As I was driving through by city hall in my town, they had a sign that was posted "Anti-Bullying week, Oct. 14-21." When we think about bullying, it usually conjures up images of kids being abused at school or on social media sites.
Did you know there is such a thing as being bullied by your wife? We tend to focus more on women who are emotionally or physically abused by their husbands. Probably by the mere fact that how could you possibly injure or kill the mother of your children?
When we hear stories about men being abused, we shake our heads in a different way. We think to ourselves, "Poor man, what is wrong with him? Why couldn't he stand up and handle his business?"
Men are often left in a precarious situation, not because they have a weak character, but because they know if they take action and exert their strength they may have to prove in a court of law they were the actual victims. Knowing how our court system works, that's a 50/50 proposition at best. So they would rather take the punishment hoping it will eventually go away, but in reality it never does. Another reason why men don't usually take action is because they think to themselves, "How am I being bullied? I am a man!"
Strivers! How can we help our male friends who are close to us be made aware? If you have heard any of these phrases from them more than once, get them help. They are being bullied by their spouse:
- "It's either her way, or I'll pay." In essence she wants control in every part of the relationship. She will resort to any means necessary to achieve her goal.
- "I'm never good enough" syndrome. No matter how hard he tries, he can't meet her expectations. This leads to a sense of helplessness. No matter what he does, he won't win.
- "She said that to me at the restaurant!" Being verbally attacked in public is a man's worst nightmare. It will break his self-confidence because women are often viewed as the victim and he must have done something really bad to evoke such a response. This will leave him with a "walk-on-egg-shells" type mentality the next time he is out in public with his wife.
- "I live in the city of chaos." He is confused on how he should live. Should he jump in the sandbox of her chaotic life and defend himself or just sit back and be an unwilling participant. He doesn't realize that she feeds on negative energy and conflict. It's easier to focus on that than to really dig deep and identify the problems, or emotions that are affecting her.
- "I can't even remember the last time we had sex without begging." She refuses to satisfy any physical, emotional and psychological needs he may have unless her needs are met first. He is left with a relationship that is based on transactions. It's like going to the ATM and trying to take out money, not realizing your PIN code has changed every day. The only way you can get money is if you hopefully get an angry customer service rep to help you.
- "I can't remember the last time I have seen you, or my family." Her antics have left him isolated. This type of spontaneous behavior from his spouse can leave him to go it alone because he never knows when Mt. St. Helens will erupt. In reality, you are the one that's ultimately left to depend on her. Ask him is that what you want in a relationship? If he says, "no," encourage him to STEP OUT. Have him call me or seek an abuse counselor for support.
I came across this site, A Shrink for Men, which was very helpful for this post.
Remember Strivers, you are too important to be abused. Have a good rest of the week.