1. He physically hurts you.
According to researches made by organizations dealing with Domestic Violence, 1 out of 3 women on average has faced domestic violence in their life. If your man hits you actively without you raising hands on him then he is an abuser.
2. You dread him.
You feel unsafe and uncomfortable in his presence. You feel so frightened by his rage that might show up during an argument that you fear disagreeing with him on a lot of things. You feel safe and calm in his absence
3. He doesn't take protection.
A husband who truly loves, respects, and cares about his wife's physical health will not force her into unwanted pregnancies or any other medical troubles like abortions that may follow unprotected sex. On the other hand, toxic husbands have a routine of unprotected sex giving their wives nightmares of unwanted pregnancies, abortions, and unnecessary stress for taking morning-after pills or abortion pills.
4. He has indirectly made your "other" relationships worse.
Toxic partners highly control the social lives of their spouse by doing the following:-
- Pitting you against your people.
- Getting upset or enraged at you about something whenever you have any good times with your loved ones, and makes you feel guilty for it so that you gradually minimize your time with them in order to avoid having him being upset again in the future.
- Any negative feelings you share with him about your family or friends during most emotional and intimate moments, he will reveal that information later on to them and create misunderstandings among your circle.
- Acts like a gentleman and caring husband in presence of your people in an attempt to make you look crazy in their eyes if you ever try to share his abusiveness. Nobody will believe you and will think of you as a problem in a relationship and not him.
- Relishes your differences in opinion with your loved ones. If you like an idea which your family or friends disagree with, then he will make sure to side with them and not you to make you struggle alone and gang up with them in gaslighting you.
- He will try to get all personal relationships related information about you as soon as you two get together.
- He will force you to catch up with those people you try to avoid. Wherever he senses any “differences” among your people he feels empowered by putting you in stressful and embarrassing situations where you happen to either share with him about the “differences” or busy them to give him some “showtime" to enjoy.
- Go out of the way for socializing with those of your people who don’t respect you because he feels empowered by tearing you down subtly.
A healthy spouse will never be too insecure to ruin your relationships with others to feel superior, whereas a toxic husband will work hard to ruin your relationships with your family and friends to keep your week and unsupported. And parallelly he will keep staying in their good books as a “Gentleman”. This is done in an attempt to make sure that nobody believes you and he can have an unsupported, helpless isolated victim.
5. Abuse doesn't stop even when you fall sick.
He shamelessly forces you to do unnecessary chores or special services towards him. If you know what, I mean. He gets upset when you fall sick because of your reduced abilities to serve him and the household. Also during periods, pregnancy or post-partum. On top of this, many abusive men fall into extramarital affairs (sexual or emotional) during their wife’s postpartum stage worsening her physical and emotional condition contributing to postpartum depression.
6. His family doesn’t like you.
If your husband has been able to strike a balance between you and his family, then he definitely is a great husband. Some husbands abuse, divorce, and sometimes kill their wives on the instructions of their family members. An abusive husband, especially in countries like India, demands his wife to be an obedient daughter-in-law but doesn't care about making his family respect her. In worse cases, he also enables them to abuse her in the name of loyalty towards blood family. Sometimes, in-laws are nice people but husband with narcissistic traits pit them against their wife to feel empowered and disempower the wife so that he can abuse her more conveniently without having his own family as a hindrance in the form of support towards his wife.
Sometimes there are exceptional cases where in-laws are equally abusive towards their son and daughter in law in that case the problem is not the husband but the in-laws.
7. He “Gaslights” you.
Gaslighting is a tactic used by abusive people to make someone doubt their “Perception of Reality". “Gaslighting" is a term used by psychologists to describe a behavior that is done to make someone feel “crazy” or ‘insane”. This term came from a Hollywood movie “Gaslight”, in which a husband tries to make her wife believe that she is going crazy by misplaces her items and then making her feel guilty for not remembering where she kept things. Then again putting things back to their place and then making her feel guilty for saying that they were lost.
Abusers gaslight their victims by pretending to forget about something while clearly remembering each and everything they said or did including all the abuse. They can blame you for doing things that you never did. A friend of mine told me that her jealous husband will always do things on purpose to make her late for work which caused her embarrassment at work. He will temper and damage her work-related gadgets and articles to cause hindrance in work life and whenever she complained he would not just completely deny touching them but accuse her of not taking care of her things and wasting resources.
They change their statements in the blink of an eye. You can never have a heart-to-heart talk with him only an argument and you both argue for different reasons. You argue to prove the truth and he argues to make you feel invalidated, frustrated, tired, and crazy. He keeps repeating the same sentences over and over again like a broken record. Intermittently he inserts some sarcastic statement to hurt you emotionally and disempower you. Instead of putting logical and reasonable points related to the issue being discussed, he will talk rather about your weakness in some relationship, career, etc. Will repeat your statements in sarcastic tones that you told him out of love during intimate moments. Will start counting your failures in life and mention your issues with people you have had in past in the middle of a decent conversation you initiated with him. If you confront him about the pain he has inflicted on you he will guilt trip you for blaming him. For example, if you remind him of his cheating acts he will accuse you of not trusting him and dwelling in the past.
8. He is shameless about feelings of infatuation towards other women.
Attraction towards the opposite sex is a part of human behavior but a loyal husband will value his marriage over a temporary infatuation however an abusive spouse, on the other hand, will use this opportunity to abuse his partner. There is a term in psychology known as “Triangulation”. In “triangulation” a person triangulates his relationship by putting a third person on one vertex. This person can be an ex, a crush, or someone who has a crush on him. He will purposely do things to hurt and make the partner jealous and insecure. This can be done to both people on two vertices to look special and desirable and create an unhealthy competition between the two.
For example, he will abuse his wife and will act very caring with the other woman. He will value and appreciate the other woman more than his wife. He will excessively compliment her in front of his wife. Sometimes he will openly say objectionable things or dirty jokes about that woman and the next moment will convince you that he was just joking and you have trust issues. He can ignore your needs to fulfill hers. He will act busy for you but run to help her at the same moment. He will keep elevating this drama until one day you decide to speak up, and then he will call you “jealous” and “insecure” and make you feel guilty for not trusting him and parallelly continue the drama with the other woman. The worst will happen afterward the confrontation that he will use all this flirting, cheating, and Gaslighting to hurt you whenever you dare make him upset by disobeying him, accusing him of something, or sometimes just for fun.
9. He controls your finances.
A controlling and abusive husband is secretive about his money flow but keeps a very tight check on his wife’s financial life. In India, even in many non-abusive households, because of dysfunctional cultural beliefs, a working woman is mostly considered as just an extra source of income without any consideration for her "career" and is supposed to behave like an unemployed submissive unintelligent housewife. If one of the spouses is freely and lavishly spending money whenever and wherever he wishes while his partner doesn’t have any right over what and where she can spend then this is abuse. Abusive husbands feel entitled to not only their wife's earnings but also to the money she gets from her parents as gifts and in worst cases force her to bring money from her parents, like in a lot of Indian households.
10. He threatens you.
If your husband threatens you in various ways if you do not agree with what he says then he is an abuser even if the threat is subtle and wrapped in emotional talk. An example would be like if he wants you to attend a social get-together right after a fight or physically abusive act but you refuse, he will show his rage by warning you of consequences and by towering over you or invading your personal space. There he gave the subtle message that he will harm you. In another example, if you said “no” to his sexual advances he will body-shame you and then would call some other woman and will talk very nicely to her on your face, subtly threatening you of replacing you with her. He will force you to enjoy a party with a happy face after an uglu5 fight, and if you are unable to do so he will make you feel guilty causing hindrances in making things better in a relationship, and will subtly threaten suicide by saying it in emotional words.
11. He doesn't have a “Conscience”.
Every healthy human understands the difference between right and wrong as per their culture and society. Saintly people with ideal moral values who practice lifestyle according to scriptures and are very likely to live life on high moral grounds. People less than saints also try their best to stick on the side of humanity. However, abusers are abusive primarily because they have no conscience at all. An abusive husband has no moral values, empathy, or real sympathy for anyone.
Sometimes an abuser with narcissistic traits is two-faced. He is very careful about who to revealing his abusive face. This abusive side of him is known only to the people close to him like his wife, children, servants, and other economically and socially weak people around him. He is an expert at displaying a neat image in public by pretending to have moral values, empathy, and sympathy towards people he wants to impress like bosses, people of high authority and power, his crushes, people he triangulates you with, your people, and flying monkeys.
(the flying monkey is a psychological term used for people who are enabled by the abuser by showing nice behavior and pitting against the victim so that he can use these people to indirectly abuse the victim mostly emotionally and psychologically .)
12. You are unable to leave the relationship with him.
Even after millions of instances of extreme abuse by him you don't have the courage e to leave him. The reasons could be:-
- You believe that you still love him.
- You have no social support. (refer to #4 for the reason for no support ).
- You fear that nobody will believe that he is Abusive.
- You fear his rage.
- You fear that he will kill himself
- You are not confident enough to raise kids without him.
- You are suffering from mental health issues.
- You don't have the strength to bear the turmoil of separation and aftermath.
- The relationship has already cost your career.
- You have no money to start over.
13. He doesn't respect your boundaries.
He keeps checking your phone for activities on social networks without your permission. If he forces you to talk with a phone speaker while you are talking to the family or friends or has installed a phone recording app then this is abuse. If he doesn't allow you to spend any private time with anyone then this is abuse. He does this because he is insecure that you will reveal his true face to society.
If your marriage or relationship shows these signs, then your life could be in danger. Make sure that you do not reveal to him anything about your enlightenment of his abusive behavior via this or any other resources. Because if you do so he might stop your access to the internet, and you will become more helpless. Talk to a trusted friend or family member. Be calm in his presence and don’t let him know about any of your moves.
There are millions of women who are living a life of dignity after escaping such a relationship. There is hope and there is light. Keep educating yourself on this issue via various resources and keep praying to God for showing you the right way.