Key indicators of verbal abuse

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  (WOTV)- Verbal abuse in a marriage can sometimes be so subtle that you start to question yourself and your sanity.  There are some key things to watch for if you suspect that you are a victim of verbal abuse.

 Verbal Abuse: What to watch out for

-Are your partner’s words used to blame you?  Does he take responsibility for his actions or blame you for them?

-Are his words used to shame you, eating away at your self-esteem until you are not the person that you used to be?  Does he insinuate or clearly tell you that you are stupid, fat, lazy, etc?

-Does your spouse dismiss your feelings?  When you tell him how you feel, does he deny it and respond by telling you that it isn’t true, you really feel ‘this’ way?

-Does he take his anger out on you yelling at you constantly?

-Does he use threats to control you?  These can be obvious as when he overtly tells you something bad will happen to you or very subtle such as telling you that if you “continue to go to yoga on Saturday morning, don’t be surprised when I go out to the bar with my friends on Saturday night without you.”


If you feel you might be a victim of verbal abuse, seek help.  Go to a licensed therapist, start reading books that will help you understand verbal abuse in relationships.  One of the very best books is, Why Does He Do That?, by Lundy Bancroft.  It can be purchased through the DAWN website at, along with other recommendations from our clients.

Nothing herein constitutes legal advice.


(616) 957-3296

WOTV 4 women’s legal expert Gail Saukas

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