Have you ever noticed how some couples believe that verbal abuse in marriage is acceptable? It's as though that foulness is his/her bad breath or messy bathroom habits. Even though they don't like the way it feels, they make excuses for it, minimize it, rationalize it, and often just look the other way. But deep down inside, at the end of the day, they hate it. It hurts deeply, and they know it. Yet they don't know how to stop it, nor do they know how to deal with it. Here are some important facts you will want to know about verbal abuse, so you weather its brunt more comfortably.
Keys to Dealing with Verbal Abuse
- It is not about you. You may think the verbal abuser is saying something about you because their commentary is directed toward you and supposedly describes you. But it isn't about you. It's their insecurities leaking forward. It's their anger oozing out. It's their need to feel and appear omnipotent in the face of their experience of impotence.
- You can't stop it because you don't control it. You don't drive its release. Verbal abuse is owned, operated and controlled by the verbal abuser and no one else.
- You can, however, control the impact it has on you by controlling your interpretation of it. It will amaze you to discover that you can step back and see the verbal abuser as a broken child, rather than as an overbearing guerrilla. And when you do, the impact of the words uttered is different. While it still may hurt, it no longer defines you and you no longer define yourself through the ugly utterances of your partner's verbal abuse.
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA