Your wife may be hitting you because she feels frustrated or angry. It is possible that she expresses her emotions physically instead of verbally, feels attacked, and has lived in an environment where violence was understood as a reasonable form of emotional expression.
Let’s explore some reasons why your wife hits you and things you can do to improve the situation.
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Here are potential reasons why your wife hits you and tips on how you can address the issue and hopefully resolve the problem.
1. Your Wife Hits You Because She Feels Frustrated or Angry
Assuming that your wife hits you during moments of conflict, it is likely that she feels angry or frustrated. It may be that she feels that her perspective is not being heard and is trying to get you to pay attention to what she is saying.
Additionally, she may struggle to express her emotions verbally and might be responding physically because she is unable to put her thoughts and feelings into words.
If your wife struggles with constructive communication, it may be valuable for her to speak to a licensed therapist or counselor who will be able to help her work on her communication challenges so that she is able to verbalize her feelings in a manner that is respectful and does not resort to violence.
2. Your Wife Hits You Because She Grew up With Violence
If your wife grew up in an environment where violence was prevalent, it might have caused her to become accustomed to violence.
If she witnessed her parents being verbally and physically abusive, she is likely to have picked up some of their habits, which she carried into your marriage.
Alternatively, she may have grown up in an area where violence was prevalent, be that in the form of gangsterism, alcoholism, or domestic abuse.
It is difficult to undo the damage she suffered witnessing these toxic behaviors. However, seeing a licensed psychologist or counselor may help her overcome her trauma and move forward with healthy coping mechanisms.
3. Your Wife Hits You Because of Her Fight or Flight Response
If your wife feels that she is being attacked in a verbal sense, she may take things personally if she is overly sensitive or the words you have used are harsh.
The way she receives your words during a heated moment may cause her to feel threatened, which may trigger her fight or flight response.
If she leans more to the fight response in instances of danger, this is likely the reason why she hits you during moments of conflict.
It is possible that in such an instance, her response is almost automatic because she feels the innate need to defend herself.
While this does not excuse her behavior, it may help you understand why she responds the way she does in situations of conflict.
From your side, you may want to consider finding ways to communicate with your wife during arguments that ensure that she knows she is not being attacked. Create a safe space for her to express her emotions without feeling she is under fire.
4. Your Wife Hits You Because She Has Been Physically Assaulted
If your wife was physically assaulted in the past, she might feel the need to defend herself because she was preyed on during instances of weakness in the past.
The fact that she was assaulted in the past may have brought about a sense of anger that caused her to be violent. She may be responding by hitting you out of frustration that she wishes she could channel towards the person who assaulted her.
5. Your Wife Hits You Because She Is Trying to Protect Herself
Generally, violence stems from a need to protect yourself. If your wife is hitting you, it is likely that something during your interaction has caused her to feel unsafe.
It is possible that she feels the need to hit you to protect herself. She may be hitting you first because she fears you might her and wants to set the tone of strength. Alternatively, she may be hitting you because she sees it as a way to repel you from touching her.
6. Your Wife Hits You to Manipulate You
If your wife displays narcissistic tendencies, she may be hitting you to manipulate you.
If she knows that you will never hit her back, she might use violence to get her way. She may have realized that it is not much you can do to retaliate when she hits you and uses violence to her advantage.
She may be using violence to get you to feel fearful of her or guilty for upsetting her, which leads to her getting what she wants. She may also hit you as a way to get you from discontinuing an argument because she struggles with conflict.
7. Your Wife Hits You Because She Was Abused in Her Previous Relationship
If your wife was in an abusive relationship before the two of you got married, it is likely that she has incurred some baggage from that relationship.
If her previous relationship was filled with abuse, it is possible that she felt rather helpless and weak in the relationship. She may have left the relationship feeling a lot of shame and disappointment for allowing herself to endure the treatment she experienced.
Her negative experiences in her previous relationship are likely to have traumatized her while also making her accustomed to violence.
She may be hitting you to try to protect herself because she never wants to feel helpless in the same way that she did in her previous relationship.
If you suspect this is why your wife hits you, consider reassuring her of the safety you want to provide for her and that you will never harm her.
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If your wife hits you, you are likely to feel emasculated and helpless. Apart from expressing your concerns to her, you may want to consider encouraging her to see a licensed therapist who will be able to assist her in getting to the root cause of her violence and help her find healthy ways to communicate her emotions.