How can love and verbal abuse coexist in a marriage?

Are you in a marriage plagued with verbal abuse?


verbal abuseWe all know situations where one person diminishes another using negative comments, facial expressions, and tune of voice to signal boredom or rejection….How common is this in a marriage, and what are the consequences?

It’s nice to think that marriage is an egalitarian relationship….where both cherish and support each other. At the same time, we all are growing up in different schedules, and some people can be behind regarding love and appreciation of others. We call  “a toxic relationship,” when there is an asymmetric bond supported by attitudes, behaviors and decisions tending to maintain one person in control of the other.

In a toxic relationship, the balance of power is manipulated by one side as to keep the control over the other person’s thoughts and behaviors. In this way, the controlled person behaves as it is expected from her, even to the point of controlling herself as not to produce attacks and rejection from the other. If this happens, she will be made to feel inadequate, clumsy, dumb and slow.

How do you do to  make the other partner to feel inadequate?

Easy, the controlling person will use verbally abusive tactics as shame, belittling, name-calling and sarcasm. In other words, using constant verbal abuse.

The impact on the victim is almost immediate: a person verbally abused can feel a constriction in their chest, or shortening of breath, or developing a constant headache, or having nightmares.

Yes, those can be indicators that you have been hit by some self-esteem demolishing projectile.

In this way they stay in the more powerful position (they are the controlling person)  as the other person gradually weakens because they own sense of value is slowly destroyed away.

How do you recognize verbal abuse? There are so many open and covert ways of abusing another person, that here we will mention only a few. The easier to pinpoint are cruel “pet names” and obscene name-callings, those same behaviors that make a very comic movie story based on the humiliation of another person. 

To avoid easy detection, a skilled abuser will combine two tactics: the humiliation in words, mixed with chosen kind words, probably offered in public…so, it gets confusing for the victim to decide: is this person trying to demolish her self-esteem? Or is he trying to help her get better?  

In the end, to finish with the fog of confusion induced, the person attacked needs to decide: if there is even a bit of condescension, or humiliation and control, no nice words can repair this damage. It needs to stop now, and the abused person needs to recover self-respect and dignity. We can help with this task…

Get your help here, in a couple of wonderful Kindle books: Boosting your self-esteem!

And, please, check this very powerful book:  Breaking Free From Emotional Abuse

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