Life without relationships is like strawberries without the chocolate. It is just not as sweet. But some relationships are a lot like rotten strawberries, whether there is chocolate or not.
Let’s face it. None of us have a perfect relationship. It is normal to have occasional disagreements and be angry, but what one does with their anger is what’s most important.
Abuse is never okay no matter what. So how do you tell the difference between normal disagreements and anger from verbal abuse? Ask yourself these questions.
1. Does my partner often yell or scream as a way of communicating?
Of course, there might be yelling when you are upset, but not every disagreement should involve yelling or screaming, and it should not be most of the time.
2. Do I have a healthy self-esteem?
What is a healthy self-esteem? A woman who feels that she is worthy of love, respect, and happiness is the one who has a healthy self-esteem. If you feel you deserve every nasty bit of what’s being dished out to you, then you would not have a healthy self-esteem. You are not to blame for your partner’s actions.
3. Is there name calling that is hurtful, disrespectful, or derogatory?
Having pet names like “honey” and “babe” are names that are respectful and loving, so if there are any names that directly defame your character, it is verbal abuse.
4. Does my partner mock me or use sarcasm to belittle me?
Do you ever feel ashamed because of something your partner has said to you? Does it feels like you are unworthy of love? Mocking and sarcasm are not the signs of love and respect. A relationship should be based on love and respect from both people.
5. Are threats being made?
The threats do not have to be about inflicting physical pain. They can also be about inflicting emotional pain or making you feel alone. This is all done as a way to keep you under your partner’s control. There are no threats in a loving relationship, ever.
6. Does my partner blame me for his actions?
Abusers often tell their victims that it is the victim’s fault for the way they behave the way they do. They might say you made them act this way. However, we all are responsible for our own actions. Your partner is an adult, and he is old enough to know better.
7. Am I afraid to say anything or share my feelings with my partner?
In a loving relationship, there is no fear in sharing what you are feeling because your partner values you as a person who deserves to be loved and respected. If there is a fear in your relationship, it is a sign of a verbal abuse.
8. Is anything I say or do ever good enough?
No one is perfect, but no one is completely incapable of being or doing good either. You should feel that what you say and do matters in the relationship.
9. Do I get publicly humiliated or shamed in front of others?
Making something that is wrong a joke gives the abuser more power, especially when it is in front of others. Humiliation and shame are abusive.
10. Am I constantly criticized or being put down?
A loving person does not use criticism to hurt or attack. Nor does a loving person put the ones he loves down. Instead, he will lift them up in words.
11. Am I mostly happy or am I mostly sad, depressed, anxious, or fearful?
Take a good look at your feelings that you have most of the time. Do you spend most of your time avoiding, tip-toeing, apologizing, crying, or feeling alone? We are not made to be alone or feel this way.
12. Do I feel valued?
Do you feel that you are important to your partner? Do you feel you are loved no matter what? Are your thoughts and feelings that you share with your partner being validated or are they being ignored? Is your relationship based on sharing or is it based on domination?
Verbal abuse is just that – abuse. It is unacceptable to be treated with disdain, and you do not have to be put down, mocked, or shamed. You deserve to be loved, respected, and happy. You deserve to have a relationship that is just like sweet strawberries and chocolate.