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Verbal Abuse - 8 Things You Can Do To Stop Verbal Abuse

Posted by Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Sat, Sep 04, 2010

Verbal AbusePart 2 of 2

So you're in a relationship with verbal abuse. What can you do about it?

If you're not sure if that's you, read about verbal abuse signs: Verbal Abuse - What's It Look Like?  Are there Signs?

Below are 8 things you can do to stop verbal abuse from the article How Can Someone Identify and Respond to Verbal Abuse? by Cathy Meyer:
  1. Abuse is never justified so, you should never feel that it is your fault.
  2. Let the abuser know how hurtful their words are and discuss with them the fact that it is unacceptable to you. Set boundaries on what you will and will not accept from your abuser.
  3. Seek counseling, either together or separately.
  4. Surround yourself with a support system of family and friends. Discuss with them what is happening and how you are feeling.
  5. If the verbal abuse escalates to physical abuse, leave. Your personal safety is far more important than the relationship.
  6. Do not engage in conflict with your abuser. If your spouse becomes angry stay calm, walk away and don’t give him/her what they want…a reaction from you.
  7. Take back your power. If you react to the abuser, you are rewarding them. Letting them know they have power over your emotions. Don’t allow the abuser to have control over how you feel.
  8. Leave the marriage. If setting boundaries, getting therapy and refusing to respond to the abuse doesn’t work, then maybe your marriage is over. There are times when the best thing you can do for yourself is, break all ties with your abuser.

The most important thing to remember about verbal abuse is that its purpose is to control. The key to responding to verbal abuse is learning how to break free of the control and get your power back. Don't underestimate how difficult this can be. In order successfully stop verbal abuse it's critical to have the guidance and coaching of an experienced professional counselor. Don't go it alone any longer.

* This is the second article of two on verbal abuse. In the first article we looked at verbal abuse signs -- Verbal Abuse - What's It Look Like?  Are there Signs?  Sign-up for Our Blog on the right side of this page and don't miss other informative articles.

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