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The Invisible Line Between Verbal and Physical Abuse

The Invisible Line Between Verbal and Physical Abuse

When it comes to verbal and physical abuse, can words hurt us the same as a fist? Sticks and stones . . . are broken bones worse than a broken soul?

The distinction between verbal and physical abuse is something I have questioned ever since my abusive relationship ended. My ex-partner shoved me, pushed me, kicked me and forced me out of his way when we argued. He raised his fist and made threats, but never actually hit me. Does this mean I was verbally, physically abused or both? I think the answer depends on where we, as individuals, draw the line.

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Why Does Verbal Abuse Happen? What Makes a Person Abusive?

Why Does Verbal Abuse Happen? What Makes a Person Abusive?

 

To understand why verbal abuse happens, we must question some uncomfortable assumptions. We have to look at both abuser and victim. Why do people abuse others?

When I first realized I’d been in a verbally abusive relationship, I asked myself, “Why me?” and “Why does verbal abuse happen?” but there were no straightforward answers to these questions. The articles I read online echoed the reassurances of those close to me — that the abuse wasn’t about me, it was about my ex. “If it hadn’t been you it would’ve been somebody else,” I kept hearing, doubting if this was really the case. Years later, I still find myself wondering whether the abuse was entirely his fault or if I could have done more to prevent it. I still wonder why verbal abuse happened.

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When Verbal Abuse Is Disguised as a Joke

When Verbal Abuse Is Disguised as a Joke

Abusers disguise verbal abuse as jokes, but even if the joke makes the abuser (and others) laugh, it's not funny. You're not too sensitive. It's verbal abuse.

How can you recognize verbal abuse disguised as a joke? Here’s the thing: a loving partner will never call you ugly or stupid, even as a joke. A respectful husband or wife won’t ever deliberately put you down in front of other people for a laugh. That’s because it’s not funny, it’s verbal abuse thinly disguised as a joke.

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The Difference Between Arguments and Verbal Abuse

The Difference Between Arguments and Verbal Abuse

There is a clear distinction between arguments and verbal abuse, but it's hard to see it in the moment. Are you arguing or being verbally abused? Find out here.

There is an important difference between arguments and verbal abuse. Have you ever heard the expression, “You can’t see the wood for the trees?” That’s how a verbally abusive relationship made me feel. I spent so long trying to unpick my partner’s behavior that I became blind to it, all the while thinking that if I could somehow do better, be better then the abuse would stop (Do You Abuse Yourself with Self-Blame?). I was in denial. I told myself that all couples argue. But I now know there is a clear distinction between normal relationship arguments and verbal abuse.

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Female Domestic Violence Offenders: How Can Men Spot One?

Female Domestic Violence Offenders: How Can Men Spot One?

How can you identify a female domestic violence offender before she assaults you? Learn the signs of a female domestic violence offender. Read now.

Scientists study female domestic violence offenders more than in the past. Men and women differ in many ways, and no one knows if female domestic violence offenders’ motivations to commit violence will turn out to be the same as male motivations. But seeing as we must start somewhere, it seems logical to begin with what we know about male offenders.

The research on female domestic violence offenders currently follows the research found relating to male offenders, namely the type of attachment style in intimate relationships, trauma symptoms and personality disorders. What can men look for to spot a female domestic violence offender?

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A Verbal Abuse Quiz You Want To Take, Just To Be Sure

A Verbal Abuse Quiz You Want To Take, Just To Be Sure

A verbal abuse quiz can do a lot of things. It can help you determine if you suffer from verbal abuse. It can change your mind about what verbal abuse is and is not. A verbal abuse quiz can even show you that (eek!) you abuse other people. But a quiz cannot make you be honest. So if you are not ready to take an honest look at your situation, then don’t bother with this verbal abuse quiz. It can’t help you if you lie.

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The Effects of Verbal Abuse and How They Hurt

The Effects of Verbal Abuse and How They Hurt

The effects of verbal abuse hurt me in both the short-term and long-term. Short-term effects of verbal abuse were the sting of his words or suggestions and the long nights spent crying silently to myself, figuring out what I needed to do to make the relationship better. Long-term effects, for me, are Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. Some victims of abuse suffer Dissociative Identity Disorder, too.

How does that happen? Why does a healthy person become a victim suffering from mental disorders?

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Can You Protect the Children from Domestic Abuse?

Can You Protect the Children from Domestic Abuse?

Years ago, I bore two sons into my abusive marriage. Young and naïve, I thought my husband would change into a loving man when he felt unconditional love from and for the children. I thought that real love would end his cruelty toward me, and that he and I would create a loving family. I thought wrong.

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Long-Term Abusive Relationship Feelings and Behaviors

Long-Term Abusive Relationship Feelings and Behaviors

The prior post discussed the relationship between the abuser and victim, then explored what each partner thinks during the routine. This post digs into the abusive relationship feelings and behaviors of the victim and abuser during a long-term abusive relationship.

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Long-Term Abusive Relationships: The Routine vs The Cycle of Violence

Long-Term Abusive Relationships: The Routine vs The Cycle of Violence

The routine merges the cycle of violence and abuse phases of the honeymoon and tension-building, and it develops over a period of time. Typically we see the routine only in long-term abusive relationships because it enables both victim and abuser to manage their diseased relationship without expending as much emotional, mental, or physical energy as they did when the relationship was new. (The routine is also covered in this post on the routine and cycle of violence and abuse.)

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