Abused husbands, violent wives

My mother once said “I always taught my daughter that she should leave any man who raised his hand to strike her. But I never realised that I would have to teach my sons that lesson and I regret it.”

Unfortunately, I am the person who caused her to make this remark. I am part of a rare but growing species in India – I am an abused husband.

In the three years that we were a couple, my ex-wife and I had the type of relationship that most people think only exists in soap operas. But the drama was painfully real.

We hear cases of women who are beaten by their husbands or male partners. And we rightly admire women who survive abusive husbands.

When I got married in 1998, I didn’t expect a quarrelsome mother-in-law.who misguide her daughter to breakup her marriage. When my marriage failed, my wife adopted her habit of shouting vulgarities , insult at home and in public so as to embarrass and harass me – as if I was solely responsible for the break-up of the marriage.

We hear cases of women who are beaten by their husbands or male partners. And we rightly admire women who survive abusive husbands.

In India, the Government has been working with groups like NCW / WCD affiliates. The Woman’s Charter protects the rights of women in marriage and groups like Prajna provide counselling and shelter for women who survive abusive relationships.

But society seems to be blind to the idea that women can be abusive and men can be the victims. I was clueless – until I became one of them.but there are no shelter for men nor laws to protect them.

To be fair, my ex-wife suffers from bi-polar disorder. Her mood swings were extreme. Her personality could be described as being like something from the movie Gremlins On one hand she is the sweet, cute and adorable “Juilet”, on the other hand, she is also the vicious “gremlin”.

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At its best, the gremlin side of her nature would prompt her to call me at the office and be verbally abusive. I would avoid giving her the telephone numbers of places where I worked, but she would somehow find them whenever I switched off my mobile.

At its worst, her behaviour would result in public embarrassment and violence. She once walked into the men’s toilet of a department store to confront me. She would not leave when asked to by the toilet attendant.

In the last major confrontation that we had, I ended up lying at the bottom of a bridge with her hands in my mouth and a fist to the side of my head.

Only one man, a Caucasian, offered to call the police. Everyone else walked past. Had I laid a finger on her, there is no doubt that every passer-by would have rushed to her aid.

Ironically, it was my father-in-law who suggested that I grab hold of her and physically scare her into behaving herself. At first, I tried to restrain her. But it dawned on me that if I left marks on her, she could paint a picture of me as the abuser.

Self-defence is hard to prove when you are 177cm tall and weigh more than 70 kg, while your wife is 1.55 metres tall and weighs 50 kg. So the only option left to me was to allow her to inflict damage whenever she exploded in public.

It is a golden rule that men simply do not hit women – a man can walk away from a woman, but never hit her. Yet, whenever we see a woman hit a man, our assumption is that the man deserved it.Many time, women hit herself and bang her head to wall, even there are some news women stab herself and blame husband, and everyone will believe in her words.

I told her that for three years I had lived on a street in Canada / middle East that was known for drug dealers and prostitutes. I had walked along that street, drunk and at dangerous hours, and never been assaulted. She was the first person to assault me. “But I’m your wife,” she replied.

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I’ve also come to resent the Woman’s Charter as much as I have come to resent the notion that I, as a man, am in any way obliged to take care of a woman – even after a divorce. In the two years that I was married to her, I had to endure public embarrassment and violence – yet, I was lucky because till she left me, there was no domestic violence Act in india, otherwise i would have gone to jail everyday.

There was an report in the press a while back about the rise in numbers of men taking out FIR against women. To men, abused as I was, I would say Never resort to physical violence, we can never win.

And also, never be afraid to take out a FIR. It’s not a shame to do it; sometimes it’s the only option available. She says she is reformed and has found peace with God. She says she has acknowledged the fact that I have no desire to settle down and have children with her. I’m relieved. Most men hardly approch Authorities to complain agaist their wives, coz not because it is a shame for them, but authorities laugh at him and will not Register his Complaints

We’re in the process of filing for divorce. My parents are relieved I am out of this marriage, as are my friends. I’m suddenly discovering that I have a life. I still care about her; we still speak to each other (over Phone), which amazes most people.Some of my known friends still wonder why i want her back.

It is not men always at fault, it is, today’s women responsible too.

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They are not Victims anymore, they are Villain too.

It is the time, Government to know, all men are not villain, they are victims too. and change laws accordingly.

The men are made to support their spouses even when their wives’ earnings exceed theirs. The Women’s laws has been increasingly used to “punish” the man for the marriage breakup – even though, in most cases, both parties are responsible.When it comes to child custody, Father hardly get visitation rights, that too after long legal battle.

Many modern women are educated and their income may equal or even surpass their husbands’, but the Act opens a loophole for abuse where a women just has to make a police complaint and the latter will have to act – even if the complaint is frivolous and unsubstantiated.(eg: 498a IPC, DVA).

We have in recent years witnessed more men seeking FIRs. But are men really protected? Probably, women know that they are unlikely to be punished, or at least punished heavily – hence they continue to launch their verbal or physical assaults.

The Women’s ministry should be pro-family instead of skewed in favour of the female gender. It should be viewed as the Family ministry, to take into account changing modern values, and to uphold equity and equality for both sexes. It’s time that men’s protection be enshrined too.

3 thoughts on “Abused husbands, violent wives

  1. When a man complains about violence by women, nobody believes him and worse, he has to face ridicule:

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