When Men Are the Victims of Abuse

Don’t believe it happens? Let Ron Mattocks tell you how his wife mentally abused him and how it ruined his social life, his career, and left him ready to commit suicide. Then find out how he turned things around.

I remember exactly what went through my mind at the suggestion that I had been emotionally abused by my now ex-wife. Horseshit. The very idea sounded ludicrous. I had been an all-state athlete, an Infantry Captain, and an accomplished corporate executive—positions that required strength and mental toughness. The only halfway legitimate version of  an abusive wife I could conceive was that of a 400-pound woman squashing her rail-thin, hen-pecked husband because he forgot to bring home the extra side of gravy she wanted from KFC—fodder for Jerry Springer, Tyra, and all those talk shows that specialize in bringing off-the-chart social dysfunction to the masses. I don’t think so, girlfriend. I knew who my baby mama was, and I didn’t need a paternity test to prove that the three boys born during eight years of matrimony were mine. On the other hand, I would be quick to admit that our blessed union was anything but.

The longer our marriage lasted the more my wife and I fought. Early on we attributed it to the bumps that come after the honeymoon period—except there never was a honeymoon period to begin with. Still, we rolled with it; during truces, we even joked about how I just needed to learn that timeless truth upon which every successful marriage is built: the husband is always wrong. But it was no laughing matter.

Our arguments got worse, sometimes with me smashing whatever object was nearby—a reaction that, by its virtue, automatically negated my position, valid or not. In time, my anger issues were singled out as the culprit behind all our problems. Oddly enough, I never had any anger issues prior to meeting my wife, a detail that bothered me. Knowing my behavior was considered to be a form of abuse, I was terrified at the prospect of being a monster. That wasn’t me. It had always taken a lot to make me see red, and yet, regardless of my efforts to maintain control, I was throwing more and more glasses against walls. It had to stop; and so, to avoid the slightest hint of conflict, I made sure to back down early and often.

However, even this failed to curb my wife’s growing unhappiness, a sentiment I attributed to her disdain for military life. Being a career Army officer had been my lone dream since childhood, and my bride-to-be knew what she was marrying into when she said “I do.” Yet despite promises to support me, she wasn’t shy in expressing her contempt for my chosen profession, making sure to tack on her prediction that, if forced to choose, I’d pick the Army over our family every time. Not true. And either consciously or subconsciously, I began sabotaging what, until then, had been viewed by my superiors as a very promising future. Shortly thereafter I left active duty—three months prior to September 11.

♦◊♦

In making this choice, I hoped my wife would recognize where my real allegiance lay, and as a result, our marriage would improve. Instead, she claimed that I would only resent her as the reason behind giving up my dream. Things didn’t improve, not even with the rapid promotions I earned, affording my wife the lifestyle she had spoken often of wanting. I sunk into a deep depression and, after another blowup, agreed to seek counseling for anger issues. I felt better having someone to talk to in the form of my therapist; but even so, determining the source of my anger proved to be elusive.

Soon thereafter, I was promoted again, this time to a corporate-level position, a move that created new friction with my wife. She resented that it required me to be more socially active, attending corporate dinners, participating in charity events, and traveling to other parts of the country. Coming home from work, I had to endure several hours of passive-aggressive silence before being forced to talk things out once I had gone to bed.

When she asked if I was ever going to be a man, I answered with my new standard reaction—tears and silence.

These so-called “talks” usually boiled down to her latest item among a growing list of petty criticisms: I hung pictures too high, I made the bed the wrong way, I didn’t put the dishrag in the right place, I folded T-shirts poorly—all things I did to help around the house. Eventually, to avoid these evenings of eggshell-walking, I began staying at the office until I knew she was asleep.

Sex was a rarity. I quipped to my therapist that there were three verifiable encounters that I could recall, and that’s only because they resulted in an equal number of children. On the off chance my wife did act interested, she’d shut off soon after starting. For our anniversary, she decorated the bedroom and wore lingerie, before then going on a diatribe, guilting me with every wrong I had ever committed against her.

Finally, one night I snapped. On top of the marital stresses, there were problems at my job, but my wife didn’t want to hear about it. Instead she wanted to take issue with my emotional unavailability. Months of restrained frustration erupted as I grabbed her and screamed in her face to leave me alone. I was immediately terrified. Until then, I had never laid a hand on anyone. Now I didn’t know who I was anymore. Ashamed, I broke down and left. My wife, in turn, filed a domestic abuse report with the police, thus giving her all the ammunition she needed in proving I alone was to blame for our unhappy marriage.

♦◊♦

A separation ensued, followed by reconciliation—one with a lot of conditions. I increased my therapy sessions, and at my wife’s insistence, allowed myself to be convinced that my anger stemmed from an abusive childhood (even though my life growing up was as stable as they come). Yet somehow my wife managed to twist isolated moments from my youth into a childhood fraught with abuse at the hands of my parents, none of which was remotely true. For almost a year, I agreed to cut off contact with them. Meanwhile, nastier criticisms were levied at me: she chastised my parenting with comments such as “It’s a good thing we didn’t have daughters because you would just fuck them up psychologically.” Other times she’d belittle me as being nothing more than a 14-year-old boy trying to get laid. And when she disgustingly asked if I was ever going to be a man, I answered with my new standard reaction—tears and silence.

After another one-sided argument, I admitted she was too good for me and agreed to move out. But even this did little to alleviate her control over me. When I mentioned I’d be flying to a critical corporate meeting later that week, she waited until I was boarding the plane to inform me that I would be barred from seeing my third son’s birth. This made me an emotional wreck and I performed poorly in front of our CEO. A week later I was demoted.

Thankfully, though, I did get to be there for my son’s delivery—only after she relented, reasoning that not having me there would’ve raised too many questions with the church. I will never forget that day—my wife snoozing in her hospital bed, my wrinkle-skinned son nestled in my arms, and me, slumping to the side, one career ruined, another on the verge—friendless, isolated, emasculated … suicidal.

Next: Society covers its ears

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About Ron Mattocks

Author Ron Mattocks is a father of three boys and two stepdaughters. After losing his job and becoming a stay-at-home father, he started the blog Clark Kent's Lunchbox, which eventually became the basis for his book, Sugar Milk: What One Dad Drinks When He Can't Afford Vodka. Ron lives with his wife Ashley in Houston, Texas; he sneaks off to the comic book store whenever possible.

Comments

  1. After reading this article, I am struck, with a metaphorical Louisville Slugger to the face, by this story.

    I am a young man who has been searching, hard and long, for a path like the kind I’m seeing here on this website. Something that’s not the misogyny I saw at The Spearhead, and something that’s not the misandry I see in everyday life, even in the small things like the red incorrect-spelling line underneath the word misandry. As if the concept is so incorrect, so wrong, so completely unthinkable, that it doesn’t even exist.

    Ron, your story — while tragic — was inspirational to me, because as a man who didn’t really have his Dad around, and who lost his mother slowly over time from 2 till finally at 15, I had to learn a lot about what it means to be a man all by myself. No guidance, no help. No sign at the fork in the road. Just lots of voices screaming that I was doing it wrong, whether from abusive women, or bitter men.

    I found myself at the brink of suicide because of a situation just like yours. And while I didn’t throw myself off the bridge that night, I did throw off the $30,000 ring I had bought her. At the time it was either me or it.

    I have no idea how you survived such messed-up abuse, but just knowing that a story like yours exists out there, and that I’m not the only one seeing these things, these crazy, horrible things that you’ve mentioned, and having to somehow make a life afterward… it’s just good to know. I mean, that. It’s something really good to know.

    As for me, this is my first time here at The Good Men Project, and even though it sounds stupid to say, I feel like I’ve finally found a place where being a man doesn’t have to be a choice between a rock, and a hard place. I only hope the rest of the world can learn this too.

    Thanks!

    • Zerrissen says:

      Ron’s story is a really bold one to tell and I’m glad I read it. It’s thoughtful and elucidating. I will say, however, that I’m personally really glad he posted it here and NOT on The Spearhead, as the latter is so rabidly anti-woman and filled with so much vile hatred that it’s virtually unreadable.

      Instead, I’m glad to see his story here, which is a far more moderate site. Is that enough to be considered co-opting an entire movement? I sort of doubt that. Although, it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing to step towards the middle of the road.

    • Thank you Zek. I am humbled that you found inspiration in my words.

    • I understand that places like The Spearhead have been instrumental in pushing these issues from the beginning, but I also understand that men — especially this man — don’t need more hatred to combat hatred. I don’t want misogyny to fight misandry.

      I want the voice for men to be positive, not negative. This is positive. It says something, tries to do something. The Spearhead is always condemning something or other. You can’t lead a movement by being angry all the time. You need to celebrate, and generate success, even if it’s only something insignificantly small.

      Like this story.

  2. Many women use violence by proxy to control and abuse men. Because of man-hating feminist laws such as mandatory arrest and dominant agressor policies, any woman knows that she can send any man to prison without trial or appeal by simply picking up the phone.

    Anyway, that is how it happend to me. There was physical violence also, but the ultimate weapon was that my ex- would pick up the phone and ask “do you want to go to jail?” If that did not work, she would hit her mouth with the phone and split her lip. With blood everywhere, she would ask “do you think they will believe me NOW?” It was about control, and for months it worked.

    I tape recorded her threats and her violence with a hidden mic and escaped the violence. Of course, it does not escape my notice that the man hating feminist state we live in provides zero protection for men who are victims of either physical violence or violence by proxy, while spending billions on 1700 women only domestic violence shelters around the nation.

    And the shelters are just the tip of the ice berg. Billions more are spent on programs, financial help, and legal counsel.

    All part of the feminist anti-male hate campaign. I am hardly even surprised any more.

    • Just so we’re clear, being feminist does NOT mean being anti-male or anti-men.

      • Feminist institutions, feminist laws, and feminist policies are anti-male and anti-man. If an individual person calls themselves a “feminist”, he or she is either ignorant or a hate filled bigot.

        • Zerrissen says:

          That’s patently untrue.

          • I agree with Zerrissen. I am feminist and am pro-male.

            • Read this:

              http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/phmt-argument/

              As for the author of the article, he needs to check out http://www.shrink4men.com

            • You have already demonstrated that you are a man-hater Kitti. What is so wrong with admitting to your hate? If you welcome it into your heart, why not welcome it into your dialogue?

            • I would agree that being a feminist does not, by necessity make you anti male.

              However, through their writings and actions a large body of feminists are definitely anti-male. I would also suggest that since most women have no clue about what it is like to be a man, they are equally unqualified to fully understand what is meant by anti-male.

            • Then it should also be true that since most men have no clue about what it is like to be a female, that they are equally unqualified to fully understand what is meant by anit-female no? And that being the case, perhaps these men should take extra time to really listen to women instead of attempting to terrorize them with flagerate attempts of blowing them all off as “man-haters”.

      • typhonblue says:

        Who is responsible for the laws and policies that allowed Antz’s abuser to hold him hostage with threats of ‘reporting his abuse’?

        • As usual, typhonblue, you go the heart of the matter.

          Where are the articles and proposals on TGMP to start to change these laws and policies and social constructs?

  3. Ron, I’d like to thank you for your story and sharing your experience. I think most men in these kind of circumstances struggle in a state of craziness that eventually overwhelms them. I have been loathe to discuss my personal experiences, but reading your article, I may reconsider. I remember years ago trying to discuss these issues with my family doctor. His interest extended to prescription drugs, which after taking made everything much worse.

    A little story from “anger management”, I was sent to a councilor for assessment, for the first 59 minutes the person tried various tactics to trigger discontent and get me to spew out the vitriol I was “feeling”. I felt fine as long as I wasn’t around my wife. After the 59 minutes he asked “So how am I doing, would you like to come back and see me?” To which I asked “Are you asking me out on a date, Sir?” I have never seen a professional get so upset so quickly. I told him I was unimpressed, 59 minutes and no results and in 1 minute I triggered a major meltdown. He was a crappy councilor that played an emotional baiting game.

    • Thanks Keith. That circle of craziness is so damn vicious. When I said I was suicidal I wasn’t kidding. The psych doc loaded me up with depression pills and that only made it worse. Those drug tend to make me disengage socially–oh I smile a lot, but that’s about it. The irony is I was blamed for withdrawing too. I came across a couple articles when researching this story that were trying to figure out how this issue impacted male suicide. Right not their not sure it can be done even remotely accurate.

      And you’re anger management story–totally can relate to the 59 mins of nothing but 1 min with my ex and Kaboom!

      Thanks again.

      • Ron, once the relationship was over I found that distance and time gave me an opportunity to understand the dynamics better. Her family was very hateful of men, father an alcoholic. I found for the most part that the behavior was scripted and reflexive. I think that’s what makes it so crazy, is the extent to which it becomes predictable.

        two things to consider for your body after prolonged abuse (mine was 20 years)

        Anger is often a defensive posture. Prolonged anger lasting for years can cause physical pain. When the anger began to leave I felt pain all over my body, like my skin had been stretched to tight. It hurt for months, I can only assume that hormones and accompanying chemistry activated by anger put you into a defensive posture for protection and even effect your skin. I’m curious if others have noticed that it can be painful to not be angry. Most of my anger was internalized.

        I tend to compartmentalize my emotional pain and will often use music to confine its parameters. What I did to alleviate the physical pain was like a stretching dance alone in the dark listening to my compartmentalized music. Stretching to somber music, seemed to release the emotional pain from my skin and bones. It’s something like stretching in the morning. I do this for up to an hour, once a week. I have found it gives a sense of gracefulness to my feelings. Try it, you may be surprised.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your painful story, Ron. As a woman, I’ve found it enlightening and thought-provoking. The implications of a society that refuses to view a man as a victim, or rather views men as a constant potential threat, is heart-breaking. As unlikely as it may sound, this cultural perspective is incredibly damaging for women as well. My point is this: men and women all have the capacity to become victims and perpetrators of violence. Accepting this equal capacity is part of what I like to think of as true feminist thinking. The man-hating “feminism” (if you can even call it that) that AntZ refers to, is a reactionary and discriminatory backlash to past violence against women. I’m glad to see that The Good Men Project is working to avoid falling into the same trap of becoming the evil they are working against: discrimination. Thanks again for being at the front lines of liberation for all!

    • Thank you for more eloquently writing what I was thinking in response to AntZ’s comment.

      • @Alison

        This is the issue that brought me into the MRM. I posted a comment on “feministe” asking for help, and was ridiculed and humiliated. They later voted me “runner up for most hated man of the year.” Here is my comment, word for word, posted on “feministe” November of last year:

        “British Airways, Qantas, and Air New Zealand all have an explicit policy prohibiting any adult male from sitting next to an unaccompanied child, even when the child’s parents are elsewhere on the aircraft. If no way can be found to re-arrange passengers to accommodate this openly anti-male rule, the man is ejected from the aircraft. This despite the fact that there has never been a case of child abuse on an aircraft. How is this example, one of thousands, not a case of institutional sexism experienced by men? The presumption of male guilt is something that men face every day.”

        Feminists are PROMOTING the idea that all men are deranged predators who cannot be trusted around vulnerable people.

        Feminism declared war on men THIRTY YEARS before men began fighting back.

        If you want an example of the raw, extreme, violent hatred that feminists feel for any man who asks for help in fighting anti-male sexism, search the “feministe” site for “FNTT Season 7: the But, Wait, Have You Thought About The Men? round”

        The idea that a man can every be a victim of anything is contrary to the feminist war against men. Men must be accepted as heartless beasts for women to feel comfortable with the coming extermination phase of their war.

        • How is this example, one of thousands, not a case of institutional sexism experienced by men? The presumption of male guilt is something that men face every day.
          Despite what you folks may think about AntZ there is validity to this. I know the entire movement doesn’t feel this way however when something like this makes it onto finallyfeminism101 then its at least a sign that a good number of feminists agree with the idea that there is no such thing as sexism against men. But I think AntZ is being generous with using “institutional” as I said according to many feminists there no such thing as sexism against men in any way shape or form.

          Which is pretty odd. They claim that an individual woman can’t be sexist against a man because she doesn’t have any institutional power while at the same time saying that an individual man can be sexist against a woman simply because he is male and therefore has institutional power. Yet we are supposed to believe they don’t individual men responsible for patriarchy.

          And I also have my own horror stories at feministe.

        • Maybe you were ridiculed because you implied that all feminists feel “raw, violent” hatred towards men _on a feminist website_, you ass.

    • Thanks Alison. Well said. This is such an emotional issue for everyone that it’s hard to keep the pendulum from swinging to extremes. At some point, hopefully soon, we need to reach a state of balance. I’m not sure that’s 100% entirely realistic, but we need to try. I have nothing against feminist–in fact this article was in no way meant to be interpreted as anti-feminist. The feminists I know and respect are the ones who see it as an equality platform and they are just as mortified by men being victims as women. It;s like anything else, though, where radicals on both extremes give their position a bad rep.

      Thanks again Alison

      • YES – equality is exactly what I want. Women and Men are people, and we need to treat each other with respect.

      • Balance will occur when there are 1700 men’s domestic violence shelters to match the 1700 women’s.

        Balance will occur when there are 800 men only scholarships to match the 800 women’s.

        Balance will occur when fathers have a chance to ask for custody of their children in family court.

        Balance will occur when law enforcement “serves and protects” both women AND men … instead of seeing every man as an opportunity to break bones and make an arrest.

        Balance will occur when our school systems permit male teachers to instruct our children.

        Balance will occur when our schools do not treat boys as defective girls, who must be re-engineered with Ritalin and other dangerous drugs.

        Balance will occur when THE FEMINIST HATE MOVEMENT ENDS!

    • Beautifully said Alison.

  5. Its good to see you doing better.

    “prevailing patriarchal conception of intimate partner violence led to a systematic reluctance to study women who psychologically and physically abuse their male partners.”
    And that’s a part of the problem. Its not just patriarchy that stopping people from studying abusive women. its some of the very people who claim to be fighting patriarchy that don’t want those women studied for fear of realizing that maybe just maybe “its something men do to women” is not a part of the very definition of intimate partner violence.

    The man-hating “feminism” (if you can even call it that) that AntZ refers to, is a reactionary and discriminatory backlash to past violence against women
    That’s not the only fuel in that fire.

    • At some point we as a culture need to accept that equality means just that in every aspect of our lives personally and professionally as men and women. We all can be victims. Once we get to such a place then we can more effectively deal with these sorts of issues. As you allude to, fear of finding the truth that would lead us to this realization is what’s holding us back.

      Thanks Danny

      • We can only get to this point when the feminist anti-boy hate campaign ends.

      • Yes anyone can be an abuser and its not helping anyone (especially their victims) to give people a free pass on their abusive behavior because they are a woman, or are rich, or are etc….

  6. Babe are you posting on the run again?

  7. bananagram says:

    Don, thank you for writing this and I’m so sorry that you had such an awful experience. You’re right to bring attention to the issue of women as abusers, but as a feminist, I have to take issue with your statement that we will try to spin this to be the woman’s fault and make you into the man-bear-pig or whatever. I believe that your ex-wife was abusive and obviously seriously messed up and that you didn’t deserve that treatment. She was a shitty person. Shocker: I like men quite a bit and not all feminists will automatically take the woman’s side. I think it’s important for everyone to ALWAYS take allegations of abuse seriously regardless of the gender of the abuser. I wish these conversations didn’t devolve into proving that women are abusers too therefore we live in a world that hates men. Or something. It’s not very logical. But to the commenters referring to the societal ignoring of IPV against men: freaking do something about it instead of complaining about how the world hates men on various forums. Why don’t you fundraise to open a shelter, advocate for better policing and identification of women as abusers, if you have been abused get your story out there. This is not a zero-sum game. Just because there is money and resources devoted to violence against women does not mean that there is nothing left for the men. Do. Something.

    • B. Thank you. I should probably qualify my mention of feminism as a representation of the extremes—the manly men and the militant feminists. These polarized mindsets are what keep this and similar issues in the dark. In no way did I mean to turn this into anti-feminist platform. In fact true feminists, in my view, are the ones who see their platform as being about equality, not domination. Are their laws and policies that are tipped in the favor of women? Unfortunately, yes. When we use the ideologies behind feminism, race, religion, etc to tip the scales in our favor, then the issue is no longer about equality, it’s about retribution. Once we can get society to understand that equality is just that—equal and fair treatment then we can start to deal with these and similar issues. I 100% agree with you men having a responsibility to bring attention to this and similar issues. In fact, my platform is that I think equality-minded men should adopt the same stance as feminists and take the initiative in fighting for fair treatment just as women have done over the past decades. In a small way, that what I hoped sharing my story would be about. Thanks for a great comment.

      • bananagram says:

        Thanks for qualifying. I think my response was more aimed at the commenters (like darling E. above) and also my growing weariness with this MRM series, so my apologies if I sounded a little aggressive. I think you’re putting forth a wonderful platform, and only positive things can come out of bringing attention to non-traditional gender roles (ie men as victims; women as abusers), be it via positive or negative stories. I’m sorry that yours is one of the latter, but thank you again for sharing!

        • No. Didn’t take it as aggressive. In fact I’m glad you brought it up. Somehow this topic has gone from awareness that women can be abusive to a debate over the “evils” of feminism.

        • bananagram, I have a very straightforward question: should feminist women and feminist men take some personal responsibility for addressing INSTITUIONALIZED discrimination against men who are victims of abuse and against men’s access to children at the minimum 35% level all the psych studies show are needed to maintain parental-child relationship?

    • J.G. te Molder says:

      You’re wrong. There is nothing left for men, because it already all goes to feminists and their propaganda machine of male-hate. Which induces even more women and men to give them even more funding.

      However, once enough “complaining” has been done, and often enough these kinds of stories get told, they will arrive in the main stream, including tv. The result will be more knowledge of the truth, and that will mean the feminist strangle-hold on the funds in women’s, but especially men’s wallets will become less. More funding will become available to the MRM, and less to the hate groups of NOW, not that they’ll lose the countless millions of government funding anytime soon.

      And that, will bring forth the shelters for men.

    • Sarb Mahli says:

      B. Thanks for your thread.. YES not all women are feminists.. as thankful as I am for the women’s movement who fought for our right to vote.. during their ‘movemen’t their agenda didn’t include the needs of mothers.. their movement overlooked how their plight would affect mothers and their children….

      My body tenses when my son (7) arrives home with his planner.. I say ‘now what?’ To them my son isn’t contained enough! He doesn’t jump when they want him to.. he doesn’t sit when they want him to.. etc etc.. the thing is I’m not a pushover.. I question them back.. ‘Let me get this right, you want me to take the manhood out of my son?’ I will not EVER have anyone do this to my son.. to me this is bullying and schools systems are designed for ‘girls’ not boys.. and most teachers are women!! I love my womanhood.. though I am not blinded by their ignorance..
      As for men.. yes get together.. leave hatred and judgmentalism at the door and help your brothers.. how do you think we women do it??? whining and calling names doesn’t help your brother who is hurting.. as a mother.. I am doing all I can fighting the world view as it is at this moment.. when my son is a man.. tell this mother how are you going to invite him into manhood and help him should he experience something like this story that has moved us!!!

  8. Ron, I can only imagine how hard this was for you to write, but thank you for putting it out there. It is baffling to me that we as a society continue to deny the atrocities we perpetuate upon each other – both male AND female. Just because women typically abuse emotionally and manipulatively, does not make it any less destructive.

    On a side note, arguments over “feminism” and how it is “man-hating” depress the hell out of me. Feminism was always about the pursuit of EQUALITY, not the reverse of misogyny. But I suppose that’s a good example of the power of words.

    • Thank you Keely, I think you really nail it saying that it’s a matter of denying that these hurts are perpetrated equally across genders and that’s what’s ignored.

      I’m also 100% with you the what feminism is, My remarks were in reference to the extremes that are influencing men’s reticence to come forward. The feminists I know and “cavort” with are about equality. We need to bring the pendulum into balance if we’re ever going to deal with this and other such issues effectively. Thanks again.

  9. Like me noone believes or will support soft hearted tender caring sensitive men who are abused/neglected takin advantage of besides men like me hide it for fear ppl think your weak, idiot or dumb or a liar so like me we hide issues.. but then noone believes it anyway… so we suffer alone…like i am..and with kids..
    I STILL STRUGLE ALONE AN ME BEING THE VICTIM WITH MY BOYS, I AM THE ONE WHO HAS CYS/CHILD WELFARE BUGGIN AN COMING EVERYWEEK AN A PARENT COUSELOR AND HAVE TAKE BOYS TO PSYCHOLOGIST EVERY WEEK AN PAY ALL COURT COSTS ATTORNEY FEES AND HARRASSED BY THEIR MA AND NOONE WILL HELP.. WHAT UP WITH THIS PIC, I LIVE IN FEAR EVERYDAY LOOKING OUT WINDOW AS LIKE THINKN WATS GOING BE NEXT …..I AM DISTRESSED IN STRESS NEVER GET OUT OF MY HOUSE DO SCHOOL ONLINE AT NIGHT DONT SLEEP HARDLY BARELY EATING YET TAKIN CARE MY BOYS JUS FINE…. YET AM HURTING, ALONE, AN NO SUPPORT

    • Can you use technology to discredit your abuser?

      I think you know that, without video proof, there is no help out there for you. If you call the police you go to jail because you are a man and the man always goes to jail. I know many people will tell you “it is illegal to record someone without their consent”, however it may never come up in court. If you have strong recorded evidence of your abuser doing all the things that women do, you can probably use that to your advantage, maybe not in court, but a prosecutor may look at it. Also, she may agree to stop abusing you to prevent friends/family from seeing who she really is.

      For sure do not call police or ask for restraining order unless you have strong proof. Also, do not go to DV shelters, because they will call cops on you.

      Good luck.

    • I hear your pain and I understand how you feel so alone in the world where nobody can be bothered to care. I got that T-shirt too.

      Take care of yourself, get a recording device and definitely keep talking about it.
      You would probably like Dr. T’s blog, everybody is very compassionate and understanding.

      http://www.shrink4men.com

      • I tested my recording device many times, to make sure that the location was both secure and effective in capturing the violence. I made so many mistakes early on, that I was determined to approach my recording plan (which I though of as my last hope) as professionally as I could.

  10. apple juice says:

    thank you for writing this. It’s so important to have this type of thing out there, this type of emotional abuse is so damaging, I’ve witnessed it myself in my younger brother’s marriage, its breakup and his attempt to pick up and be a good dad to the baby who was born after their breakup.

    it’s a messy world we live in, a messy society, and men and women are not really on opposite sides. too bad we can’t start getting it together and supporting each other rather than tearing each other down. and I mean that collectively, and in relationships.

  11. apple juice says:

    oh dear. can you please make it so that my picture does not appear???

  12. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    I know one relationship where the woman’s feminism has made her blind to the fact that she is the abusive one. (BTW, I support honest, reflexive feminism.) She acts like a lawyer with him, and every encounter is about winning the argument. She’s pretty good at getting him to errupt verbally– so he looks like the one in the wrong.

    • Feminism changed the balance of power. I know a woman who moved to this country who was horribly abused. Her husband followed and tried to hit her here. She threatened to call the cops and it stopped the years of abuse. Then, she abused him back for years.

      My point is that humans do not seem very responsible with power or how to use it draw the best from ourselves and people in our lives.

      We abuse it. We have few examples of how powerful, respectful, loving, sex-charged male/female dynamics function. Humans embrace tragedy. Where there isn’t one, they will create one. We are still evolving. Women need to stop with the insecurities. They are very destructive.

      • You are correct Heather. Men and Women are EQUALLY capable of both great good, and great evil. Howe we lost sight of this, I do not know.

        The saddest manifestation of this collective insanity is that many of the women who do terrible things in response to feminist urging might otherwise have been good, decent people who would never intentionally harm another person.

        There is a book by James Hollis called “Why good people do bad things – understanding our darker selves” that is insightful in explaining the effect that feminism has had on society. At first I thought it made for pretty depressing reading, but I have come to see the conclusions as hopeful.

        I hope you will find you won path to hope.

  13. I believe you entirely. And I’m glad to read that coda at the end about your new life. The whole piece was so well written. Congrats on telling a compelling story.

  14. This is the first story here I do not fully agree with :( sorry guys…

    This is how I see it.. do abusers exist?? hell yeah!! this includes Men and Women!!! Women have got away with it in the past because of their damsel in distress behaviour and men seem to swarm like bees to them… I see it everyday.. I do agree that its about time men spoke up and did something about it rather than ‘be a man and take it’ attitude!! My opinion is victimizing yourself, is all to do with self worth.. No one has power over you unless you knowingly or unknowingly hand over your power. Also if we compassionately look away from our pain and into the abusers life without resentment we’d see things from a different POV.. its an idea to think about.. it can bring healing to our own pain.. it was hard work though when I understood my ex’s pain I understood all he was doing was crying for help! Believe me he mentally put me through the ringer!!! Just like myself he had a very sad and traumatizing childhood.. Do we get along today.. NO.. though I do understand his pain… I have compassion.. though I am sure not to enable his abusive behaviour… I can’t change him.. I can change myself.. Every action is a form of communication.. even a plate thrown at you across the room.. I hope I haven’t offended anyone.. saying this.. I will not allow someone abusing someone in my presence.. man or woman..

    • apple juice says:

      what exactly do you disagree with?

      I think your comments mirror Ron’s pretty well.

      • Sarb Mahli says:

        AJ: I do not disagree with Ron… I was trying to make a point… a point I didn’t clarify clearly… abusers are hurting as much as victims are hurting.. the abusers pain is far too deep and invisible because their atrocities are far too visable.. we’re all human beings.. I’m not taking her side.. I’m putting the spotlight on a POV without judging anyone..

        To Ron’s Ex Wife: if you read this… as a mother I compassionately ask you to seek help with finding more effective coping skills when your frustrations arise.. I’m not here to judge anyone.. there are always two sides to a story… we’ve not heard yours… though I don’t see how anyone can create such a story like this without truly experiencing it.. it’s time you healed and found peace.. peace for you and your children

        Peace to you and your family Ron… peace to you too ‘Ex Wife’

        • Jalestra says:

          I don’t feel sorry for the abuser at all. At some point we all grow up and make choices. As an abused child I grew up and I could have chosen to not get help and risk hurting my children. I chose not to because, while I am selfish, I’m not that selfish. When my husband almost left me, I could have not listened to him, continued to blow him off as “not knowing what real abuse is”. I could have told him he was full of it. I chose to listen and then to do something about it.

          At SOME point you know you are wrong and it’s that moment when you go from victim to perpetrator. I agree that they do not know how to deal with their frustrations, that’s where I found myself. Not knowing how to react properly and only reacting and in a way that I’d been taught. But when my error became apparent it wasn’t difficult to reach out and find someone willing to help me find the best way for me, even though I was flat broke and not working. I will never be able to release the anger, I will never be able to get angry and not feel that hard knot of violence, that desperation to hit. But instead of telling me not to feel that, I was taught to redirect it into a well worn punching bag. Into taking a walk until I could work through it.

          It IS hard to keep your temper when there are no bounds. It’s hard to fight the urge to hit someone and stop them from frustrating you. But it CAN be done if you can bring yourself to care more for someone else than yourself. I do not feel sorry for them, at some point they made their choice.

          There are no excuses for those actions, mine or anyone else. I can offer my childhood as a reason, but if I know enough to blame that then I know enough to fix it. Every one of us should be ready to move on, but none of us should ever forget that the monster lurks there forever. To never be proud that we’ve overcome, because like an addict it’s one day at a time. It would have been so easy to fall back into that behavior when I went deaf, but that’s an excuse to lose control guilt free. Only the selfish want that excuse. The rest of us do the best we can.

          Clark deserves to be applauded for doing what so many cannot do. He did the hard thing and put it behind him and uses his story to help others. He didn’t fall as I and many others did.

          • sarb mahli says:

            Jalestra the difference between you and I.. I DO have compasion for the abuser as much as the victim.. you once had that light bulb moment at once or gradually.. but it happened for you! My ex hasn’t yet! Should I give up on him??? No.. he is a human being who is hurting.. who doesn’t yet see the ‘light’… I have to deal with him because we have children together… yes!!! But MY life did a 360 degree change when I saw his pain.. so I removed myself from the cycle!!!! so when he is doing the abusing.. it doesn’t affect me anymore.. perhaps I’m far too patient… but I’m a believer in everyone’s ability to make a change.. I will wait until his rock bottom occurs.. especially for my children’s sake..

            I can’t speak for Ron.. but this is what I read and understand.. he can’t change the abuser.. but HE made the change… removing himself from the abusive cycle.. all I am asking from everyone.. please don’t finger point and judge people because of the pain they are causing others. because they are hurting toooo… blaming chastising will not make them stop the hurt they cause!!! It’ll do the opposite!!!

    • I don’t see any disagreement here. Unless you’re inferring that I am playing the victim here? I can assure you that wasn’t my intent –it was an issue put into context is all. I’ve moved on. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  15. thank you for speaking out. I have a lifelong friend who has been the victim of abuse in most of his relationships, my first introduction to the fact that women can and do abuse. I applaud your bravery in posting your story.

  16. Some of the lessons I’ve gotten from mainstream feminism:
    1. Women are just as capable as men everything
    2. Women have incredible power inside them

    Given these assumptions, I don’t see why anyone would think that there would be no women who are capable of being abusive. If men can be abusive, and women can do anything men can do, then women can be abusive. (I think that’s just simple logic. Is that the Transitive Principle?)

    Years ago, the comedian Phil Hartman was killed by his wife. I remember a lot of the media coverage was about the fact that she was mentally ill, but I don’t remember any mention of the idea that he was a victim of domestic violence. I remember there was not much outrage at the time, except to say that mental health needs to be a bigger national priority. When Steve McNair died at the hands of his ex-mistress, the whole thing was treated as a joke along the lines of “he deserved it, and besides his career was over anyway” or “wow, those football players have risky lives, don’t they?”

    • Some double standard eh? All too often a man gets murdered by his wife and she can claim that she was a victim of abuse to get a lenient sentence. Men even talking about abuse are disparaged and disbelieved by both men and women. It’s no suprise that men don’t talk about these things and don’t report them to the police, men know what they can expect from an uncaring society that treats them as disposable.

      • “… When Steve McNair died at the hands of his ex-mistress, the whole thing was treated as a joke … ”

        I once complied a list of the most anti-male moveis of all time. Many fellow MRM were surprised that my #1 pick was not a feminist flick like “Thelma and Louise”. Instead, I picked an action comedy called “The Mummy”. Why? There were so many men whose deaths were made into a joke that I sopped counting after 100. Also, the men who died were all members of a selfless organization of men dedicated to protecting the world from the big bad boss. The movie made the deaths of these heroes into a joke.

        I see our treatment of the fallen heroes of our foreign wars slowly wandering in the same direction. The dying and suffering of men is quickly becoming America’s biggest source for comic relief. How did we become so misandrist?

  17. Ron,
    So sorry to read about this, but so glad to have had the privilege of seeing where you are now (and with whom you are now). I’m sure writing this was hard, but I’m also sure it helped someone who read it.

  18. Resentment can be incredibly toxic–ESPECIALLY during the baby years. I took out so much of my anger on my very sweet husband when my kids were younger. It never looked like what you’ve described but I see how it happens.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    • I am sorry to probe into what must be painful memories. If I may ask, what made you treat him that way? Was it because he was weak, and some part of you expected him to be strong?

      I do not know very much about women. My wife tells me that my shy and conflict avoiding personality likely led my ex- to feel so insecure that she turned to violence against me. The violence made me even more likely to capitulate to everything that she wanted, which only made things worse, etc.

      To be honest, I have no idea.

      Just curious. Thanks for your answer.

    • Thanks for sharing that Ann…. see why I stick to all the funny writing? =-)

  19. Ron,

    There’s an old Lenny Bruce bit about staying in an abusive relationship that always spoke to me.

    First man: I’m finally out of it. My marriage was the worst nightmare ever. But thank God, it’s over. I’m finished with her. I’m free and clear.
    Second man: That’s great. How’d you do it?
    First man: She left me.

  20. Jalestra says:

    You know, I’m real sorry you had to go through that. At one time I was that woman.

    I was an abused child (step-father) and when I moved out I swore I would never be someone’s victim again. However, I knew the cycle of abuse and I didn’t want to abuse my children so I went into counseling. It worked, I never hit my kids. I went back to school and during that time I found a wonderful man. After a year I walked in to find him packed up and leaving me. He told me he couldn’t put up with the abuse anymore. At first I blew him off. I mean, jeez that’s not abuse! But it was and as he spoke he broke down and cried and I saw that I was a monster. The monster I dodged with my kids was redirected to him. Your checklist is all too familiar

    I asked for a second chance even though I told him that he had no reason to trust me. Thankfully he gave me that and 12 years later we are still happily married. I went to a new counselor who seriously understood what I was doing to him and she helped me (without medication). I’m sorry it didn’t work out like that for you and I hope things are better for you. Abused men do happen and if women don’t speak up and try to help them then they are no better than the men who never spoke up for them. I’m a big supporter of recognizing and helping abused men.

    • Sarb Mahli says:

      Jalestra… I commend you to own your responsibility in causing pain to your husband. It truly takes a humble person to know what you have done to another human being.

      You are an example of who I speak of.. the Abuser hurting as much as the Victim… I hope Ron’s awful story of abuse again reminds you the priceless gift you have been given back.. your relationship.. what an amazing man you are married to.. for him to step back into the circle of trust and have faith in your love than your actions.. it seems to me he found found faith in the ‘real you’ deep inside.. that truly takes humility..

      • Jalestra says:

        Yes, Ron’s story does remind me of what I put him through and how lucky I am that he gave me that chance.

        • To be perfectly honest, your husband was a fool to take you back. I’m sorry to say that, as you have obviously done a lot of work on yourself. However, most abusers (men AND women) simply stop for awhile and then continue the cycle.

  21. To be frank, my heart breaks even more for men every time I hear stories of abuse directed against them than it does for women. Of course I feel bad and angry when a woman is abused, but she has an entire support system out there that doesn’t necessarily exist for abused men. My heart hurts more for men because of the ridicule sometimes directed at them. And you know what I’ve noticed? Men of abuse are seen as pussy-whipped (an offensive term all around), but women of abuse are seen as victims. What a society we live in, right?

    • apple juice says:

      wow. that’s what I’ve been trying to put to words since I read this article. we all suffer, but you’re so right, men are much more locked into themselves and shame whether they get help or not. and this is true for men who suffer from abuse as much as those who abuse.

  22. I very much appreciate your unbiased perspective on domesticate abuse against men. I tire of the MRM practically spamming good articles like this with anti-feminist sentiment, because that does not address the problem of men being abused by women, or men being abused in general. Rather, comments like that make the issue about feminism and not the issue about people taking violence against men seriously, which, to me, needs more pressing attention than the so-called evils of feminism. The feminists I know want equality for all, but it’s extremist feminists akin to PETA that tend to overshadow their voices, because of course the extremists are going to get more attention. Extremists are often more entertaining, in the eyes of the media and our culture.

    In any case, I am grateful you were able to pull yourself out of this vicious cycle of abuse and were able to write about it with such sensitivity and clarity.

  23. typhonblue says:

    And to go with this piece on domestic violence against men, here’s the most recent blog posting from Fathers and Families:

    http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/?p=13765

    In brief, an arizona chapter of NOW and the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence are calling for the resignation of a state senator.

    Why? Because he got out of a DV arrest because he’s an elected official.

    Now what happened was this. His drunk girlfriend punched him repeatedly while he was driving down a highway and attempted to wrest control of the wheel from him. He pulled over, she tried to get into the driver’s seat and he pulled her out of the car, resulting in her skinning her knees.

    The police came. Arrested her, didn’t arrest him because he cited the fact that senators can’t be arrested while legislature is in session.

    Thus NOW and a DV group are demanding his resignation.

    Let’s reverse the genders, shall we?

    Drunk boyfriend punches girlfriend repeatedly while she’s driving the car; girlfriend pulls over, manages to wrestle the boyfriend out of the car before he tries to drive away with it, he skins his knees.

    Can we spot the domestic abuser now?

    NOW and the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence apparently are incapable because the abuser is cleverly concealed behind her gender!

  24. Ron,
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece with us. I will contact you when I go to HOU sometime this summer.
    Joey

  25. Ron, thank you for your story. I don’t know if that was hard to write, but I bet it was hard to live.

    I lived a similar story, but managed to stay married. The problem was that I was not good enough for her. The shame of the situation just makes things worse. My inability to handle things, brought more guilt and more shame. Only through personal development and the improvement in my business was I able to appease her. Why didn’t I leave her? First, I could not leave my son with her – she would have gone ballistic if I left her. Next, there is no history of divorce in my family – it would have been my failure and it would have caused my severe economic hardship in the short term. I understand how you felt about suicide, my passionate desire for life kept me going when all seemed worthless.

    These days I still walk on eggshells, but the abuse has largely stopped. She would say there is no problem in our marriage, but that is only because I keep it all to myself.

  26. What a powerful post. I’ve deciced I’ve add enough of marriage a couple of years ago after too many years of being considered and viewed as a jerk. I had to fight to secure child custody, but this is where part of my life became a prison of some sort… being at the receiving end of ongoing hurtful comments to underminde my ability, capacity of being a good dad by being constantly riffled by my ex. A lifelong pain routine which I have found I can face up to with the help of my psy doctor. Ultimately, my kids love is what matters the most to me, and we spend good times together, and one day I know they’ll see what I’ve gone through and draw their own conclusions. I have choosen a path of respect and humility. Life goes on. Some chose otherwise, but I don’t bother noticing when it’s all about being angry and wanting to hurt the other person. I’ve pardonned.

  27. I recently wrote a post on my blog about why good feminists sign pre-nups. It is the best way to combat a biased court system. I firmly believe that custody should default to joint and in order to get sole, the petitioning parent should have to demonstrate the unfitness of the other parent. Feminists have been saying for years how gender roles hurt men just as much as women and this story is proof. The problem is MRAs blame feminists for the problem, not the patriarchy. Until men and women can present a united front against the patriarchy, nothing will change. The strength of the patriarchy shows through in this post. The author used expressions like “emasculated,” which is something women do to men when they don’t stick to their pre-assigned gender roles. Maybe try and be more aware of that.

    • The very fact that you use the term “patriarchy” shows you’re no ally of mine. It’s a loaded term designed to alleviate women of any responsibility and redirect it back at men. It presupposes that all men automatically have power and no women do.

      Maybe you should be more aware of the language you use.

    • I recently wrote a post on my blog about why good feminists sign pre-nups.
      I agree that pre-nups are good for all people but for some reason they have a stigma of being a sign of greed. As if any person (men moreso than women but women as well) wanting a pre-nup is a greedy jerk that is protecting their own.

      The problem is MRAs blame feminists for the problem, not the patriarchy.
      A part of the problem is the use of that word. Patriarchy actual means rule of the father, or at least it did before feminists decided to redefine it to their liking. And using that word the way they do serves to:

      1. Mitigate away the way the system harms men by trying to make it sound like men did the damage to themselves.

      2. Absolve women of responsibility of their roles in the system by making it sound like its all men’s fault.

      Oh and about that “(Okay fine) Patriarchy Hurts Men Too (there I said it now shut up)” line. That’s empty lip service.

    • Why do women want to make everything about them? This is a discussion about some men had to suffer due to domestic abuse and you are trying to make it about feminism:

      “The problem is MRAs blame feminists for the problem, not the patriarchy. Until men and women can present a united front against the patriarchy, nothing will change. The strength of the patriarchy shows through in this post. The author used expressions like “emasculated,” which is something women do to men when they don’t stick to their pre-assigned gender roles. Maybe try and be more aware of that.”

      Why is that? Are you unwilling to discuss men’s problems without dragging your own issues in it or is it that you can’t stand it whe it’s not about women? Stop it. Really.

  28. Thanks for sharing something so deeply personal Ron. Someone very close to me was in a relationship with a woman who manipulated and changed his core personality for the time he was with her. But thankfully, he was able to get out of that relationship and ask some good questoins about himself and about her to move on to more positive relationships. It seems that female abuse might be more subtle and manipulative. No less dangerous and just as harmful as male abuse.

    I think we can also take a look at younger girls today. We’ve all heared those stories about teenage girls bullying other girls and actually getting physical with them and beating them up. Which is something that I think happens more often today then it did only 20 years ago. And I wonder why these girls today are more violent and how they will grow into women.

    • Thanks Erin, You bring up a good point. One of the studies I came across in my research linked the number of physically abusive women to the rising amount of violence among teenage girls. Due to editorial constraints, though, i didn’t have the space to fit that in. I’m glad you mentioned it in the comments. Thank you.

      • You should write an article about it. It’s an interesting thing. Do you think this is due to it being more acceptable now for girls to show this type of behavior than in the past? I’m definitely not saying this is right, but I’m just saying that girls are allowed to show stereotypically masculine traits now without necessarily being berated for them.

  29. typhonblue says:

    Hm.

  30. cabaret voltaire says:

    Great essay!

  31. Well, not to get all Jungian psych, but the more I have been thinking about this the more I am reminded about the problem of projection at the heart of relationship difficulties between two individuals and at the heart of social demonization of entire groups of people.

  32. Are you serious?? I have known your ex-wife for 30 years and you are crazy. YOU were physically abusive to her before your marriage and continued after you were married. Why would you post lies about her. She is a whopping 90lbs and is so mild mannered and loved by everyone that has met her, except you. She has single-handed raised your 3 boys with 0% financial help from you because you are unemployed. Maybe she should receive some of the royalities from your book since so many people believe your lies. If you are such a good dad, maybe you should start a college fund for your boys, or does she have to pay for that too??
    Grow up Ron and leave your past in the past and stop making money off of her pain.
    TO ALL RON FANS…he is a liar and fraud. Take his books for what they are…Fiction. I wish you were the man you claim to be.

    • Forgive me Erin, I don’t believe I know you which, in turn, probably means you don’t know me either except through my ex-wife. This being the case, I realize nothing I say in response to your comment is likely to change your mind; however, I’m going to do it anyway.

      1) Except for the incident mentioned in the article, I never laid a hand on my ex wife–broke things, threw glasses, screamed and yelled, yes–but never touched her. That of course is my word against hers so let’s move. The marriage counselor we went documented all of this. We also each saw this counselor one-on-one for a number of sessions, and if there actually was any physical abuse, it’s likely that would’ve come out at some point during the nearly 3 years of sessions. I’ve continued to see this counselor over the past 7 years. He knows the entire history and he’s the one who suggested that I was a victim.

      2) She has not raised the boys single-handedly, and if she thinks she has done so, it’s only because she limits my access to them. Case in point: last summer when I had to threaten legal action to get my boys for the full time designated in the divorce decree. There are more examples, but this restrictive behavior is known as Parental Alienation and it’s considered a form of child abuse. I will say, though, that in the past year she has loosened up a bit, but there are still restrictions placed on me.

      3) True, after paying her $34,000 annually in child support & spousal support (an amount that exceeded the state’s maximum threshold), I lost my job and could only afford to pay $100/ month until the court could legally adjust my support payments. Once the court did this, I had the difference of what I owed in back support pro-rated and added to my current monthly payments (which by the way, was calculated at a rate 20% higher than what I make). So, by all accounts, I am not only meeting my obligation, I’m exceeding it. Since I have your personal email now, I will be happy to send you copies from the Attorney General’s office that will verify all of the above. Also through this entire period-both with & without a job-I never missed a premium payment on the $1 million dollar life insurance policy I’m required to carry for the boys, and I continued to provide them with full medical coverage.

      4) I will be happy to forward copies of all the royalty checks from my book. Try not to laugh when you see them. A common misconception is that everyone makes money from books. Not so. Lesson learned: for my next book, I plan to incorporate a boy wizard prodigy as well as several angst-ridden teen vampires and werewolves. That way I may stand a better chance of making enough money for a meal at Denny’s once a quarter. I would also like to send you a signed copy of my current book so you can read it for yourself.

      5) I haven’t started a college fund for the boys—not officially anyway. I do have a small savings account in their names, though. There’s not much to speak of in it, but I’ll forward you copies of the statements. And if it would help, I’ll send you copies of all my tax returns over the past several years. I’m entirely serious on producing this or any of the evidence I’ve offered.

      I’ve addressed your specific comments above and if I had the room in the comments I’d have a few questions for you about some more details you’re probably not privy to. But I’ll leave those alone for now. In any case, what I have shared with you are documented facts—not hearsay, not conjecture, not an emotional outburst. For as long as I’ve been writing, I’ve known never to publically publish anything of this nature unless it can be proven. Or as the old maxim goes: Never bring a knife to a gun fight.

      If I am a fraud and a liar, then so be it. You’re my ex’s friend, I’m guessing, so naturally you’re going to say this. I suppose it is possible to fool people with writing, but you can’t do it forever. But by the same token, I suppose it’s also possible to fool the people who you call your friends, but can’t do that forever either. Time will tell.

    • Erin, you are obviously one of the god-awful defenders/apologists for abusive women that is referred to in this essay. I have nothing but sympathy for the men and boys in your life that must tolerate your cringe-worthy existence.

      • enlightened says:

        In the early stages of coming out of a 15 year marriage/struggle. I won’t bore all with details and maybe because i have been convinced i am not worth listening to but i for one appreciated reading the essay as so much of it sounds all to familiar. My ex wife is bright, bubbly,friendly and popular at work, church and almost everywhere she goes until behind closed doors. Then those around that make a sound or speak a word out of turn and the fireworks begin. Eventually i became alienated from family, friends, workmates as i lost my job (another story and lawsuit that should have happened),and lost any support from the church i grew up in. I am not claiming to be an ‘innocent’ victim but my world was turned upside down and back to front b somebody who can never do wrong, never say sorry and never make a mistake. Someone who is independent beyond belief and should never have been married to start with.

        The sad thing is it is not over yet. Now every day i live with the guilt of leaving my two angels in her care when i left. I still see them. She makes sure to keep up appearances by being ‘fair’ with custody arrangements but i know they are copping what use to be directed mainly at me. My daughter has already made troubling remarks and mild attempts at self harm. I hope and pray for them constantly. It does not surprise me in the least to read venomous remarks by fellow husband squashers but is it really so hard to see? Please don’t write off the message in this essay as there is a very good chance you know personally someone who goes home to a very ugly ‘behind closed doors’ situation.

        • Hi enlightened, all I can say is that I feel so much empathy for your situation, and that of others who post here of course as well. I have suffered 90% of what you are describing, except that after 25 years of marriage I am still with my wife. I have learnt to live from moment to moment, to secretly do small things on my own that I enjoy just to keep my sanity, I cherish times alone with my children, but my life in general in the presence of my wife is hell.

          I know that ugly behind closed doors situation so well, the walking on eggshells,…
          I wish that there was a magic or easy solution to all of this, but I have yet to find it. In the meantime I take comfort from the knowledge that I am not alone, have courage and hang in there. I hope and pray that you will find a solution.

  33. Thank you for sharing something so personal!

    I don’t believe it should be “when men are abused” or “when women are abused.” It should be “when people are abused” because the same things happen to everyone. Victims blame themselves. Others blame them. They have limited resources. They keep coming back because they can’t see things in perspective.

    Women and men are not so different. We are all the same. Abuse is abuse! And it has to be stopped.

    Again. thank you for your thoughts! Thank you for spreading abuse awareness.

  34. He emerges from the shadows,
    his eyes full of light
    and mystery,
    and holds out to me
    his heart in trembling hands.

    ~Galen Gillotte

    One of my very best and dearest friends is an abused husband-emotional AND physical-he has recorded evidence and is still not believed by the “law”. I thank you for sharing this very difficult and most personal of experiences in public. You may not feel manly by doing so, but in my eyes you are more so than you realize. :)

    Blessings on you and your family,
    ~b~

  35. “…a perceived risk that such a disclosure would be dismissed coming from the man and more than likely would be turned against him, leading to false allegations and possibly even an arrest—a situation referred to as “victim blaming.”

    This is not a perceived risk. This is a real fear. I have been a victim myself. On the night my ex and I broke up (initiated by me) she tried convincing me I had no life without her, then proceeded to break some of my belongings in our house. I called the police and she started to say “Don’t hit me, don’t hit me’ as I was on the phone with the 911 operator.

    Then she went into the kitchen and pulled a 12 inch knife on me while I was on the phone with the 911 operator. I ran outside and she put the knife up before the police arrived.

    After talking to both of us the police said I had to leave because I had family in town. I refused because she had friends she could go to and she was breaking things in the house. The police then told me I had to leave or I was being arrested.

    I am all too aware of the stigma of the male being at fault for any anger, argument, or upset in a domestic issue with a women. I couldn’t (and still don’t ) trust the authorities to protect me in a situation like this. It has made me a highly distrustful and cynical person.

    I know that not all women will behave like this. But the fact that remains is that it could have only been that one that might have sent me to prison for being a victim, not a perpetrator.

    I’ve discussed this on other websites before and no one cares. Like Emily says, there is no support for men. In retrospect it seems hypocritical and sadly, normal. Men are always expected to take care of themselves and others, forsaking themselves sometimes. The disparity of support for men and women reflect this.

    • Agreed, Mike. This was the one point in the article that I had a big problem with. It’s not a “false stigma”. It’s not a “perceived risk”. It’s real. Male victims of abuse really are treated differently. We do ourselves no favors by pretending it’s not a real thing. The article talks about the world covering its ears and going “La la la!”… and then we do it to ourselves in our own forum! What’s with that?

  36. Brian Smith says:

    Wow! Great article. Reading it brought back a lot of memories from my own past as a victim of a wifes abuses. I was punched many times and the mental abuse was even more painful. To this day I still dont know what kept me from the suicide that was always on my mind. 30 years ago and I’m still messed up.

  37. its been 18 months since i came out of an abusive relationship.she abused me emotionally,physically and abusively.
    it was only after having counselling that i realised she was suffering from a narcisstic personality disorder.
    she constantly lied to me,had several affairs,and finally stripped me of every possession i owned.
    she beat me with a bat,and then had me arrested for domestic violence.the law only listens to the womans side of the story. the man is presumed guilty.
    i dont consider myself as a weak man,only that i was brought up to respect a woman.so,i took whatever was thrown at me for my childs sake.
    i just thank God that i am no longer controlled by her.

  38. david j adkins says:

    My real-life example of parental alienation syndrome. Warning, strong language.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPpm4Gyi1jk

  39. I have one question. Where the hell is Amanda Marcotte? I wonder what she has to say about all this. Or perhaps she’d just rather not hear it.

  40. Thank you for posting this article – which i know was over a year ago. It’s funny what you find on the web when you search for information for abused men. Clearly there aren’t a lot of information. I applaud your strength in writing this story – it moved me. Though your situation is probably 1000x worse than anything I have had to go through, I know what it feels to lose control and get angry (I never got like this ever before). It’s something with the way she phrases things, words things, always accusing always blaming. She will always be an angel to her supporters because she has a way to twist things, exaggerate, and seek the sympathy of others against you. Thank you for being strong, and thank you for starting the converstaion.

  41. I see that this article is quite old, but I feel compelled to write anyway. As an activist against ALL forms of domestic violence, I stand with you, Ron. As I say to those – mainly women – who come to me for advice and support, please work at actively moving forward from “just surviving” to THRIVING. God/dess bless you and your (new) wife. May you find peace, joy and prosperity. Namaste.

  42. hi…. even though old the article is stimulating….. i myself am facing this kind of narcissistic abuse from my wife and in laws and cant seem to find a way to convince them that they are wrong…. it can be torturous …. can u suggest of ways of solving these issues without much ado….. if divorce can be avioded then i would be happier….

  43. Men are not only victims of domestic violence, but they are also victims of molestation & rape too. The situation becomes worse in countries like India where rape of man by woman is not recognized by the law. So the male victims either continue to suffer of commit suicide. http://lifenstory.com/no_help_for_raped_men

  44. The problem is, none of what you’re describing here is actually abuse. Dysfunction, maybe, but it lacks the critical component of control that is required for abuse. Abuse is not, “the relationship is bad and it’s their fault,” abuse is, “this situation is becoming harder and harder to escape.” What power did she have over you to keep you in the marriage? The only physical aggression you mention is your own. Did she use social aggression? The only attempt you make at any case for an incident of this is her telling you she didn’t want you there with her while she was giving birth! What right do you think you have to access to her body? And joking that you’d only had sex three times? You have three kids, and even if your knowledge of female biology is poor enough that you don’t realize what an obviously massive exaggeration this is, other people can tell. You had three kids. You were having sex regularly. If you were *not* having sex regularly after this, that’s called, “Having three kids.” I came here looking for REAL accounts of women abusing men because I know it happens and I’m trying to learn more about it. But I also know that abusers are often skilled at blame-shifting and using the claim,”no, they abused ME!” to wriggle away from taking responsibility for their own actions. I see nothing in this narrative that convinces me that you are anything but such a person. Oh and look, someone claiming to know you and your victim came to the thread. Doesn’t help your case, nor does you cooly claiming that she’s a liar.

    • Constant belittlement, even in public and in front of friends, to the extent that he’d rather stay at work late than to come home to it. Manipulation forcing him to leave two careers, and to separate from friends and family. Withholding of children, and of emotional support, as a weapon. And you don’t call that “abuse”? Heck… what’s it take, for you, before you say: “No… it’s wrong to do that to somebody.”? At what point does that become “real” to you?

  45. The guy I’ve been seeing for almost six months got out of a 13 year relationship one year ago in which he was emotionally abused. I don’t think he even realized that he was an abuse victim until I pointed out to him. The stories I’ve heard are horrific, and he lived his life walking on eggshells. His reason for staying? “When it was good, it was good.” No, sorry, that doesn’t erase the bad. It has been a struggle for him to heal, but I see him growing stronger every day. I listen to him when he needs to talk about it, and am lovingly present for him. No judgment. Still, he’s damaged, and I know we have a long road ahead until he’s free from that trauma. He’s a great guy and worthy of my love. I’ll be there for him for as long as it takes.

    Thanks for your article, I’m going to share it with him.

  46. So grateful for finding and reading this. I was married for 16 years. Now separated and divorced for near 2 years. I do not know what happens to people. I am scared i will love her always sometimes. I still get so emotional when i think of some of her better qualities and the good times we had together. They simply got fewer and fewer and i wanted to live less and less every day. As always there were warning signs even before the wedding. I was not blind to them but thought the issues would amount to nothing and was confident we could overcome anything together. Besides i believed that she was second only to God on my priority list and i would defend her over anyone else and i did. Slowly but surely i lost friends, let dreams die, gave up interests and became a shadow. She liked to point this out challenging me cruelly to ‘be a man’.

    Determined to make her see i was doing all i possibly could to please her i all but lost my family and towards the end tried hard to become part of a family that occasionally tolerated me but never really accepted me. It got harder and harder to get up every day. Not so successful as yourself but i have always risen to the top quickly in any workplace and field of work rather quickly. I work hard and rise to every challenge. I should have been proud of myself and many of my estranged family and friends felt this to. I did like my work but despite the situation at home i always looked forward to getting home to my family, until i set foot on the doorstep. Then i would dread the wrath of my wife who would be agitated by every move or sound i made. I tried all the techniques suggested by a host of counselors.. The ‘safe’ words, they were ignored. Walking away which inspired an enraged chase. Going out, suggesting she write things down, asking if we could talk about it later. None of it was a satisfactory response for her. Yes i to yelled, used horrible words and also occasionally broke things. Of course she went down the domestic violence path which even stopped that as an option.

    The beginning of the end was when after a counselling session with our then pastor she remembered an incident of sexual abuse at the hands of a family friend. For years i had virtually gone without a sex life thinking i was disgusting or had done something wrong to her early on. We did discuss it and she always said this was not the case. I even joked about our two gorgeous miracle babies and boasted about my fine track record considering the ratio of children to sexual encounters. Anyway on hearing about the abuse i was devastated for her initially but after the initial shock became insistent that she seek counselling to improve our sex life. I was looking forward to it. She did not feel it was effecting her any more and so did not bother. I was hurt and angry. I made the terrible decision to pay someone for sex. Not only was i wracked with guilt but the episode was comical. Since marrying at a healthy 78kg i had become a 130kg diabetic with major depression and sleep apnoea. I made a couple of other attempts with working girls but they were laughable to. I was going downhill fast. I was miserable at home and at work and was failing in every area of my life.

    My wife appeared to have it under control though. Admittedly she was a bubbly, friendly person who lit up the room every time she walked into outside of the home. Even after putting on a lot of weight she was very attractive and popular, always centre of attention. I now feel she wanted it this way. She constantly played down any of my strong points or successes. I warned her that taking up a position in my workplace would take away the only place where i was a person in m own right. Yet she went ahead and took the position anyway. Over a few short years she of course got very busy and popular and was at work most days. I became merely her husband again and faded into the background. This went on until one day after work, i was trying to drink myself stupid and she refused to drop whatever it is she was hounding me about, i exploded. I screamed at her, grabbed my keys and took off. I did something very stupid and was involved in an accident that saw me alienated from my own family for a matter of months.

    Because of the incident, my desperate and stupid decisions and the actions of my wife i was forced to leave home and the children that mean more to me than the air i breathe, i lost my job and therefore workmates, my family, the church i had grown up in and was left with nothing but long empty hours do miss everything i had lost. I was cleared by a psychologist on the night and police pressed no charges but that did not matter to her.

    Since then the best work i have been able to find is not even letting me make ends meet. But i do not care so much as have not once wanted to die since leaving home. I used to play chicken on my motorcycle, see how long could close my eyes for but i do not do that anymore either. I have discovered that i have talents and abilities that have resurfaced after being buried for years. I can make friends and even be quite positive. I am engaged to a woman who is beautiful inside and out. My relationship with my children in so much stronger and more positive. They have expressed the desire to be with me rather than their mother who now gives them the crap that use to be thrown my way. And now i am fighting a losing battle in this western society to make it happen. She gets all the support and options and i get deeper and deeper in debt. I am worried for my children as there has already been self harm incidents at school but who will listen?

    I apologise. I just looked up and saw a full screen. I started typing and just kept going. Even if you do not read this i thank you so much for your story. It has helped me in those times of self doubt to know that this has not all been caused by me as her and hers would have me believe.

    Chef

  47. My wife got beat up by her verbally and physically abusive mother and maybe that’s why she got messed up. My wife is also emotionally abusive and very manipulative and cold. I heard of the term ’emotional abuse’ by a woman social worker on the radio a few years ago and realized that it applies to my wife’s situation. I know of a friend of a Pakistani friend that gets beat up by his wife with a hunter and gets verbally abused by her parents. But women are very good at always playing the victim card while carrying on the abuse behind closed doors.

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