By Dana Greco,LCSW and Don Desroches
David L. Fontes, Psy.D, in the article titled,”Men Don’t Tell” gives insight into several reasons. He writes:
“When a man is a victim of his wife’s physical abuse he is both shamed by the assaults of his wife and shamed by society for not ‘controlling’ her better. Today, men are not made to ride backward on donkeys, but they are still considered ‘wimps’ for letting their wives beat them or for complaining about their wives’ attacks. For many men ‘Taking it like a man’ means don’t complain and don’t show you are vulnerable or in pain!
In one study it was revealed that 86% of women used weapons against their husbands, including but not limited to, guns, knives, sharp objects, etc. Men have fallen victim to a dangerous situation in their homes. It is extremely important that society support these men and the children witnessing this violence. Why not step up when you hear or see this and say “Why do you allow that to happen to you?” We need to encourage men to admit that it is OK to get help when their wives have lost their self control with them. Most wives do not have this violence with other people, but they think it is OK to be violent towards the person they are married to. This tells me they have self control, but they choose to lose it in certain circumstances. Women know their husbands are too afraid to go to the police to tell them their wife abused them, so that’s why they do it, because they are too much of a coward to tell a police officer how their wife abuses them.
The other area of abuse is verbal, there are few studies that signify the verbal and psychological attacks occurring in the relationship. Verbal abuse includes the following: Withholds appropriate responses, approval, appreciation. Discounts or trivializes your thoughts, feelings, interests, opinions. Edifies you, telling you what you already know in a condescending way. Bafflegags you purposefully explains something so it can’t be understood. Criticizes you, your actions, interests, friends, work. Counters your thoughts, opinions expressions. Makes unilateral decisions that involve you. Diverts and interrogates you. Is sarcastic toward you. Calls you names, ridicules you, threatens you, taunts you, mimics you, lies to you, rages at you. If these are at all familiar then you are a victim of abuse, reach out to a men’s support group or find a therapist that can help you find a solution. You may be a tough guy and think to yourself this does not bother me. Well how about being a tough guy and stop being a coward and either get out of the relationship or get some help with couples counseling. It takes real courage to admit you need someone else’s help. It is so easy to keep things to yourself and not tell anyone else what is going on.
Verbal abuse is a violation, it harms the spirit and damages self-esteem, deteriorates confidence. Abuse is not negotiable, Abuse is toxic. It effects everyone in the home, children listen and learn, therefore the sooner it is identified the sooner family support can be put into place. How would you like your son to grow up and accept being treated like you because he saw you accept it? How would you like your daughter to think it is OK to do this to another man because she saw it was OK for her mom to do this to you? How would you like the son of your daughter, your grandson, see her berate her husband? The vicious cycle continues until YOU decide to break it!