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Readers Respond: Were You A Victim Of Verbal Abuse?

Responses: 352


Did He Hit You?

My husband and I were in a vehicle accident. He sustained a severe brain injury. When he first started calling me names, I tried to ignore it. His therapist laughed and told me to get a thicker skin, but it hurt. Eventually, his rage became sudden and unexpected. The threats of violence soon followed. I can't tell you how often his family asked, "Did he hit you?" No, but I was terrified. They wouldn't listen. They couldn't see past his charming smile. He seemed normal. Then, when I got sick and couldn't attend his cousin's wedding, he threatened to kill me. I love him, but I had to leave. What has helped me realize that it was abuse regardless of his TBI was my new therapist. I would probably still be with him living in fear if it weren't for her. I have filed for divorce and his family and therapist think I'm overreacting. I know they resent me because I'm no longer there taking care of him, but after two years, I am now just starting to heal from my injuries, inside and out.

Finally Got Out!

I was in an abusive relationship on and off for over 3 yrs. Although to some this may sound silly it was only about 6 months ago I realized the problem. My husband was a drinker so when the name calling the criticizing and the put downs mostly occurred he was drunk. Looking back now the abuse was always there but I didn't realize he covered his tracks so well. He wanted me solely for himself; he tried to cut me off from my 2 children who he said were using me (from the person who called me the most unforgivable names). I finally cracked; I couldn't take anymore and left him. Six months down the line the emotional abuse is still happening now he calls me, tells me that he loves me, that he is sorry, we chat for a few days then I don't hear from him for a week or 2. Today i changed all the phone numbers that he knows and I am hoping that I can finally move on with my life and have some sort of peace of mind.
—Guest Blue Girl

Mean Words Hurt!

My husband told me just last night that if I had nothing intelligent to say then to shut up. We were just chatting about the day and what we did and he turned nasty. I looked away when he said it and then he said you needed put that stupid face on either. I feel miserable today, he is not loving, he never hugs me I cant remember the last time he kissed me properly and he is at home all day and does nothing in the house, I work and do all the cooking and cleaning as well.
—Guest Sad

I live with Jeckyl and Hyde

This man I am married to has two faces. He is a teacher and is very good with his students and co-workers, a model person in his community and goes to church every Sunday. But the minute he comes home, he changes into a monster with me and my three kids, victims to his verbal abuse. He yells at us over simple things like tissue on the floor, toys not cleaned up, keeps my kids toys that they don't "clean up" in the attic. He takes his frustrations and problems at work on us, he does not physically hurt us but yells at us like we are his servants, then before going to bed he'll say sorry to the kids (but not to me) and explain why he was mad at us. Then the next day same thing happens. One time I was walking from the train station to the house, I was late, he had to attend a meeting at 7:30 pm I was still walking at 7:45 then he yelled at me outside the house, he was already in his car and drove off the minute I set my foot on the door.
—Guest M. James

Peace of Mind not Piece of Mind

I thank everyone for their sincerity in these posts. It makes me see how important it is for Peace of Mind instead of a Piece of Mind. With my verbally abusive husband that is how I always feel like I only have a piece of mind when he is around. Its time we as woman stand up and say enough is enough, because without us to be their door mat and dumping ground they would be LOST!!! woman are survivors and we can make it without a man to validate our worth!!!

Glad I Have My Freedom Now

I was with my ex for four years, married for two. At first, he seemed like the perfect guy - good job, artist, passionate, attractive. As time went on, we started having horrible fights.... that and he wanted to explore crazier and kinkier things in the bedroom to the point that I didn't feel safe. He would pull knives on me as part of impromptu 'role playing' when he would come home drunk. As time went on, he discouraged me from working and attempted to isolate me from family and friends. He put constant pressure on me to dress in demeaning, revealing outfits in public to please him. I felt like I wasn't a person, but a doll to be dressed up and used. Once, he forced sex on me, although I tried to convince myself that he didn't mean to. When I would talk about leaving, he would tell me that I couldn't survive on my own. I was so happy when I left and proved him wrong.
—Guest found-the-strength

Finally Accepting

I've been seeing an abuse counselor for six months due to financial abuse. He refused to pay into any household bills, though he earns what I do. I pay everything to support our blended family of seven from a disability I have from depression and anxiety. I also do all of the housework and most of the child care and much of home renovation. Yet he trivializes what I do, calls me a loser, bitch. Tells me I'm not part of the family. Charged a divorce lawyer to my credit card because he can't get one. Threatens to quit his job and divorce almost weekly. Tells me he's going to lock me out of the house and throw my stuff out in front of my toddler. The house is in my name. He constantly blames me for arguments, changes the subject when I try to address issues, flies into a rage over ridiculous issues, is hypocritical in his demands. Tells me I should always give into him. Says I can't manage my insurance claim due to being depressed. So marginalized. I guess I realize now that I have to be free.
—Guest Laura L

Verbally Abusive Parents

I don't know if I'm being abused. Every time I speak to my parents I get a load of shouting, swearing, ground me from it all, just because I give them my opinion on MY life. I got to where I didn't even talk to them anymore, but that gets me in even more trouble. I don't know what to do, or where to run to. I've thought about running away, but I wouldn't know how. They just treat me like dirt, and I'm a 15 yr old girl. i know I'm your daughter, and your the parent whose older and "wiser," but I do have feelings and a mind. I'm NOT stupid, and I'm NOT going to fail at life. They always look down at me, and tell me how bad of a child I am when I have to do all their chores, have to maintain almost PERFECT grades or else I'll get grounded from outside school activities, and I have a job. When my parents are calling ignorant, no respect, bratty b word... i feel like there's no where else to run. Not even my room, because its "their house" and I'm just "renting it." I don't know what to do besides cry myself to sleep.
—Guest Needs someone...

Silence and Blame

I have had an on and off relationship over the past 4 years. It has been difficult to see the patterns but I slowly am. Initially the complaints were my house was too messy, I'm not energetic enough, I sleep too much, I'm not sexually excited enough, I'm too emotional and I expect too much. It has now gotten to the point where I get ignored and everything is my fault because I can't control my emotions. The truth is I have gotten so use to begging for any attention and emotion that when I get nothing I get so upset and depressed and feel worthless that I start to cry and get anxiety. Then he says "see you can't control your emotions". He avoids giving me any emotional validation and then blames me for being upset. He then continues to ignore me and says "I'm crazy and the police should be called". He says this to scare me as I have been abused by the police before. He falls asleep while I struggle to grasp a clear thought. I will heal and move on, I must save myself from this
—Guest ADL


I have to agree with guest girl power1! Reading these posts only make me realize I made the right choice! I was in a verbally and mentally abusive marriage for 25 years. It was abusive before I married him but being of low self-esteem was thrilled such a handsome man would like me! He is a narcissistic psychopath that I allowed to destroy my life. The mental and verbal abuse brought me down to this shell of a woman who is clinically depressed, alcoholic and suicidal. It has been 10 months since our divorce but slowly I am starting to heal. They say divorce is like death. not for me, this has been far worse as the ass is still alive and has a girlfriend he found on Match.com as I am moving out and I can't get away from it as I have 3 grown sons as the reminder. Death would have been easier! However, again reading these posts make me realize I am not alone and there is hope, one day at a time!
—Guest Depressed in Atlanta

Forty Three Years of Abuse

I have been married for 43 years and have been thinking hard of committing suicide. My life has been of control & abuse and I am to weak to walk away. We were married young and I was pregnant. He drank heavily, his Dad did, also and he would hit me and call me spoiled and treat me awful. Then he would be so nice and would beg forgiveness, so I stayed. As the years went by my friends started to dwindled and I could see my friends and kids when he was at work, so I would have a break. He had a affair for 1 1/2 years-2 years, but when I found out, it was over, I stayed. Nothing is ever enough and everything he does is more work and more important. Now he has been out of work for 3 years and he consistently complains about all of his illnesses and how bad he feels, but no one is sicker or hurts more than he does. He doesn't care about anyone else but himself. I have a good paying job, but lost my benefits and now he has health insurance and I don't, he keeps complaining about my job.

Five Year Separation

After HE LEFT ME the walking on eggshells stopped for me and my kids. It was my second marriage. We dated 2 years, he was an awesome man. We were married and under one roof a little over 2 years and things started going downhill after we got married nothing was good enough that my kids or I did. The house was never clean enough i.e. things in proper spot, his bills and mine separate, his credit cards had to be paid in full mine whatever. He contributed to a joint account when, he walked he cut me off day after and I am disabled. Five plus years later no divorce but he has had a live in GF for over 2 years and no financial help for me. I figure she must be dealing about now. I am broken, phys, mentally, and still can’t move on and still love him. I was told I could probably could get alimony if I divorced him since he married me disabled and makes 5x more that I do but I’m too afraid to face his violent temper in court. I figure my only hope now is wait out a few more years and my social security will go up since I could claim his after the 10 year married and not touch his precious money.
—Guest still crazy or what

I am Regaining my Power

I started doubting myself, not standing on my values, couldn't understand what was wrong because he was so gentle, sweet, calm, kind. It took me research to realize that his comments were undermining my self esteem, even though they were uttered in calm and sweet voice. I am re-gaining the powers I gave him. I am remembering how good of a person I am.

He Changed Too Late

After 18 yrs of verbal & mental abuse I’ve built a wall of resentment towards him and I’ve begged him for years for counseling. He didn’t want that, to talk to someone he trust about our problem didn’t want that, we didn’t have one, I was just mad because I couldn’t get out. How could he continue to feel this way after 18 yrs? How can I make love to him & enjoy it? Each time we did I could only think of all the horrible things he’s said & the way he's treated me. I got tired of emotionless sex; I really feel no connection sexually & can’t stand for him to touch me period. For him to enjoy sex w/me and feel the way he do makes me feel used to I don’t have it anymore which adds more problems, he's beaten so emotionally & still I love him but I really don’t like him, don’t enjoy his company at all. I think he's now trying to change & to see him try & I know how I feel really hurts I can’t change how he’s made me feel especially when he still tells me he doesn’t trust me, what a waste of my time.

My Father is Verbally Abusive

I am a teenage girl and my farther has been verbally abusive to my mother & I for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl and he was teaching me how to ski & I would sometimes get scared to go down steep slopes he would yell & shout until I cried instead of helping me. He constantly tells my mother she is lazy when she goes to work almost every day and cleans up the house every day! Without her our house would be a terrible mess! And recently when he was teaching me how to sail and I made one little mistake he started shouting. He often acts like people are accusing him of things when they are just trying to explain something to him. Sometimes he makes rude impressions of us. I don't think my mom knows its verbal abuse either. We need help! Note for the Divorce Support Guide: Tell your Mom or show her articles on verbal abuse. If she won't help you tell your teacher.
—Guest CES

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