What does domestic abuse look like?

(Trigger warning for verbal / psychological abuse)

I used to work in a pub in the suburbs. It served food and had ideas above its station, but it was basically a boozer serving an eclectic mix of people. Retired gentlemen, teenagers waiting for the bus to town, builders on long lunches. Anyone that lived in the area would drop in at some point. I was there full-time for a few months, long enough to outlast 2 managers and one crop of school leavers.

A woman in her late 30s started to work there part-time. She didn’t seem to need the money as much as something to do. Her husband was a regular in the pub and owned a business. They were a solid, respectable, upper-middle class and successful, married couple. To all appearances.

Late one night, a quiet one that might’ve been a weekday, the husband came in and sat with the cluster of regulars at their end of the bar. He went through a couple of pints quickly, no faster than the others, but he had a look about him. He tried to engage me in conversation, again nothing more than everyone else would do, but this wasn’t the usual “why are you stuck working here?” He waited until his wife came in from the other bar.
“How do you like working with [my wife]”
“Yeah, I like working with her. She’s a good laugh.”
“I bet you like it.”
“_”
Here he raised his voice so his wife and the other regulars could hear: “do you fancy her?”
“Eh?”
“I said do you fancy her?”
“_”
“You want to fuck her?”
I moved round to the other side of the bar to serve a customer and thought nothing more of it. Polite silence like any other time one of the regulars made a drunken arse out of himself.
The next day the two of us were on the morning shift with a couple of waiting staff. He came in again and asked for her. I went through to the back room and she was there, in tears talking to the duty manager. I can’t go back out there. He’s come. Why does he keep doing this. Why won;t he let me be.
I went out, embarassed. She left the job later that week.
It wasn’t until weeks later that I fully understood that what I’d seen wasn’t the aftermath of a “tiff” or “banter”. It was domestic abuse, long-running, insidious and unspoken. I thought that domestic abuse was, like in soap operas, an angry working class man lashing out at his family under stress and the influence of drink. Not the respectable businessman keeping his wife scared, nervous and insecure; undermining her whenever she seemed to make something of herself, no matter how minor. I don’t know if there was physical violence in the house, I think there was, though I never saw her come in bruised (again, soap opera stuff). And I don’t know how the story finished. I hope she left him before it was too late, but I moved on a few months later and the bar closed down a short time after that.
It was slow in coming, but I became (I hope) more alert to abusive dynamics in the relationships around me. I grew in confidence to call out shitty behaviour rather than maintaining a polite silence. I’m sure I still could do more now. But at the time, I said nothing. It didn’t look like the image of domestic abuse we see on TV. It doesn’t happen here, just like it doesn’t happen in multimillionaire households while dining out in Mayfair. Right?
Fuck you, Saatchi. I’m not buying it. Tory, plutocrat, ad-man and now wife-strangler.