How Do I Respond to Physical Abuse?

one sad woman sitting  near a  wall“Let me begin by saying that I cannot think of a circumstance in a marriage or family that could justify abuse of any kind —emotional, mental, physical, or sexual. Abusive behavior was never and can never be a part of God’s plan for a marriage or a family.

“For the sake of clarity, I’m going to limit this answer to physical abuse. And by this I mean assaulting, threatening, or restraining a person through force. It would include hitting, slapping, punching, beating, grabbing, shoving, biting, kicking, pulling hair, burning, using or threatening the use of weapons, blocking you from leaving a room or the house during an argument, driving recklessly, or intimidating you with threatening gestures…”

That’s the first few paragraphs of an article written by Dennis Rainey and Leslie Barner, posted on We recommend you read it by clicking onto the link web site link below:


If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

Filed under: Abuse in Marriage

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125 responses to “How Do I Respond to Physical Abuse?

  1. Hi, I’m going through the same thing with my husband. We were together 2 years before we got married. I used to be happy, whatever that is. Now, I regret marrying such a monster. He cheats on me, he beats me, he strangled me twice now. I’m afraid of divorce; I’m afraid of what he will do to me and my kids; he’s in a gang. I thought he was joking about that before we got married. Now, I regret ever setting eyes on him.

    He gets angry at me for everything. The first time he strangled me, I stupidly bailed him out of jail. The most recent attack was last night; he told me he would never lay hands on me again. I guessed wrong. He gets like this every time I bring up his problems and what he did to me before. He explodes with anger, says mean, and nasty hateful things to me. Calls me horrid names, which I can not repeat on this comment. I am terrified, I’m sitting in what used to be our bedroom scared out of my mind.

    I woke up this morning, I went to the bathroom and discovered I am urinating blood. I told him and all he can say is, “sorry”. Always on his phone, I say something about that, and it’s my fault. Everything is my fault. If you’re in a marriage or partnership, please I beg of you, don’t fall for the I’m sorrys I’ll never do it again. They will and you know it deep down in your heart; you know that they will hurt you again! Just leave!

    1. I’m not sure what you mean when you say you “disobey” your husband, so he hits you. Is this a father/child relationship where he gives the orders and you are the child who has to obey or you get spanked? How is this a marriage? Marriage makes you partners, not a child who has to obey her parent. Hitting a spouse is NEVER acceptable –whether it’s the husband hitting the wife or the wife hitting the husband. And the term “disobey” is also not an acceptable posture in a marriage. He isn’t your parent or master; he is your husband –someone who reflects the love of Christ to His bride.

      I can’t ever imagine accepting the posture of having my husband hit me because I “disobeyed.” There is no obeying or disobeying. There is talking and working problems out as “one.” In Ephesians 5 it says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and GAVE HIMSELF FOR HER, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives AS THEIR OWN BODIES; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but NOURISHES AND CHERISHES it, just as the Lord does the church.” That does not include hitting when the wife “disobeys” unless he hits himself.

      Also, in 1 Peter 3:8-9 we’re told, “Husbands, in the same way BE CONSIDERATE as you live with your wives, and TREAT THEM WITH RESPECT as the weaker partner and as HEIRS WITH YOU of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. DO NOT REPAY EVIL WITH EVIL OR INSULT WITH INSULT. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” There’s nothing in there about hitting for “disobeying.” You are both to work together to “cleave together as one” –not insult or assault one another.

      If my husband were hitting me because of what he thinks to be “disobedience” he would live alone, without me, until he recognized that he is not to hit me. I’m not his punching bag; I’m his wife and I expect to be treated with love and respect (just as I would give him love and respect). That is my humble, prayerful opinion.

  2. I have endured but I think I really need someone to talk to and someone to talk to him. The worst part is that he never apologizes. He never remorseful afterwards. I feel rejected, abandoned, alone, uncared for.

  3. My boyfriend hits me because I lie or because I don’t do things right. Is that ok? Is it my fault that he hits me?

    1. Maria, I believe you already know the answer to your questions. If someone came to you asking them what you asked, what would you say? If you had any intelligence what-so-ever (which I believe you do… no matter what your boyfriend may tell you), you would say NO. It is NEVER okay to hit (except for self defense purposes)… even if you lie (which you shouldn’t, but that’s another matter) or if you “don’t do things right.” You are not a child to be disciplined if you rebel; and he is not your father –a disciplinarian who is supposed to lovingly try to steer you in the “right” direction. He has absolutely no excuse for hitting you or abusing you in any way, no matter what he tells you. You are a grown up, and he is supposed to act like one if he is to be with anyone in any type of healthy relationship.

      Trust me when I say this, the situation you are in will only get worse as time goes on. He will promise you all kinds of things and/or try to justify his actions in different ways, but once a person starts to treat another person like a punching bag –especially someone they claim to love, things will only get progressively worse. Please read the following article (and the linked articles within it) for much needed insight:

      I hope for your sake and the sake of your future that you find a way to escape this madness –getting away from ANYONE who would treat you this inhumanely. I can’t even start to tell you all the times we hear of the same thing you are saying, only to see it keep progressing in getting worse and worse… sometimes even leading to permanent physical damage or death. You are NOT safe with this guy. Find a way to get away from him, and the sooner the better, before he claims you as his property in which, he will never let go. I pray for you Maria, and hope you will take what I am writing seriously. Your life may depend upon it.