While there might be many factors which have led you to stay with an abusive wife, in spite of her behavior, it's important that you be ready to move quickly once the decision has been made to terminate your marriage. Finding the help you'll need, especially if there are children who might also be at risk of abuse, will help ensure that your experiences aren't dismissed during the proceedings. Unfortunately, men report intimate partner violence less often, and this can result in adverse reactions, so it's important that you work with an attorney who is supportive and accepting of the reality of your situation.
You're Not Alone
One of the first steps toward making a clean break from an abusive female partner is recognizing that you're not alone. Men experience abuse in different forms than women but the impact is no less real and the experience no less valid. One out of every seven men in America has experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner, and not one of them was weak or less of a man because of the experience.
Once you've chosen to acknowledge that you are not the problem, you can begin the process involved in breaking ties with your wife. Start by building your support system to ensure that you have some stability once the marriage is ended, and someone to turn to in times of need. Many of the support organizations that focus on male survivors can help put you in touch with lawyers in your area (such as those from Cragun Law Firm) who recognize the seriousness of your situation.
There's Help Out There
Once you recognize that what you're experiencing actually is domestic abuse or violence, it's time to seek the help you need to break the cycle. Domestic abusers rarely stop, so getting out of that situation is often the only answer; ensuring the safety of your children should be a high priority, too. More municipal and county courts are establishing protections for men in abusive relationships, and a restraining order can be a good place to start.
Work with a lawyer who specializes in domestic abuse related divorces, and if you're not sure who to call start by reaching out to national help organizations. If you haven't already left, begin documenting instances of abuse as accurately as possible, use photographs, audio recordings, or video recordings to help establish a pattern of behavior. As with any divorce of this nature, the burden of proof will be on you, though you may face increased stigma as a male victim, so be prepared.
No one should feel required to stay in an abusive marriage, regardless of their gender or other circumstances. With the right lawyer, a good support system, and time to heal, you'll be able to make a clean break from your wife and you can both have a chance to find the help you need.