Attitudes & Actions of Verbally Abusive Partners

When we think of verbal emotional abuse, we envision the name-calling and slanderous character attacks common in emotionally abusive relationships. However, these actions, while painful in and of themselves, are only a small part of the emotional verbal abuse.

The underlying attitudes of the verbally abusive husband (or wife) are as crippling to the relationship as the foul words and verbal assaults. It's an attitude of disregard, disrespect and devaluing the very essence of the other person.

These attitudes may be unconscious and below the level of awareness. It's like a blind aura of despair...hatred...unresolved negative conflict harbored by the verbal abuser.

The Attitude of the Verbal Abuser

The verbally abusive partner may profess love toward their spouse, but it is a love of superficial affection and symbiotic connection. It is devoid of honoring and admiration.

Instead of cherishing the very essence of one's partner, the verbal abuser clings to and cherishes the way in which his/her partner serves as an extension of him/herself.

The verbally abusive relationship is the vehicle to stifle the authenticity of the abused...for the abused knows that life is rewarded only when they passively enable the disregard of their abusive partner.

The attitude of disrespect becomes the norm of the relationship such that the abused grows to expect a relationship atmosphere of scorn. And that attitude is what ultimately starves and destroys the abused.

Toxic Relationships Versus Nourishing Relationship

When you live amidst scorn, especially from someone that "loves" you and for whom you claim your love, you grow to regard yourself as the projection of your abuser. You feel bound to a wiping post simply with the awareness of this person's presence.

Then, when they are gone for an extended period of time, you relax and, in so doing, you feel your own essence. Many people note the sense of freedom that overcomes their entire being.

When the opportunity for nourishing support comes their way, they clearly see the distinction between toxic and nourishing relationships. They grow to realize the verbal abuse is only the icing on the cake. For the attitude of the emotional verbal abuser is their most piercing sword.

Treatment for Emotional Verbal Abuse

The most effective way to interrupt the cycle of emotional verbal abuse is to help the verbal abuser identify the attitudinal component of disregard and disrespect. Once done, he/she can intentionally recreate the relationship atmosphere of his/her choosing.

If you are in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship, step back from the verbal darts and recognize your abusive partner's attitude. From here, your can better appreciate that the verbal abuse is this attitudinal component speaking...and the actual words have nothing to do with you.

For more information about verbal emotional abuse, please visit and get Free Instant Access to Survivor Success eInsights. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse. Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D. - Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention

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