Verbally abusive relationship signs can be hard to grasp at first because typically the abuser is very well heeled at how to be manipulative and convincing. Verbally abusive relationships are just as detrimental as physically abusive relationships.
Verbal abuse can cause a ton of emotional damage that can scar you for life and cause post-traumatic stress disorder. Verbal abuse can be harsh, it can be humiliating it can break you down heart and soul. Recognizing the early signs can help you to escape from these types of relationships.
One of the easiest ways for an abusive person to carry out their abuse is through isolating you from your friends and family. If you are in a relationship with someone that finds fault with all of your friends and family and makes it difficult for you to maintain your relationships outside the one you have with them pay attention.
If they badger you about the time you spend with friends and family or they point out things about your relationship with friends and family that are negative like “they use you” or “they don’t really care about you the way I do” or “they do not like me because they are jealous of our relationship” or “I think your friend was hitting on me”. Basically any relationship other than the one you have with them will come under task.
You may find that your significant other becomes combative when you are getting ready for a night out with your friends or maybe that is when they decide that they need you the most. In either case if it becomes the norm keep in mind it is far easier to conquer when you divide people from their support system.
Good Natured Name Calling
At first the verbal abuse may be presented in a teasing manner. Maybe it is something as simple as you confided that you think you nose is too big and your partner just jumped right on the band wagon with the nose jokes. They may call you out in public or in front of friends and make you feel a bit humiliated by it.
Of course when you mention that it makes you feel uncomfortable you are met with a blank stare and told that you are being too sensitive or silly because it was just a “joke”. The joke route can be used for a lot of humiliation tactics.
You are made to feel like your feelings are unfounded and that you should not feel what you do because it is just a “joke” and not meant to hurt your feelings BUT neither does it stop. Over time the “jokes” become more frequent and the comments become even more personal and mean spirited.
Another sign that you are in an abusive relationship is when the threats start. They can be threats about leaving if you do not do something that your partner wants. They can be threats about telling your secrets to whomever they think will be impressive enough to cause you distress. The threats will escalate over time. There may even be threats of violence. Any information that you have shared will be used against you.
One of the most prominent signs that you are in a verbally abusive relationship is that you just do not feel good about yourself. You question your own feelings constantly (because abusers are master manipulators). You question whether it is your fault that you are being belittled and screamed out.
You will feel apprehensive, panicky and generally upset. You may feel stressed out when making decisions. You may second guess your ability to make the right decisions for yourself. Over time you may not even be able to make decisions for yourself without checking in with your partner to get permission or to feel confident about your choices.
Feelings of fear will become common place. Fear of “hearing” his or her mouths with drive your behavior and your decisions. In verbally abusive relationships it is easier to simply do what you are told than to have to deal with the hail storm of hateful words that you are guaranteed to experience if you do not.
Deep unhappiness will be the final sign that you need to get out.
What Can You Do?
If you suspect that you are in a verbally abusive relationship you need to reach out to someone that you trust. There are organizations that can help you to escape the relationship safely. In many cases a verbally abusive relationship can get physical when the abuser realizes that their partner is going to leave them.
Expect an escalation in the verbal abuse when you do leave but do not let it deter you from leaving. Everyone deserves to be in a safe trusting supportive relationship.