Biblical Divorce for Abuse explained in a nutshell
Physical abuse, and indeed any pattern of power and control used by one spouse against the other, even if the conduct does not include physical abuse, is grounds for divorce.
Why? Because if a person is not willing to live as a spouse should live in a marriage — showing basic respect for their partner — if that person is violating their wedding vows by decidedly and repeatedly mistreating their partner, then they are in effect pushing the partner away: causing separation. The scripture which applies to this is 1 Corinthians 7:15 — If the unbelieving partner separates (i.e, if their evil-hearted attitude and conduct creates separation, effectively pushing their victim away) then the victim, and the church, are told to let it be so, let the separation be so. Don’t try to pretend it’s not happened. Don’t lay guilt on the victim. The victim of marital abuse is not enslaved — not obliged to remain married to the abuser, and not obliged to refrain from marrying another for the rest of their life (as the persons in 1 Cor. 7:10-11 were obliged). God has called us to peace. And there can be no peace with a spouse who abuses their partner by a chronic pattern of power and control exerted in numerous ways, often not even physical ways.
1 Corinthians 7:15 —
But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.
For Further Reading
The Bible Does Allow Divorce for Domestic Abuse – Guest post by Barbara Roberts at Restoredrelationships.org [Restoredrelationships.org is now restored-uk.org and the link has been updated to reflect the change. Editors.]