6 Forms of Verbal Abuse from Your Partner that Should not be Tolerated

Verbal abuse can hurt more than physical abuse because it leaves deeper marks on the inside. Also, it damages self-esteem, makes you insecure, and makes you dependent on your abuser.
6 Forms of Verbal Abuse from Your Partner that Should not be Tolerated

Last update: 26 May, 2022

There doesn’t have to be a single strike for there to be violence; abuse can be with words or attitudes. Verbal abuse and insults can also hurt another person and undermine their well-being.

So, today we are focusing on verbal abuse that you should not tolerate from anyone, especially not your partner. It is important that you recognize them and put an end to it.

What is verbal violence?

When we hear the words “violence” or “abuse” we often automatically relate it to a hit or blow. However, there are other ways to hurt a person without even touching them.


Through words.

verbal abuse

Insults, humiliation and shouting are some of the most common forms of verbal violence.

We often don’t consider verbal and emotional abuse to be as serious since it doesn’t leave us with any visible marks on the body. However, it causes lasting damage to the soul, psyche and self-esteem.

Verbal abuse can be even more painful than physical abuse and has devastating consequences for the person who is putting up with it on a daily basis. Depression, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks and lack of self-esteem are some of them.

It’s also possible that this violence causes estrangement from family and friends, loss of your social life or lack of personal achievements due to little self confidence.

People who use verbal abuse don’t always go for physical violence next. It isn’t necessary. They already have someone by their side who is dependent on them, insecure and so afraid that they will do whatever s/he wants.

At some point, the hurting person will “wake up” and realize everything they have gone through. And they should get away before it’s too late.

What types of verbal abuse are there?

There are actually several ways to assault a person without even touching them. Non-physical violence is more common than many think because we often don’t know how to identify it.

We might tell ourselves that he yelled because “he was on edge” or because “he had a terrible day at work”…Then he apologizes, gives us a rose and everything is in the past.

However, this is, in reality, a form of abuse.  And if you tolerate this aggressive behavior, you’re just hurting  yourself more.

verbal abuse

That’s right: since you’re receiving a “daily download” of hurtful or offensive phrases, your self-esteem is damaged. You don’t realize the toll it is taking on you. Unfortunately, it will be very difficult to believe in yourself again after everything you have been hearing.

The most common forms of verbal abuse are:

1. Degradation

Demeaning words are those that subtly make us think that we’re not capable of doing something.

Some common phrases include:

  • “You don’t know anything about money because you’re a woman,”
  • “Just stick to cooking and cleaning,”
  • “Make me a sandwich, that’s why you’re my wife,”
  • “You don’t do that right,”
  • “You’re useless.”

These are just a few examples.

Degradation can also show up in the form of mockery or humiliation. Making fun of the way you dress, something you say, a dream you have is a part of this.

2. Accusation and blame

Everything bad that happens at home is your fault: if she or he is tired, hungry, did bad at work, if you don’t have enough money, if something breaks, if you cannot have children…No matter what it is, even if you didn’t make the mistake, or you did something on accident, he will blame you.

3. Criticism

This is a lot like the first of the verbal abuse that we mentioned (degradation) since it always seems like you’re doing something wrong. In this case, he or she puts the things that you love down, s/he compares you to his ex-lovers or to his mother, s/he points out your flaws and seems to be judging your every move.

Learn to differentiate between damaging criticism and constructive criticism. The first uses hurtful tones and words that make you feel bad and keeps you from improving. Meanwhile, constructive criticism is done with love and support.

verbal abuse

Usually, verbal abuse comes before physical abuse and shows that you are with an aggressive partner who is also dependent on you.

  • “If you leave, I’ll kill myself,”
  • “Forget about the children if you leave,”
  • “If you tell anyone, I’ll leave you without any money,” etc.

In this case, emotional manipulation definitely keeps you from taking action and keeps you sticking by his side regardless of how he treats you. Threats don’t always turn into something real, but you obey the abuser’s commands because you don’t want to risk it.

5. Orders

One of the most degrading forms of verbal aggression that can exist is a person treating you like a slave. This can be anywhere, including the bedroom.

Be very careful about the types of orders that he or she is giving you and especially the way that you are complying to them. There is a difference between the person asking you to “Please bring me a glass of water” and “Give me a glass of water, that’s what you’re here for.”

6. Blocking your opinion

Finally, in this case, he or she doesn’t let you say what you are thinking or feeling about a topic. Or, when you do, s/he rejects your opinions.

Some common phrases to look out for may be:

  • “You don’t know what you’re talking about,”
  • “Who are you to be commenting on this?”
  • “Since when are you an expert on the matter?”
  • “Shut up, I didn’t ask for your opinion.”

If any of this sounds familiar to you, seek help and leave the relationship. You deserve better. 

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.