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 Victims hear horrible things from their abuser and they feel small, withdrawn, angry, helpless, sad, shame, and a hundred other horrible emotions - sometimes all at once.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.
Jo, K. (2012, April 29). Things Verbal Abusers Say and Do, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, January 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2012/04/things-verbal-abusers-say-and-do
Author: Kellie Jo Holly
I think you should decide what your husband must do to prove he is changing. Words mean nothing - you must see absolute life changes before you can trust him. Things like attending AA meetings, finding a therapist (for himself, not a marriage counselor) and apologizing to you FOR REAL. Here's a hint: If an apology sounds like this, "I am so sorry for hurting you Cynthia, BUT..." It doesn't matter what follows the "but" because the "but" means an excuse for his behavior will follow. He must take responsibility for himself and his actions. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=the%20verbally%20abusive%20man%20can%20he%20change&index=blended&linkCode=ur2&tag=verbabusjou02-20" rel="nofollow">The Verbally Abusive Man, Can He Change? by Patricia Evans</a> is a great book for you to read. It will help you figure out what to look for when an abuser says they will change. Your library should have it.
But I'm a bloke and it say nothing that can help me!
I feel torn..I have friends and family that keep telling me to get out; it won't get better. But I feel like I'll be letting him down if I leave. I'm physically sick and emotionally destroyed....
Now 2 months after the baby is here, T is just a jerk. Your cheating on me, I can't trust you, why don't you get a job? Get off your lazy butt and doing something.
She is sooooo depressed!!! She just crys,not happy at all. I encourage her to get out but she doesn't want to break her family up. What do I do? I love her so much.
It all started when i left home 3 months after being found out we are seeing each other from my mother i then had a choice him or my family i chose him , we then stays in a flat on the top floor that was over 100 years old it was cold and gloomy he always worked and i stayed at home with no family just him, we then started arguing over silly things and with my emotions being all over the place it didn't help , i started to get depression and anxiety all i wanted to do was lock myself away and never go out i have a dog as well and because of her she was the only reason i would get out of bed each day so i could walk her , feed her etc...
so we lived in this flat for 6 months arguing constantly and me keeping my secret of having depression on the 6month of living there one night he was working and i just broke down i wanted to kill myself police came my bf had me down to the ground so i could not move i had been secretly self harming , my bf had to get into contact with my family to let them know and my gran and mother come running in the house with a neighbour i had to go see help etc..
they then got me put into a new flat where i felt so much happier and my head was alot lighter but after maybe a month our arguments slowly started to happing and they have now increased alot , he doesn't realise and provokes me and i tell him to walk away or leave the room and i can calm down and breathe but he doesn't he keeps going threatening to call my family or saying i need help etc... i then reply back to defend myself and it gets more heated we swear , scream and shout at each other and a good few times he has got in my face and calling me names or grabs my ankles and knows i dont like it so i would hit him but to defend myself to break free from him now its gotten to the point where it will end up in things getting chucked across the room or me thinking about death and trying to kill myself , i just dont know what to do anymore.
The latest tells me what's funny is to take my clothes off and look in the mirror. He calls my psycho bitch, cunt, whore , stupid just to name a few. He cheats, stands me up and has never bought me a gift. He doesn't pay my bills. I know I shouldn't be with him, but I don't know why I stay. I know he is bad. I want to be happy
To me oh next door stole our phone and he took my car too work one day and there it was sitting under the seat I was so angry it all made sense of why he was abusing me so much I rang my landlord and told him I was moving the. He said we both have to move then we were pretty much split up and I was a single mom that was lost one of he's friends that I had never liked started to see what he was doing to me he then became so nice to me and when my x would abuse me he would tell me that I'm not what he says and we became really close he would treat my son so good I ended up falling for him and we were seeing each other for a while anyways my x found out and because it was he's mate things got even worse my x wanted me back so we got back together I have had another kid to him and everyday I get abused over small things he constantly brings up me cheating but has forgotten what he has done to me everyday he calls me a big nose fat bitch tells me things like he hates sleeping with me because he watched me have two kids and it grossed him out he tells me things like rooting chicks in brothels have tighter vaginas then mine says he hates looking at my body because I have scars all over my stomach and that makes him sick He tells me I'm a piece of shit of a mother I need to kill myself and the thing is when we got back together we agreed no more cheating and no more abuse I have stuck to my promise but I still get abused everyday when I say to him there's no need to call me names he brings up the past and says its my fault I have to watch what I say to him like yesterday I spoke up for myself and all I said was what's taking you so long hurry the F up and he got across the road and started to yell shut up ya fat slut you knew we had to come over here ya fukn bird beek talking about my nose I have finally had enough my daughter used to walk around saying fat bitch mommy fat bitch she's 2 and my son at 3 calls me big nose every day I want to kill myself I have even wet myself in the corner crying my eyes out and my partner comes over the top of me tips water in my hair spits on me and tells me to stop whippering he has hit me pushed me and even tells my kids when I go in the room and cry ohh don't worry kids your mothers doesn't give a shit about yous and then wallks around muttering to himself ya can't even attend to your own children ... My mother not long ago was raped and he says things like suck shit ya mom got rapped that's what need ps to happen to you I'm so scarred from all this but I can't help to think is it my fault even tho I kno now because I have tried so hard and the abuse doesn't stop I try to do everything for him and just get shat on I'm. Not aloud out I have no freinds left I just want to kill myself
Remember that you can always call the police. You can reach them via 911, and if it isn't an emergency they will direct you to the correct place to call.
to add to the above he tells me he doesnt sleep with me cos he cant stand me but then nights later hes over me like a rash. i call him fat cunt when he has a go and al he ever replies with is u need surgery the state a u i lost ten stone but now wish i hadnt.
I think I'm in a verbal abusive relationship when we started dating everything was the best thing ever but by time passed he started tellin me things like if I were talkiN to a guy friend is because I wanted to fuck him or I had already done it would bring me down in seconds an ill cry an hell tell why am I cryin theirs nothing to cry about if I'm gonna be loike just go home and cry somewhere else. We can't have a nice conversation without him tellin me something about me having sex with someone else I try everything soo that he can stop treating me the way he does I'm not gonna lie theirs days when he's the nicest an I remember wen we first started but that only last for a couple of hrs he checks my phone which I don't care cuz I'm not hiding anything but if I want to look at his he doesn't let me he get mads an tells me things an endups telling me to go home that I don't need to be lookin at he's phone he says he luvs me he took me to meet his family but he started telling me things that supposely I like his brother which I just had met an dat hurt soo he left me alone da whole time I was there with his family an I have a really hard time hiding my feeling an cry real easily but he doesn't care he will say that I started I luv him but I don't know wuyt to do his mom tells me that he does luv me an dat he's stupid but still it hurts that he treats me like shit an dat he brakes up with me for wutever reason help me please
I'm sorry that I can't help you any further. Read the blog and get an idea of what you're facing. Abuse is no joke and there is no easy cure. There is NO CURE you (victim of abuse) can impose on him.
I feel like this person will never leave me alone. I spoke to someone and this person told me that I was paranoid and that is not true. someone has tampered with my car and my kids say weird things to me like I heard something like ” I was punished enough” after finding out that someone had tampered with my car again! and I have emailed the police and still things have happened. Someone told me that I think that all men want me and that is not true. I know that all men don’t want me. I wonder how people can live with themselves doing things to me. I feel violated and really stressed out. I would be very happy to let the police know who has been harassing me. I have been told that it is my fault that I am being harassed and stalked by these men. I don’t need this aggravation in my life. Will they stop, who knows.
I never thought for one second that every man wanted me. But here comes someone that I thought that would be a nice person and says all these things like I am paranoid,I am not. I really don’t give a dam if a man looks at me or not. I could care less. I don’t care if they can offer me the moon and the stars, I don’t give a dam! frankly I have a brain that still works even if it is injured. But there will be serious consequences for them when they get caught. I don’t care if they laugh right now but they will legally get it. There are consequences to aggravated harassment that is a crime, and they will get theirs.
Why did you want her back? So you could see your son? The siutation is bad for your kids too. You need to start documenting everything and get some witnesses to see how she behaves. Call the cops on her about the weed if you have to (make sure you don't smoke it). Then you can have custody of the kids not her. You can get a live in Nanny to look after the kids or have your family help you. Her behaviour is already hurting the kids. Is that how you want to teach your sons how to be a man? They see how she is treating you and they will grow up and may start resenting you. They may learn to hate women and become abusive. She's behaving this way because she's getting away with it and she acts nice sometimes to keep you hoping for something better. It's not you. You're not bad because she is behaving badly. She's the one who is wrong. Why are you taking this from her? You may be in your child ego state and you are letting her be the abusive parent. Were you abused by any females as a child? You are not a child now. You are a man and you don't have to feel like you are bad anymore. Remember, you are not a child anymore and you don't have to take this woman's sh-t even if you were the one to pursue her again. That doesn't mean she gets to do whatever she wants. Make plans to get out of that situation with the kids.
He had the sprint family locator locate my phone saying I was with in several miles and showed an address so he assumed I must be with some guy,have been falsely accused of cheating,seeing some one,trying to set him up..He has called me, text me non stop when I'm sleeping and threatens to shut off my phone..Shocking..When he works out of town he calls me all hrs accusing me of cheating..Paranoid I'm cheating,even asked our three grown daughters if mom is seeing some guy.He has always self medicated with meth every once in awhile but now it seems this yr is the worst..he has been self medicating with meth every two weeks, from what I have started to keep track of. He is very hyper sexual,watches porn on Tv and his phone when hes high or manic. But he lies,
lies,lies,lies about everything but accuses me of lying.He has taken my keys, gone through my purse phone..Says everything is his.We rent don't own,because of bad credit,his gambling and poor money decisions.The bank account is in my name because of his check writing history,so his check are deposited in my bank but he has a card to it. He has had his checks sent to him out of town instead of deposited into the bank to pay bills. He always drains the bank account but makes 100,000 a yr...Yet we are always broke.He says very mean hurtful things.He thought I was lying when i said I was on my period and wanted to see if I really was...He has always been verbally abusive when the girls were young,but I thought he was just being a jerk,tired from work. he worked out of town most of the girls young lives so i was like a single working married mother...His father verbally abused him and physically abused him. I used to fight back but that one time I ended up with a broken nose.. When he is normal he can be amazing, fun,giving.loving,tells me I'm the world to him, he says I'm beautiful,he's lucky to have me then flips a switch and says hurtful things.One of our daughters was diagnosed with bipolar 1 so I'm guessing he is bipolar too.He was diagnosed with adult ADHD after a physical fight. He went to jail ,took a anger management classes and they said hes full blown ADHD. He is the one that works and pays for everything so he holds that over my head,while I do all the cooking,cleaning,laundry,take out the garbage,clean the garage.i I have worked in the past and still took the girls to school,sports,doc,dentist apts.. but with a daughter that was diagnosed bipolar 4 yrs ago makes it tough.She cant work,sometimes cant sleep,gets very verbally abusive and angry and that's hard enough knowing suicide rate is high for bipolar rapid cyclers.my other two daughter moved out a few yrs ago and ....I'm in hell living in a house with a 22 yr old bipolar daughter and I believe a ADHD/Bipolar husband..he even make my life hell when he works out of town,where he has gotten drunk or did drugs while he had to work the next day.He has gone out all night and has come home the next morning with some lie of where he was.When he is high or manic he lurks around the house,though FBI was in the attic, or heard voices coming from the bathroom vent, thinking hes going to catch some guy in the house Its creepy.I'm 46 yrs old and don't have time for these games. He demands all my email and passwords,constantly goes though my phone,changes my voice mail password, and if I get mad he will quit his job and drive home or not deposit the check into the bank. He always seems distracted and doesn't listen very well,hince the ADHD...very messy,disorganized,forgetful,loses everything.pees on the toilet seat, doesn't clean up his messes wherever he is....couch,kitchen,bedroom exc...Oh and he has bough me jewelry over the yrs but it always ends up back in the pawn shop.i have lost things in the pawn shops over the yrs. Some birthdays,Christmas's he didn't get me anything but always tried to make up for it later with here is 100 bucks go by yourself something.One yr all stocking we stuffed but mine...not surprising..I stuffed the stockings and told him don't forget mine...but he did.he ever went to the casino Christmas morning..Every holiday he either go to the casino or fs up somehow.
Sad thing is I love the guy but can't handle the control anymore...It's enough stress having a bipolar daughter,but dealing with the manipulation,control,anger is too much.He says he has never cheated on me but has played wicked verbal games saying he has with who and in detail,then says he only does it to see if I will come out with if I have cheated...wicked mind games..
He can be very negative,like I'm walking on eggshells not knowing which one of the two evils I'm going to deal with today.So with this I hope someone else out there reads this and makes up her mind to either stick it out with the mental illness or move on....I seriously see it getting worse not better.
It’s something so petty that gets him going. For example last nite he started the yelling & name calling because I forgot I had smoked a cigarette a few minutes before, & I was asking him for a cigarette. I couldn’t recall smoking one-I didn’t have the taste of having smoked, or have the smell on my hands either. I never stop in the middle of anything to smoke. I never have. I’m anal when it comes down to how I do things/ I’m a perfectionist-Everything I do has it’s order in which its done.I never cut corners or do things differently.
I met my partner almost 2 years ago. We lived in different cities and dated for 7 months before marrying. I saw all the bad signs and tried to push him away but he was so persistent. I have a friend who is in an abusive marriage and she warned me not to marry him, but like many women, I thought if I show him enough love he will become the ideal husband.
My abuser is also a drug abuser, but he pretended that he'd quit everything when he met me. I know now that he hasn't. Pre-marriage he only called me a bitch once, and he was drunk. At first I told him thats it, its over, but then he apologized so much I forgave him. Big mistake! He never did it again until after marriage. Just a month after marriage, he started verbal abuse. He cursed at me, my parents, my whole family.
My abuser isolated me from friends and even relatives, female relatives!! I wasn't allowed to mingle with my relative who was separated from her husband because single ladies would influence me badly. I agreed with everything he asked thinking that we'd reach a point where he'll be satisfied and we'll get along. But things only got worse.
After isolation, he started controlling what I wear. He fought with me about perfume, make up, and finally I stopped wearing these at work. Still it wasn't enough he wanted to control my finances. I got pregnant and he never felt any compassion for me. He said I was using my pregnancy, that my hormones were making me irrational. I was almost 8 months pregnant when I left him the first time.
I had to live in a shelter for about 2 weeks and then I went to stay at my brothers house (in another city) and started mat leave. At first when I left, he promised me to do everything right so I would return. But my family advised me not to. So I stayed at my brother's and called him the day I went into labor. Instead of putting our differences aside and coming to be supportive, he started abusing me when he I called him.
Finally he came to see the baby and wouldn't stop crying. I went back to him when our daughter was 2 months old. It all started again. It got even worse coz this time he didn't hide that he was smoking pot. He just kept calling me names, pushing me here and there, throwing things around etc.
I left him 3 weeks ago but not intending to leave for good. I just came to my home city to relax for 2 weeks but the mental relief I experienced being away from him just made me decide to end it. Yesterday I went to take all my things from his house, I left his key and here I am.
Its scary that I have to raise my girl alone but I know she's better off than to live with constant screaming in her ears. I have no intention of preventing him from seeing his daughter if he wants but I need some advice.
Should I be worried that he might hurt her??
For the 3.5 months that I lived there with my daughter, he was great to her. Even as I`m here, he`s constantly asking about her and asking for pictures of her. I believe he loves her and would protect her. But, can his abuse get directed at her if I let him see her?
I just want the well-being of my daughter, and I wouldn`t want to break her ties with her father. But I also need to know whether encouraging the ties would be beneficial and not harmful to my baby.
I have also started a blog to tell my story, please visit http://blesseddec2012.wordpress.com/ if you`d like to read about it. Thanks
Since the beginning he has belittled my thoughts & feelings called my every name known 2 man lived on my finances mainly complains that my attitude is the cause of all upsets n my household has only negative comments about all my friends &family has scared me on more than 1 occasion throwing fits & tearing up the home I've worked for & no end 2 the hateful things he has said 2 & about me. And somehow it is all my fault & I'm the 1 with problems. I am still foolish enough 2 miss him
My problem seems unique, but I'm sure other women have experienced this. Years ago, I had 2 abortions where I would have had 4 children under the age of 6. I was overwhelmed caring for the 2 I had, but I thought it was mutual that we didn't have any more at that time as we were both in our mid-20's and living in an apartment at that time. He didn't object, so I went ahead with these abortions.
The problem is that he was determined to have a son, so he was very hard on our daughters as they reached their teen-age years. Even though he worked hard, as I did in raising them, he was very controlling and angry. In my mid-30's, he wanted me to try again for the son that he didn't have. I explained that I was sorry for the abortions, but that I had raised our girls who were just as valuable as sons. I was fearful to try again, not really wanting any more children, as another female child would have meant having to try for a male child.
We lost our 19 year old daughter tragically in a sudden accident when we were age 45 but he became very mean after that. Our remaining daughter moved away after college.
After that, he became very verbally abusive where he called me a murderer whenever we had a disagreement. It's been going on for years as he uses this to control me and any decisions that he wants to make. Nothing that I have done, anything positive and well-meaning, makes a difference.
He tells me that I have brought this abuse upon myself, which I probably have, but I don't think I could have coped with 4 children under the age of 6. He threw the daughter that we lost out of the house when she was 18, then refused to let her return. I have a lot of anger against him as well, but our senior years look very bleak as he's telling me to just leave if I don't give him his way.
It's a constant string of abusive anger, accusations, blame and refusal to make plans for the future as he tells me that he has no son to carry on his heritage. I've thought of leaving, but he told me that he'd throw me out of the house and change the locks if I went to a lawyer. No one knows about these abortions or about the abuse that has resulted, but I do know that I was a good mother, family member and friend who's given more than I've asked for in return.
I think there's women who are in my situation with past abortions where they bear the full responsibility for having had them even.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I have been married for three years, of which the last 5 months have been spent living away from my husband. He has always been a "I'm always right" person and now i often wonder why i tolerated a lot of things all those years we were dating. That said, i went into the marriage very excited about our life together and i thought he was too. We had a baby a year ago and he just went crazy after that, mainly because of his belief that my mother, who is a pediatrician, was "interfering" too much. He always has reasons for his behaviour and they were always about something external, what others said or did. Never because he may have misread something. I left the house with our baby when things came to a place when i couldn't talk to him at all. He wasn't ready to listen to reason or open to a dialogue. It was just abuse towards me and my family. I went back a few days ago to get back some stuff and since then he has suddenly "understood" everything and is ready to do anything to make this work. I would like to believe that it's true but the timing of his change of heart is suspect and reeks of desperation. It's taken me a long time (only with continued support from my friends and family) to try and forget the past and focus on constructive things. And now this guy is back with his usual cycle of trying to get me back when he feels i'm slipping away.
I believe in 'human revolution' through thoughts and actions. But i don't want to fall in a trap again. This sort of behaviour on his part has happened several times over the last one year, when he promises the world but how much can a person really change. I would like to move forward from the almost-peaceful mental state that I've been able to reach after a long long time. I thought i was done believing in his words of change but it seems i haven't. This is the most difficult decision of anyone's life and i thought i had made it four months ago. But things aren't so easy.
My biggest fear is what if i go back and the only thing that changes is my higher threshold or patience level and not his true behaviour. That is a life wasted. But i also don't wish to move forward alone and regret what-might-have-been had i got together with him. I don't know what is going to make me absolutely certain. But hopefully I'd find my way through this fork in the road :)
(Phew. That's a whole lot of venting)
You know he does not accept responsibility or believe that he could be in the wrong.
You left because communication came to an end. Without communication, there can be no relationship.
You said "the timing of his change of heart is suspect and reeks of desperation" Believe yourself.
You said, "this guy is back with his usual cycle of trying to get me back when he feels I'm slipping away." You are correct.
You said "this sort of behavior...has happened several times..." You already know the deal.
You said, "what if...the only thing that changes is my higher threshold or patience level and not his true behavior". Honor your fear!
There is another solution besides the two you've given yourself. Not only can you decide to leave or return, but you can also choose to OBSERVE SEPARATELY. There is nothing wrong with watching what he does from a distance. If he is truly changing, his change will be consistent, continual, honest, and occur whether or not you and his child live with him.
My opinion is that you have him figured out. You already know what will happen if you move back in; it will be harder to leave the next time. But, if you want more time, I suggest you observe him from afar and for a very long time.