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Spousal Killings… Signs You Must Not Ignore   
 
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05-Aug-2016  
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It is horrifying. It is shocking. It is dreadful. But despite society’s outrage at such dastardly acts, spousal murders or killings do not appear to going away anytime soon.

In fact, the records indicate that such reprehensible incidents are very much on the rise, and this is very worrying, to say the least.

According to a 2012 Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC) report, an average of two spousal murders took place every month.

What could motivate your own spouse to kill you? What could make him or her go against marital vows to “love you till death” and decide to end your life so prematurely and so brutally, regardless of the consequences?

Are there glaring warning signs? What must one do when those signs begin to show?

However concealed the motives of those who perpetrate these crimes are, psychologists believe that spouses often ignored the glaring warning signs that indicated that their spouses would kill them.

Clare Murphy, PhD, a psychologist and counsellor, in an article on the subject, says when a controlling man threatens suicide to manipulate his partner, these threats are grave --- not because he may kill himself necessarily, but because everyday shows such a man can go on to kill his partner and/or his children.

According to her, other men who make such threats say things like, “If you ever leave me, then I’m going to kill myself”, “I can’t live without you”, “If I can’t have you no-one can”, “Death before divorce”, or “You belong to me, no other”.

“Not only are these statements coercive – aimed at appealing to women’s sense of responsibility – but they should never be taken lightly. Too often these threats turn to reality. Threatening to commit suicide is a pointer, a red flag of grave concern much like when someone abuses an animal”, she stated. 

Causes of spousal murder 

Sharing his thoughts in an interview with Weekend Finder, Counsellor Adofoli says just as water has its their boiling point, so does everyone have their limit --- a limit to what the heart can and can’t take.

According to him, it takes a lot of effort for a lovely spouse to kill their partner. He emphasised that there are always causes for which people act in such dastardly manners.

“One could be because partners have become peacekeepers instead of peacemakers”, he said. 

 He explained that no matter how hurt they are, they prefer to remain silent. To some of these spouses, patience means keeping quiet even when it kills them. 

“To them, tolerance means accepting anything even when it hurts so badly. But the question is, how long can you go on with that? They contain this behaviour of their partners even though they are not happy with it, until they get to the boiling point and explode. This results in most of the killings of their spouses”.

He emphasised that each spouse has their needs, and once their partners take them for granted, it hurts them so much; it feels like rejection.

“It gets worse when they find out that the exact things they asked from their partners and were denied are the same things their partners are giving out or doing for other people, who don't deserve or qualify for them.

It really hurts to give the best of yourself to your spouse and watch them choose others over you, someone they are not even married to”.

These needs he said, could be sexual needs, attention, affection, among others such that spouses become aggressive when they realize that their partners are seen to be giving those little attention and love to others instead.

Another cause, he said, is lack of honesty and transparency. He explained that, “Each time couples are not honest to each other, it affects the relationship; it triggers issues of trust and openness. Assuming a spouse says to the other, ‘I am broke’ whilst the other works hard to meet the needs of the family, only to find out the broke one uses their monies secretly on other people or to finance other projects. This also hurts”.

He mentioned  insecurity as a major cause of spousal violence, such that when people have had a bad break-up and have not properly dealt with it, yet move on into marriage with someone else, they become so demanding, selfish, controlling and over-jealous. They end up making issues out of nothing, and this can trigger ugly problems in the marriage. 

He also mentioned substance abuse as a major contributing factor. Those who are addicted to these substances don’t hesitate to hurt their spouses when they are “high” or things have gone wrong in the marriage.

He, however, cautioned that singles going into marriage need to learn about conflict resolution in relationship before getting into marriage.

“We should be able to make our spouses our friends, so they open up on issues and talk about it. We should put our feet in each other’s shoe; talk about their fears, anger, etc; Learn to listen to each other’s hurt and never take them for granted. 

“Couples should know the difference between privacy and isolation. They should not isolate their relationship so much that no one can hear their screams in time of need”. 

He added that sometimes some spouses are really quiet and suffering in their marriages just because they are thinking of what people will say about them, and are just being careful about who to open up to; they really have a lot they wish to say.

“Couples should understand that counsellors are not the police you report issues to; but they are friends and professionals from whom you seek help in times of need. They should feel free and talk to counsellors, good ones, for help when they realise they can't solve the issues at home, before it’s too late. 

“Couples should understand that great marriages are between two servants serving each other’s needs, putting each other first. Great marriages have equality, each person’s needs matter. Great marriages have humility. The one who is first to apologise, say sorry or forgive the other is the stronger person and helps save the marriage”. 

Warning signs you could be killed 

Dr Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist and author of ‘Till Death Do Us Part: Love, Marriage and the Mind of the Killer Spouse’, outlines certain traits of a Potential Spouse Killer that partners can look out for.

 According to his list, spouses with  intense controlling behaviour ,explosive feelings of rage, difficulty forming intimate relationships, poor impulse control, inability to understand your feelings, absence of emotions like remorse and sympathy, intense feelings of victimisation and rejection. 

Other information gleaned by this paper on the subject indicates that a 2003 study by a team of international researchers, led by Jacquelyn Campbell, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and published in the National Institute of Justice Journal compared two groups of battered women. 

One group included 220 who had been killed by their partners; the other group included 343 who had been abused, but not killed.

What the researchers pinpointed out was that where a history of domestic violence exists, certain other factors vastly increase the likelihood that a victim will be killed.

Battered women who have been threatened or assaulted with a gun even once are 20 times as likely than other battered women to be murdered. Those who have been choked are 10 times more likely to be killed.

Other factors that can increase a victim's risk are substance abuse, unemployment, depression, any kind of estrangement, and the presence of a stepchild. 
 
 
Source: The Finder
 
 

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