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
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.
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 (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)
*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.
Holly, K. (2011, April 17). How Do I Stop Verbal Abuse?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2011/04/how-do-i-stop-the-verbal-abuse-part-1
Author: Kellie Jo Holly
1-800- 273-8255 Please call this suicide hotline for help. God bless you.
<a href="https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2017/10/coping-with-verbal-abuse/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Coping with Verbal Abuse when you can't just leave</a>
<a href="https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow">Hotline Numbers and Resources</a>
<a href="https://www.healthyplace.com/suicide/for-teens-dealing-with-thoughts-of-suicide/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow">Teens Dealing with Suicidal Thoughts</a>
<a href="https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/emotional-psychological-abuse/emotional-abuse-help-support-and-recovery/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow">Emotional Abuse Help & Support</a>
And here's the blog page that features our most recent articles on Verbal Abuse in Relationships: <a href="https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Verbal Abuse in Relationships </a>
I'm the newest author of <em>Verbal Abuse in Relationships</em>, 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
<a href="https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/verbal-abuse/5-ways-of-dealing-with-verbally-abusive-relationships/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow">5 ways of dealing with verbally abusive relationships</a>
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.
When you're ready to reach out for support, you might find the domestic violence helpline on our <a href="https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Hotlines page</a> helpful.
Good luck, and please continue to come to our site for support.
I wanted to say to Luvon that there has to be something in our makeup that makes us more vulnerable to abusive situations. When I was married the first time, I went to counseling and became a much stronger person. I never wanted to go back to my ex husband.....ever. When I re married several years later, my 2nd husband was not abusive to me, never called me names, never spoke nasty to me. But he had an affair that lasted 2 years after we had been married 12 years. I was totally clueless. I knew he was a flirt and he enjoyed attention, but never thought it would go to that extent. I went to counseling then also. I got the courage to end the marriage. 9 years later I meet up with an old boyfriend and hope that this is the relationship I have been waiting for. Nope. He drinks too much and when he does he becomes a mean drunk. I will not live like that. I am back into counseling. My question is how do women find the right guy? How do they find that good guy?
He asked for my number and so we started to text each other every day. Then about 3 months later we had made it official we were in a relationship. I look back and I wish I would have reconised the red flags.
- He was very eager to get my number
- when I would go to his place on the weekends he did not want me to go home ( I thought it was cute at the time)
- there was a good living next door to him who came over looking for him. I heard him telling his roommate at the time to keep her busy and tell her he wasn't home when he was with me in his room.
- I had found her panties a week later in his room which he denied for a year until he got mad and admitted it.
Those are only a few things that are just the tip of the ice berg. All of my friends and the people who loved me warned me about him. he was a "bad boy" type I had never been with that kind of guy before. So I had no idea what I was in for.
18 months into the relationship We moved in to a rental house together and by that time he was constantly manipulating me into spending my entire paycheck on him and his needs. Always "borrowing" money off me (acting like a sweet heart when he wanted something from me) he made good money and got paid every Friday and would go to the strip bar and turn his phone off telling me it died and came home drunk and broke. I hated Fridays because deep down I knew what was really going on. I would cry every day I was so hurt.
He made his mother pay his portion of the rent and was horrible to her. The house we rented had to be in name because he was working the day papers needed to be singed. I only got the place because We were previously living with 7 other ppl crammed in a small house so I thought if we had our own place things would get better. They didnt.
He would always and still Always puts me down , accused me of cheating with our guy friends, goes thru my phone , tells me I cant take a joke If he says something mean. He has gotten physically abusive a few times.
2 months after I got that place for us I told myself that I don't want this life anymore. I immediately messaged the landlord and explained I neded to leave and they understood. I packed my things and left. I was so happy. I stayed with my cousin and got my own place. I thought it was finally over.
6 months later I felt weak and vulnerable. We started talking again and things seemed great. He was so sweet to me and nice and respectful. But shortly after we were talking again he called and said the landlords were evicting him and he had nowhere to go. I thought to myself yeah sure why not things are different now.....
Every night I sit here alone in my room and I cry every night. The abuse is 1000x worse.
Im mentally exhausted. I cant even be happy about anything because when I am he immediately says something to make me upset. This was suppose to be my place and now it's his and I have to hide in my room. If I have money he asks to borrow it and If I dont give it to him Its more of a headache. He won't leave and if I ever try to leave all hell breaks lose. I have two kitty's I love so much and I'm scared If I leave he will hurt them. This place is in my name and the lease isnt up till October. I cant get out of it. If I go to the police it'll make things worse. I need an escape plan but he wont put his name on anything. Its all in my name. If I cry myself to sleep he tells me I'm being stupid and gets mad. If I knock over a glass I'm stupid. If I cant hear him when he mumbles I'm stupid. Everything of mine that was here is all thrown away. All the furniture is his. He threatens me and tells me he will put me in a grave. If I talk when we have ppl over he humiliates me anyway he can. I am so sad. I am starting to think maybe I'm just stupid?
I don't feel beautiful I feel ugly. He only sleeps with me when he feels like it and he never gives affection. I just want a second chance to get out of this safe.
He was sexually abused as a child and he refuses to get help or talk to anyone about it. He would rather take it out on me.