Being married to an abuser can make you feel hopeless and alone. You are not alone many others have been where you've been. Protect yourself from an abusive wife by learning to voice your boundaries and recognize her triggers. If you want to leave the marriage, find out how to access resources and plan your escape. Whether you want to stay or leave, be sure to take advantage of different forms of support to care for yourself.
Verbalize your boundaries. There’s a chance that your wife may not see her behavior as abusive. Let her know that you are uncomfortable with the way she treats you. You can do this by speaking up about your discomfort and communicating the consequences if the behavior doesn't stop. For example, if your wife insults you, you might say, “Do not call me names. If you continue to do so, I will leave.” Try to verbalize the boundary when the behavior is happening, so there is no confusion.
Recognize and avoid your wife's triggers. Most abusive spouses have red flags that signal when the abuse may occur. Your wife, for instance, may be more likely to hit you when she has consumed alcohol. If you spot a trigger or red flag, get away from your wife. Leave the home and go someplace safe. If you cannot leave the home, go to a room with a door that locks where can stay safe until your wife either leaves or calms down.
Stay calm. If your wife is being abusive, try to remain calm. One way to relieve tension and calm yourself is by practicing deep breathing. This exercise can be performed in the moment to help you collect yourself during the abuse. Breathe in deeply from your nose, hold the breath briefly, and then exhale through your mouth. Repeat this cycle several times to get better control of yourself.
Resist the urge to fight back. Being on the receiving end of abuse may be tough, but try your best not to act out with violence. Retaliation will not help your case. If you are a man who lays a hand on your wife, your chances of proving she's abusive fly out the window. The authorities will already be biased towards her, simply because women are more commonly the victims of abuse. Whether you are a man or a woman, if she tries to engage you in a fight, walk away. If you hurt her, you may be the one who's arrested.
Locate a safe place to go. Identify someplace you can go when your wife is being abusive. This place could be the home of a friend, relative, or neighbor, or a public place like a park or library. If you have children, you might bring them along, especially if you think they are in danger. Letting them listen to continuous arguing is also not good for them.
Call the emergency department if you're in danger. If your abusive wife is threatening the lives of you or your children or brandishing a weapon, you need to get help. Don't assume the threats are empty or refuse to call the authorities because you worry they won't believe you. Call the police right away. It's important to take action because reporting the abuse shows your wife that you are serious about carrying out consequences. It also helps you collect evidence because the officer will have to file an official report of the incident. Do not be embarrassed to report that you are being abused by your wife. Abuse can happen to anyone, including men.
Contact friends and family. Talk to your loved ones about what's happening at home. Ask them for financial assistance, a place to stay, or a shoulder to cry on, if you need that, too. If you are a male victim of domestic violence, you may feel embarrassed about the abuse. You shouldn't be. Keeping the abuse a secret will only lead to further isolation and lack of support.
See a counselor. Professional counseling is a smart option for victims of abuse. Whether you decide to stay or leave, you may struggle to come to grips with your situation and feel confused as to how you should move forward. A counselor can offer practical guidance and support. Ask your family doctor for a referral to a mental health counselor or ask for recommendations from the staff at your domestic violence shelter.
Build a self-care routine to heal. Abuse leaves emotional scars, even if the physical ones have healed. You can recover from domestic abuse by adopting healthy practices that help you to nurture and express yourself. Add nourishing physical activities to your daily routine like yoga, dance, or boxing. Do relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or mindfulness meditation. You might also enjoy creative pursuits like writing, painting, coloring apps, or online puzzles or games.
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