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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.

Author: kholly

Kellie Jo Holly advocates for domestic violence and abuse awareness through her writing. You can find Kellie Jo on her website, Amazon Authors, Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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

  1. This is a terrible article. I went searching for help and resources and this article telling me it won’t stop and there’s nothing I can do about it. SHAME on you for putting more fear into people who are grave enough to search for help. I’m putting this on blast.

    1. Hey there! I’m sorry you weren’t pleased with the article. HealthyPlace blogs have different authors for each blog, if this article rubbed you the wrong way, maybe you’ll connect more with another author? Emma-Marie Smith is the current author of Verbal Abuse in Relationships, Here’s a link to a proactive article she wrote about ending verbal abuse: 5 ways to end verbal abuse

      And here’s the blog page that features our most recent articles on Verbal Abuse in Relationships: Verbal Abuse in Relationships

      I’m the newest author of Verbal Abuse in Relationships, I’ll have my first article out in the very near future and every other Tuesday from then on.

      I hope you’ll stick around HealthyPlace and check out more of the articles we have to offer. Thanks!! -Emily

  2. My husband is verbally abusive and i dont know if he knows it. I try to tell him how him talking at me, always correcting, one-upping me, and just making me feel like my opinions and feelings do not matter. If he smokes pot he loves to talk with me and we laugh and have a great time. But any other time he is always on his phone, facebook, reading forums and telling others why their opinions are wrong, or not right enough. He thinks its funny. He is also a nice guy tho, everyone loves him. I used to be very independent, and had great relationships. I was in the National Honor Society, went to college, never doubted what I could do, just if I wanted to do it. I dont believe in myself at all anymore. If I have a great day and feel accomplished and tell my husband he critiques me on what I could have done better. Or what I should have said, even though it worked out for me just fine. So we dont talk much, we never have sex unless it like 2 am and he wants to, but if I ask or bring it up, the answer is no. Does he not realize the amount of pride and confidence in myself I had to swallow just to ask my husband to have sex with me. I have even lost a crap ton of weight just trying to maybe catch his eye again. I dont speak much to my family anymore, because I dont have anything positive to say lately. How are you is the most commonly asked question. Most of the time I am fine, but I know inside I am just a budle of stress worying about the next time we fight. Not that he will hurt me, he wont hit me. But on how I will handle him talking at me or yelling at me. If I go with it we avoid a fight… but if I speak up or he yells me to a corner I will fight back with mean words or last time I thru shoes at him to leave me alone. I was literally backed into a corner while he yelled at me. I feel like such a useless human being after we fight. I honestly would kill myself if it wasnt for our awesome daughter. We might be a horrible couple but we are awesome parents. I had a depressed mother who I know thought about suicide but didnt. I was her reason. But at the same time that has put so much pressure on me in life. I dont want my daughter having the same pressure in life as I did knowing she was my only true happiness. I have even had a fight (or as my husband calls it a debate) on Christianity. I am a christian and he is not. I have never pushed it onto him, but he loves to make me question my belief. I have always said although I am christian I have questions for God when I see him lol. Some things i questions but believe and that is my right. My husband came at me with so many questions, and since I have any questions at all has told me I am not a true christian. Well his last debate as he calls it; he won. I haven’t been to church since and I barely pray. I feel week. I feel ashamed. I feel trapped. And I just want the man I married back. A divorce would hurt our daughter so, and honestly he wouldn’t give me one. And I already have nightmares of loosing my husband. So I wake up feeling like I am supposed to make this work. But right now I feel like the dreams might be telling me I lost him years ago.

    1. Lindsey, Hi I’m Emily, the newest author of Verbal Abuse in Relationships. I’m so sorry for your troubles. First of all, I think it is amazing you are able to find strength in being a mother during such a trying time for you, emotionally and mentally. Sometimes during really tough times like you’re going through now, it’s crucial you can find something to keep you going, something to remind you how strong and capable you truly are. I’m proud of you for standing up for yourself, even though you know it could cause a fight because you are worth being stood up for. What you’re describing does indeed sound lonely and diminishing, I’m so sorry you are feeling this way, it makes sense that you would be. Check out these articles on ways you can deal with verbal abuse:5 ways to end verbal abuse
      5 ways of dealing with verbally abusive relationships

      Also, have you considered talking with maybe a counselor? Or if you’re more comfortable maybe you could seek out a family and marriage therapist? I know those things can be a lot to take on so in the meantime, I’d suggest reading up on ways you can cope and measures you can take to feel your true value again.

      P.S. National Honor Society?! Wow! That’s amazing, you are a smart and impressive woman, no matter what anybody tells you. Just like if he told you the sky was orange, you’d know it was blue. Try to remember he is not the authority on who you are as a person.


    2. Your story sounds a lot like mine even though we are not married nor have kids together. I read stories such as yours and it so sad that I want to reach out to u and help u, but won’t help myself.

  3. My boyfriend and I have been together close to 10 years..Have had a lot of ups and downs. He will not take his pschy meds and is very verbally abusive to me..I took him in off the streets.,and got him his ssi and food stamps and a place to love…He does not treat me good at all..I need him and he needs me..I am disabled.He does not care about my feelings…I cant make it on my own…He makes me so sad and depressed. What can I do???

  4. My husband is an alcoholic. He is always verbally abusive when he is drinking. Which is most of the time. He has got worse over time. Last month he was arrested at our home for abuse..he just doesn’t know when to walk away. Nothing was physical but there were threats. He was released and came right to the house, breaking bond conditions. I know alcohol is a big problem for him. I feel like if he could stop drinking he could cope with the problems that make him want to drink. I want my husband back. Everyone is telling me to leave him. I’m stuck because my heart tells me different. I guess I’m a dreamer and stupid. But I fear if I leave, i will regret it the rest of my life.

    1. I know I sound crazy saying I love him. How could I possibly love someone who says such mean things. I love the man underneath it all. There is no way of knowing if he can beat his problem. Many people claim he is an abuser with or without the alcohol. It’s so confusing and so easy for others just to say leave.

  5. My wife verbally abused me she’s always been this way her whole life so her family says every chance she see me happy or see me sleeping peacefully she always try to knock me down in front of my children and tell me that I’m not a good mother or good wife or good person what I know I am she calls me names she talks about me on social media and two other women that doesn’t even know me I’m so far in love with her and I would do anything for her I don’t want to leave I would love to see it better but where I’m at now she verbally abused me so much to the point where I don’t know if I’m going right or left for up or down or in circles please help me

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.


  9. Hi im a 30 year old woman been married for 7 years now with two kids a boy and girl. My husband is verbally abusive and later on when he realise that im hurt he will be. In a very good mood looking all happy while im angry and hurt and he won’t even bother to apologise or anything eveerything will so normal to him. He also likes to yell at the kids never even go out with me to have that quality time with the kids but he goes out a. Lot with friends annd if try to talk to him about how I feel about qll that he doesn’t seem to be interested he would tell me to stop drama… I know this is very wrong I dont deserve such treatment but im afraid to let go the fear of the unknown future holds me back as he made sure I become insecure of taking care of myself I dont believe in myself anymore im always crying no friends no family to turn to as he made sure I dont get along with anybody,I miss being myself my freedom my hapiness. I guess not being able to work as he denied me from going to school to further my studies is the reason I also dont believe that I cann make it out the alone. I need help to regain my self esteem so I can move out. I don’t know how im gonna do that…

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