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Examples of Verbal Abuse

I want to share some examples of verbal abuse because most aren’t easy to spot. Most verbally abusive statements are camouflaged, but some are blatantly obvious.

Verbal abuse underlies all other forms of abuse because words and tone can be easily manipulated to mean something other than what is said and “You misunderstood me!” is such an easy way out. Early on in my relationship, word games were key.

Here’s an early example of verbal abuse that I experienced. If he said something that hurt my feelings, I would tell him so. He would say, “I didn’t mean it that way, Kellie,” and he’d give me a hug. He would tell me that even his sergeants told him he needed to work on his tact. He promised to work on it. “What I really meant to say was…” SO much different than what had come out of his mouth that I had a difficult time rectifying the first statement to mean the second.

But, because he now hugged me and helped me feel secure and loved, I willingly went along with the lie. I became a participant in my abuse.I didn’t know at the time that my willingness to believe and forgive the man I loved would lead me to despair. Funny thing is that my naivete was one of the first character “faults” he berated me for, yet that same quality is the reason I withstood his verbal battery at all.

Examples of Verbal Abuse: Word Play and Denial

I believe most of the conversations I had with my husband in the beginning were tests to gauge how willing I would be to become his puppet. Word play and denial of wrong-doing are two sides of the same coin. It doesn’t matter how the coin-toss lands because both sides result in confusion for the victim of verbal abuse. brainwashed

The resulting confusion in the mind of the victim destabilizes the victim’s mind. Destabilization of my mind was crucial to my abusive husband – without implanting doubt in my mind about what I believed and perceived, there would be no way to control me.

He needed to know I would act, think and believe as he did so he could trust me. He couldn’t believe that my way of doing anything would have the same results as his way of doing them. “Trust” equals “control over” to my ex; he could never fully trust me because he couldn’t gain full control over me.

Types of Abusive Statements

The verbal abuser’s desire to gain control over his/her “better half” is so strong that the abuser will say anything to accomplish it.

The more the abuser can get you to doubt your own perceptions, the easier it is for them to trust you. As you fall down the tunnel of self-doubt, you reach for them, the one closest to you, for help. Your neediness is their cue that you are ripe for implanting their ideas into your mind, and they take every single opportunity to brainwash you into becoming them.

Examples of Verbal Abuse You May Recognize

Below are examples of verbal abuse, statements verbally abusive men and women make. Do you recognize any of these?

Examples of Emotionally Abusive Statements

  • You’re so cute when you try to concentrate! Look at her, man, she’s trying to think.
  • I can’t believe I married such a stupid man.
  • Aw, come on, can’t you take a joke?
  • That isn’t at all what I meant. You’ll never understand how much I love you.

Sexually Abusive Statements

  • You should know how to please me by now.
  • I am thinking about taking a better lover.
  • Your body feels like spam.
  • Stop acting like such a whore. My friends are asking me if I let you behave that way when I’m around or if its just something you do on your own.

Financially Abusive Statements

  • You are going to nickel and dime us to death!
  • In what world does buying that make sense?
  • If you weren’t so lazy we’d have more money.
  • You handle the finances for now; I’ll step in when things go to hell.

Societally Abusive Statements

  • How dare you spread around our personal family business!
  • Let me do the talking; people listen to men.
  • You took a vow in front of God and everybody and I expect you to honor it!
  • What would the neighbors think about you if I told them our daughter’s hair wasn’t combed because her mother couldn’t make her sit still? My mother combed my sister’s hair every single day!

Threatening and Intimidating Statements

  • If you don’t train that dog I’m going to rub your nose in its mess.
  • I am more capable, smarter, and better educated than you. I will take our kids if you leave me.
  • This isn’t angry! You will KNOW when I’m ANGRY!
  • Ohhhh…I’d love to smack you right now!

Spiritually Abusive Statement

  • Keep your stupid beliefs to yourself; our children don’t need you to confuse them.
  • Women are to subjugate themselves to their husband in all ways.
  • God will find a way to get you back, and it ain’t gonna be pretty.
  • I can feel myself being pulled into hell just listening to your nonsense!

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80 Responses to Examples of Verbal Abuse

  1. John says:

    What about husbands being abused?
    I recently told my wife that I think it would be best for her to go get a job.
    For the past 6 months she has been a stay at home mom. I’ve seen her stress levels rise tremendously during that time. We have a 2 year old and one on the way.
    She has said in the past that she would not be able to be stay home for her own sanity.

    Granted, I know and understand 2 year olds can be a handful.
    She is doing a amazing job raising him, for that I’am greatful.

    Her response to getting a job was this:

    I think it’s best you get a real job

    Me: I have a real job

    Me: Don’t be rude

    Making 10 dollars an hr to babysit is not a real job
    No future!
    Really!

    Me: I’m in the police academy

    that doesn’t mean you’re a police officer

    Me: No… But means I’m working hard to get there.

    That’s why most ppl with sense who work at XXXX are women bringing in a second family invome, young people going through school who end up leaving when they’re
    finished or losers
    Who have no ambition

    Me: so I’m a loser?

    Idk; I’m not seeing a lot of ambition

    Me: I’m in the police academy working my butt off on the side

    If you were working hard you would have found a real job and left peace already

    ———————————————–

    That’s how I’m treated all the time. I work with the mentally challenge. I’m really individuals with high behaviors, autism, Down syndrome, tramatic brain injury, etc.
    I enjoy doing it. I have coached special Olympics and have been really involved with help youth. I know I need something better to support my family. That’s why I’m in the police academy. I’m almost done! This job allows me to work and be able to be in the police academy. I work 80 hours a week and spend as much time as I can with my family. My son is my world.

    My wife is always putting me down, attacking me, belittling me.
    I’m not the perfect person. I have not been the perfect person in my response to her. I have sworn and have called her names due to the lack of words to communicate, and being frustrated and hurt.

    I have never reached out for help, but I don’t know if I can take much more of this.

  2. Tortured says:

    I’m married to a verbal abuser. She berates, humiliates, distorts, and puts me down regularly. She thought it was funny one time — during a camping trip with friends — to punch me as hard as she could after I fell asleep. Family and friends, including her friends, have told me the behavior is awful but they encourage me to “hang in there.”

    Her abuse is much worse than anything on your list, some of which I’d classify more as abrasive than abusive (ex: concerns about overspending). I earn well into six figures but I’m a “loser, unsuccessful, and worthless.” I am “old, fat, and unattractive.” I am “stupid, an underachiever, and have no friends.” I “do nothing around the house,” a charge that’s leveled while I’m cooking, cleaning, and returning with groceries. Her time is at least “ten-times more valuable” than mine.

    She is a “stay at home mom” despite that our child is in elementary school and after-care, and I work full-time. I usually drop off and pick up our child, though sometimes I refuse when she tells people that I don’t, which she does frequently. She undermines me, openly and actively encouraging our child to disrespect me, by doing things like telling her I’m picking when I tell the child not to hold her arms outside the car because it’s dangerous. When I told the then six-year old she could not sit in the front seat, which is legal in our state tough discouraged, it was also “picking:” the child was openly told to ignore me. I spent the day in hell today because the parking lot at our local farmer’s market was full, which was my fault.

    I’m writing because I came across something useful though. She once secretly turned on a tape recorder, after hours of put-down’s — when I responded — to show me how awful I am. But I realized I could do the same, for entire arguments, starting at the beginning. That quickly built a crystal-clear record (after decking and berating me in front of friends and family it probably wasn’t necessary but always a good idea to keep a record), and helped put things into perspective. It also sometimes keeps her from escalating, though only sometimes. I’d strongly recommend those on the receiving end of verbal abuse keep a smartphone with a voice recorder, or a regular recorder around, and don’t hesitate to put it in plain sight: you’d be amazed what it does.

    Finally one clarification from your article: petty bickering isn’t necessarily verbal abuse and making a charge of verbal abuse can itself be verbally abusive if it’s used to demand compliance. That is, disagreeing with the abuser is not “abusive”. Some of your complaints, especially defining concerns about “nickel and dime spending,” sound like they may fall into that category. Couple need to constructively work through frustration if a relationship has a chance of surviving: that isn’t abuse. Making impossible demands, putting one another down, working to purposefully embarrass and/or humiliate or degredate, belittling, hurling demonstrably false accusations, involving third parties for the purpose of humiliating, holding hostage (threatening to fly off the handle unless the abused does as told), those are abuse. Most abusers know what they are; just last night she half jokingly told friends she is out of control, but they can’t or won’t stop. It’s their problem, but they make it ours, and our children. I strongly encourage anybody facing genuine verbal abuse to seek professional help.

  3. Yes, petty bickering in a healthy relationship does happen. Some of the statements could be taken as petty if it weren’t for the ammunition behind them. For example, “You’re nickle and dime-ing us to death!” in my relationship meant other things, too. It meant, “You are untrustworthy” “You lie to me about money” “You don’t know how to manage money” “You would never make it in the real world”- all statements that collectively let me know that I am not as responsible/capable/etc. as him (they diminish me). And of course, all of those statements were made both as clear and calm “constructive criticisms” and as hateful shouts. Repeatedly. Boiled down together, his statement of “You’re nickel and dime-ing us to death!” brought up ALL other connected statements and hit me as hard as all the others combined.

    It was not a petty statement in my relationship.

    I’m sure you’ve read how physical violence (grabbing, blocking, punching, burning, etc.) happens less frequently than verbal/emotional abuse even in relationships that have been previously violent. This is because once the punch has landed, it takes much less to keep the victim in line in the future. So, in an emotionally/verbally abusive relationship, the “punch” is the initial insult and the “pettiness” is the reminder of it.

    I hope I explained that well.

    I cannot define verbal abuse for you. You cannot define it for me, either. I know the intricacies of my relationship better than any outsider, so I am the one who knows “genuine” verbal abuse in my relationship. It is a bad idea to tell others that their situation IS NOT abusive because it doesn’t meet your standards of outward signs. It is in the emotions and mind of the individual to decide if they are abused. So when my ex told me that he was the one abused, I didn’t argue with him. If he wanted to throw that out there as bait, so be it. He could reel it back in because I wasn’t gonna bite.

  4. Pedro says:

    Hello I am in the same situation as John and Tortured
    She is sweet in public, even has a sweet voice, but at home She tells me that I am wasting oxigen and that I should kill myself, She is a stay home alone since the kids are at school and the food She prepares is terrible, and the lies, she makes them on the fly.

  5. saddestgirl says:

    My bf will make me cry, then say , ” You’re crying AGAIN?!”"What a p###y.”"Stop being such a baby.” I’ve tried really hard not to ask for comfort. It’s like I’m not allowed to cry.

  6. C B says:

    My boyfriend is verbally abusive. He tells me I’m white trash. He tells me I’m a cunt. He tells me that I’m not his equal and don’t have any right to any opinions in his house. He tells me that I have nothing to be proud of. He calls my daughter my “fuck” trophy. He says the most awful things.

    What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just leave him?

  7. worthless girl says:

    I get the money issue of how come we have money for the trip when we never have money. Today as a matter of fact I didn’t call him during my lunch. (I wanted quiet time). When I text him I was out of work he said “oh there you are” or if it takes me longer to get home what took you so long. He made me download an app so can see where I am all the time. I can’t go out with the girls. I really don’t have friends. I go to work and home. I feel like I’m in prison. I have called him a warden. I don’t talk to him about work because he doesn’t care. I have asked for a divorce but he said no. I feel trapped. I used to go to a therapist but he would ask me why I still go. You that bad, what’s wrong with you. I tell him it is because of you. I ask him to go with me and he wouldn’t. I am miserable and don’t know what to do. I have had to get rid of friends on Facebook because he didn’t like them because of there comments. I can’t talk to anyone on the phone or by txt message because he needs to know what they are saying. The kids see it all and don’t like how he treats me. One is a teen the other two are adults. I can’t take to my male classmates from high school because they are men. Really I haven’t seen them in years. If I could go back in time I wouldn’t have married him. Oh and I have been going to college and he gives me a hard time about me doing my homework and makes remarks about bettering myself.

  8. Christine says:

    I’ve been having a really hard time with my husband lately and I think I’m being abused, but like you were talking about, I’m really confused. I have a physical illness that limits the amount of walking that I can do and it causes me a great deal of pain at times. My husband told me this week that my illness was making his life bad. We aren’t able to spend very much time together, which is mainly due to the fact that he refuses to do anything with me that I am able to. We either have to walk around the entire city or “I can just stay home”. When I have painful flare ups he doesn’t even look up from what he’s doing, he just gets angry ,throws up his hands and shouts me “what!” in an agitated voice.

    My husband tells me what I should do for the day before he leaves for work, and if I am not able to get all of it accomplished, or accomplished to his specifications, he gets very angry when he comes home. He greets me with a mumbled hello and then circles the house looking for something out of place. I am terrified to leave the house looking like I live in it.

    If I do something wrong, he likes to ask me if I’m stupid. Here are two examples from this week: I brought what I thought was his water from the kitchen to his bedside. I do this every night because he expects it. He had been cooking and had put some sugar water in a glass, and this is what I brought him not knowing that there was sugar in it. He said, “are you stupid? have you ever seen me drink water?” without explaining anything. I kept asking “what?” “why?” and he just kept saying “are you stupid?”. I got really upset and told him that I don’t like it when he asks if I’m stupid, I told him it’s an unnecessary question. He told me I was understanding it wrong. How can that question be taken as anything other than a belittlement of my intelligence for a simple, innocent mistake? This is the first example. The second one happened today. He called me this morning, but the connection was bad. All I heard was “call the post office,” which I did. When I later called him back for more clarification, he said “were you drunk? are you stupid? I just told you to get the mail”. This seriously pissed me off. I don’t drink and he knows that, much less at 11 in the morning.

    We were doing really well for a few weeks and this started up. It starts up, and then he back off and then it all starts up again. I’m angry, frustrated, hurt and confused. Am I being abused?

  9. Andrea says:

    I think my sister is being very verbally abusive to her husband. She yells and screams at him constantly, flies off the handle at the smallest “infraction.” She calls him a moron, says she can’t believe she’s married to him, that he’s worthless and does nothing for them, and the slightest thing can set her off. Like if he forgets to make their kids a smoothie or iron his clothes the night before something important the next day. I’m getting really tired of her calling me to do nothing but complain about him. She can be really horrible to us too. If my life isn’t going exactly as she thinks it should be, then I have a problem and I should fix it and live like she does. I’m worried about her kids living with this, and her husband. She threatens to leave him and then he gets upset and artificially modifies his behavior for awhile to placate her, but it never lasts long. I was in a very bad physically, verbally, and financially abusive marriage that I finally left, so I think I know how her husband feels. She is very controlling. She doesn’t think he should do anything he enjoys, like playing golf once a month with his father, because his time would be better spent volunteering, being with the family, etc. She rips on anyone else she knows that doesn’t live the perfect life she does, and HER being tired or HER having to work somehow is far more extreme than anyone else’s could be. If I were to tell her something she didn’t want to hear, she would hang up on me and not speak to me for a long time, and come up with a complete list of my personal faults and failings as a reason to discount anything I say. I’ve told her therapy would be best for both of them, and she used to say no to that, but recently said she’d try it, but hasn’t yet.

  10. JJ says:

    Great site. Thank you.
    My ex husband was verbally and emotionally abusive. I left him twenty years ago. During the divorce he came to the house with a gun. My dog saved my life that day.
    He was NEVER physically violent before that day. Don’t kid yourselves about sudden escalation.
    I remarried years later after being together for several years. I thought I’d been smart by taking time before getting married. I was wrong. I am finally recognizing that I’ve been emotionally and verbally abused since we moved into the same house five years ago. Even with couples therapy (second attempt, different therapist), it’s getting worse. Reality is uncomfortable but I have to accept it.
    My first husband killed himself recently. Something about that event brought me clarity about my current situation.
    Thank you for this site and the room for people to tell the truth. Sometimes seeing your own story is a powerful catalyst for change.

  11. cy zielinski says:

    My granddaughter attends a public college and did play basketball for her college last year as a freshman. There is a new coach this year and he went through the dorm and introduced himself. He then scheduled an open gym for the girls through one of the captains with a text message. In the text he told the captain to have my granddaughter were more appropriate shorts to the open gym. The relationship between m granddaughter and the coach has not been good since culminating when she asked him why he was so mean and disrespectful to her. His reply was basically I treat you like a whore because you present yourself as a whore. Needles to say she will not play for him. My question is, is this a form of abuse or harassment? And for the record she is a beautiful young lady both physically and as a person facing many of the issues young women face. She does not however believe in intimacy without commitment.

  12. Harassment is abuse, so the answer to your question is that the coach is committing both offenses.

  13. JJ says:

    My husband of 8 yrs is verbally abusive, he blows up at the slightest thing I say or do wrong in his mind. He is straight left brained, an engineer, I am right brained with left here and there. When he blows he likes to remind me I am stupid, can’t remember anything he has even called horrible names. When he blows he goes on and on like a pit bull attack, he repeats himself, brings up any and all old things I have done wrong (In his mind )he yells at the top of his lung and nothing can stop him, he just yells through me. People think he is so nice, I come from a complete different arena, no yelling and no name calling. I am to ashamed to tell family and friends from the sate I came from, they would hate him and want me to come home. I am 61 and have not worked for 9 years, so could not support myself. I also have 10 horses and 3 cats and live 2500 miles from my home town. I use to be independent and had very keen senses, I have lost those special gifts, I have lost myself. I HATE him. He has no remorse what so ever when he hurts me. He has NEVER ONCE said I am sorry for anything to me. When he is off shore and says I love you I just ignore him. We have not had sex for 2.5 yrs, he says because of his prostrate, he has no desire and it is not me, he says I am beautiful. But I came home and found him beating off to sluts on the internet and the yelled at me for coming into our office. Then he came in and told me it was my fault, I took to long to come. Well I should have said it is because you know nothing about foreplay. So he turned on me and then yelled. I am walking on eggs when he is home. My dr said I need to try and get stress free because my health is suffering, I could have a stoke or heart attack any time because of inflammation, well I never had health problems before living with him, after a yr he is impossible to live with. I even told him I hope he kills me from abuse and he will have to live with that forever.
    I am at the point when he introduces me as his wife, I want to say in name only and/ or I am his slave/ maid with out benefits. I want to hurt him in the worst way. I tell him in his tirades that I hate him, does not bother him. I am stuck. I tell him he is a sick $&#% he just says in a condescending voiceRIGHTTTT……..I have told he needs help but he thinks I am the nutty stupid one. I was a teacher for 20 yrs, I taught high school kids with behavioral problems, then I go and marry one. I am stuck and frustrated to no end.

  14. jane henson says:

    My sister is newly wed and married an ex army man and he is right now emotionally abusing her and in my opinion has always been a bit like this when she met him.This ones clever though because he is doing thre abusing yet he turns it around to make out he is the victim .She in turn thinks he has only changed since he had an op (one of many ) to his ankle which he has to use a walking stick but he has lots of issues from before he met her to do with his ex wife leaving him, plus he has issues over his parents divorcing and joined the army at 16 but he shows signs of Narcissistic traits and im worried for my sisters sanity because he has also did a psychology course (something he did but don’t know the reason) and he is using this when he texts so very clever and cunning .He isn’t clode toany family he has (siblings as parents both dead) even though his siblings love him (they are half siblings has his father had a few marriages and affairs)He wasn’t as bad when she met him 4 yrs ago but he was very insecure and not very trusting but he has gotten worse and he says the most nastiest disgusting things to my sis and demeans her and she doesn’t know when he is going to be like that but anything can trigger him ..its more complicated than this but its too long to type .All I know is she is an emotional wreck and he wont go to relate as he doesn’t think he has a problem but all that he does to her he will say its her doing it to him and he plays the victim..he is also very childish and wants her all to his self but isn’t very loving ,has ridiculed their sex life and blames her .I am here when she needs to talk but I can see he is trying to distance her from her family but she really does know he is abusive but she makes excuses that its since he had his op but no one should have to put up with that

  15. JeanXR says:

    My ex would NEVER have said any of those vile things! He saw The Vagina Monologues with a former girlfriend. He had lived in a hippie commune and knew all about feminism. He would never call his girlfriend a whore.

    Instead he would frequently ask me if I’d slept with this person or that person.

    He would never call me fat.

    Instead he asked me angrily if I was pregnant, and insisted on seeing my stomach.

    He would never call me ugly.

    Instead, he would criticise my clothes “just being honest/for your own good” till my body dysmorphia (which he knew about) came back in full flood.

    He would never criticise what I did in bed.

    Instead, he stopped doing anything at all in bed, because he knew I enjoyed sex.

    I think we need to understand that these things are just as harmful, and come from the same place, as the more obvious verbal abuse.

  16. caged butterf'y says:

    Verbal has led to physical. Nothing more chilling than sensing when a big strapping man is going to attack you. I’m not scared of anything, know how to defend myself and was brought up to believe no man raises a hand to a women. The man I met 20 years ago is not the same man. He’s been through stuff that you couldn’t write and has given up, drinks, takes drugs and rolls in looking for a fight because its always my fault, I frustrate him and I’m disgusting. This was the scenario last time. He came in said nothing, I made no eye contact, hoping he’d just go to bed, but then said he was going to take the kids to the shop. I told him no way, your wrecked and drunk. He stood in the doorway just screwing for about 5 minutes then said to my eldest “take the kids to the shop, I wanna talk to your mum” I knew I was for it. He went into the kitchen, I heard him sniff a line of coke, he came back in, lunged for me grabbed me by the arms and threw me at the front door, he came at me, pulled me out of the way, opened the door and tried to push me out. I got away and ran to the phone, dialled 999 and threw it behind the TV, I threw my self to the floor and just kicked and punched for my life, once he realised the police were on the phone, he backed off and I stayed on the phone with the operator, they came and he actually thought they would take his side, they wanted to arrest him but I just wanted him out of the house. I ended up with a black eyes, dislocated shoulder, kick and punch marks but I survived, he’s out, it was me that had all the power all the time. I feel for him and have been there for him through so much but enough, he’s still really angry mainly because I’m not in the gutter, I can keep a roof over my children’s heads and protect them. I’m not a count I’m not lazy, disgusting, a flirt, or a slag. Now he really has lost everything. Tough

  17. Carla Schwartz says:

    Christine, yes you’re being abused. He is not a child. You’re not a maid or his mother. He can get his own glass of water. You’re a partner and a wife who deserves respect and understanding. It sounds like you have an invisible illnesses. Take your husband to the doctor with you and maybe both of you should get support for this.

    John, Do what you love and you will be successful. I admire you. Your wife should be more supportive in your climb to your top.

    Just one person’s opinion :)

  18. Nervous Girl says:

    My husband is verbally abusive. He has such a short fuse, it’s ridiculous. He has hacked into my email many times because he doesn’t want me talking to anyone about our situation. He even read emails fro my mother BEFORE I even saw them. He goes on rants but can never take responsibility when he gets caught. It is MY fault for talking to her. He is such a lovely individual when we are around family or in public, no one would have any idea what I live with at home. I thought for a while that it was indeed me but then we went to couples therapy and within 30 seconds of him opening his mouth, the therapist called him out for his anger. Needless to say, 3 sessions in the therapy ended because the therapist was an “idiot”. I knew then it was not me. We were recently at a family gathering and after we left a few family members commented to my mom that my daughter & I were awfully quiet. That is when my mom told them a little of the situation we live with. The one thing I have a hard time with is GUILT! I know what I need to do for my daughter & I but the fear is paralyzing at times. I just cannot imagine my daughter having to spend time alone with him when he is like this. I could just cry. To top it off, we lost my dad to Cancer early 2014. It has been hard dealing with that and not having any emotional support at home.

    I really wish this sick feeling in my stomach would go away, but I think it is here to stay.

  19. V says:

    Me and my (at the time I am writing this) ex have been on and off for almost a decade. We have 2 children together. I had left him years ago mainly because he liked to drink and hung around people who drank. We were separated for a few years before we decided that it might work (he had stopped drinking during the time we were separated). The first few months were fine, then he started nit picking, questioning my faith (I’m Christian, he’s Atheist) by asking questions, that weren’t really questions, like “how can someone as smart as you believe in something so stupid?” and asking about “holes” he found in my belief system. He had trouble landing a permanent job at first, and I had found one before he did. First he was happy that I was working, making plans to find a place (with my less than minimum wage salary) and he made plans to stay at home and be with the kids, which I wouldn’t be able to afford. After a while, my carpal tunnel set in, so I resigned.
    A few months later, he got a job. Now that he had his job, the “rules” changed. We had been planning to get married almost immediately after we reconciled, but we wanted financial stability first. When we first were back together, he said that he didn’t care whether I worked or not because he knew that the kids needed me. I had been collecting welfare during the separation, and continued afterward, because I had financial responsibilities that I couldn’t neglect. Now that he was working (in a secure job), his rule was that we couldn’t live together until I had a job too (which has been very hard for me to find), and that we couldn’t get married until we lived together (which I had told him from the beginning that I didn’t want to do because it went against my convictions). Also, welfare didn’t like that he was working without financially supporting, so they garnished his wages. i tried my best to stop welfare, but they said that it was “ex’s” duty to pay, and would not stop the garnishments until we were married or under the same roof.
    These last few years that we’ve been together, he’s lived with his parents, and I with mine. He’d come over every weekend, and my mother seeing this has wanted him to come over less and less. Both his mother, and mine have voiced their opinion to me that he seems happy, and too comfortable, with this living arrangement. After he had been working for a few months, he started hanging out more with his new friends, I didn’t mind. Then I found him scrolling through some videos he had taken on his phone from one of his trips (which he said was just the guys – which was one of the reasons why I wasn’t invited) had a young woman firing off a gun (they were at a shooting range). So, I looked at his phone while he was asleep, and found that he had several videos of him with his guy buddies, and a couple with just that woman in particular, mainly her talking, smiling, and shooting that gun at a rock. When I asked him about it, he said that one of his buddies had a crush on her, but she was engaged, so he was keeping those videos to text to him. I told him “fine, can you text it and delete it now, so we can have more room for our kids’ pictures?” He threw a small fit, saying that I was soooo insecure and how could I be jealous. Eventually, he deleted it, but not without making me feel guilty about it first.
    A few months later, I got a seasonal job. It was Christmas Eve, and it was almost my last day of working. I had hoped that it would be a permanent job, so I had done my best to outwork myself at a chance to keep the job. Of course, with my mind on work, I wasn’t around my phone. And I couldn’t work on the floor with my phone around anyway. He had come to pick me up to go to my Mom’s for Christmas Eve. She had been planning the dinner for a few weeks. When he picked me up, he said “What the f&%?! Don’t you ever answer the f&%#ing phone?? I can’t believe you!!” I explained that I was working and couldn’t answer my phone, he responded “Plans changed. We’re going to mom’s tonight. We’ll have dinner at your mom’s tomorrow”.
    The whole way back to my mom’s house (that’s where our kids and all my stuff was) he was yelling at me, telling me that he was going to take the kids to his mom’s without me “And forget about getting married! This is Bulls#!t! If you want to get married, then you need to start cooperating” He said. I felt so guilty, I lied to my mom about why I was crying and told her that it was because the manager had yelled at me, so I could leave with him and be with my kids on Christmas Eve. I feel so ashamed now that I didn’t say anything at the time, but who wants to fight on Christmas? And of course the confusion of him being so nice most of the time, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around these “episodes”.
    This last year, he tried to change plans at the last minute again, but this time, I told his mom ahead of time that we couldn’t make it, and she understood.
    Recently, I gave permission to a family member to claim one of my kids on their taxes, since this person has been such a great help, they told me that the tax money they got, they would give me to put on a down for a car (which is a big reason for why I have a hard time finding work outside of the city I live in). I was so excited, I told “ex” this news. He was totally against it. I was surprised. “Ex” always claimed the kids at tax time, always saying “we’ll get married with this money” or “I’ll find a place or buy a car with this money.” just to make deals with other people and spend the money on everything but what he’s promised. When I told him, he said “Nooo wayyy! This relative is not claiming because I worked all year and you didn’t! You don’t deserve this money anyway!” It was hard for me to tell him that I had already given this relative permission. When I finally told him, I didn’t want to keep any secrets, he was so irate. He texted me later that day saying “You make me sick!” “I can’t believe you!” “You are such a liar, I can’t trust you. Forget about getting married now!” When I reminded him that I told him what I was planning to do, but he wouldn’t hear, so I didn’t know what to say, he said “I can’t trust you anymore. Why did you do this? You’re just a lazy welfare mom who won’t get off your ass and do something with your life! I can’t be with someone as lazy as you!” (I’m currently taking care of my two kids, going to school, and looking for permanent work).
    This breaks my heart. I feel guilty for not having told him everything, but I was afraid of the reaction that I got anyway. Now we’re not together, and he says it’s all my fault, and somewhere in my soul is a scared little girl who wondered if it was her fault.

  20. lizzie says:

    for the past few years he comes and goes as he pleases sometimes days he comes home and ill ask what happen were happen why didnt you call me so i dont worry I was helping xxxxx.just like that as if ok. Im burning inside my throught hurts cause im sucking it all up just to avoid an argument. I really dont know how to react with him if i cry he says there u go again thats why i leave. He gets real loud and if i try saying anything such a simple idea he gets louder.one word comes out my mouth and about a thousand out of his he uses reverse physiology i am aware.
    Im tired of being home all day every day. Ill walk to the store to buy milk whats taking me so long am i meeting someone.my neighbor has 3boys the youngest just turned 18. He is friends with my son. And one day my husband seen me talking to him and since then he says there’s something going on with us im tired of him acusing me of everything and all the name calling im stupid for still loving him and hopeing for a change. I believed im on denial he wont change.even both times he was in hospital for a week i was beside him day and night and he treated me like shit.thats not love and i know.but im trying to be strong im working on it. If he changes on time well good but if not i dont see me living this way. Oh by the way i wish i can go shopping of have fun waste money on myself but i can’t not without taking care of bills and rent so i can’t.but why and how do they get so careless. He just got his sad to say but his im broke cause bills are payed and he gives me money to put away.leaves comes back asking me for the money saying he missplaced his card bull shit i checked his account and $5 left.wow must be nice to spend $4000 on your self in less than 2days yes in the casino. All i ask is for god to make me strong and allow me to move on.cause i dont need this im always alone Anyways. I have no one to talk to so its hard for me to even stop now. Love is not supposed to hurt. And i do plan on leaving this world feeling loved. So babe get your shit together or it wont be you.

  21. Ann says:

    I think I’m in a verbally abusive relationship.I have been married for 13 yrs. And it’s always the same.my husband is critical of everything I do.He says it’s because he is more knowledgable about things than Iam.He is constantly upset with me,and telling me how I come up short.He works very hard at his job and says he expects the same of me.I am a mother of three great kids and do everything for them.Yet my husband tells me constantly how they should be cared for etc.When I speak up he tells me I talk too loud,he blames anything negative about our life on my depression.Im miserable and scared I have no money,no job and he reminds of this whenever I threaten to leave.He says he will also keep the kids.Im terrified to leave,if I do my kids will have to go through a divorce and I can’t bear to hurt them.

  22. Two time loser says:

    I am so sad to see so many in the same boat. I was married to an abuser the first time around(including physical which ended that relationship) I never thought it would happen again. I remarried to what I thought was a nor mal guy. He swept me off my feet, told me he understood all that I went through, and he would never hurt me. Well….this one is so verbally
    abusive, I would rather be hit. Always when I think things are going well, he blows. I honestly think he
    can’t stand it when things are peaceful. I am no
    angel, but I have learned from years of therapy to
    be accountable for me. He says the most awful
    things to me when he is angry. Everything is my
    fault. I pushed the buttons, I made him mad, I
    say and do stupid things, I’m crazy, my feelings
    are stupid, and if I cry he says “poor, pitiful me”.
    He also says now he understands what my ex
    went through and feels sorry for him. Wow! We
    went to therapy for a year together, and when it
    came time for him to go alone, that was done. He
    says he is fine, there is nothing wrong with him.
    All me. Our fights are fewer, but when they
    happen these are the things he says, over and
    over. I’m 46 now and am so worn out. I do feel
    crazy, and so hurt. Each fight takes more and
    more effort to get over. Just like everyone else
    has said, he is wonderful to others and his co-
    workers. I get the crap thats left over.

  23. Becky says:

    Nervous girl.. I know exactly what you are talking about. My husband has his whole family thinking that he is the loving, caring, misunderstood husband and I am the selfish, disrespectful, unappreciative wife. He is so very good at being who he needs to be in any situation. At home he is different. He has completely changed recently to something very scary. He is calm and conniving. And conts to repeat that he loves me and is following God and is here for me and isn’t going anywhere. That he knows I’m dealing with demons and hurting…. Over things I have done that he has made up in his head!! He is delusional and believes God is answering his prayers.. He believes God has shown him that something happened. (Long story short. His friend of 25 yrs came to visit and he accused us of sleeping together and has this elaborate story made up about it in his head ) He refuses to get help because there is nothing wrong with him it’s me…. He hopes that my therapy starts helping me to see that he only loves me…. I have been dealing with verbal abuse for almost 18 years. But didn’t realize it until about 5 years ago. This change in his behavior the last week has me very worried…. He has always gone through this cycle of being extra nice after outburst but this is so different. He is saying things that he has never said before.. I’m actually pretty freaked out. I have s therapy session tomorrow and will mention it to him to see what he thinks.

  24. Check out the book How To Keep People From Pushing Your Buttons. In short, abusers know how to push your buttons to get what they want. This book will help you regain control of your emotions and your actions that follow them.

  25. My sons, now ages 18 and 21, both tell me they wished I’d left their father long before I did. When I left, they were about 13 and 16. Yes, your kids will experience the divorce, but it will be much more painful for you than it w-ll be for them. Kids are really really really really intelligent about these things. Plus, the sooner you get out into the workforce, the sooner you’ll have the income you need to support your family (meaning your kids and you).

  26. Angel Perez says:

    In my case the person that is abusive is his mom. Every two weeks she is coming to the house and when he is not present insults me and make insinuations about that I’m old, fat, even though that she used to live with someone with out been marry she is making moral comments about me. She is trying to make me think that I’m crazy. She says that north american woman does not take care of the house like the woman in her Country do. She is telling lies about me to other people causing others to say bad things to me and even insult me. She also tells my mom that I have to respect her just because she is older than I. I told my husband what was going on . He told me to ignore it. The problem is that she is constantly offending and if I say something to defend my self she says that I’m disrespecting her because I’m answering back. She says that I just had to accept her because I’m now part of the family. I ask my husband to look for help and he told me that is not necessary because she will leave soon. She is form Bolivia and came with a tourist visa. I don’t know how long she can stay but she came in October. The problem is that they have been talking about she staying in the Country. I have been really stressed and could not sleep in the last nights. I think that we really need help, because he can not see how much this is hurting me. He says that he will not invite her to the house anymore and then 2 weeks later he is bringing her home again. She feels empowered and continue doing the same. She even talk about our house like is her house and her garden. She changes things on my decoration and throw my things to the trash. She is always criticizing my cleaning. And she is making me feel bad about my self. I don’t know what to do. He is a good man and I love him but I’m not happy anymore. Is there a line or some help that we can receive? I don’t want him to stop having a relation with his mom but her mistreatment is making me sick. I can see that he is confuse about what to do because is his mom and he loves her and he love me. He does not want to say to her not to come anymore, but, honestly, I don’t see how the relation can survive with her.

  27. Becky says:

    He has been on this kick of telling me that he loves me, no one else has ever loved me. I have never loved before. I don’t know what love is. all the hostility that my kids show toward him is somehow my fault. Everything is my fault..

  28. Angel, I think it is best that you and your husband reach out to a therapist, counselor or clergy-member for support. Your husband’s mother controls him and he is having a very hard time setting boundaries with her. You are having a hard time setting boundaries, too. But when the abuser is your mother-in-law, the two of you (husband and wife) must come together to find a solution.

    It seems like you love each other. YOu need to protect that love. Couples counseling WILL work in a situation like this.

  29. Lisa says:

    I’ve always been the dominant one in my relationships because I’m a strong woman. After a while that gets old. It earned me a divorce and now I truly want an equal relationship. I’ve been in a relationship for the past 2 years that is the polar opposite. While at first I thought this mans dominance was sexy ands attractive now I know its far from attractive. My boyfriend was abused verbally as a child and grew up in a traditional Mexican family where his father was the supreme leader. His mother passes when he was 8 so there was a lot of nurturing and love he missed out on there. I see him treating me the way his father treated him as a child. It makes me hurt for him and now for myself as I’m the punching bag. I’m a strong and independent woman who has friends and family, I know I’m likeable and loveable too. Even still I’ve let this man break me down for things that don’t require the anger he’s unleashing on me. Yes there has been some physical abuse here too but its the words that hurt me the most. More and more he’s comfortable with telling me to “shut the *uck up” and last night told me he hates me. I don’t want to live a life like this and I’m proud of myself for taking the high road and not name calling back. Some words can’t be taken back and it kills me the way they reverberate in my brain. Of course I get apologies and then I feel better. Things may start to improve but then something happens that brings me right back down to that low place. I’m 32 years old and I’d really like to have a husband again and maybe even a family. Why am I trapping myself here and how can I love a man that picks at the core of my insecurities? I’m sabotaging myself and I don’t know how to stop it. I’m so embarrassed for what I’ve allowed and tolerated.

  30. He should be embarrassed, not you. Strong, competent, and educated men/women become victims of abuse all the time. Those qualities do not matter one lick when it comes to domestic violence and abuse. Abusers use their “alternate personality” to attract and keep you. For me, soon after I accepted that I fell in love with my ex-husband’s MASK instead of who he was, I felt stronger and stopped blaming myself for falling into the fricking trap.

    If you were walking thru the woods and fell into a hole that you could not have detected because an expert trap-maker built it, would you blame yourself? Or would you try to get out of the trap?

    Focus on getting out of the trap. It is much more useful than thinking you were stupid for falling into it. <3

    P.S. You're still a strong woman. Leaving him is going to make you even stronger.

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