Olympic-level athletes, champion chess players, great performers, and politicians have been known to completely lose their form when exposed to just a little negativity prior to a big event. If negativity can do this to such champion performers, you might imagine what it can do to a regular person to live with verbal each day.
Living with negativity, leave alone verbal abuse, is a terrible idea. It robs you of your ability in life to be the best you can be. Leaving once and for all is the best way to deal with a verbally abusive situation.
If you feel for some reason that you cannot do it, though, the coping techniques on this list may help. As you consider using these tips, you should be aware that verbal abusers can quickly become physically abusive. You should use them with care.
1. Know that verbally abusive people are selective
People who verbally abuse their wives are usually in control of their habit. They would not dream of being rude to a boss or a law enforcement officer, for instance. They also would not abuse their regular targets in front of someone they wanted to make a good impression on.
When you understand that your verbal abuser is in full control of his habit and only chooses to give them play when he is safe, you may find the strength to stand up against him.
2. Learn about others
While you may be too close to your own situation to admit how unacceptable verbal abuse is, you may find it easier when you see others in similar situations. Join a support group or read about other people’s stories in forums and women’s websites around the Internet.
Absorb how verbal abuse situations start, evolve and develop over time. It will help you gain better perspective of what happens to you.
3. Do not feel pressure to be clever
It is easy to sound clever when rudeness is an option; it is hard to make the reply sound clever. Verbally abusive husbands, then, have a natural advantage. They know that you can’t answer back, because it is much harder for you to find something clever and effective to say.
This is the game that the verbally abusive try to draw you into. Do not be drawn in. Instead, simply say that you see through his manipulative game, and have no interest in it.
4. Gain the upper hand with actual power
Abusive husbands often have the upper hand because their wives occupy a lower status in some way – they have less money, a job with less prestige, less education and so on. You can try to readjust the power balance in your marriage by making a few changes, going to school for better qualifications, getting a better job and so on.
5. Neutralize the pride-sapping abuse
Work hard to find friends who love and admire you. Their support and love may help you see that the criticism you receive makes no sense.
6. Offer to take the abuser in for therapy
Many verbal abusers suffer from mental conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizoid personality disorder, etc. and that makes it difficult for them to see what they are doing. You can try gently suggesting the possibility of psychiatric treatment.
7. Demonstrate your strength
Each time your husband treats you to verbal abuse, you can show your opposition by refusing to talk to him or do anything for him for a few days. You can also demonstrate how strong you are by calling a helpline for the abused and sharing your story with them, right in front of your husband.
8. Take control in new ways
Verbally abusive husbands take full advantage of the fact that their wives are reasonable people. For instance, if they use unfair criticism to hurt their wives, they know that their wives will only reply in a logical way that can’t hurt them.
While you should not stoop to the level of an abusive husband by abusing him in return, you can do other things. You can ask your husband for help with things, or invite him to participate in a recreational activity with you. If he refuses or neglects to cooperate, you will have something to prove to him that he is not as friendly as he claims to be.
9. Openly describe what you feel
Verbal abusers are often able to get away with what they do because they know that the victim will often not say anything unless they can prove it. It is important to realize, though, that you do not need to prove anything to win. You simply need to say out what you believe is being done to you. Simply putting the truth out in the open often takes away the abuser’s power.
10. Keep an escape route ready
Half of all women in the US have suffered verbal abuse by an intimate partner. One in three have experienced physical violence. Verbal violence is often a precursor to physical violence. If you are with a partner who routinely verbally abuses you, the first thing you should do is to prepare an escape route.
Find a job, share your story with find friends, and learn exactly where support shelters for abused women are. Keep emergency money in a place where you can pick it up and run.