We talk a lot about women who are in emotionally abusive relationships—and for a good reason too: thousands of women live in constant fear of their significant others due to the emotional abuse they endure on a daily basis. Even if their partners have never physically hurt them, these women live life terrified of the next unpredictable outburst. However, we rarely acknowledge the uncomfortable truth that there are emotionally abusive wives as well. We so frequently brush off a woman’s inappropriate behavior as “crazy”, we fail to label the behavior for what it really is: emotional abuse. If your spouse has any of the following behaviors, you may be in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Frequent and Inappropriate Displays of Anger
If you’re tied to someone for the rest of your life, they will undoubtedly do something to upset you. And, there’s likely going to be at least one thing in your marriage that really upsets you. The same is true for your spouse. It’s normal to raise your voice when emotions are high, especially in the middle of an argument. But screaming matches should never be a frequent occurrence in your marriage. Your spouse should never throw things, break things, or hit things out of anger. Even if the recipient of this behavior is a man who significantly outweighs his wife, it is still unacceptable. Witnessing another person completely let their temper go is a terrifying experience for any person. If your spouse has frequent and extreme outbursts of anger, it may be a sign you’re in an unhealthy relationship—especially if your wife can control herself around others.
Walking on Eggshells
Do you find yourself constantly afraid of upsetting your wife? Do you feel as though you never know what’s going to set her off next? Are you often surprised at the things she gets mad at you for? If you’ve answered yes to those questions, you’re probably walking on eggshells. It can be difficult to be in a relationship where you’re constantly worried about setting your significant other off. If you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, you may find that your significant other gets upset no matter what you do—even when you do nice things for them. You may be confused at their ability to find fault with you giving them gifts or doing favors for them. It’s not normal to feel as though you can’t even exist without causing your spouse to become enraged. An abusive partner may have angry outbursts in order to retain control; this behavior often leaves the abused spouse feeling alienated and helpless. Though every relationship goes through rough patches, it’s not normal for you to be afraid to speak, lest it set your spouse off.
Physical Aggression—Even If It Doesn’t Physically Hurt
Even though we’re living in 2022, a lot of people still have a hard time taking domestic violence seriously when the man is the victim—especially when he’s physically larger than his wife. However, your wife should never physically attack you. Even if your wife barely weighs 100 lbs, she should never put her hands on you in anger. A lot of men might claim that their wife is too small to do any real damage to them. Even if that really is the case, the fact that your spouse would physically assault you speaks volumes about the level of respect they have for you. Your spouse knows it’s wrong to hurt other people when they’re angry: think about it, they probably don’t hit their friends or family members. Your spouse has made the conscious decision to treat you this way and, even if it doesn’t physically hurt you, the constant disrespect can be devastating to your self-esteem.
Threats are common in an abusive relationship because it helps the abuser maintain control. Even if your spouse isn’t threatening to physically harm you, threatening behavior is never okay. In emotionally abusive relationships, an abusive spouse may threaten to ruin your reputation, restrict access to your children, steal or damage your belongings, or divorce you. Your spouse may even threaten to kill themself. A lot of people tend to take these threats seriously—and, in some cases, rightfully so—even though the spouse has made repeated threats without following through with them. When your spouse threatens you, you can never be totally certain that they aren’t going to follow through on their threat. Therefore, this behavior can be very effective in controlling a person’s significant other.
Getting Help Today
If you see your spouse in this blog, it is not too late to get help. Though many victims of emotional abuse feel trapped in their marriages, you do not have to stay in an unhealthy, abusive marriage. The Domestic Violence Hotline can help direct you to resources and provide you with the emotional support you need to leave your marriage. The behaviors detailed in this blog are not normal. And, though emotionally abusive significant others can change, it requires a lot of therapy, hard work, and self awareness. Most abusers are not willing to do the work necessary to change their behavior. You cannot fix your spouse, but you don’t have to be stuck in a relationship where you’re unhappy. If and when you’re ready to make that change the attorneys at CoilLaw are here to help.