Things Verbal Abusers Say and Do

April 29, 2012 Kellie Jo Holly

Abusive people, men and women, say and do similar things to control their victims. The delivery may vary in tone or type, but the effect is the same. Read this.

What does verbal abuse sound like? The tone and content vary from abuser to abuser, but the words affect the victim in similar ways. Victims hear horrible things from their abuser and they feel small, withdrawn, angry, helpless, sad, ashamed, and a hundred other horrible emotions - sometimes all at once.

At the beginning of my abusive relationship, I felt anger and stood up for myself leading to loud, circular verbal altercations that had no solutions. Later, after coming to believe that he was my hero, my savior, and my provider, I felt stupid and wanted to fix myself so he would love me. Much later, I turned away and left the house for a while which eventually led to increased physical violence and leaving forever.

Sometimes my abuser's words hurt when he jabs and attempts to provoke me on the phone. Mainly, the memory, the countless memories of the abusive things he's said to me rear up and try to convince me that his remembered voice is my own.

This list is only a partial list of the things verbal abusers say. It's not limited to my own abusive relationship. It takes into account what others report hearing, too.

Things Verbal Abusers Say:

  • "Why don't you get a job so you understand the real world? Oh, wait - I forgot - you can't get a job because you're a stupid sh!t.
  • "Quit your whining and crying. You have no reason to cry or complain! Your life is perfect because I made it that way!"
  • "Bitch" (and the countless other names I won't bother to list)
  • "I should have left you at the club with all the other whores."
  • "If you were more like my mother I could worship you."
  • "I hate it when you act so pitiful. Stop the waterworks and talk like a human being."
  • "I can't stand to look at you. You make me sick."
  • "You're such a great actress! You know how to get what you want, don't you?"
  • "I can't believe I have to come home to you every day. How did I get involved with such a train wreck?"
  • "I must be the first a$$hole to love you. You don't know how to please a man!"
  • "You're fat and miserable and you make me hate you."
  • "You always look like God stomped on your face."
  • "Why do you care what I want for dinner? My favorites taste like crap when you make them anyway."
  • "You used to be as beautiful as my ex, but geesh - time hasn't been good to you, baby!"
  • "Those children are mine, will always be mine, and if you leave you'll never see them again."

Things Verbal Abusers Do:

  • Deny they said anything similar to the list above.
  • Defend what they've said.
  • Analyze what they've said out loud, explaining that the words they used do not have the definitions you seem to think they do.
  • Block you in a room so you can't leave and thereby avoid what they're saying.
  • Talk horribly to the television but are really speaking to you.
  • Flip open their knife to open a piece of gum while looking at you under knitted brows.
  • Leave to do something else at the last minute when you had plans together.
  • Take you out for your best birthday ever and then wind up berating you on the way home for not appreciating their efforts enough.
  • Tell your children you need more happy pills to be a good mom.
  • Change the topic of the conversation so you bounce from one place to another, never getting to the core of the issue.
  • Accuse you of being a whore or a dummy or a _________ so often that they no longer need to say the words but can offer up a "look" and you know what they're saying (then they may deny it).

Okay. I have to stop. My stomach is literally upset right now after digesting the utter contempt and hatred some people spew on a daily basis.

If you're still living in this nonsense, learn about detachment and how it can benefit you. Maybe in time you'll choose to leave your abuser, and maybe you'll choose to stay. No one here will judge you for staying (I've been there and it can feel hopeless!), but please work on ways to make yourself feel better in the process.

Start here:

You can also find Kellie on her website at Verbal Abuse Journals and can buy her books from Amazon.

*Both women and men could be abusers or victims, so do not take my pronoun choices as an implication that one gender abuses and the other is victimized.

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2012, April 29). Things Verbal Abusers Say and Do, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

May, 16 2023 at 2:59 pm

It is funny/weird to read this article as it pretty much sums up what just happened to me. I had met a man and we had a great connection, he was very sweet, in fact I was probably the one who was more 'moany' I would say. Really sweet, although he kept letting me down with coming to visit me - after a few months long distance keeping in touch I went again to visit him. After a few days of us getting along and all things fine, I felt very connected to him and very safe, like he cared about me and I for him. One evening after we had a few drinks, I asked him a question, I think I asked the time? He said stop asking me annoying questions, he got angry and then walked me into a room and held the door, aggressively told me to sit down, look him in the eyes and apologise, that he was making a real effort to make it a nice evening and I was 'sighing' (It was 4am I was yawning) I said I am sorry If I have made you feel a certain way but.. and he started calling me saggy, ugly, stupid, physco, disgusting, spoilt brat, judgemental b****, (alot of projections in there) I tried to be calm and said I should get changed and maybe go.. I would have spoke to him, but I knew that he crossed a line. As I got changed and packed my things, he said 'go to the street and suck c***, its all your good for' I felt humiliated and like a whore. I looked at him to make him see me? Then he went through my bags as if I was a thief, then downstairs he continued, saying I had a resting b**** face, I am a midget, that I look like I need a punch, that I am a bimbo, stupid and need therapy. Then he said something like I am acting like I want to get beaten up... I was silent and did not respond. I was shocked, I was also tired. He said.. 'you are not even saying anything back, how pathetic' I knew he wanted a reaction.. after calling me a stupid b**** he left me in the dark and I asked him to leave a light on, I left quickly after.. as I felt there was no way to talk to him now. I was alone walking the streets until the morning came. He text me the next day, still in town? Like nothing happened. I left and went back to London taking a bus through france.. the whole time without sleep and in shock. He had no empathy for me, even though a few hours before this we are kissing and hugging. Sometimes I wonder shall I text him and see if he realises his issues/problems? I am still hearing his insults in my head and its really lowered my confidence. Sometimes feeling like its all true.. ofc It is not! But the whole thing is just like everything listed above. Why do they do this? Is it to control? Did they ever like you? I cannnot work it out.

August, 30 2023 at 12:30 am

I'm in the U.S. and every relationship I have ever had has been the other person treating me like that nearly word for word.

December, 22 2023 at 3:39 pm

Hi, I just wanted to tell you that I'm really sorry this happened to you. That must have been very scary, you may have even felt embarrassed or ashamed, and I hear how it not only confused you then, but it also confuses you now still. Maybe I'm projecting, but it sounds like you want to make sense of it. Is it so you can understand it and maybe process it to be able to let it go? If so, 2 things - some people cannot handle alcohol. It's a depressant so social inhibitions are relaxed. Any anger he was bottling up about other things might've flown out at you simply bc you happened to be the only person in the room when his angry, pent up feelings found their way out to attack. You didn't cause him to feel those things, they just got transferred to you bc angry rage feelings aren't logical. They occur in the amygdala which is in charge of fight, flight, freeze, or fawn emergency reactions only. You're wanting them to be logical and make sense as if they were a thoughtful response instead of hair trigger reaction. That logic only happens in someone's prefrontal cortex. You weren't dealing with someone operating out of their prefrontal cortex. So, it's never going to make logical sense on why he did or does that, ever. I can tell you it wasn't anything to do with you. I'm so thankful hearing you were brave and were able to physically leave. Don't bother calling to ask if he's aware of his issues. That takes logic. He isn't operating with logic, so calling it out will prob make it worse to the both of you. He can deal with his own self when he wants. I hope you can show yourself as much care for how you're coping with an awful, abusive event. I hope you can see and focus on how you are still affected by it and aren't processing it in a healthy way, and I hope you seek a therapist so you can move from it without taking meaning about who you are or any of it on yourself.

February, 20 2023 at 4:29 pm

I am constantly called demeaning names and he blames me for everything I feel as if I walk on egg shells all the I am constantly accused of messing around I am open to advice

June, 5 2023 at 6:18 am

Have u looked up narssisst
I found out that is what mine is 11 years into the marriage!!

October, 25 2023 at 9:22 am

I think that if he is accusing you of messing around then he is for sure! And just leave, just pack your stuff and run as far away as you can from this! I am married to someone like this, it’s horrible I’m on 4 anti depressants, I just wish I could take my kids and run as far away from this as I can, it demining, it makes you feel worthless because he called you worthless all the time, it’s just not a good situation to be in.

Coleen Keeler
February, 16 2023 at 9:22 am

I was walking my dog this morning and forgot to bring a bag with me, and on our walk my dog did a #2 in someone's yard. I was going to come back and pick it up after I got home. After my dog did the deed, I heard someone screaming a**hole! a**hole! Then he started following me with his car screaming don't ever walk down my street or I will kill your dog you c--t! OMG, I was trembling with fear. I am nervous to ever take my dog out again.

Me. Truth
December, 29 2022 at 11:23 pm

So I’d like to start off by saying, I read pretty much everyone’s stories. And I’m telling you, I’m
Not here to judge anyone, I actually understand to those that can’t leave, and I understand those that have or are. Especially those with children involved. I’m sort of in a same situation where I can’t leave. I’m in a place where I can’t. I mentally can’t. Here goes my story. So I’ve been with this person for 2 years now, we live together. Since we met, it has been fireworks, literally perfect. (I should’ve known). I did see a few red flags in the beginning, mainly because he was already going through a domestic case, but I believed him when he said he didn’t hit her. (I’ve always seen the good in people and that’s my weakness) (clearly…). So yea, that wasn’t the only red flag. There was one day we went out to go to the store, and he has just gotten a new item for his car. He asked me to help him
Put it on and I did because that’s my love of course I will. I guess while I was trying to put it together, I broke it. (& that my friends is when I saw a grown man act so much like a child) he got so mad at me, that he told me I have to find the missing piece in 5 mins or else he will leave me. I’m head over heels for him, so I’m trying to look for the missing piece. He started yelling, calling me stupid names. Saying I don’t take care of his things, saying he’s going to leave me for someone who can find the missing piece. I’m crying, looking for a missing piece for a glowing thing for his f**** car. I’m a parking lot. I should’ve know really, but no I didn’t. After we found it. He just said he didn’t mean what he said he was just mad. Well little did I know that would become my usual living with him, that same pattern. I do something wrong, he gets me in trouble. I’m confused, he tells me to stfu and do what he wants me to do. I refuse, I either get called (for example: a fat pig, who hasn’t even had a baby so what’s my excuse for being fat ?) or (im going to leave you for a skinnier and better looking person than you. She won’t have flabs jiggling when we have sex) or if I push it to much (I don’t stfu when he says) or continue crying from what he has said. I get dragged by my hair. I’ve gotten a lot of bruises and bad headaches from that. What’s crazy is it’s not always like this, he’s always cleaning the house for me, he’s always paying the bills for us, he’s always making sure im okay. Laughing and enjoying our time together. But the moment he gets slightly mad, I can either ignore it and not have a say. (Anyways he doesn’t even like when I have to say what I need to say) or I can continue and that’s where his anger rises. He doesn’t just lash out and verbally call me names or hits me. He has levels. And In these levels, I either stfu the first time he told me or after I’m
On the ground crying getting called names, or gotten dragged, or even had to lick (floor, feet, toilet,) or sit in a corner till he says to stop. He says because I’m younger than him, and I’ve had my parents both spoil me that I’m a spoiled brat. Yea I do whine, yea I do cry a lot. But I’ve never cried this much to the point I’m yelling telling him I’m broken, and he just stands there laughing at me. Showing me how skinny he is. I’m not saying I can’t leave because he does a lot for me no, he has. And as of right now he isn’t anymore. Because I left to my parents for a month and a half. And in that time he was at our house paying the bills. I left because I didn’t want to come back, I got hit in the face on my birthday because I picked him up from work a couple minutes late. So he assumed I was cheating. (That’s where that process of his levels happened AGAIN) his thing is he always has an excuse as to why he does this to me. I could never understand his reasonings because it’s always thag I deserved it. I don’t think I ever heard an apology from him about hitting me, untill I went back home. Anyways, he begged and cried for me to go back, but no I wanted to be with my family. Oh yea btw he didn’t like that I gave my friends and family attention. He didn’t want me to talk to them so much, because he’s like that with his parents so he wants me to be like that. My fault I’m very close to my family….. so yea my parents they know everything, they know what happens and has happened. So in their case they just wanted to protect me. But my heart still loved him, so yes I went back. I lost my family and friends because of this decision. That’s why I said as of right now I can’t leave because I know I’ll come back. My heart isn’t to its point where it’s done. I still have hope. Sadly. So yes I’m back, and it’s been a year already of me back with him. And I find out we’re in debt, I mean what did I expect ? It was just him paying everything, I pretty much left my responsibilities. So now I’m the one working for us, I’m paying off his debt and mine. Because I have to, I owe it to him. And now he holds “leaving me” to my head to make me run around like a monkey for him. He knows I love him, I do everything for him. I take care of his bills, I make sure he never sees or stressed about bills. So I make sure he will never know or see how much things cost. I have all his important papers I take care for him, since I know he would lose it. I work 12 hour shifts, come home cook him dinner, massage him. And sleep at 10pm and have to wake up at 5am. I clean and take our dog out on my day off. I buy him everything he wants. And yet he tells his family he’s stuck with me, thag I’m trapping him here. Because I won’t allow him to walk out the door. Last time I let him walk out the door during an argument, he called me saying he’s getting picked up by some girl who’s going to have sex with him and thag he’s going to call me during it. So yea I’m crying in my house, not knowing where he’s at, or where he has gone. He keeps calling me, and telling me how fat how ugly how much he hates me. And I have to sit there and listen or else he won’t come home. I’m at a point where I have lost confidence in myself, I have lost faith in this relationship, I have no motivation to do anything but sleep. I miss my family. I’m stressed out because I’m paying two peoples bills while he stays at home plays his video games and brags about how he folded for the first time. So if I complain he says well I clean the dishes or I did the laundry. Like that’s what ur supposed to do. While I’m work. Because when he was working I worked and did all of this. That’s why he would assume I was cheating, because I would put my phone down, have an audio playing in the background and organize everything, clean everything. Cook, check mail. Everything. Make sure his work clothes are clean dry and folded. Make his lunch. And yet he complains about taking me to work. I would go to all his breaks, driving back and forth. I would wake up at 5am, make sure breakfast is ready for him. Take him to work at 6pm. And what am I ? I’m a mistake for him. He “knows” he can get another person like me but better. He knows thag someone else could look better, have a smaller waist and listen and do the exact same things im doing but better. I nag at him because he doesn’t understand I’m irritated, I’m irritated thag when I ask him to do something he doesn’t do it right. And if I continue nagging him, we will argue and that’s the same process happing again. And I can’t stand people telling me “leave” “ur so dumb why can’t u just leave” it’s not easy okay. It’s not fricken easy. I can’t just leave, I know physically yes. But my heart loves him so much, I don’t date to just date so many people. No, once I put my all to you. I want you for marriage. I lived in a broken home and I’ve always dreamed of my own home, my own family where I don’t have to pick sides or take my clothes in a bag with me back and forth. So yes my fault for not leaving because he is my home. But I’m just in a point where I just want to cry, and cry. And just hug my dad. Like if I was a little girl. Safe in his arms.

January, 25 2023 at 9:08 pm

Please, please leave him!
You said yu can work, you have a job - just pack up and go rent a tiny flat on your own and spend all the time with YOU learning to love yourself.
Put your house on the market tonight!
Put a sign outside your house tomorrow morning for a yard sale? Sell everything super cheap whilst he's out. Ditch anything you can't get out in time. Tell the neighbourhood to help themselves! Let him come back to an empty, ransacked house!
He is not keeping you safe, he is not caring for you, he is not loving you.
We love you though ❤️

Anonymous girl
February, 23 2023 at 11:44 pm

Leave. I know u said u want to run into ur daddy's safe Arms. I wish I could but he passed away 3 years ago. At first he told me that I was a joke to my now husband. He was no good and he even cut me off for a while because I stayed with him. I ended up getting pregnant with my first child at 24 and he was 32. My dad started to come around then and realized he better help get me set up or I was gonna have a hard life. So he bought me a condo and my husband and I moved in. My dad was the best, he was verbally abusive but I always knew he loved me unconditionally. He always had my back and we had alit of fun together. However things got better between my dad and him over the years but then when my dad passed away 9 years into my husband and I s relationship, it's like his narc mask came off. He was accusing me of cheating and he would not hear me when I told him I wasn't. This shocked me because it was so wrong and the reasons he thought so were so theoretical. That's what he would do he would go somewhere a d then later claim that he knew I was messing with someone while he was gone. I'm shocked every time it happens but it's so hard to turn around and tell him to leave bc I didn't do anything to him and I want him to stay. Anyways once my dad died I saw another person one who acted like I was worthless. And on and on and on, I wished my dad were here so many times.

November, 29 2022 at 4:26 pm

I have been divorced for 5 years now and my ex and i have 4 kids together. I try to back her up if our kiddos are getting out of line. But, recently my 12 year old got out of school suspension for pantsing another kid.
Anyway, I tried to call my son to talk to him and he just keeps hanging up on me. So as a consequence for his suspension and disrespectfully behavior. I let my ex know I was taking his cell phone and nintendo switch. She ended the call with "You're such a p***e of s***. Needles to say I lived for 16 years with her always calling me offensive names. It has caused my 12 year old to repeat his mothers words to me nonstop

February, 14 2023 at 1:36 am

If your child is hanging up on you, you clearly already messed up before this. Maybe fix you instead of blaming his mother.

March, 11 2023 at 8:13 am

What an awful and unhelpful comment. It is more likely that the mother has poisoned the son against his father. What he can do is discipline his child and build relationship if and when they are together. However, children are apt to believe their primary caregiver and also use that conflict to have power over whichever of their parents does not cede to their every demand. Sometimes, these children cannot see the truth of a situation until well into adulthood, and you have to let them go.

March, 11 2023 at 8:17 am

What an awful and unhelpful comment. It is more likely that the mother has poisoned the son against his father. What he can do is discipline his child and build relationship if and when they are together. However, children are apt to believe their primary caregiver and also use that conflict to have power over whichever of their parents does not cede to their every demand. Sometimes, these children cannot see the truth of a situation until well into adulthood, and you have to let them go.

November, 20 2022 at 9:24 pm

I dont know if this is Considered verbal abuse but it sure feels that way. When i dont react to something the way my husband thinks i should, he starts yelling and ranting and literally walks around stomping his feet talking to himself. He does this in front of my college age kids (his step kids) He hears things he wants to hear and tunes the rest out and then makes up in his head things I said and my tone of voice and says i was yelling when i dont even raise my voice. There have been at least four incidents when he has been driving and has gotten pissed off about something and starts speeding, driving erratic and opening the door hanging out of the car while yelling. My kids think hes nuts. My sons is afraid he will snap and hit me even though hes never been physical. He tried to choke my son once and then tried to attack him another time for smarting off to him- both times I tried to intervene by grabbing him or hitting him until he stopped. He is very strong and it was the only way I could get him to stop And then I got blamed that I attacked him. Most of the time things are fine and calm, but my kids dont even want to be around him most of the time because he is unpredictable. We are talking about a 54 yr old man.

March, 29 2023 at 8:31 pm

I feel you I'm going through the same and have no one to talk to it's a scary feeling especially having a 2 and 3yr old and they are even scared of him and I don't know what to do at this point but I'm in the same situation

January, 29 2022 at 4:12 pm

Right now I’m crying in my bathroom. He is a very anger man. He blames me for everything. Example a lighter he dropped on the ground it was my fault. I’ve been called slut, psycho and crazy (just a few). He tells me all the time no one wants me. He is an alcoholic and abuses his pain meds . He has emotionally cheated on me with his ex wife. I have been nothing but support through his job. I am his punching bag. He turns everything around on me. (Gaslighting). I don’t even want to be here anymore. I walk on egg shells daily. He puts everyone before me. I have no friends. He hates my sister because she confronted him how he treats me. He wants to get another job in would move me from my family. I don’t want to go with him at all. I play the game. Being told no one wants you is a heart breaking. I dated a guy in high school who also told me this. Maybe it is me maybe everyone would be better off without me.

May, 30 2022 at 9:12 pm

Sounds like you are broken down by his destructive words and actions. It’s NOT you. Surround yourself with nice and caring people. This will hopefully build you up on time, so you can proudly walk away. You said he is using you as a punching bag, then leave ASAP.

July, 4 2022 at 8:03 am

I HOPE YOU ARE FEELING AND DOING BETTER!! I UNDERSTAND!!! im going through the same thing right now but it's a little different... ultimately its still such a lonely existence.

October, 29 2022 at 4:32 pm

I recently read that when you date someone like you are describing or your high school boyfriend, you are brain wires itself to learn how to combat those types of people. Therefore, your brain will automatically be more attracted to those types of people because it already knows the skills it needs to combat it. Makes us feel better when we read about that. Get out

October, 31 2022 at 12:18 pm

Hi Kelly, I am Cheryl Wozny, the current author of the Verbal Abuse in Relationships blog. Thank you for your comment. I find that intriguing that our body and mind will often make subconscious choices without us realizing it until later. I know for myself I ended up with romantic partners that reminded me of my abusive father until I learned how to break the cycle. Your take on this situation could help others realize a harmful dynamic. Please feel free to continue to share things you've learned with our community.

July, 1 2023 at 6:12 am

Well, where do I start?
So I met my partner who at the time was going through a seperation. He didn't tell me really why....anyway, we were on and off for a while until one day his apparent ex contacted me out of the blue. She said they had been dating hence why I don't hear from him every three months. He had been using me when she threw him out. He stole money from me, then abused me in the car and didn't hear from him again for another 3 months. Because he was coming off drugs, I was trying to be understanding as I know how it affects people and their behaviour. I got him off them and we actually made a proper go at it.
We went out for drinks one night and he started acting an idiot. The cops came and he ran away leaving me in a town I didn't know so the bar girl put me up for the night. However, I should have known this was going to be bad....I went back to collect my car and he was waiting for me. He had kicked in the side of my car and laughed telling me to get inside the car. I shouldn't, because he yanked my hair on numerous occasions, he pinched my legs while driving on the free way, and he even rammed my head between the seat and windows of the car. Made my nose bleed. I was bruised. Red marks. Head felt it was on fire from being beat in the car. I was blamed because apparently I was a sl/% and sucking c&*^ all night when in actual fact a woman let me stay at her place because the cops advised me to do this. I should have left him that day. Instead, I ran a bath and went to sleep. He came in, swore he would never hurt me again and caressing the bruises and what he had done to me. Stupid me! Since then, there has been many occasions when he has bashed me, tried to suffocate me, I even think he wanted to kill me. These were all alcohol related incidents.
He hasn't drank in 7 months now, but can't understand that I put an intervention on him...but I did it to stop the abuse...he just sees it that I went against him. I did it to protect myself and it has worked.
Let's see what happens now but i feel we will eventually break up because I have finally stood up to him...he wants someone who will hamper to his every wish and command and accept punishment, but that's not me! No sir.
He knows, one more time and I am gone.

Comfortably Depressed
November, 4 2021 at 9:07 pm

I've recently been called the "C-word," "Weak" (because I started crying), "Stupid" (that was tonight), "You wear your heart on your sleeve that is why you're weak." We were watching Miss. Doubtfire tonight and he constantly telling me how horrible the movie is, he Googled what others were saying about the movie and telling me what they said while agreeing with them. He told me that its a horrible movie because "Robin Williams" was lying to his kids and is a creep for being a woman and tricking his wife so he could be around his kids. I said, " Wouldn't you do anything for your children?" He replied, "Not that and why should I have to dress in a costume to trick anyone and lie to see my kids?" I said, "The point I see is he is doing anything he can to see them." My husband says, "That is disgusting and that should not equate to "Doing anything" for my kids." *looking at him not understanding why he has contradicted.* So he would do ANYTHING for his children but not that so in return he is would not do ANYTHING for his children because his "Anything" has limits. (I assume he was trying to confuse me as he does everyday to create and argument then blame me for the creation of said argument. I'm confused. There is so many instances over 8 years he has berated me, called me names, belittled me in front of his co-workers and friends, telling our children that I'm a pos then asking me if I took my meds that day. (I take anti-depressants due to being depressed for 6 years..... His behavior started 7 years ago.) I'm so confused and hurt. Right now, at this moment, he came into our room and asked me "what is that laundry on the bed?" I said, "I don't know did you put there there?" He said, "Yes because they were in the dryer." I said, "Okay, so what do you want to do with them?" He replies, "Throw them on the floor." I said, "Okay. You do that then." He left the room and hasnt been back... its been three hours. He took the laundry out of the dryer and didn't fold them or hang them up and left them for me? He doesn't help or do anything around the house. I have to wash the dishes everyday. He says no he will not do them because we have a teenager in the house. (My teenager does Volleyball and Basketball after school plus she had homework everyday and if I ask her to do anything around the house she will but I don't feel dishes should fall solely on her. Am I wrong?) I don't understand what happened or where it all went wrong. I'm emotionally and mentally broke. :-/

November, 19 2021 at 11:46 pm

Hello, my name is Cheryl, I am the current author of the Verbal Abuse in Relationships blog here at HealthyPlace. Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story. I am sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds like you could use some support to help deal with your circumstances. I encourage you to visit our Resources page… for ways to find the tools and help you need to work through these difficult circumstances.

October, 24 2021 at 9:27 pm

I respect women are beaten mercilessly. Peaceful men are targeted, because they don’t fight back. As a result, a deluge of extreme violence with all the shades of antiquity are delivered with vinegar and salt as a sort of revenge. Good luck nice guys

September, 27 2021 at 1:41 pm


Diana McK
September, 23 2021 at 9:49 pm

My husband was like a tape recorder that you can t turn off. His rants went on for hours, and then he would stop and start over again, as if he had rewound and replayed the tape. While this went on I wasn’t allowed to leave the room. He was a large man and blocked the doorways, pointing out that I would have to push him in order to get out and if I did he would have me arrested for assault. The longest screaming session lasted 7 hours and that is after I started timing him. Our living room had a clock on the wall. He began over a perceived slight and then said we could have avoided all this if I supported him as a wife should. I thought oh, dear God, no, he is going to start over. And he did.
The police would do nothing - not even take a teport. Once I packed to leave and he came in with a ridiculous list of things he said I owed him money for - like half the food (he kept every little piece of paper, including supermarket receipts, filed by year) and said he knew I woukdn’t oay him, but this box of music tapes was probably worth that much so he was hoing to keep them until I paid him or sell them.
I called the cops then but they said everything I owned, including my clothes was community property and he could keep anything he wanted. They said to let him have it if I wanted to leave so bad and argue in court. That gave him more ammo; he began hiding treasured possessions and secretly made an extra set of keys to my car so he could “hold” the “community property’” “until the divorce is over and the judge decides what is whose.” It was to keepme from leaving.
He had neighbors watch the house and call him if they saw me trying to losd up my car and leave while he was at work. He needed their help so he coukd “save” our marriage.
I couldn’t confide in friends because he would call them and cry, saying he was worried about me and thought I was depressed, and had I said anything to them? A friend of more than twenty years repeated everything to him, including that I was planning to leave. She looked me right in my fave and told me I “didn’t understand” and “he is worried about you.” Nobody would listen to me when I begged them not to talk to him. They thought they were “helping” us “save” our marriage. I lost friends over this.
I finally got away while he was on a business trip. His flying monkey neighbor ran over to try to stop me and called him, but he didn’t make it back in time.
I tried to get a protective order but the judge said I had no proof. He contested the divorce, crying and swearing he loved me in court. My stupid state requires a year waitbefore you can file for divorce and he harassed me constantly.
It took two years to get divorced and he only agreed because he found a new girlfriend.
She moved out after a year and he wentthrough a seriesof broken engagements. The last girl DID get a restraining order and he spent almost a year in jail and got ten years probation for violating the restraining order.. At least now everyone, including his family, believes me now. His sister keeps me informed now because she is afraid he will still hurt me someday. She says he sometimes explodes in rants out of nowhere, saying I ruined his life.
He is hiring lawyers and trying to get his time reduced. His sister and I are afraid he willget away with it. I am afraid he will kill a woman someday. He has contacted me several times, saying I was his one true love, although I am now remarried.
We live in another state but I am afraid I willnever truly be rid of him.
He wasn’t like this until the second year of our marriage. I don’t know what happened, although there is a history of mental illness on his father’s side of the family. He is totally different from the guy I met and married.
Stalking laws and restraining orders are a joke. Divorce laws that make you wait a year with an abuser are cruel.
It’s been 16 years since I left, but I am still not over the damage. Thank God for my present husband; he understands and supports me.
Women can’t win. It is our fault for getting involved with the man in the first place, our fault fornot leaving, our fault for “dwelling on it” and “not moving on and forgetting about it” if we are damaged. Nobody ever asks THEM why they do what they do.

July, 3 2021 at 10:28 am

This may sound familiar to some and fantastical to others. My bf and i have known each other for 15 years or thereabouts. I moved to another state to be with him. During the time he and i got married, i got divorced, and moved in 2015. I'm not sure what year I think it was 2018 (my time frame gets a little confused). My bf and i were broken up. In some aspects I was wanting to date someone I suppose maybe to get approval for whatever lack of self-esteem. I started talking with someone, who made himself to appear to be someone that he wasn't. Several times I would communicate with him, and my instinct would kick in and i would cancel, eventually though I did go visit him. The new man too advantage of me - sexually, twice. Then he forced me to be forced me to be his prostitute, after 8 months. I left, i went back to Oklahoma. Then i came back, I ended up telling what happened. During this time my bf went through his own situation. Now that I live with him, he brings up the fact that I was a prostitute, he forces me to tell me to say either that i was a victim, or that i wanted to do that. no matter the statement that i say. nothing i ever say is ever right. If i say i wanted to, he states i'm disgusting, fat, etc. Then if i say i was a victim of rape, he then tells me why i didn't fight, why didn't i scratch his face like i scratched the face of my bf. Then he has stated he won't kiss me, that i'm disgusting, fat, etc. again no matter what i say is not good enough. I stay because I am not good enough, I do love him so much.

June, 6 2021 at 1:26 am

I married a very angry man. Shortly after our wedding he started calling me names. I had a dreadful mother who was cruel to me and so, although it was painful, I had no contact with her. My husband started calling me by her name. I cried and begged him to stop. He didn’t. He called me many things like “maggot”, “a lying waste of time”, “f**ing mole”, and a million other things. He punched holes in all of the walls and I patched them up. He is a lot bigger than me and he frightened me. He slammed my head into the refrigerator and hit me a couple of times but that was all. But the names continued for over 30 years. I separated from him a few years ago but we continue to live in the same house due to finances. He still calls me mental and psycho and tells me that I’ll never change, as he looks at me with disgust. I struggle every day to want to live. I drive to work fighting back tears and drive home fighting back tears. He says that I make him call me names because I make him angry. The last time he did it was because I told him that I always look like the bad guy to our children. He agrees with me on issues concerning them and then when I say something to them he acts as though it is all from me. I’ve always had to discipline our kids, who were never any trouble, and say no to the risky stuff while he wanted to look like I was being unfair. Our kids are grown and I think that they understand why I took on the role of single parent. I’m desperately lonely and so sad. I feel as though I’m invisible. I’m 57 and I feel worthless. Have I been abused?

June, 8 2021 at 9:54 pm

Hello Tracey, I am Cheryl Wozny, the current author of the Verbal Abuse in Relationships Blog here at HealthyPlace. Thank you for your comment. I'm so sorry for what you have gone through. It's important to remember that physical abuse isn't the only kind of abuse. Yes, verbal interactions like you have described are definitely abuse. Please know that you are not worthless. Sometimes people who experience abuse feel this way, but it isn't true. Please reach out and get help. You don't have to live like that. You can start here:…. I wish you luck on your healing journey.

June, 5 2021 at 11:28 am

Well i have been going through emotional abuse for 3 and a half years and i finally decide enough is enough my childrens father has been unfaithful to me ans his ex they seperate due to his infidelity after 15 years and 4 children .. He mentally and physically abused both of us the only difference is she cheated on him and he got an assult charge but he praises this women never says one bad thing to her i never cheated and have forgiven him for cheating on me and he started calling me a prostitute says things like i have sex with 20 guys a day and have a pimp and that i dont want to have sex with him because either i havr their cum inside me or dont want to have hia inside me while im prostituting says that my vagina is filled with cum and my boobs are ruined from all the guys sucking on them and thats nust the beginning hes beeb doing this to me for three years and i finally had enough i have never cheated in my life and have only been with 5 guys.. He really believes these things i put cameras up and he says in fucking the wifi guy so he controls the cameras and that im pimping out my 7 year old daughter... I mean this ia nuat the beginning he has said everything you can say to hurt me and i love him very much 6 years and two beautiful boys but i cant take it anymore so im super depressed and dont knkw what to do with myself ..he has torn me apart . im devastated and confused.. I dont know if he ever loved me and i dont know why he treats me so bad i have done everything for him and he claims to love me but can you say those things to the women you love?? Im just venting today i called quits and it hurts because i know that i cant live like that anymore coming from the man i love with all my heart .. How can i love someone like that? How ? My does it hurt so bad ?

May, 26 2021 at 1:49 pm

My jaw is on the floor - these lists were as if I'd written them myself..... I feel like I've finally found somewhere where I don't feel like I'm going mad.

October, 15 2020 at 11:10 am

Is anyone on here now? I need help

September, 13 2020 at 3:37 am

funny how people say all these things about their partner, even call them disrespectful names and claim they are the abused.......

October, 6 2022 at 2:11 pm

Its way late to say but are you serious man? Maybe find another site and then you'll have found your type of people and can chat away, until then shut up and leave these poor people alone.

September, 4 2020 at 9:53 pm

My husband always says things like "shut your fat face" & "do you even have a brain" while shouting at the top of his voice.... I've literally become the things he's always said to me for the past 10 years, I've tried leaving but can't, he's made so i can't live without him... Also we have 5 kids with one on the way... He only loves me when in working out and skinny, every since i got pregnant with this last baby and needed to take it easy, he resents me and says I'm using it as an excuse to sit on my butt all day... When I'm killing my self to not only mother my own children but doing daycare for 4 of his nephews every single day, so i can "at least make some money while I'm sitting around the house" ... I have nothing without him, and he has nothing without me, but he doesn't see that part...

September, 19 2020 at 9:33 pm

I can feel how you live everyday with this, I hope you loved yourself and the kids more than consider living with him the rest of your life! Please find way to take the kids out! Family will be the first place that can help you before you can set out to live on your own. I was in the similar relationship, it took my focus, beauty, energy and loosing my confident until I was not confident to put make up on because I scare he will make a joke of my make up.
Now I start love myself, withdraw myself out from that life, and live happier with my kids without that man, I don’t believe my kids would grow up healthy with such a father they have,. I know it’s hard to walk away from relationships especially toxic. Believe in yourself honey, we women stronger than man can think, to me I got enough with name calls, my parents never called me anything but just the man I meet half of my life should he do that, I will not keep up with that, there is not love, someone that love each other will never put his love one down especially you have 5 kids with him,..

April, 17 2020 at 12:07 pm

I am a male, abused by a female, covert narc. I read this, hoping to find support and help. Apologize if this seems harsh, but this should have been titled, "Things Male Verbal Abusers Say and Do". Of all your comments, the only ones that apply to my abuser are, she has said "I can't stand to look at you. You make me sick." Three years ago, she took me out for my "best birthday ever" and to this day berates me about it, let's say, on a monthly basis. Oh, and if I ever ask her anything pointed, that might be construed as "critical", she immediately changes the subject - never to return to it. I appreciate if this piece is designed to help women sufferers, but I think you should have stated this. This makes me feel worse. Thank you. Peter

June, 21 2021 at 5:44 am

I am sorry you felt worse reading this, but i believe you missed this paragraph at the end that says this:
“ *Both women and men could be abusers or victims, so do not take my pronoun choices as an implication that one gender abuses and the other is victimised.”
This was not wholly for female “victims” but for everyone seeking comfort in a situation where you and I are in at the moment. I am on this website, this day (21st of June 2021) because i feel lost and want to know if there are some things i can validate my feelings.

Naomi Salomon
January, 3 2020 at 1:22 am

I believe most women, not all, who are with abusive men like myself are truly good hearted, extremely strong, and the most giving women around and most know that no one else can love such a man but yet at the same time we unrealistically think that maybe he will change with our endless extraordinary efforts. Some men change and some men will never. Sometimes it gets so bad because it has been tolerated and allowed for too long where the woman becomes trapped financially and in all other areas and becomes isolated from friends and family even though they were once before strong/independent financially and emotionally plus had many friends and family. My question is how to come out from the lowest of the lowest point when the choice was made to allow things to get that way. I know it was my choice from the very start to stay or leave since red flags are always there from the beginning with every abusive man.

April, 27 2020 at 9:59 pm

Dear Naomi, your comment " I believe most women, not all, who are with abusive men like myself are truly good hearted, extremely strong, and the most giving women around and most know that no one else can love such a man but yet at the same time we unrealistically think that maybe he will change with our endless extraordinary efforts" really struck a chord in me because I have always believed that to be true.
I always told my mom, who was so loving mother, that she raised me & my brother to be too loving and too nurturing. We are both the "fixers" in our marriages. We try to fix our spouses' ugly issues. Meaning their nasty personalities.
You are correct. We are extremely good hearted and strong. We are also too forgiving and understanding. Unfortunately, the ugly spouse do not change. If like mine, it sneaks out REAL slow and would always apologize. Then one day, the apologies just stopped & his nastiness became more frequent throughout the years. Eventually, it became a way of life, for the entire family. I have been the fixer and referee for years, hoping to keep stability within the family.
Well tonight, I apologized to my son because today was really bad & I really realized I did it all wrong for these past 8 years (that's when everything stated to get worse). I should have left my husband. My son should not have gone through any of this. He deserve a father who thinks the world of him. Instead, he as to deal with this ugly abusive person for a father.
My husband is such a failure. He has driven away the only ones who truly love him, his family. I have many loose ends to wrap up and I need an exit strategy, but I hope to be free of him by mid-summer.
Please, follow my lead Naomi. We all deserve better. Life is too short to waste more of our precious time with these nasty mentally ill spouses/partners.
Good Luck💖

September, 26 2022 at 4:34 am

I have been with my husband since 1999. I was 18 and he was 24. I saw the red flags from the beginning but it is my own stupid fault for staying. We now have 2 beautiful boys who are nearly in high school. They are my life. I stay in this toxic relationship for them. I have been dragged through the garden by my hair, had my finger dislocated when he threw an ashtray at me. He has rubbed my face in urine and faeces. I now need a disc replacement in my neck from this person. Till this day, he will not take responsibility or apologize for any of this. Today he swore and demeaned me in front of a tradie to such a point I was going to grab the kids and leave. Every time, everything is my fault and he has only acted in this way because of me. Deep down I k ow that I need to take the kids and leave but for some stupid reason I still love him. This is never in front of the kids and they are never in harms way.

Niki Galloway
September, 15 2019 at 1:18 pm

My husband and I have been married for 9 1/2 years. We've known each other for 18 yrs. At first in our marriage he would make side comments (negative) to my friends and family. Then after our 2nd born son died, he started in on me (5 years into our marriage). He doesn't say anything like you mentioned above which make me constantly re-evaluate my sanity. He tells me I'm dirty, I'll never find anyone better than him, the house is never clean, I'm fake (phony), my efforts are wasted and the big one last night is that I'm a copycat. I feel like everything I do is wrong to him. I have my faults, I know I do, and I have even admitted them to him. He tells me that I don't have my own opinions about things but when I try to form my own opinions, he tells me that they are wrong and that I should listen to his opinions only. He also expects me to read his mind when he wants me to do something "after all these years of marriage, you still don't know what I want from you" (his words right from his playbook).
After typing all this and reading it out loud, it all seems stupid and I feel like I'm going insane. I don't want to disappear under his thumb but I want to try to work this out. We have applied for marriage counseling but have been turned down because the counseling programs say that he needs counseling. He refuses to go because counselors who assess him (by himself) are stupid and don't know what they are talking about.
He told me this morning that I'm a gaslighting, narcissist because I refuse to talk to him (for the first time in all the years we have been together). I'm tired of my words being twisted and used against me in the heat of an argument (or to start one with me). The list is lengthy of all the abuse but it's never been name calling (to my face). Currently, I'm working towards getting out. I just need to know if what I'm experiencing is abuse or if it's all in my head. If it's all in my head, I'm going to check myself into a program, but if it's abuse then I can sign up for emergency counseling and housing for me and our 2 boys.

September, 16 2019 at 7:28 pm

Hi Niki,
I appreciate you so deeply for sharing your heart here on the blog. It's so difficult to decide what's real and what's a trigger/false perception. It sounds like you know his behaviors are wrong and that you know seeking help is the next step. Since I am not a licensed professional, I cannot say what's abuse and what is not, but I would encourage you to keeping reading the blogs and articles on Healthy Place and work with a medical professional to decide your next steps. It sounds like you have experienced a significant amount of trauma, and no matter which path you choose, getting help of any kind is the first step to healing. Be kind to yourself throughout this process and remember that love does not have to be painful.
I wish you light and love--Jenn

April, 30 2020 at 1:18 pm

an argument starts just tell your spouse, OK if you don't like me I'll leave, and then you can find the right one to put up with you. If you have children, tell him 'I hope your new woman won't mind having the kids as I need a nice break (and think of a nice place you can relax) see what he says then.

July, 13 2020 at 8:31 pm

The @ssholes know the loving “save the world” girl ain’t going any where (my PAST situation to a tee, he knew I had no where to go..... BUT I did find a place to go and I did get the courage to leave... was it easy after married 14 years but together 17 all together, HELL NO IT WAS NOT EASY!! And I didn’t let him trick me in to moving back in either, as he knew how to work me over with words..... but i knew deep down that if I went back it’d only b worse! We b apart almost 3 years now.... it’s been a rough road but I’m trying my damnedest to get over him and it’s not working y’all. He come back in my life a little over a year ago and been super kind n sweet to me (making me think we were both to a point in our lives that we could live happily ever after...... BOY WAS I WRONG! He used my love for him to get what he wanted and stupid me gave it to him..... so recently he started becoming distant and I know now that it was all an act, he didn’t love me, never has or he’d been here for me recently when I wanted nothing more that to take my own life because he cause me so much pain. I’m not eating or sleeping and I’m about to the point of relapse after being clean for almost 13 years so he’s really done a number on me this time....... pray for me.... as I still don’t care if I live or die.....

Sharon Jones
August, 22 2021 at 7:54 am

After reading many of these comments, there are so many who don’t know if their partner is abusive.Im one of those after being told my partners behaviours are abusive.I was in a 25 year relationship with my kids dad, I was physically abused many times, raped, controlled and verbally abused often.I finally got the strength to leave, having my life threatened if I did, and told I’d never see my kids.My daughters grown and moved out, my son refuses to see his dad point blank.I was alone for 3 years before meeting who I thought was the kindest most caring man.The last year, I’ve received mostly silent treatment, for weeks at times, anytime I say I’m not happy about something, he is moody and will ignore me instead of talking things through.I give, give, give and he takes all the time.He never apologised if he is in the wrong but blames me instead.It all came to a head last week when my son was very ill with a tooth abscess, he has not once asked about him, offered any help or to go get supplies.Ive been told that he doesn’t care about my son, therefore he doesn’t care about me either.I do everything for his son who is 8 but he does nothing for mine.I asked him why he hadn’t even asked if my son was okay, and he ignored me and basically ignored me since apart from the odd thing which he has growled at me.When I said I was taking my son to the dentist, he said he needed the car to pick wood up, I said that can wait, and he rolled his eyes and walked off.I loved this man and my stepson with all my heart, but the uncaring attitude he has had to my son and me this last week has me doubting everything and I have been told he is abusive just on a lower scale and he won’t change.

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