If you’re a man living with an abusive wife or partner, it can be challenging to know what to do. You may feel like you should just put up with it. However, this isn’t the healthiest or safest option for you or any children involved. Domestic abuse against men is more common than you think and can turn lethal. If you’re a man facing domestic abuse, taking steps to protect yourself and your loved ones is essential.

Abuse Happens to Men Too

While an abusive wife or partner can feel like something you should not need help with, the truth is that abuse can turn lethal in a split second. Men also face injuries and death from domestic violence.

According to the CDC, “About 1 in 3 men experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.”

And if you have children, they can also suffer the abuse, whether directed at them or not. The fact is that being with an abusive wife or partner is a situation you may need help to get out of.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, “Relationship abuse is a pattern of behaviors used to gain or maintain power and control over a partner, which can manifest in a number of ways, and there’s usually more than one form of abusive behavior occurring in an abusive relationship.”

What to Do When You Have An Abusive Wife or Partner

It can be challenging to know what to do if you’re a man living with an abusive wife or partner.

Abused men can feel stuck in a cycle of facing abusive behavior and then hoping things get better. You may even try to convince yourself that what a spouse or partner is doing is not that bad.

You might find yourself making excuses such as:

  • “So what if she threw hot coffee at my face. She knew I would jump out of the way. And I did yell at her this morning for slapping the kids around.”
  • “Okay, so she broke my nose. I’ve had my nose broken in fights before, and it’s just not a big deal. It will heal. Men get broken noses all the time.
  • “Maybe I deserve the bruises all over my body — I should just be glad she’s not leaving me for cheating on her.”
  • “So she screamed that she would kill me in my sleep. Yeah right. She doesn’t actually mean that.”
  • “She aimed a gun at my face, made me kneel, and apologize for cheating on her. But then later, I saw she hadn’t loaded the gun. So it scared me, but she wasn’t actually threatening me.”
  • “She said she’s gonna shoot me one of these days, but I don’t think she would ever go that far.”

Physical Abuse: What If I Fight Back?

Many men grow up believing they must always be strong, never hit a woman, and never let others see weakness. While it’s true you should never hit a woman, it can be hard to resist your instincts if someone is actively hurting you.

When someone abuses you and you fight back, your actions are called “reactive abuse.” However, the law may see you both as committing a crime called “battery.”

When someone pushes you to your limit over and over, you put yourself at risk of fighting back and facing dire legal consequences, including jail time!

Even if you put your hands in your pockets and “take it like a man,” eventually, your self-control can crack. This is not a situation you want to find yourself in, especially if you are not an abusive person!

If you’re a man facing domestic abuse and feel afraid you might fight back, make sure you understand the legal ramifications of what’s happening. Seek legal help to know how to handle your specific situation before the police get involved!

Your freedom can be at stake if you physically fight back or make threats!

The problem is that many law enforcement officers and courts will not believe a man who says they were “fighting back” against a woman’s abuse. Keep reading and find out how to escape the abuse and regain your life!

Defining Abuse According to North Carolina Law

North Carolina’s definition of domestic violence includes acts of both physical and emotional violence. Abusive relationships always involve controlling behavior, including such acts as:

  • Attempting to cause bodily injury
  • Intentionally causing bodily injury
  • Placing you or your child in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
  • Sexual offenses such as rape or sexual assault, or battery
  • Continued harassment and stalking if it’s causing you substantial emotional distress

When you see domestic violence legally defined above, you can see that legal statutes back you up. You are a victim of a crime, and it’s crucial to protect yourself and any children involved. It’s critical to find protection from an abusive person before severe injury or death occurs!

Emotional Abuse and Verbal Abuse

According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, examples of verbal abuse may include:

  • Threatening to hurt you or others
  • Threatening to have you deported
  • Threatening to disclose your sexual orientation
  • Threatening to tell others personal information
  • Controlling what you do and who you see in a way that interferes with your work, education, or other personal activities
  • Using technology to track, monitor, or frighten you
  • Stealing your belongings
  • Destroying your belongings
  • Constantly criticizing you or calling you names
  • Constant put-downs
  • Making you feel afraid
  • Denying you basic needs such as food, housing, clothing, or medical and physical assistance.

What Can You Do About an Abusive Relationship?

If your partner or wife is abusive, you can consider working with professional counseling or getting a protective restraining order.

A protective order can order the abusive partner to refrain from doing any or all of the following:

  • Contacting you directly or indirectly, including through third parties
  • Threatening, abusing, or following you
  • Harassing you by phone
  • Harassing you by visiting your home or workplace or by other means
  • Treating a household pet cruelly
  • Interfering with you in different ways (2)

As someone facing domestic violence, you may obtain a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) issuing life-affirming legal protections for you and your household that may include:

  • Giving you possession of the home and excluding the abusive partner 
  • Awarding you temporary custody and establishing temporary child visitation rights
  • Ordering eviction of the abusive partner from residence and assistance for you to return home
  • Ordering an abusive partner to support minor children (if required by law)
  • Giving you possession of the combined personal property, including a pet or a minor child 
  • Awarding you attorney fees
  • Prohibiting the abusive partner from purchasing a firearm for a specified amount of time
  • Ordering additional requirements necessary to protect any party or minor child
  • Ordering sheriff to deliver protective order to school principals named in the order
  • Ordering the abusive partner to attend and complete an abuser treatment program approved by the Domestic Violence Commission

Emergency Protective Orders (Ex Parte Order)

If you’re in an emergency and need an order of protection immediately, you may apply for one. The court can then grant relief before they notify your domestic abuser of the request for an order of protection.

An emergency (ex parte) DVPO may require your abusive wife or partner to: 

  • Leave your home (regardless of who pays rent or mortgage)
  • Stay away from their own children
  • Give up possession of a motor vehicle
  • Surrender their “firearms, ammunition, and gun permits” to the sheriff

If the defendant violates the firearms portion of the order, officers can bring charges for various felonies. If you face immediate danger from a domestic violence abuser, speak with an experienced DVPO attorney to file an ex-parte order and find immediate safety for you and any children.

You Deserve a Healthy Relationship Without Abuse

Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in their home without fear of violence – no exceptions. No one should ever have to endure abuse of any kind. Whether male or female, you and your family deserve a safe space where an angry wife or partner does not erupt into abuse.

When you spend time researching abusive wives or partners and the controlling behaviors they may exhibit, you begin to understand that a relationship has certain expectations of decent behavior.

Signs of an Abusive Relationship can include:

  • One partner is withholding affection
  • One partner or spouse is giving the silent treatment
  • Emotionally abusive language, such as blame or shame
  • Threatening divorce to control you is a potential red flag
  • Friends and family warn you about being on the receiving end of your partner’s behaviors
  • You feel guilty all the time but don’t know what you’ve done wrong
  • Your self-image is in the pits

National Domestic Violence Hotline

If you or someone you know is facing domestic abuse, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7323) for help. Or visit their website for more information.

Consult an experienced domestic violence protection attorney to find out more about domestic violence laws and get the protective restraining orders you need to keep you and your family safe.

Our Experienced Domestic Violence Attorneys Can Help

At Cape Fear Law, we are here when you decide to seek support and find safety from an abusive partner or wife.  Our experienced domestic violence protection attorneys can help you protect you and your family by:

  • Filing a petition for an Order of Protection
  • Guiding you through the process of filing a restraining order 
  • Assisting in seeking custody rights to minor children
  • Helping you obtain temporary housing or financial security
  • Advising you on other legal options available in North Carolina.

We understand the complexities and emotions involved in these cases and will fight to ensure you have the protection you need. Contact us today for a free consultation. You don’t have to face domestic violence alone. Let us help protect you and your family.

Get in touch today at 910-676-8030 or contact us online.