omestic violence/abuse is when one person in a marriage or intimate relationship tries to dominate, or excessively control the other. An abuser is someone who treats another person in a cruel, violent or unfair way. An abuser uses dominance, humiliation, isolation, threats, intimidation, denial and blames, etc. to get control over his/her victim. An abuser can be a man or a woman. Usually, it starts from threats, verbal assault, to physical violence.
Abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, etc. The physical injury may pose as the greatest danger. But the emotional and psychological aspects are also very damaging. It can destroy the victim’s self worth, lead to anxiety and depression, can make one feel helpless and alone; which can also be suicidal. Men, as well as women, also suffer these kind of abuses. But most times, women tend to be victims of physical abuse more.
Most people in abusive marriages may not know. Some feel they’re the reason why their spouses are abusing them. So they try everything possible to please their spouse, which in most cases, they’re difficult to please.
Signs of abusive marriage
- You’re scared of your spouse anytime s/he is around.
- You avoid certain topics or discussions because you don’t want to offend your spouse.
- Always afraid to talk to your spouse or make a request.
- You feel you are the one always at fault. Anytime you’re abused, you caused it.
- You feel you are not good enough for your spouse.
- Rather than appreciate you when you deserve it, your spouse belittles or criticizes you.
- You feel embarrassed to meet your friends and family members because of what you’ve been reduced to.
- Your spouse blames you for their abusive behaviour.
- S/he feels threatened by your achievements.
- Limits your access to family, friends, money, phone, car, etc.
Way out of abusive marriage
One major way out of an abusive marriage is to involve both families if dialogue with your spouse has failed. That is the reason why marriages involve both families from day one.
But where there is a serious threat to your life, take a time out. Taking time out does not mean divorce. It’s a healing process. It can help both parties to heal and have a change of behaviour. It’s only the living that celebrates Marriage/ Wedding Anniversaries.
By the grace of God, we will gradually get it right and have healthy and enjoyable marriages.