Sometimes, after you are married, you start to discover things in your spouse that you either didn't know existed or ignored prior to the marriage. One of those things that can come out is bullying tactics. Often they were actually there before the marriage, but we just didn't really realize it before. Perhaps their bullying was in our defense rather than against us, or something else like that.
My first marriage was to a bully. When we first got married, he was a master at playing the victim, so I didn't realize what a bully he was until we had been married for some time. Before we got married, he had always come to my defense when anyone was not treating me well. To me, this meant true love.
After we had been married a few years, he was no longer defending me. His bullying tactics started to turn in my direction. He would use his sheer size to intimidate me into doing everything he wanted me to do. I started to lose who I was because of his intimidation and bullying. Occasionally, I would stand up to him, only to be put back in my place by his threats and intimidation. He bullied me right up to the end of the marriage, and even managed to bully me into giving up my children to him. It was only after I left him that I realized that all or most of his threats were empty threats, and I didn't have to be bullied for all those years.
The first thing that I should have remembered was to stand up for myself. If I had stood up for myself, I never would have allowed myself to be married to him for so many years, and I certainly would not have allowed myself to lose my children to him. If the bullying ever results in physical violence, get out and do not look back. You do not have to live in fear that if you displease him, he will either beat you or leave you without a way to take care of yourself.
As you tell others of your experience, you will often be told not to "play the victim." Stay strong, and let others know that you may have been a victim, but you are no longer a victim because you had the strength to remove yourself from the situation. You are only playing the victim if you allow yourself to continue to be in this situation.