I was too clueless to be in denial
As a man, I couldn’t be abused. The multiple times of being beaten I’d curl up in a ball and “take it like a man.” I was raised to never hit a woman, even hitting back. There was a time she came after me with a dining room chair while I was on crutches from knee surgery. While doing so she said she hoped I’d never walk again.
One night after a really bad incident she called the police to have me removed from the house. She ended up being taken out in handcuffs. While filing a police report I said I sounded like one of the women in her Lifetime movies, and the Sargent said they had heard plenty of stories like mine from abuse victims. Suddenly I realized I was a victim of DV. It had never even occurred to me that an abused husband was a real thing, not just a character in a comedy show.
The isolation and control, the being told I was worthless, made to feel like it was my fault, and I deserved whatever happened to me; everything was there. I just hadn’t realized it. Most of it was done through manipulation instead of brute force. As most survivors/former victims know the mental wounds are the worst.
I’ll admit I’m a little different than most, once I understood what was going on I was strong in not going back except on my terms: with her or without her it wasn’t happening to me again. She ended up choosing the latter. I wasn’t going to be the one to file for divorce, she did and it was finalized in 2003.
There are some different issues for abused men; as I like to say it: once s woman hits a man he can’t do anything right. “You let a girl beat you up” vs. “It ain’t right to hit a woman”. Sometimes the same people will give exactly opposite responses depending on the mood they’re in. There’s also the legal issues, the flip side of the double standard: if police show up to a DV incident, who are they going to be more likely to take to jail?