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Spousal Verbal Abuse

QUESTION: Spousal verbal abuse - How can I avoid depression during times of abuse?

ANSWER:

In an environment of spousal verbal abuse, where the attacks come on a daily basis, there will be depression. Coping with depression, loneliness, and trying times are other facets of dealing with verbal abuse. Steps can be taken to avoid depression during these times. Activity is the person’s best solution to keep from falling into depression.

First, know that you have worth. Ask yourself these questions:
  • What am I getting from this relationship?
  • How can I change things for the better?
  • Do I deserve this verbal abuse?
  • Am I co-dependant in my relationship?
  • Am I able to list the good and beneficial aspects of this relationship?
Second, make a list of the actions you can take to alleviate the effects of the verbal abuse and avoid depression. The list should include:
  • Have a plan in place that can be implemented at a moment’s notice if physical violence is threatened. The hardest thing to do is to be emotionally and financially independent of the abuser. Have a plan on where to stay away from the abuser, providing immediate necessities for any children involved, food, and a list for employment possibilities.
  • Refuse to get upset or hurt when the abuser does or says dumb, rude, or insensitive things.
  • Firmly tell the abuser to stop the abuse.
  • Show no fear.
  • Make it clear that you will speak with the abuser when they are in a better mood.
  • Do not make comments directly or indirectly that attacks the abuser’s self-image, judgment, or professional record.
  • Be assertive when discussing your emotions, needs, preferences, and choices. This does not mean to be aggressive.
Third, take the responsibility in helping the relationship to improve. Verbal abusers are master manipulators, and they know how to work the system. For your own peace of mind, find a good counselor who is familiar with the effects of verbal abuse. Most counselors will have sessions with each person involved, separately first, then together.

Fourth, if the verbal abuse leads to physical harm, get away from the abusive environment. Safety-first, then work out the differences from a time of separation.

Verbal Abuse - Learn More!


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