Q: My husband has temperamental issues and becomes physical at times. Once after he hit me he said he wanted a baby through a surrogate mother. He is not intimate either. Does this mean he is not interested in me?
A: Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it. No one should live in fear of the person they love.
1 Recognize the warning signs that signal abuse
2 Don’t underestimate the harm of emotional abuse
3 Learn about and recognize the cycle of violence
4 Recognize the red flags that tell you others are being abused
Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his thumb.
Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive.
Despite what many people believe, domestic violence and abuse are not due to the abuser’s loss of control over his or her behaviour. In fact, abusive behaviour and violence is a deliberate choice made by the abuser in order to control you.
An abuser will do everything to make you feel bad about yourself or defective in some way. After all, if you believe you’re worthless and that no one else will want you, you’re less likely to leave. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless.
If your husband is not intimate with you, either he wants to make you feel isolated, humiliated, or has other interests in his life to fulfil him and not you.
“Those in power taking advantage of those less in power” – Kalki Koechlin on the many facets of sexual abuse
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