Counseling Men Blog
Advice for men – and the women who love them!

Warning Signs of an Abusive Husband

Posted by Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Sat, Apr 10, 2010

A Confused Woman in an Abusive RelationshipEver wonder why your marriage doesn't seem normal?  Maybe it's because you're married to an abusive husband. 

Here are some warning signs of an abusive husband to look for from Dr. Phil's article Are You In an Emotionally Abusive Relationship?:

Does your partner continuously degrade or belittle you? If you think that just because you aren't being physically abused nothing is wrong, think again.

Emotionally abusive relationships can have devastating consequences on both physical and mental health. While emotional or psychological abuse may be difficult to pinpoint, examples abound. Here are some characteristics:

  • Using economic power to control you
  • Threatening to leave
  • Making you afraid by using looks, gestures or actions
  • Smashing things
  • Controlling you through minimizing, denying and blaming
  • Making light of the abuse and not taking your concerns about it seriously
  • Continually criticizing you, calling you names, shouting at you
  • Emotionally degrading you in private, but acting charming in public
  • Humiliating you in private or public
  • Withholding approval, appreciation or affection as punishment

Results of Verbal and Emotional Abuse, from the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness:

  •  A distrust of her spontaneity
  • A loss of enthusiasm
  • An uncertainty about how she is coming across
  • A concern that something is wrong with her
  • An inclination to reviewing incidents with the hopes of determining what went wrong
  • A loss of self-confidence
  • A growing self-doubt
  • An internalized critical voice
  • A concern that she isn't happier and ought to be
  • An anxiety or fear of being crazy
  • A sense that time is passing and she's missing something
  • A desire not to be the way she is, e.g. "too sensitive," etc.
  • A hesitancy to accept her perceptions
  • A reluctance to come to conclusions
  • A tendency to live in the future, e.g. "Everything will be great when/after ..."
  • A desire to escape or run away
  • A distrust of future relationships

Can you see yourself or your husband in any of these descriptions? 

If you think you might be in an abusive relationship, get some professional marriage counseling help.  Being confused is a natural outcome of abuse, and abusive men take advantage of it, so you need an expert to help understand you what's really going on and what you can do about it. 

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