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, July 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2011/04/how-do-i-stop-the-verbal-abuse-part-1
Author: Kellie Jo Holly
Verbal, phscological and some physical abuse. I did not leave because no one would believe me anyway. What i did not realise was that i had a cardiac problem. So after a stoke and a heart attack the problem was found and corrected. i felt stronger and able to walk away.
I am living in another country where i do not speak the language well. my ex has fled the country and is not giving me the agreed financial support.
I was told that I was not entitled to any help - that is not true.I am now in the hands of the womens abuse centre, they are arranging legal aid and trying to protect me from my ex , their support has been a life saver and they are helping me to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
My situation is similar, but I'm a guy, and my wife & I have been married for 15 years. We have 3 kids...a 6-year-old girl, a 9-year-old girl, and a 12-year-old boy. I adore each of the kids. I also used to adore my wife, but she showed her abusive side to me while she was pregnant with our son, and within a few years after he was born, I fully realized who I was dealing with, and I definitely do not love her anymore.
On rare occasions, my wife is verbally abusive to me, but it usually ends quickly because I stand up to her by ignoring her. Most unfortunately, she is frequently verbally abusive to the kids, and this breaks my heart, because all they want is their mother's love. I stand up for them, too, but it never changes her nasty behavior. She's just mean, and there's no way to talk her into even "acting" reasonably.
For the last decade, I've been here strictly for the kids. I love them, and I don't want to abandon them to her cruelty. I just go through the motions of being a supportive and contributing husband, and I look forward to the day when the kids are not so impressionable so I no longer have to worry about the terrible way she treats them.
Unfortunately, nasty people tend to stay nasty, so anyone who is with an abuser when there are no children involved should strongly consider leaving the relationship. Moving on will probably make for a much happier life. There are so many billions of people in the world, it isn't worth any price to stay with someone who isn't kind.
Kids complicate the matter, because divorce can sometimes be counterproductive for their well-being.
In any case, to all the women who are with abusive men, I hope for the best for you.
The best thing to do when the partner makes threats like that is to gather facts for yourself. Call an attorney and get some questions answered. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline and get some support.
Abusers are full of themselves and liars. Your husband's threats are empty and he knows it.
Iv been in a relationship with him almost 5 yrs, Im Indonesian and hes' American...Im already here in USA since Feb 2015 and using K1 Visa, so i must get married within 90 days. I live with him in his mom's house...
I dont knw, since im here he calls me name, and he accused me that im using him to get GreenCard. His words really hurt my feeling lots esp if he starts calling me name. I do my best to be positive here...I have my own business that i can do online, and i support our need to here....But why he cant see that and respect me....I asked him if he doest wanna marry me then tell me etc.. Honestly its very confusing, i really love him and hope we can be a positive couple and grow a good family together...In the end of April we must have our marriage done and its 18 April and he keeps acting like tht. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!
I am sorry that you're going through an abusive relationship. His behaviors sound horrible and will probably affect you more if time passes and you do not seek proper help. Please call the hotline.
He wanted to tear the room apart in front of you. He did not want you to help because he probably knew the darn phone wasn't where he was looking for it anyway. HE MESSED UP YOUR ROOM. When was the last time he threw a tantrum and messed up his stuff? It will always be your things that are broken and torn apart.
I promise you, the scene he acted out was to keep you afraid and under his spell.
It is not going to get better. You will never be able to calm him down unless it is in his plan to let you think you can calm him down.
I'm so sorry Ashley. It's time to find a safe place.
Eventually the baby takes those few steps, all the way from the coffee table to mom or dad, and the parent swoops up the child and tells them how well they did.
When it comes to leaving domestic violence, God wants you to take those baby steps. If you fail at first, God will pick you up and wait for you to try again. God coaxes you to leave the safety of the coffee table and walk to Him. Once you do it, once you're in His arms, you are free and can walk anywhere, eventually you can walk great distances.
God is giving you the strength to leave. He's waiting on you to take those first steps. There is a safety plan I want you to download at http://verbalabusejournals.com/how-stop-abuse/safety-planning/. There are options to buy it from Amazon.com but there is a free version to download at the bottom of the page (same as for sale version, but you have to print it). Use it as your baby steps. You can leave, you will leave, God is waiting for you to take the first step so He can show you the riches of life.
Having ME is exhausting. I have very little energy to do anything, yet he wants the house cleaned from top to bottom, dinner on the table, and all 7 dogs, walked and fed, before he gets home. He even banned me going out with my mum, to see my nan, on my birthday. He said "all housework had to be done by the time he got home, or else". So I had a totally miserable day, and was so exhausted by the time he got home, all I wanted to do was go to bed. But no, I had to get him his dinner. And on the subjects of birthdays, he has managed to completely ruin every birthday I have had since we have been married.
He keeps complaining that I dont show him enough affection. How can I. Every time I try and leave, he wont let me, and cries his eyes out promising to change, then next day straight back to chovinistic asshole.
yesterday, I over did it on housework, and fell asleep onthe sofa. Got nothing but shit about that too.
He is also the most paranoid person I hav ever met, anything I put on face book is suposed to have some hidden meaning? I am the most uncomplicated person I know, if something needs saying, I say it.
the latest thing to rub him up the wrong way, is my daughter wants me to go to the cinima with her, to watch 50 shades of grey. Had to listen to him going on for ages on how I go out with anyone but him???
How its a waste of his mone???
Its all just total filth???
I never get tovgo anywhere with anyone but him
my daughter offered to pay
cant be worse than the sick crap he watches secretly, whild sniffing his collection of womens dirty knickers.
Which btw is also how I managed to contract the virus that caused me to get cervical cancer.
I dont know how someone like him gets it in his mind that he is so perfect, and everyone else is wrong.
I have had support from gdas, who gave me a leaflet about a help workshop for him. But aparently his dr has told him not to go, as its not a recognised program???
He called me a lazy pig today, because I forgot to put the meat in the fridge. I have 4 children, so I forget simple things often. I retaliated, told him, he was no better, because he left his bowl of crab shells on the kitchen table. So, of cause, I am the one calling names, and it is supposed to be my job to clean up after him, and while I'm at it, I should apologize for him not having enough money in his account when he went to the pub.
I am so over this. I am way over "being used to it" and I am ready to leave. He can try the usual guilt trip on me. It is not going to work any longer. I know when enough is enough.
<a href="http://www.dahmw.org" rel="nofollow">Domestic Abuse Hotline for Men and Women</a>
<a href="http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/" rel="nofollow">National Suicide Prevention Hotline</a>
Example: Yesterday morning we were supposed to leave for a birthday party. I failed to set the alarm clock so we woke up late. Or so i thought. My husband had been up for 20 minutes hanging out with the kids. I asked him if he knew we had to leave, but he said whatever, it was okay if we were late. So I told him I wished he would be more aware of the time, to get out of the house for things like this and he BLEW UP at me. He told me I was lazy, that I should've set an alarm clock, that he doesn't even want to go to this birthday party, that I'm attacking him, and that I'm acting bitchy. Then the entire day at the party, he was snippy and made snide comments to myself and my family. When we got home, he yelled at me some more, saying I should've helped more at the party instead of being lazy, and that he can't help me when I have all these issues with him. I don't even know how the situation gets all messed up like this half the time!
I've noticed that he becomes most verbally abusive when I go out with friends as "he doesn't know at I get up to". Usually he ll create arguments on or the days around my birthday. He took me out to dinner for my birthday last year but refused to interact with me because he said I kept staring at his nose which he was self conscious bout!? He dreamed that I had cheated on him so he didn't talk to me for a week.
He has said a few times that maybe he is better on his own & he doesn't see the point of his life which makes me feel bad for him & want to help him. There's so much I want to do in life but know that if I went anywhere it Will cause a hail storm of abuse & name calling. I do not know what is stopping me leaving him. I do worry about what will happen to him without me there to help him. I have advised him several times to seek anger management but to no avail. He has never hit me, but he strangled me once when I responded to his question as to what my celebrity crush is. He punched a whole in the wall after I told his gran a conversation I had had about the education system with the janitor _He got annoyed I had talked to a male at work- he didn't even ask the janitors name age etcetera before he got angry. But after he apologised & said he realised how stupid it was. We talked about how I was concerned that next time that wall could be my face & he laughed saying I was being silly.
Yesterday I went to my friends house to celebrate the start of a two week break. He has said that he needs space from me because he's bloody sick of me. I knew he might be annoyed that I went to my friends even though I said I was tired. I knew before telling him that he might become petulant, abusive but didn't want to risk telling him after the event as that would make it worse. All I did was watch a film at my friends house. Of course I told my friends about it & they let me know it was not ok. I felt embarrassed but again worried how my boyfriend would cope without me. I turned my phone off & have not talked to him since. I was supposed to visit him next week but of course he told me not to bother. He's done that before & been utterly surprised when I haven't gone to see him so I know he doesn't really mean it.
I'm so sick of it all. How do I break up with him? Should I say something to his grab whom he lives with the reason for me not wanting to be with him? I'm tired of worrying what the consequences will be if I go out with friends or if talk to a man at work or on a night out. I shouldn't have to lie about innocent conversations or work colleagues. Please advise!
At any time I can say the wrong thing, about nothing particularly important. It can result in physical violence at the worst, or a tirade of verbal abuse that defies any sense of logic. I respond to defend myself, which really, only adds fuel to the fire.
Disclosure, we’re both imperfect, I have chronic clinical depression and she has several mental health issues, including depression, PTSD, bipolar, dissociative identity (multiple personality), etc., all of which we knew very well before our personal relationship developed. Her father was feloniously abusive, to put it nicely, and her parents were both psychologically abusive but now that they’re dead she remembers her mother as a saint and must do and insists everything be done the way she did which she used to laugh at or otherwise recognize was wrong. Her mother had come around to appreciate me and told me that her daughter, my wife, tries to be dominant in everything, which is all too true, even where there is no disagreement or contest, especially when she is in this abusive mood/mode. I have never been able to see well enough to, among other vital things, drive, which, when on one of these abusive kicks like now, she uses as a weapon; the only very limited public transit here requires several days advance reservation. Sometimes her driving is fine, sometimes dangerous. I have only ever been goaded into physical violence once, awhile back, after she asked me to help with the computer but wouldn’t let me sit close so I could see it, knocked my computer off desk, and bit me. She called the police on me, but they know her from several emergency hospital runs, her having called and reported I had green snakes coming out of my ears and was dying, etc., and I was bleeding like a stuck hog from her bite when they arrived so they took me to a motel instead of to jail. When she’s like this, she lies, told our bank I had coerced her into signing power of attorney we had negotiated when she was herself, etc., constantly calls me a liar, etc., and pitches fits at store over list to which she had made no objections to which I had not given in.
Her best (only) friend that she hasn’t completely run off, also friends with me, got us back together and things were cool awhile. My wife later complained that I had interfered with their relationship but the awful truth is the friend knows my wife, or some of her personalities, to be abusive, etc., very well. My wife ran her off the last time she had come for a scheduled three day visit. Wife’s brother in another state, who controls small amount of money from their mother’s estate in trust, has always hated me and tried to break us up, and, though he did not intervene to stop her severe abuse, she worships him even while saying he is much like her (abusive) late father. She abused and ran off our last, rare, good, home health aide, won’t let anybody come into the house and help with anything, and got both of us cut off from this and other valuable services
Following a month in mental hospital, to which she asked to go but then blamed our home health aide and me, and a month in a nursing home, pushed by Adult Protective Services and Adult & Disability Services, from which I helped and enabled her to be discharged and come home, she has changed, some for better, e.g., has started cleaning house, doing dishes and laundry, etc. (which I had always done) for first time, but has, under guise of ‘assertiveness,” has become terribly verbally, etc., vicious. I already had one abusive mother whose verbal abuse, criticism, and condemnation for being imperfect and unwanted, more than the physical abuse (which included some abortive attempts at murder), drove me to attempt suicide starting before first grade, and set my kid brother up to kill himself later, and I hate this. My wife, of course, knows all the points of vulnerability and her logic is unfathomable otherwise, jumping from my taking 30 seconds too long to take the dog out after she asked me to (no intervening “accidents”) to my father having gone to jail when I was eleven, to her father and brother being better than me in bed (no reports about brother but we have no children), to my somehow having made her miss a doctor appointment at 11:00 she had never told me about after we got up at 6:00 and she, the only driver, totally controlled our day including dropping me off someplace I had asked to go earlier instead of the one I needed now. She has threatened to have me committed and I did get picked up on a mental health warrant after our doctor misunderstood something I had said, but I was released after ten days and a trial. Long-time psychiatrist upon whom she had become too dependent finally cut us off recently, leaving me one less point of contact, and I can’t talk to her therapist or new psychiatrist. Today she threatened to take me to mental hospital instead of home unless I agreed with her about literally everything in this world and the next.
I’m at the end of my rope, sleeping days and getting up nights like now when hopefully she stays asleep because she reads everything I type, etc., but have nowhere to go, and we are left “on welfare” which I hate, leading Adult P:rotective Services to think in terms of confining us both (together) in a nursing home, which I do not need and would be fatal. I don’t think she can live on her own but I am ready to flee if I could find a place and the financial and other ways and means, but I’d miss the wonderful lady I married, who isn’t here right now. I’m a forcibly retired lawyer (long story separate from this) but have no idea where to turn for help at this point.
Latest gambit, she has grabbed my birth certificate which I need to replace State ID Card when my wallet mysteriously disappeared, and refuses to return it, after it took months to get it replaced last time; I think she took that, too, along with some other papers which have stopped me from applying to resume practicing law (long story).