For the Spouse Abuser: Breaking The Cycle

Abuser grieving sexual past violence AdobeStock_100073926 copyIf you are abusing your spouse and you want to stop and break this cycle of violence, this article is for you. It is the beginning of a journey to emotional health for you and for your spouse.

We don’t have all the answers, for use. But we can point you to some good resources. After that, it is up to you to take the first step in grabbing onto all the help that is extended for your use. And then the next step is to prayerfully glean through and apply what you learn.

We pray strength and resolve for you as you work to break free so you are no longer a spouse abuser. May you grow to be one who extends love and grace, rather than pushing violence of any kind onto your marriage partner!

For the Spouse Abuser

Please know that much of the advice that is presented will be addressed to the abusing husband. Other resources address the abusing wife. Few address both. That’s the way they are written. But the truth of it will hold true whether you are a spouse abuser husband or you are a spouse abusing wife. And yes, we’ve seen it go both ways. Sometimes it is one; other times it is the other; and then there are times when it can be both.

I encourage you to prayerfully read (or listen to) the following. If the article (or radio program) addresses a different gender than you, just flip the pronouns accordingly to fit your situation. We can’t change who the author addressed within each resource. But you can. Change the pronouns to fit, and then glean to use what is helpful. The info is still very viable, and good. Don’t get hung up on pronouns and particulars. Glean and apply whatever you can to your situation.

For the Spouse Abuser

First, the following questions, written by Don Stewart can be helpful to ask no matter what gender is the abuser.

“During the October 21, 2005 “FamilyLife Today” broadcast series, on ‘Finding Refuge: Escaping the Cycle of Domestic Abuse,’ [which you can listen to or read through the link provided] guest, Don Stewart encouraged all men to take these questions home to discuss them with their wives. Allow your wife the freedom to answer truthfully. [If you are a wife who is the spouse abuser, you should do the same]:

• Are you or the children afraid of me?
• Do you feel safe enough to tell me how you feel about our relationship?


• Am I controlling you or suffocating you with my demands and expectations?

“If your wife answers ‘yes’ to any one of these questions, though you may not have physically abused her, you may be abusing your position in your home.”

And then below is an article with a few more questions that can be important to ask yourself.

If you are in an abusive relationship and you are the abusive partner, realizing and admitting the truth can be the hardest, yet bravest step forward. If you want to stop being an abusive person, here’s what you need to know:


Addressing the Abuser Spouse:

You want to change, but you haven’t been able to up to this point. The following resources may very well help you.

Below you will find several videos that address this marriage abuse issue. There is NOT much info out there for the abuser—to help him/her stop abusing. But we found some; so here goes:

The first is from Right Now Media. Joel was a pastor’s kid that handled anger in horrible ways. But he gives hope to those who don’t know if they can ever change. View:

• An Abusive Husband’s Journey to Christ

Next, Austin James talks about his journey to break his pattern of being an abuser spouse. We encourage you to watch:

And then Austin gives even more info in this next video. FYI: You can see additional videos he has posted on You Tube. It’s definitely worth your time to do so! Please watch:

More Info for the Abusing Spouse:

Here’s a little additional info about Austin James (featured in the above videos):

My name is Austin James: best-selling author, former, 30-year abuser, and now – coach/mentor to those looking to escape from their own abusive lifestyle.

Ten years post-recovery (and healed) from my previous lifestyle, my mission is to share my experiences and knowledge of what I learned as I transitioned from a broken, child-like, monster to a healed, well-balanced man.

The information I share is useful for both the abused and the abuser looking to change their behavior. I offer real insight, healing and hope. This is from someone who’s “been there done that!” I’m here to say—there is hope!

And there is!

Here is a link so you can look through the info for Austin’s book, and possibly obtain it:

• Emotional Abuse: Silent Killer of Marriage – A 30-Year Abuser Speaks Out


As an additional resource, here’s a book written by Dr Paul Hegstrom. Paul was also an abuser. He mentally and physically abused his wife. Dr Hegstrom describes his journey from being an abuser to victory. He talks about “re-wiring” your thinking to help you to change your behavior.

Like Dr Hegstrom, you may have said, “I will never hurt my spouse again. I am not that person and I will not allow myself to be violent like that again.” And yet you find yourself falling into the same abusing pattern repeatedly. You regret your actions, and yet you don’t seem to know how to stop doing what you most horribly regret later.

For that reason, we encourage you to read:

Broken Children, Grown-Up Pain (Revised): Understanding the Effects of Your Wounded Past


To attempt to give you as much help as possible, we came upon some additional information from a (non-Christian) credible source that you may want to explore as well. Dr Steven Stosny has done a lot of work with abusers. He also works with those who are victims of abuse.

A lot of his work deals with re-wiring a person’s thinking and behavior —especially when it comes to anger and control issues. The following are links to several articles you’ll find enlightening to read:

ANGER IN THE AGE OF ENTITLEMENT: Cleaning up Emotional Pollution


Here are some additional articles for the spouse abuser to read. (Again, these are secular articles, but they are good ones… Glean accordingly.):



Above all, work with the Lord to:

Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. And put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.(Ephesians 4:22-24)

We hope this information will help you to release from the bonds holding you back from stopping your abusive behavior. We’re talking about the bonds of acting out in ways that you want most to stop. Plus, we pray you are able to find the help you need so you are no longer victimizing those around you. May you be able to break free, as Austin James did, and Paul Hegstrom! 

If you have additional information you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.

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Filed under: Abuse in Marriage

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One response to “For the Spouse Abuser: Breaking The Cycle

  1. (UNITED STATES)  I read this and realized this is me to a tee. I have issues with anger and have not turned to God about it, until now. I am a new believer in Christ and I am trying to undo 30+ years of bad choices all at once and I have not asked God for help until now.