9 Signs That You Have An Abusive Wife

Shun the silence and step up for yourself if you see any of the below indications.

Reviewed by Michele Waldron, Psy.D, LADC-I, CSCT
By Harini Natarajan, Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner

The incidences of women being the victims of domestic abuse are way higher than that of men. Hence, the word abusive wife is usually less heard of, but that does not negate the fact that men too can be the victims of domestic abuse.

However, not many husbands even realize they are being controlled or abused by their spouses. Even if they do, not many come out in the open fearing being judged or misunderstood by society. This article guides people facing domestic abuse by their wives, whether in a heterogenous or same-sex relationship. Here, we will look into the 9 signs an abusive wife may show, how to tackle the situation, and if it is better to part ways if a spouse is refusing to mend her ways. Keep reading for more information!

Who Is A Verbally Abusive Wife?

Who is a verbally abusive wife

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Verbal abuse is when one partner behaves cruelly with the other. From emotional manipulation to hurtful words, verbal abuse is grave and may manifest in several ways. Abused men may refuse to seek support if they have a verbally abusive wife since they are never encouraged to speak about their issues openly. The fear of being ridiculed and judged always lurks at the back of their minds, considering men are supposed to ‘toughen up,’ come what may.

Take the story of the lead singer of Sixties’ pop group The Monkees. Even though there were several proofs of Davy Jones being abused by his third wife, Cuban American actress Jessica Pacheco, he had denied it time and again, covering it up with strings of excuses. Most of the time, men deny such allegations instead of disclosing the truth. As for women in a same-sex relationship, it might be equally hard to open up about it.

If your wife is controlling and abusive, it may take a while for you to come to terms with it. You may not know what to do with an abusive wife, and that is why we have listed 9 signs that show your wife may be abusive to help you understand how to deal with it. Read on.

9 Signs Of An Abusive Wife

If you are confused about whether your wife’s actions qualify as abusive, below is a checklist. You are dealing with an abusive wife if you check off most of these signs.

1. Manipulation

An abusive wife can control and manipulate you

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It is common for an abusive wife to manipulate you. From who you meet to where you go and how you spend your money, she controls everything. Manipulation in an abusive relationship may go beyond words, with her punishing you by not communicating normally and even withholding affection from you until she gets her way.

Initially, it may seem like she is concerned about you, but there is a thin line between concern and control. So, take note of her actions. For instance, if she asks you to do something and follows it with, “You will do it if you love me,” it is manipulation.

2. Verbal Abuse

Yelling when you are angry is quite common in a relationship, but it is not healthy. Verbal abuse may range from screaming to using foul words. She may call you names or put you down. You mustn’t walk on eggshells in front of your partner, and if you find yourself doing that, your wife is being abusive to you.

People often act up when drunk, and if your wife is an abusive alcoholic, it is a genuine problem. She can be toxic to your self-image.

3. Silent Treatment

While disagreements followed by silence are common in relationships, it is unhealthy for the silence to roll on for days as a punishment for said tiff. So, if your wife ostracizes you after a disagreement, it is a sign of emotional abuse.

4. Violence

Abuse is not limited to words; it is a red flag if your wife inflicts physical violence upon you. It is not always necessary for her to hurt you directly. If she punches walls or throws objects when angry, it is a sign of violence. If she hits you or uses objects to hurt you, the relationship is toxic, and you should consider getting out of it. Seek help from loved ones and open up to them. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

5. Unrealistic Demands

Though it is acceptable to have certain expectations from your partner, demanding things that you know they cannot afford is manipulation. This form of abuse is not limited to finances but includes matters like expecting you to do her chores or taking additional responsibilities for her convenience.

6. Toxic Jealousy

Jealousy is a common sign of an abusive wife

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Possessiveness and jealousy are not adorable qualities, even less so when you are married. Trust should be an indispensable part of your relationship. As an adult, you are entitled to socialize with others. It is a healthy part of life. If your wife accuses you of cheating or spending excessive time with others (even though you don’t), it is a form of abuse that negatively affects your mental well-being.

7. Humiliation And Belittling

If your wife dismisses your sincere words with an eye roll and makes you feel insignificant, she is abusive. If she discloses personal things about you or the marriage in public, it is because she wants to humiliate you in front of your acquaintances.

8. Isolation

Abusive partners often isolate you from your family and friends and want you for themselves. However, in certain situations, it may be a different case. For instance, if you are an expectant parent and your wife wants more attention and care, it is understandable, and you might consider looking deeper into the matter. But, pregnant or not, if these signs have a pattern, you have an abusive wife.

9. Gaslighting

Gaslighting, one of the most subtle forms of abuse, may often go unnoticed in a relationship. If your wife leaves you wondering about your role in the marriage or makes you feel like your worries are baseless, she is gaslighting you.

It requires close attention to identify the signs of gaslighting and deal with them. For instance, it is time to flee if your fault is your fault, and her fault is also your fault. If you are the one who apologizes for everything that goes wrong, even if you were not even involved in the matter, it is a sign of abuse.

Once you are sure your wife is abusive, it’s time to deal with it. The key is to deal with the situation with patience and care. Communicate your concerns to your wife and seek professional advice if needed. Head to the next section for some more pointers on tackling an abusive wife.

Dealing With An Abusive Wife

Dealing with an emotionally abusive wife

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Dealing with an emotionally abusive wife is exhausting. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that you share your distress with her and work together towards a more respectful relationship:

  1. Get out of the denial mode and acknowledge that you are facing abuse. Try setting boundaries and communicate to them what is acceptable in the relationship and what isn’t.
  2. Do not cut ties with people just because she demands you to. Vocalize your struggles to your loved ones, and engage in therapy, if needed.
  3. Encourage her to join couple’s therapy with you and see how it goes.
  4. If it does not help and the abuses don’t stop, it is better to rethink the relationship and start preparing to move on.

If you don’t talk about your verbally and physically abusive wife, your well-wishers will not know when to look out for you. And communicating with your wife is equally important as sometimes people don’t realize that their behavior is causing so much trouble to someone.

However, you need to get out of the relationship if your wife fails to understand the problem despite your initiative. You can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue in their actions.

How To Leave An Abusive Wife

How to leave an abusive wife

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If push comes to shove, it is time to seek legal help. File for divorce and let the toxic relationship go. Separate your finances, belongings, and shared resources. You must look for a safe space, perhaps your immediate family, after you move out. Leaving an emotionally abusive wife is a long and agitating process, so hang in there. Most people miss these behavioral signs of an abusive wife and may initially hesitate to stand by your side. However, do not give up and fight for your rights with the evidence that you have.

An abusive wife is someone who uses words to hurt their partner emotionally. As a result, many partners refuse to speak about it and deny it repeatedly. Some individuals do not know they are being abused by their wives. If you see your wife being verbally and emotionally abusive, making unrealistic demands, and humiliating you in front of others, chances are you have an abusive wife. That is why it is important to acknowledge the abuse and communicate your needs to your wife. Go to couple’s therapy and see if it works out. If you see all your attempts failing, seek legal help. Get your affairs in order and go to your family. Remember, if you have walked away from an abusive relationship, you have won.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does mental abuse do to the brain?

Long-term mental abuse may seriously affect your brain, especially if it occurred in childhood. This might impact how you view yourself in relationships and how tolerant you are of particular actions. Some people get stuck in a cycle of mistrust and unhealthy relationships due to mental abuse.

What is the difference between mental and emotional abuse?

Generally, psychological or mental abuse involves manipulating a victim’s perception of reality. Another name for this is gaslighting. The psychological abuser’s objective is to persuade the victim that they are insane or incompetent. For instance, the abuser can claim that an event occurred very differently from how the victim remembers it.
Emotional abuse is broader and encompasses mental abuse. By weakening their self-esteem or using forceful tactics, emotional abusers try to control others. Shouting or calling people names are some tactics used by emotional abusers. They might act patronizing or demeaningly to make you feel foolish or incapable.

Key Takeaways

  • It is common for a verbally abusive wife to manipulate her partner emotionally and employ hurtful words and behavior along the way.
  • Abusive behavior may take several forms, such as violence or humiliation, or toxic jealousy.
  • Acknowledge and communicate your mental struggles to your wife, and do not be afraid to assert yourself.

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As Head Of Content Operations, Harini sets the tone and editorial direction for StyleCraze to deliver engaging, interesting, and authentic... more

Michele Waldron

(Psy.D, LADC-I, CSCT)
Dr. Waldron is a licensed clinical psychologist, certified couples counselor, licensed alcohol and drug counselor, and sex therapist. She received... more

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