How do you deal with a situation in marriage, where you’re being verbally and emotionally abused? And how do you even know this is what’s happening in your marriage —that it isn’t “just” a matter of one spouse disagreeing with the other and persistently trying to make him or her see things differently?
One thing we try to do here at Marriage Missions is to persevere in hunting for whatever information we can find that will best help you to understand the different aspects of marriage that you are dealing with. This way you can approach each marital situation prayerfully and carefully, and well educated, led by our Wonderful Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to do what He shows you is best.
With that in mind, we want to first deal with the topic of emotional abuse —what is it and what can be done. And then we’ll go on to the topic of verbal abuse, although they often overlap in how they are carried out.
We encourage you to pray before reading what we’ll put before you that the eyes of your heart and mind will be open to see and comprehend what God wants for you to know.
“Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore He instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them His way.”
Dr Barbara Shaffer asks the questions:
“Can you identify a symptom of emotional abuse? More importantly can you define emotional abuse or identify any of its forms?”
To obtain some answers, please click onto the link below to read:
Counselor, social worker and author Leslie Vernick explains much, much more about emotional abuse in her book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope (which you can obtain in the link provided in the title). Here is a video that explains some important things that you may find helpful to listen to:
What do you do when emotional and/or verbal abuse and intimidation shows up in the form of bullying in your marriage? What IS bullying? Dr Juli Slattery says the following:
“Intentionally or not, a bully uses intimidation and coercion to get his or her way. Yes, women can be bullies too. A wife can skillfully use emotional coercion like humiliation and cynicism to ‘punish’ a husband who isn’t ‘behaving’ according to her desires. I’ve met powerful, competent men who panic at the thought of crossing their wives. Is this normal conflict or bullying?”
Read what Dr Slattery writes as she addresses the matter of “what to do when your spouse is your bully”:
As far as emotional abuse (including bullying), author Mary Yerkes describes it this way:
“Emotional abuse leaves few physical scars. Its victims suffer no broken bones, torn flesh or spilled blood. Still, those wounded might describe it as the most painful and destructive form of domestic violence.”
To discover what Mary lived through and learned about verbal abuse, we direct you something posted on the web site of Focus on the Family. After reading the initial article, please read the additional articles they suggest in the series so you’ll understand a fuller picture of this type of abuse. To do so, please click onto the article below to read:
Dr Barbara Shaffer writes the following concerning emotional abuse:
“Abuse in the context of an intimate relationship involves a persistent pattern of behaviors. It is not simply a mistake, an isolated incident or a sudden loss of control.”
That’s what we’ve seen in this type of abuse —there is a pattern, a trail of persistence in this type of behavior, which distinguishes it apart from one spouse “just” trying to get the other to better understand the point he or she is trying to get across as they are disagreeing over a matter.
To learn more of what Dr Shaffer explains in the article posted at the More Than Coping web site, please click onto the link below to read:
“Almost everyone has heard of, or knows of, someone who has been verbally abused. Perhaps you are involved in a verbally abusive relationship. It is also possible that no one even knows your circumstances. Verbal abuse is a kind of battering which doesn’t leave evidence comparable to the bruises of physical battering. You (or your friend) may be suffering in silence and isolation. In this article, I want to tackle this very important issue in an effort to understand this phenomenon and provide answers.”
To learn what Kerby Anderson goes on to explain, please click onto the Probe Ministries link to read:
“Harsh words can destroy your marriage. Here’s how to defuse verbal abuse.”
The ministry of All About Life Challenges, approaches this subject by helping you to better recognize verbal abuse, avoid depression and find hope, which is so important when you feel verbally beaten up. To learn more, please read:
“Guard my life and rescue me:
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
“May integrity and uprightness
because my hope is in you.”
This article was compiled by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.
If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
Filed under: Abuse in Marriage