Managing an Abusive Relationship or Marriage

Estimated read time 8 min read

The primary question of a spouse in an abusive relationship is how to manage or cope with an abusive husband or wife. Such abuse can range from sexual abuse, social abuse, financial abuse, spiritual abuse, physical abuse etc. This article explores some actions you can take to stop, prevent and manage such marital abuse.

Warning: This content is about abuse. If you are experiencing abuse please call – 1800737732, +234-7069899368,  08033951460, 0802330981, 08180091072. It is important to call any of these numbers. Victims of abuse often blame themselves and don’t seek help.

 We don’t encourage husband or wife to be with a violent, dangerous, psychopath, sociopath, anti-social or personality disordered partner but we are speaking to people who are dealing with a toxic, manipulative, lying, deceiving, emotionally and psychologically abusive partners

Signs of an abusive marriage and relationship

  • You are scared of your partner
  • Your partner often threatens to harm you, your loved one or your pets
  • They try to control everything about you.
  • There is this sense of lack of freedom if you are around them
  • They put you down publicly and privately
  • They blame you for all wrongs or problems in the marriage
  • You feel they may seem to love you but are only violent at times. Still take it seriously!
  • You often keep telling yourself things will get better. But honestly, it’s very unlikely
  • You feel that it is your fault after all and deserves the abuse it but it’s all a lie, don’t buy it!

Can an abusive partner change?

An abusive man or woman in a relationship can change. However, the process is not straightforward and requires a lot of effort from both partners to effect a change.

The very first step in the process of change is, an abuser admitting they have a problem and seeking out ways to get help. If an abusive spouse is unwilling to admit such a problem and seek help then the possibility of change is virtually nonexistent.

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Why moving out of an abusive relationship or marriage remains the best option

In most cases, an abusive partner will never admit they are abusive. They often have a reason to justify why they act the way they do. Thus, the victim of abuse is seen as the cause of the abuse they get in a relationship or marriage.

In fact, in some cases, the spouse of an abusive partner rarely opens up about such abuse. Rather, they try covering up the abuse they get from their partner and believe it is normal and may confront those that try to challenge the action of an abuser.

Cases like these are dangerous.  They turn out to be partners killed their abusive partners. The process of abuse starts on a subtle note before it gets extreme. The slightest moment you notice any of such abuse is the best time to leave. Don’t wait.

Managing abuse in a boyfriend or girlfriend relationship

You may have invested so much into this relationship- your time, money, emotional feelings and otherwise have been pushed into the relationship but once your notice that over time your partner is abusive and unwilling to change it’s advisable and better than you take on your heels and run away.

Such abuse will only get worse with time. It is better to leave when it is a lot easier to do so. It may be difficult but it’s the best decision for you. If Peradventure, your relationship with an abusive partner is at its climax and it’s legal, then it’s advisable to adjust and learn how to cope with such a partner since Marriage is a Long term.


The truth is that once your partner is prone to abusing you physically, do everything within your power to save yourself first. Meet professionals, authorities, and NGOs and do whatever you need to do to keep yourself safe.

How you can cope with an abusive partner in marriage.

You have been asking yourself, how do I survive living in an abusive relationship? How do I cope? How do I disengage from the abuse dynamics and take care of myself all while remaining in my long-standing marriage?

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Many domestic abuse survivors want to improve on their survival strategies. They seek advice on how to deal with an abusive situation and stand out from the line of fire. These women (and men) are usually in their 50’s and 60’s, and they prefer not to end their marriages.

Deep in their hearts, they have come to accept that their partners will not change. They are confident that their spouses will remain in eternal denial about their being abusive.

If this is your situation, read on for help with living in an abusive relationship.

Admit you are in an abusive marriage and urgently seek help.

The most important step in managing or getting out of an abusive relationship and marriage is admitting you need help. Most abused partners are often an illusion. They believe they are not in an abusive relationship but rather only assumed its a mere misunderstanding that they will come through.

Some of these people are suffering from Stockholm syndrome. A situation where people develop positive emotions towards their abusers or captors. This makes it very tough to provide help for this category of people.

Know that verbal abuse in not a necessary conversion

While your husband or wife is hurling abuses and insults at you, he just focuses on your supposed faults or shortcomings, instead of patiently listening to your explanation to clear his misunderstanding. If you treat it as a normal conversation, exchanging points of view in such a disrespectful and hurtful way, it tends to make both of you engage in repeated verbal abuse.

Although, it is tempting to respond to his or her abusive words at the moment, if you do, probably the situation will escalate into physical violence. In this case, you may firmly but calmly ask your husband or wife to stop, and even if he doesn’t, it is better you simply walk away.

Seek support and advice

If you are regularly subjected to your partner’s verbal abuse, you are likely to lose perspective from your angle. Once you believe what he or she said, then you will automatically associate yourself with a variety of negative information, such as “stupid man”, “stupid woman”, “a bad father”, “a bad mother” and so on.

Before your take action to address the problem, you have to be aware of the part he said that is not real. Therefore you may confide in your relatives and close friends because they know you and love your self-esteem and confidence.

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In addition, you may also seek professional suggestions and solutions from others. People who are known to be experienced in handling cases of domestic violence and abuse such as marriage counsellors are more capable of confirming which things go beyond your arguments and offering valuable tips on how to make the relationship work.

Reconsider your options

As long as you are sure you still love him, you should try your best to end his constant abusive behaviour. You should give yourself enough time to consider, realistically and dispassionately yourself, your partner and the development of your marriage.

Only you know whether your relationship has broken down irretrievably or not. And no one like you knows him well enough to realize how likely he is willing to clean up his act for saving the marriage.

Demonstrate I-don’t-care attitude

Not just with words but with action, behaviour and every choice you make. When you show an abusive partner their opinion has zero sway and effect over you, that their tactics, control dramas, power dynamics, toxic gossip, loyalty conflict that they are busy creating, the perceptions they’re busy trying to manipulate and control, all the nonsense they got throwing out don’t bother you, you get them to lose their minds.

In any event, when you show them that you couldn’t care more and that you are completely unaffected, uninterested or bothered in any way, that gives a kind of shock and it blows their mind off a little or maybe a lot. Because the truth is they do not know what to do with that.

When you are busy living your life, better yet living a good life, really happy, productive, thriving, feeling good, doing well, minding your business and not caring a bit or being curious about him or her, it makes them lose their mind.

When all effort to manage an abusive relationship or managing fails

Though there are many other ways to handle an abusive partner aside from what we have stated above if all your efforts do not avail anything, leaving your spouse becomes the most powerful way to shut down your spouse’s verbal abuse, but probably you will have to do so.

In conclusion, remember marriage only exists on earth, not in heaven. That was why Jesus said there is no marriage in heaven. God will not judge you the outcome of your marriage on earth and society will wish you had left such marriage after you must have been killed an abusive partner. Thus, the best option remains to leave such an abusive relationship rather than manage or coping with such a relationship or marriage

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