Domestic violence can and probably should screw up a marriage. First and foremost, physically abusing your partner is a crime. However, these crimes are rarely exposed compared to other violent crimes because they mostly occur behind closed doors. Abusive relationships are draining, cause terrifying problems for any partnership, and may lead to deep-rooted and long term issues for the individuals involved. People experience domestic violence in many ways. For some couples, abusive behavior can start with emotional abuse that leads to physical harm. Psychological, sexual, and other types of physical abuse are toxic, and should be addressed immediately. The cycle of abuse may appear impossible to escape for the victim, further leading an unhealthy marriage down a darker path.
One of the many ways domestic violence will threaten a marriage is through isolation. Abusers force their partner into isolation through controlling behaviors, which weakens the network of support that the victim can lean on for help. If an individual is cut off from their close friends and family, it is that much harder for the person to seek help or leave the relationship. This aspect of the cycle of abuse is detrimental to any partnership.
When children are near domestic violence, the harmful effects will produce even further damage. Kids who grow up in abusive households, whether they are the victims or witnesses of violence, can carry those memories throughout their lives. They might even carry these behaviors into their own relationships as they grow up. Children who witness domestic violence may be caught in between loyalty and fear, causing even more harm to the family unit.
Marriages will fall apart when there is no trust among partners. Domestic violence is the ultimate violation of trust, even when it doesn’t appear to be from the victim’s eyes. People may trick themselves into believing that they have faith in their partner’s ability to never abuse them again. They also might not trust themselves to leave their partner and become financially independent.
The world outside of an abusive partnership can look bleak from the inside. It’s critical for victims of domestic violence to seek expert help as soon as possible or else the consequences could be more detrimental than a divorce.