Domestic abuse involves more than sexual and physical violence. It includes mental and emotional abuse at least and, whether obscure or obvious, verbal abuse in relationships is the core method of control for abusers. Verbal abuse is more than name calling, more than yelling. Verbal abuse is insidious and tricky, but very real.
Fortunately, for most women, our homes created with loving partners offer a refuge from other people’s nastiness. Sanctuary resides in his or her hug and we regain the strength to confidently stride past those whistling, hooting construction workers again tomorrow. But others come home to spouses who embody every aspect of nastiness the world provides.
Some of us return home to discomfort, fear, anger, and anxiety over what is going to happen next. If you constantly wait for the other shoe to drop and feel your peace depends on accurately reading your partner’s tiny body movements to head off a fight, then you live with the world’s most intimate, and most dangerous bully.
Almost always, there is no abuse whatsoever at the beginning of the relationship. It’s after the abuser is sure that you are going to stay in the relationship that the nasty stuff comes out. One day you discover that you’ve been abused for years…but just didn’t notice it. Much of the time, verbal abuse sufferers don’t hear the abuse as abuse because it starts out so innocently and small. Early on, verbal abuse is easy to forgive and pass it off as your lover’s bad day, bad mood, or bad attitude. Over time, you become desensitized to their “bad days” and the words and actions they use. The abuse increases, but you don’t really notice it because it is only slightly different from “yesterday”.
Increased abuse coupled with your desensitization creates a trap that the most intelligent among us cannot avoid. By the time things between you and your love turn really horrible, you’re deeply enmeshed in his or her life. Perhaps you have children together, share money, or your religion warns against divorce; whatever the reason, you feel trapped.
When you feel “something wrong” in your relationship but can’t seem to figure out the cause (or you blame only yourself), then it is highly likely that verbal abuse and the emotional and psychological abuse that goes along with it is the root of the problem. Admitting that you suffer abuse is the first step to freeing yourself. Unless you can come to terms with the fact that the love you have for one another is unhealthy, you will not find the strength to overcome the abuse.
My Abusive Marriage…and what i’m doing in it is my book that tells the story verbal abuse in my relationship during the final two years of my marriage.
Stories of Abuse illustrate the effects of abuse in relationships. Reading through them help victims come to terms with their own abuse.