Domestic Violence Spouse

Abused Men

The idea that a man could be abused seems unimaginable to many. Yet it is a reality. Abuse of men is socially minimized because people do not know enough about the cycle of abuse. But domestic violence against men, and abusive relationships of all types, occurs across all ethnic, racial, religious and socio-economic levels.

The statistics of men abused by their wives is difficult to determine, but the Bureau of Justice Statistic Crime Data Brief on “Intimate Partner Violence” (2003), found approximately 15% of domestic violence cases involve men as the victims. This statistic may be even higher because the abuse of men usually goes unreported. reports that 30-40% of domestic violence cases involve men being abused by women. The reality is that men report abuse less than women; even when they do report incidents, there is little support and scarce resources to help them.

Abused men also react differently and are treated differently by society than abused women. The impact of abuse towards husbands is less apparent and less likely to come to society’s attention. Sadly, for men who do report being abused, the people around them are usually surprised, and instead of dealing with the abuse, they may just minimize it or not believe them at all. Comments such as “you’re tough, a woman can’t hurt you” or “take it like a man” or “what did you do to upset her?” all lay blame on the man for the abuse and even suggest he should be able to “take the abuse” without complaining.

Abuse against men has some similarities and differences from how it manifests towards women. For both, physical abuse includes pushing, slapping, hitting, throwing objects, striking with an object or using a weapon. Men are also quicker to resort to physical abuse in a relationship and are capable of more brutal physical assaults than woman.

Emotional abuse however, has very different effects on men and women. Calling a man a ‘coward’ or a ‘failure’ for example, is more psychologically humiliating than for a woman. Emotional abuse is an area where women are often more brutal than men and in most cases men are more affected by emotional torment than physical attacks. For a man, being mocked and humiliated in front of other men by his wife can be more devastating than being punched. Men may tolerate physical abuse from their wife because they feel they live up to the code of “never hitting a woman.” However, being humiliated by a woman is extremely devastating and can have far more severe consequences.

Emotional abuse includes verbal attacks such as yelling, blaming, ridiculing, name-calling, intimidation, controlling behaviors, isolation from family or friends, shaming, and threats of physical violence. Emotional abuse often escalates to the point of physical abuse and in some cases, even death.

Men in abusive relationships say they feel they “walk on eggshells” around their wife in order to “keep the peace” and try to prevent her from having an angry reaction. There are underlying psychological problems, primarily personality disorders, in which women are characteristically abusive and violent towards their husbands. According to, Borderline Personality Disorder is a diagnosis that is found primarily in women; 50% of abuse cases against men are associated with women who have Borderline Personality disorder. The disorder is also associated with suicidal behavior, severe mood swings, lying, sexual problems and drug abuse.

Consider this case and see if you can find the early warning signs of abuse:

Adam met Aliya nine years ago when they were working together at the hospital. She was an incredibly smart nurse who was outgoing and got along with all the staff. Adam was an accomplished cardiologist who worked long hours and loved his profession. Adam was intrigued by Aliya and her quick wit; they had wonderful conversations and found they had a lot in common. Adam courted Aliya for six months and she repeatedly insisted that he needed to be a man and propose to her already. He loved her and so he asked her to marry him. As they began making plans for the wedding, Aliya got highly emotional and her short temper became more apparent. Adam wanted her to be happy and have the wedding of her dreams so he tried to defuse arguments by agreeing to her demands. He got used to expecting her mood swings when things didn’t work out the way she wanted, so he would try to avoid arguments with her.

Many times Adam felt he had to hide what he was really feeling so as not to upset Aliya. She usually blamed him for the way she reacted and told him she loved him so much that he made her act crazy some times. Because he knew she was insecure, he forgave her and constantly reassured her that he loved her. One night when he came home from the hospital, he found Aliya in the kitchen angry. She started yelling at him for forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning on his way home. She called him an idiot and an awful husband and said she could never rely on him to do anything for her. He began to apologize, but Aliya cut him off and continued to yell at him. She picked up a plate off the counter and threw it at him. He was shocked at her explosion and repeatedly tried to calm her down. She got angrier and slapped him for trying to control how she was feeling. Adam emotionally shut down and decided to walk away from the argument as she continued to yell obscenities at him. Adam felt like he couldn’t do anything right to make her happy.

He tried to talk to her family and friends about her behavior but everyone told him he just needed to be more understanding and patient. He tried to get her to go to counseling with him for their problems and she refused. She continued to blame him for being unhappy in the marriage and insisted he was the one who needed to change. Over the years, she would increasingly get frustrated with him and assume he was doing things to frustrate her on purpose. She would throw things at him, vases and knives, slap him, punch him, and shove him back. Adam began working longer at the hospital so that he didn’t have to go home and deal with her. He felt stuck in his marriage because he still felt sympathy towards Aliya since she had no one in her life that truly seemed to care for her. Furthermore, he made a commitment to her when he married her that he was going to be her protector no matter what.

Why Do Men Stay?

Men stay in abusive relationships for many reasons. They may feel that there is no way out, often ignoring the initial symptoms of an emotionally abusive spouse which may have quickly turned into a physically abusive relationship. Further men may be emotionally or financially dependent on their wives.. The idea of leaving the relationship may bring up feelings of anxiety or depression due to a fear of being alone or facing the stigma of separation. Instead of dealing with the feelings of being alone he will tell himself he just needs to be a better husband, assuming the blame in the relationship for not doing his part, and feeling that he deserves the abuse.

Men may carry forward unrealistic beliefs that they can and should do something to make the marriage bearable. Abused men with children may be afraid to leave because of threats from wives to abduct the children or not allowing fathers to see them. A man may also  fear  leaving the children alone with an abusive mother  as she may harm them too. The legal system cannot guarantee joint custody and so, in a weaker position, fathers could lose access to their children. Additionally, men may fear a bias in the legal system, which sides with the wife who might accuse him of abusing her – and the judge might believe her.

There is also a paternal reputation at stake as fathers may worry their wives will  tell his children that he is a bad person or that he does not love them. Often there is a worry of being stigmatized or labeled as “spineless,” or “wimps,” for being overly dependent on the woman. Abused men are usually too afraid to share or admit to others they are being abused because they fear it is a sign of losing their manhood.

Many men will simply stay in abusive relationships and “retreat” from the abuser by staying busy at work and coming home late. In order for a man to leave an abusive relationship, he needs to begin developing emotional independence. A man who stays in an abusive relationship feels like he “can’t be alone” as men depend on women to take care of them physically, emotionally and sexually. Learning independence and being comfortable alone will help a man grow emotionally. This growth will also help him stop the cycle of abuse by recognizing the patterns of abusive women.. Change is difficult, but when a man is ready to acknowledge the abuse and take action, he will be able to make a decision that is best for him and his family insha’Allah. Being alone and raising children alone can be a scary prospect, but once a man finds inner strength to do things differently in the relationship, he will be able to regain his self-worth and self- respect.

Help for men who are victims of domestic abuse is not as prevalent as it is for women. There are virtually no shelters, programs or advocacy groups for men. One resource is the book, Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence by Phillip Cook. Abused men can also get support through private counseling services or they can contact The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women at

About the author

Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine

Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine

Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine formally contributed to the VMCounselors Column from 2011-2014. She is the author of Before the Wedding: Questions for Muslims to Ask Before Getting Married. She has written prolifically for various Muslim publications and co-hosted a radio show on One Legacy Radio. She has a Master’s in Counseling from California State University, Fullerton and Bachelor’s in Economics from UCLA. She is a certified Positive Discipline educator as well as Prepare/Enrich Premarital Counseling facilitator.


  • jazakAllah khair for the article. I agree that men must have access to safe spaces and safe “ways out” of abusive relationships. I also agree that manipulative and emotionally abusive relationships can be found in both genders and are, in some cases, equally as hurtful.

    however, there is currently a trend of trying to equate violence against men with violence against women. we cannot forget that this is a man’s world and that despite the protections given to us by al-Islam, we still live in a world where men control the vast, vast (90%) majority of wealth, power, and societal allowances.

    I would encourage readers to look past numbers quoted from “” that seem to me, in my studies (UN reports, etc) very untrue. this report was released from the united nations just last week and is a good place to start:

    a thrown plate is not equal to black eyes, broken bones, and punctured organs! in addition, you mention that men fear wounded pride in coming forward about their abuse… women are generally afraid to come forward because they fear for their *lives* … quite a different situation.

    I would appreciate some balance in this kind of article because it is dangerous to assume that women and men have it “about as bad” with regards to domestic violence in today’s world when that is quite clearly untrue.

    I am *not* denying that there are men out there who need help and who are in physically, emotionally, or verbally abusive relationships. however! I am making the claim that we should focus more on women than men, since victims who lose their lives in domestic violence situations are nearly always always always women and children… not men!

    • to be fair i know woment who have beat men to the same limits, i know women who break bottle on the man, threaten to kill them and the children and so on.

      i could tell many stories, of both side of this coin from my parents own marriage even.

      the issue is as well, that abuse from childhood or previous marriages plays into these thing at times, and that people don’t get rid of the baggage before trying to move on to another relationship.

      as for someone being a woman who was physically,mentally and emotionally abused when younger, emotional abuse hurts as much as a hit,and at times i’d prefer to be hit when i felt my heart emotionally ripping apart.

      all i’m saying here is that some men do end up in abuse as bad as when its a woman.

      • women who abuse men are those women who are from abused relationship.
        They abuse men to sure them that they can also be abusive

        • Not always true. And NOT an excuse we would tolerate from MEN who abuse. We really need to get beyond the gender issue. Men are abused just as severely as women. Women are abused just as severely as men. Might be in different ways. But abuse is WRONG! It shouldn’t depend on whether you’re a man or a woman as to if you qualify for help or not!

    • You are probably one of the people to blame for this hidden and very relevant, very much pervasive phenomenon of the twisted/demented kind of abuse that husbands suffer. I just graduated from high school, yet it seems that I have more insight and cognitive ability when it comes to looking at a real freaking problem and looking for a solution than you do.

      Don’t think that, by somehow creating an apologetic and “understanding” facade in front of your feminist-supremacy and victimization tactics, you will fool anyone. One thing that this article made a point of is that numbers and official stats” are not always reflective of actual situations.

      • Assalamu Aleykum,

        I am sorry you do not see the use in numbers and official statistics. insha’Allah after high school you will enter university and take a class on statistics to learn more about them. perhaps it will also benefit you to volunteer at a domestic violence shelter and learn that my concern towards violence against women is not grounded in “feminist supremacy” nor “victimization tactics” but rather in painful reality.

        • I would like to thank you for your article. I have been searching for statistics concerning male abuse for a college paper. I have been a victim most of my life. I agree with you that ‘Personality disorder ‘ is common, but in both male and females. Abuse is a combination of many factors, both sociological and psychological. A lot more research needs to be done. The true facts are not there or are being covered up. We need to stop looking at this as a male/female problem and instead as a human problem. One thought, how many men are convicted of abuse that really were the victim? Law enforcement nearly always sides with the woman, whether its the truth or not!

    • Dear Khamsek,

      No offence intended but you do sound rather desperate when, after all these articles written about women’s rights in Islam, and after listening to one sheikh after another talking about how great women are (which they are), one article is written about men and you yell out “we should focus more on women than men”. I don’t know about anyone else, but I as sure as hell think this is already the case.

      Why must we always go from one extreme to the other???

      • Assalamu Aleykum,

        as I mentioned in my first comment, I am aware that violence against men takes place in our society. it is not just in the home, but on the streets, in prisons, in schools, in war, etc. the reason why I am “desperate” that we “should focus more on women than men” with regards to this topic is that women are by far the overwhelming majority of victims when it comes to domestic violence. indeed, I do not even object against the article in and of itself. I hope everyone reads the link I posted to the UN report on women.

        • If ou read that statistics in this report women are not the majority of the victims. More than half of the population of abused men don’t even report it out of fear that any jury will side with their wives no matter what the evidence.

      • Haq, you hit the nail right on the head…

        What you highlighted regarding Khamsek’s comment is exactly what enraged me so much! I can safely assume that this article sheds light on an issue that we have probably never even seen addressed in any public forum PERIOD (the issue of abused men).

        To downplay the severity and reality of the real issue addressed in this article will help no victim of abuse, man or woman. It only adds salt in wounds, opens up unnecessary and distracting arguements (such as this one haha), and shows a personal problem within your ownself…

        • By taking the stance that you did, and trying to play the sanitized numbers game and say that such and such gender tends to suffer and incur a higher percentage of injustice and abuse than the other…what problem does that solve? What wounded heart does that mend? What family does that rescue? None. It adds nothing but vitriol to the very sensitive discussion we should be having, and reflects selfishness on the part of people like you to be able to hold the heavier cards in gender divisive debate.

    • Its sad that there’s such an adverse response to this article by some women. As the sister mentions in her article that people “lay blame on the man for the abuse and even suggest he should be able to “take the abuse” without complaining.” This is also what’s happening in these responses also as some people are up in arms claiming that we shouldn’t be discussing this issue and be focusing just on women.

      I’m sorry this is a problem that should be addressed. Khamsek’s response is similar to the comments I’m reading on Facebook. Its incredibly ignorant to marginalize or downplay this problem and act like it doesn’t exist, as opposed to acknowledging the problem and trying to come up with a solution.

    • @ Khamsek: Your statement is what is called a feminist come back.

      As usual you tried to blame the article as being one sided but in reality feminism has permeated our societies so deeply there are hardly resources to help our men.

      Thirdly, to assert that women have it worse is extremely bias and unreasonable.

      In closing, I do not think the article is bias, I think it echoes the voice for men who are not given one at all.

      Thank you writer of this wonderful article.

  • Finally someone wrote for/about us neglected endangered species’ rights. it was informative. jazak Allah khayr.

    • I am no expert in defining term bossy but as long as the feeling at the receiving end remains abused (read trapped) it makes no difference to me unless someone could clarify the meaning.

      Finally, I sent a link to someone who was part of a relation at the non receiving end and they realized their mistakes and apologized. These cases are rare but true in our society. Alhamdulillah, at least for some level (degree) your efforts to write this article worked. I thank the writer profusely and hope Allah grants you multiple times blessings and increase you in goodness. ameen. wassalam.

  • Khamsek, I think your perspective is short-sighted. Emotional violence is equally as devastating as physical violence. Just because you can’t ‘see’ the damage of emotional violence, doesn’t mean its any less harmful than physical violence.

    • I dare say that a woman getting a restraining order from her physically abusive husband who has landed her in the hospital is not on equal ground with a man whose wife humiliates him and calls him an idiot. Both are situations that need to be remedied, and both are Real Abuse, but I fear the trend towards sensationalizing domestic abuse towards men (which *is* in the statistical minority) somehow lulls us into believing that women are no longer the majority of victims in abusive marriages, or that “emotional abuse” is the same as “physical abuse”. One can and DOES kill more than the other.

      In the United States, a woman is more likely to be injured by a man in her family than she is to be injured in a car accident.. in fact, it beats out any other cause of injury. I would encourage people to read over the UN report I linked in my earlier comment.

      • Khamsek.. On one hand i agree with you. When your life is physically in danger, that is a very serious thing and needs to be dealt with immediately. But that in no way negates the fact that no one should have to put up with being teased, tormented, bullied or intimidated either. Yes. Physical abuse kills more people than emotional abuse does. That has nothing to do with anything. NO ONE deserves to be tortured in any way by someone who is supposed to care about them. The fact that physical abuse kills more people than emotional abuse doesn’t mean emotional abuse can just be ignored. That’s like saying “We don’t treat patients with broken ankles because we’re holding out for people having heart attacks”. That would be a bad hospital. I wouldn’t go there probably 🙂

  • Gazaki Allahu Kul Khair Sister Munira for this article. I was wondering if you, Sister Munira, could differentiate between “abusive” and “bossy” for us, and how you can tell the difference between getting into a relationship with somebody who is bossy versus abusive, sometime in the near future or just as a comment here.

    • Interesting question and I think its a very fine line between the two which can easily lead to being abusive. but briefly — being bossy is being offensive with your attitude and demands. being abusive verbally is being controlling and dominating with your words.

    • I was intrigued by your question and so I looked around and found this site that highlights a lot of the signs of abuse. I have copied the questions on this discussion. If you answered “yes” to any of these, you should reach out and get some help. The link for the website is here:

      Does your partner:
      Embarrass you with put-downs?
      Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
      Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
      Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
      Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
      Make all of the decisions?
      Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
      Prevent you from working or attending school?
      Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?
      Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
      Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
      Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?
      Force you to try and drop charges?
      Threaten to commit suicide?
      Threaten to kill you?

  • Wow. thank you for this article. The story of adam and aliya was the story of my marriage. finally someone wrote an article addressing this problem. Very well written.

    • May Allah 3azza wa jall preserve you brother and make for you a way out of your difficulty and replace it with something much better.

  • Be careful of throwing slander at our sister, “Anti-Khamsek.” We can discuss issues without sinning against ourselves, no?

    • Point well taken. This is an issue surrounded by emotion and sensitivity, and it is easy to overstep the lines of proper bounds of argument and crossover into being offensive. I apologize if I have or was even on the border of doing so.

      However, I strongly believe that the points I made with regard to Khamsek’s flawed viewpoints and defensive stances are 100% true and absolutely counter-productive on her part.

  • One of the other problems that the article eludes to is children.

    A man can be married to an abusive women, but that same women is a great mother.

    A fear of some men is that it would do far greater damage to the children to separate than to bear the abuse, and the abuse may be more bearable than the thought of breaking up a family.

    I wouldn’t say a man should stick it out in an abusive relationship if the abuse filters down to the children, but it doesn’t always. I think if the abuse is limited to the husband, and is bearable (it may not be), than the children’s well being should be a major consideration.

    • Wouldn’t it be psychologically damaging for the children to see their father being abused? If so, wouldn’t it still be in their best interest for the father to separate from their mother?

      Also, a person who has been emotionally abused may take out his feelings on the people closest to him – in this case the children.

      • Good point Aswad.

        I would like to add that it’s too easy to generalize, and there could be so many factors and scenarios, such as the kids not seeing the abuse.

        So what I’m saying is, in some cases, the degree of abuse may not warrant such an extreme measure such as divorce.

        Insha’allah, those men who are suffering can work things out if their wives become aware of the issue. That would be the first step, to help the wife recognize and admit the abuse. Then proceed accordingly. Now if the wife won’t accept that she has a problem, that’s a different story.

  • I agree with Khamsek, though i dont deny violence against men and when it comes to violence people shouldnt compare such and such but still i have to say in compare to the violence women suffer its nothing.
    And that is not some made up story from a feminist, that is a fact, take a look at the World, children and women suffer the most and if u deny this than ur an ignorent.
    I ve never seen a Men refuge house where men hide from their abusive ex-wives or wives, most rape victims are women.

    And calling yourself Antikhamsek, ridicoulus
    ps: Sorry for my english

    • The reason you do’t see a men’s refuge house is because there AREN’T many. Men are not considered to “need” one. After all, men have it all, right? Money, power, etc? Except that men are humans too…and hurting men need just as much assistance as hurting women. Problem is, there’s not much out there. Thank goodness for DAHMW!

  • I think many women are missing the point of this article. Instead of reading it, women seem to be getting offended. No where in this article does it say that women are never abused or they are always the aggressor. The author is just trying to convey that some men are also abused. And yes as sad as it is, it does happen. There are times when the wife is the aggressor. I know this from personal experience.

    Why can’t we acknowledge this instead of turning this into a competition? Are we really competing to see who is abused more? That is completely ridiculous.

    If you want to discuss abused women, please see the authors other article which she published a few weeks back.

    • I agree. I don’t see why woman should feel offended by this, it is a reality. We shouldn’t go to extremes of preferring one or the other. Every problem deserves an equal chance of being addressed, and I don’t think many women can argue than problems related to abuse of women are under-addressed. I have grown up hearing about abuse of women such that it’s internalized. But this is the first time I’ve read up on abuse of men. May Allah bring us closer to Him and grant us a sound understanding of His Deen.

  • AsA

    The fact of the matter is that they are both problems in the community. Obviously women are way more abused then men. That wasn’t the point of the article. The point of the article was to highlight an issue which many people don’t know or realize. It is an issue, whether one likes it or not and at the end of the day it is our responsibility to do something about it for the sake of Allah (swt). Let’s not act like 3 year olds arguing about whose shoes are cooler. Let’s act like individuals who have Islam in our hearts, who understand the responsibility that is upon us and get it done.


  • I don’t understand some of the negative responses here to the article. The sister has nowhere in her article stated that the abuse of males, whether physical or psychological, is on the same level statistically as men abusing women.

    She is simply pointing out a problem that exists, detailing it through examples and suggesting solutions. Pointing out a problem in no way negates or lessens the seriousness of other problems, even inverses,or denies that other problems are less prevelant or equal.

    I wonder when we as Muslims will get over this reactionary black and white thinking. It’s a total plague in our community. The sister is doing a great job in her area of expertise on this site pointing out ALL of the problems which exist in the Muslim community regarding marriage/relationship issues in the light of Qur’an and Sunnah. She should be commended for her effort…

  • This isn’t a contest. Who gets treated the worst doesn’t change anything. I’m a fairly new revert and one of the most wonderful things I was taught to begin with, was to make excuses for my Muslim brothers and sisters, rather than be critical if we think they are wrong. We should be compassionate. Seldom is anyone aided by criticism. We can help, if we look at the reasons they might be reacting adversely. We should stay open to what they are not saying, as well as what they are saying. For instance someone might have a loved one who was victimized and it affects their responses. Letting go of our tendency to judge gives us more time to focus on the sunnah and how we should live, instead of how someone else is supposed to live. It makes it easier to be quiet and ‘feel’ Islam. I feel so much peace now. I thank Allah (SWT) everyday for allowing me to be a Muslim, alhamdulillah.

  • Great article Mash’Allah! This is an issue that is often overlooked and had to be addressed. Whether male or female, nobody should be abused, neither verbally or physically.

  • i know a very good person he is even sheikh in his community but his wife is abusive to him and he stayed more then 30 years he is still in there, a lot of times i used to wonder why people are not seeing some thing like this but i finally see some one who knows something. well done and may allah subxaanahu watacaalaa help that person and all in the domestic violence. amin

  • Great article on an issue that needs addressing! Whilst reading it , it just made me realised how prejudice I can be myself, as points you made about women calling a man ‘coward’ or ‘being a man’ I was just thinking well its probably true, he probably does need to stop being a coward and be a man. Whereas if it had been the other way round I am sure I would have reacted differently. We forget sometimes that men are as sensitive as women also do have feelings.

    • Very true. I myself realized my biases while reading this article which, unfortunately, revolved around the notion of patriarchy. Phrases such as “Be a man!” and “suck it up” kept ringing in my head. Such phrases, I realized, have been so integrated in our responses towards men’s expression of emotions that they compel the man to hide the pain stemming from domestic abuse. Which then goes back to the idea that men attain such a great dominance over women that it is impossible to imagine a female abusing her husband.

      • So I guess its a man’s “great dominance “that causes his wife to throw things at him push him and curse him out? Your argument makes no sense.

        • she doesn’t even have to do these things. Treating someone in a mean way, calling them names, being a bitch or ignoring or neglecting someone’s emotional requirements are all kinds of abuse. I am not fooled for a second in this whole “farer sex” nonsense. We are JUST as violent as men. But we tend to express our violence in a non-physical way. Women treat each other terribly. And we treat men terribly. We say terrible things without thinking and we hurt feelings very well.

          Physical aggression is not the only kind of aggression that can damage. I’ve seen good men with mean women all the time. And it’s not fair.. Just as it’s not fair to see a good woman with a mean man.

          HUMANS all have to treat one another better. Meanness is a problem no matter who’s dealing it out and who’s receiving it.

      • You should expand your abuse vocabulary then. If a guy treated a girl (emotionally) the way a lot of women treat men, he’d be called a “bully” and people would naturally assume it would lead to something physical eventually and tell her “girlfriend get OUT of there”. But because it’s a woman doing it, she’s merely “empowering” herself. So it’s very natural that the average person can’t see how it’s possible for women to abuse men. Because chick-on-guy abuse is socially acceptable and even encouraged.

    • hey, cowards are the worst kind of people regardless of gender. I’m ok with someone saying to a man “stop being such a coward” as i’m also ok with someone saying that to a woman. It’s the REASON people say it that’s bad. If you’re being mistreated by anyone, coming forward is NOT cowardice. It’s the opposite of that.

  • I know of men who are systematically abused; and, contrary to what many believe that men can easily leave such relationships – many simply don’t.


  • First of all, jazakallah to Munira for such a well written piece that brings light to an issue that many women take for granted. Reading this article has actually brought tears to my eyes. Reading the responses has also enraged me.

    @Kamshek I entirely agree that women are amongst the majority when it comes to statistics but the main point this article made was that abuse against men /isnt/ reported. That is why the statistics do not match. Also, comparing physical and emotional abuse is comparing apples and oranges. You cannot equate the two because there are far too many variables in the execution of the acts.

    After reading this article Ive come to realize that many of the things I say to my husband can be regarded as abusive and that I may very well be verbally assaulting him at times. It has everything to do with calling him a coward or asking him to be a man. The equivalent to this would be if he said to me one day “Youre an awful mother” (we do not have kids) or “I couldve found a better wife than you”. If he ever said these words to me I KNOW I would be shattered inside and no amount of making up and apologizing or excusing him would ever erase those words from my memory. Words said in times of anger are very easy to take back with the always-there excuse “Sorry, I didnt mean it, I was really just pissed at you.” Saying something awful to someone in the heat of the moment or as a snide remark even is very easy but being on the receiving end is devastating and leaves terrible wounds that go deeper than physical ones.

    The truth is, we women are horrible to one another and even more so to people who tick us off. We know how to hurt people, know what to say to break their hearts, know how to mentally destroy a person. The fact that we use these tactics on our husbands is the most tragic of all.

    I pray to Allah swt that I correct my behaviour and am able to hold my tongue with my husband. I think, especially in the Western societies, women these days have forgotten that not too long ago (maybe 50 years ago), a wife wasnt allowed to speak to her husband in a raised voice. Im not saying lets go back to those archaic times, Im just saying my husband deserves more respect than I give him.

    • It is very heart-warming to read a post like yours. To see someone who reads an article and rather than getting offended and becoming defensive, pauses, wonders if this could possibly apply to them, and vows to change. Thank you.

  • Assalam alaikum
    I am a revert and my wife, we are married for three years, is abusive. Verbally and physically. I have tried my best, and sought help with the Mullana. But it continues, it has become too much – I don’t know what to do. I can only think of deperate solutions, every day I cry out for Azrael. May ALLAH have mercy on me.

  • An excellent article on a very neglected subject. I would highly recommend the book, “Stop Walking on Eggshells”, for both men and women who feel they may be in an abusive relationship.

  • Thank you very much for this article. You did not in any way diminish the female victims of domestic violence by shedding light on the male victims. Speaking as a survivor, the emotional scars were much more devastating and took far longer to heal than the bruises and black eyes. Thanks again.

  • JAK to the authors for discussing this topic. In the last 10yrs, I have heard only one line in multiple marriage lectures from notable sheikhs on Abused Men. Only One!

    Adam and Aliya’s story is so reflective of mine. Additional emotionally disturbing methods include – calling names to my parents, teaching children to talk rudely, talking about revenge to her parents, never being satisfied with gifts/clothes/(you name it), always complaining about things that we dont have rather than what we do…

    I used to be an active MSA/MAS/Community member, now spend all my time saving my marriage and family… and obviously occupy myself with work.

    Yes – I did reach out for emotional support. I got laughed at for not being the man of the house. This article is very well written, and i can vouch its “truthiness”. I can also put a monetary amount of how much i have lost while trying to keep the marriage alive for the sake of my children.

    If you have online fatawas from any madhab website on “abused men” – do post those links.

  • This was a good article. I don’t know why this article was polluted with the comments about women. So what if abuse is similar or different. Imagine if the article was about animal abuse should we comment on it about why humans were not included? I think not. That is not objective writing. Women face a lot of abuse from many jerks.

    I myself was a victim of this right from day 1 and I actually felt sorry for my wife. Anything I did even to the point of being nice worked against me. The nicer I became the worser the abuse towards me. The same person propagated herself to be the most Islamic person out there. Attending every class, halaqah etc… Reading every book out there, talking about Islam and on and on. Yet there was another side to them.

    I did not feel unmanly or anything and from all the emotional abuse I took, my heart took it on the chin, simply because I felt sorry for my wife. I felt she was insecure and needed my comfort. But my life became miserable. She tried to cut me off from my parents, from my friends, many things.

    I never imagined divorcing her until she called the police on me for no reason and this began a new tactic. Knowing what would happen here and making false accusations now I said this is the end of the line and I left the relationship for good.

    This stuff is very real. In the end, a human being is a human being. Injustice and suffering are haram for any living thing so much that Allah himself made injustice haram for Himself. It doesn’t matter who it is but if a person suffers then they suffer.

    All these stats and reports are no good for me. Will they bring back my life? NO! What’s the point? In this society, there are problems and lawyers and companies capitalizing on problems and making money right, left and centre. Imagine, doing everything Islamic and the other party yup the same Islamic person demanding haram spousal support, life insurance to be added to the support payments. Like give me a break! What Islam is this?

    People have forgotten Allah, morals have vanished and money is the ultimate goal for everyone. Too bad money will never last.

    The system is the problem.

  • Jazaki Allahu Khayran for the article, Sister Munira. May Allah reward you greatly for highlighting this neglected issue.

    Jazakakum Allahu Khayran for the brothers who bravely posted their stories in the comments section. May Allah help you in your struggles and help all us Muslims be more kind and loving to our spouses, our children and to each other.

  • I was married to an abusive woman eighteen years, I was mocked,disrespected,while was “friends” with the kids she had a son from a different marraige protected him while he disrespected her and me and took heroin,while she got drunk on a daily basis,I work dileigently to support everyone myself and my son with her while she stole money without me knowing it and gave it to her boyfriend.I couldnt pay my bills which included the IRS.Her and her boyfriend saved enough to sue me for divorce and the court gave her my investment property which I had all my money ivested,bottom line I ended up broke and Homeless and so is my son– female abuse

  • Thank God for this article. I am fully aware of the abuse women endure, and so are most folks. However, my son has been really damaged by a women with a dual diagnosed wife (ex soon) BPD and OCPD. It has been horrible. And fear is part of it. If I had not seen it first hand, even I world not have believed it. She DID accuse him of being the abuser, and DID gain the support of the court AND the domestic violence shelter. NOONE wills listen to me, even though they lived in my home the while time and I was always there. Now, my grandson is a pawn to attempt to control my son and our whole family. We love that baby, but are ready to let him go to spare ourselves and him the torture of being a tool to manipulate us. When googling abusive women, the first ten were about abused women. Only this one was on abused men. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Angelique Kindel (Picillo, Baker) “I wanted him to hit rock bottom so bad that when someone would make a joke like ‘hey I got a friend who would hurt him’ I was taking him seriously.I wanted his car destroyed..I wanted him hurt so that he could be in the hospital.. I put my son in harms way so many times…” 4/15/06 #8420, Naranon Support at Yahoo Groups.

  • This story sounds like its referring to my psycho Egyptian wife of 12 years. Regards, English Caucasian Man Who Converted, and Reads, Speaks and Writes Arabic and lives in the Khaleej, and made the mistake of having two kids.

  • All life is precious no matter what gender, I am still suffering from the tragic deaths of two brothers from abusive relationships. I myself at this moment in my life married with two beautifull daughters two paychecks away from seeing my family on the streets , in financial ruin due . Its only natural for my wife to crack under the pressure due to fear for our childrens security and the verbal attacks on me are quite severe to my emotional wellbeing, yet I still wake up every morning hoping for a miracle to save my family that I will find the streangth to do the right thing. My health is failing which makes matters worse. I feel like I live in limbo not sure what direction to move for fear of failure. I dont have the luxury of taking my own life knowing how much pain and suffering it causes others . Yet if I keep wallowing in my own self pity and depression death will have me regardless. It feels like Im in a no win situation and everyone in my family loses not just me.

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