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The Verbally Abusive Relationship


Notes on the book by Patricia Evans “The Abusive Relationship”

An abusive relationship is said to be; words or attitude that mistreat, or disrespect, or devalue another person. This can be an outburst of anger such as “you are too sensitive”, or “I really didn’t mean that”, and could feel to be crazy making in nature.

A “verbal abuser” may show some of the following characteristics, varying to several of these characteristics:

“verbal abuser” examples:
1. Irritable
2. Blames his mate for his reactions
3. Unpredictable
4. Angry by nature
5. Uptight
6. Unsympathetic to mate’s feelings
7. Demanding and argumentative
8. Controlling nature
9. Silent and very private at times
10. A “nice person” to others
11. Competitive to your mate
12. Overt or very subtle brainwashing
13. Jealousy traits
14. Explosive reactions
15. Very critical nature
16. Manipulative nature
17. Outbursts and name calling
18. Confronts and hurtful
19. Does not express feelings
20. Your day is dictated by their attitude

Often, the spouse of the “verbally abusive person” may find it hard to see themselves clearly as well as their mate which is verbally abusing them. In many cases the abuser has a different reality than those which he or she is abusing.

The abuser tends to exert power or control, manipulation over the mate and others in a direct or indirect method. Many times there is this sense of a lack of equality, lack of partnership, common mutuality, goodwill for the mate; creating a lack of intimacy in the relationship.

Often in a relationship of this sort, there is a lack of mutual goals, and or discussing these goals in a setting of equality and respect for the relationship.

As Patricia Evens shares in her book, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, chapter 9, page 107:

“the verbal abuser’s anger is free-floating and irrational. It has nothing to do with the partner. It does; however, affect her deeply. Being verbally shouted at, raged at, or snapped at leaves the partner in pain and confusion. These attacks throw her off balance. They disrupt her equilibrium and batter her spirit.” Although they have nothing to do with the partner in their origin, they hurt her, because hostility against another human being, whether it is physical or emotional, is painful.”

The mate may try to ignore the mate’s outburst, walking on egg-shells, saying “I am strong”, or “he really doesn’t mean it”, but the reality is that this can not and should not be ignored. Professional, heavy duty counselor, both individual, and joint are needed. One mate or the other may not want to see a deep seated, heavy Christian counseling; however, you are encouraged to go to counseling and attend support groups for yourself, and your sanity.

The sad fact may be quoting Patricia Evens chapter 9, page 107 again:

“the great tragedy in a verbally abusive relationship is that the partner’s efforts to bring reconciliation, mutual understanding and intimacy are rejected out of hand by the abuser because to him, they are adversarial. This is so because if he isn’t feeling power over his partner, he is feeling that she must be trying to overpower him. There is no mutuality in his reality.”

Do you see yourself as having five or more of these characteristics?


What can you do this week to start working on your possible abusive behavior?


How could you seek out help and not ignore this problem anymore?


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