I’ve noticed quite a bit of hits from keywords referring to abuse. This is, unfortunately, a common problem, and people need to find help.
There are also many hits from keywords referring to narcissistic or borderline personality disorders, disorders which often lead to abusive behaviors.
So I will make a series of posts from my webpage on abuse, which gathers together links I have found most helpful. I have them arranged by category.
The first part is on the general topic of abuse. The last section of the webpage, my own personal abuse stories, has already been posted here.
Abuse Specifically Against Husbands/Boyfriends
It’s not just men abusing women.
In my school days, I often heard girls say, “Boys can’t hit girls but girls can hit boys!” Once, when I was in a classroom with an open door, a girl in the hallway hit a boy so forcefully (on the arm, I think) that I could hear it.
And there were always the girl-on-girl bullies, sometimes physically fighting but usually psychologically bullying.
And I have witnessed women abusing husbands–sometimes physically.
While this website is specifically targeted to gay men, it is very detailed, and useful for straight couples as well.
Carolyn Hax column from 10/24/10 about a controlling girlfriend
Safety Planning–Extensive Guide
Verbal Abuse of Men–Sharing Your Story (be sure to click on “Helpful Info,” which has many links for help for men being verbally abused)
An episode of Titus, The Last Noelle, is about an ex-girlfriend who abused Christopher. Also, if you have the chance, catch his Love is Evol stand-up act, which uses humor to deal with the pain of his abusive ex-wife’s various behaviors.
Here is a 1993 TV-movie about a man abused by his wife, Men Don’t Tell.
Reaction to Woman Abusing Man in Public It’s just appalling, the reaction of most people here: walking on by or–in two cases–cheering her on, assuming the man deserved it!!!
A letter to Dear Prudence describes a girlfriend who in the beginning would just playfully hit or shove.
Many women do this with guys: Maybe her boyfriend has just craned his neck to stare at a passing hottie, or made a crack in front of friends about his girlfriend’s tendency to leave a mess in the kitchen.
This playful hit is not meant to be abusive; she’s not angry, and it’s not hard enough to hurt; her boyfriend laughs, maybe even enjoys it; it never, ever becomes more than this.
However, this writer’s girlfriend has started hitting him, hard, when she’s upset or frustrated with him:
When she gets upset or frustrated at me she sometimes punches me forcefully in the arm. She’s even slapped me hard across the face.
In the subway once, she was frustrated that I was taking too long to sit down and shoved me; I was off-balance and flew into the window.
This is really embarrassing for me to think about, as I am more than twice her size, but it seems that the way she vents her anger or frustration is by hitting me.
I never imagined, as a male, this would happen to me. Why is this happening to me and what should I do to stop it? –Bruised and Confused
Prudence responds that his girlfriend is indeed physically abusing him:
There is nothing playful or cute about being shoved into a window on a moving subway.
Yes, most domestic abuse is of the male-to-female kind. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t abuse of men, and often it’s hidden because, as you know, it’s not only humiliating but can seem faintly ridiculous given the physical disproportion of the parties.
But a large man who has restraint and decency in the face of being physically attacked by a smaller female partner is no less a recipient of domestic abuse than a woman attacked by a large man.
The reason this is happening to you is that you are continuing to stay in a romance with someone who has proven she is dangerously out of control. What you should do to stop it is swiftly and completely end this relationship.–Sept. 4, 2008
He may feel her abuse is caused by her emotional personality, PMS, or other hormone fluctuations. He decides to ignore her abuse because he loves her and wants the relationship to continue.
In spite of the abuse, he may find enough good in the relationship to “make up” for the abuse. Often men do not see the pain and problems in marriage as easily as wives do. Men are usually more quick to forgive and forget. –Barrington H. Brennen, Why do Men Stay in Abusive Relationships?
These women lie, connive, and extort. To insult and humiliate their partner, some argue and use offensive language in the presence of others including their children. Many steal or destroy their partner’s possessions.
These women are driven by jealousy and view others as rivals. They treat their partners as possessions and strive to isolate them from friends and family.
These abusive women falsely accuse their partners of infidelity while they have affairs. These women often abuse children or animals. Nearly all exhibit erratic mood changes, feign illnesses or injuries, and most are practiced actresses.
They are not sick; they simply play the multiple roles of the terrorist, the tyrant, the fiend, and the victim….
Once your spouse or companion has chosen abuse, end the relationship promptly and irrevocably before she or he blames or accuses you of their own behavior. Get a restraining order and change the locks, sue in civil court now and, when the assailant is your spouse, file for divorce….
When faced with the breakup of a relationship, especially a marriage, some women become vindictive, and abusive women become very dangerous.
When others (friends, relatives, police, attorneys, and judges) believe her, they join in, and the frustrated husband or partner finds himself a victim of undeserved hatred, defamation, and abuse. —Abusive and Violent Women in Relationships: Recognizing the Signs of a Bully
The below quote sounds like Tracy–and also explains why I preferred to go through Richard when I had problems with her:
Confronting an abusive woman about her behavior only makes her nastier and you’re then subjected to a narcissistic rage episode and/or histrionic drama queen performance.
She’ll just blame you for everything or deny what she did anyway, so why bother saying anything? —Signs your narcissistic or borderline wife/girlfriend is traumatizing you
Also, this comment from a Shrink4Men reader, “Mr. E”:
Another possible addition [to the Shrink4Men quiz, “Is she a crazy b**ch]:
Do mutual friends/roommates confront you when they’re upset with her?
I can recall several instances where a friend / roommate has come to me about her behavior (frequently with some hostility). I always figured this was because I was an easy target, and felt weak.
I definitely think poor boundaries on my part encouraged this behavior (I should have stopped them and told them to talk to her, not me), but I think the root problem is that they were afraid to confront her directly.
When I foolishly bring up whatever the friend/roomie complained about to her, I get interrogated and eventually raged at when I freeze up and stop talking. She’ll also hold a grudge against the person in question for ages.
The good news is, I’ve finally figured this out, and have started telling people to just talk to her. Curiously enough, they never do…
I’d love to know if this is a common experience.