How Do I Stop Verbal Abuse?

The answer to “How Do I Stop Verbal Abuse?” is…drum roll, please…You can’t! I wish that you could control how another person speaks and how they act. But you can’t.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever asked your verbally abusive husband or boyfriend to speak to you in a nicer way. Raise your hand if you’ve tearfully begged your verbally abusive wife to be kinder to you. Wow. That’s a lot of hands.

Did it work? No. At least not forever. The next time your abuser felt turmoil, s/he used their anger or sly verbal manipulations to bring you down again because you cannot stop verbal abuse.

Why You Cannot Stop Verbal Abuse

So, you want to know how to stop verbal abuse? I will give you an answer, but you're probably not going to like it. Read on for your answers.Verbal abusers gain control and they benefit from abusing you. By abusing you, they feel more in control of your thoughts, emotions, and actions. When the abuser infiltrates your every thought, you’re more likely to do things and say things the abuser implanted in your mind. By controlling you, he or she gains more control over his or her life, too.

Your abuser knows that after verbally abusing you, you will react in predictable ways. You may cry, you may yell, but after awhile, you go back to them with an open heart, begging for them to love you. And every time you beg to be worthy of your abuser’s love, they get a self-esteem kick out of it.

Even if they are the ones begging you to love them again, they see your agreement as a win. The abuser does not compromise, even if he or she pretends to do so. Every conversation you have is either a win or loss for the abuser. And the abuser hates to lose. Therefore, your abuser will drone on and on and on until they feel like they’ve won. And the thrill of getting you back or winning the conversation is enough to keep them coming back for more.

Your desire for them to love you makes them feel important and in control. When you tell your abuser how you feel, or how you want things to be, or how much you love them, you give your abuser ammunition. By opening your heart to your abuser, s/he gains a little more insight into what makes you tick. When you open up, your abuser learns new ways to hurt you, and then files the information away for the next time s/he feels out of control and needs you to react in a predictable way so they can feel at peace and in control.

You can’t stop verbal abuse. You can’t stop your abuser from abusing you. They are too invested in you to ever stop abusing you. Your reactions to their abuse makes you an invaluable asset; an asset they do not want to abandon because they do not know how to feel good about themselves without you feeling badly.

More Bad News About Why You Can’t Stop Verbal Abuse

Here’s the next bit of bad news. You can’t teach them how to feel good about themselves in any “normal” way.

It doesn’t matter to them if you are the most successful psychologist in America whose focus is on healing families suffering from verbal abuse. It doesn’t matter to them how many other people think you are right or knowledgeable or deserve better treatment than the crap your abuser dishes out. You cannot teach an abuser to think differently because you are the target. The abuser’s self-proclaimed job is to make you less than who you are so they feel better about themselves. Period.So, you want to know how to stop verbal abuse? I will give you an answer, but you're probably not going to like it. Read on for your answers.

You Can’t Stop Verbal Abuse Because You Are Only A Target

Riflemen and bow hunters learn to hone their skill to hit the bullseye each and every time from the target they use for practice. An abuser learns how to hit you more accurately the next time – how to hit you verbally, emotionally, mentally or physically with greater effect – because you are the target he or she uses for practice.

The only thing you can do to stop the verbal abuse is to remove yourself from it. You must at the very least become a moving target. You can do that in several different ways. Some of you are not ready to physically leave your abuser, and that is okay.

Honestly, you may never leave your abuser. You may choose to stay in your abusive relationship for any number of reasons; I stayed in my abusive marriage for just shy of 18 years. If you choose to stay - it is a choice, believe it or not – there are still things you can do to help preserve your sanity.

The next blogs I write will present options to you. For now, try to digest the fact that you cannot stop physical, mental, emotional or verbal abuse from happening to you. The only thing you can do is change how you react to it.

Help for Verbal Abuse: You Have To Reach Out For It (Part 2)
Learn About Verbal Abuse So You Can Stop It (Part 3)
Set Personal Boundaries To Increase Self-Reliance (Part 4)
Develop An Exit Strategy And Safety Plan (Part 5)
The Signs of Verbal Abuse (Part 6)

You can find Kellie Jo Holly on her website, Amazon Authors, Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

*Both women and men could be abusers or victims, so do not take my pronoun choices as an implication that one gender abuses and the other is victimized.

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95 Responses to How Do I Stop Verbal Abuse?

  1. Angie B says:

    Yes there is hope as long as you face the facts. FACT: As long as you stay in an abusive relationship the chances are you will continue being the victim over and over again with each time being just that much worse than the last. FACT: Staying in an abusive relationship sends a clear signal to your abuser telling them that you are staying because you accept the abuse. FACT: The abuser will pay no real attention to you telling them to stop the abuse, why, because you staying tells them otherwise. FACT: While there may be periods of calm in the abusers behavior do not be under any illusion that all is well because it is not, the abuser is simply recharging while analysing the situation so as to decide their next form of abuse. FACT: Abusers need their rest just as we all do but the difference between the abuser and their victim is that once the abuser has rested their aim is to make sure they are still in control of their victim and the only way they can do this is by topping up the abuse, when the victim is rested they will continue with their never-ending need to fix the unfixable and paper over the cracks. FACT: Your abuser abuses you because he lacks control over his own life and controlling your life makes him feel powerful. FACT: Your abuser can only continue to abuse you if you allow the abuse to continue. FACT: Only you can stop yourself from being abused so take control of your life before the abuse ends your life. FACT: Verbal abuse can drive a person to isolation, mental breakdown and even suicide so Get Out and Get Help. There is plenty of help and support out there and it’s not difficult to find so please do this for yourself…… leave your abuser and don’t look back. You deserve to be treated with respect, you are worthy of respect, and your life is precious so live your life without abuse.
    Much respect
    Angie B

  2. Pam says:

    I do believe people can change if they want.I am verbally abused daily,I’m beat down mentally,I’m at the end,I’d rather b homeless and have my dignity, I’ve left before and. Worse now than ever,I believe God has a plan for my happiness,and it’s not with him,GOD BLESS YOU ALL,NOBODY DESERVES ABUSE.

  3. Angie B says:

    Yes of-course there will always be those abusers who do change for the better just as there will always be two sides to any coin however the abusers who want to change are not the problem, the problem lies with those who continue to verbally abuse and those who allow themselves to continue being abused.
    In my view – and I’ve given this subject a great deal of thought over the years and through my own abusive relationships so trust me when I say I know what I’m talking about – To solve any problem means looking at the mechanics of the problem, understanding the problem, and making sure you look at the problem with a calm and rational view because if you look at your problem in a state of virtual panic you will only succeed in reaching a wrong conclusion. I know this may at times be difficult for some victims suffering with abuse but with patience and perseverance you can do this. It may be that you need to have a positive affirmation to hand so you can remind yourself, say it and believe it. “There is absolutely no way anyone deserves to be abused, no matter what”, ” I deserve better, I deserve respect, I am precious and I owe it to myself to be good to myself and good for myself”.
    Being and staying stuck in abuse is a state of mind and body in conflict, you deserve better and you owe it to yourself to have better. Understand that your abuser is the root of the conflict going on in your head because your abuser has conditioned you into believing you are powerless against their abuse, don’t believe it, it’s complete and utter bull****. Get shot of the abuser and I think you will find that the problem is 90% resolved but remember you must make sure you have your safe plan of action in place before taking that final step to leave the abuse behind. Put a time limit on it if it helps, do everything you can no matter how small to ensure your safe exit from abuse.
    For the moment at least you need not concern yourself with the abusers who want to change or feel that they need to change, you just have to let them make the change for themselves and allow them to go at their own pace. What you need to concern yourself with is focusing on yourself and your own situation. Stop focusing on your abuser and get to know yourself better because with understanding comes answers and with answers comes new beginnings. Understand that the verbal abuse you have been subjected to has caused you to feel confused, let’s face it who wouldn’t be confused after taking repeated verbal poundings to the head!! Snap-out-of-it come to terms with who you are and with why you are allowing someone to abuse you!! Understand yourself and understand your situation, then and only then can you make a sound decision on if and when you leave your abuser behind.
    In my view when I hear you say you would rather be homeless I feel sad because you say being homeless would somehow give you dignity! how so? Choosing to leave and become homeless may well remove you from the abusers reach but homelessness will only present you with a different set of horrifying experiences and I’m sure that if you think about it rationally you would be telling yourself that homelessness is not the right way out. You need to plan your exit properly and that means having somewhere safe to go to, having someone supportive to talk to, and most all being strong enough to resist the return pull. You have to plan your exit, stay strong and keep moving forward until you reach your planned destination, it’s called having a goal. God may have a plan for your happiness but it is you who has to do the leg-work so don’t just sit and wait, get up and get on with what you need to do to reach that happier place.
    Much Respect
    Angie B

  4. I need. Help. My husband is a register sex offender. He very mean. He talks so bad and nasty to me daily. I think of ways to kill him where. I can get away with it he comes. From a rape. Family. . . Mother had him bye her sister husband. I just. Need. Help PLS I can’t. Focus. I can’t. Get up daily to do anything post I’ve. For . Me. I need help. I want out. Pls. Help

  5. Yvette, if you’re thinking of killing him, you’re thinking of ending your life as you know it. You wouldn’t deserve prison, but that’s what you would get. It’s much better to leave him in the dust. Remember, you’ve made the homicidal thoughts public now. If something were to happen to him, eventually this post would be found and there would be a case against you. There is no way to get away with murder in the long run.

    Visit and talk to the volunteers there. They can help you find resources in your local area. Getting away, with both of you alive, is the best option.

  6. Julianne says:

    Very sad every day all day.

  7. Cherry says:

    My daughter was in a verbally abusive relationship. She ended it but has a baby with the guy. They meet publicly to do the hand over but he is so abusive with his language to her. My daughters 2 year old can hear all this too. We have no idea how to deal with this. Any ideas please… The police are not interested

  8. Your daughter doesn’t need to be there for him to receive the baby. You, or one of her friends, or a person from church (even if you don’t go to church, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a volunteer), or ANYONE else you can think of.

    You can’t make him stop abusing her. Verbal abuse falls under “free speech,” and the police CAN’T do anything about it.

  9. linda says:

    5 weeks ago I left my verbally abusive husband after 28 years….I am still away from him, renting a little place which I love…we had everything: good jobs, our own home, no debt , money in the bank….and so what? he drinks to excess, uses dope to help him sleep for shift work and has now spiralled back into the verbally abusive behaviour that I thought had pretty much resolved itself. I reflect back on the 28 years, some of which were absolutely hideous…most people I know have no idea what was going on and the things that have happened…I have organised to see him to talk about how things could possibly change…but I know one thing for sure: if he continues to deny his behaviour and will not seek professional help…I will not return to our home…I have had to face the fact that it will then be over…but for now, every day, I get stronger, happier, more peaceful…and I know I deserve to feel all those things that have escaped me for so so long….I can’t believe how many stories I hear that are exactly the same as mine….I finally realise I am truly not alone……bless you all.

  10. Good for you, Linda! It’s amazing how your perspective changes when you get out of the day to day abuse, isn’t it? I’m happy for you.

  11. Confused says:

    I’ve been married since 2008. I met him at church. Boy was I in for a surprise. Well that and a lot of pain. Mental and emotional pain. He cusses at me when I ask questions regarding why he came home so late (3am-is) he says he’s at church with the brothers cleaning painting etc. but the wards he calls me (fat, stupid, slut etc..) make me suspicious of him. So he also has no physical boundaries to women’s personal space. He sometimes stands so close to certain church sisters that their bodies touch side by side for more than 2 minutes. He reaches over to squeeze the cheeks of a child held by her mother while his arms brushes against the mothers breast as he’s standing very closely to her. He goes to a table of female teenagers (16-19year old) and takes their book they are reading, then reads some out loud and puts it back brushing his arm and hand against the oldest one while standing closely behind her. When I mention this he attacks me calling me crazy telling me I’m going to go to hell for accusing him. Where I grew up a married man don’t do that to women. He says Asian culture is physically close to others. I feel like leaving but I love him. I am so confused. Please help.

  12. Avon says:

    I’m a verbal abuser and I want to stop. This article is scary. Do I have any chance to stop being verbally abusive? I desperately want to stop.

  13. Of course you can stop it. If you couldn’t admit to it (or didn’t want to change) that would be a different story. But you want to change! YAY! My business is in helping victims of verbal abuse, so I admit to not knowing what to tell you to do exactly. However, when I was in my abusive marriage, I found myself yelling at my children. A lot. The looks on their faces told me I was hurting them, so I was verbally abusive. Awareness of how I’d changed and the bad feelings that went along with it helped me to stop yelling.

    I understand you’re saying you do more than yelling. Even so, awareness of your problem is the first step. I can’t tell by your name if you’re male or female, but it doesn’t really matter. The book, “The Verbally Abusive Man: Can He Change?” by Patricia Evans would help you arrange a contract with the person you’re hurting most – an agreement of what will not happen anymore. There’s more to it, but I recommend it as a place to start.

    I’m happy for you. Although you may be feeling anxious and worried, you’re on the right track. Oh – enlist the help of a therapist. Your behavior can change more quickly with professional guidance. Also, look into cognitive behavior therapy. That kind of therapy is a problem:solution type of thing, so it could benefit you.

    All my best,
    Kellie Jo Holly

  14. Eric says:

    I too am an abuser in desperate need of change. I realize after the heated moments are over and I have time to self reflect just how horrible and out of control I had just become after promises of trying harder not to be that man…….or how it really is, king baby. I know that I just feel bad about me ultimately in some cases. I know that I really love her and she deserves better. She will always be in and have my heart like no one else can so I’m ok with her leaving me. I don’t blame her. Thanks for the insight from all of you and I hope and pray to find my cure. God’s a good start for me and I need advise or I wouldn’t be here.

  15. Luvon says:

    I search “How to stop verbal abuse” out of curiosity, because deep down, I really know that I cannot stop verbal abuse. This is actually the first page I came across and wow, it provides so much insight. I can’t say this any differently – but it’s relieving to me to see that so many others are experiencing quite similar situations that I have/am.
    Yes I spoke past and present there – you see, I left my marital home on Mar. 23rd after 6 plus years of verbal abuse ended in my husband telling me on Mar. 22nd that I better leave fast before he has to chop me up. Subsequent to that, about 6 weeks before he started keeping a machete behind our front door. I was totally ignorant of the purpose, and wondered if perhaps he had seen a snake in the house etc. I never, never, never thought he would reach the point of talking like that.
    You can only imagine the level of nasty, manipulative, angry, offensive words that he has used to describe me. He used to drink heavily also, and had even starting cursing me and others (all a past way of life for him years ago).
    Now that I’ve left, the verbal abuse continues. He communicates through my dad. My dad is an ex-police and has a manner of keeping people calm. So he has taken it upon himself to keep my husband calm in order for him to send me money. To make a long story short, he has an obligation towards a loan we took out together in 2015. This loan deducts from my salary along with another loan for a car I brought in 2014.
    To my disgust, he called my dad on Sunday 3rd March and my dad put him on speaker phone. I was able to hear his tone of speaking. And basically this man has said, that he wants me to communicate with him or else he won’t be able to send me money.
    Now step back a minute…right away I think…but that’s financial abuse…withholding money in order to gain power and control. I must admit I got pretty angry.
    Previously, I had send text messages about important matters, but when he was overdoing the texting over irrelevant personal details about himself and his life and, what I knew were mere lies, I had to stop that communication with him.
    The mistake I made on Sunday, was to respond with an angry text, telling him that what he’s relaying about withholding money if I don’t communicate is financial abuse. A mistake cause he returned a text saying that he feels good now that I’ve texted him and he will now send the money. Gosh, I can’t tell you how much I chastised myself for sending that text….he won…he won….he got me to do exactly what he wanted. After that came texts from him as early as 5:30 am, midday, evening, night.
    He has been coming up with all sorts of things to try to manipulate me, from saying that past women in his life coming back around him, to saying that he has house or land for me to get my own home, and that he’ll pay one of my loans….he’s putting before me all sorts of things, hoping that I would grasp at one of his tricks. He has also been pressuring me saying that all he wants is for me to forgive him and he won’t bother me and he would continue to give me money.
    Like I have “STUPID” written on my forehead right? These things he’s saying aren’t new to me…they’re just some of the same things he used to say while I was with him, now being said in a different way, but obviously with the same motive.
    Besides the texting, there’s the fact that my life is now filled with fear somewhat. If he uttered the “chop up” talk before, what prevents him from doing it anywhere else. He knows where I work, he knows where my parents live, he knows where my religious meetings are, he knows my car. I am constantly look in the visitor’s car park at work, looking over my shoulders at the mall, supermarket, etc. I’ve left….but I’m under a different level of duress. I must admit I am experiencing a sort of inner peace, even though these new stresses he’s presenting.
    I come from a very peaceable family. We have a good reputation within the community. Even where I lived with my husband previously, neighbor in that small area, knew me as a quiet person. Therefore I am not interested in making a scene anywhere….but my husband will. He is a don’t care person. He is claiming that he has changed. Haahaa…in just over a month right??? I must be really have “STUPID” written on my head.
    Anyway, I can’t read hearts, only God can. I will never ever know what and if any changes he claims to make are sincere and true. I cannot see myself returning to a person that has been know to twist truths and formulate lies. He’s made quite an impacting history for himself. Anyone who falls for his presentation of mildness and change at this time….well, what can I say. Actually, I won’t say. I’m not really giving anyone much details about him because my parents and his mother already knows the individual. By the way, he has cursed and abused his own mother many times also.
    Ah this comment way too long…I’m outta hear. Just had to share my story, but anyone has any suggestions to offer me, I’m all ears. Just don’t tell me to give him another chance…BEEN THERE, DONE THAT way too many times. Chao!

  16. Luvon says:

    Wrote previously that I left my marital home in March. Correction…it was on February 23rd 2016, and it was on Feb. 22nd that my husband spoke the “chop up” talk. Byeeeeee!

  17. Luvon says:

    I wrote earlier that I left marital home in March. But correction that it was on February 23rd 2016. My husband spoke the “chop up” talk on February 22nd. Byeeeee!!!

  18. Luvon says:

    Drats…I got all my months incorrect in my first comment. I do not see an edit button. Even 3rd March should be just a couple days ago…it should read 3rd April that I heard the phone call about withholding money if I don’t communicate. Sorry, apparently my head’s a bit screwed today. My apologies.

  19. Michael T says:

    Watching OJ doc they listed 2 characteristics of a spouse abuser. 1) Shifting blame. 2) Pathological jealousy. I am a male and relieved to see someone has written an articl on women verbal abusers. My wife has shifted blame since day 1. Her behavior is her “mothers” fault. A result of her “ex-husband” who cheated on her. On & on. Then she accuses me of cheating. For no reason other than coming home from work 10 minutes late after a 50 min commute.

  20. SUE B says:


  21. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1 (800) 273-8255
    Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

    Talk to your doctor about the abuse. If you aren’t on antidepressants or antianxiety medications, ask your doctor if they’re right for you. Turn to your children, neighbors, friends, and strangers at domestic violence support groups. Visit to find local resources.

    You’re too young to die. There are years of happiness ahead. You just need to reach out to people who can help you, not a blogger like me.

  22. Gabriel says:

    I see there is a lot of ladies here and I hope I am not posting this in the wrong place. What do you do when the abuse is reversed? My wife and I have been married for 18 years. Shortly after getting married she began to verbally abuse me. Keeping me up all night screaming, flipping the lights on. she didn’t have to work the next morning but I did. Many, many days at work I could barely hold my eyes open. As time went on the abuse became more sinister, my family was the first to go, then my friends, because her friends are “our” friends and a married man doesn’t need to be hanging out anyway. Then came the “nobody likes you anyway”, “everyone knows your a piece of crap” comments. Time goes on and 3 wonderful children are brought into the world, then the threats over the children start. It gets so bad that I am “not allowed” to even take my own children to eat tacos on Tuesday evenings, because of course “I’m using them to meet and pick up other women”. If I try? Well she physically blocks my way so that force would be required to go and of course we all know what happens if I show force. Fast forward a bit more and now I have to give up my post at a charitable organization after being accused of sleeping with at least 10 different women there, some of whom she later befriended. She has a facebook account, I can’t. She can work but refuses to do so, then when she does make some money through babysitting refuses to help with household expenses. I told her one day that I was cutting off some luxuries in the house because she doesn’t help out with them. She told me “Nope, she sure doesn’t help and she isn’t going to either and if you cut them off, that’s abusive” and she can “make a few calls” to remedy that. I bought her a car, she keys mine. Buy a new living room suit? She flips over the couch and breaks it. buy new curtains? She rips them off the wall. Then if I break anything I “am scaring her and she feels intimidated and she will need to report that” However over the last 2-3 years it has taken a darker turn and last month I finally had to have her arrested for hitting me and trust me it wasn’t the first time. It was however the first time she hit me so hard with an object I couldn’t see for a few moments after. Now the court date is approaching and the intimidation factor has been stepped up even more. “If you don’t tell the DA that you were mistaken about the events that night I will take the kids and leave” “Everyone knows your a loser and they hate you for having me arrested”…….. Im at the end of my rope, im exhausted, im tired… I need help and there are not many resources for men. Any advise would be helpful, thank you

  23. L. Marie says:

    62 years old, Second Marriage for 23 years, and I have very little money. He didn’t change, I miss-read the early “signs”. He is, always been, and will always be an abuser. The OJ type if you know what I mean. Always trying to control me and everyone close to him. We are certainly candidates for a “murder / suicide” case, with me being the victim. God help us. I can’t list the numerous times the abuse occur (just verbal) but I can say this “I can’t handle it anymore”. Now when the abuse start I get a headache, my vision become blurred and I start shaking out of control. I feel so beat up by this man but I have no place to go. He suffers with a lot of medical problems Heart attack, Colon cancer, Kidney failure, Blind in one eye and I feel like I should be here to support him but he makes it so hard.
    He has a lot of friends and plays cards with them every week. He hates my family (Hell, he hates his family) He don’t want me to socialize with anyone but the grand kids. I do anyway, but he don’t like it. Now he wants me to tell them not to call me because it bothers him when they call. (just crazy) I mostly keep all of this to myself. Its embarrassing to share. Second marriage, 62 years old, no money and being abused. I searched for this website because I needed to vent. I hope its okay. Thank you for reading this.

  24. Mike says:

    Please help. I am divorced once and now have a girlfriend with a child and she verbally abusives me everyday. I don’t want to leave because my last divorce the kids suffered so bad. I don’t know what to do. Anybody know of a national support group.

  25. Try the NDVH at They can point you in the right direction.

  26. I’m so glad you’re leaving! You don’t deserve that abuse. Your story paints a perfect picture of how a woman uses whatever pull she can to keep control of her spouse. And, just as it is with male abusers, she physically assaults you and then threatens you not to tell.

    You’re right – there’s not a lot of support for male victims of domestic violence. Visit the NDVH anyway at and either chat online or call them. If nothing else, you’ll gain validation for your experience. I think one of your best advisors would be an attorney – not for your mental health so much as what you can and shouldn’t do on your way out the door.

    Find a therapist experienced in abuse and control to help guide you and put your mind back together.

    I found support in Al-anon. My ex did drink, but the abuser controls and manipulates in basically the same way as a “mean drunk.” Al-anon is for men and women, and they allow you to share only what you want to share. If it helps, your wife’s “fits” would be similar to another wife’s “drunken behavior.”

    Don’t go to anyone who your wife speaks to – not clergy, kids’ teachers, whatever. You don’t need anyone backdooring you or undermining you. Reconnect with your family if you can, and reach out to old friends OF YOURS.

    I’m not aware of any men’s only groups online. MEVAC is for men who want to STOP abusing, and that’s not you. WebMD offers a 3-page article that may be of some consolation and help at However, the Abuse Helpline For Men is no longer in service. They didn’t receive the funding they needed to continue. I did find this page from the UK: The support there may be helpful, but if it’s legal advice you need, talk to an attorney.

    I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. I’m sorry you’re enduring this abuse.

    Oh – download the safety plan at the bottom of this page:

  27. Susan says:

    I am 59 years old, I have 3 kids, the youngest will graduate this month from high school. I have been married 2 times, my first husband physically and verbally abused me. I finally got the courage to send him packing after 7 years of marriage and the birth of my daughter. My daughter was 18 months when we separated. I remarried when my daughter was 6 years old. I thought I had found the right man. He had a son from a previous relationship that we got custody of when he was 6. I had 2 good kids, and I thought life was pretty good. I wanted another child, I became pregnant and sadly lost the baby. We decided to adopt a baby and received sweet baby boy. A couple of years after the adoption I found out my husband was having an affair. He had been sneaking around with her for a couple of years and I knew nothing about it. I tried to stay with husband, but it was like I was the one hurting and he was just going about his life business as usual. I went to the counselor, he did not. Finally I had enough and filed for divorce. I raised my youngest son pretty much on my own, the other 2 became adults and are living successful lives. I have been divorced for nine years and almost 2 years ago an old boyfriend of mine, came back into my life. Things were great at first, I thought maybe this was a blessing from God. After being together for a 1 1/2 he moved in with me. I should have never let this happen. He is a verbally abusive man who has a problem with alcohol. He sees himself as right all of the time and will never admit his wrong doing. I need him out of my life, but there is a little bit of hesitant because with him living with me I am more financially sound and have been able to enjoy some vacations with him. I know that sounds ridiculous. All I want is to enjoy life and have someone to enjoy it with. My boyfriend has a lot of those qualities, but the abuse and drinking has ruined it. My youngest son has autism so I am under stress dealing with him. I love my boyfriend, but I don’t love his abuse. I guess I am just a bit afraid that I will never find a good man to enjoy my life with. I need to get my boyfriend out of my house before I go crazy. I will miss the good times, but the bad times are starting to out number the good times. How should I go about getting him out without a whole blown up ordeal? thank you for listening.

  28. It’s always a big, blown up ordeal when there’s divorce, especially with abuse. It feels that way, anyhow. But, on the bright side, at the end of it you’ll have your life back, free and clear.

    Start therapy and get your Self back. I don’t fault you for the vacations and financial security. Those things are tough to come by. But if you focus on your Self, you can get to the place where you take vacations either by yourself, with your adult kids, or with a different and loving partner. But you won’t find your Self or a loving partner so long as you’re with this one.

  29. Luvon says:

    I wrote my story earlier. I returned her to read other people’s experiences. After reading Susan’s, I want to ask a question. This based on what happened with me also…that both marriages, I ended up with abusive spouses, and the second turned out even worse than the first, threatening violently. The question is: Why does it seem that you always end up returning with an individual that is abusive or being unfaithful, etc.? Is it something in our emotional makeup that makes us attractive to a certain aspect of their personality? Is it that they see something in our personality that makes them see we can be dominated? I’ve wondered why I was drawn to another abuser. I can say that I was attracted in both my cases, by a somewhat “humble” calm voice in those two persons…they turned out just the opposite once married. Any info regarding this…I’m interested to know. How can I guard against this in the future, should I wish to open my heart to someone else (not that I’m thinking that right now…I’m also just wanting peace in my life, and after leaving the second marriage on Feb. 23rd 2016, I have to admit at this time, that I’m afraid to let any man draw close to me again).

  30. zee says:

    The police can do something about verbal abuse, you can get a restraint order if you live in virginia. I am sure if you look into it you might be able to do the same in other state because verbal abuse isn’t free speech.

  31. Angel says:

    Im married for 14 years.. We are in our 40s..We have 2 kids.. There are times that we are happy but sometimes when he gets mad he will say hurtful things to me like He’s not happy with me anymore,Get out of the house, Im a boring wife, He is not happy to see his family and better be alone…so because of these Im mentally and enotionally hurt always. Im sick n tired of it.. I dont want to leave coz I dont want to leave my kids coz he will not in anyway allow me to leave with our children.. I am a SAHM… Im torn into pieces and nobody knows anything about what I feel..I feel like exploding into pieces.. I have no where to go.. nobody to talk to.. He is surprisingly a church goer and our family as well.. I cant understand why there are sweet moments with him but when he gets mad he turns into a monster.. He treats my kids the same if he suddenly gets mad at them..He will say unforgivable words and hurt them.. Pls help..I dont know what to do..I dont want us to separate because I value our marriage.

  32. It doesn’t sound like he values your marriage. I said the same thing when I was married – I promised for better or worse and all that. I thought that I should honor my promise.

    Someone said that marriage is a contract. If one party breaks the contract, the other has no reason to honor the commitment either. I realized that he broke the honor/cherish and sickness/health commitments within a couple weeks of marriage. Why should I stay with a person who was miserable and wanted me to be miserable due to a broken contract?

    He has sweet moments because that’s part of the game. You have to “remember why you married him” sometimes so you can tell yourself the monster isn’t really him, and that the one you loved is still in there somewhere. Those moments are basically very short honeymoon periods.

  33. Vee says:

    Approximanly three years ago I was newly single coming out of a previous abusive relationship and I needed some extra money so I had been working in the mornings delivering newspapers. I was always running into this good looking and quite charming man every morning on my paper route.

    He asked for my number and so we started to text each other every day. Then about 3 months later we had made it official we were in a relationship. I look back and I wish I would have reconised the red flags.
    - He was very eager to get my number
    - when I would go to his place on the weekends he did not want me to go home ( I thought it was cute at the time)
    - there was a good living next door to him who came over looking for him. I heard him telling his roommate at the time to keep her busy and tell her he wasn’t home when he was with me in his room.
    - I had found her panties a week later in his room which he denied for a year until he got mad and admitted it.

    Those are only a few things that are just the tip of the ice berg. All of my friends and the people who loved me warned me about him. he was a “bad boy” type I had never been with that kind of guy before. So I had no idea what I was in for.

    18 months into the relationship We moved in to a rental house together and by that time he was constantly manipulating me into spending my entire paycheck on him and his needs. Always “borrowing” money off me (acting like a sweet heart when he wanted something from me) he made good money and got paid every Friday and would go to the strip bar and turn his phone off telling me it died and came home drunk and broke. I hated Fridays because deep down I knew what was really going on. I would cry every day I was so hurt.
    He made his mother pay his portion of the rent and was horrible to her. The house we rented had to be in name because he was working the day papers needed to be singed. I only got the place because We were previously living with 7 other ppl crammed in a small house so I thought if we had our own place things would get better. They didnt.

    He would always and still Always puts me down , accused me of cheating with our guy friends, goes thru my phone , tells me I cant take a joke If he says something mean. He has gotten physically abusive a few times.

    2 months after I got that place for us I told myself that I don’t want this life anymore. I immediately messaged the landlord and explained I neded to leave and they understood. I packed my things and left. I was so happy. I stayed with my cousin and got my own place. I thought it was finally over.

    6 months later I felt weak and vulnerable. We started talking again and things seemed great. He was so sweet to me and nice and respectful. But shortly after we were talking again he called and said the landlords were evicting him and he had nowhere to go. I thought to myself yeah sure why not things are different now…..

    Every night I sit here alone in my room and I cry every night. The abuse is 1000x worse.
    Im mentally exhausted. I cant even be happy about anything because when I am he immediately says something to make me upset. This was suppose to be my place and now it’s his and I have to hide in my room. If I have money he asks to borrow it and If I dont give it to him Its more of a headache. He won’t leave and if I ever try to leave all hell breaks lose. I have two kitty’s I love so much and I’m scared If I leave he will hurt them. This place is in my name and the lease isnt up till October. I cant get out of it. If I go to the police it’ll make things worse. I need an escape plan but he wont put his name on anything. Its all in my name. If I cry myself to sleep he tells me I’m being stupid and gets mad. If I knock over a glass I’m stupid. If I cant hear him when he mumbles I’m stupid. Everything of mine that was here is all thrown away. All the furniture is his. He threatens me and tells me he will put me in a grave. If I talk when we have ppl over he humiliates me anyway he can. I am so sad. I am starting to think maybe I’m just stupid?
    I don’t feel beautiful I feel ugly. He only sleeps with me when he feels like it and he never gives affection. I just want a second chance to get out of this safe.

    He was sexually abused as a child and he refuses to get help or talk to anyone about it. He would rather take it out on me.

  34. Stopverbalabuse says:

    I get abused by people who want to hide they are being tormented and insecure. They think abuse makes them successful. There are people who grant abusers and they will never show up in mine or any other abused persons life. I have experienced people of that kind because I did not rely on abuse to save myself. Don’t forget; they make it seem like you are a victim on purpose, that you’re avoiding duties and that makes you a ‘bad person’. I never thought people had it in them to be abusive with tongue to repeat anger, a child in their arm, a relationship, with money, with power, with your own life that only you know how to live, and still has the need to abuse me! It’s not only scary, it’s hurtful and pathetic. It should not be accepted. I am not willing to make an abuser cool to someone who demands to feel like ‘I do everything around here and others don’t’. Every individual has the right to see how far they can get with what they can do, and have that is theirs. Let people be!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I have been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years and I don’t want to leave, But the mutual abuse is getting so bad I know I have no choice. I know he loves me because he does anything to make me happy but gets way beyond angry when something doesnt go his way. I don’t feel like a victim because I strike back at him saying mean things back then when I can’t anymore I can’t stop crying, and he’s told me I make myself cry. Honestly it’s kinda true but sometimes i can’t stop. I was sexually abused as a child and my abuser would mainly verbally abuse me telling horrible things and calling me names (bitch,slut,etc.) My boyfriend does the same and lately it’s gotten worse. I too call him names when I get mad at him (asshole,stupid,etc) I know I am wrong. I don’t know how to leave. We are both really good people we just have issues. I don’t know what to do. Please help me. I am so confused and desperate

  36. Susan says:

    Hi all. I did have my boyfriend of 2 years move out. He has been gone for 3 weeks now. We left on good terms. The alcohol turns him into such a mean nasty person, I just am not going to put up with it. He worked his tail off the last couple of weeks that he lived here until he got his apartment. Fixing things around the house etc., sadly the only thing he can not fix is himself. I am moving on with my life, one step at a time.
    I wanted to say to Luvon that there has to be something in our makeup that makes us more vulnerable to abusive situations. When I was married the first time, I went to counseling and became a much stronger person. I never wanted to go back to my ex husband…..ever. When I re married several years later, my 2nd husband was not abusive to me, never called me names, never spoke nasty to me. But he had an affair that lasted 2 years after we had been married 12 years. I was totally clueless. I knew he was a flirt and he enjoyed attention, but never thought it would go to that extent. I went to counseling then also. I got the courage to end the marriage. 9 years later I meet up with an old boyfriend and hope that this is the relationship I have been waiting for. Nope. He drinks too much and when he does he becomes a mean drunk. I will not live like that. I am back into counseling. My question is how do women find the right guy? How do they find that good guy?

  37. My opinion on this doesn’t have scientific backing (I don’t think), but my gut tells me it’s true. You know how we are affected by the negative energies of abuse? Those energies that surround us for so long become intertwined with our natural, positive energies. When you leave an abuser, it takes time for his/her negativity to leave our presence. Like the abuser, the energies seek to control us – to keep us in fear. That energy of fear translates to vulnerability.

    Unfortunately, abusers are attracted to the fear/vulnerable energies. They sense us. Then they lie to us, convince us they’re what we need. And because we’re a bit fearful and quite vulnerable, we respond in habitual ways and end up with terrible people. Again.

    So, here is my solution: Take time to actively heal yourself before finding another commitment. Push away the negativity from the past relationship by healing your soul. Becoming who you want to be. Fight through the hardship of doing it on your own, and don’t let anyone get hold of your heart. Empower yourself. Let the negative energies dissipate. When you’re better, when you’ve healed to the point of being able to say no to relationships with obvious red flags, then trust yourself to allow someone in closer.

    Warning: Even when you’re at that point of seeing obvious red flags, reserve your unconditional love because deeper into a relationship there may be less obvious red flags, and you’ll need to be able to leave it when you see them.

    My first relationship went along pretty well for about two years. Then I found out he was addicted to painkillers. Then I found out he used heroin. He either successfully hid the addiction or wasn’t using until there was a major commitment to him on my behalf. Everything came out in the course of a week, he went to jail, and I left him. It was hard.

    My point is that during your healing process, pay attention to habits you picked up in unhealthy relationships. (This is where therapy is so beneficial.) Work to change those habits and your new, healthier ones will push out the negative energy that attract abusers. Eventually, you’ll have your own energies back (healthier than before) and will be less likely to find the jerks, more likely to find the keepers.

  38. Alex says:

    Raise your hand if you’ve ever asked your verbally abusive wife or girlfriend to speak to you in a nicer way. Men are abused too.

  39. Greg says:

    This may be the most negative article I have ever read in my life. To make a statement so absolute as to say people don’t change sounds ridiculous to me. Clearly some situations my be impossible to fix but to state that they are all impossible is senseless and fear-tactic like. They are a lot of variables in each relationship. granted no one should be abused, all relationships do not start out that way. where therapy may be needed the only fact is that the abuser must want real change in his or her life and seek help. The victim must also seek help. I fell that its about nipping issues in the bud before they get out of hand. That usually takes to individuals.

  40. Claudina says:

    Hi All

    When it was in the early stages of the relationship the signs were there and i would tel him to speak right and treat people in a respectful manner. He was shy about this and would help him to be a better person. After a few months of dating he now started speaking to me in an abusive tone and would swear at me and treat me like hell. I told him to stop but he didn’t listen, this spiraled to him pushing me and drinking excessively and say awful things and embarrass me when we with people . We planned to get married this year and i postponed it because i saw no change in his behavior and we have started see a therapist and things have been coming right than he couldn’t take what the therapist response and criticism and he decided we stop the therapy. His back to square one and still wants us to get married, i have told him i will not get married to him and i have started moving away from him as well to try and distance myself.

    His forceful and controlling as well and i printed him things from the net to show him of his condition but he refuses and will point out my faults to get his way or make us even.

    Im not perfect and i dont want him to be perfect but he needs to respect me and treat me accordingly so we can have a sustainable relationship.

    I sometimes calls me a b*** and a H** and im stupid just like my father, in our therapy sessions he would lie and say all kinds of negative things to make me look bad and i told him if you want to fix things be honest cz be wasting our money by going to therapy if you go there to make me look bad etc.

    I have tried to hide this from my family but i later told them and they just told me to leave as people like this dont change as they dont see they have the problem they face.

    Its a terrible sickness as much as i love him i cant be with someone that treats me like that and thinks its normal. He grew up in a dysfunctional home hence he turn out like that. His mother is just as rude and an alcoholic, i love him but its not good enough to make me stay.

    Im leaving as i have been loved before and know how it feels to be loved and respected and i love myself more to have someone to destroy me like that and still stay.

    Its hard but i has to be done for my well being , im healthy and young and if i stay in this relationship im gonna end up depressed and sick and miserable and i cant allow myself to be that.

  41. Ina says:

    My husband abuses me verbally when I do something “wrong”. My son accidentally hit his face while sitting next to me and he went off. He was very angry and called me a ‘stupid _____’ , ‘worse ____ mother’ ,’idiot’ and more … I just tried to tune him out. I’m very tired of it. I just left the room and let him get mad. I could hear him cussing. The worse part is that he says all this stuff infront of my kids.

  42. Jennifer Rodriguez says:

    I lost my kids for 9 mo bc I tried to fix my husband, hwlp him bc he was sick w mentl illness… I lost my life that day. I got my kids bk and although I love him (together from age 17-35)…he never loved me enough to atop hurting me

  43. Faithful4life says:

    Avon and Eric, I don’t know if you’ll see this, but you both wrote and asked how to stop yourselves from being abusive. I used to be very emotionally abusive and can tell you that you can change 100% completely, because I did. But you can’t do it for the One you love; it has to be for yourself. When you feel angry, you will feel like your partner deserves your bad behavior, so trying to change for her won’t work. You do it because you get in touch with your core beliefs— who YOU are— what YOU value (being loving, being patient, being merciful, being compassionate, etc) and start acting from being aligned with who you are and what you value most (being good to people, etc) and no longer act from your feelings. When you act from your feelings, you violate yourself with actions that demean you. Yes, it demeans your partner, but most especially it demeans you. This is why later if you are able to pay attention to your feelings, you feel worse about yourself—shame– because you violated what you valued deep down. You deserve to treat yourself better by acting from your core beliefs and not you your feelings, because your feelings are not watching out for you in times like that. Feelings are not always accurate. We can feel justified even when we might be totally mistaken. Feelings make great servants but poor masters.

    The book that taught me this was Dr. Steven Stosny’s You Don’t Have to Take It Any More.

    I used to be really mean to my first husband. He used to be really mean to me. But you know it doesn’t matter to me how he was mean to me any more. I no longer need to blame him, even if he was guilty, too. What mattered, when I was finally able to face myself, was how I treated him. I cannot tell you how many tears I cried realizing just how cruel I had been and how much I hurt him.

    Now, I don’t criticize, complain, nag, whine, etc; I learned to take no for an answer; stopped trying to control my partner; and stopped trying to control the outcome. I communicate with feeling messages (“When you came home two hours late, I felt bummed because I was looking forward to our special dinner date so much…” I accept my partner’s choices, I don’t demand my way, and that’s it.

  44. Glen says:

    I don’t know where to start? It has just happened again. Why, because I was stupid enough to get curtains down to wash them & I have an injured back & knee. No harm done. I used a step ladder and was careful. But I am so, so stupid! How could anyone be so dumb. I could have hurt myself and it would have been my fault. I know that this is an excuse for another outburst. It is constant and relentless. I thought that I was a strong person but everyday & I mean everyday there is a trivial reason to belittle me & call me names. It is getting worse and I know that he can’t or won’t change. What keeps me with him? I have not shared this with anyone, I guess out of shame. We have been together for over 40 years and he is gradually sucking all of my self worth from me. I am crying as a write this and I know that I have to leave, but where do I get the courage to do this. My life is a secret. I know one thing for sure. No one, man or woman deserves verbal abuse. I need support and I know I can’t do this on my own. I have family but have chosen to be silent. Belittling & humiliation are his weapons. Why do I as many others do put themselves through this?

  45. Karien says:

    I’m with someone I love soooo much but he verbally abuses me every chance he gets, I have three children two that I had already before him and we jus had my first son together, now tht the baby is here who is by the way only 3 months, things have gotten worse, he denys it but he treats the children very differently so because accept my children the way a real lover would accept their partners children… he verbally abuse me about my other two kids in front of them which whom by the way are 3 and 5 year old little percious girls who also love him dearly but doesn’t understand his treatments sometimes, which break my heart everytime and he knows tht that’s why they are his target when trying desperately to get an reaction out of me smh I don’t personally know what to do I don’t have any friends or family to run to for help or advise he has slapped me dwn a few times.. I love this man soo much I had so much faith in him but no matter how much he promises me change alternately I never get change , his promises only last for about two weeks before his next turn up on me, but in between those times life is awesome for me and my little girls. I don’t want to put them thru this because they did nothing to deserve this, but I don’t wanna jus give up on my partner because seeing if there is a way for me to help him change.. please advise needed badly.

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