Enough is enough.
It’s okay to be done with the disrespect, the disregard, the bullying, the cruel jokes.
It’s okay to be fed up with manipulation, humiliation, and the confusing insinuations that undermine your self-image and self-esteem.
There is nothing loving about your partner’s words.
There is nothing sweet or kind or encouraging in the sarcasm and the put-downs.
It’s okay to know better, to want better, to recognize…finally… that you deserve better.
Coping with a verbally abusive partner is difficult. It will require a significant amount of effort and support to change your life. Still, if it means restoring your mental health and well-being, you can and should make a change.
Try these coping strategies:
Tell yourself the truth.
For a long time, you’ve likely been enmeshed in your partner’s controlling conversation. You may have heard, and believed:
“You’re lost without me.”
You may have even agreed.
But understand this: Your partner is lying to you. He or she is not right. Or motivated by love.
That’s the truth. Start from there.
Change your mind.
Coping with a verbally and emotionally abusive person means taking back your thoughts and feelings.
You can decide not to lay down and take it. You have the right to take back the mental and emotional hills you surrendered. Quiet acceptance, resignation, and learned helplessness are not your only protection. You can choose to take decisive measures to defend your heart and mind.
Practice good stress management.
Accept what you can’t change in your partner.
Breathe. Meditate or pray. Journal to try and bring clarity to the situation. Eat well and exercise to give your body the healthiest foundation for managing the flood of stress hormones that accompany interaction with your spouse.
Focus on your own responses.
Playing your partner’s game stresses you out, and sucks you deeper into the intimidation.
It distracts you from how you really feel, what you know to be true, and how you wish to live your life.
Complaining and verbal sparring is wasted energy, and generally incites your partner’s desire to control you all the more.
Seek education and support.
Isolation and sabotage are part of a verbal abuser’s arsenal of weapons against your confidence. Learn what a healthy relationship looks like. Read books, find websites, investigate support groups. Don’t seek your partner’s advice or engage his or her opinion. Do this for you.
Reach out to a therapist, compassionate friends or family, or even an abuse hotline. Research shows verbal abuse almost always precedes physical abuse. Bringing other people into your life will help you see your situation more clearly.
“I’m done listening to you until you change your tone.”
“You will treat me with respect, otherwise we are done talking.”
Have you ever tried saying any of that? Now’s the time. Your partner has gotten away with too much.
Draw your line clearly and walk away. Don’t engage until calm and consideration are provided. “Coping” with his or her abuse does not mean capitulating.
Maybe it’s temporary. You may need to walk away for a while, to give your partner time to seek help, or feel the consequences of his or her abusive actions.
Maybe it’s permanent. You may realize that you’re simply too emotionally unsafe to stay.
Either way, you’re choosing to love yourself and seeking a better way.
Verbal abuse is abuse. Cope effectively with self-care, education, support, and decisive action. Your confidence, and future happiness, should not be sacrificed for your partner’s emotional problems.
Talk to a therapist soon, enough is enough. You deserve better.
If you are trying to cope with a verbally abusive partner, call Neil on 07970 860 711 to arrange counselling.