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Normal Marital Conflict vs. Domestic Abuse: What's the Difference?

Nov 18, 2014


When your spouse accuses you of domestic abuse, it may be hard to take, especially if it's not the truth. However, sometimes domestic abuse can be downplayed as normal marital conflict. Here's a look at the differences between the two.

What does Healthy Marital Conflict Look Like?

marital_problems.jpgMarriage is not only challenging, but it's also an opportunity. Forming and maintaining an intimate bond with another person can be very difficult at times. This can lead to conflict in many ways. Those willing to work through the challenges come out on the other side as better companions, lovers and partners. Some of the conflicts of marriage include:

  • How to raise the children
  • Different thought on the financial situation
  • Dealing with unexpected health issues
  • Dividing up the household duties
  • Lack of Trust
  • Struggles with Communication
  • A difference in sex drives

These are all very common marital conflicts and they can lead to domestic abuse when handled improperly. However, when these issues are handled without the blame game, screaming, physical abuse and name calling, they can lead to a very happy and healthy marriage.

What does Domestic Abuse look like?

domestic_abuse.jpgDomestic abuse usually stems from a normal marital conflict that has gotten out of hand. When these conflicts are not handled properly, they won't get solved and abuse can enter into the situation. Some of the most common forms of abuse include:

  • Hitting, kicking, punching, grabbing, pushing or any type of physical harm caused without accident
  • Name calling
  • Controlling the household money
  • Limiting who you can see and when
  • Withholding sex
  • Puts you down because of race, beliefs or sexual preference
  • Controls when you come and go
  • Screaming and yelling

Basically, anything nonproductive in solving marital conflict in a healthy manner can be viewed as abuse. However, there is a fine line between being abused and just a marital spat. Marriage comes with conflict, but solving it requires communication and compromise, not abuse.



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Category: Issues in Marriage

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