Maybe you know you’re right.
Maybe you’re the one with the talent, the intellect, or the skills to keep your relationship on track.
Maybe it feels safer if you’re always the one in the relationship driver’s seat.
But the partner riding with you should not get verbally, and emotionally, jerked around along the way.
Truth is, being verbally abusive is a powerful misuse of the tongue.
It’s about keeping yourself central and exerting control.
Once it becomes a routine part of couple communication, it can be relentless, insidious and perpetually damaging.
Are you worried that you might have a problem with verbal abuse?
Do you have a problem with comments, jokes, or insults directed at your partner?
Are you often disturbed at how low you want to make your partner feel…and then ashamed at how how successful you’ve become at doing just that?
Let’s consider the seven most common signs that you may have a problem with verbal abuse.
1. Accusing: Are you a blamer?
You say: “If you weren’t at home with the kids, we’d be out of debt;” or “Your weight is why I don’t spend time with you.”
The Message: Your partner is the source of your relationship trouble. You say or insinuate that your partner is more trouble that your effort is worth.
2. Name-calling: Are you a nitpicker or belittler?
You say: “You really should ask me first how to fold the towels;” or “Don’t be such an idiot;” or “That haircut was probably not the best choice.”
The Message: Your partner can’t do anything right. You cause your partner to second-guess him or herself with a word, pointed glance or facial expression. You pay a relentless amount of negative attention.
3. Denial: Are you an invalidator?
You say: “I don’t care what you heard, I never said that;” or “What you just said is so dumb!”
The Message: Your partner just doesn’t “get it.”
4. Discounting: Are you a humiliator?
You say: “How can you waste time reading those stupid novels?” or “Our family is never going to sit through one of your boring church services again.”
The Message: Your partner’s concerns and desires, likes and dislikes, are ridiculous and trivial.
5. Stonewalling: Are you a punisher?
You say: Nothing. Out of revenge or manipulation, or to make your partner pursue a connection you’ll withhold indefinitely.
The Message: Your partner is always on the brink of being alone. You don’t need or value your connection as much as he or she does.
6. Countering: Are you a quarreller?
You say: “You’re not making sense;” or “ How could you seriously vote for that guy?”
The Message: Your partner’s opinions and personal feelings are foolish.
7. Bullying: Are you a dominator?
You say: “Where’s my dinner (read “get my dinner”)? or “You better do it now.”
The Message: Your partner must follow order to maintain your connection.
You may realize now that you’re in trouble. You may be alarmed at the messages you’re sending for the sake of control.
The relationship you thought you were driving so well? It’s actually in a ditch.
You may be upset at how difficult things are between you and your partner. You may be tempted to take control again with a misplaced or hurtful word.
Don’t do it. And don’t give up. Commit to change.
With the help of a qualified therapist, counselling for both you and your partner can help immensely.You need help to understand how you got here.
What’s happening inside you both that made taking this bumpy, abusive ride okay?
Eventually, you can work at turning the car around. Learn to give your partner a turn at the wheel. And decide together on a safer, healthier, kinder route.
If you would like help to stop being verbally abusive, call Neil on 07970 860 711.