Tag Archives: family violence

I live in a hellish relationship

Dear globalcounselor,

I am 50 years old with grown children and I live with a husband who still abuses me. My husband likes a present our family as intact and he being in control of this thing call family. Behind closed doors he screams at me and when I scream back at him he pushes me around, slaps me in my face and calls me all kinds of name. I am a professional woman too but because I do not have a PhD like he does, he thinks I am less than him and that I should be so grateful to have him as my husband. He is a bully and I hate him. Sometimes I feel like boiling a pot of water and throw it over him when he is asleep.  My children are aware that things are not right at home and they stay away as much as they can spending time with their friends or going to the gym. I am fearful that I am not being a good role model for my daughters. I would not want them living the way I live.  I am thinking seriously of leaving my husband of 30 years. I know my Nigerian community will reject me because they feel a woman should always remain with her husband and pray to God but God is telling me it’s time to leave this junky man I married. He is heartless and cruel and does not have any love in his heart. I am tire and I am too old to live like this. What do you think globalcounselor, would it be so terrible if I leave, am I being unreasonable, a bad wife and mother. What should I do?

Ashamed

Dear Ashamed,

You need to get out of this relationship. After 30 years, you need a break.  No women should remain in an abusive relationship. Abuse is about controlling a woman. You are an abused woman living in a violent relationship with an intimate partner and sometimes the only way to find peace and a life free of this violence is to leave.

A man who abuses his wife has not self-esteem. He is a man who feels that he is not getting enough respect outside the home so to make up for that he becomes a tyrant in the home and asserts his power over his wife and children. When the children are old enough and he can no longer abuse them, he still has the wife to make her life a hell.

Wife abuse is damaging to a woman, physically, spiritually and emotionally.  Many feel they deserve the abuse or they cannot do better than what they have with this man, or they tell themselves they cannot leave because of the children, or that he will change. They make up these stories to justify them remaining in the situation.  It is the shame they feel that force them to make up stories until they cannot make up anymore and then the remorse and sadness sets in, which then expresses itself as anger mostly at oneself.  Do not return abuse with abuse.  You said you are a professional woman, develop a protection plan for yourself before you make a move. Tell a trusted friend, seek help from a counsellor, make sure you have money and a place to go when you leave. Plan your escape well. You can also get the police involved to keep you safe in case he comes looking for you. No one has a right to hit you or make you feel less than. Take back your power. Good luck.

My wife treats me like a child

Dear globalcounselor,

I am a 45-year-old man.  I have been married to my wife for 15 years and we have two children. The first two years were my happiest but since then it has been downhill.  I feel like an abused man but I do not know what is abuse. I have never told anyone about the way I feel but the more I read about women’s abuse I feel it describes my situation at home. I walk on eggshells around my wife because I am tired of hearing her scream abusive insults at me. My self-esteem is shot. I feel I can’t leave her because no one else would want a loser like me. She speaks to me like you wouldn’t even speak to your child. She orders me around and if her friends are around she would say go get this, shut up if I offer an opinion. I feel worse than our pet dog, she treats the dog like human then she wonders why she feels I am no longer attracted to her. I hate her but I cannot  leave her. I feel trapped and dehumanized by my wife. The only thing she has not done is to try to hit me physically.  I am so happy to go to work each day because there is compassion and respect with my colleagues. I believe that’s what keeps me going because some days I feel so down that there seems to be no point. I have tried talking to my wife about the way I feel and she says that I should be a man and stop whining.  I have to leave but I need my children, how can I do this?

Despondent.

Dear despondent,

You seem to be in deep mess right now. You describe the classic sign of someone living in an abusive relationship. While a majority of people in abusive relationships are women there is a small minority of men who experience abuse as well and the effects are the same as it is for women living in abusive relationships. No one deserves to live in an abusive relationship. My advice to you is to get out of the relationship if your wife refuses to respect your feelings or is unwilling to change her behaviour.  I think you need serious counselling to regain your self-esteem.  If you choose to remain in the relationship you have to stand up to your wife and give her an ultimatum to attend counselling or end the marriage. You said you hate your wife and want out of the relationship.  It could be that you hate her  behaviour and not the woman you married.  You’ve lived too long under the weight of this abuse and are now disconnected with your true feeling. You need to stop it now.  How you do that?  Find a counsellor start counselling immediately to bring some perspective on your life and why you are allowing your wife to treat you the way she is, give your wife an ultimatum, tell her in no uncertain terms that you will not tolerate  her behaviour anymore, should there be an incident, call the police and get a police incident report.  If this does not help, ask her to leave the home. Change the locks on the home and she will know that you are serious. This will be upsetting for the children but if they witnessed the way their mom treated you, they will understand. Children understand more than we give then credit for and they are generally fair peoplel.

I know this is a lot of information but what is happening to you is wrong and you do not have to take it anymore. You have to act or you will lose yourself completely as well as your children. Good luck.

Emotional Abuse

Dear globalcounselor,

I am a a 45 year old man and I believe that I am being abused by my wife.  I can only write to you because my manhood would not dare let me speak about this to family and friends. My sisters have caught on and they keep saying why do you allow your wife to treat you so shabbily, don’t you have any pride. I just shrug it off , grin and bear it. Whenever her friends are around she would “show off” and order me around. I have to serve them coffee and biscuits.  It’s like she is making me pay for what men have done to women in the past.  We have two beautiful sons and everytime I think of just walking out, I think of them.  I sometimes wonder if it is not better to leave because what kind of a role model I am for my sons.

I spoke to my wife several times about this behaviour and she says women have done the same for men for thousands of year so I should get over it. I should tell you my wife is a Lawyer and I am well, a carpenter.  She reminds me as often as she can who brings in the dough and I feel like a dork because she brings in more money than I do at the moment but there was a time when I brought in tons more than her. I had my own business. She encouraged me to give up the business to help care for our sons, which at first I was glad to do. I love my sons more than my life I think. I am fed up of being like some slave and  some “thing” for her convenience. I can’t take this much longer because it’s eating me up inside. What can I do?

Fedup guy

Dear Fedup guy:

Abuse is wrong no matter where it comes from. You need to have another serious talk with your wife and suggest you get some marriage counselling to see what’s driving your wife to treat you that way.  It does sound a bit shabby indeed. While some men may delight in serving their wives voluntarily to be ordered to do so takes the fun away.  Your wife  appears to have issues and she needs to address those.  Why would one human being treat a person she claims to love in that way?  It’s not love but power and control. That is at the root of abusive behaviour. Perhaps her father or some man did her wrong in the past and now she is taking it out on you. My advice is to try to save your marriage if you still love your wife and want to keep your family together and if you see that it won’t work I have to tell you there is no glory in suffering. Cut your losses and leave her but not your sons. You will be their father forever. Go do what you have to do and do not sell out yourself. You may be surprised at what your children may be learning from your behaviour, you stayed home to take care of them and that’s something they will remember. The bond you developed with your sons will be there forever.