What is Spouse Abuse

Identifying the signs of spousal abuse

Do you suspect you may be in an abusive relationship? Spouse abuse is very serious and in some cases can be life threatening. However, knowing the indicators is not always obvious and sometimes it can be difficult to accept that they are affecting you. In this article, we're going to cover what spouse abuse involves, what are the signs, and how you can get help.

What is Spouse Abuse?

Spouse abuse is a form of domestic violence that is not necessarily limited to married couples. Rather, it generally refers to any type of abuse that exists within an intimate relationship.

In addition, spouse abuse not only affects the partners involved, but can also directly or indirectly involve children, friends and family members, and even neighbors and co-workers.

It can also take the form of mental or physical abuse, and many domestic violence cases will have both. Sometimes it can go even deeper and more specific, such as sexual or economic abuse and stalking, to name a few examples.

Domestic abuse is usually a pattern of behavior, so events will almost always happen more than once. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, this is usually one-sided and one of the partners trying to have power and control over the other person in the relationship. [1]

The National Domestic Violence Hotline also states that these problems usually don't happen overnight and that they can take a while to occur. In other words, it can be a gradual process as the relationship goes on.

The problem of domestic violence is a significant problem in the United States as a whole, and national domestic violence statistics estimate that it will affect 1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men. [2]

Shadow psychology

While women are more likely to be exposed to domestic violence, the problem isn't limited to just one group of people - it can happen to anyone from different backgrounds.

Domestic violence can be difficult to identify and is often not reported. However, if you read on, you will find many examples of spouse abuse to look out for. If any of them are traceable, seek help immediately.

Coercion and intimidation

Domestic violence abusers often use tactics such as bullying, threats, and belittling to gain emotional control over them.

I miss him

For example, he or she might try to criticize your appearance or behavior. If you don't do so, they will raise their voices until you do.

He or she may even try to blame or blame you for things that you might not have had anything to do with at all!

In some of the more severe cases of domestic violence, the partner can threaten your children, family members, pets, or property - essentially anything or anyone that is important to you. These threats can be empty, but it is not a good idea to find out. However, the purpose of them is to keep you in control.

Limited social interaction

Another sign of domestic abuse is that the abuser can try to limit who you can socialize with and even express jealousy.

Would you like to visit your family or friends? You will likely need to ask for permission, and if you do, there is a good chance he or she is trying to watch and keep an eye on you. If they follow you it can also be considered stalking, which is extremely common in many domestic violence cases.

Who you can see and places to go is completely at their mercy, and they may even find ways to stop you from doing the things you want to do.

For example, they might try to humiliate you in front of others in order to make you refuse to interact with others, especially if this happens repeatedly. This is considered domestic abuse as the goal is to control you emotionally.

Financial and educational / career control

One of the more subtle signs of domestic violence is how money is handled in the household, as it does not appear violent.

Usually the perpetrator himself has full economic control and can refuse to give you money for the things you need, even if you worked to get them yourself.

He or she might even try to prevent you from working just to strengthen the dictatorship over the finances.

Also, a victim of abuse may not be allowed to go to school for further education and a career path that will benefit you, as this will enable you to do what a domestic violence abuser does not want.

Physical violence

Experiencing physical violence from your partner is a guaranteed indicator of an abusive relationship.

Physical abuse can be many things, such as putting their hands on you and injuring you, using guns (or threatening to use them), but it can also include not being fed, bathing or sleeping. You may not be allowed to see a doctor or seek medical help as this may reveal signs of domestic violence such as cuts and bruises.

Do not grow up alone Trama

However, this type of abuse does not necessarily have to be associated with pain, injury, or discomfort, and there are some more specific examples that can be classified as such.

Deliberately being locked out of the home or stranded in an unfamiliar area can also belong to this category of domestic abuse and be forced to consume drugs and alcohol.

Sexual abuse

Finally, one of the least reported forms of domestic abuse is sexual diversity, which, depending on the question, can be included in the previous section due to some similarities, but still deserves a segment of its own as it is a very specific type of abuse.

Although this type of domestic violence occurs between two partners, it does not mean that both of them consent. One might be forced to have sexual contact against their will or do other unpleasant things like getting them to disguise themselves in a certain way.

Some other tactics that can be used as sexual abuse make you feel like you owe him or her sexual favors, or you refuse to use any form of contraception, or are lying about it.

In some cases, one partner might intentionally try to pass a sexually transmitted disease on to the other, either as revenge or in an attempt to control who he or she can be with. For example, if the abused person leaves and accidentally catches a sexually transmitted disease from the abuser, they will be reluctant to find another person.

Find help with spouse abuse

Reaching out and sharing your domestic violence experience with others can be a daunting task, even if it involves those who are close to you. While speaking is an important part of overcoming an abusive relationship, you will likely need to find additional professional help in a number of ways. It is not easy to keep going, but with support it is possible.

Legal advice

As mentioned earlier, cases of domestic violence are not adequately reported and this can happen for a variety of reasons. The victim may feel guilty, ashamed, or scared about the damage already done and the threat of retaliation from their partner.

Depending on your situation, it may be necessary to involve law enforcement, create a domestic violence case, and seek legal assistance to keep your safety. This option can be pretty annoying, but ultimately it might be the best.

Medical attention

moral quotes

Second, domestic violence often leads to injuries that require medical attention. Very often suspected unreported cases of abuse are discovered through physical exams because there are some typical signs of physical abuse, such as marks, bruises, fractures in the head, face, limbs, chest, and breasts. [2]

On the other hand, when abuse is reported, medical examinations are also used to convict someone of abuse.


Finally, victims of abuse should seek therapy to help them through this difficult time. Due to the emotional and physical abuse, mental and physical health deteriorates, which can lead to decreased productivity and a lower quality of life. [2]

What is friendship

There are therapists who specialize in treating people struggling with domestic violence who can help you navigate through a very confusing and difficult situation. It is common for victims standing on the fence and abandoning their spouses to ask themselves, 'Am I doing the right thing?' or 'will it be worth it?'

The short answer is yes; Leaving is in your best interests, but you need to understand that domestic abuse is triggered by a desire to overwhelm and control another person. You may feel like something is missing in your life as a result, but you can rebuild and thrive without your abuser. Therapy can give you the lock you need to get into greener pastures.

Online therapy and traditional traditional sessions are both viable options. At BetterHelp, however, finding an experienced domestic violence counselor or therapist is just a click away and discreet. You can communicate one-to-one with a licensed professional who can give you the best possible advice for your personal situation.

If you need more information, you can also contact the national domestic violence hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit their website at https://www.thehotline.org/ to here see more information on how to create a plan to escape domestic abuse and find safety.

Support is also available for abusive partners who want to make changes. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, many of the risk factors for abusive behavior are learned behaviors. A person's upbringing and environment, as well as their level of education and history of substance abuse, can all contribute to domestic abuse manifesting later in life. [2]

Even so, these behaviors can be changed through engagement with intervention.


Hopefully this article has given you some insight into the most common characteristics of spouse abuse. If this sounds like your current relationship, contact someone right away so they can get the help you deserve. Leaving an abusive relationship can be scary, but you can do it successfully with the right support and a plan for you when that day comes.


  1. National hotline for domestic violence. (2020). Defined abuse. Retrieved from https://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/
  2. Huecker M. R., Smock W. Domestic violence. [Updated October 27, 2019]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499891/