Things Verbal Abusers Say and Do

April 29, 2012 Kellie Jo Holly

Abusive people, men and women, say and do similar things to control their victims. The delivery may vary in tone or type, but the effect is the same. Read this.

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 Victims hear horrible things from their abuser and they feel small, withdrawn, angry, helpless, sad, shame, and a hundred other horrible emotions - sometimes all at once.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).

Abusive people, men and women, say and do similar things to control their victims. The delivery may vary in tone or type, but the effect is the same.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.

Start here:

You can also find Kellie on her website at Verbal Abuse Journals , and social media pages on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Buy her books from Amazon.

*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.

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2012, April 29). Things Verbal Abusers Say and Do, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, October 16 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

April, 30 2015 at 7:38 am

Hi I'm reading all these posts and can related to plenty of these situations. I'm currently in relationship with, what I think is an emotional abuser. We have been together for 5 years. We met online and he seemed like a good guy. We dated and he eventually moved in with me after a year. From then until now, things changed. He constantly tells me I'm fat, I'm ugly, I'm an idiot, I'm stupid and the list goes on and on. Initially the name calling devastated me so much. I had never been called so many ugly names. Now I hear the names and I don't let them affect me as much. I know I'm not a stupid person. I'm actually quite intelligent. I don't know if he'll ever change? I'm just tired of all the BS! I'm sick of all this mess!! There's a part of me that wants to breakup but then there's a part of me that doesn't. I know I don't deserve the way he treats me. I tell him if he continues to treat me this way, I'll just break up. He always tells me to go ahead and break up. He says its no big deal for him. He says he'll be ok. He's never told me he loves me and he says we are not in a relationship like I think we are? I'm confused by that? He tells me how unhappy he is and we don't go out anywhere because he doesn't want to be seen with me. I'm don't know what else to do. I mean, I do know what to do but just need to get the courage to do it.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
May, 3 2015 at 2:17 am

Scroll to the bottom of this page:
Download the safety plan. It will help put you in a stronger frame of mind. No one deserves the treatment he dishes out to you. I'm sorry for your circumstances, but circumstances change. Keep changing.

April, 29 2015 at 6:12 pm

Hi, well I read everything you wrote down and well in my case I wouldn't say it's that bad or physical at all. I've been dating this girl for 4 1/2 years and well what I don't really understand is that for the first 2 1/2 years she was perfectly fine sweet, romantic, funny, fun to be with and well everything just basically started to change like her attitude just basically changed.. I kept and keep asking why she changed so much yet she always tells me the same thing which is I don't know why I just didpeopeople change.. I mean I know she lives in a dysfunctional family her mom is a alcoholic and her dad cheated with multiple womem and took care of their kids yet he/she never really we're there for her.. When I first heard that it broke my heart but the problem is that she uses that and her being half latina and Italian for every little thing but I keep telling her its not a reason... I started to think maybe she had anger issues or something because it was kinda obvious she had a problem.. Whenever id ask a question or would want to talk about my feelings or her's she'd just get really mad and tell me off and just leave and ignore my calls and text.. And well she's always so mean and cold she doesn't show any affection well she occasionally does but not like normal couples would even though im positive I'm far from being in a normal relationship.. So I'm basically not allowed to ask nothing and she always has an excuse to not answer and tell me off... There's so many things that ate just so wrong but I'd be writing forever haha I'm a sensitive guy I'm very caring even though I look like I'm not... Like we tried breaking up but she came back crying begging me and well apparently I got no balls so I accepted her back.. It worked sure for a day then she'd be back to her normal self.. she basically says on a text she sent me one night "your leaving yes I know but anyways you'll be back lol so yay night" she just keeps playing with me basically knowing im sensitive and serious about our relationship yet she just keeps telling me off and playing with me and gets mad and moody whenever she doesn't get what she wants... ( by the way sorry if it isn't clear I just needed to say this even though nobody really gives a #:-@ I'm just tired of this it's my first relationship, I never had a girlfriend I'm 21 and I thought she was the one but everyday is just like hell on earth with her... I'm sorry for what I'm going to say but if she always tells me off I'll just have to say this life is a bitch and I'm f@cking dating one... I'm very a very quiet person and I'm not so good with girls I got lucky to find such gorgeous girl but I guess it was too good to be true... :/

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
April, 30 2015 at 7:03 am

If you think back to that 2 1/2 year mark, did something happen to confirm your commitment to her? Move in together, get pregnant,... something to where she felt she had you hooked? If so, she followed the pathway of an abuser. They show their true selves when you're deeply in love with who they are NOT.
Look, 4 years is a good bit of time to be in a relationship. I can understand not wanting to waste that time, to try to press on and see if she turns back into the sweet sexy thing you thought you were with. It isn't worth it. Cut your losses and get out. You're 21. That's about the age I married my abuser. Spent 17 years in the hell you're experiencing now. She is not worth your life.
Make a plan to leave, then stay gone. It will be hard. She may even give you a glimpse of sweet and sexy to entice you back. Don't be fooled.
to to that page
scroll to the bottom
download the safety plan and fill it out

April, 28 2015 at 12:09 pm

Earlier today i tried to get a loan so i could pay it back ands get credit. My husband was so excited to throw it in my face that he wad going to help me get this loan his grandma was going to co- sign. Basically, it didn't pan out because she didn't make enough in her budgeting. I'm 22, and don't have credit. Anyways, he freaks out on me saying GD what is wrong with everybody wtf and continues to scream ands cuss.I'm keeping my cool the whole time and try to calm him down and he hangs up on me. Btw he's in Afghanistan, And no him being overseas isn't why he acts the easy he does, he wad like this well before he left. Anyways we get off the phone, i message him saying "that's right, it's all my fault, take it out on me" and replies with "shut your gd stupid pathetic f'ing b**** @$$ up, like dont talk top me unless i say something to you first". He says stuff like this all the time and i ask him what i can do in certain situations so he won't blow up on me and he just says don't piss me off. He's completely controlling, He's accused me of sleeping with two different bosses, which is completely ridiculous as they're much older and not attractive to me, besides the fact I'm married and so are they. I don't want to leave him. I feel like I've tried everything to fix things. I moved away from my friends and family to live near his family so now I'm here all by myself in a house thats falling completely apart, that he hasn't even lived with me in because i moved in the day after he left. I've made so many sacrifices to be with him and he doesn't even acknowledge it. He calls me stupid every day, the other day he said your just like all the other sluts I've been with, He's always threatening leaving me like i got rid of my car because he wad going to crap before i moved here now I'm driving his, He threatened to leave me with nothing in this crappy town full of meth heads. he called earlier only after telling me to just leave him if I'm so unhappy and he said he wishes i would because he'd be much happier, He asks a question about the loan, i was so mad at this point i said why the f*** does it matter? ! Don't talk to me, he messages me saying good night sweet dreams i love you. ...right after he says how happy hew would be if i left. On a lighter note we do have good days we laughed so hard the other day he can be so sweet, funny, charming, And just make me so happy. Then he runs it. We are suppose to go on a cruise for our honeymoon, And he drops a bomb on me saying he's invited his ex gf and his best friend, who have married each other, on our cruise. I was so mad ands he couldn't wrap his head around why i was mad. Thankfully they declined, the fact he would even invite people on a trip that's suppose to be intimate ands private and celebrating our marriage....I'm running our of ideas with him. It would kill me to leave him though because even after all the terrible hurtful things he says, j love him. I xant imagine being without him. Even if i did wall away, who would be with him and put up with it?! He also had a really bad child hood his dad was an abusive controlling drunk and his mom is and has been on every drug you can think of. my dad was like that when i was little but i dont act out like that..maybe he dealt with it differently? I guess just looking for input from a stranger lol if someone even bothers to read this.

April, 26 2015 at 4:44 am

My boyfriend of 2 years is normally quite an angry person in general it doesn't take a lot to make him flip, the first signs are when we are in public he'll say weird things like "stop talking" and the other night we ended up in a domestic he was saying things to me like "I hate to look at you, you disgust me" when I went to leave he grabbed my arms and dragged me and threw me on the sofa although he wasn't hitting me I still found it disgusting and whenever I cry he says "why are you crying? Turning on the water works" or "I'm a pig" "I'm a slut" "I hate you" "I'm going back to my ex" although we've now apologised and are good as can be I'm just scared for the next time he's angry, he does have really good traits to him, he doesn't agree with hitting or raping woman, but he has said "you make me want to hit you" everytime I mention looking into anger management he doesn't agree with it.

April, 24 2015 at 9:54 pm

I have been with a man for 11 years being abused and verbal abused more verbal . He has told me many times he is going to Barry me . He wishes I would fall and break my neck . He wishes I was dead . Spited on me before. Hit his own six year old son with s hanger while I was at work . and choked my 15 year old . He has spit in my moms face for sticking up for me . He cheats on me .I know because he has given me a std two times even pregnant at the time with his son . He calls me stupid and that no one will want me that I am bagged with three kids . He comes and goes as he wants . He drinks and does drugs his drug of choice is coke . The man is smart and has a good job . He is 36 but still goes to clubs . And he goes on date sites . I don't know why I stayed with a man like that . We just separated a month ago . And he still puts me down I think I been called so many names all the years I been with him I am scared really bad . I have never been treated so bad in my life . I don't know why I stayed and I let him get to me and my boys .

April, 24 2015 at 5:49 am

Molli, I am crying from just reading your post. ..I can so relate. I wished I could say I'm out but I'm not. I have hope some days that I will be.
My husband rants and my crying from it is a viscous circle. I fake that I'm ok and cry in silent. When he is yelling at night and my precious children are sleeping, I can't beg him to stop, he only says I'm using them as shields and keeps going. ..sometimes throwing things and swinging his arms at me. I will get out! And I pray for you to do the same!

April, 24 2015 at 5:32 am

Rubi, life is so short but some people make it so long when you have to deal with abuse. ...please give yourself the chance to be happy and leave this man. I have been married for 25 years in July and there have been too many bad times...when I look back, of coarse there were good times, like my children being born, etc. But more bad memories than good. Please don't be like me and wake up and it's many years later and you've been unhappy all thru the years.
I think we women feel like we have to accept some meanness when we aren't perfect or half way perfect but God wants good things for us and not to be kicked around. Prayers for you

April, 23 2015 at 2:21 am

I read everything you wrote. Now that the tears have stopped, I can say this. I am the voice that has said so many things like what you listed and some way more hurtful. My wife left during Spring Break this year. Since then we have talked, made love, voiced and let out pent up thoughts, even made plans on her moving back in. Then Thur she text me asking for 50.00 to pay on her truck note. I gave her my cc number and she withdrew 50.00. During some of our talks she made mention that for a long time now I couldn't or wouldn't just call to see how she was doing. Well Friday morning around 10ish feeling happy about her showing signs of relationship growth I called just say hello and I'm thinking about you. About 3 min into the conversation I ask what she was doing"Driving" where are you headed"New Orleans for the weekend". We live about an hour south of Houston Tx and 6 to 7 hours from New Orleans. As soon as she said New Orleans it felt as my heart was ripped out and I needed to vomit. I couldn't believe she less than 10 hours told me she didn't have the money to pay bills, is now on her way in her truck to South La with two girlfriends. I only took a couple minutes for the rage to take over. Over the next two days I cut losses like I had never ever done. It was gut wrench and vil to say the least. Well I work over nights and somewhere around 3am something happened inside of me. As I sat in my work truck all alone, I cried. I cried uncontrollably for a while. I had seen that my jealously of her trip blocked out my love. That feeling was worse than the one I had when she said"New Orleans ". As day break came I texted and we talked, I conveyed to her how my body was turning inside out and I had seen what I did. I have never felt gilt like this before in my life ever. We continue to talk and text. Yesterday she came to our old house, my home. We talked, we cried, we kissed. I held her so tight, and as I was I felt the ice. Our conversation continues to the point that she thinks divorce now and see where we are down the road is the best plan of action. I don't.... She has a few mental issues her self and we had already agreed that we had to fix ourselves before we could fix our marriage. Well after the asshole fest of the weekend I believe I have killed any love for me that was there. I'm not suicidal, really don't know how I will live without her. As karma gets comfortable in my life, I have been on the worst ride ever. The feeling of worthlessness, self hate, guilt, shame, and so on are so powerful I feel like I'm dieing. All I want is the opportunity to show my wife the one true love of my life how I'm not him anymore, I can confront problems without losing my cool. I'm not asking for any of you to feel anything for me, I just wanted to share the other side of this problem. I have gotten on some meds, looking down a Spiritual path, lost my fear to cry. I hope the Monster in me didn't kill the Love in her. I have no idea why I say things like I do. Been a problem for a few years but nothing on the scale it hit this past weekend. I truly have hate for my self for the things I've done.

April, 20 2015 at 5:55 am

I met a guy who was really sweet when I met him 2 years ago but I moved in with him a year ago and he hits me and says it's my fault and yells at me the ugliest names and says that it's my fault that I provoke him cuz I don't leave him alone but he wants to be drinking and be up and down with his friends but I can't even be with my family cuz he gets very angry.

April, 3 2015 at 12:00 pm

Please tell me someone out there has left and found happiness.
Please, somebody, tell me there's someone out there who won't call me names and make me cry. Who won't yell even more when I do start to cry.
Somebody tell me it gets better, because I don't believe it.

March, 27 2015 at 8:29 am

I'm tired of being called a whinny ass, a crap, a bitch, and other things by my husband. He even does it in front of my kids. Not sure what to do because im stuck all my family lives 2 or more hours away. His mom lives close but he does it in front of her and she doesnt say anything. I feel like im alone and in my little hell by myself.

March, 23 2015 at 9:50 am

I am that person that verbally abuses my partner with the nastiest words that come to my mind. I never stop to think before I speak. When I am in rage I am very ugly and say really hurtful things. My boyfriend has told me over and over again to seek help and I always agree that I do need help. I know that I have anger and resentment problems I just don't know how to deal with those issues when I'm upset. I need some advise. I am so tired of hurting him he does not deserve any of this. He has put up with me and so much. I need to find a way to help myself so I can show him respect. I adore this wonderful man of mine, but my behavior and wrong doings have pushed him away so far this time that I feel like I've lost him. I am finally willing to accept the challenge I've been fighting because I'm scared to see the truth. Can someone out there share some information with me. I am desperate to change for once and for all! The people around me do not deserve this mad crazy person that Ive been for so long.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
March, 26 2015 at 4:44 am

Try reading one or two of Patricia Evans books. They're geared for female victims to read, but I'm certain you'll understand what she's saying. I recommend "The Verbally Abusive Man:Can He Change?" because of the contract instructions.
Also, it seems like you have a pretty good grasp on WHY you abuse. Look for a cognitive-behavioral therapist to help you stop abusing.

March, 17 2015 at 5:02 pm

I've been married for a whopping 4 months. My husband was my dream man I never thought I'd be worthy enough to be with. I never felt like I deserved anyone like him (in a good way). As time went on, I noticed his drinking increased, as did the anger level. I have my suspicions about some undiagnosed PTSD (he is a Marine combat vet) and undiagnosed depression (due to losing his older brother in a car accident 14 years ago), and I know, based off what his mother told me, that his drinking and anger stems from those tragic life events. He's never gotten help for either, and he's admitted to dealing with his problems by bottling them up inside. He promised I wouldn't marry an alcoholic (I'm a fool for trusting him). He had/has a hard time finding work he enjoys, and I know he's depressed because he doesn't feel like he's pulling his weight. But instead of owning up to it and doing something about it, he does a "grown-up" version of moping and drinks and sleeps all day (the term grown-up is in quotes because for the most part, I think he's acting like a selfish child).
For whatever reason, after the wedding, things flipped. He says I'm the reason for his drinking, and it got way worse, as did the anger. The last 2 months, his coiled up fists and mumbling under his breath turned into vocal attacks - started with "you're such a nag" and grew into "you b***h, go f**k yourself". This week, actually, the last 48 hours, I made a list of the hurtful things he says to me, partly to show our counselor on Friday and partly to remind him when he doesn't remember or tries to deny what he said.
Sunday (excerpts, not all are listed) - I hate you...and you wonder why you can never keep a man...if I'm dead in the morning, it's your're a horrible f***king person...
Monday - you are so obnoxious...go away, because that's what I wish you would f***king're going to be the death of me...
Today - you're the bane of my're a liar...go ahead, call your mommy up like the 5 yr old little girl that you're a horrible, horrible vicious b***h... And the best one of all? "I'm going to go home and shoot myself in the face and make you watch".
This is such a heart-breaking situation for me. I, of course, am hurt by all the nasty things he says, especially as each day gets worse, but I know he doesn't mean them. He is lashing out and clearly hurt by a lot of things, but we cannot communicate. He is drinking to soothe his pain, and he knows it. I can't get him to get help. I found a gentleman who went through the same trauma he did in war, but he won't talk to him. He has phone numbers for the doc's office, but he won't call. I have set up interviews and sent out resumes for him, but he doesn't go on his own. I am busting my ass 6 days a week to take care of all our bills and our responsibilities, and the verbal abuse is the thanks I get.
I just needed to vent. Feeling so completely lost and helpless. I hope I'm not alone.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
March, 17 2015 at 7:08 pm

No, you are not alone. You need to know that your husband's FLIP is a hallmark trait of an abusive person. As soon as he or she believes you are trapped or bound to them in some way, they switch to the abusive "2nd Person" you now see.
The unfortunate truth is that the "2nd Person" is the real person. You fell in love with this 2nd Person's mask - his false front - his trap.
You are reacting in a typical fashion too. You are making excuses for him, trying to get him the help he does not want, and frankly, probably does not need. PTSD can cause people to act the fool, but you are not witnessing PTSD alone (if he has PTSD at all). Your new husband is showing you his true face. I know it is hard to believe, but I've been around the block a few times and I know that "this" will not get better.
Visit and call the hotline. They'll tell you the truth too.
I feel for you. I hope you cut your losses and get out now.

Shante Moore
March, 16 2015 at 8:40 am

My husband of 4 months has been verbally abusive toward me and has never showed signs of remorse or care concerning the way he treats me. I was single for 12 years awaiting the man I would share my life with but all I want to do is run as far away as I can. He always continues as if nothing happened and blames me for his nasty attitude toward me. I'm a pretty confident women who paid a price to be where I am today but I left everything to be dis valued and disrespected. I tried to highlight the good about him hoping he would change but how could you change when you believe strongly that it's not you. He's slandered my name to his family. In the beginning it shocked me and I retaliated back with words but that's not who I am today so I withdrew from his ignorance. Last night I decided I deserve better and let it go but for some reason I feel sorry for him just not enough to stay in the marriage. I never been in a relationship like this before and I love me to much to continue being disrespected. Leave with the little dignity you have left before you have nothing at all.

March, 10 2015 at 12:53 am

It's now been 8 months since I left my verbally and sexually abusive ex. I feel so much better than I was even before I met him and I know that has only been possible because of myfaith in God and Christ's unconditional, restoring love for me. Like most of you, my ex was incredibly charming from the beginning. We were in a long distance relationship and the first time we met in person, he'd flown over from the states to London to visit me. It was a magical one week Sowerby together, he was very romantic and I couldn't believe how lucky I was to have found someone like him. Over time though things started changing gradually. I noticed he was prone to outbursts and would say hurtful things. I initially just took it as the normal fights couples go through our excused it for the stress he was facing at work because he was a resident doctor. With time he started pressuring me to expose myself sexually to him via Skype even though he knew i wasn't comfortable with it. We had talked from the beginning about sex and I'd made it clear I was saving myself for marriage. He would say things to me like "are you normal? , were you abused? " etc because he couldn't understand why I didn't want to get intimate with him. I really liked him and I sometimes I'd partly undress in front of him i guess to prove to him and myself that i did have sexual desires as well even though i was keeping them in check. All of this was happening remotely as we were in different cities. Other times when we had fights and he was angry, he would call me a selfish person, tell me i knew nothing about love. I never responded back aggressively to him because his words always took me by surprise and i wasn't raised to speak to people in that manner so i always found it hard to understand why he would speak to me that way and yet tell me that he highly regarded and respected me. Sometimes it was my fault he got upset, he'd tell me that i said something that reminded me of his ex or tuned him the wrong way. I believed him and so gradually i started watching my words and wondering each time we argued what I'd done to set him off. It was mostly always something I'd done and not him. I'll admit that some of our arguments were also due to my having a strong personality and firm opinions which clashed with his.
Finally things took a turn for the worse when i went over to visit him. We went on a vacation together and he gave me grief for not sleeping with him, telling me that he still felt alone though i was there with him, that i wasn't showing him affection bla bla bla. I felt horrible! One day he gave me the cold treatment for the entire day and barely spoke to me. I tried to pacify him and convince him that i loved him but for him, love meant having sex with him. This wasn't the worst part of the relationship though. It was when the words turned to me behaving like a bitch,telling me to go to hell,saying God forbid that he would ever marry someone like me, using the f-word to my face, saying women annoy the hell out of him etc that i knew i had to end the relationship.
Here i was this confident, professional woman who no longer recognised herself. I used to ask myself how i could have ended up in that relationship. I was a mess by the time i could muster up the courage to end the relationship. I knew i needed to get away from it and rediscover myself but also he needed help and it was not mine to give. The thing is, most of us women erroneously believe that we can change the abuser and we convince ourselves that they need us, that we love them, that they're good and perhaps if we can just show them that what they're saying or doing is wrong then they'll change. Sadly this is all part of the manipulation of abusers that messes with our psyche. Most abusers won't change until they can recognise that their behavior is fundamentally wrong. one can only change a ring one recognises and sadly many don't because it is ingrained in them and forms part of their character. I felt guilty for a long time for walking away and i kept thinking maybe it wasn't all that bad and i was overreacting but what helped me realise it was bad was that i couldn't recognise myself anymore. A good relationship will enrich and not diminish you. So ask yourself this question putting emotions aside - do you feel enriched by your partner in every way or do you feel bad about yourself?
If you're reading this and suspect you're in an abusive relationship, chances are you most likely are. Your spirit is telling you what your mind refuses to accept. You may think it's impossible to walk away for whatever reason, but know that by staying on in the relationship, you will continue to be chipped away bit by bit like a block and you're not helping the abuser who also needs professional help. If he's willing to seek counsel and you're not willing to walk away, then get help. But if he's not, know that you will be OK even if you leave him. It may be horrible initially but day by day you will find strength to move on through the love and support of friends, loved one and your faith if you have one. I'm speaking from experience and I hope that my story can encourage someone reading this.

March, 7 2015 at 10:59 am

I hate my partner of 10 years. He spent 8 years battering me. He hasn't hit me for 18 months, but the verbal abuse continues. We have two kids together, and not even the kids like him. I think I'm ready to call it a day. I have somewhere to go, for me and the kids. The last straw, I think, was 3 weeks ago, when I went to the Dr because I was feeling really ill. The Dr called an ambulance to take me to the hospital, where I was kept in for a week with acute respiratory distress due to pneumonia and asthma. I called my partner to tell him that my GP had called an ambulance for me. His response was "Well you can't leave the car outside the Drs surgery, you stupid woman, you'll get a parking ticket." One day after I came out of hospital, still weak and on a lot of medication, he threw me and the kids out of the house. Luckily I have somewhere to go. Within a couple of days he'd wheedled his way back in with me. However, soon the nastiness crept back in. He's very angry with me for being too ill to sexually service him. He burned some rubbish in the garden that I'd been asking him to do for over a year, and expected me to have sex with him to thank him. I have told him that I don't want to have sex with him because I don't feel the same way about him as I used to, because of all the terrible things he's done to me in the past. I laughed, and he said "Why are you laughing? I don't think this is very funny!" I told him it's funny because he just doesn't get it. You reap what you sow. You do things that make me hate you, and then have the gall to act like the wounded party when you get back the monster that you created. He keeps saying things like I should stop being so selfish, and start putting him first. Yeah, of course, I'd be sooooo much happier if I did that. He says it's not fair, he's stopped hitting me, so I should be making an effort to make him happy and show him some affection. Oh dear, that horse has long gone my friend. I DON'T LOVE YOU ANY MORE!!! You are ugly inside, and that's all I see now. Plus you smell like a tramps underpants. The only trouble is, I pity him, I feel so sorry for him. He's got an eye disease and is going blind. That's why I keep going back, because I know he can't cope without me, and even though I wish him dead 100 times a day, I'm not so much of a bitch that I'd leave him starve. He's asked me to get him a fuck buddy now lol! He asked me the same thing before, when I was pregnant with our first child, because my pregnant body repulsed him. And now it's him that repulses me. Doesn't feel so good now the shoes on the other foot, does it??? (BTW I didn't get him a fuck buddy back then and I'm not going to now!) I just can't understand why he keeps wanting to ressurrect this relationship, when I have been honest with him about how I feel, when I've told him I don't love him, don't want him, and am not prepared (or able) to forget the past. Where is his pride??? What kind of person would keep pestering a woman for sex when she's told him straight she doesn't want him, because he is an abuser, physical and emotional. Why won't he just leave me alone???

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
March, 10 2015 at 3:53 pm

Because he is an abuser. He will not leave you alone. If you want peace, you'll have to leave him and create it for yourself.

February, 23 2015 at 8:47 pm

i am married to a man that verbally abuses me. he is never wrong. if he does something he will never apologise to me. he will yell, and put the phone down( sometimes switch it off). and at the end i will be the one apologising for the sake of peace. he can be a really nice guy if he wants to but can be a monster the next minute. i love him very much and somehow i feel like he knows that i love him and as a result he takes advantage of my love for him. he has cheated on me more than once. the problem is as much as i want to leave, im scared, embarrased, and really dont have the energy to start all over again. i need you to please help me how do i stop running back to him after a fight? how do i stop relying on him to make me happy? how do i become confident again? i financially taking care of myself as im working.

February, 23 2015 at 2:04 pm

I am 13 and my boyfriend's 16 we've been together for a few months now at first he was really sweet but then he started calling me stupid I told him that I didn't like it n that it hurt me he said he was really sorry and didn't mean it so I forgave him but he did it again n again n again apologizing every time it's like a never ending cycle is this verbal abuse

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
February, 28 2015 at 5:28 am

Yes, it is verbal abuse. When you tell someone you love that a simple thing they say hurts you but they keep saying it, then you know they do not care about you at all. Unless they can break you down into believing you are stupid so you will refer to their judgment for all of your choices and words.
If he loved you, he would have stopped calling you stupid a long time ago.

February, 16 2015 at 7:38 am

I am a mother of 4 children, my husband and I split up for 10mths n only lived separately for 6 mths. I asked him in june to find his own place n he responded with 30days. Well 30 days went by n I asked what he was doing n then it was another 30 days... Well finally the arguments n division in the house was so awkward, i booked him a one way ticket back to his sisters. On his going away outting his friends gave him, he collected a number, which I did not know at the time. We decided to split because We felt like it was a reoccurring nightmare. I also do everything for him n he did not appreciate anything i did or the things i bought. He would always break things n say "it was cheap anyway" on things i spent over $600 on. I would get angry. Say because yiu didnt pay for it, its cheap! Let someone break something of his n the whole neighborhood can hear it. Well i went out with a guy, who asked me out. I have never had anyone shiow me such chivalry, i thought that was dead. I told my husband when he flew in. This was december. In february we decided to take it slow n reconcile. Well i checked the phone records n he had a girlfriend, he met at a bar on his going away night. I questioned why he did t tell me n i was honest n he blatantly lied about having anyone. He had her for almost 6 months. Well we still moved forward putting it behind us. Now 10mths later n im am still getting the verbal attacks of me being a hoe, bitch, im just as dumb as i look n he shoulda never came bk, he hates me. Fuck my family n my raggedy ass sister, who took him in when he had no place to go. Tells my mother to fuck off, i am scandalous. We have been together 11yrs minus the 10mth separation. He tells me im lying all the time about where i go n im at my mothers. He brings up the guys name i told him about n says go run n tell jo about this, when he choked me. Oh did i mention that he threw me down n kicked me around before, now im starting to get choked n then he told me if he finds out im cheating or have a boyfriend, he is going to kill me n thats a promise. This was on Valentines night. I am scared n i dont know what to do. I just told him that i cant be with anyone who thinks of me that way. He says he just said that because he was mad, but he says it everytimes hes mad n i always feel like shit, but i put on a good happy front to my family n friends. I sometimes wish me n my kids can go to sleep n wake up in a better place. Any advice?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
February, 28 2015 at 6:14 am

This sounds like a great time to get a restraining order and have him removed from the home. Remember to tell the judge he threatened to kill you. Make him get out of the home.
Break it down for your friends and family. Tell Joe if it makes you feel good. I am almost positive they know bad things are happening to you but haven't figured out how to bring it up to your "brave face". You need their support to bolster your courage as you get rid of this dangerous man once and forever.
After you get him out, DO NOT communicate with him at all. Not on the phone, via text, social media or slipping notes to him via mutual friends.
Visit to download a free safety plan (scroll to bottom of page to find it).
It is time to go. You are considering going to sleep and waking up in a better place. You may be suicidal.
Call both the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Today.

February, 3 2015 at 5:17 am

Need help:(:(

suzette b.
February, 2 2015 at 6:04 pm

My boyfriend was really sweet at first. He really took care of me and fawned over me. He still does sometimes. Pretty early in the relationship he would lose his temper and swear quite a bit... at the dogs, at cars, because he stubbed his toe... I did not like it much but everyone has flaws. It has progressed to a pretty awful level. Last week he told me he hated me, yesterday he told me "f... you", "I wish you'd flush your head down the toilet", then he flipped me off. After a disagreement about how to spend the day he went off on me about how it was "not ok" how my shoes were on the floor and I was on fb for part of the morning (I cleaned quite a bit as well.) The shaming hurt the most and I just went to bed and couldn't really get up again. He started in on the apology cycle again and I just can't do it again. It was obvious and he started saying I should move out "someone will take me in", of course he tries to reverse it all and make up and I just keep telling him the way he talks to me is demoralizing, people who love each other cannot say those things. I don't want another apology. It has to stop. He did not like this at all. I just stuck to it. That is all I would really say, "no one deserves to be talked to that way". He left for a week. Hopefully money is coming together and I can buy a trailer and be gone by the time he gets home unless a serious therapy or self improvement commitment is made. Would love some support. I am pretty alone.

January, 28 2015 at 2:11 am

I have been in an abusive relationship for 30 years. I'm in the process of leaving him. I have 2 days to finish moving out of our home. My adult/kids are helping. But I'm so scared he verbally beat me down until I had a complete breakdown.I have been to sick to work since. The comment made about drinking is so right on. It helps numb the heart wrenching pain. I have never been alone or loved alone as an adult. I do scared and have no idea how to start a new life alone.?

jeannine mlynarski
January, 7 2015 at 3:49 pm

being abused so is my dad but scared say something afrarid to be beat

January, 7 2015 at 4:23 am

Been with my boyfriend for 8 years - he made promises he did not keep, lies about what he promised, caught in his lies red handed, & when confronted he says it's my imagination, I need psycho meds, I have mental issues etc...Well, maybe; because I refuse to compromise my principals to accommodate his teen porn addiction. My convictions will not accommodate his addiction for the pure protection of my 12 yr old son. Due to my divorce from his father (verbally abusive with an MBA & taught my 3 yr old to mimic him when he called me a MFB etc...= divorce) my son sees my boyfriend as his dad.
So, last time I caught him provocatively looking at young girls in public I lost it and cold cocked him (it was quite a tussel after my child was asleep); then I played the 'imagination, drama, etc...card' on him. What I did was horrid & wrong. In retrospect my temper blew from the years of being second to porn & from the insecurities he exploited. He knew my vulnerability & took advantage of my trust, generosity, and family. Yes, he WAS able to feed into the insecurities with sly verbal comments (you have large pores on your face, you will need a boob job when your 45, complaints about my lack of gourmet taste, and lack of knowledge regarding most things).
Oh yeah & I did not mention the fact he pays one bill ($65 Internet bill), I pay the rest. He does contribute but makes sure the job is only 85% done (example; will mop, but 'forgets' a room so I have to go back & do it) & then tells me I am crazy b/c I am fussy. WTF, I am detached, but so sick of his contridictions, I just let it all hang out. So it not good when I respond with how a real man would be nice instead of a Peter Pan.
Look forward to addvice, comments, &/or questions.
Thank you for your time.

January, 1 2015 at 8:08 am

For 7 years I have been in a relationship with a man who I feel is abusive.he criticizes everything I do,be it parenting,what I look like,how I walk,calls me vile names like the c word on a daily basis (in front of my children),is vile to our older daughter because our youngest is his favourite.he's held me down and choked me in front of them,threatened to slit my throat and eat my flesh,threatened to hang my oldest brother(!),threatened me with a samurai sword.he's also incredibly selfish,lazy and orders me around and tells me what to do.when I had a collapsed lung due to pneumonia when I was 7 months pregnant,he shouted at me because I asked him to phone an ambulance for me because I could barely breathe.I have tried to talk to him about it and he says he "knows he's horrible but..." like it's my fault.I don't even answer him back anymore because I am terrified of what will happen if I do.I know that I am a good person,he hasn't beaten it out of me yet (no pun intended) but I feel so lost and alone.every day I have a little cry when he's not around but I don't cry because of the things he does to me,I cry for my children.I want to leave desperately but I am scared he may do something terrible.I also have no money and am in a mountain of debt because he very rarely helps me helps to know that I am not alone when I read things like this,but I'm at the end of my rope....I have lost 2 and half stone in the last 3 months because it really seems to have escalated lately.However I know I have to leave,because I deserve more than this.I know I have a good heart and a nice nature and I would never hurt anyone.My problem is how to go about it with no money and two children under 6.

December, 31 2014 at 3:01 am

I read through the entries and was floored by the amount of those that have taken up drinking in order to mask their hurt,pain ,shame and humilation. Drinking is a symtom of something much deeper inside ourselves that we desperately wish to escape.
All these entries are heartbreaking.Especially from those that are allowing to another person to take such power and control from you- that you are starting to listen to those vicious and demeaning lies.
Think of your kids who are depending on you to be the strong one - think of your aging parents who worry themselves endlessly about the bad situation you may be in.
You may not ever be able to change the person who is tormenting you- but YOU have the power to change yourself and take back your control of your life.
Sometimes we just have to start those changes in baby steps.

December, 31 2014 at 2:31 am

In response to ' Desperate' entry-
from personal experience I can tell you this guys will continue in his behavior-
and the abuse will only escalate.
Please realize you cannot fix this guy- love yourself and above all think of your unborn child- does your baby deserve to live in such an abusive and toxic enviroment?
Please - do not walk but run from this guy- he honestly sounds like he is ready willing and capable of violent acts against you and your unborn baby.
I will pray for the both of you- good luck and may you have a blessed day.

December, 22 2014 at 10:14 pm

I'm separated from my ex but thought we had a better relationship apart as best friends with benefits as hes very abusive when we together , which had really worked until recently. He is very emotional abusive and he thinks throwing things at me or shoving or poking me isn't abusive. Its Christmas and he is with me with his kids for Christmas. Today he has called me slut, bitch, shoved, threw a pillow at my face, knocked my head a few times to listen, blamed me for everything gone wrong, embarrassed me and broken stuff. The thing is if I cry he'll make a scene, if I say something wrong he'll make a scene grab the kids in front of the whole neighbourhood and say Im kicking them out in the middle of the night. He'll yell out to everyone that its me. I've got two weeks of this before I can go home as we re going to his families for the holiday. I cant do anything but suck it up till his kids go home. My son is going away so im glad he'll be ok. His family will just blame me. I hate this caus I have no where to go and cry

December, 9 2014 at 11:18 pm

I have been with my husband for 15 years we have 4 boys. Ages 15,13,5, and 1. For the last 10 years I've been called every name in the book. Hit so many times i can't remember. My oldest son tried to pull his dad of of me while he was choking me! My 13 grabs my younger babies and hides. My children have been hit too. And put down on a daily basis. We lost are home. I have no help. Everyone worships my husband. They all see the good side. My life is all a front, i see my shrink every month, I'm on diazapam, nexium for my stomach ulcers. Im always crying, or upset lashing out at all the wrong people. I block everything out and do nothing. I don't sleep, i don't eat! My husband says i always run away! I lost 30 lbs in 1 week. I don't know what i do that is so wrong, i do everything im told to do my older boys lash out at me and blame me for my mistakes i really dont know what to do. I would not attempt to kill myself. I have my boys to live for i have no words to explain how i feel any more.

December, 9 2014 at 8:50 pm

Oh my god I am not alone so many of you in abusive relationships! I have been in one for 6 years tried to get out but its so hard as i made the mistake of moving in with him giving up my home them lost my job through depression caused by his abuse. Then ended up homeless going into b and bs as revuge was full then rented a room what had I come too! Lost everything as a punishment he gave my dogs away and burnt mybelongings! He plagued me found a new woman it crippled me so quick he moved on and I was left with nothing! I went back as couldn't take it anymore was suicidal my
mum was getting iller with altseimers so I couldn't get a job I wasn't listed as priority housing as had no kids. I had no family either to turn too no friends as he got rid of them ages ago. I thought he would change Iam now stuck with 2 cats and two more dogs and more abuse they do not change!!!!! I am 46 and emotionally dead. He has a excellent job and I am just his servant! What a life!!!!

Kath Gillon
December, 7 2014 at 9:04 pm

I so agree with you about detachment, the second I realised it was him not me, and could detach from his verbal bull was the second I started to feel better about myself, it is really important to realise that it's not you it's them and that no matter what you do it will always be them, there is nothing you can do to change them or what they are doing, you can only change your own behavior and choosing to detach from the verbal rubbish is a massive step to salvation and a really good place to start rebuilding your self esteem.

December, 3 2014 at 6:36 pm

I have been wit my boyfriend for three years in the beginning he was loving n time he started calling me names n would lock his phone n accuse me of cheating then I found out he was cheating on me wit my so called homegirls so wen I found out I flipped n I hit him and damaged his car her kicked me out n I started see someone else n he got mad even doe he was sleeping wit other girls he called me all kinds of names now were back together n he brings up the dudes name n say he can do better n down me we recently had a baby n he leaves me n da house with the kids n his daughter that ain't even mine n sometimes he don't come home n wen i ask him about he gets mad n spaze im always the one left crying I don't know wat to do anymore and I love him to death

November, 24 2014 at 8:37 am

How do I deal with my x husband who still verbal abuses me an it front of my kids

November, 23 2014 at 7:48 pm

Hi, I suspect my daughter who is 33 is being brainwashed, she got married 2 years ago and not long after said to me this is who I am now, I do not understand some of the random statements she says. we were very close and also with my 13 year old granddaughter now neither of them will talk at all, I have been so heartbroken, but he baits her with his money, and of course she falls for it, would you have any idea why she would say this is who I am now, would love to hear your answer

November, 21 2014 at 7:28 am

Please help- Ive been dating a guy for six years, In the beginning was ok but I caught hm cheating and gave him a second chance because I loved him and that's when the pan kicked in. I cook dinner for him and because it is ready for when walks in the door he will throw the food away saying it is not fresh...if I get lost on the road he will call me just to say that I am fckng stupid, he tells me he can do way better than me, Ive had c-seton so he makes fun of my scars and tells me I am disgusting and nasty...At time I hear his voice n my head telling me I am gross :-( Sometime I use drinking to push the voices out of my head but I cant. We went on a break because my cousin died and he made fun of me, I thought I had enough until he came back apologizing. It was hard for me to date again because I was always waiting for someone to yell at me or I was scared to show myself because he told me for years I was gross....Now we are back together and I can not have sex with him unless I am absolutely drunk, because I think he is staring at my scars so I hide to get dressed and am never fully nude around him. I am so sad and I just googled what I have going on and threw your site I found out that abuse is not just hitting.

Amy Kirincich
November, 11 2014 at 11:51 am

Thank you for this. I found myself to be that girl. How I ended up with an abusive boyfriend at this stage in my life floors me. Everything came to a head this weekend when he accused me of cheating (a common thing - I was always a whore, a bitch or something) because he believes he got an STD, no medical evaluation - just his own diagnosis. Did I mention I had just been to the doctor and all is well. So I was threatened physical abuse and of course the usual verbal assault that occurs when his anger flares or he drinks (Did I mention he was an alcoholic as well.) I know my truth and I know that I did not at any point cheat on him though I can not say the same for him as I had a phone call one morning from his girlfriend. But Sunday morning as I was living this nightmare again, I was doubting myself. Wondering who I had been with. Finally I stopped myself and SAID "STOP!! I did not do anything." I figured at this point I was experiencing a form of trauma related stress. Finding this blog has been very insightful and eye opening.
We would argue about his treatment of me often, he would blame it on alcohol (when he was in DUI related classes it was better because he was not drinking). The night of the last class we were suppose to go out, he decided to go to the bar instead and of course I was a kill joy. I told him I was done with him then, to not contact me. Hours later it is "Are you still mad at me?" The relationship was never about me or my needs. It was always about him.
So now, I am confused and depressed. Going through the loss of my own emotions and the realization of what I PUT up with. People ask me how I am and I just cry. This is not my typical behavior.
Anyway, I just want to say thank you. Talking about it really does help. I have been keeping everything bottled up, because I was covering for him. I needed to remember "Not my circus, Not my monkeys."

November, 8 2014 at 10:58 am

Hi, why don't you also write about when a the wife verbally and mentally abuse the husband, that happened to me, to the extreme that I was becoming violent, and I left her with my two year old daughter. After four years, of no interacting with her or my child she showed up at my work asking me to start over. After a few day of thing to work things out I found out from my daughter she found herself a boyfriend. After I confront her all the abuse came back, now I don't know what to do because I don't want to loose my child, but I can't deal with my wife because she is abusive, just wife because we have not divorced, I filed for divorced but she told the judge she wants to work things out, judge sent us to counseling she never went.
My point, man also get the same abused, I wished she would had hit me, because those scar go away my emotional scars are affecting still even after four years, I have lost myself confidence, self steema and worthiness.

Lauren Hudgens
November, 6 2014 at 8:11 pm

I've been separated from my husband for almost 3 years.we split joint custody of my girls. Every time he gets mad at me he text me calling me a whore, slut,cunt,bitch. He says I make him want to vomit. I disgust him. He has sent several messages telling me multiple ways I should kill myself. Then one day hettold me if he could kill me and get away with it he would. Everything was my fault. I did no right and to this day even tho we are separated I'm still a piece of shit. He keeps my girls away from me. Hearing crap once in a while I could forget it. But almost daily and I've done nothing. He has been with multiple women since the day I left. I've only been with one and still with him. What can I do to get the harassment to stop? He is taking me to my breaking place and I am struggling to cope..

November, 3 2014 at 7:51 am

I have been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years now. and everything started off perfect.
But since March this year things have changed. He is drinking ALOT!!! When he gets to drinking he talks so mean, and treats me so rudely. Then he will get on this kick of I am cheating on him. Which I am not. I work full time, I go to school at night, I have 2 sons that my oldest plays travel baseball so I am constantly busy.
I have recently started to lose myself. When he starts saying F U when he is drunk, once he has got into my face and spit in my face. I mean literally spit not accidentally while he was yelling. Well I have started fighting back, and I know that is not the right thing to do. But Its like I have to defend myself. I have to constantly prove myself and I can't just leave. We just moved in together, he bought me a car.
I do love him so much, but I just don't understand why someone feels like they need to talk down and constantly have an attitude with someone they supposedly love. He tells me that he knows I'm cheating on him and for me to go be with him, but I would not ever cheat. I am not that type of person.
I just feel lost.

louise stephenson
November, 2 2014 at 4:28 am

Hi I'm hearing imparied n my husband is proudly deaf,we're Separated cos he verbal abuse me of copy my mother the way she does for years.his mother do the same cos she doesn't wanted us to be togethers.we have a child togethers.his mother mentally n control him kept him at his patents.he's 47..I just getting on with thints.they really have upset me make me cry .thought it was funny.

October, 31 2014 at 5:01 pm

I need help! I don't know where to turn! I NEED advice! I've been emotionally abused for 4 years now! Ya know the typical, yelling, screaming, blaming me, always trying my best to make him happy yet nothing is ever food enough, been called names, very intimidating, even acts COMPLETELY different when he's not home. Catch is he suffers from depression. Well finally I've had enough! I have 4 children I'm forcing to stay in a horrible situation! Past week he claims he will respect my wishes and will move out. He didn't but he did go to a phycologists and told her he wanted to kill himself. Now my husband is in the hospital! What the heck do I do?! He's been on and off depression for years! Its supposed to be for better or worse, sickness and health. But I'm still being abused! :( I just don't know what to do anymore

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