Abuse in any form is uncalled for. Abusers come in all colors, ages, and economic backgrounds. Their constant need for control over any given situation is who they are and what they do. Most of the time, the behavior stems from a need to control. Emotional and verbal abuse weapons are silence, belittling, and blame.
The cycle of abuse is the same as one who beats another. Escalation, abuse, and then a honeymoon period of "I'm sorry. I had a bad day (or just have a lot of stress, etc.)." The duration of the honeymoon phase varies, but make no mistake about it. An abuser will ALWAYS come back to repeat the cycle.
No one is perfect. The victim of an abuser has flaws just by nature of being human. But no matter the flaws, that is NO EXCUSE to be put down, emotionally torn apart, or made to feel guilty. Often, an abuser will pinpoint these flaws and use them as weapons. Self-esteem suffers, and the victim is often left feeling helpless and worthless.
So what are the signs of emotional/verbal abuse? If you think you or someone you know is in an emotionally abusive relationship, here are some questions to ask.
Do you feel that you can't discuss with your partner what is bothering you?--Are you walking on eggshells for fear of triggering a tirade?
Does your partner frequently criticize you, humiliate you, or undermine your self-esteem?--Words like "stupid","disgusting", and "What's your problem?" are red flags.
Does your partner ridicule you for expressing yourself?--Are you made to feel like your opinion makes no sense or isn't right?
Does your partner isolate you from friends, family or groups?--This is how the abuser maintains control. The amount of isolation varies, but it's still isolation.
Does your partner limit your access to work, money or material resources?--"We need to watch spending" while spending money like a sailor on shore leave.
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? -- Again, the roller coaster of the abusive cycle.
Have you ever felt obligated to have sex, just to avoid an argument about it?--"Don't you love me anymore?" "You must be having an affair." These are common. A lot of abusers will use these phrases to manipulate the victim into submission.
Do you sometimes feel trapped in the relationship?--This is especially true for victims with children. They need the most support and help.
Has your partner ever thrown away your belongings, destroyed objects or threatened pets?--Your old childhood teddy bear may mean a lot to you, but the abuser sees it as trivial and worthless and won't hesitate to throw it out if they see fit.
Are you afraid of your partner?--Do you fear another argument? Do they threaten you with "what if" situations of what they'd do if you ever left? Abuse.
I hope and pray that if one victim of abuse is saved by this, that they find the happiness they truly deserve. No one deserves to be left with emotional scars that can last a lifetime.
I'm B & G, and I'm a victim of emotional and verbal abuse. There. I've said it. Now I can figure out how to heal.