What is verbal abuse? Are you being verbally abused? Take the Verbal Abuse Test to find out.
Verbal abuse is one of the common ways an abuser oppresses his or her partner and is a form of emotional abuse.
Domestic violence and other types of abuse can also be present when verbal abuse is a part of a marriage or committed relationship.
Knowing the signs of verbal abuse is the first-step to stopping this relationship poison.
Verbal abuse is a form of adult bullying and is always wrong!
Respect is a human right!
Every person is entitled to respect and freedom — this is an unconditional human right!
Verbal abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence degrade the individual and deny a person of basic human rights. The abuser tries to force his or her partner into a subhuman position.
Verbal abuse — as well is every other form of abuse — cannot be justified.
Not all 'bad' relationship behavior is abuse
Not all relationship conflict, arguments, and disagreements are abuse.
Expressions of anger or unreasonableness are not necessarily abuse. Only when an individual's goal is full control over his or her partner is he or she categorized as an abuser.
When you challenge your partner to be more respectful, kind, and accepting and he or she acknowledges his or her faults and makes a sincere effort to be better, this is a strong indicator that he or she is not an abuser.
On the other hand, if your partner refuses to acknowledge his or her bad relationship behavior, blames you for all the relationship problems, and continues to insult you, threaten you, and control you — then you know your partner is an abuser!
Here are the 14 definitive signs of verbal abuse in a marriage or committed relationship. After you have been presented with the 14 signs of verbal abuse, you can take a Verbal Abuse Test. Once you have answered 18 simple questions you will have a good idea whether you are being verbally abused. The results are immediate, it's free, and you don't give us your email or any identifying information.
The 14 signs of domestic verbal abuse
1. Verbal Assault As domestic violence injures the body, verbal abuse injures your emotions and reduces your feelings of self-esteem, self worth, confidence, security, and happiness.
Examples of Verbal Assault:
Your partner says to you...
- You are stupid.
- You are fat.
- You are the only one who doesn't know how to do this.
- Didn't your mother teach you anything? Don't you have a brain?
- Nobody likes you; you have no friends.
- You cause all our problems.
- You are worthless.
- It's your fault that I am angry!
2. Always Disagreeing Arguing, always believes he or she is right, and is never in agreement with what you say or want is another sign.
Examples of Always Disagreeing:
- You have no idea what are the best flowers to plant in our garden.
- I know you have your own ideas about how to discipline our son. However, I have told you many times that the way you are doing it is wrong! You should only do it the way I have told you.
- You pay too much for orange juice. If you shopped at the store where I go, you wouldn't overpay!
3. Sarcastic Jokes Some verbal abusers are very skilled at embedding insults and embarrassing comments within humor. Humor can be used as a way to camouflage the intent of the comment so that the verbal abuser cannot be held responsible for what he or she says to you.
Examples of Sarcastic Jokes:
- If every time you made a mistake we earned a dollar, by now we would be millionaires!
- I love you by the pound. Keep it up... gain more weight... you will be more loved than anyone else in this world!
- With that new hat, I am sure you could easily get a job at the circus!
4. Controlling The Conversation Like a traffic cop who directs and controls traffic, a verbal abuser will control and manipulate the conversation and decide what you can and cannot speak about.
Examples of Controlling The Conversation:
- You have already asked me the same question a thousand times.
- You never listen to me, so why should I listen to you?
- You never learn, so why should I bother to talk with you?
- I have to interrupt you because you say so many stupid things.
5. Blaming The abuser vigorously 'blames' you for any undesirable situation. Blame is not something that should be part of a healthy relationship. Thus, regardless of the cause of an unwanted event, blaming is always inappropriate, harmful, and one more example of verbal abuse.
Examples of Blaming:
- It is your fault that I lost my job. You never support me.
- It is your fault that I cheated on you because you don't give me enough love.
- It is your fault that I cannot find my keys. You never clean up around here.
6. Dismissing Always minimizing your concerns and needs is a variant of verbal abuse.
Examples of Dismissing:
- So what if the windows were open last night! You are always paranoid. Stop thinking negatively and everything will be okay.
- I will not drive you to the doctor. You always make a mountain out of a molehill.
- So what if he criticized you! You are too sensitive.
- There is nothing wrong with my having lunch with an old boyfriend. Your jealousy just proves you are sick!
7. Threatening Threatening with harsh consequences in order to manipulate your opinions or behavior is verbal abuse.
Examples of Threatening:
- If we get divorced, I will take the children from you. I will prove to the judge you are 'crazy.'
- If you don't stop your mother from sticking her nose into our business, I will never speak to her again.
- If you don't keep the house cleaner, I won't give you any more money.
8. Character Assassination Character Assassination is when your value as a person is challenged.
Examples of Character Assassination:
- You are stupid just like your brother.
- I regret that nobody told me how lazy you are before I married you.
- If you had half a brain, you could figure it out on your own.
- You have never achieved anything of value your entire life.
- I feel I have to treat you like a child.
9. Criticism Continually expressing negative opinions and judgements about you.
Examples of Criticism:
- You spend too much money.
- You always drive too fast.
- When you eat, you chew too loud.
- You are always thinking the worst of people. This is why you have no friends.
10. Gaslighting Gaslighting is a form of 'fact manipulation.' The truth has nothing to do with the matter at hand. The abuser tries to convince you that because you are 'crazy or stupid' you don't know the truth!
Examples of Gaslighting:
- You gave me bad advice and that's why we lost money on the stock market. (This never happened.)
- You always neglected our son Tom, and that is why he's doing so poorly in university. (This never happened.)
- You are abusive and this is why we have such a bad marriage. (This is not true.)
- I never called you a 'bitch.' (When in fact the abuser did.)
11. Abusive Anger and Rage The difference between normal relationship conflict and abuse is the intent. Not all anger is abusive. However, if a person uses anger with the intent to systematically control and manipulate you, then it is verbal abuse.
Examples of Abusive Anger and Rage.
- The abuser uses his or her anger to frighten you.
- The abuser uses his or her anger to bully you.
- The abuser uses his or her anger to force you to do what he or she wants.
12. Yelling Raising the voice to intimidate and bully you is a variant of verbal abuse.
Examples of Yelling:
- All the above examples of verbal abuse said in a loud and menacing voice.
- Screaming in a demanding and rude way simple things such as; "bring me a fork or move your car."
13. Male-privilege Some men are under the mistaken belief that their female partner must do to whatever they want them to do. These men believe that 'their gender' makes them superior or entitled and that they have a right to control the relationship. This is wrong — men and women are equal.
Examples of Male-privilege (men speaking to their female partners):
- You need to do what I tell you to.
- It is time to have sex.
- Today you must stay home and clean the house.
- I don't like your friend. Stop talking to her.
14. Racism When a partner is shamed or put down because of his or her religion, culture, or skin color.
Examples of Racism:
- When I see where you and your family come from, it does not surprise me that you are so primitive.
- If you want to get close to God, become a member of my faith.
- I hope our children have my skin color and not your skin color.
- I don't want our children to be like your family. This is why they can't see your parents.
The first step to freeing yourself from verbal abuse
If you believe you are in a verbally abusive relationship, I encourage you to learn more about verbal and emotional abuse. Read the following articles, reach out to professionals, and realize that abuse is never your fault.
Free committed relationship and online marriage counselling: Learn how to stop verbal and emotional abuse.
An abuser cannot justify his or her behavior
Verbal abuse — and every other type of abuse — cannot be justified. Nobody has a right to hurt you — whether physically or emotionally. Nobody has a right to control you. Your freedom is a human right!
Knowing the truth about all types of domestic abuse is the first step to stopping it.
However, just knowing, is never enough! You must do whatever it takes — no matter how much effort is required — to make sure your partner treats you with kindness and respect.
Taking decisive action to stop abuse is your responsibility.
Take the FREE Verbal Abuse Test to learn if you are being verbally abused.
Fortunately Abusers Can Change, watch the video and learn how to stop abusing and how to help heal your partner.
There are several best self-help books in our bookstore dealing with emotional abuse. Learn more about the books that can free you from abuse.
Want to learn more? Read The 14 Scientific Signs of Emotional Abuse.