Men can be victims of chronic abuse, betrayal, and neglect too. In this article, you'll read the stories of two men, David and John, who were both married to emotionally abusive and manipulative wives. In 2019, I interviewed David for my book The Life-Saving Divorce,and in 2021, I interviewed John (his story is below).


David's story is powerful, and it changed the way I saw men and martial abuse. The first time he told me about his marriage, I couldn't sleep for 3 nights. It was so horrible, I had to ask for evidence just to make sure he was telling the truth. He was.


At the time of the interview in 2019, David was dealing with some legal and parenting issues, and had just remarried.


In this new 2021 interview, he tells the story of his first marriage and gives us an update of his life today. David was brought up in a high-achieving conservative Christian homeschooling family, and attended a complementarian church that was part of the Sovereign Grace group of churches on the East Coast.


He was taught the "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" purity culture formula for courtship and marriage.


David was a good kid who had a great relationship with his parents and followed all the rules.


In this interview he talks about the dangers of being brought up complementarian, and never taught what to do when you’ve gone several stages down the courtship path and notice red flags in your fiancé. He discusses the outward signs of holiness (church attendance, Bible study, etc.) that were supposed to guarantee a good marriage but in reality distract young people from focusing on relationships with integrity, intimacy, respect, friendship, and authenticity.


These messages combined to pressure David to marry a destructive marriage to a woman who was manipulative and selfish. After many years and three children, she eventually drove him to despair and depression, falsely accusing him of a felony, resulting in his arrest.


He talks about trauma bonds, and the secular therapists who saved his life and helped him see the truth. He also discusses his strong faith in God today.


John's Story—Male Victims of Abuse | The Life-Saving Divorce



"John" tells his story about being a male victim of abuse at the hands of his wife. The Interviewer is author Gretchen Baskerville, whose book "The Life-Saving Divorce" has a chapter devoted to telling the stories of men who are victims of abusive or serially unfaithful wives.

00:55 - Men are more likely to stay silent, and less likely to be believed.

01:40 - How John met his wife.

03:00 - How his wife cut him off from friends and isolated him from those close to him

04:25 - Her opposition to attending a colleague's wedding

05:20 - Her demeaning behavior, insults to his professional career and life as a farmer

06:30 - Her claims to be superior to him and demands for apologies.

07:20 - Provoking him into arguments. Criticized him for being English.

07:50 - Friends noticed and commented on the disrespect

08:30 - Undermined his prior promises to his foster daughter

10:30 - The problem with "Happy Wife, Happy Life" formulas

10:40 - She would start argument and would block the front door, and coerce him to stay in the house (He couldn't move her physically for fear of being accused of being physically violent.)

11:15 - He had to make a run for it, and documented each event

11:55 - His experiences were depicted in the PADLOCK film.

12:15 - Feeling trapped. She said she could do anything she wanted to me.

12:40 - Sleep deprivation, as a common form of torture

13:00 - She never accepted responsibility over her own behavior. He felt trapped.

13:20 - Worried about not being believed.

13:30 - Double standards for women and men victims.

14:40 - How did you finally understand that you were an abuse victim? How did you get in contact with a domestic violence advocate? Duluth Wheel adapted for male victims.

15:45 - DARVO - My wife wanted to portray me as the abuser (reversing victim and offender). She said she could do anything to me she liked.

16:30 - He found the examples, definitions, and men's stories on the ManKind Initiative website:

18:00 - Churches don't always believe him. No church leader has ever asked for his evidence.

18:30 - Advocating by displaying a placard in front of a church.

19:15 - Christian men are sometimes not believed. One man's wife was convicted and imprisoned for her behavior.

19:30 - He documented her behavior.

19:50 - His wife made allegations against him. The police pulled him over. He was able to prove beyond any doubt that her allegations were false. Finally, the police had to let him go.

22:20 - He had filed a complaint against her prior to this event. But the police laughed at him.

22:40 - He believes that his wife filed a preemptive charge.

23:15 - In retrospect, he wished he's been charged, and his journals would have been made public in court.

23:45 - One senior police executive has since apologized to him. John now works with the police in the area of advocacy.

25:00 - Dating again after divorce. He went on a few dates and realized he was not the problem. Most women weren't abusive. He regained his confidence.

25:50 - He wanted his fiance to know about his past. She looked at the evidence and believed him. Today they are happily married.

26:00 - Message to men: Call the police if you are in danger. Seek out an abuse awareness organization that has men's stories on their websites. Men stay because they are afraid of losing contact with their children and because they hope they can protect their children from abuse. The authorities are gradually improving on this topic.

28:45 - Prevalence of male domestic abuse in the U.K.


Are you going through a life-saving divorce and need support and clarity? I’d like to invite you to my private Facebook group, "Life-Saving Divorce for Separated or Divorced Christians." Just click the link and ANSWER the 4 QUESTIONS. This is a group for women and men of faith who have walked this path, or are considering it. Supporters and people helpers are also welcome.  I’ve written a book on divorce for Christians and other people of faith, The Life-Saving Divorce: Paperback:  Or eBook:

Also, sign up for my email list below or HERE






Start Here



Does God Hate Divorce? God Gave Divorce Due to Hardhearted Abusers & Betrayers


Physical and Emotional Abuse & Infidelity

God Allows Divorce to Protect Victims


How to Find a Good Supportive Church


What If My Pastor Says It Would Be Wrong to Get Divorced for Abuse?



Divorce Saves Lives: The Surprising (Wonderful!) Truth About Divorce Nobody Told You

Will I Ever Find Love Again? Dating After Divorce: Good News

Finding Happiness and Health After Divorce


Thriving After Divorce: These Christians Tell their Stories

Self-Doubt, Second-Guessing Ourselves, and Gaslighting

Children and Divorce: Researchers Give Hope


High Conflict Divorce and Parenting

Recommended Reading List and Free Resources for Christians and Other People of Faith


Common Myths






GET THE BOOK! The Life-Saving Divorce is about divorces for very serious reasons: a pattern of sexual immorality, physical abuse, chronic emotional abuse, family-impairing addictions, abandonment, or severe neglect. This book will give you hope for your future, and optimism about your children. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.



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