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Battered husband who snapped

Filed under: Domestic Violence,General — Julie @ 12:13 am Sat 21st November 2009

Journalist AN MUNRO over at has written an very sad and detailed article about Anthony Sherna killing his partner after suffering years of abuse and being sentenced to 14 years in jail.

For almost 20 years he submitted in order to keep the peace. When she demanded he change his surname to prove he loved her, he agreed.

When she insisted he not see his friends or family, he complied. When she taunted him by resuming an affair with a former boyfriend and suggested he ”grow some balls”, he swallowed the insults.

When she said he was too smelly to use the toilet at home, he restrained himself until he arrived at work. When she refused to let him sleep in their double bed, he dossed down in the spare room on a camp stretcher.

He was sole breadwinner but she rationed his cigarettes – just 12 each day – and controlled their money. Each week after withdrawing the housekeeping money he handed over the cash, his ATM card and receipts.

It is shocking that he was sentenced to prison when he is a domestic violence victim and she a controlling abuser. If it had been the other way around and he was a she, he would have gained sympathy and walked free.

She is what is known as a narcissist and over at mensnewsdaily, they have Dr. Tara J. Palmatier writing articles about this type of women and the abuse men go through. She writes:

Why is it so difficult for men who are being controlled by narcissistic, borderline, histrionic and other abusive women to end the relationship? What keeps them tethered to these abusive personalities sometimes even after the relationship has ended?

There are two basic hooks this kind of woman uses to keep men on a readily yank-able chain: the fear of loss and the need for approval. These are the two most powerful control devices in their arsenal. The worst part is that, in many cases, men unwittingly play right into their hands.

Dr Tara goes into detail explaining how the fear of loss is used by these women. She writes, “Inducing fear, guilt, shame and a sense of obligation are how abusive women control you. If you’re afraid of loss and your wife/girlfriend/ex knows it, you’re basically at her mercy.”

Dr Tara also goes into detail explaining that another highly effective device abusive women use to control men is by denying approval and acceptance. She says, “Being criticized, demeaned, rejected and told repeatedly, “not good enough,” “you don’t measure up,” or that you’ve “failed again” is demoralizing. It also spurs you on to try even harder to please her and herein lies the problem: These women are never satisfied. Nothing you do will ever be good enough. She will never bestow upon you the kind of love and acceptance you seek”.

For Anthony Sherna, the trigger was when Susanne Wild stormed into the laundry of their home, where he was rocking their pet terrier to sleep.

That was part of his routine. She was drunk. That was part of her routine.

”Hubble just shook like a, really frightened … that upset me very much [and] she started mouthing off at me again,” he says.

Dr Tara J. Palmatier writes many articles on Narcissist women as a shrink for men. If you think you are in a relationship like this or have just left one, you will learn a lot from her site and she responds promptly to comments.


  1. An abuser is dead and a victim is imprisoned because NOBODY helped, NOBODY cared. Ideology blinded them. A taxpayer became a tax burden. A consumer became a corpse. Two families are no doubt devastated. Imagine the co$t.
    Q. What kind of society allows a human being to be abused to such an extent, regardless of their gender? A. Not a very good one!
    I also wonder how much different the outcome would have been if abused men were supported in the same way that abused women are supported.
    The Australian authorities should be sharing in HER death and HIS incarceration because of their inaction over domestic violence committed against MEN. SHAME on them!
    I do hope this story prompts those with their heads up their arses to undergo a paradigm shift before the same occurs here in New Zealand. Dreams are free I guess.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Sat 21st November 2009 @ 7:07 pm

  2. Thanks for you comment SickofNZ. Men have a while to go before their pain will be recognised fully. The commenter Zum spoke for feminists when she made her comment and yet I have met up with feminists whose hearts are even more black than hers when it comes to men.

    I add this bit of information from another Psychologist because it is very powerful.

    Paul Elam Says:
    November 18th, 2009 at 5:16 am

    As always, a top notch piece of work from Dr. Tara.

    For my two cents worth there are a lot of things at play in scenarios where men remain with abusive women. There are factors that are radically different than the phenomena where women stay with abusive men.

    I think a lot of it speaks to socialization, and transference of men’s dependency on their mothers for emotional survival. For most men in our culture, teaching them to “keep Mama happy” is central to their upbringing.

    I know that in my home that there was no greater standard of worth than making my mother happy and very little for which failure to succeed met with such disapproval and condemnation. It was for me, and I suspect for most boys of my time, the mold in which our very identities were formed. And to a great degree, fathers and all other examples of masculine influence in our lives acted as “enforcers” for the “please Mama” mandate. There was no escape from it.

    We all colluded to and coerced each other to deify mother. And mother helped with this, of course. And I witnessed the same in the households of my male peers. It was part and parcel to a culture of emotional incest, where boys are the “little men of the house” filling in Mama’s emotional vacuum in the absence of working fathers.

    It was also, as male personalities developed, the singular source of “emotional existence” available.

    I think that is attributable to the fact that as men we are socialized, often brutally, to channel all of our emotions through the primary female in our lives and to shut it down elsewhere. We are conditioned to be fearless, emotionless performers; tough as leather in the competitive world of men.

    We “feel” only in the presence of women. We emotionally “exist” only under their purview. Only women can see our vulnerabilities…only women can validate and heal them.

    And by that only women can give us a sense of complete worth.

    Legions of men who through history lay mortally wounded on battlefields, calling desperately for their mothers, not for doctors, is a testament to this. As is the staggering disparity in suicide statistics between men and women who take that plunge during a breakup or divorce.

    Women survive those things better because their realm of emotional support is more expansive, and because they haven’t been abused into measuring their worth by the opinion of one person. They have, in fact, been taught well to be the one in control of those situations and the people in them.

    So I totally understand why it is difficult for so many men to take the emotional head on collision of a broken relationship, even when staying means the absolute certainty of further abuse.

    But I do hope that more men get information like Dr. Tara is presenting here. In the end, the only thing that makes sense is to get out.

    And it also makes sense to question how your emotional ties are formed and why during periods when you are single. Three years into a relationship guided by your unconscious desperation to be accepted by a woman at any cost is a hard time to make changes.

    But early on, when you first catch yourself acting like a trained seal, saying or doing anything to get approval; to get love, is an excellent time to put it to a stop, even if it isn’t easy.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to usurp Dr. Tara’s thread here. It is just that this is a subject near and dear to my heart. I am very thankful we now have Dr. Tara here to reach into the world of men and shed light on this very important topic.

    Comment by julie — Sat 21st November 2009 @ 9:57 pm

  3. I viewed an interesting experiment where members of the public walked past a woman who was being violent towards a man and their reactions were videoed. Although this experiment was conducted in the USA it could well have taken place here and with similar results.

    Reaction to Women Abusing Men in Public

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Thu 26th November 2009 @ 7:34 pm

  4. I found the article by Dr Tara very revealing , I would urge all men who have had abusive women in their lives to read it ( link above). I think once you recognize yourself , this article will give you strength. Most men will only realise at the end of the relationship with such a woman but he will never make the same mistake . Thanks to Julie ! This has given me insight and strength

    Comment by Kiwi in. Space — Tue 5th January 2010 @ 1:11 am


    New NZ law allowing NZ government to spy on Emails, Phones, everything ! If it is the same as England, these new rules will be used by councils to monitor bins and police to minitor what they want to. Once i worked at a national telecom company (not NZ) and there was a cop selling X directory addresses that he obtained from emergency services database (the only one that has X Directory listings). Be very afraid !

    Comment by martin swash — Tue 5th January 2010 @ 3:58 am

  6. can anyone tell me if its normal to be summounds for missing one day of a one on one 12 week d.v program ive done 4 sessions feel like im being harassed by the christchurch family court aye only missed one day for fuck sake

    Comment by gibbs — Fri 8th January 2010 @ 11:53 pm

  7. Statistically, I think it’s very difficult not to be with a woman like that again since so many or most are like that. That’s just the way the assortive mating system works out – 20% – 80%.

    Comment by Darryl X — Thu 12th August 2010 @ 7:37 am

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