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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49 Responses to How Do I Stop Verbal Abuse?

  1. RandomlyK says:

    Re-read that ladies (and men). She is soooooo right. It is freeing when you detatch & accept you cannot change them. And Kellie, have I got a story for you on this!!

  2. dawn says:

    im with a 61 yr old and im 43 he is nasty to everyone every day,makes my kids cry,he shouts at them and even my dog is scared of him,hes never hit me but always shouts at the children for silly things,he even threw my daughters clothes out bedroom window today because she didnt put them in her wardrobe,i told him hes a bully and his language wasnt much to be desired he just said he cudnt give a s….

  3. Peter Chamberlain says:

    A man, 73, I’ve only been married to my now 50 year old wife for going on 29 years, counting the just under three that she threw me out several years ago. The relationship has often been very good for both of us, but when it turns bad . . . !
    Disclosure, we’re both imperfect, I have chronic clinical depression and she has several mental health issues, including depression, PTSD, bipolar, dissociative identity (multiple personality), etc., all of which we knew very well before our personal relationship developed. Her father was feloniously abusive, to put it nicely, and her parents were both psychologically abusive but now that they’re dead she remembers her mother as a saint and must do and insists everything be done the way she did which she used to laugh at or otherwise recognize was wrong. Her mother had come around to appreciate me and told me that her daughter, my wife, tries to be dominant in everything, which is all too true, even where there is no disagreement or contest, especially when she is in this abusive mood/mode. I have never been able to see well enough to, among other vital things, drive, which, when on one of these abusive kicks like now, she uses as a weapon; the only very limited public transit here requires several days advance reservation. Sometimes her driving is fine, sometimes dangerous. I have only ever been goaded into physical violence once, awhile back, after she asked me to help with the computer but wouldn’t let me sit close so I could see it, knocked my computer off desk, and bit me. She called the police on me, but they know her from several emergency hospital runs, her having called and reported I had green snakes coming out of my ears and was dying, etc., and I was bleeding like a stuck hog from her bite when they arrived so they took me to a motel instead of to jail. When she’s like this, she lies, told our bank I had coerced her into signing power of attorney we had negotiated when she was herself, etc., constantly calls me a liar, etc., and pitches fits at store over list to which she had made no objections to which I had not given in.

    Her best (only) friend that she hasn’t completely run off, also friends with me, got us back together and things were cool awhile. My wife later complained that I had interfered with their relationship but the awful truth is the friend knows my wife, or some of her personalities, to be abusive, etc., very well. My wife ran her off the last time she had come for a scheduled three day visit. Wife’s brother in another state, who controls small amount of money from their mother’s estate in trust, has always hated me and tried to break us up, and, though he did not intervene to stop her severe abuse, she worships him even while saying he is much like her (abusive) late father. She abused and ran off our last, rare, good, home health aide, won’t let anybody come into the house and help with anything, and got both of us cut off from this and other valuable services

    Following a month in mental hospital, to which she asked to go but then blamed our home health aide and me, and a month in a nursing home, pushed by Adult Protective Services and Adult & Disability Services, from which I helped and enabled her to be discharged and come home, she has changed, some for better, e.g., has started cleaning house, doing dishes and laundry, etc. (which I had always done) for first time, but has, under guise of ‘assertiveness,” has become terribly verbally, etc., vicious. I already had one abusive mother whose verbal abuse, criticism, and condemnation for being imperfect and unwanted, more than the physical abuse (which included some abortive attempts at murder), drove me to attempt suicide starting before first grade, and set my kid brother up to kill himself later, and I hate this. My wife, of course, knows all the points of vulnerability and her logic is unfathomable otherwise, jumping from my taking 30 seconds too long to take the dog out after she asked me to (no intervening “accidents”) to my father having gone to jail when I was eleven, to her father and brother being better than me in bed (no reports about brother but we have no children), to my somehow having made her miss a doctor appointment at 11:00 she had never told me about after we got up at 6:00 and she, the only driver, totally controlled our day including dropping me off someplace I had asked to go earlier instead of the one I needed now. She has threatened to have me committed and I did get picked up on a mental health warrant after our doctor misunderstood something I had said, but I was released after ten days and a trial. Long-time psychiatrist upon whom she had become too dependent finally cut us off recently, leaving me one less point of contact, and I can’t talk to her therapist or new psychiatrist. Today she threatened to take me to mental hospital instead of home unless I agreed with her about literally everything in this world and the next.

    I’m at the end of my rope, sleeping days and getting up nights like now when hopefully she stays asleep because she reads everything I type, etc., but have nowhere to go, and we are left “on welfare” which I hate, leading Adult P:rotective Services to think in terms of confining us both (together) in a nursing home, which I do not need and would be fatal. I don’t think she can live on her own but I am ready to flee if I could find a place and the financial and other ways and means, but I’d miss the wonderful lady I married, who isn’t here right now. I’m a forcibly retired lawyer (long story separate from this) but have no idea where to turn for help at this point.

    Latest gambit, she has grabbed my birth certificate which I need to replace State ID Card when my wallet mysteriously disappeared, and refuses to return it, after it took months to get it replaced last time; I think she took that, too, along with some other papers which have stopped me from applying to resume practicing law (long story).

  4. Kali says:

    I am a 32 yr old woman with two kids i have a live in boyfriend and he verbally abuses me daily . he snaps very easily I sometimes stay silent for long periods and not talk to him cause i don’t want to upset him. When he gets angry he says the most demeaning things. I feel and believe this is how he is empowered when i hurt and cry. He always ask when he settles for me to talk about it but then he acts ups and goes back to being mean. Everything is quiet and fine if I am humble and accepting of his approach to our relationship.Which i can do what ever i want when i want alone.I wanna find away to empower myself so i can’t really take a stand.

  5. susan says:


  6. Kellie Holly says:

    You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE or contact a mentor to talk to at Help With Domestic Abuse. One of the best things you can do is contact a domestic violence organization in your area (find them online or call the hotline). If you have family or friends, it’s time to come clean to them – ask for help. Reach out.

  7. greta says:

    I am in an interracial relationship demanding a high level of protocol and subjugation on my part.

    At any time I can say the wrong thing, about nothing particularly important. It can result in physical violence at the worst, or a tirade of verbal abuse that defies any sense of logic. I respond to defend myself, which really, only adds fuel to the fire.

  8. Veronica says:

    Im 29 Ive been abusive so much by my boyfriend he used to put the hands on me now what he does is abuse me verbally with none stop. He control me everything. I get upset all the time. I would like to stop all his abuse but I love him so much that when I try to make a stand is hard for me.

  9. laura says:

    My boyfriend verbally abuses me at least two or three times a month. It’s as if he can’t go for long periods without starting some sort of argument. He’s unemployed so not in a great place & often asks me for money which I usually give to him to stop arguments. He’s worse when he has nothing to smoke.

    I’ve noticed that he becomes most verbally abusive when I go out with friends as “he doesn’t know at I get up to”. Usually he ll create arguments on or the days around my birthday. He took me out to dinner for my birthday last year but refused to interact with me because he said I kept staring at his nose which he was self conscious bout!? He dreamed that I had cheated on him so he didn’t talk to me for a week.

    He has said a few times that maybe he is better on his own & he doesn’t see the point of his life which makes me feel bad for him & want to help him. There’s so much I want to do in life but know that if I went anywhere it Will cause a hail storm of abuse & name calling. I do not know what is stopping me leaving him. I do worry about what will happen to him without me there to help him. I have advised him several times to seek anger management but to no avail. He has never hit me, but he strangled me once when I responded to his question as to what my celebrity crush is. He punched a whole in the wall after I told his gran a conversation I had had about the education system with the janitor _He got annoyed I had talked to a male at work- he didn’t even ask the janitors name age etcetera before he got angry. But after he apologised & said he realised how stupid it was. We talked about how I was concerned that next time that wall could be my face & he laughed saying I was being silly.

    Yesterday I went to my friends house to celebrate the start of a two week break. He has said that he needs space from me because he’s bloody sick of me. I knew he might be annoyed that I went to my friends even though I said I was tired. I knew before telling him that he might become petulant, abusive but didn’t want to risk telling him after the event as that would make it worse. All I did was watch a film at my friends house. Of course I told my friends about it & they let me know it was not ok. I felt embarrassed but again worried how my boyfriend would cope without me. I turned my phone off & have not talked to him since. I was supposed to visit him next week but of course he told me not to bother. He’s done that before & been utterly surprised when I haven’t gone to see him so I know he doesn’t really mean it.

    I’m so sick of it all. How do I break up with him? Should I say something to his grab whom he lives with the reason for me not wanting to be with him? I’m tired of worrying what the consequences will be if I go out with friends or if talk to a man at work or on a night out. I shouldn’t have to lie about innocent conversations or work colleagues. Please advise!

  10. Larry Sherman says:

    Thank you for this article. and for not letting your past harden your heart. Blessings :-) Larry.

  11. Mary says:

    I don’t know what to do. I’ve been married for 13 years, we have two kids ages 11 and 7. When my husband gets verbally abusive, I want to leave and go to a friend’s house to get away from it, but I can’t leave my kids there. I’ve tried telling him to “stop it” and “that is unnecessary” but he tells me it’s my fault and that he doesn’t know how to help me with my issues.

    Example: Yesterday morning we were supposed to leave for a birthday party. I failed to set the alarm clock so we woke up late. Or so i thought. My husband had been up for 20 minutes hanging out with the kids. I asked him if he knew we had to leave, but he said whatever, it was okay if we were late. So I told him I wished he would be more aware of the time, to get out of the house for things like this and he BLEW UP at me. He told me I was lazy, that I should’ve set an alarm clock, that he doesn’t even want to go to this birthday party, that I’m attacking him, and that I’m acting bitchy. Then the entire day at the party, he was snippy and made snide comments to myself and my family. When we got home, he yelled at me some more, saying I should’ve helped more at the party instead of being lazy, and that he can’t help me when I have all these issues with him. I don’t even know how the situation gets all messed up like this half the time!

  12. Lee Dobson says:

    I am 40 years old and my partner has been abusing me from about 6 months into our relationship.we have been together just over 6 years. I have been reading everything I can to try and stop this. She abuses me from the moment I open my eyes until she goes to sleep. I feel ashamed of this because I am a male it has taken away my pride it has now got to the point to where I do not want to live anymore…..I can not seem to find myself again and I need help.

  13. Ciara Starr says:

    My bf of 4 years abuses me.2 years of the relationship he was out of the job and was jealous and possessive but now he works and make more money.he pays for most of everything.he throws it in my face and threatens to leave me if I do something as simple as cry.he hurts my heart.he acts like since he makes more money I have to do everything for my son and house,we both work.tonight at 10pm he cussed me out for the trash being to heavy.I had to walk about 5 minutes away to the dumpster to take it out.when I tell him how I feel he turns everything on me.i feel isolated hopeless and helpless.i have a 6 year old and I don’t know how to fininciallly pay bills withut him.we got a new car and now if I leave im in debt.i love him and feel alone scared and helpless someone help

  14. Sarah Dakota says:

    I’ve been in a relationship with the same guy for seven years. We were 19 when we met and we are both 27 now. I have loved my fiance very much throughout the entire relationship but I have always felt that my love is not being reciprocated. I often feel like my partner only stays with me out of convenience and obligation. He often calls me harsh names like “stupid bitch” or “hoe” when I attempt to converse with him about my concerns in our home or if I criticize his way of speaking to me or his parenting skills. Another favorite of his is “cry me a river” he is very cold. He has come into a bit of money a few times over the years and each time he buys himself something and leaves and doesn’t return until he’s either broke or waaaay in debt over a crazy expenditure that he made. He constantly blames all of our problems on me. Calls me lazy. The worst part is the way he is with our daughter. He calls her mean names and screams at her. She’s having a lot of trouble at school and I do know what to do. We have always depended on him for everything become I don’t have family or friends to lean on and I don’t drive. However, I do work. I don’t make very much but I can support myself. He belittle’s the money I make and acts superior because he makes more. Yet when it’s time to pay bills I always have to cover the majority or everything so he can walk around with cash in his wallet while I’m broke. Even though I supported him for six months while he wasn’t working. Now he could care less about that like it never happened. And when he gets paid every Friday I only get paid every other Tuesday. He usually buys himself something nice. Such as recently he bought $1300 worth of snap on tools. Yet I have been out of deodorant for a week. He just bought himself somewhere close to $50 in hair care products yet our daughter needs a coat. We didn’t have a car all summer so we haven’t been anywhere fun in a while and he has fixed his car in the past two months but every weekend since then he has not even so much as asked if we would like to go anywhere but has taken his friend out. Lastly, every personal opinion or thought I try to share with him he acts like he may have an aneurysm if he has to listen to just one word. He huffs and puffs and 9 times out of ten will tell me to STFU or just leaves. That’s another of his favorites…I forgot! I loathe this so much! He has always really gotten off on the fact that I don’t drive so his number one favorite thing to do is to drive away during an argument and lie about where he is going and what he’s doing because he knows I will be in the same exact place he left me. Like “ha ha!! I know you’re upset because you feel like a person held captive and you never leave except to work so enjoy suffering more as I drive away and leave you stranded while I go on my merry way! Buuuhuaaaaaahahahaha!!

  15. Elaine says:

    My husband doesn’t even seem to realise how hurtful his words are to me. I get every name under the sun, except my actual name, I have my past thrown on my face, and he starts arguments over the smallest things. And forget about equal rights! He can do what he likes, but if I do the same as him, or even have a different opinion to his, watch out!! His favourite quote is, ” once, I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken”
    He called me a lazy pig today, because I forgot to put the meat in the fridge. I have 4 children, so I forget simple things often. I retaliated, told him, he was no better, because he left his bowl of crab shells on the kitchen table. So, of cause, I am the one calling names, and it is supposed to be my job to clean up after him, and while I’m at it, I should apologize for him not having enough money in his account when he went to the pub.
    I am so over this. I am way over “being used to it” and I am ready to leave. He can try the usual guilt trip on me. It is not going to work any longer. I know when enough is enough.

  16. Erika Mendez says:

    Hi, there..well I don’t know what to do anymore.My boyfriend is verbally abusing me.I’ve been treated for depression since my baby was born on 1/14/14,and my bf doesn’t help at all. He is the only one working,but all he does is pay the rent. He won’t give me money to buy clothes for my daughters, and if I say something to him..he’ll start saying that is his money,that I don’t work, that if I don’t like what he does to get out of the apartment. The worst thing is that he screams and says so may bad things in front of my kids. My doctor gave me the card to STAND so they could help me leave him, but they say they are not able to help me get shelter unless he hits me!!! I really getting tired of this..I don’t have anywhere to go,and really want out of this because everyday gets even worst for me. Please let me know what can I do.

  17. Sharon Hansford says:

    I am 41, I have ME and I am married to a complete pig. He wont lift a finger around the house (because he goes to work) yet even when i worked more hours, and earned more money i was still the one who had to do everthing. All he cares about is himself, what he wants, likes, and needs. He has always been completely unsupportive. If any problem arises, its automatically my fault. Even after finding tons of porn he had downloaded, it was my fault, then tried to blame it on my son, even tho it was on his account. You would think with watching that much porn, he must be good in bed……no, he is absolutely crap :( as long as he is enjoying it, then I must be too! Nope! I am no allowed out, I am not allowed to talk to friends, I am not allowed to do anything other than house work, and what I am told whilst he is at work, and have to spend all my time with him whilst he is at home. I am not allowed to choose a tv program, or read a book without getting bitched at, all whilst he has utter shit on tv, and at least 3 deviced to hand linked to the Internet.
    Having ME is exhausting. I have very little energy to do anything, yet he wants the house cleaned from top to bottom, dinner on the table, and all 7 dogs, walked and fed, before he gets home. He even banned me going out with my mum, to see my nan, on my birthday. He said “all housework had to be done by the time he got home, or else”. So I had a totally miserable day, and was so exhausted by the time he got home, all I wanted to do was go to bed. But no, I had to get him his dinner. And on the subjects of birthdays, he has managed to completely ruin every birthday I have had since we have been married.
    He keeps complaining that I dont show him enough affection. How can I. Every time I try and leave, he wont let me, and cries his eyes out promising to change, then next day straight back to chovinistic asshole.
    yesterday, I over did it on housework, and fell asleep onthe sofa. Got nothing but shit about that too.
    He is also the most paranoid person I hav ever met, anything I put on face book is suposed to have some hidden meaning? I am the most uncomplicated person I know, if something needs saying, I say it.
    the latest thing to rub him up the wrong way, is my daughter wants me to go to the cinima with her, to watch 50 shades of grey. Had to listen to him going on for ages on how I go out with anyone but him???
    How its a waste of his mone???
    Its all just total filth???
    I never get tovgo anywhere with anyone but him
    my daughter offered to pay
    cant be worse than the sick crap he watches secretly, whild sniffing his collection of womens dirty knickers.
    Which btw is also how I managed to contract the virus that caused me to get cervical cancer.
    I dont know how someone like him gets it in his mind that he is so perfect, and everyone else is wrong.
    I have had support from gdas, who gave me a leaflet about a help workshop for him. But aparently his dr has told him not to go, as its not a recognised program???

  18. PC says:

    If you are being abused in any way, you need to find a way to leave—go to a friend’s house, go to a family member’s place, or go to a shelter. The person who’s abusing you is not going to change. If you feel you can’t leave because of financial reasons, once you are out of the abusive environment, you can seek financial help. There are programs out there that can help you. No one deserves to be treated abusively. You are NOT the problem—remember that.

  19. Stop finding programs for him to attend. It is no use. Find programs for YOU to attend. Build up your strength, stop having sex with him, and run away. He is not as powerful or as smart as you think he is.

  20. Olivia says:

    I am 42 and my boyfriend is 28 and he is often needy and childish especially when he drinks. If I am ill or in pain he makes it about him and says he hates how weak I am yet he never cleans I always do it, we live together with his 4 year old daughter and if I don’t clean the house will be messy for days. I am a severe asthmatic and for the first year he called me a liar,, can u believe that smh then he was always beating on me…constantly complaining about sex and how I wasn’t giving it to him when we did it at least 4 times a week. Gave me hell for not giving him enough oral sex but those 4 times a week he received oral. He is dirty immature calls me a f___en b___h in front of his daughter all the time. I the almost 3 years we have been together he has had 8 jobs and u have supported us with my almost 60 hour a week job that he tells me I am nobody for. He constantly tells me we are going to be on the news because he is going to kill me. I know God will give me the strength to leave.

  21. You didn’t mention if you have your own children, but I’m sure you’ve seen some little ones learning to walk. The parent sits a few feet away from the baby standing at the coffee table and coaxes the child toward them. If the baby falls, the parent is close enough to catch them, places them back at the table where they can hold themselves up and then coaches them to walk again.

    Eventually the baby takes those few steps, all the way from the coffee table to mom or dad, and the parent swoops up the child and tells them how well they did.

    When it comes to leaving domestic violence, God wants you to take those baby steps. If you fail at first, God will pick you up and wait for you to try again. God coaxes you to leave the safety of the coffee table and walk to Him. Once you do it, once you’re in His arms, you are free and can walk anywhere, eventually you can walk great distances.

    God is giving you the strength to leave. He’s waiting on you to take those first steps. There is a safety plan I want you to download at There are options to buy it from but there is a free version to download at the bottom of the page (same as for sale version, but you have to print it). Use it as your baby steps. You can leave, you will leave, God is waiting for you to take the first step so He can show you the riches of life.

  22. ashley says:

    4 years in and my fiance wont stop being mean to me yet everything is my fault. I do everything for him. Right now i just slipped off my ring again. I cant stand the idea of wearing it. I want to sleep on the floor because i dont want to lay next to him right now. If i do that he will probably get even more mad at me. He called me a bitch tonight. Its my fault he could not find his phone. He got so mad looking for it he started tearing the room apart and throwing things. I was not allowed to help look for it. I just sat there trying to hide the crying. Now my room is a horrible mess and if i do t clean it he will leave it this way. I told him to be careful with something and he told me that i shouldnt have left it laying. When really it was not originally on the floor in the first place. I just dont know how to calm him down.

  23. It is not within your power to calm him down, and even if it were, calming down is HIS responsibility – never yours. He purposefully acted that way because he wanted you to sit there and watch how angry he could get to SCARE YOU. It worked.

    He wanted to tear the room apart in front of you. He did not want you to help because he probably knew the darn phone wasn’t where he was looking for it anyway. HE MESSED UP YOUR ROOM. When was the last time he threw a tantrum and messed up his stuff? It will always be your things that are broken and torn apart.

    I promise you, the scene he acted out was to keep you afraid and under his spell.

    It is not going to get better. You will never be able to calm him down unless it is in his plan to let you think you can calm him down.

    I’m so sorry Ashley. It’s time to find a safe place.

  24. ava says:

    She is so right about it , she’s right there is nothing we can do to stop the abuser the only way u can do is how to react to it , cus normally abuser they dont see or think that they are the one having problems and they good at blame things on u wat i would say is “leave” cus they will never change.

  25. wiwie says:

    Please help me…
    Iv been in a relationship with him almost 5 yrs, Im Indonesian and hes’ American…Im already here in USA since Feb 2015 and using K1 Visa, so i must get married within 90 days. I live with him in his mom’s house…
    I dont knw, since im here he calls me name, and he accused me that im using him to get GreenCard. His words really hurt my feeling lots esp if he starts calling me name. I do my best to be positive here…I have my own business that i can do online, and i support our need to here….But why he cant see that and respect me….I asked him if he doest wanna marry me then tell me etc.. Honestly its very confusing, i really love him and hope we can be a positive couple and grow a good family together…In the end of April we must have our marriage done and its 18 April and he keeps acting like tht. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!

  26. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or (1-800-787-3224 if you’re hearing impaired). Their website is at and offers a chat service. The hotline is really the best place to get started when you need help for domestic abuse or domestic violence.

    I am sorry that you’re going through an abusive relationship. His behaviors sound horrible and will probably affect you more if time passes and you do not seek proper help. Please call the hotline.

  27. Chloe7 says:

    I never beg for him to love me. That love has disappeared eons ago from my side. He now repulses me. I stayed because our family just don’t do divorce. I got my children raised and a strange thing is observed – my sons, now in their 20′s and 30′s tend to protect their father and hang him on when they lived through the abuse as children. In fact MY OWN father had to pay for children’s doctor’s bills because this man used to say: “you wanted children – I didn’t, so YOU take care of them”. Now they seem to be sorry for him and yet he feels nothing.

  28. Anne says:

    Need help!!! I am having problem with my husband he used to shout at me and always blaming me of something I really don’t know and he always say bad word to our 2 year old son he used to yell at him and call my son a devil and have a mental problem. when I told him I will leave him and bring my son he told me that he will call a police and nobody will believe me because he just only petition me. He told me even if I report to the authority no once believe me cause I don’t have any proof or evidence that he abuse me.

  29. Guy says:

    I feel terrible for all of the women who posted on this thread.

    My situation is similar, but I’m a guy, and my wife & I have been married for 15 years. We have 3 kids…a 6-year-old girl, a 9-year-old girl, and a 12-year-old boy. I adore each of the kids. I also used to adore my wife, but she showed her abusive side to me while she was pregnant with our son, and within a few years after he was born, I fully realized who I was dealing with, and I definitely do not love her anymore.

    On rare occasions, my wife is verbally abusive to me, but it usually ends quickly because I stand up to her by ignoring her. Most unfortunately, she is frequently verbally abusive to the kids, and this breaks my heart, because all they want is their mother’s love. I stand up for them, too, but it never changes her nasty behavior. She’s just mean, and there’s no way to talk her into even “acting” reasonably.

    For the last decade, I’ve been here strictly for the kids. I love them, and I don’t want to abandon them to her cruelty. I just go through the motions of being a supportive and contributing husband, and I look forward to the day when the kids are not so impressionable so I no longer have to worry about the terrible way she treats them.

    Unfortunately, nasty people tend to stay nasty, so anyone who is with an abuser when there are no children involved should strongly consider leaving the relationship. Moving on will probably make for a much happier life. There are so many billions of people in the world, it isn’t worth any price to stay with someone who isn’t kind.

    Kids complicate the matter, because divorce can sometimes be counterproductive for their well-being.

    In any case, to all the women who are with abusive men, I hope for the best for you.

  30. Those are empty threats. He doesn’t know what would happen any more than you do. It is doubtful that no one would believe you. People all over the world recognize emotional and verbal abuse as components of domestic violence.

    The best thing to do when the partner makes threats like that is to gather facts for yourself. Call an attorney and get some questions answered. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline and get some support.

    Abusers are full of themselves and liars. Your husband’s threats are empty and he knows it.

  31. bruce d says:

    Best way to handle th is to show no reaction to the verbal abusive comments and react positive to the good comments ( of there are any). Let them tee off on negativities…their biggest fear is being exposed and everyone knowing she has issues. Remain calm and do not show that those comments hurt or affect you…

  32. Sue bycroft says:

    i have divorced my husband after 41 years of marriage.
    Verbal, phscological and some physical abuse. I did not leave because no one would believe me anyway. What i did not realise was that i had a cardiac problem. So after a stoke and a heart attack the problem was found and corrected. i felt stronger and able to walk away.
    I am living in another country where i do not speak the language well. my ex has fled the country and is not giving me the agreed financial support.
    I was told that I was not entitled to any help – that is not true.I am now in the hands of the womens abuse centre, they are arranging legal aid and trying to protect me from my ex , their support has been a life saver and they are helping me to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  33. [email protected] says:

    Hi I am 32 my fiancée is very abusive he yells and I cry next to him and he won’t stop yelling and not even feel bad about it he will get reau upset only because I asked a simple question or because I’m not allowed to talk about his job he has cheated on me before more than once but he helps me financially and we live in the same house I have 2 children and i am afraid to leave him

  34. janet says:

    Looks like alot of people are being abused.i to have been married for13 years to a man that wants to drink every day he has done and said and neglected and verbally abuses me
    He’s never going to change.he goes off then he acts like nothing happened and says I love you we need to get things worked out.all the time pressuring for sex and demanding if don’t get it theirs prostitutes.nobody should have to go through this peace no happiness no life.i pray for god to move him out of my life.

  35. Anne w says:

    My dad has been an asshole. He was visiting me and when we went out he was shouting at me because he had bought a stand for the sat nav what didn’t work. My mum had asked him not to buy it in the 1st place but my dad wouldn’t listen and my mum had gave up. My mum had also told me and my dad not to mention the sat nav but I am curious and wanted to know the next stage. Eventually my dad went on and I told them both to shut up and not talk to me. For a while they didn’t but later my mum did but I didn’t answer her, in no frame of mind was I to answer her. On the way home my dad said don’t talk to me talk to mummy. So I talked to my mum and he started talking. I asked him what was wrong with him then he started moaning about the road but not in the slightest was I interest or was my mum. When we got home my dad said tomorrow I’m going home. I said I don’t care. Then he said I’m sick of you henpecking. I didn’t even know what that meant when I asked he said google it when I realised it I couldn’t recall doing it. While he was visiting he said he wanted to do a few thing which he hadn’t got to do but now he said he doesn’t want to do it. The next morning my mum asked him if he wanted to go somewhere he wanted and he said no I can’t cope with all this shouting.i don’t know what he’s thinking

  36. Connie says:

    Can the person verbaly abusing you be your very own adult child? In all the comments I have read everyone metions the abuser as a spouse?

  37. Robert W. Steiner Jr. says:

    Maybe setting an example and enforcing laws when they are broken would help stop this type of emotional and psychological abuse.


  38. R says:

    I think my husband has been verbally abusing me. I’ve often thought that he was, but then I tell myself that he’s probably right, and I’m the one with problems. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t feel like I can talk to him about anything, good or bad, because I’m afraid of his reaction. When he is angry, he will manipulate the conversation so much that I cannot follow, then insinuate that it’s my stupidity and ignorance that keeps me from understanding. He’s the most polite, most tactful, most respectful man in the world with everyone, except me. He shows me such hatred and anger, it’s like he saves it all for me. He is very intelligent, and very careful not to do or say anything that I could use against him. He is sly, using insinuations and insults to hurt me, intentionally not explaining things to “catch” me up. He makes me feel horrible about myself. So much so that it’s so hard to be happy, even for our children. I don’t want them growing up thinking this is how people who love each other should be. My oldest son is a teen and is starting to mimic my husband with his tone of voice, facial expressions, and insults verbatim. How bad does it have to be to be considered verbal abuse? Is this just very minor abuse? What if it really is my fault and he’s right?

  39. R,

    Not your fault. Abuse of any kind is never your fault. You describe the typical abuser. Yes, chances are good that your children will either mimic him or marry an abuser. HOWEVER, if you get free (mentally first, physically later), you can save yourself and the children.

  40. LaserTSV says:

    After reading the article and the comments, I am more confused then ever!!! It seems to me that a verbal abusive person would definitely think that they are the VICTIM of abuse. I am certain that every verbally abusive person can justify the reasons to abuse their spouse because the spouse fails to meet expectations. On the other hand, verbal abuse could be justified if you are an alcoholic, gambler, cheater, unemployed etc. and your spouse is unhappy with your bad behavior. So, how the hell can you assess if you are really a target of abuse, or if your bad behavior is the source of the abuse, or if you are the abuser who feels justified because your spouse isn’t perfect??? I think the message of the article is correct. In my case, after 15 years of marriage there is no way things are going to get better. Of course, divorce will make me very sad but how many more sad years should I live with a spouse who hates me?

  41. LaserTSV, I think the difference between a verbal abuser and his or her victim is that the victim is willing to change their bad behavior. An abuser is not.

    I also agree that some abusers believe they are the victim. But they are a victim of the stories they make up in their heads, not what their spouse/SO says or does.

  42. Karen Lucas says:

    Hello there,
    I don’t know how much more I can take..
    Today driving I had thoughts of going under a truck semi to end how I feel..
    Last night he said he’s let me get away with too much!!
    I’ve been too several councilers over the past years and I was given antidepressants plus valluum they made me feel alot happier I was able to cope with my daily living but hw constantly said I was a head case and nut case for taking medication I gave in and eventually weaned myself off them..
    Please I need help???

  43. That sounds familiar. I spent many years on the depression roller coaster in part because my ex didn’t want me taking antidepressants. He let me know in many subtle and not so subtle ways. Ignore him. Go get some meds. He doesn’t want you to be mentally healthy. You’re much easier to control when you’re depressed.

    Your situation is causing you to experience suicidal ideation. It’s not a big step from that point to actually plan a suicide. Please call a suicide hotline. Not only will they understand what you’re experiencing, they’ll be able to connect you with doctors in your area. At least that was my experience.

    The best counselor I had helped me get stronger. I asked her how to fight the abuse and she gave me tools. Eventually those tools showed me that my ex wasn’t going to change. If you go back to therapy, tell your counselor what you want to achieve. It helps them tailor your counseling and you don’t spend as much time delving into the past as you do on how to handle the present.

    I feel for you, Karen. I was in your shoes. Get your meds. Get to another counselor (remember that you hired him or her, so you’re the boss of your therapy). Download this safety plan –> –> The free one is at the bottom of the page and is the same as the one you would pay for in workbook form.

    Hugs to you, Karen. You can help yourself if you let yourself.

  44. Anita says:

    I have been married for almost five years to a man who is very controlling in many ways. I have three grown children. My oldest son has been through a very difficult time physically, emotionally and financially for the past three years. We have helped him financially and my husband has gone above and beyond trying to help him in many areas of his life. My son is trying very hard to get his life on track. He has had four major surgeries since November of last year. My husband does not approve of how my son is conducting his life and is very critical of everything he does. My husband has said very nasty things about my son and calls him an asshole to my face. I have told him how much it hurts me when he says these things but he comes back with “it’s your fault that he is like he is because you always give him a soft place to fall”. He has even accused me of going behind his back to give my son more money. I would never do that. My husband is very controlling with our money and complains about me spending money on almost anything. He has been very good to me in many ways but every time he starts calling my son names and saying he does nothing right etc. I want him to go away and never come back. I don’t know how to make him understand how deeply his words hurt me. Please help.

  45. He knows how deeply they must hurt you. He’s not an idiot. He’s just found a new way to control you via your son’s hardship. If you look to the past before your son’s problems, you’ll see the abuse there, too.

    Look up red flags for abusive relationships and you’ll probably see your husband in those descriptions, too. It isn’t your fault you didn’t see the warning signs. And the abuse still isn’t your fault if you saw the red flags but thought he would change. It’s natural to think that someone who loves you WON’T want to hurt you.

    But this guy does.

  46. Phil Rea says:

    Hi, I read this article looking for help to not be the verbal abuser anymore. My wife and I have been married 3 years and I’ve always been a loving and supportive husband.

    However recently my wife had an affair. I immediately said I forgive you, but during the last 2 months, any piece of new information about the affair sets me off and I sometimes say things that while true about her and what she did, I wouldnt even say them to my worst enemy or ex girlfriend. I talk about how she betrayed me and even neglected our daughter during the affair. I want more than anything to repair my relationship and want to stop this verbal abuse before it becomes part of me. Will the desire to personally attack her go away when I emotionally heal, is this natural for someone to do after the affair, and what steps can I take to make it and the desire to do it stop.

  47. Phil, I consider having an affair as being sexually and emotionally abusive. I see your reaction to her affair as a way to try to take your power back (equality in the relationship), and applaud your recognition of behaving in a way you don’t like despite the heartache you’ve been through.

    I wish my ex would have excused himself and took his anger and pain out on an inanimate object in the garage rather than on me, but he didn’t. I ended up being the one to leave the house – every time. Why don’t you be the bigger person (as if you aren’t already – you didn’t have an affair) and get away from her when you feel your blood boiling.

    A safe place to express your anger could be in therapy. Since you’re typically NOT an abusive person, couples’ therapy could be a big help for the two of you. Also, talking to a therapist individually would be a great idea.

    All I really know about affairs is that finding out is devastating to the non-cheating partner. I don’t think there are any “normal” reactions, so I can’t say that yours is normal or abnormal. It is simply you. If you don’t like yourself when you’re angry, then you have to change how you behave when you’re angry. How you change is up to you, but again, a therapist is a quick route to a solution or two.

  48. Phil Rea says:

    Kellie when I first learned of the affair I did take out my anger, punched my truck, threw a chair in the yard, she begged me to hit her instead. I refused but my recent words have been just as bad as if i wold have. I love this woman with everything and am seeking help with both my depression after the affair and the anger. Thank you for your opinion and I’ll definitely post if it gets better. Friday night was the eye opener for me and haven’t said one mean word to her since. I know repairing our relationship is going to take some adressing of tough issues head on and I just hope that I can change enough to deal with those in a positive way.

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