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10 Signs You are in a Verbally Abusive Relationship!


Many people who come to me for a consultation have no idea that they are in a verbally abusive relationship. They know that something is wrong, but they can't put their finger on it. As a psychologically-trained divorce attorney I can identify verbal abuse by asking questions and observing emotional and physical reactions. Verbal abuse is subtle and insidious.

Here are 10 Signs to look for:

  1. you feel like you are walking on eggshells;
  2. threatened;
  3. criticized;
  4. put down by name-calling;
  5. ignored - you receive the silent treatment;
  6. jokes are told at your expense;
  7. belittled for your accomplishments;
  8. isolated;
  9. spied upon - wants to know where you are, and who you are with at all times;
  10. denied affection, sex and money.

Does this look like you? If it does, you are not alone, and there is help.

Verbal abuse is intended to and usually does manipulate and control the victim.

The abuse often starts after the courtship is over and the marriage has begun. It has a sociopathic, narcissistic overtone to it. It's like putting a frog in cold water and then slowly turning up the heat. By the time it gets too hot, the frog is unable to jump out of the pot. Verbal abuse is crazy-making. It is like gas-lighting. The longer it continues, the harder it is to get out.

I have seen some lucky individuals who recognize what is going on early in the game and decide not to put up with it. Others are captured by the abuser and exhibit the Stockholm syndrome, supporting the spouse in his mistreatment. I can usually see when someone has been the victim of verbal abuse - unfortunately it is so common. Often I recommend a therapist (from my roster of experts) to clients who are amenable. Frequently it takes a long time for victims to be able to do anything to extricate themselves from an abusive situation.

If you think you are being controlled with words and feeling uncomfortable with your partner and don't know quite why, call me for a free consultation. Don’t let fear paralyze you. You need a strong support system of professionals to move you towards a healthier life.

By the way, if you are looking for an excellent book on this subject I often recommend "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans. You may want to take a look at it!

Please schedule your free consultation now. We have a few spots left. This free consultation is available until the end of January.

I hope to hear from you. 212.734.1551.

Warm wishes,