What do individuals experience as physical abuse from a spouse or a partner?
Physical abuse can be in the form of anything from throwing
something (at you or not), hitting things (like walls, etc), to
hitting, slapping, shoving, or grabbing you. Anything that is
designed to control, frighten, or injure you that is physical in
nature is included. It often escalates from emotional abuse, which
ranges from witholding affection and the "silent treatment", to
insulting you, using personal information to hurt you,
guilt-tripping, emotional blackmail, intimidation (threats to leave
you, etc) and so on. Sometimes it can escalate to very serious
injury or death. At a minimum it damages your self-esteem and
causes depression. Any form of abuse can have a traumatic effect
and it is very important to get out of the relationship and seek
counseling. People who abuse others have very serious control
issues, meaning they want to control others and choose to exhibit
little or no control over their own behavior. Many times, substance
abuse is involved. The main thing to remember is, it is not your
fault. No matter what you do, no matter what you say, no matter who
you are, the other person will abuse you and you could be the most
perfect person in the world and it will make no difference. Because
it is his/her problem. You cannot fix it. You cannot change it.
Therapy will help you and it will only help the abuser if he/she
wants to change, which unfortunately is unlikely because this
behavior is learned at an early age, either by the abuser being
abused or seeing abuse in the home by parents towards one another.
I work with people every day who are abused and this is a very
painful experience that can lead to major mental health issues such
as suicide, depression, and drug/alcohol addiction. They experience
mental anguish, emotional stress and physical scars. Run dont walk
from this relationship or get the abuser help. If there are
children involved move quickly, the boys may grow up to be abusers
and the girls will have low self esteem if you stay and they see
you accept this kind of behavior.