Nigel's personal story
Thursday, June 2, 2016
One in Three Campaign

I came across your Website and I can assimilate with all that you say. My story is similar, I was a male victim of Abuse from my Spouse. We were married for 25 years, she was from Portugal & I from UK and we came to live in Australia 20 years ago. I knew from early on in the marriage that she had been a victim of physical, verbal and emotional Abuse throughout her childhood from her mother and step father. I had never in my life experienced any of that kind of abuse in my family.

Things were good for 18 years, although she would get heated up often, there was no Physical Abuse, just verbal. As the relationship deteriorated, she started getting out of control during simple arguments or discussions to the point where I was often Physically Intimidated, she Spat at me frequently, once 27 times in a row, I counted them while I was sitting quietly trying to stay calm, she hit me in the mouth, she punched me, she bit me, she kicked me, she on many occasions through the contents of the dinner table at me, threw glasses and forks and knives at me, she told me to die often and regularly said everyone would be better off if I were dead. She stormed out of cars and restaurants on a regular basis, during a lot of these events, she had this Big Horrible Grin on her Face most of the time that she was out of control. In all she Physically abused me 21 times over a 4-5 year period, but she emotionally and verbally abused me on a pretty much daily basis, making me feel like I was the biggest piece of crap on earth, for years.

95% of the time, she was a nice, caring, intelligent person and a very attractive personality to be around. But when she lost it, She LOST IT!, had no self control in those times. I know in retrospect that is what happened in her family when she was young, it was what was Accepted by them all in their family culture.

Things got bad, I got depressed, I started going to the hotel after work, to try to avoid going home and getting into these horrible escalating events. I had no clue what to do, Violence was never Tolerated in my family & especially towards Women. I have never had a Physical fight in my lifetime, I'm 50 years old, not even at school, and it was just a big NO to ever hit a woman. Over time of doing this, I turned to alcohol and gambling, I know now that they were just Escapes, to get away from all the Abuse and a way to make myself happy (only short term of course). With that obviously things just got worse and worse. We Separated eventually and are now Divorced, haven't seen her in 2 years & neither do I want to again.

It's hard to understand how did this happen, how did it go on for so long? How did I accept it? A lot of things in that, Length of relationship, I had always felt sorry for her and what happened to her as a child, I HATE Abuse! so I always used to just LET IT GO. I never called Police, I never Spoke to anyone about it. I just Bottled & Sucked it all up, over and over again & turned to Alcohol to escape the reality of what was going on. I am no saint for sure! But this Physical and Verbal constant abuse was unknown to me. It is Very Destroying to have the person you thought loved you Spit in your face 27 times, laughing at what they are doing and you just sit there, taking it, not wanting to respond in kind. It is very Damaging having your spouse punch you in the face, and then laugh at you bleeding, laying on the floor at what they had done. There was a cycle of co-dependency in the relationship, when I didn't like what was going on I argued and tried to stand up for myself, it would then just escalate, until she lost Total Control of herself and became an animal to be honest.

I'm 2 years away from her now & to be honest, whilst calmer, I know that it has affected me very deeply, I don’t trust women very much now, I'm VERY ANGRY about it. I'm Angry I Never did Anything at the time about it. I'm angry that she keeps it quiet with all that she meets, I'm Angry I kept it to myself, I'm Angry that she will Never admit to what she did, even though there were a lot of Witnesses to many of the occasions. My Kids have turned out ok as it happens, so far, which is good.

In Hindsight now after all of this Nightmare, I would offer a few words of advice:-

• It is not a sign of Love when someone abuses you, Verbally or Physically or Emotionally

• It is not Right for someone to constantly make you feel like you are crap

• It is against the Law & United Nations Declaration to Physically assault another person.

• Whether the person has been abused themselves or not, it gives them No Right to Abuse another person. Male or Female, makes no difference

• Most Women friends we both knew believed it was ok for a Woman to Abuse a man? WTH, how does that make any sense? It's Sick!

• People who abuse others hide behind Love and the quietness / shame of the victim.

• This stuff Damages you for a Very, Very long time, I'm just recovering from Alcohol abuse and other constant images in my mind of those fights.

• If someone Assaults you, Love them or not, You Call the Police!

• Make sure that you try and Document each time exactly what happens afterwards, when you have calmed down.

• Walk Away! Don't let it repeat itself, over and over again, it will Continue to.

• Do Not excuse partners Abusing you because they were Abused themselves! That will just repeat the cycle over and over again, it will go to your children and your children's children if you do not stop it by Walking away, or taking Legal action.

• The Abuse has similar effects whether carried out my a Male or a Female. It is very hard as a Male to admit what happened though. Eventually a year after divorce, I opened up to a few people, they already knew! But most of the females just thought it was OK, they didn't know about the violence though, because she was too ashamed or guilty to tell them.

Counselling has helped me a lot, but I still have the pent up Anger, that No one really knows the extent of the Abuse apart from me, my kids and a couple of close friends and that everyone else saw her as the perfect Angel. I have had trouble to Trust another Woman again since this has happened & it pretty much wrecked my whole life, especially the side effects of turning to Alcohol or Gambling.

Women Abuse Men, it's not just the other way around, it is Unacceptable, it is illegal & against humanity. If you are physically and constantly Abused, CALL THE POLICE, GET OUT OF THE RELATIONSHIP & TRY TO HEAL …

Article originally appeared on One in Three Campaign (http://www.oneinthree.com.au/).
See website for complete article licensing information.