In His Own Words is a joint effort between DAHMW (Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women), Shrink4Men and AVoiceForMen to help raise awareness about the invisible victims of domestic violence: Men. If you would like to submit your story, please follow the guidelines at the end of this article.
Abusive personalities are bad enough sober. Add alcohol to the mix and it can exacerbate their cruelty and craziness, often to the point of physical violence. The man featured in today’s In His Own Words experienced this firsthand. He didn’t walk on eggshells with his ex; he dodged flying beer bottles.
“Gabu” joined the Shrink4Men Forum a few years ago because he was at the end of his rope trying to protect himself and his son from his wife’s abuse. He used his journal to document what he was experiencing to create a reality-checking mechanism in the face of some very extreme gaslighting, projection, drunken rages, name-calling and physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
I strongly recommend that anyone in an abusive relationship DDD (Document! Document! Document!) and ABR (Always Be Recording) for the same reasons Gabu documented the abuse he suffered. This is especially important if you are a man who is being abused by a woman. You may not be believed (especially by law enforcement and the court system) if you do not have evidence.
Violent Alcoholic Wife Attacks
March 22nd. Wife, 12-year old son and I meet my mother and her fiancé for dinner. Once we’re at the restaurant, wife orders a Cosmo “strong.” I think to myself, “Oh, great,” because of her problems with alcohol.
Wife and my mother split a carafe of wine after her Cosmo and we go to my mom’s house to share photos of our holiday last month. All is going well until wife opens another bottle of wine. Soon after, I hear her pushing my mother about selling some property. I mean she just keeps on riding her about it. I don’t see why as it’s none of our business.
Finally my mother says, “Well, it’s not my decision, so that’s where we are on this.” Son, mom’s fiancé and I are in the other room. I hear wife and my mother whispering and it sounds heated. Then the two of them go upstairs. We all follow to make sure they’re okay. It’s also getting late and we have an hour’s drive home.
Wife is staggering around and is in my mother’s face yelling at her. My mother is also visibility intoxicated and the two of them are re-hashing past incidents when they’ve felt slighted by each other. They’re accusing each other of causing so much pain, how they both have tried to be accepting of one another for my sake, etc. Wife gets more boisterous, calling my mom a bitch and other names as my mom’s fiancé, our son and I stand there in disbelief. I let wife go for a bit, as I decided to stop “saving” her when she does this stuff. She is an adult and can pay the consequences for her actions.
Finally, I get wife to stop and we leave. For most of the ride home she’s belittling me, saying that I chose “Mommy’s side” (not true as I was completely neutral during this).
Once we’re home, wife goes upstairs and I go to our son’s room to explain that what happened is a good example of how NOT to behave. He understands and gets ready for bed, as it’s really late now. Wife enters the kitchen and I go upstairs. I hear our son go down to the kitchen and beg wife to stop drinking.
It just kills me as she cannot, or will not see what she is doing to him. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable that must have been for him when that was going on! “Please just do it for me,” he says. “Please stop drinking.” My heart hurts hearing him say that to her.
Wife comes to bed and asks if I’ll hold her. “No thanks,” I say. Then she starts more of her crap, so I get my pillow and head downstairs to the couch. Five minutes later she comes out of the bedroom, flips on the lights and tries to get me to go upstairs. I had the blanket over my head, as I knew she would come out and do her classic flip on the lights move.
She sees that she’s not getting anywhere and heads back upstairs leaving the lights on. A few minutes later she comes back and tries the “nice guy” routine. I don’t respond and she changes tactics — the “bad guy” routine. That’s the one where I ruined her life and she tells me about all the men she’s going to f*ck after I’m gone, no one will want me, etc. She transitions back and forth between the two routines a few more times. I continue to ignore her, so she escalates and punches me on the top of my head.
At this point, I’ve had enough, get up, sit her down on the couch and ask her to stop the nonsense. She jumps up and punches me in the head again. I go upstairs, get dressed, pack my overnight bag, grab my workbag and laptop and head for the door. Wife blocks the door and says all kinds of things in a desperate attempt to get me to stay. She loves me. She’s just sick of my mother’s sh*t. She’ll do anything if I don’t leave. She’ll f*ck me if I want, etc. At this point, I’m thinking to myself that she’s already f*cked — in the head!
I leave and she grabs onto my coat. I pull away and get in my car. She screams, “I hate you!!!” (the neighbors will love that at 1am!) and slams the door. I head to the hotel to get some sleep.
April 23rd. Came home asked wife if she wanted to talk after the most recent fight when she complained I wasn’t “reaching out to [her] enough.” She said nothing, so I went to read the paper in the kitchen. After awhile, she joins me and says she feels inadequate compared to me. I’m good at my job, successful, etc. I say it’s not a competition; our marriage is supposed to be a partnership. She gets miffed and says it is a competition.
Then she tells me nobody likes me because I am so obnoxious and sarcastic to everyone. She tells me our son doesn’t like me for the same reasons. Then she says she isn’t sure if she wants to be in this relationship and that she sought out someone else for an emotional affair because I wasn’t close to her. I again say that I can’t feel close to someone who belittles me when they get upset about ANYTHING.
I go to the grocery store. When I return she says she is so surprised and hurt that I have not reached out to her. I reminded her that she just told me she’s not sure she wants to be in this relationship, so the onus is on her to make that move.
Out of nowhere, she claims that after I go out with my friends I am horny the next day and that proves I’m gay. I tell her that it’s because I had a break from her and forgot what she was like for a little while. She replies that I should go f*ck (my best friend). She also says that I should go fuck my ex girlfriend (a woman I dated 20+ years ago!!) because she “knows I want to.” This comment is made immediately after she told me I’m gay?! She kicks the footstool at me; I put it back onto its legs. She grabs the glass of microbrew that I had just poured and throws it against the wall. Beer and glass now cover the area where our son plays his Xbox. Very nice.
She makes joking comments about my manhood and penis size then grabs the glass coffee table and goes to throw it at me. I grab her in self-defense and push her onto the couch to stop her. I can tell she’s drunk again. I go upstairs, find her stash and dump the bottle of wine and the small bottle of Jack Daniels. I go to check on her and see her dumping my other 5 microbrews into the sink, I guess in retaliation for getting rid of her stash. I watched to make sure she didn’t chug them as she’s done in the past.
I go to the basement den to try to relax. She stands at the top of the stairs and, in between other nasty, mean and disgusting comments, says that she did cheat on me. She says it in much in the same manner when she initially confessed she had an emotional affair by spending up to 2 hours a day instant messaging a co-worker. Then she went out to the garage to smoke.
I followed to make sure she didn’t do anything to my car or the overnight bag still in my car from the hotel last night. Nope, all secure, so I head back to the den. She returns to the house and says I broke her toe when I stopped her from throwing our glass coffee table at me and is hobbling around complaining about it.
Despite her “broken toe,” she goes out to buy more beer for herself. I stay in the basement den in order to avoid her for the rest of the night. She tries a few more times to try and impress her “views” on me, which I ignore. At one point, she is explicitly going off on how she wanted to be f*cked. “Bent over the couch with a thumb up her ass,” she says. Our son’s bedroom door is right next to the basement door, so I’m sure he heard whole thing. At 9pm I come up from the basement and watch some TV. At 10pm I try to fall asleep on the couch.
At 10:15pm she comes out of our bedroom to use the bathroom and goes back to bed. At 10:30pm she comes back out of the bedroom, flips the lights on, uses the bathroom, comes out, stops, turns the bathroom fan on, leaves the lights on and goes back to bed. She knows that the bathroom fan drives me crazy and leaving the light on is also in her top 10 list of favorite ways to torture me. I go upstairs and shut them both off.
At 10:45pm she is moaning and complaining loudly. I offer her aspirin. She is looking for compassion, but I have little because she was fine enough to go out and get beer for herself. I go back downstairs and she starts knocking loudly on the bedroom wall.
I’m afraid her selfish tantrum will wake our son, so I rush upstairs and offer to put a pillow under her foot. She starts ripping me a new one. I look her straight in the eye and tell her that she is indeed filled with pure evil.
Then she starts yet another rant accusing me of being gay. Time for the hotel again. She follows me out making these disgusting sounds with her mouth (simulating a blow job), and when I turn around to face her she has a large ceramic sconce in her hand raised over her head ready to throw at me.
I duck into to dining room and put on my coat and shoes. She comes down, sees what I’m doing and yells that I’m wasting more money on a hotel again. She says she’ll stop (the abuse) if I don’t go. I leave and get to the hotel around midnight. Glad that I planned ahead and had an emergency overnight bag with clothes for a couple days in my car while she went out for beer.
Post-script: Gabu’s divorce is almost finished. Toward the end of the marriage, he was able to obtain a protective order against his wife and had her arrested after she tried to push him down a staircase. She is still awaiting the criminal trial, which she’s been able to have continued three times now. Unfortunately, she has been able to completely alienate their son from Gabu thus far, which I suppose isn’t difficult when you have a family judge who doesn’t enforce his own orders.
Thank you Gabu for sharing your story. I truly hope you are able to undo the damage your abusive ex has done to your son. I also hope the criminal court throws the book at your ex.
DAHMW (Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women)
If you are in an abusive relationship and don’t know what to do or where to turn, DAHMW provides a 24-hour free helpline (+1 888 HELPLINE).
Shrink4Men Counseling, Coaching and Consulting Services:
Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.