21 Forms of Abuse

We highly encourage each husband to go through this listing and be honest about what they have done in the past to bring upon hurt to their wife. AND it is important that the wife go through this list and provide an example of how he has hurt her to help spur on the memory of the husband — sometimes they are clueless and don’t even realize that what they have done that has caused hurt.

There are 21 areas of abuse and only one of them is physical.

ABUSE WHEEL (per Paul Hegstrom – Angry Men & The Woman Who Love Them)


[read the book to find out why this is focused on the husband as abuser rather than the wife]

Every relationship has its ups and down, and no marriage is completely free of conflict. But how do we know when normal conflict has crossed the line into dysfunction? Typically, an abusive partner will attempt significant control by exercising one or more of the following behaviors.? (JUST being guilty of ONE part in a category below qualifies it as an abuse, and therefore the husband, an abuser. Period. — Side note: many abusers are guilty of about six categories, some fewer, some many more)


Pgs 22-39

1. Physical: exhibited by beating, biting, choking, grabbing, hitting, kicking, pinching, pulling hair, punching, pushing, restraining, scratching, shaking, shoving, slapping, excessive tickling, twisting arms, using weapons, spanking, smothering, tripping


2. Male Privilege: Treats victim like a servant, makes all of the decisions, acts like Master of the Castle


3. Knowledge Abuse: get therapy, goes to seminary, uses self-help books then comes back and abuses with the knowledge he has but doesnt take responsibility for personal behaviors


4. Sexual Abuse: demands unwanted or bizarre sexual acts; physical attacks to sexual parts of the body; treats her as a sex object; interrupts sleep for sex; forces sex; exhibits extreme jealousy

(side note: Jesus said that a man who lusts after another woman has committed adultery in his heart already)


5. Humiliation: hostile humor; publicly criticizes; degrades her appearance, her parenting skills, her housekeeping, cooking, etc; forces her to eat foods she doesnt like


6. Responsibility Abuse: makes victim responsible for everything in life, ie bills, parenting, etc


7. Medical Abuse: hurts her and does not allow her to receive medical treatment, does not allow her to receive medical treatment for normal health issues.


8. Religious Abuse: uses Scripture and words like submission and obey to abuse; spiritual language


9. Using Children: uses the children to give messages; uses visitation rights to harass; uses child support as leverage


10. Isolation: controls what is done, who is seen, who is talked to, limits or listens in on phone calls; sabotages car; restricts outside interests; insists on moving frequently; requires her to stay in the house; restricts access to the mail; deprives her of friends


11. Power: denies basic rights; uses the law to enforce his power; deprives her of a private or personal life; mandates duties; controls everything; i.e. the amount of bath water she uses


12. Stalking: spies on her, follows her to activities, i.e. store, church, work, etc Displays extreme distrust and jealousy


13. Emotional Abuse: puts her down; calls her names, plays mind games; commits mental coercion; exhibits extreme controlling behaviors; withholds affection; causes her to lose her identity


14. Threats: threatens to end the relationship; threatens to emotionally or physically harm her; threatens her life; threatens to take the children, commit suicide, report her to authorities; forces her to break the law


15. Economic Abuse: puts restriction on her employment; makes her ask for money; gives her an allowance and takes the money she earns; requires her to account for every penny she spends


16. Financial Abuse: ruins her credit; puts cars, house, recreational equipment, and/or property in his name; spends her money, uses her credit or savings to make her dependent on him


17. Intimidation; uses looks, actions, gestures, and voice to cause fear; argues continuously; demands that victim says what he wants to hear


18. Property Violence: punches walls, destroys property, breaks down doors, pounds tables, abuses pets, etc


19. Verbal Abuse: curses, accuses, name-calls, uses past to control and manipulate, commits mental blackmail, makes unreasonable demands


20. Silence: uses silence as a weapon; does not communicate; does not express emotion (much explanation of the Silent Knight is given in Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them because this is such a hurtful yet ignored abuse)


21. Jealousy: uses jealousy as a sign of love, controls what wife does, who they see, or who they talk to; controls when/where their wife goes, refuses to let wife participate in activities outside the house, drops in just to watch, isolates wife from friends and family, is possessive of partner in every area of life



(Each abuse is described more fully in the book Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them)

Paul Hegstrom says, Where one is teachable, these behaviors are fixable.

Obviously, Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them goes further in depth, answering the above questions and MUCH MORE to help the victim primarily AND the abuser (who also suffers with arrested development from childhood) so that the abuse will end. We highly recommend this book.

The truly fascinating thing is that the husband will become healed of his hurts AFTER/AS he lays down his life repeatedly for his wife, focusing on healing the hurts SHE has — this is a miracle in agape-love action.