4 Ways to Spot an Abusive Spouse

Domestic abuse affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime.  Sometimes I get scared about what kind of man I’ll end up with. Will he treat me the way I watched my father treat my mother? What if I become like him? These questions drove me into a dark place of thoughts and upon reflection, I’ve gathered my 4 indicators of an abusive person in a relationship.

1. They will try to control you
Whether it’s your finances or people you want to go out with, they will ensure that you are cut-off from the rest of the world. Abusers tend to have this desire to be noticed and almost worshipped, but nothing will satisfy them for long. They get thrills out of taking away people’s power and making sure they are the centre of your attention.

2. They will play the victim
Abusers are master manipulators. They will build a strong attachment between you two and somewhere down the line, they will snap. They may hit you or lash out in anger – but they know that love is blind and they will use this to their advantage. They may say things like “don’t you love me?” if you try to leave. Unfortunately many people fall for this trap and stay with an abuser because they are blind to their actions. This gives the abuser the chance to do it over and over again which is unacceptable.

3. They will turn everything into an argument
Everything. Abusers prey on the opportunity to hurt and feel powerful. They thrive on negative reactions –  it satisfies them. I personally believe that disagreements in a relationship are inevitable and completely normal, but great couples know that they have to pick their battles. Working through a disagreement should be productive, not destructive.

4. They will get physical
They may cause you physical harm by pushing you, beating you and carrying out many other violent acts. They may break things in your presence to create threat and fear. They  may have sex with you when you don’t feel like it. Remember that rape is possible in a relationship – sex must always be consensual.


 Note: Abuse is not restricted to a gender and it is always wrong.

If you think this post may help someone recognise that they are in an abusive relationship then please share. 

If you are being abused, please call the 24hr freephones:
National Domestic Violence Helpline (UK) – 0808 2000 247
National Domestic Violence Hotline (US) – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

If in doubt, please report it to the police in your country. Abuse must not be tolerated.

20 thoughts on “4 Ways to Spot an Abusive Spouse

  1. You are absolutely right in saying that abuse is not restricted to a particular gender. I too have written a blog post on domestic abuse… but from a women’s point of view as I am a girl. But it surely is a crime on any person’s part. Well said!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mental abuse is just as bad, if not worse than physical abuse. At least with physical abuse the pain heals given some time but mental scars can remain for a lifetime. Please consider taking action or maybe trying to get to the root of why your spouse is being this way. Maybe help them get into therapy as people tend to abuse when they have a serious problem within themselves. You don’t have to suffer in silence – you have to take action. Try your hardest to see if this issue can be resolved (it won’t happen overnight) but do remember that if it is ruining your whole life then you actually have a choice about whether or not you’re going to accept this for the rest of your life. You deserve to live a happy and healthy life.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Im looking for a away out. It’s just so hard we have a beautiful daughter which is 12 years of age. I can’t seem to let go of not being able to be around her. I would love to just go away.


  2. While you are in it, and given your culture, you sometimes just get carried away and even start justifying the abuse in your mind. I speak from personal experience. We abused each other although I never got physical nor sexual while my ex did a couple of times. After 6 years, I was damaged even suicide failed me, it is then I knew I was a coward and now had to get real with myself. I left, actually escaped the country and now 5 years later, am whole and back.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have to congratulate you on having the courage to be honest with yourself and realising that you deserve much better and that you can be much better. Some people go their whole life thinking that the abuse is normal. That they deserve it. Or that they can’t stop being abusive. I’m glad to hear that you’ve moved on from the abuse. Here’s to a better future Marie 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much, the truth and realisation and action set me free and still does. It was such ghastly work and took it’s big toll, I lost so much including 4 good years almost completemy away from my 3 boys. All that pain saw me through, I am yet to be completely settled, but ha am on so much a right track inside out. Hence I share with the hope to inspire and motivate others. I loved your post and just had to comment, thanks for liking mine in the first place. It’s funny I didn’t want to use a name blogging other than mine that way I own up and shame myself before the world before sharing in any glory my healing could bring me and others. hmm right? All the best in your endeavours Parisian – I love that city 🙂


  3. I absolutely agree abusive partners seek to isolate and control as this validates their own insecurities. They seem to feed off another’s pain and humiliation and use that as justification for a complete lack of physical and mental respect. The victim’s self esteem becomes eroded to the point where they feel they deserve the maltreatment or have caused it in some way. Then it becomes so much harderd to exit the relationship. Recurring promises to change or that ‘things will be better’ are usually based on the demand that non-abusing party change their ways… but things rarely get better. A leopard doesn’t change their spots, as they say and it in my experience is true. I escaped from my abuser, but my own experience did not prevent my own adult child, years later, experiencing the same thing as I did, only the abuser was a woman. Feelings of shame meant it was well hidden by him and went undetected for years, and this allowed the persecution to continue unabated. Once the relationship ended, the abuser claims she was the victim of domestic violence and he was the abusive spouse. Double whammy. And those closest to him, have to deal with this fallout. I thank you for presenting this information to spread awareness of the issue of domestic violence to women but also of men. Awareness can only help those who suffer in silence.

    Liked by 1 person

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