Nip Verbal Abuse in the Bud

So often in a new relationship we learn the dynamic of the new relationship. This includes how you react together as a couple, with each other, and in group settlings. Backgrounds are very different and as our techniques in dealing and interacting with other people. One thing you need to be on the look out for is verbal abuse. Verbal abuse always takes place before physical abuse does. Knowing what the signs of verbal abuse are as well as being able to stop that treatment early on is key in a relationship.

Verbal abuse happens in many different ways. Examples of verbal abuse are putting someone down, such as calling them fat, or ugly. Other examples are if your significant other willfully ignores you, or otherwise controls contact with them. Easier examples are if your partner jokingly says something like your stupid, or you can't do that you don't have enough smarts, or similar remarks. These aren't the only ways to verbally abuse someone. The key is, if it hurts your feelings, the act is something that needs to be addressed.

You owe yourself and the relationship you are in to be honest about your feelings. You need to address your partner when they make comments like these. You can do so, by saying something like when you call me stupid it hurts my feelings. Then do not accept an answer from your partner such that they were joking. It is not acceptable to joke with someone in that manner, especially someone that you love and adore. You need to tell your partner that behavior is not tolerable and it will not be accepted. If your partner continues to act like this, you need to decide what you will do. You can decide to walk away from your partner when they make another remark that you find hurtful. You can ignore your partner when they elect to behave that way. Tell your partner that behavior like that is unacceptable, and you will walk away, or leave when they choose to act like that. If your partner does not respond and change in a positive way, you need to keep in mind that if you are just dating, that future treatment can be worse.

Verbal abuse can and does often get worse. Verbal abuse is always a precursor to physical abuse. Keep in mind if your partner was just not taught well as a child, and making hurtful jokes may have been part of their norm growing up. While that may be why they do it, it does not have remain a reason for that type of behavior. Once you tell your partner what they do hurts you, they are obligated to cease this behavior. While dating someone watch how you are treated, and also watch how you treat someone else. You do not want to sabotage a potential significant relationship due to bad habits of either party. They key is recognizing when verbal abuse happens, talking honestly with your partner about the actions that have occurred, and then noting the changes. You may have to cease contact with the partner by walking away, not seeing your partner for awhile to help get your point across. If the behavior does not change, it is time for serious reflection regarding that relationship. You deserve a relationship free of verbal abuse, and it is up to you to recognize it, and see that it stops, either by helping to change that behavior or leaving the relationship.

Stephanie Manley is the editor of, and writes articles about relationships at

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