Verbal abuse in relationships, whether precipitated from a male or female, can leave lasting emotional bruises and scars. For example, constant verbal abuse can cause the victims to blame themselves for the issues, especially if the abuse takes a subtle form, suggests consultant in family violence Steven Stosny in a 2008 article, "Effects of Emotional Abuse: It Hurts When I Love." This kind of abuse can also evolve into more life-threatening habits, such as physical abuse, suggests Melinda Smith and Jeanne Segal in the 2013 article "Domestic Violence and Abuse." Rather than watch your happiness deteriorate, learn a few strategies to end your partner's verbal abuse.
Recognize the Signs
Some signs of verbal abuse might be obvious. For example, your partner might yell nasty insults at you. However, verbal abuse can also involve more subtle actions that allow your partner to control you. For example, if your partner constantly embarrasses you in front of friends, or suggests that no one likes you, these remarks could cause you to decrease your social activity. You might begin to question your self-worth, feel numb or afraid, or even wonder if you're the crazy one in the relationship (Smith and Segal). Make a habit of questioning your own negative feelings and your partner's mean words, rather than mistaking them for the truth.
Manage Your Anger
Don't try to retaliate. In the case of men facing abuse, retaliation could actually make you appear as the bad guy, leading to consequences such as arrest, warns Lawrence Robinson and Jeanne Segal in the 2013 article "Help for Abused Men." Instead, gather evidence of the abuse. Keep a journal, recording the time and date of each incident, as well as what was said. If you can, gather an audio sample.
No matter how unworthy your partner makes you feel, keep an active social life with people outside of the house, suggests Smith and Segal in "Help for Abused and Battered Women." You can even talk to trusted friends and family members about the verbal abuse. They might be able to offer additional advice or needed refuge if things escalate. With this in mind, make sure that at least one person knows about the situation.
Take Immediate Action
Since you are, or once were, in love with this person, you might feel the need to stick around and help see him through his issues. However, by sticking around you are enabling your partner's bad habits, suggests Smith and Segal. Instead, accept the fact that you must take some form of action, whether it is leaving the relationship or seeking out a professional relationship counselor. The longer the wait, the worse the situation might get, and the more you subject yourself to emotional harm.
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