Dealing With a Verbally Abusive Spouse

Verbal abuse can be very damaging in a relationship. This is a guide about dealing with a verbally abusive spouse.

March 13, 2010 Flag
2 found this helpful

I'm a 27 year old, stay at home mom. I have three young girls that I love very much. I spend all day, everyday cleaning and taking care of my kids, but I also have a husband that can act like a child himself.

He has a good paying job and with it he also has control issues. My husband is not the sensitive type, he does not like it when I express my opinion, if he does not agree. If I am upset about something it usually starts a fight where I get called some pretty horrible things.

I'm not a bad person. I have tried for a very long time to make this work and keep my mouth closed, but it's so hard to not stand up for myself. Yet when I do he turns my phone off. He once even broke my finger trying to get keys out of my hand. I know I should leave, but that's just not a option right now with having nowhere to go. I don't want to be anyone's burden.


By Melissa from Phoenix, AZ

November 11, 20110 found this helpful

I have been married for 11 years now. I have a very sweet daughter who just turned 8 this year. My husband got blind 7 years ago. He's very responsible and even now that his blind he is still our breadwinner. He's a very good father, solid provider and very helpful to others. He is generally a good person.

I am not really sure if he's alcoholic since he can seem to stop drinking whenever he wants. He says that he only choose to drink every night until early morning (with friends at our place) because he has nothing else to do. Being blind he has very limited activity options. I also observed that when he doesn't drink he could barely sleep so he just keeps working until he falls asleep on his chair.

Though, he is generally very kind to other people including to our daughter he's treatment to me is very different. Whenever he is upset or if I fail to do tasks that he asked me to do he would call me names like "stupid, idiot, good for nothing bitch" and would even include my very supportive family with the insults. He would even say that whenever we fight he gets so fucking frustrated that he would imagine killing me over and over again.

I would always plead him to stop but he just keeps going with the insults. Everyday he tells me that I am nothing without him. One time I got really fed up and decided to talk back which caused him to hit me and even spit in face. He wanted us to separate after. I had bruises under my chin and on my arm. Despite of that I still couldn't leave him and even pleaded to reconcile.

We got back together and he still do the insults. I believe the reason why I still chose to stay is because after we fight and whenever I cry because of the insults he would apologize. He even admits that he is verbally abusive. Last night after he insulted me he cried and apologized and said that he knows that I'd been suffering long enough with how he treats me and even promised to do his best to stop all the verbal abuse and love me the way a good wife deserves to be loved.

I love my husband so much. I always tell him to remember that his not the only one who got blind when he did - I also got blind - my better half did.

Sometimes when I's so down and depressed with how he treats me I would ask God to just take all the love that I feel for him so I can finally have the strength to leave and stop my heart from hurting.

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March 3, 20120 found this helpful

April 26, 2015 Flag
1 found this helpful

I am 31 with 5 kids. The oldest is 14 and the youngest is 4. I have been with my husband for 17 years and married for 3. When my oldest son was little my husband used to hit me and call me a lot of names and I left and went to a domestic violence shelter, but because of his mom we got back. He has not hit me since, but he says he is going to. He also calls me really bad names to the kids.

He has not worked in almost 8 years. I work at a restaurant 38 to 45 hours per week to support everyone. He tells the kids we are getting a divorce and that I don't want to spend time with them and that's why I work so much. When I question him about it he says the kids are lying. He makes fun of the way our 13 year old daughter eats and tells my oldest son he will "hurt him bad" if he is too rough with our 4 year old.

He isn't my oldest son's biological dad, but has raised him. Now that my son is a teenager he wants to meet his real dad and my husband tells him if that's how he feels don't ask him for nothing and he refuses to do anything with him. My husband thinks I should pay him for babysitting our kids while I'm at work.

All my family lives in other states except for my mom who is staying with me right now, until he gets mad at her and kicks her out. I should include that before we got married I left with the kids and moved to Arkansas and he followed. His mom keeps telling me I can never leave him again cause if I do he will kill himself and he tells the kids he doesn't care if he dies.

I don't love him and want a divorce, but he keeps saying he knows more people than I do and if he can't have the kids he will make sure I don't have them either. I know I should leave, but don't know how to go about it. We live in low income housing and I can barely make the rent and other bills because he makes syure that all my checks are gone the day I get it.

May 2, 20150 found this helpful

Just want to point out something-

There is a lot of well-meaning advice here. Some people are saying call Child Protective Services. But if you do that before you leave the house, it will just be your word against his. Your husband may tell them you are lying and you are the one with the real problem. His mother may back up his story. If they don't know who is telling the truth they may take the kids away from you until they can get it sorted out.

Ask anybody who has had it happen. Once the kids are in the system it can be a really long time before you get them back.

I would not suggest getting CPS involved until you are well away from him, and then only if really necessary. Work with a domestic violence group or some other group instead. Once you get CPS involved you are in the system literally forever, for good or ill.

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February 23, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

Yesterday my husband and I got into an argument because my son left the lights on in his room. When I defended my son he then said that "my marriage was in danger". He always threatens me with divorce and end of the marriage. This has been going on for about 8 years now and slowly I don't care anymore.

I get a knot in my stomach when I come from a friend's house and have to go home. My son feels the same way. We feel as if we have to walk on egg shells. As I said, I don't care anymore, financially I am dependent on him. What do you think my action should be?

By Corrie V.

February 23, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Whenever I hear a young woman now talk about getting into any type of relationship I urge them to make sure they have their own checking account or a fair sum of cash put away, in case they have to leave. Start at the beginning of the relationship or even before, even if it means putting a couple dollars away out of the grocery money each week. By now you would have a fair amount stashed away.

I know a young woman who, when she was about 30 was my employer, and she had an infant, one day when work was slow we got to talking about things like that. She said she had her own credit card, checking account, and a fair amount of cash hidden away with her parents. There wasn't one thing her husband, an attorney, could get his hands on other than his private checking account, credit card, and the household account. You don't have to be well to do, in order to put a little away here and there.

However, you don't have to be financially independent to leave. You can always take your son and go to a domestic abuse shelter. They help women get on their feet, with job training, finding a job, etc. Also you don't need to take a lot of personal belongings(clothing, etc. with you) because they have donated things that the clients can have.

When you are in one of these shelters your husband is supposed to be able to get hold of you. That being said, you also shouldn't call him and ask him to come and get you. It is entirely possible that once he sees you are brave enough to leave and not depending on you, that he will straighten out.

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February 24, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

January 9, 2012 Flag
1 found this helpful

I am in this position right now that is horrible and very sad. I am 26 years old with one two year old and am a stay home mom, as well. My husband is a nice guy, but when we disagree on a topic, it is just not a pretty picture. It is also a problem even that I have questions to ask. It can never be about anything that I have a doubt about or, "hey what time you did you leave work?", because he gets mad. Then the insults start right away. He expects me to either answer my own questions and keep my mouth shut or as soon as he says the answer to just leave it alone there and that's it.

I have literally broken in pieces and cried my lungs out so many times because I don't know how to deal with his insults. All I get from him is, "You cry because you want to; you're like this because you made this argument; you see the things you do; you can never keep your mouth shut; or you always have to be bitching about everything." This makes me feel even worse.

How would I make myself feel this way? If he could only argue without insults. If he could only tell me things without getting mad right away. This has totally confused me. I don't understand how he can say he loves me, but still talk to me like that and call me all kinds of names.

I am sure I can't stay here. I know this is not healthy and even worse for my baby that hears everything. I just don't find the guts to leave. I feel that leaving would be the only way for him to be happy and not have a bitch like he says living with him since everything is my fault. I sometimes do think is my fault, but I should know better not to feel or think this way, but is too hard.

I just wish I had learned a way to control, to block all the bad he has to say and eventually he will learn to not talk to me that way. We have recently started seeing a therapist, but it's really hard to explain our full arguments in just one hour. I feel as if he is not even working at a solution. He doesn't seem to care to try what she said. Even though he had promised to stop talking to me that way he hasn't at all and it happens every time. What should I do about this ? I know I love this guy so much, but it hurts to be here.

By Jess

February 3, 20120 found this helpful

Seriously consider calling a abused women hot line (Of course when he is not around). They can really help. This is one small step that could change you and your child's life. Phone numbers are in the book, look them up on line or call information. Best wishes.

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December 25, 20130 found this helpful

January 2, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have been married for one year and I have a son, not by him. I have moved into my husband's house with his son and daughter. It started three weeks after we got married. He just starts yelling at me if he does not like what I ask him. He has gotten in my face and chased me into the bathroom and raised his hand to me, but did not hit me.

Whatever the kids do, I am wrong and they are right. His son who is 21, wrote me a note and called me a dumb ass in the note. His son told his dad to divorce me. His son and my son had a fight with words and ever since then his son won't have anything to do with my son or me. I don't know what to do? I do not want to be treated like this, when he is nice he is really nice, but when he is mean I can not take it.

By Ann

January 9, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Avoid further attachment to this complicated Dr. Jekyl and Dr. Hyde syndrome this man has formed. Get out quickly and don't let on you're leaving. Verbal abuse can lead into hitting on you and your son too especially if he tries to defend you. You can raise your son on your own without his help and being subjected to this type of abuse long term is damaging. He's good at what he's doing and is playing on your emotions and his son is doing the same with you and your son.

It's a copycat syndrome; both of you leave. As far as feeling sorry for that man's son, he does need help from his father's damaging behavior toward his wife. Let the law take care of that, but don't you stay in this mess. It's only going to tear you down and you won't be much use for you or your son who needs an outlet if you remain involved.

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March 3, 20140 found this helpful

December 12, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have been married for 25 years. Three months into our marriage my husband accused me of cheating on him, that never happened. Then he would say little things while we were out at footballs games, the mall, etc. like "Are you looking for your boyfriend?" On the night of my mother's wake I was asked if I was "doing" a co worker. He would call me crazy and stupid, several times a week. During the last three years he has mellowed out, but, I will mention I confronted him about texting another woman. Is this abuse, to be honest I really don't know, my counselor says it is.

By not for sure

December 12, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

This is called verbal abuse. Your therapist is right.

"Verbal abuse is the consistent demeaning of another. It may in fact take the form of angry outbursts. On the other hand it may take the form of cold, calculating, consistent put-downs. It may even take the form of disparaging humor.

The key to verbal abuse is the word demeaning. And the abuser may be a man or a woman."

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February 21, 20150 found this helpful

March 1, 2012 Flag
1 found this helpful

How can a stay at home mom of 3 kids leave an abusive husband that won't give her any money? I have been married for 15 years and have been a stay home mom since our first of 3 kids was born. It has always been hard because I had no help.

He is so controlling I could never get a break since he thought if I had kids with me every second I wouldn't be able to cheat, which is crazy because I have never given reason to think I would. I have been out away from my kids maybe 3 times in 15 years so not much chance I was cheating!

He was not cruel at least then, as far as saying it's his money, but 2 years ago my parents died. They were my only family so he knew I had nowhere to go and the abuse really started. He gives me not even enough money to buy food. I can't even buy the kids clothes they need so badly because anytime I ask him, he screams he is broke. I am sure he is, since he pays every bill the minute he gets it. By time he pays bills there is only a couple hundred left out of his check which is $1500 a week. I suggest that maybe make a bill could wait and I could buy food or clothes. I usually get choked, but always called a mooch, leach, or sponge and told to go find someone else to support my pathetic a**. He says this in front of our kids.

So pretty much I am dead inside; I am hardly able to function. I try staying strong for the kids, but it's so hard. I know we all have to go through this every day and have no hope it will be better because everything in his name, including the car. If I try having him lease, which he wouldn't do, I would not have a car or a dime because he makes clear he won't give any money until I figure a way to get a lawyer with no money to pay retainer and get him in court.

My kids are terrified I will try divorcing him, even though they can't deal with this hell, because he has pounded in their heads if he ever leaves they will be living in a gutter with their mom because she's too pathetic to support them. Sadly I couldn't support them.

I am desperate to know how can I make him have to pay support from the day he is made to leave; if I am able to get him out? I read a lot where people say go to a friend's or family and I have none of either so it's not an option and the shelters are nowhere near here so I would have to move kids away and take the dog and two cats to a shelter. I have hard time thinking that after the hell they have lived that they should suffer even more rather than the law make him support them?

By Jodi from Arnold, MO

February 10, 20150 found this helpful


First of all, you must leave him. I have a feeling that because your husband has a good job you feel that you are doinng your kids a favor by staying are wrong. I was just like you. I am now the mother of a 23 and 18 year old and they feel guilty for not helping me when their dad abuses me verbally in front of them..and I've heard my son verbally abuse people. He doesn't mean to, he learned what he lived. Please listen to the woman who has a sister in a shelter, she is giving you a gift, please take it and leave....I realize you will need a plan, so in the meantime....Do you have a church near you? you need to get other people involved in your life. the abuser wants it to just be you and him, no one else in your life...he will complain and argue and act like a big old baby, but get involved with a church and start turning on the evangalist channels on the tv nearest to you or turn on a religious talk radio show or turn on a religious web site with audio conntaining a preacher or pastor perhaps reading scriptures or giving a sermon...I have found that God gives me strength that no one else, not the best of friends can give me. I wasn't raised in a religious family, but I did go to a church in 4th and 5th grade, so I'm not completely ignorant, but certainly not educated in religion. I do believe in God but I've never been a particularly religious person, but I kid you not, it is harder for my husband to approach me to abuse me in the first place if he hears the word of God as he walks near me. And have people from the church over to your house, or have them pick you up fromm your house. He will not be happy, but you must not be alone, you must have people in your life that care about you other than your kidds. The ladies at the church, or even a catholic nun would know how to help you...let them help you honey, you can't do it alone, you've tried, and put up one hell of a fight, but let God help, he will, and so will the ladies and men of the congregation.

Church: It's my best defense as anything else I do is thrown back as me out cheating...I dont get accused at church or with the "church people". I am no saint yet...I swear like a truck driver still, I smoke like a chimney, I'm scared all the time, I'm still trapped, but I am not alone and I'm stronger. I feel that I can cope and function better than before. I was not raiased in a religious home, so this is new to me, but as the psalm 147:3 states: God heals the broken hearted and bandages their wounds. I believed the words and felt such peace in my heart from the moment I read that, that God was my last chance, my only hope.....Good luck to you my friend. I'll hold you close in my heart and you will be in my thoughts and prayers; and I'll send you positive energy and I hope you go to church to meet a friend, if nothing else. You deserve a friend. You need to leave honey, he is only going to get worse, I'm in the same boat, and it sucks..but we have to save ourselves. We have to, so our children don't give up the way we want we deserve happiness, which we'll have when we finally leave. He doesn't deserve the satisfaction of thinking that without him in your life you chose to not go on living..the sick sob does nnot deserve that kind of satisfaction!!

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October 4, 20150 found this helpful

September 14, 2013 Flag
1 found this helpful

I have been married for 9 months. My husband is often leaving his job. He in the teaching profession. I am also in the teaching profession. I have been working at a university for more than 5 years, but he is not able to stick with a job for more than 6 months. He does not take my words. He often abuses me. He has a male ego and is a male chauvinist. His upbringing is not proper.
He is not frank in his plans. He does not care for me. He wants sex for 24 hrs and he talks on it rather than our future. He changes for a certain period after discussing my issues, but only for a short period
My question is, how can he be moulded in career and family life and how to make him avoid his male ego and male chauvenism?
How to make him understand about married life?

By Pavithra from Chennai, India

September 17, 20130 found this helpful

Hi - most responders are from other countries and of course, we have no idea as to what is available to you as far as help or even what your laws may dictate, but you should try to seek counsel from someone near you that can help you find a way to move on as possible.

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September 17, 20130 found this helpful
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