Family and domestic violence also happens to men. Being in a violent and abusive relationship can take many forms. The most common include physical violence and threats, emotional abuse, social and financial control, and persistent demeaning comments.
Barriers remain and stigma persists. Too many male victims are embarrassed to ask for help. They fear that no one will believe them. Too many male victims are embarrassed to ask for help.
Men Being Abused By Women
We often read stories of women being abused by men but what about the other way round? The narcissistic woman is every bit as evil as their male counterpart.
I read your article on emotional abuse and wanted to share my story with you from a male victim perspective.
I met my now ex back in 2008 and we fell in love almost immediately. She was beautiful, successful and everybody loved her. Perfect. We bought a large house together in the countryside which would house her two boys and my son, if he so wished. As it turned out only one of her sons lived with us and my lad preferred to stay near his friends and was studying hard, so I completely understood. Three years later we married. It was a perfect wedding and I recall someone congratulating me on ‘winning’ such a prize as I was “punching above my weight.” meaning she was out of my league. I took it as a compliment but now I see it from a different perspective – I would be easier to control if I was ‘forever grateful’ to her for choosing me. She also earned more than me and was in total control of the financial situation as well as our life.
As with most of the occasions I was abused, I didn’t realise it WAS abuse, I just thought I was somehow in the wrong.
Looking back, I have had to come to terms with the fact I was a victim but luckily enough, I am also a survivor.
Examples of such abuse are plentiful, but a couple stick out in my mind. She once, in the middle of a nice evening meal, I was there completely in love, looking at this beautiful lady when she announced out of the blue that my son, “quite obviously isn’t yours.” I just stared at her in silence…why would the woman I love, who should love me too, say such a thing? Even if she thought it.
I took the abuse for three more years and, just as in your story, she was perfect when in the company of others. Even when we eventually split up, most of our mutual friends chose her and forgot me assuming I was the problem in the marriage. How could it possibly be her fault, right?
She would argue that I wasn’t pulling my weight around the house when in actual fact I was doing most of the work. It got to the point where she made lists of jobs up for us to sign for when done BUT I would do mine and hers! She then took the list down. It sounds petty but she was trying to control everything in my life.
I took it but would not retaliate even though I wanted to argue. On the occasions when we would argue I would give in. I didn’t want to risk losing her. I loved her and she knew it.
My career got better, and my earnings matched hers and occasionally bettered hers. One of her grips on the control of our marriage was weakened. Where we went on holiday was no longer her sole choice, I had a say. I was able to spoil my son as much as she spoiled hers. I was regaining confidence and belief in myself.
We celebrated my 50th birthday with a fantastic holiday in Vietnam and Cambodia but the intimacy side of things had long since been removed by her. Again, I did not argue about it or question it. I made excuses for her in my head that it was work, or stress etc. She even said she didn’t have much of a sex drive anyway so it wasn’t a big deal for her.
When she realised, she no longer was pushing me mentally around she planned her exit, and, on our anniversary after a meal I booked at her favourite restaurant, she announced she wanted a divorce.
I was DEVASTATED. I had convinced myself things weren’t that bad, and we would come out the other side. In reality she had planned it for at least a year!
The drip feed of emotional abuse over the last seven years would now take a more condensed form. What had gone unnoticed in the past was now out in the open.
During the next three weeks she barely spoke a word to me, she would sit there working but not talking. Daft as it sounds, she even ‘unfriended’ me on Facebook while I still lived there. At one point she did however speak to me but only to suggest we live together under the same roof but live separate lives. Narcissist. She even wanted control of my life after divorce.
I told her point blank, that was not an option. I couldn’t cope with seeing the woman I loved going out ‘til whenever or even worse coming back the next morning. There was more bullying to come, she would try anything to provoke me, this time she said she “loved sex – just not with me.”
In reality, she planned everything from start to finish. I moved out with nothing but my savings. A year later she moved and pocketed a nice lump sum in equity.
It’s been over three years since I moved out. The divorce was finalised within six months. I had to go to a therapist because I was having suicidal thoughts and I took three months off work to get straightened out.
My therapist explained to me that I wasn’t at fault, she has the illness and I am a victim of that illness. Inside somewhere I knew I wasn’t at fault but there is still a part of me that wishes I could have ‘fixed’ her.
I know men and women who are in relationships and marriages that aren’t perfect, but I also know men and women who are with a narcissist – they just don’t know it themselves.
Footnote: My therapist also pointed out that as well as me being the victim here which nearly cost me my life and/or sanity, that the narcissist may also be a victim of an event in the past and this is their way of not losing control of a situation.