Women can be abusers too.
Okay, let’s be honest. I will step up first, as a woman, as a partner, as a stepmother, and as an accountable human being. Here we go…
At various points in my romantic relationship, I have used unorthodox tools to get what and when I want out of my partner. Here you go, there I’ve said it. I am not proud of that. But, yes, I’ve done it, and I’ve admitted my mistakes and vowed not to repeat them.
What worries me is that I have witnessed more than a few women do exactly the same, and much worse. Over and over again.
I’ve seen their partners become alcoholics, gain a significant amount of weight, cut friends and family out of their lives, change behavior and develop severe mental health issues.
People don’t like to speak about it, but many men are daily victimized by emotional abuse.Mila
The true story of the man who was emotionally abused by his wife
My good friend has been recently through a very nasty divorce. They’ve been married for 7 years, and he has been living under his wife’s control for a long time. When they divorced, she started using their children as tools or rather weapons to get back at him for leaving her.
She wasn’t like that when they met. 8 years ago when they entered the relationship she was captivating, funny, and very intelligent. She was charming. And he was in love with her. They were a strong team back then, but then she changed.
She complained he didn’t make enough money, that he didn’t spend enough time with her, and that he didn’t do certain things right by her. Every day there she started an argument.
He felt like nothing he did was right or “good enough” for her.
Soon she stopped sleeping with him, showing affection, and decided that it would be best for them to move and live under her parents. Why?
So she can put him down even more so, along with her parents.
He followed her instructions.
Now he was living with her parents and was completely isolated from his friends and family. She demanded that he deletes all his social media accounts — and so he did. They spent weekends with her parents having BBQ and listening to her father’s jokes.
To elevate his frustrations my friend started drinking a lot
Months passed and her parents asked him to loan them $10,000 so they can re-start their business. He had no other option than to oblige. If he didn’t do as they wished, his wife would be upset and there would be more arguments. All he wanted to do was to avoid arguments!
Her behavior became so unpredictable that he felt like anything he said or did would deeply upset her. She started calling him names.
He gained weight, and so did she, but he was the “fat” one.
Once we met up for a very brief coffee and his wife called him in a rage, he didn’t understand why. He left before we finished our espresso.
She lied about their kid’s health. When he wasn’t around, she used to tell him that the kids were sick with fever, so he would return home earlier. He had to work from home before it was cool or mandatory.
They went to Croatia for a vacation. He paid for it as always. She asked if he could secure more money for her parent’s business. And that’s when he finally answered back and asked her when will her parents return the $10,000 loan.
That’s when she hit him. After that, he knew he had to leave.
After the divorce, things became even worse as she showed her true self and became very hostile towards him, turning his children against him.
My friend was in a relationship with an emotionally abusive person who had hidden sociopathic narcissistic tendencies. The effect on him was detrimental, as he became depressed and suicidal. The worst is that he still has to deal with her because of their children.
When men don’t speak up
We see these women around us too often, but no one says or does anything. So many women discuss in media and press how they’ve survived emotionally abusive relationships, but we rarely see shows which speak of men victims. It’s nearly impossible to find resources for men on how to deal with emotional abuse.
And yet each and every one of us knows at least 1 man who was or still is a victim of emotional abuse.Mila
We know so many women who used malicious tools to control their partners: to criticize, embarrass, blame, and otherwise manipulate them. It’s very common in romantic relationships and it’s one of the hardest forms of abuse to recognize. It can be very covert and manipulative.
It takes away the victims’ self-esteem and their true personality.
What does male abuse look like?
The men who are being emotionally abused may :
- Be belittled, humiliated, embarrassed, feel “worthless”
- Do everything that the partner tells them to do
- Feel the need to do everything to please their partner
- Have their children alienated from them
- Feel threatened and scared
- Become isolated from their friends and family
- Become depressed, suicidal and change body appearance(lose or gain significant weight)
- Indulge in destructive behaviors such as gambling, alcohol, or drugs
- Feel as if they are “losing their mind”
- Have no self-esteem
- Looking unwell, having issues sleeping, or oversleeping
What can you do?
It’s very difficult to address the emotional abuse of men because of prejudice.
Ultra feminists have made it quite hard for men to speak up and make it “believable” that women are capable of emotional abuse too. There is a massive movement in politics, media, and academia that supports women who are abused by men.
That is a very good thing, but there is also prevalent abuse against men.
Emotional abuse can be sometimes even worse than physical one because it doesn’t leave visible traces. If you’ve been hit by someone, you can easily prove that, but if you are tortured emotionally for years, it’s nearly impossible to prove to the police.
Emotional abuse, which men and women tolerate, can go on for decades and leave the victim weak and desperate, and helpless.
If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up.
I’ve talked to my friend on multiple occasions and have helped him find a therapist to address these issues. Recently I have also introduced him to a good female friend of mine and today they are married and expecting a child. Just last week, he told me how grateful he is that I have helped him address the emotional abuse that he was experiencing and also cut down on alcohol.
At Partners in Men’s Health, you can contact us via email or the form below and seek support, and guidance from our trauma-informed Transformational Confidential Concierge Coaching services that will help you get “out of the fog and into the light.” PMH is run by Dr. Jamie, the Clinical Conductor of this Transformational Team. He is a trauma-informed Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and Certified Compassion Fatigue Therapist. For 30 years, he has been helping people overcome their traumatic, degrading experiences using a comprehensive trauma-informed approach that lifts the mind and spirit in difficult situations when dealing with Toxic Abusive Relationships.
People who have been emotionally abused are scared and ashamed. They need help to get out. By picking up on the signs and providing support, you can help.
Always remember — one person can make a difference.Mila