Things Verbal Abusers Say and Do
What does verbal abuse sound like? The tone and content varies from abuser to abuser, but the words effect the victim in similar ways. Victims hear horrible things from their abuser and they feel small, withdrawn, angry, helpless, sad, shame, and a hundred other horrible emotions - sometimes all at once.
In the beginning of my abusive relationship, I felt anger and stood up for myself which led to loud, circular verbal altercations that had no solutions. Later, after coming to believe that he was my hero, my savior and provider, I felt stupid and wanted to fix myself so he would love me. Much later, I turned away and left the house for awhile which eventually led to increased physical violence and leaving forever.
Sometimes my abuser's words hurt when he jabs and attempts to provoke on the phone. Mostly, the memory, the countless memories of the abusive things he's said to me rear up and try to convince me that his remembered voice is my own.
This list is only a partial list of the things verbal abusers say. It's not limited to my own abusive relationship. It takes into account what others report hearing, too.
Things Verbal Abusers Say:
- "Why don't you get a job so you understand the real world? Oh, wait - I forgot - you can't get a job because you're a stupid sh!t.
- "Quit your whining and crying. You have no reason to cry or complain! Your life is perfect because I made it that way!"
- "Bitch" (and the countless other names I won't bother to list)
- "I should have left you at the club with all the other whores."
- "If you were more like my mother I could worship you."
- "I hate it when you act so pitiful. Stop the waterworks and talk like a human being."
- "I can't stand to look at you. You make me sick."
- "You're such a great actress! You know how to get what you want, don't you?"
- "I can't believe I have to come home to you every day. How did I get involved with such a train wreck?"
- "I must be the first a$$hole to love you. You don't know how to please a man!"
- "You're fat and miserable and you make me hate you."
- "You always look like God stomped on your face."
- "Why do you care what I want for dinner? My favorites taste like crap when you make them anyway."
- "You used to be as beautiful as my ex, but geesh - time hasn't been good to you, baby!"
- "Those children are mine, will always be mine, and if you leave you'll never see them again."
Things Verbal Abusers Do:
- Deny they said anything similar to the list above.
- Defend what they've said.
- Analyze what they've said out loud, explaining that the words they used do not have the definitions you seem to think they do.
- Block you in a room so you can't leave and thereby avoid what they're saying.
- Talk horribly to the television but are really speaking to you.
- Flip open their knife to open a piece of gum while looking at you under knitted brows.
- Leave to do something else at the last minute when you had plans together.
- Take you out for your best birthday ever and then wind up berating you on the way home for not appreciating their efforts enough.
- Tell your children you need more happy pills to be a good mom.
- Change the topic of the conversation so you bounce from one place to another, never getting to the core of the issue.
- Accuse you of being a whore or a dummy or a _________ so often that they no longer need to say the words but can offer up a "look" and you know what they're saying (then they may deny it).
Okay. I have to stop. My stomach is literally upset right now after digesting the utter contempt and hatred some people spew on a daily basis.
If you're still living in this nonsense, learn about detachment and how it can benefit you. Maybe in time you'll choose to leave your abuser, and maybe you'll choose to stay. No one here will judge you for staying (I've been there and it can feel hopeless!), but please work on ways to make yourself feel better in the process.
*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. (2012, April 29). Things Verbal Abusers Say and Do, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2012/04/things-verbal-abusers-say-and-do
Author: Kellie Jo Holly
He's choosing to scare you so you're afraid of him AND of leaving him. http://thehotline.org - visit that site.
The initial signs of verbal abuse did not take long to appear. Constant criticism, name calling , belittling , trying to make me feel worthless without him, constant accusations about my family, trying to make me feel helpless and dependent on him although I was earning as much as he did , wrongful accusations to the point I was thinking he was talking about someone else (bad with money, bad with housework, not caring about the house, not sharing common expenses which were completely untrue) . He also had a very weird relationship with his mother (he has had a hard childhood, being abandoned by his father with minimum contact and grew up as an only child by an insecure, psychotic mother who has never recovered from her divorce) with constant guilt being used by her towards him and us as a couple due to the fact that she lives alone in another town and we had to visit her every Saturday which used to cause me tremendous pressure and stress, not being able to decide for my own schedule on weekends.
Our relationship was always hard to cope with, constant efforts, fighting to the point where I was embarrassed from neighbors to see me afterwards , it was generally hard. Walking on eggshells was my life , and imagine I was a strong , self sustained and educated woman . I can’t understand why did I ever put up with this . Being with him was simply hard .
My abuser had the image of mr perfect to our close environment. Loving , caring , always helping with the housework, being relationship material. Even in private he was very loving with me when he wanted . I was even told by many female friends that they would wish for their husband to be more like mine. He would simply be another person in public . When I finally broke my silence and confided the details to friends and family they thought I was referring to someone else. Another thing that made me dispute my judgment even more .
We got engaged last year and he forbid me to discuss anything about the wedding till when he said so. Two months later he hurt me with his words saying he despised me , I made him sick etc until one day we had an argument about something stupid and he asked for the ring back and kicked me out of the house . Living with him under the same roof was a constant struggle : not only did I have to put up with his bad character , I was kicked out of the house millions of times until my insecurities took a toll on me. I left him on that day and he begged me to go back . I did go then (I was only engaged for 2 months) but was emotionally numb, full of hate and disappointment, unable to try for this relationship. Still I couldn’t go. This feeling never went away .
A few months earlier , I decided to change into a new job. The impact on my psychology was rather bad as I am terrible with change and I was slightly depressed for a few months . He decided he could not stand me , he threatened to leave me and he could not be around me because of all the stress I created . He decided to sleep on the couch for 2 months as he couldn’t be anywhere near me. Let alone the constant name calling on how unworthy I was for feeling this way , how I messed up his life and our lives by being depressed about my work and how he could not tolerate me. We finally had a huge fight for an irrelevant reason where he threw all of my belongings in the corridor and started screaming at me to get out, threw me a whole bottle of water in my face , tried to lock me in the room and was pushing me hard against the wall ( I am very petite and he is a very big guy- that didn’t stop him from laying his hands on me) . I didn’t leave but couldn’t live with myself after all this . Not only did he give me zero support when I needed him but he also made things harder for me . His ability to make a person feel better is simply non existent. A few days later he demonstrated similar behaviors when I Complained because he was very rude on me on the phone (told me to ‘kick my brain off’ because I was busy while talking to him and he lost patience) so he told me to go to the room as he couldn’t stand me and that he would make me sleep on the couch . I decided to leave him once again. I was feeling very wrong to have someone treat me this way. I came to my parents house for a few days and he begged me to go back . I did go back just to find out his only intention was to threaten me to quit my job or else he would abandon me. He even had his bags packed when I went to ‘discuss’. I absolutely denied , he implied that the root to all of our problems was my job and that he couldn’t be with me while I was there. He said he would support me but I simply said no (been working since 21 , fully self sustained and I was not willing to be financially dependent from a guy who said I was not contributing when I was paying half the rent and expenses plus a guy that kicked me out practically every month). He threatened and insisted for 5 long hours where he got me to a point where I couldn’t wait for him to leave . He did leave but that of course wasn’t the end to my problems . Constant texting , psychological pressure while I was at work and many more , got me to a point where I could not operate and I was told off by my superior for not meeting up his expectations at work. I took him back and I still don’t know why. He clearly can’t change and I clearly can’t try. Of course , we had another fight after that because of the fact that he decided he doesn’t like my parents as they turned their back against me when I was having job troubles . That isn’t true . I felt I couldn’t take any longer . Out final fight was all I could take and all to make me realize he could never change . We were having all this trouble due to his behavior (I do take responsibility for my reactions for work) and he still insisted on creating more problems when he promised he would change . He even said he was willing to try counselling (promised the same last year but didn’t go) but I really don’t thing he is a position to understand what he is doing wrong let alone fix it . I am also powerless to try . I am drained . I do have feelings but he killed most of them. I am now at my parents once again and I told him I am calling the wedding off and want us to separate. He doesn’t accept it; he says all is my fault for not trying to leave things behind me since last year. Truth is I was so angry and hurt I couldn’t. He thinks this is no excuse. I am in a dead end . I have his deadlines to cope with (have to give a final answer by tomorrow) plus the wedding stress (meaning call it off) and I cannot even trust myself anymore that I can make the right decision. I feel that I have lost faith in myself so much that I can’t even decide what’s best for me. Guilt is also an issue for not trying since last year . I do know I deserve better . I earn a very good salary, I am pretty, young educated and a good person and I really can’t figure out what is wrong with me and why can’t I just stop this sick and toxic relationship. A part of me blames myself for not trying and another part simply screams get away, it will get worse. Help!!!!!
As I read and learn more about the evil that is called (verbal) abuse which had to endure, I thrilled to finally be able to validate, even if only to myself, that perhaps it actually WASN'T in my head after all.
And that I WASN'T pretending to be confused by his words "simply because I was being a 'dumbass'".
And I learned that I WASN'T being 'too sensitive' when his evil words hurt me to my very soul. Or a crybaby.
And I also learned that NO, Jimmy you were WRONG to tell me that if I 'just did what you're told, I wouldn't have to get so pissed at you'. It STILL didn't prevent you from subjecting me to yet the many hours' long verbal assault i endured. You'd still find reason to be angry and tell yourself it was YOUR right to attack me verbally... and it would still be 'my' fault.
I learned also, the many hours I tried oh, so very hard, to logically discuss the situation with you in a cautious, calm and reasonable manner simply in order to explain my point of view WASN'T listened to by you, WASN'T cared for by you and NEVER would have made any difference to you. No matter how much I tried to tell you how your words hurt me. No matter how much I hoped with my whole heart that you might realize that there are other, better ways of resolving conflict, especially with someone you said you 'loved'.
And one day, I when I finally realized that no matter how you might have once loved me, you in fact, were NOT my prince charming, you were NOT my knight in shining armor, and you were NEVER the man you pretended to be. You were only a sad, sad pathetic man who didn't know any better then to bully people to get your way; rather than having a rational discussion and actually being able to help SOLVE problems.
You THOUGHT you were too good to ever say 'I'm sorry'. And so you never said it.
Once I finally left (and heck, even as recent as THIS week... omg really?), you'd send messages; you'd say to me how glad you were I was gone and that you never married me ONE day, but then send messages telling me that 'my whole life is falling apart without you' the very NEXT.
I learned, too that YOUR selfish refusal to compromise as well as your lack of concern for any consequence, person, friendship, relationship, etc NEVER meant so much to you that you were motivated you to simply TRY. But you had no interest.
You weren't willing to entertain the idea that you were NOT always right, that there are different ways to get a point across besides yelling and insulting, alternative ways to communicate besides shouting and being degrading; I had always looked forward to the day when you began to think about the other person's feelings in a relationship and make them a priority.
I waited so long for you to decide you finally cared enough about our relationship to want to work together and for the both of us to emotionally grow; as well learn more effective ways of communication.
You never careed enough, however. Now my life is mine and I am 1300 miles from you and free; at last I am safely from the evil, hate and rage you carry within your very heart and soul.
Ah... but I know how you think Jimmy, let's not forget that.
And knowing you like I do, it's quite possible you may even try to convince yourself (and others) that you were in the right all along and I should have simply listened to you and none of this would ever have happened; or perhaps was simply *I* who was not worth any efforts on your part with which we could have used to repair our relationship;, you perhaps even see yourself as 'blameless' and can 'justify' laying the blame completely at my feet; of course, you might also be able to halfway convince YOURSELF that you believe this to be true and thereby adjudicating and absolving your soul of any and all guilt and accountability.
It won't work for long though will it Jimmy? bBcause we both know the true facts as they happened.
Own YOUR part in this, as well as YOUR mistakes.
Work through them, learn from them and never, ever, ever repeat them.
As I read and learn more about the evil called (verbal) abuse which had to endure, I thrilled to finally be able to validate, even if only to myself, that it actually WASN'T in my head after all.
And that I WASN'T
There’s nothing more hurtful than words. We all have hearts but some really need to think before they say things because you are unable to take those things away.
The day started as normal, getting up making coffee and lunch. Work went well but when the day is over there is always someone waiting to hurt you even if they love you. In my perspective is that if you love someone don’t verbally abuse them with hurtful words because it is the exact same thing as judging a book by its cover as well as bullying. Bullying these days can get out of control. Different types of bullying, no matter what the situation is, you need to admit it to yourself that you are a bully.
If you are older than a person that is younger than them, don’t disrespect them because like they say,
“The wheel always turn”
It is like a rotation cycle that happens every once a month. We have our bad habits for the month, man or woman but to show some respect and faith then that will make one person’s life a little bit better.
Don’t live on the negative things in life because there’s always positive opportunities available with a little bit of thought.
I am a young woman living in a world where there is hate and crime. But since I was young my mother taught me manners in a way that was strong because she learned that from her mother.
If you have been with someone for a long time and they complete your heart, just don’t let them smash your heart into a million pieces because to be able to rebuild that puzzle is difficult.
Being able to build that trust with someone is hard but losing it can happen really quickly. It is really easy to trust someone but trusting the wrong person will make you lose faith in someone that you believe in.
I feel different emotions to everything around me, it’s entirely easy to dislike someone. I struggle on a daily basis but complaining about money problems every moment of your life can make you go into depression. Driving yourself to drink everyday of your life is making your body unhealthy. I have seen from my own experiences what alcohol can do to one self and it is not nice. You might be twenty eight years of age but on the outside you feel fifty years old and your skin starts to age more rapidly.
Today started as a good day. No pressure or tension in the air. The air is warm as the warm air brushes over my face I start too notice the sweat already dripping down my forehead at 07:10am. As I am walking towards work, I stand and wait for the office to be open. I knew today was going to be a good day. The day was a bit quiet with a few things to do here and there but no hassle was in front of me. The day got hotter and even more warmer in the afternoon.
One pm came around and I was off for a driving lesson. We did three point turn, reverse and driving back to work. As I returned back to the office, there was a bit of work for me to do.
Tick tock and the day finally came to an end and I was more than happy to go home. I had patiently waited for you to come and fetch me but luckily I never waited long. It took us probably about an hour to get home with all the traffic but we reached home safely.
I know to you it seems as if I don’t listen but you need to understand that I do but hurting me and be very sarcastic is really mean. Yes I understand this is your house and you pay for everything but reminding me every day is making it to me feel like I am not welcome in your home.
I am honestly at a point where I don’t care if you like me or not but I also don’t care what mean things you say to me or about me.
I also explained to him that I was going to do what ever I wanted to do. That's what he does. Why is it ok for him, but not for me? It is not. And last but not least, EVERYTHING HE DOES TO ME, I WILL DO TO HIM. AND I HAVE. and he has learned what it feels like. When he learns this, lesson over, and we move on. Things are better than they were, a lot better, but WHEN HE GETS DRUNK (5nights out of seven) he starts in on me. He is osomeone else. I call him DG. (drunk guy) DG is MEAN, and violent, and hateful, resentful, disgusting mother effer. we go at it. doors mirrors wallls smashed, thrown on the floor screamed at punched once, punched at :100 x's Now, all of a sudden, he's very very sweet and nice and helpful and charming and blah blah blah, and instead of liking it, I am VERY NERVOUSE and concerned about it. WHY? Why all of a sudden. ANd I mean 360 degree flip, people. what do you think he is up to. NEVER BEEN THIS SWEET IN 35 YEARS. I am suspicious...but then again, I am crazy insane. He said I was. it must be true, because he never lies or does anything wrong, ever. You see why I am suspicious.
OH OH AND HE wants a name of a counselor that can help him "with mw" oh, and for him. Very anxious about getting a number of someone to "help" What do you ladies and gentlemen think?
P.S. I am in heart failure from all the stress. and he has not taken good care of me at all. as you can see above, yes these incidents are while I have been quite ill, I also have severe major depression, high anxiety panic attacks, (add adhd, non medicated, can you tell??;D) COPD, CARDIOMYOPATHY, CARDIOMEGALY, REYNAUDS< RSD, Carpal Tunnel, Perpheral neuropathy, OSTEoporosis like an 80 yr old woman (54) and DJD, and TA DA!.....My spine is collapsing and crushing me with much pain and i refuse pain pills. I have lost 4 inches in my height in 2 years.
so back to the suspicious behavior? TELL ME.............eagerly awaiting to hear what you have to say... Thank you so much for listening/reading
When he starts in again (and he will), it will be a surprise to you, just as it was in the beginning. 35 years of ugliness doesn't change overnight. Even with therapy, he would mess up now and again. He is ALWAYS in control of his emotions, or at least the emotions he shows to you. Being "sweet" is no different from being ugly. But he needs to keep you around until he figures out new ways to torture you.
I wouldn't trust him as far as I could thrown him.
Robin, I would seek help for yourself. It isn't because you're overreacting or being a bitch, but because you are in an abusive relationship. A counselor could help you see the truth of what is going on, which will make you more intolerant of his behavior. My hope is that you leave now before wasting two decades with an abuser like I did.
Do you love him or the idea of him?
Before you quickly say "I love him!" keep in mind you came to a website about verbal abuse and typed a long story about how he's still essentially a controlling jerk from across the world. Believe me I understand, it's easier to stay in a relationship and "try to make it work" because there are still feelings there. You didn't get together if there weren't. The problem is the person you love should make you feel good about yourself, not call you names. And while everyone has their bad days, they should not be EVERY DAY. And to end a hateful text with "love you" is as classic a verbally abusive text as there ever was, giving you just enough bait to keep you hopeful.
You said you hoped someone read your story. I read it. I empathized with it. I hope you find the strength in yourself to see your worth and give yourself to someone who deserves it. It's clearly not him. From how you've written about him he comes across as a hothead who joined the armed forces because he loves to play soldier and talk big. When you leave him, (you will, right?) you will see just how ridiculously off the wall he'll get. He'll call you names. He'll say you're worthless. He'll scream and cry like the little toddler playing soldier that he is. He may eventually even say he'll change. Do not buy into this. He's made zero effort to change. There's a part of him you like. Fine. Go find someone who's got a whole person to like. Or don't. Better yet, just be with yourself. Work on yourself. Consider today a clean slate. He does not exist. You are Michelle the Awesome. Michelle the Strong. Michelle the Independent.
You do not want to raise children with a person who disrespects the one he loves like this. He should be missing you not dissing you. Boy's gotta grow up, but not with you. Easier said than done I know but now's the time. No one will fault you for staying, and frankly it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. Take a look at yourself and ask "am I the person I want to be? And will I be that person with him?"
Good luck Michelle. Please know at least one person is pulling for you.