The first time your spouse says nasty things, you let it pass and give them another chance. Your spouse does it again but you shout back. Hours later, they utter the dreaded five letter word, sorry and force you to forgive their mistake. From this point on, this cycle will repeat. Your spouse will continue to insult, taunt and yell during various arguments and your marriage will enter a new territory, a space called abuse.

Abuse is like the many headed monster that becomes difficult to kill. In most marriages/relationships, its amoebic stage is difficult to identify. But know this- if your spouse continuously shouts at you, doesn’t give you enough space or tries to control your movements then you’re in a marriage that’s emotionally abusive. One Imgur user, KrissyKross, shared her experience of an abusive marriage by posting a series of text messages her husband sent.

In her post, KrissyKross says that her husband became abusive after she lost weight and got a job. He believed that she lost weight in order to attract other men. He forced her to send pictures of herself at her mom’s apartment and on her 23rd birthday, he hit her face to the floor and went to work later.

Years later, she got a divorce, moved out with her pets, found another job and seems to be happy. In her post, her new sense of freedom is tinged with a layer of anxiety from her abusive marriage but nevertheless, she says that she’s proud of everything she’s achieved so far.  

Emotionally abusive marriages in India and around the world are one too many. Unfortunately, the abused stay on in these relationships for reasons that range from fear, financial dependency, shame and cultural stigma but never out of love. If you've been abused and you've convinced yourself that your partner's few insults are just a part of life then consider this: a loving partner will never think to insult you in order to get the point across. Most emotional abusers engage in this toxic, violent behaviour and put the blame on the other person, even if the abused is in the right. Perhaps the abusers will change; perhaps not, but if you're on the receiving end of it then maybe its time to put your safety first.