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How does an Abuser Try to Control Their Spouse?

Jan 13, 2015

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At the root of an abusive spouse is insecurity and fear.  The way they deal with this is by having power over their victim by controlling them.

The following are Eight ways an abuser will try to control their Victim: 

1. Denying your Right to Expectation

The abuser is conscious of their needs only.  In most marriages, you are conscious of your spouse’s needs and expectations.  In this situation the abuser tries to control by sabotage.  They may be well aware that guests are at the house for dinner because they helped plan the evening but then all of the sudden they may refuse to join or not even show up.

2. Silent Treatment

This is a very childish way of avoiding responsibility for marital problems.  The Silent Treatment sends the message “You aren’t that important to me.”  After this happens repeatedly it will wear down areas of trust, intimacy and happiness.

3. Twisting the Victims words

The abuser wants to make you look like the bad one.  They may take a request from you and turn it into you criticizing them, etc.  Then they will be angry and upset, keeping you walking on eggshells and afraid to say anything at all because it might get twisted.

4. Play Tit-For-Tat

Expect the finger to be pointed back at you if you call the abuser out on their bad behavior.  They will deflect and may bring up the past, trying to make you feel bad.  They may also use other forms retaliation such as withholding material things that are important to you.

5. Rolling their eyes

It is rude and childish to roll your eyes at your spouse.  It is a deliberate way to show disrespect.

6. Playing Victim

Even if it is not you, it might be the children or their boss.  It is always someone else’s fault.  A good example is the abuser blaming the victim for their extra marital affair.  Stating that the victim didn’t meet their needs so they fell victim to an affair.

7. It’s just a joke

It isn’t a joke if it doesn’t feel like one.  You may also hear the abuser say “You’re too sensitive”, “You are blowing things out of proportion” or “You are overacting”.

8. The self-proclaimed Good Guy

Someone that has to tell everyone how good they are, probably is not very good.  Or, they might be good to everyone but to the person that deserves it the most.  This is frustrating to the victim as others do not understand why you are not more appreciative of how lucky you are to be married to that person.

If you find yourself in any of these situations do not internalize their behavior.  You may need to seek further help and decide whether or not you should even stay in this relationship as it is not a healthy one.



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Category: Issues in Marriage

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