wants the help is getting it and that is an important step.
Once a husband has gotten to the point where he realizes there is a problem and is no longer afraid to share his story outside the realm of his healthcare providers, the next step is finding a support group of men who are suffering the same treatment at home so that he knows that he definitely does not have to go this one alone. The more a husband is willing to admit there is a problem and is able to talk about it, the better position he will be in to make a decision about whether his marriage is worth saving or if, for his well-being, he must divorce.
The bottom line is this—abuse is abuse no matter at whose hand it is suffered and unless it is acknowledged as such and dealt with early on, it can become extremely difficult to deal with, and the abused may wind up with more than just low self esteem. Abuse can lead to depression and sometimes suicide. The first step in coping with and ultimately surviving abuse by a wife is telling someone, anyone, because once you hear the words leave your mouth, you have a better chance than if you continue to suffer silently.