Thursday, April 8, 2010

Verbal Abuse IS abuse however you spell it.

I wasn't really sure where to start with this.  But it is something that has been on my mind lately.  I know of at least one person that is  married to a possibly verbally abusive spouse.  I say possibly because I don't live with this person but, I do know what they have told me in confidence and honesty.    I may not always have the right answers but I believe I'm a good listener, and am willing to pray for your situation.  I know the female side of us may try to figure out who it may be.  But it is not a fellow blogger or a relative to me.  I feel like in some way there may be others out there and hopefully this will help them to seek help if they need to. 
I have been told that there is no such thing as verbal abuse only physical abuse.   But that is wrong.  I know for a fact that being verbally abuse does exist.
First is a list of questions to even see if this pertains to you or someone you know.  Your partner might have behaved as though these things were okay, even though it's obvious that they aren't okay...:

Do you feel that you can't discuss with your partner what is bothering you?

Does your partner frequently criticize you, humiliate you, or undermine your self-esteem?

Does your partner ridicule you for expressing yourself?

Does your partner isolate you from friends, family or groups?

Does your partner limit your access to work, money or material resources?

Has your partner ever stolen from you? Or run up debts for you to handle?

Does your relationship swing back and forth between a lot of emotional distance and being very close?

Have you ever felt obligated to have sex, just to avoid an argument about it?

Do you sometimes feel trapped in the relationship?

Has your partner ever thrown away your belongings, destroyed objects or threatened pets?

Are you afraid of your partner?

 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.
  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:  This is called  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 likely, 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.
  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.

Everything I've read suggest counseling together, or seperate.  Even if your mate won't go to counseling with you, it will help your self-esteem to seek christian counseling for yourself.