Abused Men - 3 Keys to Dealing
with the Shame of Being a Battered Man
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
Abused men often hide out in abusive relationships because their shame shields them from change. They know that when they break the silence around the domestic abuse that they live, people will do one of two things.
a) People will not believe that they are, much less could be, battered by a “little” woman. For crying out loud, the woman is probably half his size, even though behind closed doors she projects four times the volume as he.
She can be louder, more aggressive, manipulative, controlling, abrasive, hypersensitive, demanding, cruel, blaming... She can be just as abusive as a male batterer, yet people listening to battered men...listen with surprise and disbelief.
b) People will laugh when they learn of the particulars of the abuse battered men endure. This is especially true for men listening to battered men. Those without the sensitivity for the dynamics of domestic abuse can see an abused man’s predicament as “laughable.”
Their reaction compounds the shame felt by abused men. And this sends them deeper and deeper into denial.
Here are a few things you can do to deal with the shame of your living in an intimate relationship with an abusive woman.
1) See the enigma of domestic abuse as a social “dis-ease.” That is a dysfunction in an intimate relationship that robs the relationship of health and harmony. It’s a condition void of respect, honoring and equality. You may be a part of the enigma, but this “condition” that you live is far bigger than you.
2) Recognize that the battering you are weathering is not about you. Rather it is characteristic of the intimate partner abuse. As much as your partner wants you to believe that you are responsible for the upsets in the relationship, know her blaming custom is characteristic of the domestic abuse.
3) Let the intensity of your shame be directly proportionate to your efforts toward change, rather than the opposite. Shame is your barometer that things are not well in your relationship. Instead of letting this shame shield you from reaching out, allow it to propel you toward remedy. As ridiculous as this may sound at first, you must honor your own shame.
You did not create the abusive relationship, and you cannot change it by sustaining the status quo. You can inspire change in the relationship, but never by hiding out in the shame of it. You are the only one who can campaign for your health, well-being and your safety. So take yourself by the hand and let your shame ignite commitment to break the cycle of abuse before it spirals out of control.
For more information on help for abused men, visit http://www.preventabusiverelationships.com/abused_men.php and claim your Free Instant Access to Survivor Success eInsights. Psychologist Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps individuals nationwide end and heal from domestic abuse at home and in court. © Jeanne King, Ph.D. — Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention
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Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.