Marriage is for better or worse and, unfortunately, some spouses experience more of the “worse” than others do. Physical abuse should not be part of any relationship, yet one in four women and one in ten men experience domestic violence. Emotional abuse may be even more prevalent and is typically more difficult to detect. Spouses who are victims of abuse should take action before it is too late.
Physical abuse takes many forms including hitting, rape, and throwing objects. Emotional abuse involves shaming, intimidation, and guilt but may also consist of controlling behavior such as being charming in order to reinforce an emotional bond and turning the tables by claiming to be the real victim. In its emotional form, abuse is usually more covert, making it difficult for the victim to realize what is happening.
Both physical and emotional abuse can have detrimental psychological effects and emotional abuse can lead to the physical form. To prevent the worst possible outcome, both types of abuse should be dealt with as soon as possible. “Dealing” does not involve trying to get a spouse to change because no one changes unless he or she wants to. Dealing entails getting out of the relationship so the abuser can no longer inflict harm.
With self-confidence at an all-time low and coping skills depleted, a victim may feel unable to divorce an abusive spouse. Fortunately, professional help is available from counselors and attorneys. Family and friends are usually eager to pitch in to provide shoulders to cry on and safe places to stay. An abuser tends to become more abusive when the victim leaves so law enforcement may need to be involved at some point.
Family law attorneys specialize in contested divorce help and many handle cases involving spousal abuse. Sitting down with one of these lawyers to explain the situation and learn how to get out of it without losing marital assets puts the victim in control. A sense of relief usually sets in after filing the divorce papers and within a short time, the former victim may begin feeling better.
It is never easy to divorce an abusive spouse but having a family lawyer in one’s corner reduces stress and fear. Making a clean break is the best way to get out of the relationship for good and begin getting life back to normal. Avoiding abusive relationships in the future allows the individual to live a happy and healthy life.