Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse and Verbal Abuse in Marriage and Relationships
It would be irresponsible of me to not discuss this topic. I left it for last because you needed to work through some of the emotional aspects of the situation first, but the journey (unfortunately) is not complete without touching on this topic.
Even if you think this topic does not relate to your situation, I encourage you to read it. Likely (hopefully) the physical abuse which we are going to discuss first has nothing to do with your situation, but it’s highly likely the section on verbal and emotional abuse does.
All Posts in this Series:
- I Love You but I’m Not In Love With You, Meaning and Advice
- It’s Normal for Your Heart to be Afraid, but fighting for the Past Will Mean the End, So Start Accepting Your New Beginning
- What do I do with this Broken Heart? Avoid Requests for Space and Use Your Head to Think about what You Want
- Once Upon a Time We were Happy, and Suddenly it’s Over? The Heart Heals Slowly, don’t Fear the Future
- Intentions do not Win Hearts, Actions are the Secret, How to Start Connecting Today for a Happier Tomorrow
- Say Yes to Everything and Reveal the Secret of the Heart
- Learn to Speak the Language of the Heart
- Become a Sex Master and Learn How to Heal the Heart with the Body
- It’s Time to Get Some Help, Starting Today
- Rekindling the Flame Can Sometimes Burn Too Hot, Use Caution While Reconnecting
- Some Words about Physical, Sexual, Verbal and Emotional Abuse ⇐ You are Here
Too many of us are either abused or engage in abuse, and quite often abuse comes from both sides.
There are many kinds of abuse, but the three that people most contend with in relationships are:
- Physical abuse (including sexual abuse)
- Emotional abuse
- Verbal abuse
Physical Abuse (Including Sexual Abuse)
Physical abuse is NEVER acceptable. I don’t use the words “never” and “always” very often, but if you are in a relationship that ends up becoming physical or has been physical in an abusive way, then you need to get out immediately!
I don’t mean think about it, I don’t mean eventually, I mean the moment you can safely leave get the hell out of there, do it!
Physical abuse can be, but is not limited to:
- Slapping or punching
- Pinching or pushing
- Unwanted hair pulling
- Being threatened with any kind of weapon
- Sexual assault
- Sexual coercion
Now if you were harming someone else and someone used physical deterrents to stop you that’s different.
If you are abusing someone you need to stop immediately and seek professional help. If you are being abused, it will not stop no matter how the abuser assures you it won’t happen again, or how you (the person being abused) assures yourself, it was an accident!
Nobody accidentally slaps or punches you! If you are being abused, then you need to get out and stay out at least until you’ve been provided proof that the offender has sought professional help and completed a program to help them deal with their angry and violent tendencies. Even then caution should be exercised. Everyone deserves a second chance, nobody deserves a third!
I’m not talking about children here, that’s a different subject and potentially opens up a debate concerning discipline. You, as an equal in a relationship, are NOT to be disciplined by your partner!
You are an adult and no matter what you have done, nobody has the right to assault you unless it is to stop you from hurting yourself or others, and even then, it should be if there was no other way.
I cannot stress this enough…if someone is hurting you, you need to remove yourself from the situation and tell people you trust about it, you may even need to get the authorities involved.
Loving someone should not put your life in jeopardy, and physical abuse does just that, it inevitably escalates. It only takes one well-placed blow and you’re done; buried and in the ground!
Emotional Abuse and Verbal Abuse
Emotional and verbal abuse are other forms of abuse that you should not tolerate. However, while these can be debilitating, these forms of abuse aren’t typically directly life threatening (although some suicides are alleged because of these types of abuse).
It’s likely that you have been both the abuser and abused in your life regarding emotional abuse or verbal abuse.
This is something that can sometimes be difficult to identify. Emotional abuse often takes the form of controlling behavior through shaming, unrelenting criticism, and bullying. This often results in the abused experiencing constant anxiety, a low self-esteem, and depression.
Verbal abuse is just that, someone is verbally assaulting you by calling you names, using disrespectful language, or bullying you.
It’s not only possible, but likely, that the abuser doesn’t even realize that they are treating you so disrespectfully.
It is up to you to break the pattern!
When someone starts to yell at you and scream at you, especially if they resort to name calling, you need to calmly explain to them that you love them but will not accept being abused, and that you will be willing to readdress whatever situation was at hand at a later time.
It’s important that you use the word abuse. They will likely be taken aback, and even more likely be outraged, and deny that they are abusing you. You might even agree, and feel that the word is too strong. At the very least, they’ll think about it. You can always back-peddle later, allowing them to “save face” while planting the seed and conveying the message that you will not tolerate, at the very least, being disrespected.
Something like, “[Name]! I understand that you are upset, but that does not give you the right to mistreat and abuse me. I love you and want to discuss this with you, but I feel that you are too emotional to have a respectful conversation right now. I’m going to [go do something else], let me know when you have calmed down and wish to discuss this respectfully.” Of course, you’d replace the bracketed text with whatever makes sense in your scenario.
Finally, physically leave the situation. Go to another room, go shopping, go anywhere, just go and do something else, then wait for them to bring it up.
The important factor here is that you MUST break the pattern, and you must continue to break the pattern consistently!
The reason they continue to treat you like this is because…it works!
It may take you a dozen times, but if you consistently send the message that you will not tolerate disrespectful behavior, they’ll realize that their prior tactics do not work and they’ll begin to take new approaches, especially if you provide the example.
For examples of what I’m talking about, see “Say Yes to Everything and Reveal the Secret of the Heart”