Are You Verbally Abusing Your Man?

a woman verbally-abusing someone
PHOTO: GIPHY

Maybe it’s just us but it’s kind of weird—and by weird, we mean “hypocritical”—that if a man is abusive to a woman, that is totally uncalled for (and it is). But if a woman hits or slaps a man, somehow it gets “a pass”. To us, abuse is abuse and in a healthy relationship, no one should be doing it. This includes being verbally abusive.

Unfortunately, verbal abuse isn’t something that’s talked about enough, in general. Maybe it’s because so many of us grew up hearing “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Words are powerful. They can heal and they can harm.

If this topic isn’t something you’ve given much thought to, but you know that you don’t want to be someone who is verbally-abusing the man that you love, here are six signs that you could be doing it. Perhaps without even knowing it.

a yelling woman

You Yell. A LOT.

No one needs to be yelled at unless you’re in a loud environment or (maybe) if someone is hard of hearing. Otherwise, yellers are conveying that they are in control and no one else’s voice really matters.

They may not think that’s what their actions are saying but think about the last time someone yelled at you. How did it make YOU feel? 

One definition of abuse is “abnormal use”. We are able to control our voices for a reason. 

If yelling and screaming are your go-to responses in communication with your guy, be open to that being an indication that yeah, you are verbally-abusing him.

woman telling someone "you're nothing"

You Belittle Him

When he gets on your nerves what do you do? Do you trigger him by pointing out a vulnerability? Do you tell other people about his flaws? Do you make him feel inadequate about how he looks or maybe even his sexual performance? 

Healthy relationships consist of people who build each other up, not tear each other down. 

It’s one thing to playfully tease. It’s another to be downright cruel and belittling. Watch your man’s response if you think you’re teasing him. If he’s not laughing or he appears to have hurt feelings, ain’t nothin’ funny about what you’re doing.

a man telling people to be quiet

You Cut Him Off

Can he get a word in edge-wise or are you always cutting him off? Off the top, this might not seem like a form of verbal abuse, but the reason why it makes our list is that it has a way of conveying, “Shut up, what I have to say is far more important.” 

A wise man once said that we should seek to understand THEN to be understood. If the way that you communicate with your man ultimately conveys that you couldn’t care less what he’s thinking…how is that NOT a form of abuse?

a woman telling someone they're being mean

You Constantly Hit Below The Belt

Fighting dirty. Anyone who does this is verbally-abusing their partner. We all know that there are certain things we could say that would make our significant other feel offended, if not straight-up humiliated. 

If you’re willing to go there anyway just so that you can “win” a fight or prove a point…you might do that. But if it’s at the expense of your relationship, is it really worth it?

a man bragging about being manipulative

You’re A Gaslighter

Gaslighters are fire starters. They lie, manipulate—do whatever it is they need to do to control the person they are in a relationship with. Then, the moment their significant other catches on and calls them out on it, they lie and manipulate some more in order to make their S.O. look like THEY are the ones who are crazy. 

Why does this qualify as verbal abuse? Because gaslighting wouldn’t work without words. Plus, lying and manipulating are pretty mean things to do too.

a woman telling a man that he's wrong

He Can Never Do Anything Right

You’re not his mother, his teacher or his boss. You are supposed to be his partner, so why is it that you’re dictating how he is to live out his life? 

To appoint yourself as his judge is disheartening and also pretty arrogant. Two GROWN people should be in a relationship. 

If you see him as a child and you treat him as such 1) why are you in it and 2) yes, the bossy and corrective stuff that comes out of your mouth is gonna translate as some level of abuse. 

A healthy relationship should have NO abuse in it of ANY kind. EVER.

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SHELLIE RENEé

Just a woman who digs all things relationships. HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, that is. I've been writing (professionally) for close to 20 years, including having two books published. I'm also a marriage life coach and doula. Sometimes I speak to large audiences or do radio interviews, but usually I'm sitting in my favorite chair, surfin' the 'net and penning stuff that I wish I had read in my early 20s.

Listen, I don't have all the answers, not by a LOOOOONG shot. But whatever I can do to spare folks any heartbreak, bitterness or straight-up drama, I'll devote some keystrokes to doing. 

That's it...in a nutshell. For the most part. Kinda. ;)

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