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How Do I 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.

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

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 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.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.

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

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.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 (Domestic Violence Safety Plan: A comprehensive plan that will keep you safer whether you stay or leave).

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 at Verbal Abuse Journals, or social media on Google+, Facebook,Twitter and Amazon Authors.

*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.

98 thoughts on “How Do I Stop Verbal Abuse?”

  1. IMichelle learning ,he’s taken all transportation away for years now ,ruined my job ,I’m trapped out in the country, ,the abuse is verbal ,emotional, Financial ,medical, ,food ,I’m not permitted to speak about most any topics I’m interested in or ideas I have ,I’ve begun to take my life back in a few ways ,I now have my phone on my sons plan my son knows something is wrong ,without details ,my daughter does to ,she is married an sick with Lyme an Lupus, an has a new baby ,a couple of childhood friends have helped me get out a few days at a time to help my daughter, repercussions when I return are extreme, I have a dog ,I can’t afford to live on my own ,of course he trys to take every bit of my money ,for a long time I gave it to keep peace ,that did work to an extent ,then as I told my son ,in order to take my life back , I have to take back control of my money ,My abuser wants itemized details of every penny , I can hide some , not much so far , my medication is always a battle to pick up ,this weekend he took my whole check , I’m working on how to get to my children for a few days next week ( they live 2 hrs from me ) , I reached out to a church at one time ( people just don’t belive me or want me to go to the complete extreme of a shelter , in my area the shelters are full of hard drug addicts / I’m going to call social services today ,I need help coping mentally, this here that you are doing Is helping me ,I won’t be able to buy the books on line , I have no credit card or debit card ,he’s ruined my credit also ,his is perfect

  2. Mari if you ate determined to leave just go, it will show him you really had enough. Telling him only gives him the chance to manipulate you to stay or push him to escalate the abuse. Good luck to you dear.

  3. I want to leave my boyfriend he ververly abusing me over an over again should i tell him or just leave without telling him

    1. Caroline I know what you mean, it’s always us that pushes their buttons and they are good at twisting everything around to make us look like it’s our fault. Let me know if you’d like to talk more, I think we are in the same boat 🙁

        1. Rachel, I’m so sorry to hear that you feel trapped by your abuser. It would be good for you to open up to somebody about what’s going on. If you don’t feel ready to talk to a professional then maybe a friend or family member? I know abusers tend to alienate us from people we are closest to, but I’m sure there is someone who would like to help or just listen.

          When you’re ready to reach out for support, you might find the domestic violence helpline on our Hotlines page helpful.

          Good luck, and please continue to come to our site for support.

          Emma-Marie.

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