Wife with drunk husband

Subtle Ways Husbands Abuse Their Wives

My career as a Christian counselor has put me in the path of hundreds of couple who were struggling in their relationship for one reason or another. Many of those couples are sincerely prepared to do whatever they can individually to help heal, reconcile, or revitalize their relationship. But totally inconspicuous to their friends, family, and coworkers, there are countless subtle ways husbands abuse their wives.

There is another entire subset of couples who look nothing like that. The wife is at her wit’s end with the way her husband has treated her for the past five, ten, twenty, thirty, fourty years. They pretend they have a “Christian” marriage, at least when with others, yet have a toxic, shaming relationship behind closed doors.

Why would a woman stay with a toxic husband for so long?

Women will remain in this type of marriage for various reasons, even if it has cost them everything and everyone that matters to them. In our office, we have counseled an alarmingly large number of women who have lived this nightmare, yet believe there’s no way our.

  • The Bible says a good Christian wife should always “submit to her husband.”
  • The wife believes she wouldn’t be able to survive on her own without her husband.
  • The husband has “gaslighted” the wife to the point where everything has become her fault.
  • The wife fears what the husband might do to her if she were to leave him.
  • And there are countless other ways women justify not taking care of what’s best for them.

Emotional and verbal abuse are more detrimental than physical abuse

Experience has made me almost an expert on the ways that husbands abuse their wives. I’m going to share these as if they were case studies, omitting any names or information that might breech confidentiality.

Case 1

The husband was emotionally, verbally, and physically abused as a child by his father. Unwittingly, the husband became his father’s greater defender, enabler, and rescuer — for years and years. The time came when this husband took over the company, but it remained owned by the father. Now, as an adult, married with teenage children, the husband walked on eggshells — every move, every decision, every hour worked — in hopes of not triggering his father’s rage He worked long hours, The only way he had learned to cope with this pressure was through excessive drinking, and being emotionally abusive, yet emotionally unavailable to his wife and kids.

I became involved as the counselor of this husband and wife for several months, honeslty without much progress of any kind. It became more and more evident to me that the wife had no intention of doing anything different or leaving her husband. She just passionately hope and prayed that God – and the Christian counselor – could somehow changer her husband.

Long story short, this husband would yell at his wife for little to no reason. He would stonewall her for days or even weeks at a time. Sometimes he would come home drunk and beligerent to the point he would drive while drunk, enter the home out of control, damaging property and making idle threats. He would spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on his secret gambling habit and on escorts when out of town for business.

At the end of my counseling relationship with this family, this wife continue to defend her husband, and reassure me that she loved him and would continue to love him as she had promised him in their wedding vows nearly twenty years earlier.


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