I read stories about women experiencing domestic violence but I have never had the courage to share mine because I’m a man. People hardly expect men to have issues like domestic violence but sad to say, a lot of men experience it also.
I’m Daniel and I am a victim of domestic violence. I run my own business which takes me around the country. My marriage lasted five years and it took the intervention of family and friends to help me walk out of it. My ex-wife, Franka, was a thorn in my flesh. Even after two children, I expected her to be reasonable but no, she went on a mission to destroy me.
My father was a disciplinarian and a strong Christian. I never saw him lift a finger to my mother. The day my older brother slapped my sister, was the day I saw my father in another light. He whipped my brother and called all his sons(3 of us). He warned us never to hit any woman no matter what.
My father was totally against domestic violence. He said to us that real men don’t hit women nor molest them. Thus we all grew up to be gentlemen. My brothers married good women but I wasn’t so lucky.
I am slender and tall. My wife isn’t particularly big. If anything, she is what you would call cute and petite. While dating her, I got to know she had a temper. Once she slapped me in the course of an argument. Most times, she would run her mouth in very hurtful ways.
Because she would always beg and try to makeup, I always forgave her. Most times it looked like there were two people living in her. Sometimes, she would be so cute and the next minute, she was this raving crazy person. I always hoped her better side would emerge as I did love her very much.
So yes, I knew my wife had a temper but I couldn’t have envisaged what would happen in the course of our marriage. My wife stabbed me over six times within the first three years of the marriage. She hit me severally and slapped me. As a man, I never would have thought that I could be a victim of domestic violence but alas…
The first time she stabbed me, she was pregnant. I assumed it was hormones acting up. The second time was after our son turned three months old. She was upset because I had sent some money to her mother without telling her. On another occasion, I gave out some used shirts of mine and she got so angry that she threw a glass at me and cut me.
I could not correct her on anything. One day I travelled and misplaced my phone briefly so she called over ten times and I could not answer because I didn’t know where I dropped the phone. As soon as I got a hold of the phone, I called her back and she rained abuses on me.
Trapped and ashamed
I never told anyone what I was going through but they noticed I was never happy and seemed to be looking older. I opened up to a friend and he told me I wasn’t a man. He said that as a man, I should know how to handle my wife. That hurt me. So I stopped talking to people.
After my brother heard my wife abuse me over the phone, he advised me to leave. He, however, didn’t have a full idea of what was really going on as I hid most things from people. How could I tell people that I was a victim of domestic violence? I really wanted to protect my wife as I felt that we could work through her anger issues together.
Deep within me, I knew it wasn’t going to get better. At this time also, she was expecting our second child and I felt it was the wrong time to leave her.
Enough is enough
The straw that broke the camels back was when she stabbed me in my sleep. A female client had called me late to make an enquiry. My wife intercepted the call and came to the wrong conclusions. It was the pains from the stab wound woke me.
I screamed as blood rushed from my side. Managing to push her away, I tried first to make my way to the door. I opened the windows and shouted for help before I collapsed.
When the neighbours arrived, My wife claimed that I was the one who hit her first. She claimed she was only acting in self-defence. She was still protesting as I was being rushed to the hospital.
My brother was called and he was shocked that my wife had been violent towards me. He had been a witness to the verbal abuse but had never witnessed the domestic violence. After he saw the old wounds on my body, he told my parents.
My parents advised me to leave or else she would kill me one day. This time I was ready to end the marriage for good.
My wife came begging and pleading, as usual. She accepted that she had gone too far and promised to change and control her temper better. This though I had had enough and was done. Perpetrators of domestic violence rarely ever change. I knew that one day, she would kill me. I filed for divorce as well as custody of my sons.
The evidence against her was overwhelming and all I asked for was granted.
It’s almost a year after that nightmare of marriage finally ended but I am in a better place now. Sometimes I feel like a weakling but I was only being a gentleman.
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Many years ago, I got to counsel a couple where it was the woman that used to beat the man. She was a military officer while her husband was a civilian. She not only beat him but would intimidate him by threatening to get her “boys’ to come beat him as well, each time they had a misunderstanding.
Stories abound of male perpetrated domestic violence and yes they are much much more. 95% of domestic abuse is against women but there is that 5% by women against men. While many are aware of the physical side of domestic violence, they, are not aware of the emotional side of domestic violence.
Growing up, I knew a family where the wife regularly abused the man until he virtually committed suicide. She felt she married beneath her and made sure the man never rested all his life. She constantly ran him down, called him a weakling and would flaunt her numerous affairs in his face.
The man was too in love with her, was too emasculated by her words or both to leave. He gradually drank himself to death.
Yes, we do have cases of female perpetrated domestic violence and they are not as uncommon as you might think. Several of these cases involve an invalid spouse but many also are aimed at full-bodied spouses.
The bottom line is that domestic violence occurs when a spouse feels they have some sort of advantage over the other. Domestic violence is wrong and should never be encouraged. If he or she hits you once, walk away. If you can be hit once, you can be hit again.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Please take out time to drop your thoughts in the comments section below. I would also love to hear your story. Do drop me a line via firstname.lastname@example.org