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How to Spot Abusive Men in Relationships

Updated on February 5, 2014

Physical Abuse

Who could imagine that what God intended as holy matrimony could cease to be blissful but instead become hell on earth. Or what was meant to be heart throbbing romance instead becomes head throbbing pain. From the beginning of life, women were created as complements to men, to complete them in every way imaginable. Women could be used to satisfy men’s desire for love, romance, companionship and co-creation. They could also be objects of desire to satisfy wild dreams of pleasure as well as objects for displaying power and control. However the rule has always been that men should love their women while women respect their men. That way, men could care and provide for the women in their lives. Men who abuse women show a lack of wisdom and appreciation that, no matter what women do, they were created the weaker sex to be protected and not battered.

There are various forms of abuse that men use against women and some of it is so subtle one could miss it. However, all forms of abuse are to be abhorred and exposed for their wickedness. It is difficult sometimes for women to seek protection due to the painful process of proving to outsiders that there is abuse going on. Society is trained to identify or notice physical battering better than anything else. However, there is also emotional, economic, psychological and sexual abuse. This article will expose some of these forms of abuse in order to bring to light what some women go through at the hands of men in the name of love.

1. The obvious physical abuse: This could be in the form of frequent beatings, battering for no plausible reason. Even if there is a reason, it does not justify using physical strength to subdue the woman who usually does not have half the physical ability to fight back. When I was growing up, I witnessed a scene where a man and woman who were in a relationship had a disagreement about something. Suddenly the guy started blasting his girlfriend with bare fists, pulling her hair and dragging her through the streets. It was such a spectacle but many people condemned this behavior as they had many questions. So what will happen the following day? Is this guy going to expect love and respect from this woman? Are they going to kiss and make up? It’s a shame because most of the time the woman is threatened with more harm if she dares leave the relationship or even report to relatives or the police. Society has also condoned this behavior by being bystanders and telling women that being battered is a sign of love. My foot!

Emotional Abuse

2. Emotional Abuse: Usually a man who is insecure threatens to withhold love, telling the woman that she will never find love elsewhere. This is usually accompanied by silent treatment which involves not talking or responding to the woman’s conversations. Women by nature like to exhaust issues through talking but if a man shuts up and does not create room for this, it is a form of emotional abuse. Withholding love and its benefits such as pampering, complimenting and romantic gestures is meant to hurt the woman’s ego since women thrive on these things. It is meant to break their spirits into submission.

3. Economic abuse involves the withdrawal of financial support, closing credit card accounts and outright stopping any spending that the woman has been accustomed to. We see this happening a lot in this society as evidenced by the number of court cases for maintenance or alimony, where couples have separated or divorced or even where men have deserted their families in search of alternative relationships. This is not to say that women should be totally dependent on men for their financial needs but rather it is the manner or spirit in which the action is taken that is cruel.

4. Psychological abuse is subtle in nature, very difficult to pick. Even the victim has a hard time pinpointing what exactly it is. This is a hidden form of abuse which works similar to mood swings. One moment everything is fine and the relationship is blossoming, the next moment things turn upside down and one doesn’t know what really hit them. Men who are guilty of this form exhibit a psychological challenge of their own but would rather use the woman to prop them up and hide their inadequacies rather than owning up and taking responsibility. In this relationship it is similar to walking on eggshells as you do not know what step will shatter the shell. Just one wrong word can trigger a cycle of pain and anguish. In order to avoid getting hurt, most women turn into zombies and desist from questioning anything in the relationship for fear of pulling the plug.

5. Last but not least, sexual abuse is a common form as this is perpetrated on both old and young women. This has become a worldwide scourge as even babies have been sexually abused. Even inside marriages or relationships, women are abused sexually by being forced to take part in acts without their consent. In Africa, there is a culture that forces women to please their husbands whether they like it or not. Even if they don’t benefit from the act or enjoy it, they just have to in order to keep their marriages. This is sad because, women do not have rights to demand better sex or protection from diseases. Recently, there was an incident of sexual abuse perpetrated against a female student in India and this resulted in the death of this woman most likely due to the trauma that she suffered.

Having listed the forms of abuse on women, the list is far from being exhaustive as there are many examples that could be shared. However, the idea is to expose these acts and highlight the pain that is inflicted on women, in and out of relationships. I think the worst form of abuse that could happen is between two people who claim to love each other.


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    • Jephiter S Ondari profile image

      Ondari S Jephiter 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      All these mischievous happenings unfortunately occur each day. I agree with.. It is very common in Africa. Women are made to believe it is an obligation to satisfy men`s sex regardless of their feelings. This hub is useful...voted up