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Ready to Divorce a Verbally Abusive Spouse?

Ready to Divorce a Verbally Abusive Spouse?

“What is wrong with you? You are so stupid!

You are always making me mad! It’s your fault I yell at you! You are useless!

Sound familiar? Yes, you are being verbally abused! But you don’t have to take it anymore!

Verbally abusive behaviors can ruin your marriage and your life!

For over 35 years as a medically trained divorce attorney and mediator, I can identify verbal abuse by asking questions and observing reactions. I can also provide support and help you find solutions and the way out of a verbally abusive marriage.

Many people who call for a consultation have no idea that they are in a verbally abusive relationship. They know that something is wrong, they are sad, diminished, and lost, but they can't quite put their finger on it.

Verbal abuse often happens out of nowhere in a relationship. It’s calculating and manipulative.

You often find yourself thinking you are overreacting or blaming yourself. Verbal abuse happens in private where no one can intervene and eventually it becomes a regular way of communicating. You are held hostage in a marriage that the outside world views as “happy.”

For someone experiencing the abuse it is isolating and demeaning. You live in fear and secret often embarrassed or afraid to tell a friend or family.

Verbal abuse is subtle and insidious. This type of abuse includes some of these behaviors:

  1. Threatening: “I will hurt myself if you leave me.”
  2. Criticizing: “Why are you so disorganized? It’s because of you I can never find anything!”
  3. Demeaning comments: “You look fat in that dress.!”
  4. Name calling: “You are dumb!”
  5. Manipulation: “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t make me mad!”
  6. Blame: “It’s your fault we are never on time!”
  7. Accusations: “I bet you’re cheating on me!”
  8. Gas-lighting: “Why are you so sensitive to everything?”

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

The abuse often starts after the courtship and honeymoon period is over and the marriage has begun. It has a sociopathic, narcissistic overtone to it.

In my divorce/mediation practice, I have seen some fortunate individuals who recognize what is going on early in the relationship and decide not to put up with it.

Others are captured by the abuser and find themselves supporting the spouse in the mistreatment.

I can usually tell when someone has been the victim of verbal abuse. Unfortunately it is very common, especially over the past two years during the pandemic. Verbal abuse in marriages has escalated and continues to rise as couples juggle work, finances, childcare and life decisions for their family.

Often, during my mediation sessions, I recommend a therapist to participate in the divorce process for clients who are amenable. It frequently takes a long time for victims to be able to do anything to extricate themselves from an abusive situation. But it is possible!

So what can you do to protect yourself?

If you think you are being abused, trust yourself!

There is no single solution, but I suggest:

  1. Set some boundaries, refuse to engage;
  2. Tell them you will not accept the abuse;
  3. Don’t engage in the arguments, walk away;
  4. Limit your time with them;
  5. When you are strong enough to cut ties, do it;
  6. See a good therapist!

It does take time to heal. But you can and you will!

Reach out to supportive friends and family. But don’t isolate yourself. Start planning your exit strategy. Focus on the important steps to take to remove yourself safely and successfully. Create a protective circle of resources to help you escape an abusive marriage!

If you think you are being verbally abused and feeling uncomfortable with your partner, call me for a free consultation.

Don’t stay in an abusive marriage. All you need is some compassion and a strong support system of professionals to move you towards a healthier, happier life.

As a medically trained divorce attorney and mediator, I am uniquely equipped to provide you with the comprehensive support you will need to extract yourself successfully from the abusive grip of your spouse.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. You don’t deserve to be abused, even if you are made to feel you do! I, along with my diverse team of professionals am here to help!

Warm regards,


If you are in an abusive marriage, call Divorce Attorney and Mediator Lois Brenner for a free and discreet consultation.