Men who are controlled by the women they love come in all shapes and sizes. They can be doctors, engineers, contractors, physical therapists… and the list goes on.
Some are educated and some are not. They can be Christian, Baha’i, Jewish, and of no particular faith whatsoever. Some are black and some are white, and then there are those who are yellow.
One thing they do have in common is that they do not seek therapy for their victimization. More often, they show up brainwashed by their partners into believing that they are abusers.
Or, a concerned parent reaches out to me disturbed about their son losing himself in his life and/or losing his rights within his family. Loved ones living in the outer orbit of the man’s controlling relationship are generally the first to admit the truth about these dysfunctional dynamics.
Controlled Out of Their Lives
Some come to therapy after being kicked out of the marital residence, while others on the brink of being pushed out. Generally, they are granted the right to continue with lawn care, garage cleaning and paying the mortgage.
Their contact with their children is fully at the discretion of their spouse. Some have daily access, and others may get weekend visits. Phone contact is typically iffy in most of these families.
They live on the threat of divorce, yet their partners generally prefer keeping the family intact. Clearly this keeps the dynamics in play, along with all of its privileges.
What’s a Controlled Man To Do?
There are choices.
A) He can maintain the life he has and find other outlets for releasing his pain. This is what most do.
B) Or, he can align with a divorce attorney who can extract him out from under his wife’s control to a certain extent, depending on the attorney.
C) Or, he can step into treatment for himself and like a magnet draw her in on her own accord. With a trained therapist, experienced in these dysfunctional dynamics, there can be hope for change in the control dynamics themselves.
Domestic Abuse Is a Human Issue
I started my work in domestic abuse nearly 20 years ago thinking this was indeed a woman’s issue. But the fact is 47% of all reported abuse cases annually are men. And in my clinical practice, it happens that at the end of the week nearly half of the patients I have treated are men controlled by the women that they love.
If you are in a controlling relationship with a woman that you love, take an hard and fast look at the essence of domestic abuse (AKA intimate partner abuse). Understand the mechanics of abusive relationships (the underlying control dynamics), which is the glue that binds this dysfunctional arrangement.
Once you do, other options become available to you. From here, you can re-establish your well-being, and maybe even save your marriage and keep your little family intact. If that is not likely, you will at a minimum have a clearer view of other options to regain your personal health and well-being.
For more information about battered men, visit https://enddomesticabuse.org/abused_men.php. For insights on treatment for abusive relationships, along with a library of domestic abuse educational resources, check out www.innersanctuaryonline.org
Dr. Jeanne King, psychologist and author, helps people worldwide recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.
© Dr Jeanne King, PhD. — Domestic Violence Prevention