When you are facing verbal abuse regularly, there may be a question of physical abuse following it. The term "abuse with bodily harm" has been coined, and while that is true, it is not always the case. In my experience, those who are verbally abusive may not be physically abusive, but there can be the threat of escalation.
Verbal Abuse in Relationships
Verbal abuse happens within many dynamics, even if it is not talked about regularly. One specific area of verbal abuse that is not often readily apparent involves men who suffer verbal abuse. However, just because there might not be a lot of pertinent case numbers or stories in the news about this does not mean this issue doesn't exist. For many men, dealing with verbal abuse is a common, problematic reality in their lives.
Verbal abuse in friendships happens more than we think. After all, friends are not the first people that come to mind when you think of verbal abuse. If you are facing any signs of verbal abuse from a close friend, you are not alone.
Verbal abuse in work relationships happens regularly. After all, haven't you heard the cliche that employees leave bosses, not jobs? In many situations, this is quite true, especially when the person you report to is verbally abusive in the workplace. Unfortunately, I was the victim of verbal abuse at work on more than one occasion. Thankfully, I was able to pick up the pieces of my shattered ego and leave for a better career path.
For some individuals like myself, the introduction of verbal abuse begins growing up at home. Many times, parents can be a child's first experience with demeaning comments, insults, or even regular bullying.
I’m Cheryl Wozny and I am excited to join the team at HealthyPlace on the "Verbal Abuse in Relationships" blog. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to share with you my background experiences along with all of the tools I have gained through years of therapy and self-exploration.
My current boyfriend was arrested for a non-violent crime 12 days ago. I'm not sure if I should be embracing this newfound freedom from the occasional verbal abuse he inflicted on me, or maybe it's okay to experience heartache. But how I am "supposed" to feel doesn't really matter -- in a unique situation like this, what counts is the emotions that I am experiencing: I feel lonely and distraught.
Sometimes, practicing self-care in a verbally abusive relationship is the only thing you can do. While it's easy for friends and family members to tell verbal abuse victims to "just leave," the act of leaving a verbally abusive relationship isn't quite as easy. People who are observing our situation from the outside in aren't capable of understanding the complexities of our partnerships. There are so many factors that weigh in: children, fear, finances, lacking confidence, believing no one will love us again, our broken-down mindset, and so much more. These factors can make leaving our abuser much more difficult. That's why self-care in an abusive relationship is a must.
What does verbal abuse look like? That's a good question because when verbal abuse happens in a relationship, the abuse can be subtle, overt, or somewhere in between. Verbal abuse is often subtle in the beginning stages of a partnership, and then it evolves, becoming much more recognizable. I've asked myself this question many times: "How do I know if his actions and words constitute verbal abuse?"
Verbal abuse in relationships isn't acceptable, but I've often wondered if verbal abuse is forgivable. Throughout 15 years of brainstorming and therapy, I came to a conclusion — verbal abuse can be forgivable in some situations, however, the abuser has to work on himself, put in the necessary effort, and actually change.