Jump to content

Emotional Abuse and Men


Recommended Posts

Hello all,


Before I share my own story and my own thoughts on this subject, I'd like to reach out and ask: Guys, have any of you been emotionally abused by your partner/spouse? If so, what was it like?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently went through a very bad break-up. I was also physically abusive. So, I decided to go counseling because I know what I did was wrong and I do not want to continue these actions moving forward. In doing so, I was asked to read the book " the verbally abusive relationship" by patricia evans. I took some notes and graded both myself and my ex partner on how we behaved. There were patterns of behavior that we both did to each other that would be considered abusive by the author. I'll see if I can describe them more in detail later tonight when I review them. In coming to this conclusion, I would think most relationships have some level of abuse. I think the word abuse has such a negative conotation on it that many people would not admit that they have some of these qualities.

Edited by jba10582
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some things I put together from the book. I'll admit that a lot of these things occured in my past relationship that we both said and did. I do feel that some of them did not affect me as bad as it could (maybe I had thick skin because of my own childhood)


I included them here because it was the author's opinion of what verbal abuse can feel/look/sound like.


The partner that is abused can feel: Hurt, diminished,unrecognized, ignored, made fun of, discounted, closed off, ect. Often the abuser does not validate these feelings with empathy.


In her book she describes two generalized realities, the Power Over (Reality 1) and Personal Power (Reality 2).


The Power Over (reality 1) becomes toxic in relationships. It deals with domination and control, think a dictator of a regime, or a psychotic boss, where the power can be gained by controlling and manipulating others.


Personal power (reality 2) deals with a way controlling oneself and living in mutuality and creativity. People in this category try to resolve their difficulties in a mutually supportive way.


Power Over forms inequality, competition, manipulation,hostility, control, negation


Personal power forms, equality, partnership, mutuality,goodwill, intimacy, validation


Some of the categories (Rooted from Power Over Reality1) are mentioned below


Witholding – refusing to listen to partner, or withholding one’s thoughts and feelings to reveal as little as possible. An example would be “ Watching TV acting like they are listening and not, or statements like “There is nothing to talk about!” The silent treatment


Countering – arguing from the standpoint ofshowing that you are right, and the other person’s opinion is wrong. The attitude of: How dare they have a different viewpoint then mine!?


Discounting – Not validating the others feelings: “You’re too sensitive”, “You’re just looking to fight”, “You think you know it all”, “You take everything wrong”, “Your jumping to conclusions”, “Your always complaining about something”, “You twist everything around”, “You don’t know what you’re talking about” ect.


Verbal Abuse disguised as jokes – self explanatory,“you couldn’t find your head it if was attached”, “you can’t see that? if it were a snake it would have bit you!” ect.


Blocking and Diverting – this is switching the topic in way that is accusatory: “You think you know it all”, “Just drop it”, “Did any body ask you?”, “Quit your bitching”, “that just a bunch of crap”, “Your talking out of turn!”, “This discussing is over!”


Accusing and blaming – Accusing or blaming theother partner of wrongdoing without basically having the facts, maybe out of irritation, anger or insecurity. “You always put things in the wrong place!“


Judging and criticizing – labeling a person’s identity as something negative, “you always cheat” ,”you’re stupid”, “your crazy”, “that is dumb”, “the trouble with you is….”, “you can’t keep anything straight!”, “you are ….(something negative)!”


Trivializing – expressing that what the other person said or did was insignificant: to me this is basically not showing appreciation of the effort for what someone did or making light of it.


Undermining – these are comments which would dampen or lessen the interest in something, discouraging. “you wouldn’t understand”, “you’ll never make it”, “you can’t do that”, “what makes you think you’re so smart”, “why do you like that?"


Threatening – manipulation to bring a form of pain or hurt by fear of loss: Do what I want or else attitude


Name Calling - self explanatory: “you’re a bitch”, “ you son of a bitch” ect.


Forgetting –: “ I never agreed to that”, “ I don’t know what you’re talking about”


Ordering – expecting something from the perspective of inequaltity: “Get rid of this”, “Go do this”, “You’re not wearing that!”, “Shut that off”, ect


Denial – Not acknowledging something that happened


Abusive Anger – quick to get angry, unpredictable.


Patterns recognized in the book

An interaction which upsets, hurts, or confuses her/him


Rarely occurs in public


Is Unexpected


When he/she is feeling happy


Comes to seem familiar


Communicates disdain for interests


Does not seek reconciliation or even to be bothered by the incident


The relationship seems to be functional


In way to make her/him feel isolated


Tries to define the other partner


Does not say what was actually heard

Edited by jba10582
Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking back on my marriage, I believe that I did things which could be considered abusuve, most specifically name calling. But what I continue to believe is that the balance of abuse, so to speak, was way off. If I was abusive on a scale of 1/10, she was a 10/10. As most posters already know I was physically assaulted several times, including getting bruised with wooden plank the last time. The problem with saying that "both parties are at fault" in a divorce fails to consider that, while both parties might technically do abusive things, the balance can be extremely off kilter. In almost all cases where I called her a name it was in response to getting hit or smacked. I felt there was nothing else I could do. Can't hit a woman or you go to jail, so what else could I do? I just believe the relationship was highly unbalanced. I would get lynched for doing something on a scale of 1/10 while she would try to blame me for something she did that was 10 times worse. Not all failed marriages are "equal fault". I'm tired of hearing that.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi tinker683,

I hope that you are doing well. It's been a few days since you first made this thread. We'll be here for you when you do feel ready to speak about things.


I was in a long-term relationship which contained elements of both physical and emotional violence. It began in a very simple way. She would detail to me her day in retail, and how she just barely managed to treat costumers with respect and dignity, before finally lashing out at me. Inside her mind she needed an outlet for her frustrations. So she would take those frustrations out on me. We tried to work it out but the bottom line is that she chooses to treat complete strangers at work far better than me. Think about that the next time your spouse insults you. Every harsh word is a choice that she willingly makes. How often does she display the fact that she is more than capable of being respectful while simultaneously treats you poorly?


In my past relationship, however, the situation continued to escalate. Emotional blackmail is term for one abusive behavior. That's when a person manipulates you by making demands. "Give me what I want or else you'll be responsible for my breakdown." Similarly, "I want to be in control of the situation. I am going to make threats to kill myself unless you give me what I want. And you'll be sure to know that it was all your fault." Next came the insults, then the screaming, controlling behaviors such as the attempts to isolate me from everyone, and then the use of actual violence and threats to have me murdered. At the time there was no way out of the situation because she was a legal tenant with an extremely lengthy eviction process. She was also too poor to move out on her own.


Fear, Obligation, or Guilt.

These words define emotional abuse - Any pattern of behavior directed at one individual by another which promotes in them a destructive sense of fear, obligation, or guilt.


Those are the experiences of anyone in an abusive relationship. Emotional abuse is no little or simple thing. It doesn't matter whether or not you are a man. The fear always looming over your head of wondering how you will manage to make it through the day without any mistreatment. The obligation that you feel towards this relationship. And then the guilt and blame that you may place onto yourself for what is happening. This is a very serious situation. I'm not going to tell you want to do. All that I may do is encourage you to speak about it. We all want to see you succeed tinker683.

Edited by ThatMan
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi tinker683, and thanks for posting. If you have a story, I don't really need to hear it to know what you are going through. Emotional abuse for men can be much worse than for women because there are lots of support channels for abused women, but almost none for abused men. After all, men are 'supposed to be' the stronger partner and 'should be' better able to cope. But you, I and the others on this thread know that's not always the case.


My situation is very subtle but very pervasive, but it definitely has most of the components that jba10582 mentions from the Patricia Evens book (it's a good book, but it's written exclusively from the perspective of the abused woman which is exceedingly disappointing). In my situation, what is especially alarming is if I become agitated about being mistreated, I get pinned with the "anger problem" and the abuse get completely turned around, when all the rest of those around me know I am one of the most easy going people that they know.


Whatever you need, please reach out and we will do our best to help you through this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Abuse is something the abuser must allow to happen.


With that fact in mind, as for me...no. Never been a victim of abuse by a partner.


ThatMan makes some accurate statements, about how women abuse men. It all boils down to projecting blame. Refuse to be blamed, and you have refused to participate in your own abuse.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello all,


Before I share my own story and my own thoughts on this subject, I'd like to reach out and ask: Guys, have any of you been emotionally abused by your partner/spouse? If so, what was it like?

I don't know if neglect is equivalent to abuse but IME it felt like being in outer space without a space suit or capsule. Dark, cold and absolute vacuum.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was involved with a woman who was quite abusive to me. She did some pretty ****ed up things, mostly head games. She was good at manipulating me, making me feel guilty, turn tables in arguments, scream at me, blame shift, ignore my calls/texts for days, name calling, struck me in public a few times, made fun of me to friends, embarrassed me in front of people, lied to me and my entire family/friends about being seriously ill. She ****ed me up pretty good, but I had fallen in love with her none the less.


The thing I found so captivating about her was her beauty and passion. When things were good with her they were REALLY good....and when they were bad....she was very good at telling me what I wanted to hear and building me up, just to rip me down. She lied to me so often I had no idea what to believe. I have no doubt she also screwed around on me quite a bit early on in the relationship as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Create New...