Have you found yourself escaping to a room in your house where you can shut the door and request that you be left alone instead of being barraged by your partner? Have you had to go out to your car to calm yourself and disperse the negative energy from the yelling? Have you been awakened during the night with your partner yelling at you depriving you of sleep?
I have identified a need to work with men who are emotionally or physically abused in their relationships/marriages.
Many of these men have healthy relationships with their mothers, but they become addictively attached and have trouble communicating their needs and their feelings to their partners. They tend to become more and more either distant or withdrawn, compliant and or defensive . These behaviors tend to increase the abusive behaviors toward them. The more they take the abuse , the more it continues.
These men I have worked with are accomplished, educated, kind men who have no family mental health background, yet become involved, attached, addicted and at times married to women who become emotionally and even physically abusive toward them.
I am amazed by the degree of abuse these men will endure either because they have a commitment to their partner and/or family/children or their enduring understanding of their partner’s ‘bipolar’ moods, expectations and discontent that is blamed on him. These women seem to be unable to communicate and take ownership of their own needs and lack an ability to communicate effectively. The more these men try to please, to give up their passions and/or commit to making their partner happy, the more the abuse seems to escalate.
I wonder if these women have anger toward compliant men who try to meet their needs or are these women unable to identify their own emotional needs and take responsibility for meeting them or communicating them effectively.
I have seen this abuse escalate to physical illness in men who endure this for long periods of time. I help men to develop coping strategies, communication strategies and sometimes exit strategies by working on effective communication, self care and deep questioning about their life purpose. I also refer them to other professionals in my network that are able to navigate these situations legally, medically and/or emotionally.
When I ask these men why they stay they usually respond ‘She’s beautiful and when it’s good it’s really good’. They are waiting for the next time that it is good and they endure the abusive interim.
As in most dysfunctional relationships, insight, responsibility for your own part and improved effective communication are the key components in addressing these situations.This can be addressed and hopefully remedied in couples session.
If the emotional abuse escalates to physical abuse, this is a dangerous situation because many times if a physical injury occurs the woman is seen as the victim. I suggest to men in these situations to consider exiting before it escalates to physical altercation.
This I believe is a new phenomenon and I welcome men to continue to seek help if they are in this situation.
Life is a process full of transitions and opportunities to choose the path that brings you more joy and purpose. Let’s explore this together.