Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Yahoo!: The Battered Husband Syndrome (life coach, counselor, clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, osteopath, quezon city, manila, philippines)

Claudine battered Raymart? But, is that even possible?
Just like women, men can suffer from physical, verbal or emotional abuse

By Dr. Randy Dellosa, Your Online Shrink | Yahoo SHE – Mon, Sep 30, 2013 11:05 AM PHT

Early this year, Senators Tito Sotto and Gregorio Honasan supported the filing of a bill seeking to protect men from domestic violence. But sadly, the proposal was largely ignored and quickly forgotten. Recently however, public interest on the issue of battered husbands was revived when Raymart Santiago made a televised claim that he was a husband who suffered battering from his wife Claudine Barretto. But really, is it even possible for women to batter their husbands? 

Because men are typically bigger and stronger than women, people find it hard to accept the notion of battered husbands. Battered husbands are often laughed off as ‘henpecked” men, and in Filipino society, they are often ridiculed as being “ander de saya,” “macho-nurin,” or “takuza (‘takot sa asawa’).”

A distinction however has to be made between henpecked and battered husbands. Henpecked husbands are men who assume a submissive role to their domineering wives. Battered husbands, on the other hand, are victims of violence by their abusive wives.

The violence in husband-battering comes in the form of physical, verbal, or emotional abuse commonly done by:

  • humiliating the husband privately, in public, or online,
  • inflicting physical harm or injury,
  • being extremely jealousy or over-controlling, and
  • using threats, intimidation, and blackmail. 

Although women are stereotyped as the weaker sex, husband-batterers are far from helpless and fragile. On the contrary, husband-batterers are women who assert their power and control over their husband through psychological warfare, verbal tirades, and physical violence. They have an obvious inability to manage their anger and are quick to retaliate when offended. After their violent outbursts however, they may temporarily become remorseful and loving as they try to kiss-and-make up. Husband-batterers are commonly diagnosed to have borderline personality disorder, major depression, substance abuse, or other psychiatric disorders.

A battered husband often suffers from depression, fear, anxiety, low self-esteem, and self-blame. Despite being emasculated by his abusive wife, he chooses to stay in the relationship for a number of reasons: 

  • He fears that he will be ridiculed and dismissed as an unmanly weakling;
  • He wants to protect his children from the abusive mother;
  • He harbors the religious belief that ‘what God has joined together, no man should put asunder;’ and for some,
  • He holds on to the hope that one day, his wife will change for the better. 

What a battered husband urgently needs to do is to protect himself and his children from potential harm, even if this means separating from the abusive wife. He needs to reach out for help from sympathetic family members and supportive friends. He should gather as much evidence of the abuse in case a legal battle ensues. Also, he should get help from a psychologist or psychiatrist for himself, for his children, and more importantly for his abusive wife.

Battering is still battering whether it is perpetrated by a man or a woman. The battered husband should not be ridiculed as a shameful wimp. Instead, he deserves compassionate help as the tortured victim of his abusive wife.

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