Signs a man is abused in a marriage

Updated March 18, 2017

Most people tend to associate abuse in a marriage with battered women. However, marriage abuse is in no way limited to husbands abusing wives. In fact, abuse against men is a relatively common (yet unfortunate) situation, especially in the case of emotional abuse. Be aware of key signs that a man is being abused by his wife.


One severe sign that is linked to abuse of husbands in marriage is psychological trauma. When men feel trapped in unions with wives that are excessively controlling and bullying, they can experience depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and even thoughts of suicide.


Abuse against a husband often takes the form of violent threats. If during heated arguments, a wife threatens her husband's life or well-being, he may be being abused. Some examples include statements such as "I'm going to shoot you" or "You deserve to be shoved down the staircase right now."


Belittling behaviours are also indicative of emotional abuse within a marriage. If a wife goes out of her way to try to make her husband feel worthless and humiliate him, then she is abusing him. This can include insults directed at his physical appearance ("You are fat and lazy") or the amount of money that he makes.


If a wife attempts to isolate her husband and keep him from having his own productive life and career, then she is abusing him. When a husband feels like he has to get "permission" to see family members or friends, his wife is abusing him by exerting unhealthy control over him.

Substance Abuse

Another telltale signal of emotional abuse in a marriage revolves around use of drugs and alcohol. If a wife is an "angry drunk" who flies into a rage when she is under the influence, she is engaging in some seriously abusive behaviour. When someone is on drugs or alcohol and begins to lash out, the behaviour is very abusive and potentially even dangerous.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is never acceptable under any circumstances. It doesn't matter if a wife weighs half of what her husband does---she should not lay a hand on him (and vice versa). Any violent physical contact constitutes abuse, including throwing of items (large or small), slapping, hitting, kicking, punching, biting and choking. At the first sign of physical abuse, a man needs to immediately contact the police for the sake of his personal safety.

Ups and Downs

If a marriage is full of ups and downs in which the wife switches from sweet and loving behaviour to extremely angry or violent behaviours, that is a sign of abuse. If a husband is unable to predict his wife's behaviour (in a frightening way), he is being abused. In these situations, a wife might attempt to draw her partner back in by displaying "tender" behaviours, only to confuse him again with unpredictable rage and anger outbursts.

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About the Author

Lars Tramilton has been writing professionally since 2007. His work has appeared in a variety of online publications, including CareerWorkstation. Tramilton received a bachelor's degree with a focus on elementary education from Kean University.