Earning less than your wife may be a step forward in overcoming gender-biased disparity in salaries, but it can be dangerous step backwards for your marriage, according to a recent report.
You may be surprised to hear about husband-beating. Incidents of battered husbands are rarer, probably because the victims are ashamed to admit their wives beat them.
Why wives turn abusive
In most cases, financial stress is the root cause of the abuse in the relationship. Dr. Ting Joe Hang, a consultant psychiatrist, explains that women might look down on spouses who earn less because they see their husbands as “useless”. Although Dr. Ting adds that there may be other reasons for the abuse.
However, psychologist Dr. Nivashinie Mohan paints a frightening picture of domestic violence committed by wives:
“While men tend to cause more damage because they are usually stronger, women can even the odds with weapons such as knives, high heels and sharp nails.”
Dr. Nivashinie also added that abused husbands are ashamed of reporting their wives because they are scared of appearing ‘unmanly’. Some of the women were heavy drinkers whereas others may have had mental illnesses.
Horrors suffered by husbands
Suicide threats, stabbings and even black magic spells — are just some of the various abuses battered husbands had to suffer:
“We were both unhappy but whenever I suggested ending the relationship she (my wife) threatened to kill herself,” said a man who only wanted to be known as Krish.
A male teacher claimed he had body scars from when his wife attacked him, “The last time I made a police report was when she held 2 knives in her hands, threatening to kill me and asking me to fight with her.”
Family lawyer Andy Low reportedly encountered cases in which the wives hired a bomoh to hurt their husbands through magic.
What to do if you’re involved in an abusive relationship
A battered husband often suffers the same emotional and physical abuse as a battered wife. The relationship between the abuser and victim is complex, especially in the case of husband and abusive wife. He may use the same defensive tactic as a battered wife, which is denying that there is a problem. The shame of owning up to a spouse’s abusive behaviour could cause a battered husband to defend her actions to others, including himself.
There is no excuse for domestic violence, and victims, both men and women, should try and speak to someone they can trust in their family or circle of friends. Victims can also contact the nearest family counselling unit for help.