It is difficult to talk about abuse, especially abuse within the sacred bonds of marriage. Each situation, person, and relationship is unique in a variety of ways. It is frequently difficult to compare the behaviors and actions of people in one relationship to those in another. But there are some signs that can help a woman in a relationship figure out if her husband is abusive.
The addition of marriage may make approaching the subject of reaching out more difficult. Marriage is a legally binding contract, which makes it appear more difficult to recognize an abusive husband and its consequences. Even more difficult is the prospect of ending the relationship entirely. This article will help you answer questions like “Is my husband abusive?” and “What should I do if I have an abusive husband?”
What Exactly is Abuse?
Abuse is defined as any cruel, violent, or intentional behavior or action that is performed with the intent of causing harm to another person. Despite the definition’s simplicity, understanding and identifying abuse are far more difficult. Often, the signs are so obvious that those who have been subjected to abuse for an extended period of time begin to accept it as a normal part of life. Fifty percent of couples will have at least one violent or aggressive incident during the course of their relationship.
Violence will be a regular part of the relationship for about a quarter of those couples. The risk of abusive behaviors and domestic violence is determined by a number of factors, but one thing is certain: abuse in relationships and marriages is not limited to any one race, gender, or age group. Anyone in a relationship has the potential to be a victim.
The identifying factors, on the other hand, make it difficult to distinguish between the various types of abuse.
Because each type has so many similarities, it is important to note that the presence of one type can frequently indicate the presence of other types. For example, someone who is subjected to forced sexual activity or sexual abuse is likely to be verbally abused and talked down to.
Women who are abused by their husbands or partners exhibit similar behaviors, which are frequently misinterpreted as a “normal” part of relationship development. In order to protect the abuser, they frequently lie or deceive family and friends. A woman’s interactions with her abusive husband in public or with family/friends are usually negative; she may be frequently put down, criticized, threatened, or embarrassed with the intent to emotionally harm her.
These are some of the warning signs of an abusive husband.
An abusive husband is often overprotective to the point of being intrusive. He must always know where his wife is and may impose strict rules and limitations on time spent away from home and with whom that time is spent. ‘Why do you spend so much time with person X?’ and ‘your friend is instigating you to ruin our relationship; you will not speak to her’ are just a few of the things an abusive husband will say.
Furthermore, victimized women have low self-esteem that worsens over time; many will begin to believe the horrible things their abusers say about them. While some negative behaviors will be present in most relationships or marriages at some point, it is critical to be able to distinguish between dysfunction and abuse. Dysfunction occurs when the ability of partners to communicate is limited or damaged. As previously stated, at least half of all couples will have at least one violent incident during their relationship.
Verbal Abusive Husband
Because verbal abuse is not as obvious as other forms of abuse and bullying, such as physical and sexual bullying, it can be difficult to identify. However, this does not make it any less real. Also, a verbally abusive husband engages in some type of verbal interaction that causes emotional harm to a person, often prompting them to question who they are. It is a method of exerting and retaining power over another person. In fact, it is not uncommon for a verbal abuse victim to feel inadequate, stupid, and worthless. They are, after all, defined by a verbally abusive husband.
When verbal abuse occurs in a marriage, it can be especially perplexing because the husband may not be abusive all of the time, and their behavior most likely developed gradually over time. A verbally abusive husband can be subtle and insidious. As a result, the victim can forget about the abusive husband’s negative behavior when he is loving and gentle. Finally, the victim either ignores the pattern of verbal abuse or makes excuses for the abuser’s behavior, claiming that the abuser is simply stressed or going through a difficult time right now.
Different Kinds of Verbal Abuse
When someone is verbally abused, the perpetrator may use overt forms of abuse, such as name-calling and threats, as well as more insidious methods, such as gaslighting or constantly correcting, interrupting, putting down, and demeaning them. Even prolonged silence is a form of verbal abuse from a husband. When this occurs, the person is attempting to control and punish the victim by refusing to communicate with them.
Some people, particularly those who live with a verbally abusive husband, may overlook it because verbal assaults appear to be a normal way of communicating. They are, however, out of the ordinary and can have long-term consequences. A verbally abusive husband can manifest himself in a variety of ways, including:
- Blaming: making the victim believe they are to blame for the abusive behavior or that they bring the verbal abuse upon themselves.
- Criticism: harsh and persistent remarks intended to make the person feel bad about themselves; not constructive; but deliberate and hurtful.
- Gaslighting: an insidious, and sometimes covert, form of emotional abuse in which the abuser causes the target to doubt their own judgments and reality.
- Judging: looking down on the victim, refusing to accept them for who they are, or holding them to unrealistic standards.
- Name-calling: abusive, derogatory language or insults that erode the target’s self-esteem, sense of worth, and self-concept.
- Threats are statements intended to frighten, control, and manipulate the victim into compliance.
- Withholding: a refusal to give affection or attention, including talking to, looking at, or even being in the same room as you.
While not an exhaustive list, these are some examples of common types of verbally abusive husbands.
The Effect of a Verbally Abusive Husband on the Wife
A verbally abusive husband can have an impact on every aspect of life, including academic performance, relationships, and career success later in life. Verbal abusive husband, like any other form of abuse or bullying, has both short- and long-term consequences, including the following mental health issues:
- Mood swings
- Chronic stress
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of shame, guilt, and despair
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Isolation and social withdrawal
- Substance abuse
When verbal abuse is particularly severe, it can have an impact on people’s ability to see themselves as successful in any area of life. Those who were verbally abused as children may develop feelings of worthlessness, have difficulty trusting others, and have difficulty regulating their emotions as adults.
Signs of a Verbal Abusive Husband
When it comes to verbal abuse, victims frequently wonder if what they are witnessing is truly abusive. They are also unsure whether it is a big deal. Here are some signs of a verbally abusive husband.
1. They insult you.
When someone calls someone else a bad name, they are verbally abusing them. Even if the names are said in a neutral tone, this is not an acceptable way to treat someone else.
2. They use words to humiliate you.
Critical, sarcastic, or mocking words that are meant to put you down are examples. These could be remarks about how you dress, talk, or your intelligence. In general, shaming is defined as any comment that makes you feel inferior or ashamed of who you are.
3. They crack jokes about you.
People who are verbally abusive will usually make you the brunt of their jokes. This can be done in person or in private. But if you don’t find it amusing, it’s not harmless entertainment. Furthermore, verbally abusive people typically choose jokes that target an area where they feel vulnerable or weak.
4. They publicly humiliate you.
It can be especially painful to be insulted in public by a peer, a friend, a family member, or a dating partner.
5. They are critical of you.
Criticism, whether done publicly or privately, can be painful, especially if the person doing the criticizing is simply being mean and has no intention of being constructive.
6. They scream, yell, or curse at you.
When someone yells or curses at you, it is a display of power, with the goal of controlling and intimidating you into submission. As a result, it is abusive and should never be tolerated or justified.
7. They threaten you.
No threat should ever be underestimated. When people threaten you, they are attempting to control and manipulate you. Remember that there is no better way to control someone than to instill fear in them in some way.
Emotionally Abusive Husband
Emotional or psychological abuse can be difficult to describe and even more difficult to recognize. This behavior frequently occurs behind closed doors and is subtle, passive-aggressive, covert, or even deniable. Emotional or psychological abuse includes verbal aggression, insults, threats, intimidation, coercion, manipulation, or isolation that affects the target’s sense of safety (physical or emotional); self-esteem, and even perception of reality.
Even if the behaviors they have witnessed are classic signs of an emotionally abusive husband, most people are unlikely to identify themselves as victims of abuse. Victims of abuse frequently struggle to recognize the emotional severity and impact of the abuse they have endured.
In relationships, an emotionally abusive husband erodes confidence and self-worth, resulting in self-doubt, anxiety, depression, isolation, and increased reliance on the abuser or the wife. Victims of abuse frequently blame themselves for not doing enough when they take on too much.
Related article: TYPES OF ABUSE IN A RELATIONSHIP: What Are They & How to Detect Them
Recipients of emotional abuse frequently feel responsible for accommodating the abuser, responsible for the feelings and actions of others, or feel obligated to keep the peace or go with the flow to avoid outbursts, mood swings, or tantrums.
People who are emotionally abused by their husbands tend to isolate themselves from supportive friends and family. They may feel disconnected, or if the abuser criticizes or expresses negative views of their friends, they may be less likely to risk conflict or judgment by seeing those people.
Finding a therapist can assist you in overcoming an emotionally abusive husband and managing the complex feelings that may arise as a result of being in and leaving an emotionally abusive situation.
Consider the CREATE strategy as a tool to assist you in dealing with an emotionally abusive husband and charting a course forward:
1. Join together
Communicate with your friends and family. Reach out to meaningful connections, even if you haven’t spoken in a while. Allow others to care about you, create a support system, and feel less isolated.
Recognize abusive behavioral patterns. Understanding and anticipating behaviors will assist you in gaining clarity about your situation. Anticipating abusive tactics can make it feel less personal and give you more power. Even if you are being targeted, this isn’t about you. It all comes down to the abuser.
Set your boundaries and decide how you want them to treat you and what you will no longer tolerate. What do you desire? What do you require? It can be beneficial to consider how you would treat others and to remember that you should expect the same from yourself.
4. Make a claim
Make your needs known. Speak up if you require assistance. If they hurt your feelings, express them. Don’t put your needs aside to accommodate the feelings or desires of others. A healthy partner would not want you to suppress your emotions in order to accommodate theirs. A healthy relationship will take into account everyone’s needs, feelings, and desires on an equal basis. If they don’t take your feelings into account when you express them, perhaps invalidation is the only solution you need to stop your husband’s emotional abuse.
Reclaim your authority. You don’t have to continue ceding power. You have the ability to direct the conversation. Have the ability to choose what you expose yourself to. Not required to respond to unreasonable questions or demands. You can be both kind and firm without putting up with inappropriate behavior. Also, can tell someone not to speak to you in a certain way, or you can remind them that you have a different point of view.
When necessary, exit. If a conversation, phone call, or physical departure becomes critical, unproductive, or upsetting, you can end it. You don’t have to stay and put up with the abuse just because you have in the past.
None of this is simple. Dealing with a psychologically abusive relationship can be emotionally draining, intimidating, and difficult. The more consistent you are, the easier it will become. You’re setting boundaries, and you’ll gain confidence in your ability to do so.
Things an Abusive Husband says
Abuse manifests itself in a variety of ways, not all of which are physical. Verbal abuse occurs when someone repeatedly uses words to humiliate, frighten, or control another person. Verbal abuse is most commonly reported in the context of a romantic relationship or a parent-child relationship. However, it can also occur in other family relationships, social situations, or on the job.
Abuse, both verbal and emotional, has a cost. It can sometimes lead to physical abuse as well. If your husband is verbally abusing you, know that it is not your fault. Continue reading to find out more, including how to spot it and what you should do next.
Name-calling is unhealthy in any situation, whether it’s a romantic relationship, a parent-child relationship, or a playground bully. Name-calling is a form of belittling that can be obvious or disguised as “pet names” or “teasing.”
As an example:
- “You don’t get it because you’re just too stupid, sweetie.”
- “It’s no surprise everyone thinks you’re a jerk.”
Condescension is yet another attempt to diminish you. Comments from an abusive husband can be sarcastic, dismissive, and patronizing. It’s all to make them feel better about themselves.
As an example:
- “Let me see if I can explain this in terms even you can understand.”
- “I’m sure you worked hard on your makeup, but wash it off before someone sees you.”
There is nothing inherently wrong with constructive criticism. However, in the case of a verbally abusive husband, it is especially harsh and persistent in an attempt to undermine your self-esteem.
As an example:
- “You’re always upset about something, and you’re always the victim.” That’s why you’re disliked.”
- “You messed up yet again.” “Are you incapable of doing anything correctly?”
Your abusive husband wishes for you to feel bad about yourself. They use humiliation and shame to degrade you and erode your self-esteem.
As an example:
- “Before I arrived, you were nothing.” You’ll be nothing without me.”
- “I mean, take a look at yourself.” “Who else would be interested in you?”
Manipulation is an attempt to persuade you to do something without issuing a direct order. Make no mistake about it: it’s designed to keep you off-balance.
As an example:
- “Doing so demonstrates that you don’t care about your family, and everyone will know it.”
- “If you truly loved me, you’d do this for me.”
Every now and then, we’re all to blame for something. A verbally abusive husband, on the other hand, blames you for their behavior. They want you to believe that you are the source of your own verbal abuse.
As an example:
- “I hate getting into fights, but you irritate me!”
- “I have to yell because you’re so unreasonable and stubborn!”
Someone who accuses you of things repeatedly may be jealous or envious. Or perhaps they are the perpetrator of that behavior. In either case, it can make you wonder if you’re doing something wrong.
- “I saw the way you looked at them, for example.” You can’t tell me there isn’t anything going on.”
- “How come you won’t give me your phone if you have nothing to hide?”
8. Isolation or withholding
Refusing to speak to you, look you in the eyes, or even be in the same room as you are intended to make you work harder to get their attention.
As an example:
- You say or do something that annoys a friend at their home. They storm out and sit in the car without saying anything, leaving you to explain and say goodbye to your hosts.
- They are aware that you need to communicate about who will be picking up the kids, but they refuse to return your calls or texts.
Gaslighting is a deliberate attempt to make you doubt your own version of events. It has the power to make you apologize for things that aren’t your fault. It can also increase your reliance on the abuser.
As an example:
- You recall an event, agreement, or argument, but the abusive husband denies it ever happened. They may tell you that it’s all in your head, that you dreamed it, or that you’re making it up.
- They tell others that you’re forgetful or have emotional issues in order to reinforce the illusion.
10. Circular reasoning
It is not uncommon for two people to disagree or argue about the same issue several times before finding common ground. But an abusive husband will bring up the old argument again and again just to irritate you, never intending to meet in the middle.
As an example:
- Your job requires you to work unpaid overtime. Every time it happens, the debate over your tardiness resurfaces.
- You’ve stated that you aren’t ready for children, but your partner brings it up every month.
Outright threats can lead to an increase in verbal abuse. They’re designed to frighten you into submission.
As an example:
- “When you get home tonight, there might be a ‘for sale’ sign on the lawn, and I might be gone with the kids.”
- “No one would blame me for how I’d react if you did that.”
Abusive Husband Movies
Below are Lists of abusive husband movies
1. Safe Haven (2013)
Story: A young woman with mysterious past land in Southport, North Carolina, where her bond; with a widower forces her to confront the dark secret that haunts her.
2. Enough (2002)
Story: Working-class waitress Slim thought she was entering a life of domestic bliss when she married Mitch; the man of her dreams. After the arrival of their first child, her picture-perfect life is shattered when she discovers Mitch’s secret.
3. 100 Feet (2008)
Story: After Marnie Watson kills her abusive husband in self-defense, she is condemned to house arrest. only to discover that the house is possessed by the enraged and violent spirit of her dead husband.
4. Sleeping with the Devil (1997)
Story: Professional nurse Rebecca Dubrovich is swept off her feet by charming millionaire Dick Strang, and the two begin a passionate romance. Only when it is too late does Rebecca discover that Strang has a very dark side…
5. Inch’Allah Sunday (2001)
Story: The story of an immigrant woman struggling against old-world traditions. Zeina leaves her homeland with her three children to join her husband in France; where he’s been living for the past ten years. In a land and culture foreign to her, …
6. A Streetcar Named Desire (1995)
Story: Blanche Dubois goes to visit her pregnant sister and husband Stanley in New Orleans. Stanley doesn’t like her, and starts pushing her for information on some property he knows was left to the sisters. He discovers she has mortgaged the place and …
7. The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom (2014)
Story: A divorced woman finds sexual liberation through online dating.
8. Boyhood (2014)
Story: The film tells a story of a divorced couple trying to raise their young son. The story follows the boy for twelve years, from first grade at age 6 through 12th grade at age 17-1; and examines his relationship with his parents as he grows.
9. What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993)
Story: A film about the singer Tina Turner and how she rose to stardom with her abusive husband; Ike Turner and how she gained the courage to break free.
10. Dolores Claiborne (1995)
Story: Dolores Claiborne was accused of killing her abusive husband twenty years ago, but the court’s findings were inconclusive; she gain her freedom to walk freely. Now she has been accused of killing her employer, Vera Donovan, and this time there is a …
11. Scream for Help (1984)
Story: A teenage girl discovers that her stepfather is trying to murder her and her mother, but when she tells people, no one will believe her.
12. Hidden Away (2013)
Story: A woman and her young daughter escape their abusive husband by faking their deaths. Eight years later, she is happily living in the upscale neighborhood of Palm Springs with her now-17-year-old daughter. When her husband discovers they are still alive, he tracks them down …
13. Water for Elephants (2011)
Story: In this captivating Depression-era melodrama, impetuous veterinary student Jacob Jankowski joins a celebrated circus as an animal caretaker; but faces a wrenching dilemma when he’s transfixed by an angelic married performer Marlena.
14. Sparkle (2012)
Story: Musical prodigy, Sparkle (Jordin Sparks) struggles to become a star while overcoming issues that are tearing her family apart. From an affluent Detroit area and daughter to a single mother (Whitney Houston); she tries to balance a new romance…
15. A Perfect Day (2008)
Story: Antonio and Emma have been separated for years, but he does not accept when Emma dates other men. Indeed Antonio proves obsessive, aggressive, and intrusive, and again threatens Emma to hurt the children: little Kevin, shy and introverted…
16. Devil’s Pond (2003)
Story: What starts out as a romantic honeymoon on a deserted island turns into a horrible nightmare as Julianne discovers that her new husband is psychotic…
17. Sex, Lies, and Death (2011)
Story: Viviana (Andrea Lopez) and Alicia (Martha Isabel Bolaños) have never met, but they’re about to get intimately acquainted. One day, while tipping drinks back in a bar; the two women strike up a conversation that quickly turns personal, Viviana …
18. What lies within (2014)
Story: Viola and Nicola are going through a rough time. To overcome this crisis, they decide to spend a weekend in a remote cabin belonging to Nicola’s parents. Just a couple of days together to heal their wounds, but everything will take a turn for…
19. Run for Your Life (2014)
Story: A journalist must make a decision to flee with her two children from; her abusive ex-husband or kill him before he kills her.
20. Sky (2015)
Story: A woman embarks on a journey alone across the United States after fleeing from her violent husband.
Mentally Abusive Husband
Another frightening aspect of mental and emotional abuse is that it can occur without your knowledge. Regardless of who you are. Some abusers are that cunning and skilled. Look for these signs to see if your husband is verbally or physically abusing you.
Isolating their victims from the rest of the world is one of the most common tricks of a mentally abusive husband. This can take the form of moving to a distant location, convincing you that your family is bad, or forbidding you from seeing your friends. You eventually become reliant on them for all of your social needs.
Someone who genuinely loves you would never tell you that you are worthless or call you names. This is one of the most obvious signs of an abusive husband, but it is also one that we frequently overlook. That’s because name-calling can start out as a joke at the beginning of a relationship and gradually turn mean, to the point where you’re almost too used to it to notice.
Perhaps your partner does not hit you but threatens to do so. These threats can take the form of words or actions. Abusive husbands frequently threaten their victims’ families, friends, and children. Threats are extremely serious because they have the potential to become a reality at any time.
When you have an abusive husband, you never know what to expect. Are they in a good or bad mood when they return home? Will the fact that it’s raining enrage them enough to fight you? If you’re constantly worried about upsetting your partner and you’re never sure how they’ll react, that’s a red flag.
The truth is that neglect manifests itself in a variety of ways. Your partner may refuse to communicate with you, withhold affection, or disappear for days on end. Or they can restrict your access to food, deny you access to basic self-care supplies, or leave you without power and water. An abusive husband enjoys robbing people of their possessions.
I’m not referring to the innocuous “oh, who is that?” question that we’re all capable of. I’m talking about being unable to even look at your waiter without being accused of cheating. In fact, you don’t even have to leave the house to be accused of infidelity on a regular basis. Jealousy can also be phrased in such a way that the abusive husband convinces you that it is for your own safety. “You can’t dress like that because people can’t be trusted,” for example.
If you’ve never heard of gaslighting, it’s a deception technique used by abusive husbands to cause you to doubt your own judgment. Your abusive husband will say or do something, then convince you that they didn’t, or that they said or did something else until it’s a known fact that you can’t be trusted to remember things correctly. It can be so severe that you begin to question your sanity.
Sometimes abusive husbands put on a big show of acting guilty for the wrongs they’ve done. They’re really manipulating you into feeling sorry for them and even forgiving or nurturing them.
9. Financial Management
One of the reasons it is so difficult to leave abusive relationships is that the abusive husband frequently maintains tight control over the finances. It becomes increasingly difficult to leave if there is no money and the abuser does not allow their victim to work or attend school. Even if one partner is primarily in charge of the finances, both partners should have access to them.
Ultimatums are threats that compel you to act or face dire consequences. The most common is “I will kill you if you leave me.” Abusers may also use ultimatums such as, “If you don’t quit your job, I’ll take your children away and you’ll never see them again.” Or, “if you don’t accompany me to the beer store, I’ll never give you another cent for the rest of your life.”
11. Infidelity and Sexual Dishonesty
If your partner violates your commitments and promises to each other by having multiple affairs, it can be a red flag for abuse, especially if your partner makes no attempt to hide it because they believe you cannot or will not leave. Some abusive husbands also coerce you into participating in their sexual escapades against your will for their own amusement.
12. Controlling Transportation
In the mind of an abuser, if you don’t have transportation, you can’t leave them; go cheat on them, or do something you shouldn’t be doing. They could make sure you don’t have a car, relocate you to a location with no public transportation, or simply keep you isolated in a remote location. Any attempt to limit your freedom may be a sign of mental abuse.
13. Points of contention
If your partner uses criticism as a form of abuse, you’ll spend your life wondering if you really can’t do anything right and if everything is your fault. It’s a slap in the face to one’s self-esteem, and it’s a tactic used to wear victims down so they don’t believe they deserve better.
14. Strict Regulations
Is there a set of spoken or unspoken rules that govern how you should live your life or how the house should be run? Is it necessary for everything to be spotless before the abuser arrives home? Do you have to have dinner prepared in a specific way by a certain time? Are you only allowed to go grocery shopping on weekends and with your partner? Excessive rules are a common way for people to exercise power and control.
15. The Cycle of Kindness and Rage
Some abusers report that their abuse is fairly consistent. Others have discovered that it comes in waves, in a predictable cycle. The abusive husband rules over his partner like a tyrant then buy gifts, apologizes profusely, and vows that it will never happen again. The truth is that it almost always happens again, and it only gets worse with time.
16. Suicidal Attempts
When a mentally abusive husband suspects you’re about to leave, he frequently plays the suicide card. The “I’ll kill myself if you leave me” or “I can’t live without you” card. They want you to believe that leaving them is a terrible decision with fatal consequences that you will have to live with for the rest of your life.
If you’re walking on eggshells because you’re afraid that something you do or say will irritate your partner, that’s a huge red flag. You should never be afraid that the simple act of loving your life will cause someone to lash out, scare you, or hurt you.
Manipulation is one of those difficult concepts to define, but it’s basically someone convincing you to do something you wouldn’t normally do, usually by convincing you it’s a good idea. A manipulator uses you as a chess piece to achieve their goals.
19. The Need for Permission
Adults do not need permission to use their phones, eat, leave the house, watch TV, or buy small items. If you have to get pre-approval for anything, especially things that require you to leave the house, that is someone abusing power and control to keep you under their thumb.
20. There is no give and take.
In a healthy relationship, both partners spend an appropriate amount of time attempting to make the other person happy. In mentally abusive relationships, one person spends all of their time attempting to make the other happy, and the abuser almost never reciprocates. It’s as if your full-time job is to keep your partner happy.
21. Excessive Blaming
Yes, you have problems in your relationship, but they are all your fault, according to your abusive husband. In fact, anything bad that happens is your fault, even if you run out of toilet paper. Because if you knew how to shop for groceries, that would not have happened. Even things over which you have no control, such as your abuser losing their job, end up being your fault.
Abusers have a tendency to paint rosy pictures of themselves that are entirely false. Some abusive husbands may have terrifying pasts, entire other families, and hidden lives that you are unaware of. They use lies to manipulate the information you have about them and your lives together in general. They can lie about major issues as well as minor details that have no reason to be lied about. However, if you call them out on their lies, they become extremely enraged.
23. Making Demands
Is it necessary to get up and offer your partner a drink when they are thirsty? Not because you want to, but because you know you have to? When it comes to housework, are you essentially a servant? Do you have no say over when and if you have sex? Demands of this nature are common in emotionally abusive relationships.
Signs of an Abusive Husband
One of the most difficult aspects of identifying domestic violence is that the signs do not always appear immediately. This is due to the fact that abusive husbands frequently try to hide this aspect of themselves at first, according to Jennifer Kelman, a licensed clinical social worker and certified professional counselor based in Boca Raton, Florida, who specializes in relationship issues with JustAnswer.
Keep an eye out for these five less-obvious signs of an abusive husband that aren’t based on physical violence.
1. They insist on accompanying you wherever you go.
An abuser who wishes to isolate you from others will use a variety of “looks,” including never leaving you alone. This is not because they “adore you and only want to spend time with you,” warns Kelman. Kelman says it’s about establishing power and dominance and cutting yourself off from loved ones, which means you have to depend on the abuser.
According to Kelman, an abusive husband may indirectly isolate someone by not allowing them to leave the house or participate in activities alone, such as going to school or work, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, picking up their children, or attending events with extended family or friends.
2. They frequently use gaslighting techniques.
Gaslighting is a type of psychological abuse in which an abusive husband causes the victim to doubt his or her own reality. It is named after Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 play Gas Light, which tells the story of a husband who gradually manipulates his wife into believing she is mentally ill.
Gaslighting, according to Genovese, can involve taunting or humiliating a person and then accusing them of being overly sensitive or dramatic in response to these taunts. “The victim is made to feel confused, or that their reactions are out of proportion to the circumstances; and they are encouraged to question their own reactions and feelings,” Genovese says.
3. They ‘Love Bomb’ to Cover Up Emotional Attacks
Emotional abuse frequently entails emotional attacks, which Kambolis defines as constant judgment and criticism, as well as treating someone as if they are worthless. According to Kelman, it is not uncommon for an abusive husband to emotionally chip away at the other person’s self-esteem, leaving them feeling dependent and incapable of leaving.
According to Kelman, “love bombing,” which can take the form of gifts, compliments, apologies, and grandiose promises to never repeat abusive behavior, frequently follows these emotional attacks as a way to smooth things over.
4. The victim appears eager to please their abuser.
Genovese says that a person who is being abused at home may agree with, compliment, praise, or make excuses for the abuser in order to make it seem less bad. A person, for example, may check in with her abuser before making any decision, no matter how minor. They might also try not to answer questions in public without asking their abuser first. “Permission must be granted before the victim feels safe enough to respond,” Genovese says. “This permission-granting may be nonverbal, such as a subtle nod of the head or the blink of an eye.
5. There have been several breakups and reconciliations in the relationship.
According to Kambolis, someone who has experienced domestic violence may attempt to leave an abusive relationship several times before being able to fully reclaim their life.
There are several reasons for this, according to Women Against Abuse:
- They lack resources, such as a safe place to stay or dependable transportation.
- They are concerned about falling into financial insecurity or poverty.
3. They are concerned about the safety of children or pets.
According to Kelman, fear of harm or retribution from the abuser may also lead someone to stay in an abusive relationship; and to mistakenly believe they can end the cycle of abuse if they simply “try harder” to make things work or avoid upsetting the abuser.
How to Deal with a Verbally Abusive Husband
Let’s look at how to deal with a verbally abusive husband, whether the person is attempting to intentionally harm you or the result of their actions despite their lack of intent. There are several approaches to dealing with a verbally abusive husband. It’s best to start with the first step and work your way through the rest as needed.
1. Report Abusive Behavior
When you are being verbally abused, the first and most important step is to name it out loud. If it is safe to do so, this should be done directly with the person. If the person verbally abusing you has power over you, such as your boss, it may not be safe to confront them directly.
2. Use Strong Language to Demand an End to the Behavior
It may be tempting to ask for abuse to stop in a gentle manner, especially if you are afraid of the consequences. Your best bet is to be specific and firm in your request. “I need you to stop saying xx because it makes me feel yy,” for example, is a clear way of communicating that you want the verbally abusive behavior to stop.
3. Do Not Participate in the Abuse
It’s natural to want to be mean back when someone is mean to us. This will only escalate verbal abuse and give your abuser a reason to accuse you of being the abusive one. Because you don’t want that, try not to engage in direct abuse.
4. Remain Calm if at all possible.
It’s difficult to remain calm when someone is provoking us. However, this is the best way to deal with an abusive husband because being upset (or even emotional) can escalate the situation. If you’re not sure how to stay calm, you can take deep breaths before speaking with this person to calm yourself down.
5. Develop Strict Boundaries
Boundaries are more than just telling someone they can’t act in a certain way toward you. Boundaries must be accompanied by consequences in order to be effective at changing behavior, whether your own or that of others. When dealing with verbal abuse, the next step is to establish firm boundaries with clear, simple consequences. “If you speak to me like that again, I will leave,” for example. Another example would be. If you call me a name again, I won’t speak to you.”
6. Maintain Those Boundaries
When establishing boundaries, do not choose any consequences that you are not fully prepared to follow through on. Boundaries have no meaning unless they are enforced. When your boundary is violated, try to remain calm while explaining the situation. Here’s an example of how to do it: “I told you that if you continued to treat me in this manner, I would leave. I have to leave now because you just did what I asked you not to do.”
What Should You Do If Your Abusive Husband Doesn’t Stop?
In an ideal world, simply informing someone that their behavior is hurtful to you would be enough to know an end to it. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The abusive husband may persist even if you call it out, remain calm, request that it not happen, and set and enforce boundaries around it. In that case, here are your options for what to do.
1. Exit the building
If you have the option of physically leaving the situation if the verbal abuse continues despite your efforts to stop it, you should take it. You don’t have to drive away and go home if the circumstances don’t allow it, but you should at the very least take a short walk away from the other person.
2. If at all possible, end the relationship
If setting boundaries and walking away have had no effect on verbal abuse, you can simply end the relationship if possible. It may be more difficult to put an end to this if the person verbally abusing you works for you or lives with you. However, if it is a partner, friend, acquaintance, or anyone else on whom your life or livelihood does not depend, make it clear that you are unable to continue the relationship due to the abuse.
3. Ask for Assistance
If you are unable to end a relationship with an abusive husband due to circumstances beyond your control, or if the abuser refuses to leave you alone and continues to harass or stalk you after you end the relationship, you will need to seek outside assistance.
Abuse is a common occurrence in modern times, taking many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse, and occurring in a variety of contexts, including the home (domestic violence, spouse rape, incest), the workplace (sexual harassment), institutional (elder abuse, bullying), and religious and community (hate crime). It affects victims of all ages, from children to the elderly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What qualifies as abusive?
Intimidation, coercion, ridicule, harassment, treating an adult like a child, isolating an adult from family, friends, or regular activity, using silence to control behavior, and yelling or swearing that causes mental distress are all examples.
What counts as verbal abuse?
Verbal abuse, also known as emotional abuse, refers to a variety of words or behaviors used to manipulate, intimidate, and maintain power and control over another person. Insults, humiliation, and ridicule are examples, as are the silent treatment and attempts to scare, isolate, and control.