Monday, November 21, 2011

Question For My Readers

What constitutes verbal or emotional abuse?

I pretty much have a zero tolerance policy for physical abuse in my advice to others an in my personal life. I haven't ever been physically abused in a dating relationship or my marriage, thankfully.

I'm not talking about self-defense or defending children through force. I'm not talking about someone being completely unhinged and an open-handed slap being needed to get their attention. I'm not talking about literally pushing someone away when you don't want them touching you. I'm talking about actual domestic violence... hitting, biting, kicking, throwing things at you, scratching, aggressive pushing, etc. If someone does that once, they shouldn't be given the chance to do it again, no matter how many times they apologize.

But what about with verbal or emotional abuse? And what would constitute such things?

I think, perhaps, I have accepted apologies for those things in some of my relationships. I wouldn't accept an apology for physical abuse. Why did I accept them for verbal abuse? But again, does anyone have a good definition or examples? Can they be excused as "saying the wrong things" if an apology has been given, while physical violence can't be excused?


  1. Curiepoint7:29 AM

    I think verbal and emotional abuse is far more insidious than the physical kind, as they leave no visible marks. The scars run deeper than on the surface. It is designed to deride and denigrate not only you as a person, but also the things you believe, the things you value, the things you do, and manner in which you do them. A lot of people, women in particular, can only feel good about themselves when they are tearing a guy down. We are programmed to laugh it off or succumb to their wishes just to stop the noise.

    After a while, you tend to believe what you're being told; your entire self-worth can be destroyed rather handily when all you hear about is the stuff you screw up. The thing is, like physically abused people, the words "I Love You" are the salve for your wounds because it is what you want to believe is the truth. In fact, anyone who can say them after ripping you a new one is incapable of love and affection; it's smoke and mirrors.

    ...and, it is a form of abuse in and of itself.

  2. I do think that many people forgive verbal abuse more often than physical because people can and do say they're sorry and the abuse is explained away. I would say that derogatory comments like: you're fat, I can't believe you would say anything so stupid, how can you be so worthless? What are your hands painted on? These would all be examples, in my opinion, of verbal abuse. If you feel that you have been verbally abused in your relationships, I think being aware of what you allow people to say to you and what you forgive is important. I truly believe that we do teach people how to treat us based on what we allow. As usual, great post.


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