How often are you in the restroom in a public place and notice the sign on the wall about being verbally abused? You look at the sign and maybe you have a tear in your eye. You are thinking that the sign is wrong. It doesn't refer to you. How could it? My spouse loves me.
All couples argue. You wouldn't be human if you didn't disagree. But being verbally abused is different from the argument of who forgot to take out the trash or the discussion on why Johnny isn't doing well in school.
Everyone wants to be loved and many disagreements can be overlooked, but the signs of verbal abuse need to be recognized.
- Is there a lot of screaming in your relationship that turns into name-calling and you end up in tears?
- Do you avoid going out in public as a couple because you are afraid how the situation is going to end up? You just want to "save face" so you cancel plans with friends?
- Are you so careful when you speak to your partner and what you say? Do you feel you are walking on eggshells all the time? Do you "pray" when you send a text in the hopes that it will not cause a fight?
- Do you stay up at night playing different scenarios in your head? Do you say, "I can survive if I leave this marriage? I can get this job, and work these hours, and still have custody of the kids?"
- Do your kids say that there is a lot of yelling? Do they put their hands over your mouth or your spouse’s mouth when an argument happens?
- Does your partner say, "I am just joking." After you have gotten in a heated argument?
If you think you are being verbally abused, you probably are. You need to reach out and get help immediately before your have to decide if you are now being verbally and physically abused.