Psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig describes in his book, Till Death Do Us Part: Love, Marriage, and the Mind of the Killer Spouse, a list of traits to beware of in a spouse or potential partner. Ludwig suggests in his book that very rarely does a spouse “just snap” and kill his or her partner. Despite how unaware the victim might be, it’s only due to becoming comfortable or used to certain behaviors or traits that a partner would not notice the signs of danger or threat.
The following traits are not going to indicate definitively that your spouse will hurt you or even indicate that your spouse is necessarily an abusive person. These traits would need to be repeated and not a one-time occurrence that you would consider “out of character” for your spouse. If you’re concerned about the behavior of your spouse or the spouse of a loved one, take the following traits into consideration:
- Intense controlling behavior
- Explosive feelings of rage
- Difficulty forming intimate relationships
- Poor impulse control
- Inability to understand your feelings
- Absence of emotions like remorse or sympathy
- Searches out easy pleasure (i.e., thrill seeker)
- Intense feelings of victimization and rejection
- Devalues human life
- Pathologically idealizes partner
Homicides occur between heterosexual and same-sex partners, with both men and women as victims. Women are 5-10 times more likely to be murdered by a husband than vice versa. If you see the traits above in your spouse and you realize that this abusive behavior isn’t getting better, you should consider seeking help and prepare to separate yourself from your spouse. Unfortunately, the primary cause of death in pregnant women is homicide by the fathers of their children. Be cautious when leaving your partner, as often homicides occur at the onset of a breakup or even after the breakup has occurred. This is why it’s important to seek protection and support when leaving an abusive partner. Statistics reveal that up to 4 women are killed every day by an intimate partner in the United States. Most partners will display at least one of the traits listed above. Do not ignore your gut instinct when it tells you that your partner is a threat to your life or the lives of others. The sooner you disentangle yourself from the toxic relationship, the better.