Verbal Abuse

      Verbal abuse
is difficult to identify and regrettably can be a
      common type of abuse in some marriages. Not all words that
      are meant to hurt are "ugly words." Someone skilled at verbal
      abuse can damage your self-esteem while, at the same time,
      appear to care deeply for you. The use of words to punish is a very covert attempt to
      control and regardless of how loving your spouse may appear to be, verbal abuse is
      wrong and can be just as harmful as physical abuse.
      Below are some common signs of verbal abuse:

           Being called names by your spouse. Any negative form of name calling is
               unacceptable. If you feel that it is a put down, then it most likely is. There
               are names that are obvious and, without question abusive. Then there are
               the covert, veiled attempts to put a spouse down that are harder to identify.
               Verbal abusers love to use constructive criticism to beat a spouse down.
               If your spouse is constantly criticizing you,"for your own good," be careful.
               This is the most insidious form of verbal abuse.

           *   Using words to shame. Critical, sarcastic, mocking words meant to put you
                down either alone or in front of other people.

           *   Yelling, swearing and screaming. I call this the "walking on eggs shells"
               syndrome because you are living with someone who goes verbally ballistic
               for very little cause.

           *   Using threats to intimidate. No threat should be taken lightly, even if your
                spouse tells you they are only joking, especially if it causes you to change
                behaviors or to feel on guard in the relationship.

           *   Blaming the victim. Your spouse blows his/her top and then blames you for
               their actions and behavior. If you were only perfect they wouldn't lose control!

           *   Your feelings are dismissed. Your spouse refuses to discuss issues that
                upset you. They avoid discussion of any topic where they might have to take
                responsibility for their actions or words.

           *   You often wonder why you feel so bad. You bury your feelings,
                walk-on-egg-shells and work so hard at keeping the peace that every day
                becomes an emotional chore.
                You feel depressed and have even wondered if you are crazy.

           *   Manipulating your actions. The persistent and intense use of threatening
                words to get you to do something or act in a way you find uncomfortable.
                This form of verbal abuse is common at the end of a marriage. If your spouse
                doesn't want a divorce they will say whatever it takes to play on your emotions
                to get you to stay in the marriage. All in an attempt to get you to
                comply with their desires, regardless of what is best for you as
                an individual.

        Below are some helpful books that will help you to understand and
        address verbal abuse in your life.

Abuse is Always Wrong!
We are all made in the image of God,

  No one has the right to abuse the image
of God.