Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

Mick’s Story of Abuse

A woman with wide piece of tape over her mouth. She looks angry. Text says 'Break your silence'

Mick’s Signs of Being Abused

After the first few years of marriage, and having had to leave the house, or just cry so often, it just became obvious.

Mick’s Emotional Signs of Abuse

Anger, Sadness, Empty

Mick’s Story of Abuse

I guess people don’t often think of men as victims of abuse, but I’m one. I’ve been married 8 years and have one child. My wife and I met and got married pretty quickly – within a few months. Everything was great until the wedding day when she had some sort of anxiety or panic attack, which I just chalked up to it being “the wedding day” – despite it seeming rather odd and extreme.

break your silence of abuseI soon learned that she had serious anxiety issues which cause her to always want to be in control of her surroundings. It made (and still does) meeting people difficult, because she usually avoided social situations – and still does.

I also learned that she had a really bad and unpredictable temper. What seems like little things to me would set her off into fits of rage and fury. She’d call me names, break things. The first really violent act I remember was about 6 months after we got married and she threw a full mug of coffee across the room. It hit the wall up near the ceiling and shattered – coffee everywhere.

My instinct was to see a person hurting and in need, and I just wanted to help her. I’m sure that’s one reason why I’m still with her. It’s interesting that she gets so furious so quickly, will yell at me, belittle me, pick everything I do apart, criticize me, and often a few hours later, apologize.

We both call it her “freaking out” and she does know it’s an issue. However, I don’t think she realizes how much of an issue it is. And I don’t think her therapist does either.

Sometimes in the moment she’ll blame her anger on something I did – it’s almost always something very insignificant, but she doesn’t see it that way. I still get yelled at and belittled. Sometimes she’s so angry there is literally foam at the edges of her mouth.

She usually only freaks out in front of me. Once though, I don’t remember what it was about, but she did this in front of my brother – he was horrified. He’s never mentioned it since though. She also once lost it on some friends of ours. They were as equally horrified and that was the end of the friendship.

Though the day-to-day stuff is verbal abuse, there has been other incidents. I’ve been locked out of the house more times that I care to remember, including once when we had guests over! I’ve beenkicked on a couple occasions, and hit several times. Never that hard, but still…

Several weeks ago she was tearing into me yet again, and I called her a few names – not a good idea, but sometimes I feel like that’s my only defense. Of course then she got really furious and she walked over to where I was sitting on the couch and punched me in the jaw. It didn’t leave any marks, but I felt it the next day.

Once we were arguing about something and I came out of the bedroom and passed the kitchen. When she saw me she grabbed a large kitchen knife and stepped forward. Needless to say I ran for my life out of the house and didn’t come back till really late at night. Several weeks later she had the nerve to say how mean it was for me to stay out so late that night.

She also has a long history of destroying things. Dishes, electronic equipment, books, lots of clothes. Once she poured out our entire liquor cabinet to get back at me for something. I don’t drink hard stuff too often, so it wasn’t the loss that hurt, it was the principle. Recently, I tried to tally up what she has destroyed in the last few years and came up with a bill of around $1200.

Now, in all honesty, I guess I’m no longer innocent. I’ve never had an abusive relationship like this, and I’m not a “yeller”. I’ve always been pretty calm – and still usually am. But I guess after years of putting up with this, something broke in me a little bit too a few years ago. If she really starts belittling me, sometimes my calmness breaks and I start yelling back – calling her names and what-not. I guess I’m abusing the abuser?

And on two occasions I’ve hit her. Once was when she hit me and I just hit back. The other time was during a really horrible fight that was lasting hours. I was in tears, and she wouldn’t stop saying nasty things to me, and I just kinda swung both arms with my eyes closed and I hit her arms which left a couple small bruises. I felt terrible and still do.

I’ve never come close to doing that again (almost 2 years later) – I guess because I even scared myself that time. I think that’s why when she hit me a few weeks ago, I just sat that there on the couch. I could see she was probably walking over to hit me and I didn’t even try to defend it. She punched me in the jaw, and I called her a few names and I left the house.

Things have really broken down lately. She needed a vacation, I could plainly see that. And so I supported her in heading out of town for 5 days. Well, she ended up having sex with someone. She now says she, “fell in love” and is thinking of leaving me.

Maybe I need to leave her first. I don’t know. I want to have a happy family. Maybe it’s just not possible though. She always says all she wanted was a happy family too – but then usually blames me for why it’s not happy. She complains that I leave too often. But she doesn’t see that I leave the house because I’m afraid of fighting with her. I’ve told her that and she sees that as an excuse.

Also thinking back, I once told her during the heat of an argument that she probably needed to be on medication. She became even more furious, but her response blew me away, “That’s what most of my boyfriends said to me! Why does everyone blame everything on me!?

I don’t know why I stay. Part of me still loves her, of course (though there’s been no sex for a year). I want to help her. I want a happy family. But it doesn’t look like it’s ever going to happen, even thoughshe often apologizes, and even tries to make things up to me by being extra nice the next day. The cycle never stops.

Even right now even she’s trying to have a nice polite conversation with me, as if nothing is wrong.How can she think I want to act this way with her when I just learned last week that she cheated on me? We were even fighting earlier today. I just don’t understand her behavior at all.

I hope reading the above helps someone. Especially the guys in my situation that I know are probably ashamed of being abused, like me.

Thanks to the others for your stories. I was especially surprised when I read someone’s entry who used the term Jekyll and Hyde to describe their spouse. That’s the exact term I use (to myself).