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Comments to Language Analysis

Comments to the Judge's Analysis of Language 

Caution: While the Judge is a smart man, he is not a trained mental health professional. This site & Dr. Irene do not endorse "advice" given by the Judge. -Dr. Irene 12/6/99  

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos Copyrightę 1999-00. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

 

"S1","B1"
"I definitely agree that their words often illustrate how they view the world. But, I learned to be cautious of his language-after several months of marital counseling, he had learned to sound empathic and understanding, and even occasionally respectful. But his words were a but a veneer hiding his true thoughts. Continuing the conversation or acting in a way that was right to me (but wasn't what he wanted me to do) usually exposed his focus on himself and his needs. For example, my occasional refusal to have sex was viewed as an unwieldiness to accommodate his needs. Likewise, refusing to consider having a child at 45 or raise a surrogate child was viewed as depriving him of a chance to have a child of his own. I was told that ""I was only interested in my career and didn't care if I was destroying his career because I was unwilling to continue teaching at a university where I had been dissatisfied for several years (he had access to the research library there and that mattered more than my unhappiness).

And because he was so afraid of being controlled, he assumed that all of my actions were motivated by a desire to gain control over his behavior or to have final decision-making power over some aspect of our life. It could be as mundane as a request to raise the shades when he was done napping (I love sunlight and the view from our bedroom window), to as emotionally charged as my occasionally refusal to have sex. For example, I was told that ""I was trying to have total control over our sex life,"" if I refused to have sex on a particular occasion. Never mind, that what I was feeling had nothing to do with power or control-I might have been satiated, angry at my partner, or just plain not in the mood. And the idea that I could decide things for myself, without his input was considered demeaning and disrespectful.

Everything is black and white-because shade of gray are too threatening. You're either for or against me, my information is superior and yours is inferior, I'm right and you're wrong, etc. Differing ideas and perspectives mean that someone is wrong, or doesn't really understand the situation (i.e., if you really understood what I was saying, you'd have to agree with me). Even the mildest of complaints ie ""dirty dishes laying on the counter really bug me, could you put them in the sink next time,"" was interpreted as a ""slashing attack.""

I learned to look at the patterns in what he said and did. And eventually left. ","

Submit"


" You have very eloquently articulated behavior that I have long referred to as the best defense is an offense. Growing up we labeled these types as instigators. When ever I see anyone have a raging fit or temper tantrum, a vision of them as a 2 year old brat in diapers comes to mind, and strikes me as pathetically sad. Then I find myself wanting to scold them and send them to their room. I wish people would realize when it comes to displays of temper tantrums and rage, that where there is smoke there is fire. And then after put out the fire, one must contend with all the water damage. Angry people have never brought anyone any lasting happiness. I think the key thing to avoiding getting involved with these types is to see these people as they really are, and not how you wish they were. This is disappointing in the short run, but very liberating in the long run. ","

Submit"


"Judge G: SAY AMEN SOMEBODY! You mention that the daily frustration is harder to take than the rages, and so it is. Being a strong, intelligent, somewhat arrogant, non-conforming academic, I vowed not to let myself be beaten down. That was, of course, after the early years of soul-searching -- how did I go so wrong to get this treatment? So I tried cajoling, coaxing, reasoning, shifting blame to his dysfunctional family and alcoholic father, then trying a ""taste of his own medicine"". At each turn, my terminology would change to reflect to ""phase of change"" I was in. And it ECHOED! When I found a word for his name-calling (I thought that defined the phenomenon), he began chanting ""STOP abusing me. Stop abusing me. Abuse. Abuse."" Now that we are in the midst of a divorce and the temporary injunction is in effect, ""HARASSMENT"" has entered his vocabulary. If I asked him what his plans were for the evening, he would say ""What are YOUR plans?"" (so he could counter them). Whatever to issue was that was bothering me, he would echo it back that HE had a problem with ME for that same thing (only BIGGER). Laundry. dishes. feeding the dog. ""no, YOU do it ______ first."" (fill in the blank with anything). Your example of ""Please don't raise your voice at me"" and the (screaming) response...on the weekend it would happen score of times! 

The abuser believes in the adage ""the best defense is a good offense"". Whatever you ""accuse"" them of, they find some way to echo it back, find it in you, and, as you say...now they feel free to continue that action, because YOURS IS WORSE and it makes them mad! 

When he no longer could be just mad, and in the midst of a manic (probably) episode got physical with me, I realized that staying together for our disabled son was no longer feasible, and planned divorce. He is still incredulous that I had planned it for 2 years! when he thought all along He was winning the war (of abuse)! So, Judge G, I wish you would be MY judge in my divorce from my husband...who fired the mediation lawyers because he felt they were on my side, ganging up on him, and not protecting his right to do absolutely what ever he wanted to do, despite the effect on his family.

Last exit for Mr. Excitable.",

"Submit"


"Dear Judge G.
I felt chills all over when reading this !
I feel a need to scream ""me too, me too"".
This is exactly what my ex-boyfriend used to do . Whenever I complained about something, he claimed (usually shouted) that I actually did the ""something"" myself, and the conversation focused on how bad he felt, and the reason I behaved so badly. For example, if he shouted at me, and used bad language, and I told him I feel disrespected , he would start claiming that I disrespect HIM, and we ended up discussing how bad HE feels when disrespected....
I just now am beginning to see the insanity of it all.
Thanks for sharing",

"Submit"


"Very perceptive, and I agree 100%. The sad part is that this unnatural behavior is sometimes reinforced by therapists. It is also taught in schools. 
Now that we have defined the problem.... can we find a solution? 
Policemen have protective gear... can we??","Submit"

 

"I'm afraid that my 15 year old son has modeled the behavior described from his father. I have pointed it out to him and sometimes it makes a difference. My son spends half of the time with my ex-husband, so it is hard to have a strong influence. Sometimes, I feel like I'm still living with my ex.","Submit"


"Wow, my husband and I had that exact conversation last night. I have been reading this website and the books that are recommended for about two months. My husband is a recovering abuser. I am very impressed with his progress, but he does slip back to the ""old ways"" occasionally. Last night he over rode a disciplinary decision I had made with our 6 year old. When I told him, in private, that what he had done was disrespectable to me, and discredited me to our son--he immediately had an example of how I had disrespected him. Now, I understand, that I never got to talk about the thing that was bothering me, because he changed the subject. And, I have always been confused about why he doesn't answer questions. In fact, I have pinned him down on that several times, now I understand why. Thanks-Judge..... you have turned on a major light for me!!!!!! And, if any body wants to know if an abuser can change--I can personally testify that IT CAN HAPPEN but not without a lot of work---on both sides. (And a lot of counseling and research. Thanks, to this site and all the people that contribute--we can help ourselves to help ourselves---(cause nobody else will or can) Signed--- We Are Winning! ","Submit"


"I recognize exactly what you are saying. The ""what about me? answer whenever I voice a complaint. Takes the focus off my pain & outs him in the center. I get it.","Submit"

 
"Your analysis of an abuser's method of talking are right on and to the point. I am/was an abuser in my marriage of 12 years and only realized the way I was abusing after my wife left and I woke up.
I can see many times that I spoke to my wife as you describe and used the methods you described to control the conversation. Very astute of you, Judge G. Regards, CC",

"Submit"


"you hit the nail right on the head or should i say we speak the same language!","Submit"
"","Submit"


"Judge G. is, as you mentioned, right on target. Also, 
voice volume goes up, and eventually there is a verbal
or physical fight. 

Abusive people, however, DO NOT ABUSE EVERYONE. 
Other people usually respond in a way that makes the
abuse ineffective. The abusers have 'targets',
usually the husband or wife. The hidden fuel is LOVE.

If I did not love my wife, she could not abuse me. 
That is why she cannot abuse the grocery clerk, even
if she wanted to. His reaction would possibly be
ignoring her, telling her to behave in the store, or
to get out.

Also, do abusers abuse in PUBLIC? Where there are
witnesses?

We need to work hard, and come up with some defense
mechanisms.","Submit" 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 17, 1999

S1

I loved this kind of person. I co-dependently tried to give him the love he didn't get - either from his mother or from his so called lousy b**** x-wife. The image he portrayed to others (including me at one time) was so wonderful. I always felt jealous and hurt during our relationship/marriage that he was so nice to everyone else and verbally assaulting to me. It didn't culminate to its worst until the ring went on. Then the verbal attacks came - name calling and such. Before, it was just cutting me off in a monetary fashion just when I let myself trust him to help. Money was the big one. Tearing me down telling me things like "I will find myself a $50,000 a year woman. They are a dime a dozen. Things like "clothe your own ass, don't ask me for anything". Things like "I don't care about you, only my investments". On and on... He would be overly loving and then I knew the false dreams I had would shatter. Eventually I slept on one square foot of the side of our king bed never moving. Afraid (of WHAT, I didn't know). I just knew I felt "bad when I was with him". He boasted of having things his way. He'd tell me to get out the door if I didn't like it. It was horrendous when he drank. He has Hepatitis C and a failing liver. I still loved desperately and wanted to make him well. He has a 14 year old son who is falling in his footsteps - abusing girls at school and disrespecting others. Angry like him. This man seems almost proud of it. Says he learned it from him. Anyway, I left him finally when I realized I was acting out his anger for him. His passive/abusive/disrespectful acts were making me very very angry. Incidentally, he did this to his X and will do it again. We tried counseling and he left so angry that he got out of going again. Said the counselor was blaming him for everything. I would just love to say to his x wife that I am a victim of co-dependent misguided love too. He did it to me too. I have lost countless hours sleep and have become numb and sad. Why do we blame ourselves? This is our fault. Rise above and be free. DO NOT GO TO THE DESERT FOR WATER. We are worth more. The up and downs of living in verbal abuse are devastating. As painful as it is, I DO LOVE MYSELF - even if it means I must be alone. At least then, I have some peace. DON'T BECOME HIS NEXT VICTIM, HE IS QUITE CHARMING, until.....

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 17, 1999

S1

Oh yes! Every word of this is true. Holding a normal conversation is almost impossible. Another trick is "You're interrupting me, let me finish", and them he goes on for another 30 minutes. When he finally winds down, he walks away and you have no chance to present your side. Another ploy is down-grading any authority figure you want to employ to make a point. Doctors are only concerned with making money, lawyers are all crooks, priests or ministers are money hungry are some of the things which effectively kill conversations.

 B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 16, 1999

S1

Thank you, Judge G! I never knew to describe how the barrage of words between Ron and I was NOT communication! You have very clearly explained this phenomena that had me baffled. I was able to clearly state that I would not participate in any counseling sessions (we've been going for seven months) unless one issue was resolved. Of course, the usual run-around went on again, but I was able to quit being a participant in this demeaning experience. I don't think that in the 3 1/2 years of marriage that Ron has ever let me complete an entire thought. He always wants me to go first so he can just attack. Now I see that that is his only way of communicating and he certainly doesn't have any plans to change. So thank you for illuminating this aspect of our severely dysfunctional relationship. Mary

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 16, 1999

S1

Thank you very much for your information on verbal/emotional abuse. It has helped me understand the awful situation that I have been in for many years. Keep your website going! Blessing, Pamela  

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 15, 1999

S1

Wow. I feel a sense of relief to realize that my situation my be futile. How ironic that sounds. I see so clearly now the patterns you have outlined. The "echoing" pattern really hit me over the head. I have seen and experienced this from my husband and from my mother-in-law and I see so vividly how this pattern is perpetuated! After she had called me fat during one visit (I was five months pregnant) I was very hurt and tried to talk with her. I said "I don't feel that you respect of appreciate me." And she echoed back my exact words. I just clammed up, what can you say? I have thought that I just wasn't smart enough or didn't understand how to relate--these people are from another country, more educated and in one sense "worldly" than I am and I thought it may have been a lack on my part. But people are people and these problems are universal, so it seems. I think I see now that there is no way to communicate with someone who doesn't want to, no matter how much they may say they do, or that tells you, "You are the one who_______." I do NOT want my toddler son to perpetuate this sickness. Thanks for your powerful and clear words, to everyone on this site.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 14, 1999

S1

I have been married for 4 mos but lived with my husband for 9 yrs. I love him very much but he is a verbal abuser. After reading this article I realize my thoughts about it are true. Every time I ask for help I'm just blown off or else he tells me that I didn't tell him about something and I did. He has always told me that if something is not of particular interest to him he just doesn't listen to anyone. His kids have always told me they couldn't talk to him cause he doesn't listen to what they have to say. He has his mind made up before hand. Just like yesterday and today, he can't understand why I've been so hurt and it's all my fault, I'm sick I need to be in a nut ward (his words). A friend had invited us and his 35 yr old son who lives with us to breakfast yesterday morning to meet his sons, he came upstairs and told me him and JD (son) were going to breakfast at our friends, it was stag cause of his two boys, then our friends 5 yr old daughter called to see if I was coming too. He made me feel like he doesn't want to be with me just JD. Every time we get into an argument it's always all my fault, I treat everyone like a dog. How by asking for help? Complaining when I don't get any? I just had a hysterectomy and am not suppose to carry anything, but I asked for one of them to please carry it up two flights of stairs a week ago and neither of them would do it. I finally did it myself today. Was that treating someone like a dog. He always tells me don't be doing that, I'll get it for you. When, next year? He called me twice from the cell yesterday and said I refused to answer the phone or that I was on the phone all day and I only had one call and the other time I was in the tub and didn't get out to answer it, but it was my fault he couldn't get a hold of me to let me know him and JD wanted to go motor cycle riding and did I want to go. I had told him I had to show a house (rental) at three. We also have an answer machine but he wouldn't leave a message until the call after they were gone. Yes, I lose my temper and yell after so long of his NOT ANSWERING or TALKING IN RIDDLES where only he knows what he's talking about. He always says "I made myself clear." I never know what he is talking about and he refuses to explain. He makes me feel unwanted and wanted at the same time. Like he refuses to get rid of his ex-deceased wife's wall hangings and so forth. That really hurts me. There marriage was a pure h with both of them cheating on each other. He puts on the perfect front to other people making me out to be the one at fault. I never get a personal complement from him, even though I give him complements all the time unless he forces me to lose my temper. He tells me I can talk to him, ha, conversation takes two or more, right? Sometimes I really wonder why I love him. If I try to voice how I feel, he starts in with you, you, you did this, you did that to me, patronizing me, I don't deserve to be married, I don't deserve to be loved. Everything is all my fault. I guess I just won't talk anymore, what's the point? Sorry for rambling on.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 14, 1999

S1

My husband has been reading all of this and has led me to it. I find it very challenging to admit my wrongs but am will to see it. What I also find interesting is that I'm involved with someone who fits the profile as well of an abuser. How do you describe this kind of relationship. How is help sought when two abusers need help, but only one will admit their role? My husband sent me to this site and thankfully I have read bits of myself in different profiles but will it be called a "trick" to try to get help for him too? Perhaps getting help for myself and letting him prove himself out is the answer. Catherine

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 13, 1999

S1

Thank you. I live with a person like you describe, and yes you are so right, It is a lonely and frustrating life. My husband has trained our son to be just as abusive as him. They gang up on me. My son is fifteen. My codependency has reached new heights with my son and I am just realizing the depth of my involvement is this sick home I live in. Thank you for your article, it helped me realize I am not crazy. That is how abusive people like to make you feel.

sue

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 13, 1999

S1

This article was wonderful! It really helped me to see the pattern I have been living with for 18 years and the blame I have been living with all that time. I lived with someone who never gave answers, always said "you do that too and literally blamed me for everything to the point that they needed revenge on me and got it in terrible ways, hurting our children greatly and to this day saying they had to do the things they did because I made them. Reading articles like this gives me increased, concrete reality checks and also helps to reinforce why I did not understand what was happening a great deal of the time. Thank you.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 13, 1999

S1

I'm a 42 yr old male and I'm married with a 2 yr old daughter. My wife's verbal attacks follow exactly what is described in the letter. She can't hurt me physically but constantly calls me names , tries to provoke me even when I try to walk away. If I walk away I'm a "wimp" or "spineless." We tried marriage counseling and she ambushed me and tried to make me look like the abuser. The thing that is heart wrenching to me is that this is being done in front of a little child who I'm afraid is learning this behavior. I'm in this situation only for my daughter and I refuse to leave because she means so much to me. Thanks for this letter and this site, it is consoling to hear of others and become aware of this type of behavior.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 13, 1999

S1

I just found your web site yesterday , but I'm already hooked. I was in an abusive relationship and your article on An Analysis of the Abusers Language really hit home. Thanks for all the great articles.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 12, 1999

S1

Boy is all this true. Communicating with an abuser is fruitless.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 12, 1999

S1

Bravo! It is a very scary place to be in once you are out of denial. Because then you begin to identify what is happening. Behaviors that seemed vaguely wrong or frustrating are clearly seen as destructive. It is so true that their language is all their own. My husband loves to tell me there is something wrong with me at the core of my being - but his "language" proves that his thinking and insecurities are the real problem.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 12, 1999

S1

Every single article, book and/or personal testimony I read takes me that one step further out of the fog. It is so very true, like some toxic osmosis process, I became so endured to the incessant and often subtle verbal denigration that I no longer recognized - except in my body. It gave the signals. The lack of sleep, the constant tenseness and the often slurred speech in her presence, these all told me that the camel was packing one huge load of straw. All I can say for now is thank God I failed in her eyes and she left for yet another lover. She is his problem now. There must be a God!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 11, 1999

S1

I am just learning about verbal abuse. I was so impressed by the "echoing" part - that's what my husband does ALL the time, even in front of counselors - drives me nuts! However, I'm not sure that I am codependent - I have some tendencies but have tried to communicate as above and met with the echoing thing. It has been confusing and frustrating to me, but as long as I am stating my needs and not covering up his actions - is that codependency? I realize there has to be some codependency in order for him to continue I guess but the overt covering up and putting up with bad behavior just for a warm body over NO body - I'm just not sure.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 11, 1999

S1

I commend Judge G. This article had a profound effect on me. Nice writing and thanks for sharing. In my struggle with the end stages of yet another abusive relationship, I hit this site often to look for any new items or when I need a pick me up. (I've already printed out the entire contents and put it in a notebook - thank you Dr. Irene for this site!).

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 11, 1999

S1

how do you deal with the guilt, etc. when you are trying to set boundaries for the first time? I recently left my husband who is an abuser and of course I'm getting the honeymoon period "I'm sorry's and "I'm going to change", etc. I realize this is probably crap, but still he makes me feel so guilty and almost start to doubt myself and that I'm doing the right thing.  

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 11, 1999

S1

I live in New York State and I can't find an attorney that will file for divorce on grounds of verbal abuse. They all say it is too difficult to prove. But, this is the sole reason I feel I need to leave my husband.  

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 11, 1999

S1

I have a comment here. I can identify with the patterns you described. I am wondering if what I struggle with with my H is part of the same language pattern. He constantly "me too's" me even about good feelings. At first I thought "Wow we have so much in common", but it soon got to feel like I wasn't being heard and everything was refocused on him. Sometimes I feel like I am suffocating. Yet I keep going desperately back to him trying to get him to hear me because I so long to be close to him. It is just getting worse and worse. If I say I would like to go to school he will say he too would like to go. What ever I say or do seems to trigger some lost desire in him. But I feel now like I have totally lost myself in his needs. If I say I am sad he will be sadder. If I get angry he will be more angry. He says I am too emotionally draining for him. We are separated. He says he wants me to be more friendly, while he can just ignore that I even exist. I think he needs me to make the relat. totally safe and non challenging for him. Everything I do is seen as too controlling. If I get upset about anything he is gone for weeks or forever. I wonder if this is part of what you are saying. I am trying so hard to understand what is happening to me. This is very helpful! Jessica

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 1999

S1

I wish my communication students could articulate abusive language as well and as 'on the mark' as you did. It is true (sadly) that experience is the best teacher (and I say that as a recovering codependent myself). If you don't mind, I'm going to add something to your insightful observations.

Not only does the abuser use hurtful messages as part of his/her interpersonal communication style, they are also talented imposters. What I denied in my own relationship is that abusers, because of their narcissistic personalities, can initially be the most charming, seductive, romantic, and attentive people you will ever meet. They are frequently witty, intelligent, and shrouded in an appealing mystery that a romantic like me found simply irresistible. It is only after you are 'hooked' and believe that you have fallen in love with them (and they know, by experience, how to gauge the intensity of your emotion) that the 'language' you refer to begins to surface. My ex gave me many hints at what was coming very early in the relationship, and I would postulate that most partners do. The 'push-pull' behavior alluded to in other emails (or what I call the 'lick and bite" behavior) surfaced early-- and I knew it. And yes, the 'bites' are linguistic-- character-attack, constant criticism, lots of projection (YOU do this, YOU act this way, etc)-- all there. And then the charm, the romance, the seduction and attention all return when they think they'll lose you-- but rarely an apology comes with it. In my own relationship, I even vocalized to my friends that when the relationship was 'going well' ( meaning, he was in the 'licking' cycle) I was scared to death because I knew he would soon get scared, feel vulnerable, and 'bite' again soon--and he always did. Crazy-making at its best, or worst. The point is that I knew it in my gut within two months of meeting him but denied it in my heart for several years.

In the rare moments of healthy communication between us, he often said 'it's not about you, it's about me. I can't love the way you do." When someone says that to you: BELIEVE IT. They know. As codependent caretakers, we sometimes believe that our love will heal their hurts, but no one, as I discovered, has the ability to do that for anyone. And when we try, the abusive language that is designed to shred our self-esteem (because they have none and don't want you to have any either) gives them the power-rush that they cannot get elsewhere. You are absolutely correct when you say that the abuser's language coveys the opposite of what they are thinking-- because what they really are thinking is: OH GOD! You're getting too close to me, and you're scaring me to death! I have to respond to how I feel about you. NO WAY will I do that!! I don't want to want you, so I need to push you away so that I am safe from what YOU can do to ME.

Finally, communication, especially its darker side, is a pattern developed over time, and as such probably means that you are not the first partner to be verbally and emotionally abused by this person. When they disclose information about their prior relationships, including their family: LISTEN. If you detect an abusive pattern, know that if you don't run for the nearest exit, you will likely be the next on on the list-- even when they themselves are in the 'falling in love' stage. And, probably you will not be the last, either.

Language is about identity. I try to remember during the times I am feeling badly that in time I will recover from this experience and go on to hopefully enjoy a healthier balanced relationship where we both give, and we both receive. Imagine how conflicted and shattered the abuser must feel, knowing that they are unable to do so, that they will always feel betrayed because the one thing we all need in our lives-- people who care-- is by their own doing, forever closed to them. Yes, we may feel pain now, but it is the pain of recovery! It will eventually subside as we come to terms with our own patterns, lost trust, and wounded psyches. Their pain, on the other hand, is mired in issues too deep (most of the time) to ever move them from their own darkness. I don't hate my ex-partner any more... I just feel pity at all his lost potential to enjoy the human experience. Communication is two-way, and we were both responsible for what we did to ourselves. If we are on this web site, we have CHOSEN to become healthy! Sadly for them, they cannot.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 1999

S1

Dr Irene: Thank you very much for this information...I understand what this is all about.....now. And it took me many years to forgive myself my failure to some how, some way meet the need of my ex-husband where I lived with the damn if you do and damned if you don't situation. I appreciated you simple (MeMe) insert. I did get a divorce because I didn't meet my husband need and it took me years to say no I didn't meet my husbands need now what is wrong with a person who think his need should be met (which I think is appropriate request) without one of those need to be the need to meet the needs and well being of ones family. I didn't mean to get into my story just to say Thank you for your response....after many years of being a single parent of two children (doing the best I could and never having the satisfaction of doing it the way I would have like to have done it...but learning to do the best I could with what I had to work with....a father that shamelessly abandoned his children and was a "dead beat" father I still believe that God does work in your life to support good intentions even when things don't work out the way you had originally hoped for...doing the right thing is easy if you know what it is....knowing the right thing to do is the hard part and one again you have confirmed that sometimes leaving the battlefield in a battle you can't win at is the only right thing to do...and the decision to not learn the "language" is the only way to survive. Love may solve all problems but only if it's a two way street. Again THANK YOU.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 20, 1999

S1

I have just read Judge G's WONDERFUL, INSIGHTFUL, HELPFUL article on language. I feel I have just unlocked a ball and chain from my ankle. My husband is a highly intelligent, intellectual type who uses all these manipulations to keep everything under his control. Every point Judge G has mentioned (regarding echoing, interrupting, never answering a question etc) I have raised with him, usually in the middle of the drama, to no avail. In the end I grow more frustrated, feel more controlled, finally lose my inner core and go nuts. Then he would have a self-satisfied look on his face and usually refer to the pain I have within me that I have to deal with. My question is, what is the appropriate way to handle language as a control so that it doesn't get to the point where I explode? Any suggestions would be welcome.  

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 18, 1999

S1

For years I have tried to make sense of talking in circles. When we finished having a "discussion" I always felt more confused as to what we were talking about. When I read Patricia Evans books on Verbally Abuse,,, I thought this is my life story. I have been married for l8 yrs.....But getting a divorce now. He had become very threatening and even extremely mean. So I filed and he was shocked. He later said during the "honeymoon stage" that he never thought I would do it.... So,,,,now that we have been to court waiting for ruling.....and he sees I'm serious......He has turned very vindictive, which I knew he would. After the judges ruling,,,,,I'm afraid I will have to get a restraining order.....Well I'm 40 and starting over but it will be better......I have to give myself pep talks to convince myself that I can do this for me and my kids. My address is  ,,,,,write me sometime. Marla

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Date: Friday, December 24, 1999

S1

This seems to be right on target. I am just learning that my marriage of nearly 15 years has been an abusive one. I have struggled with Major Depression since I was a teen, and despite years of therapy and medications am still struggling. It is becoming increasingly clear to me that if I stay in this relationship my depression will never end. Here's a note you might find interesting - my husband finally agreed to go to marriage counseling after I'd asked for nearly 8 years. He stated that he believes that 95% of the problems in the marriage are due to my depression. Oh, and we had to unschedule our first appointment with the marriage counselor because we couldn't afford it. - Saharagirl

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 23, 1999

S1

My husband verbal abuse me and my two kids since we enter in the military and what I had read here tonight sounds exactly what I got. I and the kids finally moved away from him and abuse he gave us. I went through it before and this is the last time. My kids and I don't need him anymore.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 21, 1999

S1

I have problems with putdowns disguised as jokes: Little, cutting comments that don't make you feel good, but you think you're supposed to accept them. The guy says 'You're too sensitive" or "I was only kidding/joking". Or being afraid to ask the guy a question because you know he will attack you for not knowing something - "You obviously don't know anything" or a tone that implies "You didn't know that? You should know that! What are you stupid?" Can someone tell me how to deal with this, and how to stop attracting men who speak to me like this? I have a feeling it's about changing the way I think and speak to MYSELF. I tend to be very harsh on myself. Maybe that is what is attracting men who speak like this ? Anyone have some feedback? 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 19, 1999

S1

I have been married to an abuser for 10 years now because he made me feel that no other man would want me. I am getting divorced. Thank you for showing me the signs of abuse that I was not recognizing. Gena

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 12, 2000

S1

This is absolutely one of the best things I've read. The Judge may not be a trained professional, but if he ever needs a second profession, he's got the abusive relationship down pact. I swear, I just read all about my relationship with my husband. I mean, almost word for word. I want to thank the Judge for this, because it made my heart feel good (and I bet many others in these relationships) to hear someone so eloquently and perfectly describe what we are going through, and to, in a way, keep us from going crazy by letting us know that it really isn't us. Like I said, this is the best I've read on this site.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 12, 2000

S1

I agree with the Judge. I would like to add another tidbit.. I also agree that it is all about intimacy and feeling threatened. I have known and been friends with a man for eight years. A few years ago we started dating and he became very controlling and I , being the independent type that I am would break it off. Then sure enough he would beg and apologize and plead to try again. This last time we were becoming very intimate, and things were going very well except paralling this was a marked increase in abusive language. Jokes at my expense followed by a "just kidding" " oh come on you know I am kidding" as if that stops the hurt caused by the remark. I have seen him laugh to himself at his sadistic feats. He uses the "Let me finish!" line all the time then goes on for another 30 mins. demeaning remarks, disrespectful behavior and an occasional compliment just so that you start to think its you not him. All this as the relationship becomes more intimate and serious. Its as if to say " go ahead, love me and in turn I will abuse you for it because I cant be that vulnerable.. I might lose control. I will invalidate you, until you are a shell of your former self. The more you love me the more I will abuse you. The more you distance yourself to me the more loving I will be to you." That's really the language... Fascinating.... I thank you for your article. I am off to find a partner who isn't afraid to give and receive love.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 12, 2000

S1

WOW! WOW! WOW! I cannot believe what I just read. I am.... almost without words. I will have to comment with a Thank You for now.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 12, 2000

S1

Bravo! Beautifully stated judge! You put your finger right on an insidious, frustrating, mind boggling situation.

thank you lee :)

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Date: Friday, February 11, 2000

S1

I have recently left an abusive relationship with my husband. What you have said is soooo correct. He is a confirmed abuser and I find it very interesting how he now tells me that I am controlling, abusive and paranoid. How well he describes himself. At first I found his comments disconcerting...I wonder if this means on some level in his mind that he acknowledges what he is?

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 10, 2000

S1

I can't believe what I'm reading. The incidents described on the web-site are so real to me it's scary. I am finally convinced how terribly I've been abused for the past year and a half. It is all about CONTROL. My abuser has had me convinced that I have caused all of the problems in the relationship

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Date: Wednesday, February 09, 2000

S1

Hello, I am in a marriage and we have a 7 year old son. In the past year and a half I learned my husband had an affair and I found out through someone else. I have tried to live with this and give another chance. Well, since then, he is very controlling and swears in the presence of my son, and when he can't get the response he wants from me, he tells me to get the f out in front of our son. This has happened a lot of times in the past year and a half. I have gone to therapy for a lot of this, and don't feel better at all. He, my husband, refuses to go. I am at my wits end and am reaching out wherever I can. I have not enough money to move, but I will go. I can't live this way and neither can my son. Do you have any advice???? Susan

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 08, 2000

S1

My husband (verbal abuser) often states that he is frustrated because I do not share my thoughts and feelings. The reason I do not communicate with him his because I know it will make no difference, he really does not want to hear what I have to say.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 08, 2000

S1

This seems like a good source of information on verbal abuse that the general public can understand, but verbal abuse related to children's' development would also be a good idea.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 07, 2000

S1

Actually, I have a different story. My A actually started the argument after some time. The things that were bothering me became his problem.

At one point he started to tell me how I was ruining him financially, when we were doing great. I didn't put it together until the next time I had a point blank talk about his continuing verbal abuse. He turned around and said, "Yes", you have to put up with my abuse, but I have to put up with your financial inadequacies!". I could not believe my ears. He told me that it hurt him the same if I spent an extra ten dollars on groceries as it did when he raged on me.

Talk about being in their own reality. So it doesn't matter if they say it first, and you seem to be echoing with some of these people. If I got sick, he would always get sick after me, even though he wasn't sick most of the time. Laura

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 30, 2000

S1

Right on, Judge! I've experienced all of what you have said "in spades". My partner took glee in accusing ME that it was my fault. "I" needed to try harder to communicate, so "he could understand", and therefore if he "didn't understand" it was because "I" had not communicated with him sufficiently. As long as he could hide behind the guise of "not understanding" that gave him a pseudo-innocence in any of the matters I tried to communicate. But as you so deftly pointed out, his whole intent is to block communication altogether. My desperate attempts repeatedly to try harder and harder to effectively communicate with him seem hilarious and pathetic in this light. Once I finally decided in my own heart I no longer cared about having a relationship with him, it was a real revelation to me to see I had little trouble "communicating" with him in his own "language" because now my goal was the very opposite of being intimate anymore; I wanted to get away and stay away. That's when I realized all his behavior showed me he never cared about having a real relationship from the beginning.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 30, 2000

S1

I agree with the Judge's analysis. I would like to add a few other major similarities I have noticed between my mother and my former employer of 3.5 months. Both of these people maintained control by means of verbal abuse. It is ironic that my mother was uneducated, overweight, poor and my employer was the exact opposite.

1. Both were paranoid. My mother didn't believe my friend who said he had an Eddie Bauer tent so she called all over Ontario trying to find someone who sold them. Unfortunately, Eddie Bauer was predominantly in American stores at the time. She told me that he was a liar. My employer accused me of having a job interview when I was half an hour late one morning. Ironically, I had stayed up all night working on something for him.

2. Delusional thoughts are very predominant. My mother thinks that by going to work she would pay more tax, so she basically did "child care" all her life. She threw the kids in the basement for at least 4 hours and then talked on the telephone to anybody that would listen to her say that the entire world was a bunch of a--holes. My mother thinks that you are automatically charged interest on all credit card purchases. My boss had 20 employees working for him before his divorce. In the interview, I confronted him about his notion that he had the same number of clients but only 2 staff. It wasn't until 2 months later that he admitted that he had lost about a third of his clients. In his fits of rage, he would yell "Get the entire staff in here now". (There was only 3 of us.)

3. Sense of Timeline is very weak. At least 5 years after I had broken up with my boyfriend, she was still saying things about him and I. She had not moved on. My boss would expect things to be done even if the software had not been released yet and there was no way in hell I could do it.

4. Rare appearance of being mentally healthy - Denial is a common word in the verbal abuse community. But I really have to question whether it is denial or whether these fits of anger etc cause a split personality. My mother would always deny she had called me a slut, loser, schizo etc even in her fit of rage. One day, my boss called at least 5 times and put both the staff on the speaker phone and asked us about what was left on his schedule to do. By the fifth time, we both decided that the man was not in his right mind. It was very obsessive behaviour. We both found jobs soon after.

I had another female boss who I have to admit did some things that were very manipulating. I was in a conflict management seminar and the book described game upmanship behaviour. The female boss really fell into this category. Reading through Evans books, I can see other traits that are abusive. For instance, she thought she was right all the time, she purposely placed me at the other end of the building even though everybody else was across from their boss, she told me to get a life if I was interested in a television show, she said that I and my subordinate were anal. I had passed on some information to someone outside my chain of command and I was given a 10 minute lecture that this was not appropriate behaviour. The matter was still not resolved six months later. She said that I should take a time management course for my personal life. This really was absurd because I single handedly had to run the accounting department for a month while I was finishing off my CMA designation. The year before that I was in the CMA program and taking two courses at university. I had also managed to write a screenplay which I had naively sent to Kevin Costner. She weighed about 250 pounds and made about $100,000. The first three months I was there she had a few suits that were missing buttons so she was always showing off her stomach. She also constantly wore spandex. She also became pregnant which made matters worse. I didn't like her. But I didn't think she was abusive until I started reading the verbal abuse material and big ideas started jumping out at me. For me, the big thing was that she showed no signs of mental illness. I think I will associate verbal abuse with mental illness for quite some time. My father was hospitalized and is still on drugs for schizophrenia. Unfortunately, my mother won't go see a counselor. I have asked. I haven't seen her or any of my family now for a few years. I am slowly regaining control over my life for probably the third and hopefully final time. I can't thank you and this community enough for helping me over the past years. Sincerely, Fandango

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 30, 2000

S1

wow, thanks for this page. I've lived with a verbally abusive man for 10 years and you are right, it's not the anger or rage that scares me, it IS the lack of communication. I feel as though he is running circles around me, then runs away leaving me frustrated and angry with myself. I am separating from this man and he finds buttons to push to keep me fearful. I'm in counseling and I want to be healthy again. Thanks

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, January 28, 2000

S1

Sometime if I really listen I can here the nonsense in what he says but it still hurts and that hurt prevents rational thinking. My mate not only echoes what I say at that time but will remember and use it at a later time. It is all so hopeless. I have recently had a brush with cancer. I get no support from him. He says his heart attack 5 years ago is far more serious and that if I have a breast removed I will not only be fat but fat and deformed.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, January 28, 2000

S1

Sometime if I really listen I can here the nonsense in what he says but it still hurts and that hurt prevents rational thinking. My mate no only echoes what I say at that time but will remember and use it at a later time. It is all so hopeless.

 B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2000

S1

Wow, this was exactly where I wanted to be. Your ability to phrase words is exactly what I needed. I know all of this stuff, but didn't know how to word it. Thank-you, Thank-you.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2000

S1

Wow. I am abusing myself by staying up late because I am so emotionally upset by my current relationship and recurrent putting up with abusers. But this reading was worth it. It's all true. All you said and all I was feeling that forced me out of bed to do online research. It's all real.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2000

S1

Wow. I've been married for nearly 14 years...together almost 20. I'm 32 years old, my husband is 43. I've known something isn't right in this relationship for such a long time, but things always seem to cycle up and down. When I read this about the 'language difference' it was like I was reading something specifically about my husband. It's so sad. And no one I've spoken to has understood that he doesn't answer my questions. I just don't know how to deal with it, other than leave, anymore...but I really don't think I ever COULD leave...

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2000

S1

EXTREMELY ENLIGHTENING.

ON TARGET EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.

QUIT WRITING ABOUT MY RELATIONSHIP, WILL YA!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2000

S1

What you said is right about abusers it has helped me to see more about the man I divorced what I would like to see in the courts is a better understanding of what the children go threw and what happens to some of them when one parent gets into another abusive relationship that continues to hurt the children I would like to see more info on children and abusive fathers we need to protect children better when you divorce an abuser it's great to know someone understands Thanks for the info.  

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 23, 2000

S1

I found the little article so-so. Apparently the "Judge" has never been in a verbally abusive relationship (no matter what he claims) but has only "passed on" what he learned in a Psychology course? The first paragraph sounds as if three different people had a hand in writing it. Verbal abuse can range from noticeable to little bits of sarcasm spoken at just the right time. I'm doing research for a book and found zero info here!

 B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 17, 2000

S1

The Judge is right on the money!!!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 13, 2000

S1

THANK YOU FOR HELPING MY SANITY. He is so manipulative that he had me wondering if he really did have the right to treat me how he does.....IT'S ABUSE and I'm not losing it.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 06, 2000

S1

nice not to think I'm crazy or just mean

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 17, 2000

S1

HERE, HERE!! I COULDN'T HAVE SAID THIS ANY BETTER. THANK YOU FOR YOUR DIRECT INSIGHT. YOU HAVE ACHIEVED MY PERCEPTION OF THE SAME TYPE OF PERSON AND PUT IT INTO EXCELLENT WORDS. THANK YOU.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2000

S1

Would you please provide me with more of the "tricks" used by abusers? I could use them. Thanks

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 18, 2000

S1

Thank you so much. I totally understand what you are saying because the same things happened to me. My abuser identified my "hot" buttons (I like to rescue) and played the role. He did it because he wanted things from me (for me to cook, take him out to eat, buy him things). I didn't realize it until he slipped a couple of times when I bought something for my son and the abuser said, "....you didn't buy me a ....." Anyway, his charm and his "schtick," (feel sorry for me, I've had a hard life, take care of me....) soon turned to rage when I didn't give him what he wanted. He echoed, withheld sex, was extremely cold and distant....any comment from me that he didn't like would send him on his way (he said I reminded him of his ex-wife). I was truly walking on eggshells. The abuse was insidious. I didn't realize what was happening to me. He broke up with me three times in a year because he needed "space" but I later found out he was with other women. No honesty with me at all. Anyway....know I'm going on and on. My point is that abuse is often insidious....you know you feel terrible, are hurting, but don't always understand why. The abuser is very adept at making you feel like you're the problem, when in fact he is. The other key thing....and you said it with "MeMe"....is they are so, so self-absorbed. They are all that matters. They care little about how you feel unless it gets them what they want. They will be anything you want to get their needs met. If you don't meet them, they move on, dumping you and not caring if you hurt. They may even do it intentionally to hurt you. They may apologize later for the bad treatment, but it's only to relieve their own guilt so they feel better....so they can say they didn't do anything wrong. Thank you again, and best wishes to all the readers of this site!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 01, 2000

S1

It is chilling to read about this but this information needs to be distributed. For years I was so frustrated because I could communicate with everyone except that one important person - my husband. All those techniques - especially of never answering except with a question. I felt like I was interrogated. Once I had foolishly tried to answer a long string of questions, it was easy for him to mock my answers or use my words to echo back in an accusing way. I was so naive, trying to communicate, when the other person only is trying to control and humiliate. Thank God I have escaped from this torture via my divorce.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 26, 2000

S1

Judge, Thank you! There are a lot of us out here. It helps alot to read what you have to say. Your story is simple and to the point and a direct hit. I have a 40 year abuse cycle that I am trying to disengage. It is hard to do. It takes many years to learn how to become a victim. In my case it started from birth. So now my whole life has to be re-invented or relearned. Every little piece of advice or knowledge is just a little piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is my life. Again, thank you for your contribution. Someday, I will have created a masterpiece of my life that only has the edges that need to be completed, an ongoing work of art so to speak.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2000

S1

I was floored by this analysis of the abuser's language. I have no doubt that I was the partner who was trying to communicate with an abuser. I frequently said, "You're answering my question with a question." or "That is not an answer." Trying to understand an abuser is like trying to decipher a really, really tough riddle all the time. He would say things he would later regret. Be upset when I wouldn't have thoughts on his "confusion." The man I was involved with grew up with an alcoholic mother (he claims she's not an alcoholic anymore but then I see her still drinking), a father who ignored and didn't support his wife, a brother ten years older, and a very poor family. This man that I loved (I need to reestablish my boundaries and stick to them) says he's not an alcoholic, but then drinks 3 glasses of wine every night, or 3 beers every night, calls me at 1 a.m. on poker nights with the boys drunk. I confronted him with my concerns for his health and he said he knows he needs to work on some things but he's not an alcoholic. In one year and five months I broke up with him 3 times, this last time for good. I saw all the warning signs and ignored them and got burned. I have a tendency to be very idealistic, I see the good in people. I realized each time I wanted to know where our relationship was going he said he need some time to think about it. He was pushing me away. As long as I didn't ask him to reveal his cards about how he felt, everything was fine. The relationship was directionless. He would talk about how neat it was going to be to take our child to his/her first baseball game, how neat it will be to have his parents over for dinner at our place, etc... Promises, Promises. He said he would do anything to make the relationship work. When I would look for action, he came up short. He admitted to me he is afraid of commitment. We had love, and a lot in common, but there was no commitment to me or the relationship from him. He and I live 2 hours away from one another and when I said, "Maybe I'll move down to your city this summer (mind you I asked this while everything was going great between us), his response was, "Great!, But you'll get your own place, right?" It seemed that whenever I was feeling wonderful and accepted, he always did something that made me feel not totally as accepted as I thought. I felt like a yo-yo, a puppet. I felt like he kept putting carrots in front of me and each time I thought I would get the carrot, he'd yank it away. It was an emotional roller coaster I am glad to be off of. I felt as though he was punishing me by withholding exactly what he knew I wanted. He was punishing his mother through me. He told me she was distant when she was drunk, and wouldn't talk to him or his father for days. I experienced her emotional neglect twice. His father behaved as though nothing was wrong. Everyone in that family is good at avoiding whatever makes them feel unpleasant. No one shared how they felt. I felt the aura in their tiny little home. After looking at my past objectively I have discovered my own pattern. I know what I need to do, I need to work on me. I need to trust my instincts more when I see the warning signs. The little I know about his past relationships was that none lasted more than a year and a half. The first time I met his mother, she said to him while I was standing there, "She's a nice girl, should we tell her now that you are afraid of commitment." His cousin said, "It's nice to meet you, hope I'll see you next year for Christmas, but I doubt it." I feel so stupid, but I've learned that I am trying to recreate the environment I grew up in: my mother loving my father, doing everything for him, and he stepping all over her feelings by yelling at her. He was a verbal abuser. I learned from my mom that I have to earn and work very hard to win someone's love. Now that I am aware of this pattern, I feel like I have an exciting future ahead of me. This website and the Judge's analysis have been helpful beyond belief. I am very grateful to you. Thanks so much!

 B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 12, 2000

S1

Reading this made so much sense to me. I have asked myself many times what he meant by this, why he said that. I never really understood that there is a real language barrier. I did not understand why he refused to talk to me, and why every issue turned into an attack. I have more insight now. Thank you so much.

 B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 09, 2000

S1

You need more information on verbal abuse and also, the outcomes of abuse on children (psychological).

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

you seem to overlook the fact that verbal abuse is prolific outside the circle of romantic partners soley. Father-daughter relationships are just as relevant

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 06, 2001

S1

This is like being told you are not going mad, or an evil person...one of my husbands tricks is to accuse me of being a "yap dog" and shouting "yap,yap yap" when I try to speak. All the rest I've read is so spot on too...I've come to the realisation that there is nothing I can do to change the situation, and I'm getting out.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 05, 2001

S1

This is all new and eye-opening realization for me and this piece in partiucular struck home and made me see facets that are so obvious, but so easily accepted as being normal in an abusive relationship. Thanks Judge!!!_sunny

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 03, 2001

S1

MY name is Susan. I'm in a very verbal abusive relationship. I get accused of everything and I get cussed at and he doesn't want to have sex with me. I'm at my end. I seek counseling but I get no relief from the pain he causes me deep down inside.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 27, 2001

S1

My exhusband was emotionally abusive for years. He & my schizophrenic mother tried to run me out of my home, by isolating me. He is remarried & continues. I am very isolated, they made me lose the guy I loved, what can I do. I have a restraining order. I have lost all my friends ect..

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 27, 2001

S1

My exhusband was emotionally abusive for years. He & my schizophrenic mother tried to run me out of my home, by isolating. He is remarried & continues. I am very isolated, they made me lose the guy I loved, what can I do. I have a restraining order.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

Wow!! This was so accurate. It was as if you've been a fly on my wall as my husband screams at me. I could totally relate to the "butt in" or cut off the partner comment you wrote about. My husband does that exact thing and it drives me crazy!

Thank you so much for your truthful words.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

Wow!! This was so accurate. It was as if you've been a fly on my wall as my husband screams at me. I could totally relate to the "butt in" or cut off the partner comment your wrote about. My husband does that exact thing and it drives me crazy!

Thank you so much for your truthful words.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

I have been married for 6 years. I think that I might be in a verbally abusive relationship. My father gave us a computer for Christmas. My husband says he is very against this, even though I do not work outside and have explained the convenience of and my interest in them. He gets upset if I make minor decisions without asking him first. He thinks that he should be involved in every family activity. He blew up for taking my son to get his picture taken on a weekday. He questions a lot. I am pretty confused and do not know what normal is but I know that I do not like to be around him anymore!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

I have been married for 6 years. I think that I might be in a verbally abusive relationship. My father gave us a computer for Christmas. My husband says he is very against this, even though I do not work outside and have explained the convenience of and my interest in them. He gets upset if I make minor decisions without asking him first. He thinks that he should be involved in every family activity. He blew up for taking my son to get his picture taken on a weekday. He questions a lot. I am pretty confused and do not know what normal is but I know that I do not like to be around him anymore!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

I have been married for 6 years. I think that I might be in a verbally abusive relationship. My father gave us a computer for Christmas. My husband says he is very against this, even though I do not work outside and have explained the convenience of and my interest in them. He gets upset if I make minor decisions without asking him first. He thinks that he should be involved in every family activity. He blew up for taking my son to get his picture taken on a weekday. He questions a lot. I am pretty confused and do not know what normal is but I know that I do not like to be around him anymore!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 17, 2001

S1

Judge,

Well written observations. Within the last 4 months I recently realized I've been a victim of verbal abuse and everything you've brought out in your posting is 100% true. I love your echoing terminology. Out of all the frustrating aspects of this verbal abuse problem, it helps to be able to make a behaviour I think I'm seeing in my husband and make it more concrete. So many times I feel like I'm losing my mind. It's a horrible world to live in. My husband and I separated 2 weeks ago after I was yelled at for intentionally bothering him during his tv shows. It's so odd to be accused out of the blue for doing things that were never even an intention in my mind. I'm still a newlywed and I just turned 30. While I took my vows seriously and I still love the man I thought was my husband, I need to show love and respect for myself to. Being alone is so hard, but while this is a terribly sad time in my life, people keep telling me I've never looked happier. I hope you can also find happiness in this short life. I hope there's a point where you can stop analyzing what happened to you and move on to think of yourself. That's what I'm going to do with the help of this website, my supportive friends and family, and of course, my therapist. Best of luck to you.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2001

S1

I read An Analysis of the Abuser's Language and I now FINALLY see that my husband is abusive to me. We've been to two councelors in the past two years and he acted in a textbook abusive manner every session and I think it is very sad that neither Dr. noticed or cared enough to point it out. All this time I thought I was provoking him! What a waste of money that counceling was. It seems to me that they were more interested in being impartial than helping me.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 11, 2001

S1

OMG - I'm living all of it, the control, the non-communication, the screaming, the blaming, the accusations. I couldn't put it into words until I saw it written....it's like he doesn't speak the same language. Like two people who can't seem to dance to the same beat.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 10, 2001

S1

Thank you, Judge. You have given me clarity for my "gut" feelings of abuse from my husband. I no longer feel I must stay in this relationship for another 36 years. It will get no better after all this time, but I can.

Merimags

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 08, 2001

S1

Wow! I just broke off a very verbally and psychologically abusive relationship with a man I was way too love-addicted to. Your insights of the verbally abusive partner's lack of wanting to really HEAR what their partner has to say, are on the mark, as far as my ex goes. In addition to the regular dose of, "You're a freak/ you're so stupid/you're a very sick girl/you're (fourletterword) up/who would EVER stay in love with you/you'll never meet anybody who would stick with you for long" any time I expressed my insecurities and jealousies (which were wrong, admittedly, but did not deserve the level of hatred and contempt which I then received back from him verbally), my ex would interrupt me whenever I tried to express any negative or hurt feelings whatsoever. He would literally talk over me, smother my words with "I don't want to hear it I don't want to hear it I don't want to hear it" or simply turn the volume of the television up very high and ignore me, or chalk up all his verbal abuse to the predictable, "You MADE me say those things to you. You MAKE me so mad that I have to say those things to you." Translation: "I don't have a problem here --- if you would just clean up your act and stop being so sensitive and insecure." I started to believe it after a while. Until I saw his father with his mother. His father does the same thing: He could care less what his mother has to say. She, after all, is stupid and nosey and has nothing worthwhile to say. You are also right about not answering questions. Whenever I would ask him a question that in anyway expressed my dissatisfaction, or need for some reassurance, he would literally say, "I'm NOT answering that question. It's such a stupid question to begin with, I can't even believe you asked me. NORMAL people don't ask these questions. But you're not NORMAL!" Also he would say "you deserve every insult i said to you thank goodness for your little piece of insight there it"s reinforced my decision to leave

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 05, 2001

S1

I can definitely relate to a lot of what you are saying. Especially the part about not answering questions! It is very hard to ask my husband a question. He usually gets angry when I ask a question. Any question. He even got angry one time when I asked him, "How was your day?" Sometimes he pretends he hasn't heard me although I know he has. And then I have to ask the question again. Then he gets angry because he feels like he is being nagged! I had not idea until I started reading books and this website that this is also part of the abuse. He would have to give up control to answer. What usually are simple questions. How sad it must be, to be so guarded about your control that you can't even do that.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 05, 2001

S1

WOW, I think you have been in my house!!! Thank-you for understanding and letting me know I am not crazy! You are right on in your theory of abusive relationships. Valerie

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 02, 2001

S1

The "echoing" and the change the subject and counter attack are exactly right. Hit me like a ton of bricks. It's been so frustrating because I always thought that if I pointed this out to him, he would love me enough to not want to hurt me. Ha! I now understand that explaining is not going to work. I'm concerned about the belittling of our son, who's 12 and beginning to "take that tone" with me. I want to protect him from his father and keep him from internalizing and copying all this krap, but I don't want to leave his father. I have manic-depression and they couldn't figure out why my depression would never lift. I now know why. (He's used that against me too - didn't say the words, but the effect was that I was mentally deficient) This whole realization is opening my eyes, but breaking my heart. I just recently came to the understanding that I was verbally and emotionally abused as a kid, and now I find out I "married my father". It took 18 years of increasing abuse to get me to realize the pattern. It was too easy to let it go rather than cause him to get more angry. No More! One way or another I'm going to rescue our son and myself.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 02, 2001

S1

The "echoing" and the change the subject and counter attack are exactly right. Hit me like a ton of bricks. It's been so frustrating because I always thought that if I pointed this out to him, he would love me enough to not want to hurt me. Ha! I now understand that explaining is not going to work. I'm concerned about the belittling of our son, who's 12 and beginning to "take that tone" with me. I want to protect him from his father and keep him from internalizing and copying all this krap, but I don't want to leave his father. I have manic-depression and they couldn't figure out why my depression would never lift. I now know why. (He's used that against me too - didn't say the words, but the effect was that I was mentally deficient) This whole realization is opening my eyes, but breaking my heart. I just recently came to the understanding that I was verbally and emotionally abused as a kid, and now I find out I "married my father". It took 18 years of increasing abuse to get me to realize the pattern. It was too easy to let it go rather than cause him to get more angry. No More! One way or another I'm going to rescue our son and myself.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2001

S1

Dear Judge and Dr. Irene I know what the Judge means I am in the exact same place. But I aint ready to give up yet. Only that I dont have anywhere better to be yet. As I am affraid of being alone with two children to raise and a dependant elderly mother. Help. So my only hope as of today is to copy all this pages in the DRs. web sight and hope he reads them and is urged to act on them. We have been married 15 yrs. now. And I can honestly say it is a little better. Maybe hes mellowing with age. Or maybe he has been listening. I believe to many families are broken by divorce. I hope Im not fooling my self by thinking I can handle this pain. The emotional abuse is the worst for me. He with holds love constantly. And I hope Im doing my children a favor by staying with there father rather than doing them harm. I find myself telling them not to treat people the way their father treats me and sometimes them. I think their old enough to understand, that this is hurtful to anyone involved. Lonely in Il.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2001

S1

Dear Judge and Dr. Irene I know what the Judge means I am in the exact same place. But I aint ready to give up yet. Only that I dont have anywhere better to be yet. As I am affraid of being alone with two children to raise and a dependant elderly mother. Help. So my only hope as of today is to copy all this pages in the DRs. web sight and hope he reads them and is urged to act on them. We have been married 15 yrs. now. And I can honestly say it is a little better. Maybe hes mellowing with age. Or maybe he has been listening. I believe to many families are broken by divorce. I hope Im not fooling my self by thinking I can handle this pain. The emotional abuse is the worst for me. He with holds love constantly. And I hope Im doing my children a favor by staying with there father rather than doing them harm. I find myself telling them not to treat people the way their father treats me and sometimes them. I think their old enough to understand, that this is hurtful to anyone involved. Lonely in Il.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

My abuser in no way communicated with me. His verbal assaults were no more than a way to gain control and to manipulate me to his way of thinking. He had to have the upper hand in all situations and if he could not verbally maintain control then he lashed out with fists. Unfortunately, by the time I was able to leave my abuser, I lost everything within me as a person. If there is no communication without yelling and screaming....get out of the relationship in my opinion.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 21, 2001

S1

Hit the nail right on the head. I lived with this in two marriages, and will never make the same mistake again! Now I know it wasn't all me; there wasn't anything I could do to make it better. I got divorced twice. I'm much happier being free to be myself. I was stifled in both my emotions and creativity for 20 years. I wish I had those years back with the knowledge I have now, but at least I did make a change, and it was absolutely for the better. I have so many women friends in this same situation. I can help them with my knowledge, if they choose, so those 20 years of bewilderment, pain and frustration will, I hope, make a difference for others.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, January 19, 2001

S1

I appreciate the accuracy with which the Judge describes the interaction between an abuser and their mate. This article helped verbalize thoughts I thought were wrong or just not substantial. Thank You, NC

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 18, 2001

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 18, 2001

S1

when i let my abuser read this, he broke down and cried. he realized that this was him and i. he wants to get help.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 14, 2001

S1

I am relieved to know other abusers use the technique of 'echoing'. Anytime I would try to discuss my feelings with my husband such as "As I do not feel loved." He would immediately respond with "I do not feel loved." It is unbelievably frustrating. Every time I would bring something up it would automatically come right back to me. Thank you for enlightening me.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, January 13, 2001

S1

You have nailed it on the head! I've been married almost 6 years and he's driving me insane! The language barrier is so frustrating. He has a tendency of using my family against when he's mad at me about something. If I go grocery shopping and am gone longer than he thinks feasible am I in trouble when I get home. He'll say "Apparently you have no desire to be with your husband and children. We obviously mean nothing to you since you took so long getting home. I am so sorry you hate us!" All the while screaming it at me. I'll get enough nerve, one day, to leave him. Lost

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, January 12, 2001

S1

I can't believe how absolutely true this is!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 04, 2001

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 04, 2001

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 29, 2000

S1

When my abuser is really mad he will not speak to me or even acknowledge me. Sometimes this goes on for days. Longest time was 31 days.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

S1

The name calling, the yelling, making it uncomfortable to talk to my family. Blaming me for not wanting to go to visit his family when he said no. Not letting me ever say what I need to before the screaming at me starts. Pointing out my every flaw on a daily basis. Telling me about all the stupid stuff that always comes out of my mouth. What made me think that this kind of behavior was not that common? I have been feeling so discouraged and depressed. Thank you for this site.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 05, 2000

S1

My husband is an "interrupter", especially when I say something he doesn't want to hear or perceives as being a negative or critical comment towards him. I get so frustrated whenever we have a discussion that by the end of the "conversation" all I can think of is divorce. We have been married almost 18 years and have two daughters, 15 and 10. (My husband was a very infrequent physical abuser during the first 15 years of our marriage, but has learned to control himself through court-ordered anger management classes.) My husband is very well liked by people in general because of his sense of humor and quick wit, but he interrupts people even in general conversation because he's always trying to be funny. I have pointed out to him that interrupting is a form of verbal abuse, especially after I read a letter in Dr. Joyce Brothers' column that was very similar to our situation. He refuses to acknowledge anything that comes from an advice columnist, let alone a woman. I could go on and on, but any feedback would be appreciated. Maybe my husband would be able to "handle" a man's opinion better.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 19, 2000

S1

You have hit the hammer on the nail, My husband is exacty this way. I feel so much better reading your and Dr Irene's site on verbal abuse. My husband twists and blames me for his actions and accuses me of being the abuser. He says I am the problem. Also he tells his family and tries to make me feel like I am crazy. Thank you for setting things straight. Cindy Cingau@aol.com

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 17, 2000

S1

This is the first time I have read that verbal abuse is a language of it's own. I enjoyed your story. This is the way my husband and I communicate. I didn't realize it's not communicating at all, to knock me down more than I already am. The sad part is it does make me feel bad. Reading this helps put light on the problem and how it is not going to be fixed until we get counceling.Thank you for taking the time to write this story. It is very hard to solve problems in a relationship when two people talk like this.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 17, 2000

S1

This is the first time I have read that verbal abuse is a language of it's own. I enjoyed your story. This is the way my husband and I communicate. I didn't realize it's not communicating at all, to knock me down more than I already am. The sad part is it does make me feel bad. Reading this helps put light on the problem and how it is not going to be fixed until we get counceling.Thank you for taking the time to write this story. It is very hard to solve problems in a relationship when two people talk like this.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 11, 2000

S1

I've been married for 16 yrs. and just saw the light the other day.My husband told me that I was a worthless piece of garbage and that the worst thing he ever did was marry me.My 2 kids were in the car when this was said. There were many,many other instances through the years, but this was the most reasent. He also lost his father 6 weeks ago.The relationship is so complicated that I don't even know what to ask.Just to say that I do see the light, and am trying to heal as best as I can.Thanks for this opportunity to vent.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 03, 2000

S1

I was married to a man who used all of the above. He used silence, body language to show disapproval even contempt. I am so excited to see all this in print from someone elses experience and knowledge. Now my thoughts and feelings are confirmed and validated. I divorced him because of my lonliness and frustration and I knew it would never change and I am 60 yo. He made me feel old, tired and sad with no hope. I am a recovering divorcee taking baby steps. I love finding www.DrIrene.com I am eager to read and be supported in this matter. In addition, my daughter has a terribly verbally abusive husband who also calls his sons ages 10 and 12 4 letter names and has started on the 16 month old blonde blue eyed precious beautiful baby girl and it is breaking my heart. I have even been privy to it as he has done it twice in front of me! Thank you Judge for what you have shared. I have benefitted greatly from your words, thoughts and feelings. Sandra@sandra1.com

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 01, 2000

S1

i find that during an argument or blow up, my husband will say the most hurtful or mean thing that he can think of, usually it has nothing to do with what we are talking about. he will say it so that i stop talking because i am so shocked, or because i start crying. it's his way of silencing me so that i can't express my feelings or viewpoint because i am so shocked or hurt.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

I have been seeing this man for about 1 year and half. He is very controlling which I don't mind because I came out of a relationship that the man was weak and didn't care what I did or at least didn't voice his opinion. We have a different lifestlye as far as sex. We are not hurting each other and it keeps our relationship exciting. I do just about everything for this man. Well this past weekend I didn't do what he wanted me to do. The atmospere wasn't right. Well it changed his mood. We stopped dancing. We went back to our room. I was blamed for paying the money for the club and didn't entertain him. Anyway, I was crying and trying to explain to him I didn't want to be the first couple at doing things. I didn't feel comfortable. He said, Okay. I understand. He got in bed. I still wanted to dance in our own room. But he didn't want to enjoy the rest of the evening. I asked him to please get up and dance and listen to music with me. He said, you come over here. I just needed a hug from. He finally got out of bed and yes we did have a few drinks but we weren't drunk out of our mind. I tried to explain to him about my feelings and then he said, "if I got up just to hear you whine then I am going back to bed." I tried to hold on to him by grabbing on to his neck and which point his head hit the wall. I did not force his head into the wall. He thought I did. He threw me off and grabbed my neck and threw me on to the floor. He then continued to act like he was going to punch me but he withdrew. He said, I hate you, you cunt. I hate you. Why don't we just end this all right now and go home. I never fight back with him or ever call him names. I never want to hurt him but that really hurt. I kept calm as much as I was hurting. I explained to him I wasn't trying to hurt him. That was an accident that his head hit the wall. (and it wasn't that hard either). He is a tough guy. In our other fights he is always right. I am always at fault or I do wrong. He can't trust me he says. He has gone out on me at least twice that I know of. And he talks about trust. He says he can't trust my past. Yet I have done nothing to him to hurt him or disrespect him. I know he is damaging me. I know I need to get out. I was in love with him very much. But those last words broke me. I asked him if what he said if he meant it. He said no. But he didn't apologize until I ask him too. We are so good together and we have such good times together. But he is so mean with his words. What do I tell him? What can I show him so he can see he is at fault not me?

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 23, 2000

S1

Yes yes yes oh dear you have described my hubby of 19 years perfectly. That is exactly how I have come to think of him - the best defense is a good offense. Someone else posted about how any authority is also always shouted down by these types - they aren't to be trusted. He also uses this excuse to keep getting help for our son. His school vision comes back with a recommendation for exam, and I'm given a lecture on how glasses hurt kid's eyes. The dentist recommends an orthodontic eval, he rails about how these people are just there to make money. I come back from a business trip and find a child covered in spots, and am told that "he's just FINE DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT." When the kid had the chickenpox he was enraged that the school made us keep him home, and he let me know it. I have to listen to rages against banks, the state, and everyone else who doesn't set things up exactly the way he'd like them to be.

Last week our son "accidentally" hit our housecleaner on the head with an object dropped over a railing. She was just short of a concussion - headache, nausea - it was bad. Is he acting out his dad's aggression or whas it truly an accident? I don't know. But do you know what hubby had to say? "So when is she coming back to finish cleaning?"

At my son's birth, hubby's "best friend", who is an OB, did the delivery for us - for free. Hubby's role was supposed to be to breath with me and to help me get through this. Instead he criticized me on how I wasn't doing it right. Fortunately Dear Doctor D took over and I got through a drug-free delivery. However there was an episiotomy, and hubby told me that he wanted to punch his friend by that point (presumably for taking over to help me and also for doing the episiotomy which healed up just fine). In short, he managed to take this joyous incident and infuse it with rage. It still makes me cringe to remember it.

I just only realized why conversations are so strange around our house. Last night the son (who's only 7) was talking to me about the incident, and suddenly he was interrupted by his father who was saying how wrong he was. It really threw me for a loop, but I got it! At last, I got it! He does this all the time! Drops into the middle of our conversation to "tell it like it is." Obviously we are too weak (NOT!) to do it ourselves.

Thank you, Judge, for such an eloquent description. I see now how little hope we have, but I am ready to let DeNial be truly only a river in Africa and not a part of my daily existence.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 21, 2000

S1

Thank you so much for writing this article and for making this information available. I experienced this exact abuse, especially the endless questions and the sarcastic reactions, for so long. I kept reading self-help books about how to be more assertive and how to communicate more effectively. Nothing ever worked. Now I am happily divorced and free. No one should ever have to be treated like this. I lived with it for 28 years. Every day I have now is a reclaimed day. May the readers of this article recognize the abuse and escape before so much time is lost to them.

An additional thought. My ex was constantly groping me and claiming he was being affectionate. When we walked together, he put his hand on my back and pushed me along. I am wondering if there are physical forms of communication like this that are typical of a verbal abuser. The more cataloging we do the more abused people can recognize abuse and escape it. Thanks again.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 08, 2000

S1

hello well u have mentioned abt verbal abuse but what is that verbal abuse where in men mostly use abusive language pertaining to women in front of a women . i am writing from in india

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 30, 2000

S1

Thank you so much for writing and explaining the concept of echoing. My husband uses this constantly I now realise why there can never be any communication and it helps me realise what he was doing. after 22 years I am leaving (again) I must give up he does not want to get counseling the echoing is enough to drive a person nuts. All your efforts are totally worthless as I see they arent even listening. thanks Cheryl

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

Judge, I see you have broken down a very complex issue which is at the core of abuser/victim relations. Whew, I'm tired just reading it, just like the tiredness I felt dealing with an abusive and controlling boyfriend. Your essay has helped me realize and focus on what our communication problems were, when I tried to approach things, he'd blow up. Poor guy, he was so defensive that he lashed out, making communication and breaching relational issues scary and difficult. He used harsh jokes and language as "armor": Even though he was very funny, I believe his humor attracted people but masked his feelings of inadequacy. Making people laugh felt like approval and love. Behind the scenes wasn't very fun for me. I was his punching bag, and dealing with his history of emotional problems made me very confused. The last time he struck at me was when I asked him a question, putting him on the defense. I was always to blame for causing chaos. This pretzel logic made me confused, but now I can see the patterns in your analysis. I still care about this man (we're 30), but I've broken up with him and am afraid right now to talk him.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 18, 2000

S1

Judge, I see you have broken down a very complex issue which is at the core of abuser/victim relations. Whew, I'm tired just reading it, just like the tiredness I felt dealing with an abusive and controlling boyfriend. Your essay has helped me realize and focus on what our communication problems were, when I tried to approach things, he'd blow up. Poor guy, he was so defensive that he lashed out, making communication and breaching relational issues scary and difficult. He used harsh jokes and language as "armor": Even though he was very funny, I believe his humor attracted people but masked his feelings of inadequacy. Making people laugh felt like approval and love. Behind the scenes wasn't very fun for me. I was his punching bag, and dealing with his history of emotional problems made me very confused. The last time he struck at me was when I asked him a question, putting him on the defense. I was always to blame for causing chaos. This pretzel logic made me confused, but now I can see the patterns in your analysis. I still care about this man (we're 30), but I've broken up with him and am afraid right now to talk him.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000

S1

This has described my sons problem that could now be leading to a divorce, and I can't blame her. Whe has been verbally degraded for over 13 yrs. now and she had reached the point of suicide, whe felt she was the reason for his constant degrading words and temper bouts. I have helped by conviencing her that she was not at fault and the damage that it was doing to our grandchildren was not worth the hope she still had that he would change. Your artical will be passed on to her for enlightment. Thank you

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 08, 2000

S1

You're definitely on target; I deal with both scenarios all the time. Wow - I'm not crazy!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 05, 2000

S1

Thank you! This is exactly what I try to convey to others about MY relationship! But nobody gets it! I have spent 10 years trying to communicate with my husband, only to come to this site now, and read about all this! WOW! I am still not up to the point where I can say . . ."Oh, it's not me - !" I still think that I am doing something wrong. However, I am begining to observe that in trying to communicate with my husband, I am failing to have the ability to communicate with normal people outside my home. This is what I am trying to work on now. Thank you for sharing this information.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 28, 2000

S1

Wow! After all this time, I guess I'm not crazy after all. Abusers tend to make you think you are...I guess now comes the process of convincing him that this is not normal and to take some responsibility. Thanks Judge. Now I can start therapy and understand exactly what it is that I need to deal with.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, August 20, 2000

S1

Dear Judge, Mine perfected echoing. Now he crosses his arms in front of him when confronted with anything he doesn't feel like dealing with and says "Just answer me this. What did you tell me the first Christmas after we met, huh?" (or whenever). Good, huh? If these guys (or gals) could hear themselves they would understand why cleaning the toilet is preferable to any attempt at convesation.

Love this site. It's done more for my self esteem than anything, and I must be getting better as I have found the ability to laugh since finding you. LL

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 14, 2000

S1

This really hit the nail on the head. As a survivor of this type of relationship, I find it to be a very accurate analysis. I also note that in my experience , an abuser also uses language not only to avoid listening to the partner's complaint about a problem but also to shift all responsibility to the partner. There is no such thing for example as a true apology. It is impossible for them to acknowledge fault. Thus, the apology runs something like--"I made a mistake, but you must admit that you were not clear..etc." The "mistake" that they acknowledge always ends up in the abuser's mind being the fault of the victim's lack of communication. The effect is to try and confuse the victim, to make the victim doubt themselves. I have also found not only from my own experience but from those of others that a favorite word of an abuser is "reasonable". "Reasonable" however is always defined as whatever the abuser does or wants. It is most effectively used by them when the victim is understandably upset, emotionally agitated and frustrated over a bad situation or conduct by the abuser. The abuser however remains calm in the face of the victim's frustration and speaks of being "reasonable" , increasing the victim's frustration and agitation. By doing this the abuser attempts to make the victim and any observers believe that since he is the calm one, the one invoking the words "be reasonable" while the victim is upset, she is in fact the one with the problem, the hysterical one. This is especially dangerous when there are third party's observing--especially when the third parties lack knowledge of the full facts, the history and the dynamic. If the abuser succeeds with this approach--by even getting third parties to take a neutral view of the situation -i.e., seeing both parties at fault, the victim is twice victimized since she feels her reality is being doubted and there is no hope for help from others.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 14, 2000

S1

Of everything I've read here, I really related to this. The form of abuse describe here is so subtle that it almost makes the victim feel paronoid. I have been married for 22 years but it has only been in the last few years that I have come to realize that I am a victim and co-dependent. I don't think I could have described it any better. It's hard to say anything without repeating much of what has already been said.

I would like to tell you something that happens in my family a lot. My husband will make a remark, a criticism. It is usually in the presence of others. I then have a choice to either ignore it (and in my mind let him get by with it) or defend myself. I am usually so angry and embarrassed that I jump to defend myself. Needless to say, I always end up feeling like the fool because his come back is usually something along the lines of.. You took it the wrong way, You are over-sensitive/over-reacting, along with that look of shock on his face that I have now become unglued. He also uses our relationship to his advantage when he fails to accomplish something by telling his (coworkers, boss, etc) that I am somehow responsible for his problems. It can be something as simple as his being late for work or not having reports done. One time when he was on the verge of losing a job, he basically told his boss that I was a nut-case. He actually likes the feel-sorry-for-me attention he get when he tells people this) His boss insisted that we both go to a corporate appointed councelor who in the end basically got fed up trying to get my husband to communicate. My husband felt I was the problem and it was a total waste of his time to be there.

Anyway, I didn't intend to go on, I just really related to this form of abuse and would love to hear other people's stories that are along the same line. I really thought I was the only one!

Thanks for listening. denise@theadkeeper.com

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 14, 2000

S1

READING THIS INFORMATION HAS MADE ME AWARE THAT I AM MARRIED TO AN ABUSIVE MAN. THIS ARTICLE ON NON COMMUNICATION IS CLASSIC TO MY HUSBAND.

TONIGHT HE TOLD ME TO SHUT THE F--- UP. THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME IN OUR RELATIONSHIP THIS HAS OCCURED. I HAD TOLD HIM I MADE AN APPT. WITH THE CABLE COMPANY AND HE BEGAN TO COMPLAIN AS USUAL. THEN I STARTED TO TALK. THEN WHEN WE GO HOME I TOLD HIM HE WAS NOT GOING TO TREAT ME LIKE HIS FORMER WIFE AND GIRLFRIEND AND HE SAID F--- YOU. A FIGHT STARTED OVER THE CABLE TV APPT. YOU ARE RIGHT, THESE PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO DISCUSS ANYTHING. I HAVE ONLY BEEN MARRIED OVER A YEAR AND AM THINKING I SHOULD LEAVE. I AM WHAT YOUR DOCUMENTATION SAYS, FRUSTRATED AND LONEY BECAUSE MY HUSBAND DOES NOT COMMUNICATE. IF SOMETHING IS BROUGHT UP HE SAYS I WANT TO FIGHT AND IT IS " THAT TIME OF THE MONTH" I AM TIRED OF HEARING THAT COMMENT TOO. I LOVE HIM BUT I WILL LEAVE IF I HAVE TO . I DON'T NEED HIM FINANCIALLY. THIS IS EXCELLENT INFORMATION ON VERBAL ABUSE. THANK YOU .

twintwoinak@aol.com

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2000

S1

please help. i am so tired of his verbal abuse. he loves to call me a cunt or bitch. he knows this hurts me. he has a sexual disfunction. maybe this is why he is so jealous of me.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 02, 2000

S1

I have lived with an abusive man for 10 years on and off I feel I can not ascape him. No matter how hard I try to gain confidence the moment he sees I am getting some he tears it down again leaving me feeling worthless amd dependent on him .I have tried to talk to him for years and have always felt that we were speaking a different language now I don't feel so alone i realize I may have hit on something .Thank you for showing me I was not going crazy.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 25, 2000

S1

What an insiteful look into an abusive relationship. I feel as if you must be living in my house and giving as oral account of our daily lives. I feel sick inside reading the description, but it is good to see that others have the same feelings, and it is not "all in my head."

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 20, 2000

S1

I have to, have to, have to, comment on this section!! I have read everything on the website thus far, and am thankful that I have found a place where there is a name for how I live and have lived for the past eight years. This story in particular hit home big time and gave definition and insight to the everyday way my husband interacts...thanks for the insight, and I will keep on reading and learning more and more about this. yreyezzzzz@aol.com Mary Ellen

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2000

S1

I just finished reading the Judge's Little Story and I see so much of what I deal with day after day. I just wanted to say thank you for giving me a little insight and understanding.

Autumn

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 15, 2000

S1

How's this for "echoing"?

I said (as calmly as I could after being screamed at for 30 minutes), "Please stop ranting and get control of yourself."

She screamed in response, "I'm not ranting, you are! You're the one who's out of control! You stop ranting!"

Then she spit in my face, snatched my glasses off my face and dropped them on the floor, grabbed a flower pot and threatened to break it.

I said, "Get a grip on yourself or leave or I'll call the police."

She responded, "You get a grip or I'll call the police!"

When I did dial 911, she thought I was faking as I spoke with the dispatcher. After I hung up, she thought I was lying about calling the police.

This came at the end of a 15 month long relationship. Her verbal abuse had escalated over 9 or 10 months, usually (but not always) when she was drinking. During the last month, her verbal abuse turned physical. The first physical attack was a glass of champagne thrown in my face. I'll accept some responsibility for that scene, because I was cussing her at the time. However, after the champagne in the face incident, I resolved not to raise my voice again, and I never directed another four-letter word at her. Even so, she was powerless to stop venting and escalating. Later, without any provocation that I could ever figure out (was it because her aunt had suffered a stroke?), she pummeled my chest and midsection with her fists as I stood helplessly with my hands behind my back. She hit me hard enough to bruise my chest. I knew better than to hit her back. I'm not a violent man, but I do finally understand why her ex-husband beat her up. After each of these incidents, she begged forgiveness and made promises to behave. I foolishly forgave her.

The irony is, my ex-girlfriend has a Ph.D. in interpersonal communications, and teaches college and graduate level classes on the subject. But she has never learned one of the most basic rules of playground behavior - if you spit in someone's face, they won't want to be around you.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 09, 2000

S1

My husband took me to a counselor,after I found his journal of plans to be with another woman and my screaming I'm leaving. His motive to see the counselor to seek options.(so he said). When we got there, he told the counselor that he wanted to not be married to me anymore, but could we still be friends. All the while he never looked at me. I broke down sobbing, confused because I thought we were there for 'OPTIONS'. He never, in 9 yrs., has had a normal way of communicating with me, and he is exactly what you say in your writings. The thing is this: the divorce and community property became final and he acted like nothing happened and couldn't understand why I was so angry. He kept on calling and being sweet and wanting to know if I'd go here or there with him, and acted like, 'what's the problem?' He kept trying to hook me in this 'friends thing' and said he'd give me time to figure it out. He called one time, assuming I'd jump to letting him take me out for my birthday. He couldn't understand why I was having a tough time being 'friends', and he couldn't see that, since he never even talked when we were married, then how was this 'friends' thing going to be any different. Well, I did a draft in the computer that was forceful, and saying my wants in order to be friends. They included all of the subtle abuse no-no's,(though I didn't know they were abuse) i.e. don't deny me my reality, don't control my thoughts and feelings and actions. It was a forceful long list for me to look at, and see what I was experiencing with my anger. Keep in mind I was in such denial in my marriage (because he was subtle and didn't use normal language) that I didn't know these things were abusive, but, trust me, he did all the things you mention in your article, and I suspected he was a me-me person and never cared to hear me speak. He didn't even want me to sing to myself. He wasn't going to communicate anything if he could help it, and to this day I never know or knew what he meant by things, as I wasn't allowed to ask. The main thing here is that the draft got put in a 'Send Later' file instead of a 'Save' file and it sent it the next day to him. I panicked, knowing the verdict. He e-mailed me his usual one liners; it said Please don't contact me anymore. I e-mailed back the situation that it was a draft, he wasn't supposed to see, but, the one liner came back again, please don't contact me, please respect my wishes. please.....All of his strutting and coming to visit me and wanting to be 'friends' and being extra sweet, but still no language, and all his claims to be patient until I figured it out, if I wanted to be friends, and even promises for a 'heart to heart' talk, (totally unheard of in the marriage) and he cut me off when he saw that I knew what he was doing, and I said I couldn't be friends if he couln't stop controlling me, or shutting me up (even before I spoke)or naming my reality, or : all the things you wrote that they do, was in my draft. I'd had it, and couldn't take it anymore. I sobbed about these issues when the divorce was happening and I was safe enough to process and realize what I was experiencing......Why the sudden cutoff? After all his gentle , subtle , manipulative trying to be 'friends?' No communication still and no comment on my 'wants' draft either...nothing...just, don't contact me....Is this another withholding ploy? Is is angry silence? Is he creating distance to come up with another plan? I need a plan if he tries to contact me again. He'll never disclose anything about himself to anyone, and he gets away with it by conveying that he is shy, which he is not.....does this make sense? We have always spoken two different languages. Mine and (his)none.....I am having to find my way back from the torture of silence in a marriage. I have flash backs before I wake in the morning of having to endure another silent, gesturing, controlling, tortured, lonely day, filled with silent demands of who knows what...then I wake relieved that it's only a flashback and relieved to know that I'm alone, and can choose to talk to someone today, and I can have a chance for a day to be something other than dread...R.G.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, June 24, 2000

S1

This article is SO accurate and I am so pleased to see it addressed. Trained or not, this person is on target and Mental Health Professionals should TAKE NOTE.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, June 24, 2000

S1

Is this a place to ask about personal problems going on in my life?

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, June 23, 2000

S1

I am totally stunned by this website. I can't believe how much all of this hits home. I just got out of a 2 year abusive relationship in March of 2000 and I'm still reeling from it. You just can't win with abusers, no how, no way! No matter what, I am the piece of crap! And that's exactly what I've been struggling with since we broke up, feeling guilty, blaming myself. I just recently went back into therapy once a week, plus I'm sober so the AA meetings really help, but this site takes the cake. I've never seen anything that hits so close to home and shows truly what an abusive relationship is like. I wish my ex could see it, but he wouldn't get it anyway, he's too sick.

Thanks for all of the information.

Sincerely,

Julie J. Royal Oak, MI

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, June 22, 2000

S1

Your descrition and examples of the method of communicating used by an abuser is very accurate. I have been in an abusive relationship for over twenty years. At the age of 46, I have come to realize the insidous mentality can not be over stated. If you are idealistic, your the perfect patsy for an abuser to to manipulate and play mind games. Until I accidental pulled Patricia Evans book out a library shelf, I was stumped to explain my spouse's behavior. Patricia Evan wrote that book for me or so it seemed. Now that I have my spouse to quit the abusive behavior and have concluded that my spouse is unwilling to change. I have decided to exit this relationship. I am being threated and the anger from my spouse has escalated. What is so weird, is that my my spouse thinks I am fooling around. My spouse is so confident that I am bluffing. Even though I have left the house a couple of times before, and have returned home on the word that my spouse would stop the abuse. Each time I returned there was a temporary change and my spouse reverted to the same abusive behavior. It is somewhat scary to think of the mentality that this person is operating from. She has even told me that she wishes that I would get my "ass" kicked. That she knew people that would do it. I must cut this short for know. I would appreciate any comments that you my be willing to share. I am somewhat isolated and could use a response from someone who knows where I am coming from.

my

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2000

S1

I am truly amazed at the way this article has summed up! I cannot speak for others' communicative problems, but for mine it certainly fits. Word for word, line for line, every single word of it is true! No matter how many ways I have tried to communicate it just never works! I was calling it "the evasive turn the tables routine". I am happy to have stumbled upon this site!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2000

S1

I am truly amazed at the way this article has summed up! I cannot speak for others' communicative problems, but for mine it certainly fits. Word for word, line for line, every single word of it is true! No matter how many ways I have tried to communicate it just never works! I was calling it "the evasive turn the tables routine". I am happy to have stumbled upon this site!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2000

S1

I am truly amazed at the way this article has summed up! I cannot speak for others' communicative problems, but for mine it certainly fits. Word for word, line for line, every single word of it is true! No matter how many ways I have tried to communicate it just never works! I was calling it "the evasive turn the tables routine". I am happy to have stumbled upon this site!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2000

S1

I am truly amazed at the way this article has summed up! I cannot speak for others' abusers, but for mine it certainly fits. Word for word, line for line, every single word of it is true! No matter how many ways I have tried to communicate it just never works! I was calling it "the evasive turn the tables routine".

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2000

S1

I am truly amazed at the way this article has summed up! I cannot speak for others' abusers, but for mine it certainly fits. Word for word, line for line, every single word of it is true! No matter how many ways I have tried to communicate it just never works! I was calling it "the evasive turn the tables routine".

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 19, 2000

S1

Thank you Judge G for putting into words what I have been dealing with and trying to explain to my family. I am just figuring it all out--what has been happening to me for the past year or so and I can't believe that what you are describing is my husband's behavior EXACTLY! The echoeing is exactly what he does. Where do all abusers learn the same tactics? It is like they all read the same book or went to the same school. It is so unbelievable that there is this mental disorder out there that is so well hid and that people find hard to describe or believe ----because these abusers are so clever and sly.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, June 18, 2000

S1

On the part about not answering questions I find interesting. It is my feeling that I am damned if I answer the question, and I am damned if I don't answer the question. So is it better to answer the question with your honest feelings then no answer at all, or do you summon up a response that they want to hear, or do you not answer and still feel the wrath of being wrong. I know that I could have done some things differently in our relationship, yes I had even done some of the controlling as a means of self preservation and a few times out of fear of the verbal threats that were tossed out (but really, honestly, do you possibly think I could truly do something like that). Where does the madness end. My partner has threatened me with divorce for many years and has finally gone down that path, yet when I received the notice to pick up the papers by registered/certified mail it was seen as a sign of wanting to end the marriage.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, June 18, 2000

S1

On the part about not answering questions I find interesting. It is my feeling that I am damned if I answer the question, and I am damned if I don't answer the question. So is it better to answer the question with your honest feelings then no answer at all, or do you summon up a response that they want to hear, or do you not answer and still feel the wrath of being wrong.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, June 10, 2000

S1

Judge, were you listening tome and my ex wife all those years? HA! You hit the nail on the head! I recall being asked a question and if I didn't answer it yes or no, she would talk right over me. But if I dared to talk over her, or ignore her, watch out!!!

Ultimately, my son and I escaped, I'm divorced, we're doing fine, and she more or less withdrew into her own world, never seeing our son. I feel bad for her, but this time around I can say: It ain't my problem!!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 06, 2000

S1

I totally identify with this...another type of communication, or lack, thereof, involves the abuser saying something like, "You will not ever call me a liar again. Thank you." And that ENDS the conversation. Even if I catch him in a lie or can PROVE he's lied, I have no right to say anything because he says, "You lie too...remember that time you lied about..." When I did withhold some facts from him, I came out and admitted it directly to him. The only time he'll admit to a lie is if I've already CAUGHT him in it and he has no way out but to confess to it. Very frustrating. It really is a no-win, isn't it? Thanks for helping me identify what this relationship truly is. I just don't know how to leave - he's so verbally cruel - "You never loved me - your whole life is a lie - you've lied to me from the beginning...everyone knows how controlling you are anyway - you're the worst person I've ever met. You're the perfect example of what I DON'T want in a partner!"

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, June 02, 2000

S1

I think the 'judge' has a point about communication. I have been in an abusive relationship with an extremely clever, totally manipulative man. I agree that communication is impossible for we do not speak the same language. It was only when my husband walked out on me, left me, when I was diagnosed w/a chronic illness, deprived me of financial resources, went to see his mother, (meet his mistress of the moment), all, after I had seen him through heart surgery, despite my own illness, that I began to really see the light. As the judge said, these people are so damaged they are unable to care for anybody at all. (Read "Leaving the Doll's House", to see what novelist Philip Roth did to Claire Bloom (and what she did to herself that permitted Roth to get away with divesting her of everything...)

My parents were equally damaged. My mother was a Class A victim. My father, a veterinary surgeon, was an uncontrollable rageaholic, silent and withdrawn.

Mother was completely unaware of her state, and was herself the daughter of an abusive and controlling mother, my grandmother, whom she defended to the end. Her father, contemptuous and gentlemanly, was absent often from the home.

Brought up with the twin disadvatages of a catholic religion/education, which devalues girls for the purpose of producting socially machined dupes/handmaidens to the patriarchy, I had the classic helper/rescuer profile. Little did I know that my 'qualities of helper and rescuer-kindnesses- were the seeds of my own downfall and unhappiness.

My husband too had an extremely abusive father and mother whose relationship was unhappy. The mother, wife of an impotent alcoholic womanizing man sought comfort in her son thus setting father and son up in the most grotesque competitive relationship with disasterous consequences.

He idolizes his mother, as my mother did hers, almost cult proportions, and always rushes to her defense. This is a significant and oft used defensive strategy, a great ploy in cutting off any conversation about anything related to family issues. There are lots of other issues complicating issues which make the situation even more difficult: veteran PTSD, previous unresolved divorce, sexual acting out etc. etc. In all, a modern drama of classic proportions.

Now, only after years of denial, bolstered by the secret shame that I failed and should have been able to resolve my interpersonal difficulties-guilt- can I bring myself to acknowledge the futility of my situation. I am 57 and my husband is 66.

After years of trying to 'fix' it. I finally have come to the conclusion that the only way to resolve this is by bowing out gracefully. I am completely and utterly exhausted and worn down. I still have an enduring sense of my won worth which has seem me through the darkest times. The situation is all the more difficult as my husband with precocious brain degeneration, (resulting from a Cipro reaction-anahylactic shock and near death at Stanford University Hospital in 1966).

Moving from the individual to societal issues, surely these basic relational issues, warning signs and asalyses ought to be taught in every class room from kindegarten on...especially given 'inexplicable' (!) school violence? And we know violence originates in homes, with parents.

Surely, we need a mimimal licensing system for parenthood? Why impose misery and terror on unsuspecting and innocent children?

True Blue and a Ph.D!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 30, 2000

S1

Hey, judge. I knew this was you the moment I begain to read it. You write well and know their behavior so well. Later jac in Wa.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 18, 2000

S1

You know, im sitting here reading all this and im crying at the same time. I have known this all along. Im a wife and mother of five. 3 are my step kids and twins that are mine with my husband. Right now me and my husband are not getting along which is normal. I know what I need to do and what is right but it would be the hardest thing in my life that i would have to do. I didnt get married to get divorced but i also didnt get married to be treated like this.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 18, 2000

S1

You must live in my home... You just hit my husband on the head.... I'm trying to get strong enough to end this 19 year mess...

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 18, 2000

S1

I can't believe what I have read this is my life to a t. He didn't start doing it real strongly until after we were married and then the walls started to crumble and have been. I have heard everthing from "give me a reason to change" like, marry me or lets have a baby then after these things are acomplished the promise is never kept. I have been told my parents say awful things about me and so do my siblings it has made me so scared to trust anyone.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 18, 2000

S1

I can't believe what I have read this is my life to a t. He didn't start doing it real strongly until after we were married and then the walls started to crumble and have been. I have heard everthing from "give me a reason to change" like, marry me or lets have a baby then after these things are acomplished the promise is never kept. I have been told my parents say awful things about me and so do my siblings it has made me so scared to trust anyone.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

S1

I have been living on a day by day of abuse for 29yr.I am fearfull that i may snap,and take my life to get away from this daily treatment!He enyoy's the abuse he gives!It is the only thing that seem's to make him feel good!He must control everything,scream's at me and our son every day!He wont leave!If he did then he wouldn't have any one to abuse!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

S1

I have been living on a day by day of abuse for 29yr.I am fearfull that i may snap,and take my life to get away from this daily treatment!He enyoy's the abuse he gives!It is the only thing that seem's to make him feel good!He must control everything,scream's at me and our son every day!He wont leave!If he did then he wouldn't have any one to abuse!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 15, 2000

S1

how true these twisting words are, I remember trying and trying to choose the right words to not elicit those "thrown back in my face" answers, but it didn't matter what I said, he would always find something to deflect my feelings and make it all about him. I'm away from him now...9 days and couting... amy b

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 08, 2000

S1

Typically, what kind of household does the verbally abusive person come from? The person I'm involved with has a mother who is "neat freak." She continually puts down her daughter-in-laws for being terrible housekeepers and not productive with their time.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2000

S1

Earlier I said the Judge was dead on target. Well, here's more. I am the husband; my wife is the abuser. We have a sixteen month old. Everyone talks about getting out. But guess what? If I leave, who gets the baby? My wife! Because she's female! And then I have acted in such a way that the baby will learn from her mother. So, it looks like I have to stay and endure the abuse so as to shield my darling daughter.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2000

S1

Unbelievably dead-on target. Had me riveted as I recognized for the first time these verbal gambits.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 24, 2000

S1

my abuser repeats herself when i ask queations...repeating and repeating like a stuck record.

she also attacks my integrity, accusing me of selfishness, being sinister, maniuplative, etc etc.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 10, 2000

S1

I just wanted to say that I have recently gotten out of a verbally abusive relationship and it took me quite a while to realize what was going on. Seeing the examples that I have read here makes me feel better. I have many times heard the "I'm not the one yelling, you are." and the "See, you do it too." I am at a place in my life now where I can finally feel like I'm doing myself some good. He, of course, keeps telling me how he has realized that he hasn't been treating me with the respect that I deserve and that he is changing, but I just can't bring myself to care anymore. It's his problem from here on out and I can't help him. I have also been told by him that I am the one who makes him act this way because I make him so mad that he has to punch holes in the walls. I understood at the time he said that that I was not to blame for his actions, I don't control his arms or his fists. The thing that saddens me the most about it is that we were in couseling for 6 months and the only thing that our couselor told us was that we needed to communicate, every session ended with "You just need to communicate better." I felt that the couseling wasn't helping at all and he couldn't even tell us why things weren't going well or why we needed to communicate. I couldn't understand why, after telling him that I didn't feel comfortable telling my husband how I felt, that he couldn't offer more than "You just need to communicate." I see now where I went wrong in the relationship and the things that I could have done to set boundaries, but I had gotten to a point where I can't work on it anymore and I just want out so that I can go on with my life and care for the children. The last display of anger that I witnessed from him was "the straw that broke the camels back". He had gotten mad at me after he asked me if I was going to have sex with him and I said no, he went into a rage and started to throw a tantrum as if he was three years old. It eventually moved from the bedroom to the living room (because I was not going to play the game, so I went to sleep on the couch) and he threw a glass of water on me. I didn't respond well, I said "Thanks, that was refreshing." It made him even more mad and so he filled the glass with water again and smashed it against the side of HIS head. All the while he was telling me to get out of his house and calling me various names such as F***ing C**t and B**ch. I left the next day and have only been back to pick up a few items here and there. This site has made me realize a lot and I can't thank you enough for having it here for those of us who may have been confused with the decisions we have made. Lori

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 06, 2000

S1

WOW! Someone gets what I went through. I was dealing with an abuser who would NEVER TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for any of his actions! In a normal relationship, there is even exchange, good dialogue, working through things together. It took me a long time to realize that the abuser was too FRAGILE to accept any of his shortcomings, she his defense was to always come back at me!!! Ultimately, this got him off the hook and made me feel incredibly bad about myself, always walking around feeling like there was no resolution in our matters. ABUSERS are never wrong! Didn't you know that! If you want to be the most frustrated person alive and lose your self-esteem, just stay with your abuser. They will suck the life out of you! Let me tell you the changes of him changing are SLIM. Sorry, but this is true. The second time we got back together, he was MORE ABUSIVE than the first time. This behavior escalates, this is why you may end up with a broken nose. There are too many wonderful people in the world for you to be wasting time with someone who will always come up short for you. The first wonderful person is YOU! You are better company for yourself than someone who is hostile. Let go of the guilt...you deserve to get away. You've been so good to him...I know it because you are just like me.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 06, 2000

S1

Wow, echoing is very familiar to me. I was involved for several years with someone and noticed (and started to complain) about this behavior near the end. To phrase it differently, we could never deal with a problem I surfaced without first dealing with a similar problem of hers ("Well, you do xxx to me! How do you think that makes me feel?)

Extremely frustrating.

I would have to flag myself as the "abuser" in that relationship ... not that there wasn't a goodly amount of what I interpreted as passive- aggressive baiting and counterattack happening.

Anyway, it's good to hear others' frustrations with the echo pattern, but in my experience it's equally well (dysfunctionally) employed by both "abusers" and "codependents".

Does anyone posting here actually put themself in the "codependent" category?

--Mark

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 05, 2000

S1

Wow. I've been reading on this site all day since i discovered it. I know I'm with a verbally and emotionally abusive man, but I don't know how to extricate myself. We've been together 10 years. Of course, it just keeps getting worse, but I love him, and don't know how to "let go" right now. This article in particular, sounds like a verbatum of many of our "discussions" which have at this time all but ceased, because I don't want to "play" anymore.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 03, 2000

S1

Everything you said is true.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 03, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, April 01, 2000

S1

Yes!! Thank you for your description of "echoing" -- it has happened to me so often and it helps to see it described. I agree that, for the verbal abuser, language is not used for communication but for manipulation.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 30, 2000

S1

Very accurate and so on target! It is amazing how easy it is to identify it when it is spelled out! Thank You for your insight...

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2000

S1

I agree wholeheartedly!! I have experienced all of the methods mentioned by the Judge. There is absolutely no way to effectively communicate with the abuser who is living in another reality. I was always told that I was relentless and provocative when I was merely asking a simple question that anyone else would simply answer. I was always the cause of the rage or outburst. Dr. Phil on Oprah said that there are no victims, only volunteers. I have been out of my relationship for almost 2 years, but I am still recovering from the abusive behavior from a man that I thought that I loved. Nothing worked. I knew that I was spending all of my energy trying to fix something that couldn't be fixed by me. I now have learned to recognize the warning signs with men that I meet and I do not pursue ANY man that exhibits control or anger signs. I have had to learn the hard way. Thank you, judge for your insights!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2000

S1

Wow, this really says it all. I am so frustrated at our situation. We have been in counselling for about 6 months and I think we have gotten no where. I am learning more from this site that from those sessions.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 25, 2000

S1

Very informative. I only wish I had known about these sites 6 years and 1 child ago. I especially liked the scenarios shown. I finally stopped arguing with my girlfriend 3 yrs ago thinking it would defuse the situation. Well it's 3 yrs. later and no change. I'm now in the process of getting out! Of course she sees it as abandonment, but I'm frazzeled after this nightmarish ride. I'm very concerned about my 3 yr. old. I mentioned her as my girl friend, I've long since sold the engagement ring back to the jeweler. That was always a big issue, marry me and I'll behave. It's the only thing I did right. Thanks for the opportunity to spew.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 25, 2000

S1

My boyfriend HELPS ME OUT WHEN MY CAR BRAKES DOWN AND IF I NEED ANY KIND OF HELP . tHEN HE TURNS AROUND AND SAYS IM A USER A TAKER AND SAYS IM FAT HAVE NO FRIENDS AN HE IS THE ONE WHO LOVES ME. HE SEND MY MOM FLOWERS THAT SAID go to hell BRCAUSE SHE SAID HE WAS DANGEROUS. HOW CAN A GUY LOVE YOU AND HATE EVERYTHING YOU ARE, HES 53 AND I JUST GET SO CONFUSED.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2000

S1

I put up with a verbally abusive relationship for 6 months. Maybe 6 months doesn't sound like a long time, but it was full of a lifetime's worth of heartache and tears. I eventually had to begin loving myself enough to recognize the damage he was doing to my heart and get out. No matter how much I still love him, I will not go back to that kind of pain. When I read about the "echoing" part of his language, I was immediately touched. He turned every argument around so that it was my fault. I was wrong so much that I was beginning to think I was crazy. It took a whole lot of praying and thinking to let it go. I'm still struggling, but God is my strength! Thanks for being intelligent enough to figure all of this out! I really needed to read it. It confirmed to me that I made the right decision in breaking up with him.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2000

S1

Ends up my boyfriend became verablly abusive. And onenight after several unsuccessful talks he said his way or the highway... so I packed up & moved out after 2 years of togetherness. If he was always abusive he never said one peep until after a year and a half. At first I thought perhaps I was being too sensitive. This couldn't be the man I knew. I kept turning in my memory bank to the person I first met. But after many long tearful hours and 10,000 Gloria Gaynor's later... I realize he has a problem and eventhough it hurts to leave I couldn't stay and like myself in the morning....

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Date: Monday, August 18, 2003

S1

You made me laugh. It is exactly as you say it is. My friends and i would often make jokes about making cue cards for expected/known responses because they were SO predictable! I fell into some co-dependent behaviour where i suffered my own anger. This led to everything quite clearly being my fault, anxiety, depression and then complete inability to communicate on my part, or keep ignoring what was happening. I felt like was going crazy. So i left. It was really hard to admit that the person i was so in love with was abusive towards me and didn't love me the same way i loved them. MeMe is a very good description. thanks for your story gina

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Date: Friday, August 15, 2003

S1

Do an internet search for "When Words Hurt". That article breaks down clearly the verbal control tactics abusers use, their intention in using them, and the effects on the abused spouse. I found it helpful in at least recognizing where my spouse was steering the conversation and why so that I've begun to respond differently.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, August 15, 2003

S1

Do an internet search for "When Words Hurt". That article breaks down clearly the verbal control tactics abusers use, their intention in using them, and the effects on the abused spouse. I found it helpful in at least recognizing where my spouse was steering the conversation and why so that I've begun to respond differently.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, August 15, 2003

S1

Do an internet search for "When Words Hurt". That article breaks down clearly the verbal control tactics abusers use, their intention in using them, and the effects on the abused spouse. I found it helpful in at least recognizing where my spouse was steering the conversation and why so that I've begun to respond differently.

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Date: Sunday, August 10, 2003

S1

You just described my husband. Ouch and double-ouch. Diane

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Date: Wednesday, August 06, 2003

S1

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Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2003

S1

Very helpful. My very abusive husband of 20 years moved out two peaceful months ago. The actual raging and abuse was bad so I never spent much time focusing on the daily conversations but Judge's discription is so right on. They do speak another langauge. He always told me I did not make myself clear yet in my many other relationships everyone seemed to understand me. He would tell me I was yelling when I was speaking in a normal tone of voice. He would never be able to answer simple questions like what time will you be home for dinner or can you pick up one of the kids from practice (much to important to commit). After reading Judge's article I realize this day to day crazymaking was equally as damaging as the all out raging. No wonder I feel so great not having to deal with this nonsense everyday.

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Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2003

S1

I am so glad that I have just found this site. Things are starting to make sense ... a few hours ago my husband suggested that I should 'prompt' him when I wanted to communicate with him. !!

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Date: Wednesday, July 23, 2003

S1

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Date: Saturday, July 19, 2003

S1

Oh yeah! The "Meme" happens in my house every single day. As does the butting in and him accusing me of yelling when he is the only one screaming. As for the questions he asks, I try to answer them honestly, hoping that he will *HEAR* my feelings. He never does. My answers are the wrong ones. One thing that does interest me though, is his "ESP", mind reading and predicting the future "skills:. He rants about what he knows I am thinking, what he knows others will say and what is going to happen in the future. What a truly skilled individial my so called husband is. (sarcasm intended).

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Date: Wednesday, July 16, 2003

S1

Over the last year I have recognized I have been in a verbally/emotionally abusive relationship. Your article is very interesting, this morning I experienced an abusive episode much like what you describe. Last night everything seemed fine, had a nice evening, no tension,etc.... This morning he gets up, takes a shower and comes into the kitchen. We had no discussion other than the usual about the weather, I could tell he had that look of tension, etc.... suddenly he says "Whats your problem?" I responded I did not have a problem and made the stupid mistake of asking why he thought I had a problem or what had I done to make him believe I had a problem. His response was "Well, if you have some problem you just let me know and I can do something about it". (his usual threat of leaving, withdrawal, etc...) I repeated I do not have a problem and what makes you believe I do? He walked out the door stating again I believe you have a problem and I am not going to tell you why. I guess he wants to control the conversation and then avoid communication, if I respond or have a normal conversation this would be threatening to him. I have satisfied myself that I did nothing to receive this type of behavior and he is the one with the problem. I strongly agree that unfortunately, learning the language does seem to more clearly show the hopelessness of establishing a normal realtionship.

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Date: Saturday, July 12, 2003

S1

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Date: Friday, July 11, 2003

S1

I am just now coming to grips that I and the kids are victims of verbal abuse. It is almost like coming "out of the closet." I am no longer pretending that our marriage will work out, or I can do something to make it brighter. I only hope I can handle the coming years until I can afford to leave this marriage. Your remarks are right on, so very very correct.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 06, 2003

S1

I agree with what you are saying!!!!!!I am so relieved to finally understand the language pattern. I never could crack his "CODE" I have lived this and though I was stupid for not being able to understand him becasue he was raving how smart he was and couldn't understand why I was "emotional" all the time?!!!! I am not even that emotional. he was a very wordy and political guy who never had a relationship before. I fought tooth and nail with him for a year and a half and then ended up crashing MY car in rage to break up because he never listened to my concernes and he finally told me to get out after telling me he couldn't affort a girlfriend because he was fired 3 times in one year! He was always crying when I would threaten to leave saying he doesn't know what he does wrong. He was also an outcast growing up. He told me I crashed my car to manipulate HIM and that was how we ended the relationship. Never got any apology from him for anything still. He just forgot about me overnight. I was injured and he didn't even follow me to the hospital! he told the police "I don't understand her!" right when I was screaming at him of course, and he was calm! I am sure he now he tells all of his friends how nuts I was when every one I knew saw the abuse! He made me even lose a job because he wouldn't let me use his phone when we were living together. It was always HIS place since HE payed the bills. I tried to reason whith him all the time and he would always say in defense to something he did wrong "well a relationship is 50 50 and if I am not doing this well neither are you! or if I AM doing this so should you! if I brought up something he did a day ago that was painful, he would say "well, did I do that TODAY??" He even tried to divide the emotional "Giving" in the relationship if a conflict suited him. He tried to redefine traditional loving male behavior to suit himself....saying chivalry is overrated....and I hate romance....sex is good. He wouldn't laugh if I tried to be funny, and on days that we were celebrating for ME (got a new job ect...) he had to bring me down by talking about how busy he is going to be and won't have time for me anymore. Anything to keep me miserable. I knew he was doing it because of his own insecurity becasue I was alot prettier and more talented than him. I confronted him too. of course this labeled me a Bitch! WIERD!!!!!!! but I am a survivor! My car and heart broke but I got out! my parents hated him. They said he is a wierdo....they saw it without knowing what the problem was...I was blind......But now I SEE!!!!! :)

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Date: Sunday, July 06, 2003

S1

.....I am dumbfounded .... It is like I wrote this ...... Whew! I thought I was to blame. Gary

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Date: Sunday, July 06, 2003

S1

Dear Judge: Personally, I agree with your analysis (though by necessity incomplete!) of the impossibility of communicating with an abuser or establishing a "normal" relationship with such a person. I would love to read more of your thoughts regarding one control device used by abusers to derail communications that you just touched upon: provoking an argument. Though I left my abusive spouse and hellish marriage back in '91, he was able to continue the abuse via 3rd parties (lawyers, counsellors, friends, family etc.,)for another 2-3 years, until he finally "won," and did what he promised to do (the day I left and said/demanded that I be treated with decency and fairly in our divorce,) -- which was "end up with nothing." But I digress... At any rate, prior to separation, while I was in that phase of trying to understanding what the heck was going wrong in my life and to figure out the parameters of some "objective" reality, I was getting some weekly counselling from a therapist. I was whining on about how my X would beat me up in conversations with his calm logic, and how inevitably I would at some point end up "losing it" and end up so frustrated and angry that I'd be screaming and crying. He would then point to my hysterics and lack of emotional self control as evidence of the truth of his position: that I was the problem, abusing him, etc., etc., etc. I told the therapist that at times, during these conversations turned battlefields, I would occassionally experience a sense of detachment, allowing me to sense that what was really going on between us had nothing to do with the specifics of what was being said. Rather, my X's purpose was to intentionally provoke me until I damned myself by allowing him to control me (my responses and actions.) I told the therapist that it was as if I had a nuclear detonate button sitting right in the middle of my forehead and that he was focused on reaching and pushing it. Since I was still putting up a fight to retain some measure of self esteem, and viewed allowing him to say - unchallenged - whatever hurtful, untrue things about me (and my myriad deficiencies and failures naturally,)as akin to personally accepting his views of me as "the real truth," I was literally compelled to keep trying to "explain" myself, show him a different viewpoint than his which could be valid...yadda yadda yadda. I didn't want to accept what my ultimate failure to do so would mean to me and the "big picture" of our marriage. So great was this survival struggle, that I never even looked at trying something different until the therapist asked me if I had thought of "walking away" whenever I saw him just about to hit my button, so that I wouldn't hear the horrible painful things said, and thus could defuse the otherwise inevitable "detonation." Of course, I hadn't. Walking away and allowing him to say falsehoods unchallenged would render me a wimp and a victim in my eyes. (Truth hurts, huh.) But, the therapist convinced me to give "not hearing" a try, by pointing out that what I had been doing wasn't working, so giving something new and different a go, could hardly hurt. I will never forget the next "conversation" - control game - played out by me and my X. Eventually, I realized we were "in our pattern" and I could see him positioning his arguments so that he could "hit my button" and set me off, and I got that tingly detached feeling. I remembered my promise to "walk away." So, I did. Can you guess what happened? Of course: he followed me into the room I had escaped into! He pursued! Having me cornered, he started to launch in, when I countered by inserting my fingers into my ears and then humming so I "wouldn't hear him." Well, this really pissed him off. I couldn't have been more astonished when I felt him trying to pry my hands away from my head while simultaneously pinning me in the room's corner, to ensure that - make no mistake - I would hear whatever mean thing he wanted to say to me, even if he had to sit on me to make sure of it! In a personally historic, epiphanic moment, I was able to see him as incredibly pathetic, and without any power to hurt me. My refusal to be "hear and be hurt" (and explode) turned out to be the equivalent of his nuclear detonate button. He lost his cool and acted ludicrously and in a manner diametrically opposed to his chosen demeanor of the calm, logical, ever suffering spouse. That was a turning point for me. That experience taught me how vested he was in my being the emotionally problematic, flawed partner. It also showed me the lengths to which he was willing to consciously go to ensure he could hurt me. Quite literally, I learned that he wasn't going to let me "walk away" intact, dictating my own withdrawal, and exerting control over my emotions (e.g. "acting rationally, calmly and reasonably.") Control. Control. Control. That is what it's all about - bottom line, for the abuser. It's taken me most of the last 10-13 years to work my way back from being a complete wreck. I've spent alot of learning my role in such a co-dependent, twisted relationship, getting a grip on both my own subjective reality, and the ways in which it differs from the "objective" reality promulgated by society generally. But that of course is another story, and an old one now that can stay at rest. I was surprised to learn after the divorce that my X's friends had nicknamed me "the dragon lady" (because of my suppressed anger curling out my nose, I suppose.) Now however, due to a late discovered talent for healing other "unlovable abused" creatures, I'm more affectionally called: Iguanamom

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Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2003

S1

Oh my god! It's my husband. This has gone on for over 10 years. He began by doing and saying vicious things to me to kill my ego. I read the above to him last night and he didn't have much to say. Uncanny.

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Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2003

S1

Oh my god! It's my husband. This has gone on for over 10 years. He began by doing and saying vicious things to me to kill my ego. I read the above to him last night and he didn't have much to say. Uncanny.

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Date: Saturday, June 21, 2003

S1

I am amazed at the large number of verbal abuse victims who do not seem to be able to break away from the abuser. It almost seems especially hard for my men friends to leave their abusive wives. The types of abuse they endure range from distrust, jealousy,degradation, with-holding of all affection/sex, blame,etc.,etc.,etc.,,and still they stay. Even after years of trying. One male friend I know has been separated from his wife for 10 years!!!!! They tried counceling for two years. Still the abuse continues. He himself cannot explain not divorcing her eccept to say that he feels sorry for her, and doesn't want to hurt her. I guess he feels that because he is the man, he must be the strong one, and his feelings must not even be considered. Do you have any comments on how a person can become so paralized???

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Date: Sunday, June 15, 2003

S1

HE ALWAYS TELLS ME OH WELL IF YOU DONT LIKE IT YOU CAN LEAVE I DONT CARE AFTER 3 YRS THIS IS HIS WAY OF MAKEING THINGS BETTER AND THE NEXT DAY I LOVE YOU BUT NEVER IM SORRY I AM SO STRESSED WHY CANT I LEAVE

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Date: Sunday, June 15, 2003

S1

HE ALWAYS TELLS ME OH WELL IF YOU DONT LIKE IT YOU CAN LEAVE I DONT CARE AFTER 3 YRS THIS IS HIS WAY OF MAKEING THINGS BETTER AND THE NEXT DAY I LOVE YOU BUT NEVER IM SORRY I AM SO STRESSED WHY CANT I LEAVE

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Date: Sunday, June 15, 2003

S1

HE ALWAYS TELLS ME OH WELL IF YOU DONT LIKE IT YOU CAN LEAVE I DONT CARE AFTER 3 YRS THIS IS HIS WAY OF MAKEING THINGS BETTER AND THE NEXT DAY I LOVE YOU BUT NEVER IM SORRY I AM SO STRESSED WHY CANT I LEAVE

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2003

S1

Hello, While I was not married to the woman that I am writing about I have been involved for four years with her. She sounds very much like the one you were married to. I would like to make one point...When does it stop being the abusers fault for saying these things and become my fault for putting up with it? While my heart is breaking I have decided not to put up with it anymore...and in the future if any abuse appears I will walk away right then for it is my fault for letting them do it. Thank you Ralph

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2003

S1

Hello, While I was not married to the woman that I am writing about I have been involved for four years with her. She sounds very much like the one you were married to. I would like to make one point...When does it stop being the abusers fault for saying these things and become my fault for putting up with it? While my heart is breaking I have decided not to put up with it anymore...and in the future if any abuse appears I will walk away right then for it is my fault for letting them do it. Thank you Ralph

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2003

S1

Judge, you have a great understanding of the abuser and the tools used to manipulate the partner into submission. It gets to the point where it matters not what you think because the only the abuse can think. The favorite verbal tool that I hear is WHY? WHY DID YOU DO _____?( you idot is implied) Thanks for letting me spout.

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Date: Saturday, May 31, 2003

S1

I married this past January after 12 years of being divorced. I had dated cautiously avoiding narcissist and felt after prayer and many years of waiting that I finally met the right man. I have already seen a pattern emerging. I give to him it seems as a slave---as long as that happens he is happy. It seems every three days a big scene occurs. He gets cold and withdrawn---so to avoid it going farther I ask if something is wrong or have I done something to bother him? He seems to hold off and wait and then it becomes a miserable time of accusations and abuse. Yesterday he called me a whore? and I am Ms.Faithful. He said he wonders why my parents didn't beat me because I am so spoiled??? All because I pointed out things I didn't care for---he throws things on the floor for me to pick up. I stated he wouldn't do that to his or my mother so why can't he respect me? I also pointed out that he barges in the bathroom and pushes me out of the way to do his thing. I told him I would like to finish in there before he comes in to use it. THEN to top it off, when I cry--and it is sobbing--he says I am faking it. My heart is so weary ---he accuses me of opposite things. Then after all the horrible words he called me I went crying to the couch to get away from the abuse. He came in 15 min later and forced me back in bed--tried to maul my body with his hand as if to begin making love. I told me that there is no way I can respond to lovemaking when he hates me and we are clearly not at peace. ???? I am terribly confused. He was such a Godly man---really walked with God---yet he has a foul mouth at times and isn't kind at all. Our romance started with poems and creativity of all kinds. We blend in talent so well as I am a professional pianist and he is a screen play writer and director who is negotiating presently with Paramount. He is like a genious in every subject. How can it be that he may be a narcissist? How did I go wrong? He tells me my dad is expecting him not to love me for long. He says my son agrees with him about my oversensitivity?? I never speak evil of him to anyone. Help.

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Date: Saturday, May 31, 2003

S1

I have a daughter who responds very much like the abuser above.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 16, 2003

S1

The article was great, an affirmation in many ways. I lost an hour, however, finding a hundred strangers who have all been through it. I came across notes that reminded me of little tricks he's played to insure my neediness/obedience. *sigh* Is there some secret abuser's fraternatity? "Hook Your Woman, (worked for me!)" Gods. It is so difficult to dually want something so badly and feel so little hope of holding that which you crave so deeply. I can't even pity him, because after 4 years, I know I've made it clear that I KNOW what he's doing; he's admitted. That hasn't brought change, just a more agressive tactic. I will NEVER again utter the words "Why doesn't she just leave?" What an arrogant and pompous thing to say. My apologies for once feeling holier than other's literally living through hell. eliese3

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Date: Thursday, May 15, 2003

S1

OMG--that is exactly it!!! My STBX does not call me names, put me down, hit me, and usually does not even yell. But you cannot communicate with him, whatsoever, if it relates to the relationship. If he comes to me with a complaint, it usually goes like this, "I am frustrated because [aren't listening to me] or [don't have the same long-term goals as me]". If I try to ask questions to understand why he thinks that, I am just "arguing with him" or "invalidating his feelings." On the other hand, if I approach him and say, "I am frustrated because you said [such and such]", and then give a specific example of how he could say things diffently, he throws it back at me--"That's not what this is really about--you just don't want to take responsibility!" or "Well you did [such and such]!" or "Well you do the same thing sometimes!" Stimpy

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Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2003

S1

Great comments. I have printed them off to give to my husband. It will be hard for him to accept himself as an abuser, but hopefully he will understand that you have described him to a tee. sad and unhappy in stamford

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Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2003

S1

Great comments. I have printed them off to give to my husband. It will be hard for him to accept himself as an abuser, but hopefully he will understand that you have described him to a tee. sad and unhappy in stamford

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 07, 2003

S1

This passage closely describes my wife. In the early days I would say, ""She is having one of her fits" in an attempt to explain her sudden personality shift. I would describe her now as megalo-myopic. Communication is absolutely impossible, not just because of mirroring, but because she lies indiscriminately. Only recently did I single lying out, and realize that lying was a constant in the control strategy. Her lies could perhaps better be described as little falsehoods that wrongly represent situations. Then big cases are made, based on countless little lies. And before one little lie can be routed there are a dozen more.

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Date: Sunday, April 27, 2003

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 27, 2003

S1

I absolutely agree about the echoing. It helps to read this and see that this is a tactic of abuse- that I'm not the only one who has seen it, and it's not a normal healthy relationship!

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Date: Friday, April 18, 2003

S1

My husband screams and yells so loud that it hurts my ears. He gets in my face with his red face, split coming out of his mouth and his eyes red with anger. I hate it! I can hardly stand it! I cannot even talk...And he yells in front of my kids calling me a whore and all kinds of things. I can hardly take it anymore. And then, this last fight took a month and a half to resolve. No loving, no kisses...Just a build-up to a blow out! And then he wants sex...that is suppose make everything right, NOT! I want out, but I am so afraid to take the step...

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 18, 2003

S1

My husband screams and yells so loud that it hurts my ears. He gets in my face with his red face, split coming out of his mouth and his eyes red with anger. I hate it! I can hardly stand it! I cannot even talk...And he yells in front of my kids calling me a whore and all kinds of things. I can hardly take it anymore. And then, this last fight took a month and a half to resolve. No loving, no kisses...m

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Date: Friday, April 18, 2003

S1

Arrgghhh! Finally someone has put a name to what he does, the *echoing* that is so crazymaking!!! He does that all the time, *I was really hurt by what you said* always leads to *You hurt me all the time*. He is genuinely bewildered that I've bought a place of my own and I'm moving out. He thinks we should *work our problems out*. How the hell do you do that when you aren't allowed to say anything? Discuss anything? It's kind of a relief to know that this echoing behavior is for real.

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Date: Friday, April 11, 2003

S1

You hit the nail right on the head! My ex-girlfriend did this all the time and it drove me insane!! Everything was always twisted so that she could be the victim. All too frequently when I was upset about something she had done (like lied to me about why whe cancelled our date) or I claimed that the situation was hard on me (she was living with a bunch of my friends and I was being cut out of the group), she would immediately claim how hard the situation was on HER. When I asked her how it was hard on her, she would get defensive and cut out all communications with me. I still remember how I ended up comforting *her* on the night she broke up with me. Brutal. So glad to be away from her, but it still haunts me...

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Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2003

S1

You are so right, Judge. I am seeing the hopelessness of my relationship ever working, I am feeling really sad. I wish by explaining this to my husband he would realize that he's destroying our future together. I'm going to try it once, but I think what will happen is that he will see this as an attack. thanks for putting this up, it's a great explanation of the communication,or lack of, that we have in my marriage! LuAnn

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Date: Monday, March 24, 2003

S1

Oh wow! For years I have said..."Can I please finish saying waht I was saying?" or "Why do you always talk over top of me". I can't remember the last time I DIDN'T get talked over top of. This site is a real eye opener! I'm so glad my friend gave me the addy :)

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Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2003

S1

Judge G you have put into words the exact phenomenon I experienced in my 35 yr, 4 children, "marriage" to an N. When you came to the part about how they interrupt I really identified...this was a problem throughout the years...the throwing your own statement back at you also. Thanks for stating it so succinctly. Barbara

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Date: Friday, March 14, 2003

S1

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Date: Saturday, March 08, 2003

S1

What an eyeopening article. I have been living with an abuser for seven years and am just at the verge of understanding the impact this has had on me and my life and personality. Yet, I am not giving up and will start counseling next month. Thank you for sharing!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 07, 2003

S1

I have to say that I know from my own personal experience that this article is absolutely spot on. It defines exactly the experiences I had trying to communicate with my ex-girlfriend. Within time, I realised that there was nothing I could do or say that would ever make a difference, but oh how I tried. "What they don't realize is that abusers don't really care what their partners are saying so it serves them no purpose to listen." I arrived at exactly the same conclusion.

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Date: Tuesday, March 04, 2003

S1

Holy smokes Judge! It's refreshing to hear your story. I thought my wife had a problem from our daughters birth that caused her to cut me off for months at a time, but this was part of her abusive behaviour. What you have related links it all together. She is worse than my mother ever was! I'm at retirement age but consider the stresses at work less than those with my wife. Its tough when work and home come down on me at the same time. I love my 12 yr old daughter very much and wonder how to best approach her about this problem. Your letter has given me awareness and hope to carry on. Thankyou

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Date: Monday, March 03, 2003

S1

Another trait I have noticed is the repeating back to you of past conversations by the abuser with either the context all screwed up or the content adjusted to fit the current conversation by selective manipulation of the past conversation's content so that the victim doesn't recognise it but feels that it might be right as key items/words are still present although the structure of the repeated section of conversation is not recognised.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 02, 2003

S1

I have just recently realized that I am in a verbally abuse relationship with my boyfriend. I had been feeling that something was wrong and that our relationship wasn't how I wanted it to be and that my boyfriend turned out to be something unexpected. I was in denial about this for awhile; no one wants to admit that there in an awful relationship. Along with that, he made excuses for his behavior and I began to accept them as being okay. However, even after trying to accept these excuses and reasons, I still felt terrible on the inside. My boyfriend, Michael, criticizes me, calls me names, and puts me down. He makes me feel horrible on the inside. He justifies this behavior by saying that he doesn't mean it and he's just joking. After I get upset by this, he says I'm too sensitive, can't take a joke, and asks if I really feel what he says is true. Of course I don't think I'm an idiot or stupid, but it still tears me up on the inside. He thinks I'm being irrational because I get upset when he "really doesn't mean it." He acts this way towards his mother as well; only it's worse. He says that "it is just the type of relationship they have." I have spoke to her about it and she says, "I know he really doesn't mean it." However, she's told me that he's really hurt her feelings before and made her cry. Michael isn't the type to admit he's wrong, so she says that his form of saying sorry was not speaking to her for a few days. This seems so ridiculous. Just today I have come to the realization that I must have some substance behind feeling that their is something wrong. He's not always so awful; he makes good enough to still care anout him, but bad enough to make me feel insecure. Michael doesn't take criticism very well and always is "right". I've spoken to him about this problem very briefy today. I want to show him that what he is doing is actually verbal abuse. If he can recognize that he has a problem, I feel like he would want to change. If he doesn't see a problem within himself I know I have to leave. I have been living with him for the past few months now, and I know it will be difficult to pack everything up and just leave. I feel that I am right about his problem and I can't go on living this way. I care about Michael, and I know if he doesn't change and I leave, he will continue to be this way. I feel like I should try and help. Our realtionship is not healthy and I want it to be better. I want him to better too; not just for me, us, or his mom, but for himself. I don't know how to exactly approach the situation with this. He could see my view or he could just get upset and think that he's right. I hope everything will be okay.

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Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2003

S1

This is like a carbon copy of my relationship with my husband...all of it. Dont know what category it would fall into, but our family has the added bonus of his stare downs if you make him angry. Hours of staring at you refusing to speak or answer you.

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Date: Saturday, February 15, 2003

S1

I was in an abusive marriage for ten years and my son grew up listening to the verbal abuse that his father heaped on me. Although I divorced the abuser when my son was eight years old he learned his lessons well and now since June 2001 he has started acting exactly as his father did. I have decided to apply tough love. Antoinette

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Date: Saturday, February 15, 2003

S1

I was in an abusive marriage for ten years and my son grew up listening to the verbal abuse that his father heaped on me. Although I divorced the abuser when my son was eight years old he learned his lessons well and now since June 2001 he has started acting exactly as his father did. I have decided to apply tough love. Antoinette

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 01, 2003

S1

I just want to say thank you for your sight.. i have been looking for a sight like this for some time now . please keep up the good work . .... it has helped me to understand into my own abusive relation ship that i curtanly live in.I thought i had learned a lot into the abusive triangle through my own reading...... but your sight has really opened up in much more detail about what really goes on bewteen two people in the abusive relationship. thank you dancdiva123@aol.com

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2003

S1

Hey Judge--This articile spoke volumes to me! I now have a better understanding on my feelings. Thanks man.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, January 25, 2003

S1

EXCELLENT!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2003

S1

How bout my exhusband stopping me midsentence and saying he'd can't stand the sound of my voice and pluggin his ears....Its your voice, you don't understand how it is......

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 20, 2003

S1

This language is definitely in my house, but how about the times when he is really nice and asks my opinion on what I would like to do and then delibertly does the opposite. Just purposely starting or trying to start an arguement. It took my awhile to realize this is actually intentional.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 19, 2003

S1

Judge, I feel like you live in my house -- have you met my husband? You have articulated succinctly what I have recently realized is what I have experienced for years. By calling it a "different language" perhaps it is easier for others to understand what we mean! Thanks for taking the time to write it.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 19, 2003

S1

The Judge's analysis of the language of abuse is right on target.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2003

S1

I am amazed after reading all the responses here that there are so very many people out there who are alike in this "MeMe" language, and am fearful that I will attract another one. I am 13 days into disengaging from an abusive man whom I have been in relationship with for a year. He is in AA for 16 years and also in a batterer's program for the second time around. His behavior nonetheless,has escalated. He began his abuse 3 months into the relationship. I still love him but am coming out of the "fog" and realizing that perhaps it was not all I thought it was, "my soulmate", "compassion for one another's wounds", etc. Since we began our relationship stating that we both understood one another's previous wounds and wanted to be sensitive to them, his abuse is even more painful. It is hard to let go since he appears to be getting help. How long should one go before giving up when they are in treatment? I suppose the answer is clear. Talk vs. walk. I have not been able to exert consequence enough for his behavior, and never understood how to do that without leaving, which I had not been willing to do. The mental torture of this kind of treatment is mindboggling, and mindboggling that they are so adept at it! Very sophisticated, subtle and insidious. I never would have concocted "MeMe" myself as a means of control, nor would I ever have expected someone who loves me to try and carry it off on me. Amazing how all of these folks who don't even know each other are doing the very same stuff. DISILLUSIONED

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 07, 2003

S1

I cannot tell you how much this sounds like my relationship with my estranged husband. When I was reading it it was as if my husband was in front of me. He never wanted to communicate with me before or now. It is frustrating because I keep beating myself up because I was always blamed for what went wrong. He avoids all types of communication, getting his family to try to control me when he can no longer do it, never hesitating to tell me that his family could see what I was really like, as if they were the ones who set the standard of how everyone should behave. Since I have been out of the relationship, although not totally because there are children, I can see more clearly how things really were, and although at times I still say the words in my head that he said to me, I keep telling myself that I am not really like that. It has been a long, hard 23 year relationship that although I mourn for what should have been, I also mourn what I allowed myself to take in this relationship, but I am getting better.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 02, 2003

S1

How on Earth do you get the person to see that they're wrong? This is what fails me...my partner/abuser won't see that he's wrong, no matter what I do.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

S1

This is brilliant and describes to a tee my future ex-wife. Unfortunately, we have a daughter together and of course she has made it absolute hell for me to see her. She is extremely clever at maintaining appearances, so has to some extent succeeded in court. She has recently imposed a condition that I can only see my daughter under her supervision, which gives her the opportunity to abuse me for hours. It's quite horrible, but it was very helpful to read this piece on non-communication. Peter Greiff, Madrid

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 30, 2002

S1

Sadly, it makes too much sense to me. With a better understanding of my own situation I could have written this piece myself. The Judge may not be a trained mental health profesional but it certainly seems he has walked a few miles in my shoes.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 15, 2002

S1

well everything described in here matches my situation to a "T". I have come to the conclusion that except for rare occassions, my bph and i do not even speak, all it does is end up in an arguement. If I am on the telephone he will make it difficult for me to hear the other person unless I shout at him that it's a relative or a Utility co., etc. My only remaining friend that has stood by me only calls when she knows that he's not home.All this is just confirming my inner determinationation to leave him, before things get more out of hand.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 09, 2002

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 05, 2002

S1

I have found that this observation is valid. I would like to see research in this area. I have passed this URL out to many other professionals to read and consider. I would like to know if anyone has explored this communication disconnect. Thank you. John Castle RN PA-C MPAS DV Consultant chessed1@aol.com

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 04, 2002

S1

I like the article, but it would be nice to correct the errors in the text. They make the text seem less "professional".

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 02, 2002

S1

I have been trying to find info on parents who are verbally abusive to you. do you know of any resources. Any help will be greatly appreciated. BREN bstevens2@wi.rr.com

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 02, 2002

S1

Having just realized that my Mom has verbally abused me for years, I mentioned it to her and basically demanded we go to therapym if she and I should continue to have a relationship. (me by myself, her by herself, and my Dad, Mom and I as a family) After printing out information from websites that describes my Mom's behavior to a T, My Mom, agreed to abusing, yet trivialized the problem by calling it "normal" and said that everyone does it. She also came back at me by saying I am not only an "abuse provoker" but that my Dad and I abuse her as well.(echoeing) However, the difference is, my Dad and I have realized we have a problem that is serious. My Mom still has not.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 16, 2002

S1

this IS my situation...

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

S1

I just want to say thank you for helping me to discover my current situation. It's nice to know that I'm not crazy.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

S1

I just want to say thank you for helping me to discover my current situation. It's nice to know that I'm not crazy.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

S1

"...Of course I recognize that being a male, the physical danger of her rage is less of a threat..." Hmmm. Not sure many of the men I have to deal with would agree with you about this. There may be less of an "apparent" threat but do not make the mistake of thinking that she is incapable of lauching a devasting physical attack. It can happen when you have your back turned, when you are sleeping, or by using an external means such as poison or the manipulation of others. Many men who die after being shot by a hit man are not recorded as domestic violence victims. Many others who are poisoned are never discovered to have been killed in this way. Or again, when they are finally found to be victims of a wifes rage, they are not recorded in the statistics as victims of DV. "...That is what really wears the partner down. Not their rage and anger, but your daily frustration and loneliness...." This is so true. As the doc has said. However, as our understaning grows, as yours is here, and mine is of my situation, that frustration and lonliness is replaced by comprehension and compassion. Our anger subsides and we develope (hopefully) a more compassionate view of our abuser. This in turn means that we are more forgiving and less bitter. As an analogy: If a dog we love suddenly bites us, we are less inclined to punish it for bad behaviour if we suddenly see a huge thorn in its paw. Instead we rush to get it treated. "...Usually partners try reasoning with them about all sides being given a fair chance to talk. What they don't realize is that abusers don't really care what their partners are saying so it serves them no purpose to listen. In fact, the abuser would prefer that the partner not talk and simply accept their assertions as Gospel. When the partner learns this, they can truly have an understanding of the hopelessness of fixing an abusive relationship without professional counseling. Their is no possibility of communication if one of the parties is determined not to communicate." This, for me, is where psychological abuse often changes into physical abuse. By this I mean, that the victim will often try to reach out to their abuser. Failing to understand that the abuser does not care about their opinions or feelings, the victim, often of out of love and compassion, tries to find the cause of the pain they can sense in their abuser in order to soothe it away. In doing so they are unwittingly doing the very thing the abuser fears most; uncovering the true nature of the abusers heart. It is, I believe common, that at this point the abuser becomes physically violent. Their violence is a way of shouting, "Keep away from me." I think that the motivation of many abusers is often (though not always) the idea of shielding a damaged and wounded child within. "...Abusers are so afraid to expose themselves and so bent on control that they know know other way. They can't speak our language. They have no idea how to speak a language that would require considering the needs and wants of others." Because, their own hidden pain is too great and too immediate to allow them to hear the needs and wants of others. In the same way that it would not be expected of person who has just been struck by a car and is lieing badly hurt in the road to concider the needs of those standing in the rain around him. All he wants to do is end the pain and get better. All the abuser feels is the pain they are in. They lack the ability to see over that pain and view the consequences of their actions on others. In the current social climate of hate for abusers they are unlikely to seek help and risk exposure of the wounded child within if they percieve that climate to be a threat. This is why I advocate more understanding of the abusers position as well as that of the victim. After all, pain is pain no matter how it shows itself. As you say: "I believe that after food and shelter, the most basic human need is to be understood and accepted." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "...Another very destructive habit which I have identified in my relationship I refer to as "echoing". This abusive habit is extremely destructive to a relationship, yet is a very effective tool which the abuser uses to in conversation. This habit takes two distinct forms. The object is to feel whatever the partner feels whenever an "attack" is detected by the abuser. The scenario goes something like this: ______________________________________________ Partner: I don't like what you said to me this morning Abuser: I don't like what you say to me either ______________________________________________ This is an easy way for the abuser to avoid addressing your concerns, remain in control, change the subject, and launch a counter attack." Again; this is an effective smoke screen. The abuser wants to hide what they are really feeling. To be effective at this he/she must be able to diguise their feelings and one great way to do that is to project them onto another. "I feel lousy about myself so I must make you believe that you are the lousy one and I am the strong and stable partner." So, in a case such as that which you describe above, the abuser turns the tables but in doing so, can reveal to the aware observer, that as you say they have, a) Avoided answering the point. b) Shielded their true emotional state from view and or crisitism and c)Regained a feeling of importance and superiortiy by claiming that the victim is, "Just as bad but without excuse." An abuser ALWAYS has an excuse for their actions. Avoiding responcibility is paramount in the abusers mind. "...that is viewed by them as a license to do it at will and a "win"." I think this statement is also a crucial one. To an abuser, a relationship is not a matter of mutually sharing experiences and love. A relationship is, to them, a competition which they have to win. "...When the conversation is discussed later, the abuser quickly takes the opportunity to first accuse the partner of the infraction and seize the high ground. The abuser will then take every opportunity in the future to accuse the partner of doing what they do saying "see, you do it too". This is generally viewed by the abuser as a way out. Anytime they accuse you of an action similar to one of their destructive actions, that is viewed by them as a license to do it at will and a "win"...." YES! And the efects of this technique can be many. For example; the victim/s of the abuser become confused, frustrated and angry. If they then raise their voice in protest they will often hear; "See, you are abusing me now!" Just as you say. Another effect of this is to subtley convince the victim that he/she is the real abuser. Something female abusers in particular will strive to do among friends and family, in order to establish their "innocence" if and when the victim later complains of the abusers behaviour. I would like to add here that I have noticed a significant difference between male abusive behaviour and female abusive behavior. Men will often (though not always) tend to isolate their victims by cutting off all external contact with friends and family etc, in order to reduce their chances of being discovered as abusers. Women, conversely, often (though not always) tend to encourage others to become involved in the relationship in order to manipulate their sympathies and thus hide behind false victimhood in order to continue their abuse. A crying male will often be viewed with embarassment by onlookers, maybe even disgust. A crying woman will tend to invoke sympathetic and protective instincts in others. This is vital to understanding female abusers who use social conditioning to their own advantage. Very effective in front of male judges in court rooms I might add. Another disturbing fact to ponder is that (in the UK at least) 80% of all custody cases are won by the mother. Yet the official figures for "rates" of abuse between males and females in the home -- as opposed to "reported" abuse, is 4.2% of male victims and 4.2% of female victims. Therefore, there is a 50-50 split between the sexes among perpetrators of abuse. This in turn means that many, many children are being routinely placed into the care of abusive mothers by family courts. From all I have read, the situation is almost identical in the States. That REALLY makes me shudder!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 10, 2002

S1

everytime I try to communicate with my spouse I get the statement that "it's not a good time to talk, or i'm in the middle of something, I just woke up, i'm tired we'll talk in the morning----

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 09, 2002

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 03, 2002

S1

Thank you for clarifying the nightmare I have kept trying to "fix" for the last six years. I would love to show this to my husband - to show him that I am not alone in my interpretation of his language...and, unfortunately, I know he would turn it around.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2002

S1

Thank you for the very informative article. I recently was dating a guy who was verbally abusive and he was making out to his family, friends and strangers that I was a bad person....he humiliated me extensively...(If I was such a bad person, as he was portraying, why did he ask to marry me?)....of course, I didn't accept.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 28, 2002

S1

Boy they can sure put on a face also. My last husband was really good at fooling people. I remember the last straw. He was totally drunk and was trying to break down my 3 year olds door. I had the police dispatcher on the phone while I was trying to stand between him and the door to my sons room. When the police arrived he told them I was the agressor because he had not hit me and becasue I was between him and the door and prevented him from getting to it he told the officer I struck him. Not at all it was him pushing into me. But of course he was so convincing the officer beleived him. I was forced at 3 am to take my three year old and leave the house. He is now remarried and had his present wife arrested under much the same curcumstances. That was number 3 that has called the same police department with much the same complaint and the officeers that respond always take his side. WHAT manipulation.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 26, 2002

S1

This is precisely my own experience within my abusive relationship with my female partner. Abusers are very clever at dominating conversations, they have to be or they would not survive very long. They are adept at creating smoke screens and confusing issues and laying the blame for everything at your door. If you rise to the bait and become angry then they will use your anger at them as "evidence" that you are the "real" abuser and they are the poor victim. If you do not rise to the bait and remain calm and detached from his/her rage, then they will accuse you of not listening or being insensative. In the language of an abuser there is only one "winner" and that will, in their eyes, always be them. Females abusers have a distinct advantage over male abusers. Other men will be quick to judge and even intervene if they suspect another male is abusing his partner. Perhaps this is why many male abusers strive so hard to cut off all friendships and family ties from their victims. On the other hand, female abusers tend to thrive on the presence of others. I am certain this is because she knows that with a few tears and accusations others will rally around her to support her and accuse the male victim of being cruel etc. The language of the abuser is certainly different from ours but, as you have pointed out in your excellent piece, once we begin to decypher its meaning, we begin to understand the motives and intentions of those who want to hurt us. That in itself goes some way to disempowering them and empowering us. I am learning that my fault did not lie in her accusations but in my acceptance of them as truth. I could not learn this truth until I first learned to dycpher her language. Thankyou for the excellent way you have brought this to everyones attention. Please concider visiting my site for other insights into the abusive female. George Rolph Web Master http://man2man.themenscenter.com

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 25, 2002

S1

Would love to read more but sorry to say, I find your site hard on the eyes...the lines...maybe you can fix this...Jo-anne

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 17, 2002

S1

The most crazy making part of the abuser's communication is that questions aren't really questions, they're sideways insults or attacks. (I would like to provide a good example, but I can't convey the tone of voice that accompanies these "questions"). Statements, however, are often questions or demands in disguise. "I really like chinese food" is not a statement when coming from a verabal abuser. It's an order. She knows what she's doing too, because if I try to respond to it with "oh really" she will repeat it verbatim, many times if necesary. Verbal abuser language is about controlling other's behavior, not about communicating thoughts or feelings. "You didn't listen to me" in abuser speak means "you didn't OBEY me". I think with my own experience and what I've learned from the Judge and this site that I can write a verbal abuse dictionary. Charlie

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 09, 2002

S1

Judge, My husband is an Attorney. Our conversations are just as you described. I don't stand a chance.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 09, 2002

S1

I think Dr Laura Schlessinger needs some training on effective communication under stress... she is very abusive to her callers

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 27, 2002

S1

wow - this is so true. i'm just now ending a verbally abusive relationship after a year and a half. i never thought i'd be in this kind of situation but abusers do in fact use so many manipulative "tricks" that most of the time you feel like you're not sure which way is up. nothing is more shocking than to have the abuser turn the tables on you and accuse YOU of interrupting, yelling, being mean, not caring, etc. but as the judge says, it's just a trick. i'm now so relieved to be getting out of this relationsship and look forward to learning how to have healthy relationships.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 23, 2002

S1

This site has been such a help to me and gave me the courage to get my divorce. I realized it was hopless and he would never get help and did not want help. Everything was my fault, I was causing a fight, attacking him and I made him act that way. The amazing thing is that he never showed this side to the public so I was just a "nagging, ungrateful bithch" and this is what he also told the women he had affairs with too. I began to internalize that as he wore down my self esteem. He would have moments of sanity and say he was wrong then destroy the apology by "I was wrong but you made me..." so it was pointless. Verbal abuse scars last much longer and I wish there were more help out there and it was publicized more. Thank you for validating the abuse that makes a BIG difference because most times in abusive situations it is never validated but minimized and ignored with 2 different realities.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 19, 2002

S1

your site has given me a great deal of the answers i have been looking for...it's good to know that i am not crazy to spite what my husband would have me think...i feel 100% better and understand clearly what i am up against...thanks

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 09, 2002

S1

Very good observations!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 08, 2002

S1

I am stunned! My husband IS everything you observe about the abuser. For some time I have tried to analyse his behaviour for my own sanity and I began to suspect it had a lot to do with abuse. But now, after reading your observations and looking at other websites etc I feel I can perhaps go forward and make some plans to get my life back and get rid of this awful, stomach-churning fear that has come about from his vicious verbal, emotional and sometimes physical attacks on me. I'm not really a wimp but I hope you won't send me any e-mails as a result of this. I'd hate him to know I've been looking for support on the web. British Wife Stuck in USA with Abusive Husband (and a very long way from her family and friends)

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 05, 2002

S1

Please explain, who is having the temper tantrums and fits of rage: the abuser or the victim. I have temper tantrums and fits of rage, am I the abuser or am I being abused?

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2002

S1

hey, i am a 28 year old male, i am writing this as it makes me feel better and maybe you may know some reason why my wife is such a bitch, when i come home from work she opens the door as i am walking up the path, and every night she slams it and yells "you are a f***en loser, two nights a week she will lock the door. One day i am going to just knock on the door and pop her one in the face. "Yep" lay that bitch on her arse, right there on the kitchen floor, just smack her lights out, is this the right thing to do ?? Will she wake up after this ?? Or do i kick her while she is down as well ?

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2002

S1

hey, i am a 28 year old male, i am writing this as it makes me feel better and maybe you may know some reason why my wife is such a bitch, when i come home from work she opens the door as i am walking up the path, and every night she slams it and yells "you are a f***en loser, two nights a week she will lock the door. One day i am going to just knock on the door and pop her one in the face. "Yep" lay that bitch on her arse, right there on the kitchen floor, just smack her lights out, is this the right thing to do ?? Will she wake up after this ?? Or do i kick her while she is down as well ?

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 19, 2002

S1

Bravo! Judge, You have hit the nail on the head and this is exactly what I live on a daily basis. I have given up trying to have conversations with my husband because no matter what I say he does he immediatley "projects" that trait onto me. I felt as though you were talking about my husband in reading this. I don't see him every admitting he has a problem, that would mean him admitting he is "wrong" and that doesn't happen. Somehow he has to make everything my fault or a result of my incompetence as a person. We used to have married friends that no longer come around because they can't stand being around and hearing him demean me and yell at me and talk over me when I try to talk. Somehow in my husbands eyes the friends aren't around anymore because I "suffer from depression and am miserable" as I said, he blames everything on me. I know my only way to change my life and my daughters is to leave and that is what I am planning now. It is good to know that I am not the crazy one like he constantly tells me and this is a pattern and I am not alone. Thank You so much! T

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, August 16, 2002

S1

Thanks for your insights. It helped me verify what I have suspected about my friend in the few months since we met. I constantly get cut off when I speak, and I also get the "you don't know much, do you?" I'm quite proud of myself that I detected it so early. It is SO subtle, but has been getting steadily less subtle over time. Once upon a time I would have put up with it. Not any more.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, August 16, 2002

S1

Thanks for your insights. It helped me verify what I have suspected about my friend in the few months since we met. I constantly get cut off when I speak, and I also get the "you don't know much, do you?" I'm quite proud of myself that I detected it so early. It is SO subtle, but has been getting steadily less subtle over time. Once upon a time I would have put up with it. Not any more.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2002

S1

My 14yr old Son went to live with Dad late in 2001. Dad was living with fiance at time and they married in May 2002. New wife was not consulted about my son going to live with them. Son was consulted about marriage. Things seem to have been fine until recently. Step-mother is now pregnant and my son is very confused because she now ignores him virtually and takes the time to talk to him only when giving directions or complaining. Attempts to discuss this with Dad met with tirade of abuse and "you better not's", etc. Of most concern is that Dad confirmed sons feeling that step mother doesnt like him. Cant imagine how that status quo is a recipe for success. Wonder why we are only finding out that she doesnt like him AFTER she marries and falls pregnant? Son is ADHD and does present a challenge however, he is a fairly well-behaved boy with a good heart and very smart. Dad seems to think all these problems will go away if son somehow changes??? Son recently decided to stay at home with stepmom while dad away on fishing trip. He hoped that he might improve his relationship with stepmom if they were by themselves. Very mature I thought. However, stepmom tells Dad she prefers him to visit with biological mom. Son is very hurt and tells ME so. I ask if he has told DAD and stepmom this, but he says he cant because Dad will get mad at him. I leave message on phone asking Dad to ring me to discuss some concerns. He rings back and is almost hysterical banning me from EVER ringing his house again but he is mostly concerned with fact that stepmom heard message. I ask if he is even interested in what the concerns are and his response "I dont give a shit about that". A short while later, son rings me and asks me to pick him up. Next morning, Dad arrives at our house. I have several children in care (my home-based business), son's 7 yr old sister and a parent of one of my clients. Dad demands son come to car to talk. Son refuses but offers to talk on our porch. Dad says no. Dad then asks what all this shit is about (diminishing sons feelings) son tries to explain but dad is angry, defensive and clearly not really ready to listen. When Dad learns it is problems with new wife he gets angrier and lounder demanding to know "why do you expect people to like you" of our son???!!! Rhys still tries and says "it's not about like exactly, it's that she isolates herself and doesnt even try". Dad says, "why should she, what do you do, you do nothing except watch TV". Son gives up and comes back inside. I then explain to Dad that I have clients and it would be best he leaves and arranges to talk when he has calmed down. He shows some surprise but starts to leave accusing me of filling our son's head with shit. I replied, "your son is afraid to go out to the car with you".. Dad protests that they 'talk' all the time and I suggested that if 'this' is his way of talking, Im hardly surprised that Rhys is scared and reluctant since all you have done in response to his initial comments is run him down, criticise him and try to convince him that there is something wrong with wanting to be liked, like his feelings don't count. Dad is going off, swearing and carrying on in defense of his 25yr old wife, threatening me, finger pointing saying I should leave her alone, she is young etc...I said, not my problem, our son is only 14yrs old and you are so obsessed with protecting your adult wife. He is still shouting and swearing and I said you are a psycho, you have completely lost your perspective as a Father now please leave. I am so concerned about the impact of that exchange on our son. I am respecting his right to try to sort this out for himself. He wants to remain living with Dad as he loves him and I guess it is the time when boys need their Father. However, it hurts to hear his own Dad abuse him in this way, even trying to convince him that the problem is entirely his fault and that if he would change, things would improve. What a thing to ask of a child! Dad's whole perspective seems to be in defense of his new relationship which is understandable since he is a 50yr old with a pregnant 25yr old wife and it seems he has dug a very big whole. Dad seems panicked to me and irrational in his expectations of his child.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 22, 2002

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 22, 2002

S1

Hello my name is Rene, I have read the Judge's comments and agree with what he has expressed. I have recently broken up with a man who fits the description of the abuser. Initially our relationship seemed to be made in heaven. However as time passed, it became increasingly clear that we could not communicate. Everything became my fault. Any questions or concerns I had about his commitment to our relationship were met with "Its your problem, I don't have a problem." Eventually the angry rages surfaced and we could not have an open and honest conversation. This relationship has now shown me that I was not assertive enough and that I also did not confront issues because of the fear of his anger. I now realise that this is not the answer. This has started me on a journey of self understanding and empowerment so that I will find the insecurities in myself that allowed me to accept such behaviour and treatment from another human being purporting to "love me." It is not an easy road to delve within and uncover childhood hurts of the past and face them. But it is liberating and empowering in the end. I urge any person who feels that they are in an abusive relationship to educate themselves and seek guidance and support from professionals who understand how to help them recover their self respect, self esteem and confidence in themselves. I wish everyone all the best.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 22, 2002

S1

Hello my name is Rene, I have read the Judge's comments and agree with what he has expressed. I have recently broken up with a man who fits the description of the abuser. Initially our relationship seemed to be made in heaven. However as time passed, it became increasingly clear that we could not communicate. Everything became my fault. Any questions or concerns I had about his commitment to our relationship were met with "Its your problem, I don't have a problem." Eventually the angry rages surfaced and we could not have an open and honest conversation. This relationship has now shown me that I was not assertive enough and that I also did not confront issues because of the fear of his anger. I now realise that this is not the answer. This has started me on a journey of self understanding and empowerment so that I will find the insecurities in myself that allowed me to accept such behaviour and treatment from another human being purporting to "love me." It is not an easy road to delve within and uncover childhood hurts of the past and face them. But it is liberating and empowering in the end. I urge any person who feels that they are in an abusive relationship to educate themselves and seek guidance and support from professionals who understand how to help them recover their self respect, self esteem and confidence in themselves. I wish everyone all the best.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 22, 2002

S1

Hello my name is Rene, I have read the Judge's comments and agree with what he has expressed. I have recently broken up with a man who fits the description of the abuser. Initially our relationship seemed to be made in heaven. However as time passed, it became increasingly clear that we could not communicate. Everything became my fault. Any questions or concerns I had about his commitment to our relationship were met with "Its your problem, I don't have a problem." Eventually the angry rages surfaced and we could not have an open and honest conversation. This relationship has now shown me that I was not assertive enough and that I also did not confront issues because of the fear of his anger. I now realise that this is not the answer. This has started me on a journey of self understanding and empowerment so that I will find the insecurities in myself that allowed me to accept such behaviour and treatment from another human being purporting to "love me." It is not an easy road to delve within and uncover childhood hurts of the past and face them. But it is liberating and empowering in the end. I urge any person who feels that they are in an abusive relationship to educate themselves and seek guidance and support from professionals who understand how to help them recover their self respect, self esteem and confidence in themselves. I wish everyone all the best.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2002

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 11, 2002

S1

This has been unbelievably helpful - because it's a very accurate description of my 10-year marriage. I feel like I've been pushed through to the other side of the looking glass and can finally feel honest compassion for him without feeling the guilt I did that kept me hooked into the craziness. I now understand that walking away, no matter how hurtful it is to him, is the only way I can hope for a healthy life, and reading this has helped me feel that one extra level of understanding. Thank you.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 06, 2002

S1

Wow! I think you've been a fly on the wall in my home. This is my situation and how you have opened my eyes. I know my partner won't consent to counseling...it's quite frightening, now I have to make some hard decisions.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2002

S1

Another tactic used by abusers is complete silence saying they have nothing to add and so shutting the door to dialogue . Sometimes he just listened and looked at the watch ...or attacked minimizing the other's words.Laughing ,saying the other is sick and out of control,hysterical ,while he is superior, silently provocative.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 24, 2002

S1

I think that in addition to their own language abusers also have their 'alternate world', that is the way they see their actions, behavior and motivations and then those of all others. Or, in other words, the world according to them. That must be why any attempt to communicate with them is viewed as ''not of their world''and in their view it can be turned to their convenience into an attack, accusation, provocation, or what have you from the victim/partner. This translate to gratification/satisfaction for them as an argument (which they invariably win)which they will make sure follow; the more miserable the victim/partner is the more fulfilled and satisfied they do. This of course is about the verbal aspects,which in their view ''justifies'' the emotional, economic and physical parts of abuse. There are vast repertoires of abuse and control behaviors. (i.e.Economic= Has anyone experienced a spouse who read the electric and water meters before going to work and immediately upon return, in order to: ''determine how much was used and how abusive to his money you and the children have been''?. Oh ... yes, this also ''will tell him what appliances you used and he would also know how long victim and kids have been home from work and school''). Anyone? M.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 24, 2002

S1

I have been wishing to thank Ms. Patricia Evans for her book and the liberating from the nightmare, of my children and myself. Thank you Ms. Evans for writing it; I had no background from which to identify what I was facing, only the knowledge that I did not treat anyone the way I was being treated and a certainty that 'something was very wrong'. Ever since I read her book (I still keep it)"The Verbally Abusive Relationship", I have been grateful for the help it provided to me identifying the 'problem' that I had. Notice that I said 'had'; her book also helped me in making the decision to remedy the situation. I have recommended her book to many persons, still do and periodically revise it. Lastly, may I commend you all for this Site!. It is great and I hope it reaches all those who specifically need it, but may not be able to have books on the subject for fear of the abuser.If there is anything that 30 years living in two abusive relationships can contribute to any research or statistics you conduct, please contact me. sincerely, M.L.B. laguila3@earthlink.net

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, June 21, 2002

S1

I know and have known men like this. It is useless and fruitless trying to have even a simple conversation. Everything is turned around and becomes your fault or your lack of understanding. The blame game is at the helm. They seem to see themselfs as perfect!!! And everyone else is messed up!!! It amazes me!!! They really do not see their problem, even if you tell them, and tell them and tell them. I believe it is a form of mental illness. Thanks for the article. I was trying to get more insite.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 27, 2002

S1

Dear Judge, I have been following this site and progress for some time now. I want to thank you for your keen insight. Not only Evan's book on "Verbal Abuse," but "Controlling People" might even better exemplyfiy what you are saying.

I have reached a new platue, as in, the overt abuse is gone. Now what do I have? A husband who speaks a different language, who won't expose himself, and I have to remain eternally alert to block any attempts at verbal abuse. There can be no real intimacy in this type of relationship. As you wrote "That is what really wears the partner down. Not their rage and anger, but your daily frustration and loneliness." So I wear down and wear down. Patericia Evans' simple tatics on stopping the abuse worked, that coupled with setting boundries with consequences. My husband is very nice now,thinks of me, does nice things, and I have to be cold, alert, and like steel to not let him slip back. So I am married to Mr. Wonderfull for all intents and purpposes, but I am so lonely. I guess you could say I reformed his behavior, but not his heart. He is a good man and I am a lonely woman. You can stop the abuse but you can't open the heart. Anyway, thanks for sharing. I guess the worst thing about stopping the abuse is discovering what you never had and probably never will. daybyday@widomaker.com

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 17, 2002

S1

Dear Judge:

Here are some of the comments my mother makes and her second husand. "I would'nt let that boy kiss my ass", or "You have to leave if you don't have any money to pay to stay with us" She also talks to my nieces and nephews the same way. My mother completed grade 10 and got married the first time at 18 and her husband left her. She remarried to a so called "Rich bachelor Farmer" and had three more children. Now she wants us to come and clean her house and support her second family. I don't think so 1

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 03, 2002

S1

When I confronted my abuser (my therapist who I was also workig for) regarding lies I had caught him in, he said I was harassing him, that I misinterpreted what he said, that I had selective memory, and now he's billing me for time we spent together socially. He's so sad things have ended up the way they have. Where's my hankie??

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 03, 2002

S1

When I confronted my abuser (my therapist who I was also workig for) regarding lies I had caught him in, he said I was harassing him, that I misinterpreted what he said, that I had selective memory, and now he's billing me for time we spent together socially. He's so sad things have ended up the way they have. Where's my hankie??

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 01, 2002

S1

This is so true. I am just now able to see my husband working me. Still. He works me from all angles round and round, trying to get the results he wants. I want off the merry-go-round! I just don't have the energy to live with him anymore. He feels like an emotional vampire. Sucking my life away. We have been separated a year. I want a devorce he just keeps comming. How do I shake this guy? Really. Everything I try seems to fail. He keeps trying to convence me he loves me. It is not a healthy love, I don't want it. The longer I am away from him the better I feel. Now, how do I get him to grasp this? Help.

Ree

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 19, 2002

S1

It never fails to amaze me how many people are in "unhealthy" relationships. And why are so many people abusers? What is the cause and how can our society better educate our children so that they will not have to gow up abusers/abused? Is it the drugs we take, the life we take for granted, our fast pace, our material desires, are we ignoring our inner peace? What is it that has caused us to mis-treat each other? These are some of the questions we need to start answering. When will we realize what we are doing to our children and future generations? We need to start teaching our children at a young age how to be better people, how to be better to themselves and to their fellow man. I don't pretend to have any answers because I don't, but we must realize what is going on here. I have read page after page about people who are living in miserable relationships, abusive relationships, unhappy relationships. Why is that? Have we all gone completely mad? Maybe the professionals need to start looking at schools and seeing what they can do to help children identify "unhealthy" behaviors that can lead to abusive relationships. I have read stories where the father is abusive to his wife, mother, sister and then the son takes on the same charateristics. What does that tell you? I'm not sure what the answer is, but something needs to be done. Maybe there is too much tolerance of violent behaviors in our society, we have become immune to violence, abuse,distruction and even death. We watch movies where people are blown up, shot, attacked, what does that say about our society? I am not preaching, just concerned. When I read so many heart wrenching stories and so many of us are incapable of handling these situations, I am afraid for our children's children. I am afraid for our future. We, as a society, need to take a closer look into what is happening to the mental/emotional health of men, women and children. We need to educate and care more. Sites like this are a good beginning, but we need to reach people who do not have the resources to get help. To educate them and teach them, help them overcome abusive behaviors. We are supposed to be the superior species, yet we are the only species that abuse our children, our elderly, our husbands, our wives, what does that say about us as a specie? All other species protect their youngesters, we abuse ours. What does that say about us? Think about it. Thank you Judge, your words are very true and very welcome to a lot of us. We all need to be made aware, to learn, to get help and to overcome our "unhealthy" behaviors. We need to love one another, not destroy and abuse one another.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 18, 2002

S1

I know the echoing games really well. It seems like a form of projection, only perfected into, as you said, a language. But what can you do about them? An abuser fluent in MeMe can play these to no end. Here is an amazing story of an echoing MeMeite who actually projected his own echoing:

I once said to B, "I don't like being interrupted. It throws me off guard and makes me wonder if you are listening at all to what I am saying."

B said, "Well, you interrupt me too."

"Maybe I do," I said. I took a deep breath. "I have done that. But, well, then WHAT? Are we at a total stalemate here? A total standstill? Can't we both agree to try not to interrupt each other?"

"Well," said B, "I just think you should stop to think about what you are doing rather than just accusing me."

"I do," I said. "I just did."

"No, you don't," he said, which (loosely translated from the MeMe) means "I don't want to think about what you just said." He continued, "This is a real problem for you. You accuse me of doing the same things you're doing," he said, "that's why we're at a standstill. It goes both ways, you know." (Twilight Zone!)

"I do think about my part in things, and I am willing to work out a system where we can talk without interruptions. Aren't you? I do know it goes both ways. Don't you?"

"You see, you're turning it around on me again. You're only thinking about my part in things."

"I said a system where we both can talk. I want it to benefit both of us," I said.

"You just don't understand," he said, which (loosely translated from the Meme) means "I can no longer repeat myself. Go away."

Standstill again.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 09, 2002

S1

Thank you for the advice.. it is most helpful. I think I am going crazy and that I am not speaking English properly.. or that I just can't make myself clear. It's very frustrating. Most of all, it's hard to get out of the loop.

thanks, paula

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 07, 2002

S1

What do you do with a partner who is a passive/agressive verbal abuser?

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 07, 2002

S1

you are right on!! sounds just like me and my husband, and we are now going through a divorce -- i know no other way out since he refuses to go to counseling. thanks for the support.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2002

S1

You just described my relationship to a "T." It's nice to know that I am not the crazy one as I am always told!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2002

S1

My heart is beating very rapidly right now because I am completely recognizing my own relationship of 7 years (married a year and a half) and am really scared. My husband is a "classic" verbal/emotional abuser based on what I've read on this site. I had always suspected he was, but he appears so "good" to other people (including our couples counselor) that I always questioned my own interpretations of the situation. And even my own counselor obviously didn't think the situation was that bad because she never told me to get away from him. I became so frustrated at one point that I bought a mini tape recorder that I was going to try to hide and record "episodes" and play them back to other people to see what they thought. I never ended up using it though - I guess because I never knew when to expect an episode and realized I couldn't record 8 hours/day. I would feel it absolutely necessary (though incredibly difficult) to leave him right now if it weren't for the facts that: a) I began in AA a few months ago and have been advised not to make any major changes in my life until I've been sober for a year, and b)he started taking Prozac almost a year ago and it has made an big difference. I've said to him a few times that he'd better not go off the Prozac!! Here's an example: His favorite thing to say if we have a difference of opinion about something, like which movie to rent, is "You are so selfish!" To which I often respond, "Why is it that if we want different things I'M the one who's selfish!" Last month, he FINALLY said, "Yeah, I guess we're BOTH selfish, I just wish you wouldn't be." I am amazed that the drugs have made this kind of a difference. But, when my year sober is up, I am definitely going to be questioning this whole thing again. I have never seen it so well "pinpointed" as in the above discussion by the Judge.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2002

S1

Yes, u made me realize that I am in a abusive relaionship.But we share a 14 months old son.And I always had dreams about having a happy family. What should I do next to try to resove this problem.Doctor please guide me. How should i react with him.Should we go counselling I do'nt think he will agry to that cause he thinks that everything is my fault. Is there any hope for our family to be united? sheila

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2002

S1

Yes, u made me realize that I am in a abusive relaionship.But we share a 14 months old son.And I always had dreams about having a happy family. What should I do next to try to resove this problem.Doctor please guide me. How should i react with him.Should we go counselling I do'nt think he will agry to that cause he thinks that everything is my fault. Is there any hope for our family to be united? sheila

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2002

S1

Yes, u made me realize that I am in a abusive relaionship.But we share a 14 months old son.And I always had dreams about having a happy family. What should I do next to try to resove this problem.Doctor please guide me. How should i react with him.Should we go counselling I do'nt think he will agry to that cause he thinks that everything is my fault. Is there any hope for our family to be united?

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 14, 2002

S1

trying to learn and get help. Abuser

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 14, 2002

S1

trying to learn and get help. Abuser

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 11, 2002

S1

I think that the Judges' comments on the abuser's language was extremely informative. It has helped me enormously in identifying abusive traits in my partner and in myself as well. CAS, South Texas.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 08, 2002

S1

With this article I could identify where was the problem in my marriage. I did not want to admit that my husband was a verbal abuser. Very helpful article.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 03, 2002

S1

Dear Judge, You are right on. I am an abuser who has done great damage to my wife and children over the course of a 41 year marriage. Thanks for your comments. MD MD

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2002

S1

Yes, I have found all of what you have conveyed to be true. This article, along with professional help and other books have helped me make a decision to end the relationship. She is a victim of prolonged sexual and physical abuse, and refuses to get professional help. I'm glad I left, I can get on with my life and enjoy it now.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2002

S1

I experience mocking from my husband. I will say or do something and he will mimic me in a ridiculous manner. Is this verbal abuse? It sure feels like it.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2002

S1

I experience mocking from my husband. I will say or do something and he will mimic me in a ridiculous manner. Is this verbal abuse? It sure feels like it.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 08, 2002

S1

Here is my advice - I have lived with a verbal/emotional abuser. Get out. It will be hard - I did it, and boy, was I hooked. Get out anyway. No matter what it costs, how much it hurts, and even if you think you can't make it on your own. You can. I did. And I have two children. I faced financial devastation. I was with my husband for ten years. It still hurts. I am not healed. Its been a year and a half. I don't date. Sometimes, I am lonely. But- at least now I have a chance at being happy some day. Being with him was a death sentence - for my spirit. I am alone now - but I am less lonely than I was than when I was being abused. You will respect yourself more for having stood up for your rights. So will your children. Leaving is hard - staying is death.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 08, 2002

S1

Bravo! Well stated, Your Honor! I have experienced this line of 'communication' in several relationships. Instead of intelligent conversation, I wind up having a 'conversation' that sounds like something out of famous "Abbott & Costello sitcom, 'Who's on First'"!! It's absolutley crazy-making! THAT, coupled with incessant interruptions and 'talk-overs', is enough to drive anyone nuts! I finally figured out that my husband really doesn't care about MY opinion or point of view; he only cares about his OWN opinion, and charges that it IS superior to that of others. My hasband has even gone so far as to try and limit how many sentences each of us can say at one time! I get a kick out of him asking me how my day was, and after saying two words, he talks over me, telling me about HIS day! Since when is "What did you do today" a rehtorical question? I woould ask him questions about his feelings, and he would NOT answer the question, always 'circumnavigating' the issue something like this:

Me: Do you think it's going to rain tonight?

Him: It's rained 4 times last week. I looked at the weather this afternoon, and I could see the jet stream streamlining to the south, which reminds me, I have to ask my secretary to purchase the airline tickets for my trip to Chicago next week. I hope it doesn't rain while I'm there. I guess I should take an umbrella, just in case. That last time I was there, it rained for the whole week. But that was 4 years ago...

Notice how he never answered my question! Or, they try to 'overcompensate' to 'appear' caring, by asking the same question 18 different ways, but never really HEARING the answer, as in:

Him: Are you hungry? Me: No, uh-uh. Him: Are your sure? Me: Yes, I'm sure. Him: Really? Me (getting annoyed): Yes, REALLY! Him: Are you sure I can't get you something, or make something for you to eat. Me: No thank you. Him: Oh, c'mon. Just let me make you a LITTLE something... Me: No thank you, I'm not interested.

And on and on it goes. Why couldn't he just accept my FIRST answer...and please notice how my answer didn't change.

He DOES avoid answering questions, and the only time he actually answered a question that I had asked him many times was when our counselor asked him the same question. He tells me questions like the 'ones I ask' 'back him into a corner'. Hmmm...

Tricia

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2002

S1

Boy, do you have this right. I lived with you push my buttons from my husband which a rage ensued each time because I would ask him for help with household chores or talk about money issues. I was never allowed to finish a sentence or have my calm opinion heard. I learned to just say, no, no, no that is not what I said. That is when he got into name calling. It was wonderful to read your synopsis.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 09, 2002

S1

I was recently living with a person who constantly monoplizes any conversations you have with him. Sometimes this would continue for several minutes at a time. If you attempted to ask a question, say to demonstrate active listening skills, I would be accused of interrupting him. By the time he had finished speaking, I no longer had the desire to ask any question or try to add to the conversation in any way, leaving me very frustrated. I guess that I'm more accustomed to the normal give and take in a conversation with someone where you take turns speaking and one speaker does not drone on and on for a period of time. He's that way in casual conversation as well. Calling me when he wants to talk about something, but complaing if I call him. He would also complain if I called him often, however he would call me at least once, sometimes several times per day.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 08, 2002

S1

My word this is awesome!!! I was married to an abuser for five years and did not realize until I read this that there was no way we would ever have been able to make a go of it because of the "speaking" a different language. He refused to be honest with the marriage counselor but after reading this I guess he was as honest as he could be.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 08, 2002

S1

Maybe you get this all the time but...When did you meet my husband? How in the world can their be so many people out there like this? Sometimes i think that we are the abnormal ones and they are the norm. I am in the process after 13 years of marrige of just realizing what it is i have been going through all these years. I am looking up counselors right now for myself, and my kids because out of our last argument the other day he said he would not go, so i cant allow him to stop me from getting the help i need, ive read all the books. I still like hearing from real people more than i do these phycologists. The real people know what really happens the doctors feel like they need to analyze it all. There is really nothing to analyze, the way i look at is there a nice people in the world and then their are miserable people in the world and i just so happened was fooled by one of the miserable people.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 01, 2002

S1

Thank you Judge for this written observation. I just had one of those abusive "conversations" and was begining to doubt myself (as usual) as to whether I was actually wrong in trying to explain to my husband how his sexually harrassing statements are really abusive. He, of course, immediately turned it around to "you" statements. You are this, you are that, why do you....etc. Thanks for the support. I know I am right in trying to be strong and not let this abuse go on anymore. But he is so good at wearing me down that I very often wonder if I am the crazy one.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 27, 2001

S1

On Christmas night, my husband was angry because i told him i wanted to use the car to take my daughter somewhere. He then picked up the phone downstairs when I was on with my daughter and would not hang it up. I asked him 2x nicely then I said Hang it the Hell up. He came rushing upstairs, pulled the phone cord out of the wall and took the phone and threw it across the room. He started cursing me and threatening me. He threw other stuff and broke it. My daughter only heard him yelling and when the phone went dead, she got scared and called 911. He has been physically abusive before. Whenthe police came he started telling them I was curfsing him and throwing things

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 17, 2001

S1

Simply wriiten, to the point, and all FACT! Eye opening and extremely informative.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2001

S1

All of these articles are excellent. Most of them deal with abuse within the marital relationship or child abuse. I am involved in an abusive relationship with a sibling and wonder if there are others in this situation also.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 01, 2001

S1

funny me finding this after what i posted this evening because i was just saying to Fem4000 that my H can never answer or deal with any issue i raise - he usually throws it back at me - what you call echoing or he distracts me by "you are or do this so what are you moaning about?" i do see the hopelessness of my situation and i know that when i talk to other people this sort of behaviour does not occur. i do know this is not my fault that my marriage is like this - my H would be the same with whoever he was married too - unforunately so would I have been up to this point - it has taken me this long to see that it is no good just accepting that i am a co-dependent - i need to do something about it for me. i have tolerated controlling people in my life for 41 years - some physically, a lot of emotional and guilt trap driven and noe quite a lot of verbal - i fear the hostility that comes from these people when i disagree with them - but i know that being a people pleaser pleases no one, least of all me - its just a pretence and as i am only here once, i don't want to pretend anymore. if my H cannot deal with a woman who is strong minded enough to fight legal battles every day who cannot just then become this little "wifey" person when I get home - then that is not my problem - i am beginning to like this person I am turning out to be - if the risk is that i give up knowing who i am in order to stay with him - then no deal. What i would like to know is how do you walk away from this abuse in your face and manage to be pleasant rather than hostile? i find that really difficult - when there has been a falling out and no resolution - usually sweeping it under the carpet approach - i don't feel affectionate or very loving. is that wrong or not? what i want at those times is to be left alone although i can see that is the one time H cannot afford to leave me alone because it is an obvious loss of control so instead of yelling he gets affectionate, etc etc., and i just feel like yelling at him to leave me alone. do others feel the same and is this part of the same language thing?

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2001

S1

Judge- we live the same life. I would like to read more. Do you have more to offer? I have 2 children. (1) has Down Syndrome and the other is mine through marriage (and love of course). Anything you have been through that relates to family dynamics?

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 08, 2001

S1

I have just ended a relationship with a women who is an Adult Child of Alcoholics and a "recovering?" alcoholic herself. I am a recovered Alcoholic and hope to stay in the recovered state, in spite of my unfortunate experience. This woman is self centered, selfish, and controlling. The abuse I experienced, that I had never been exposed to before, was more emotional than verbal, even though there were a few verbal exchanges. I was always told, that she wasn't very good at relationships. Duh! for me. The abuse I experienced was insidious and so subtle to the point that I thought I was at fault or that something was wrong. I believe that when one is psychologically balanced , is caring and has empathy they can become brainwashed as the result of what is called "crazymaking". I know that I overlooked the red flags even though the emotional rollercoaster was well underway. Recovery will come; I didn't realize the amount of emotional trauma though. D From Tennessee

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 08, 2001

S1

I have just ended a relationship with a women who is an Adult Child of Alcoholics and a "recovering?" alcoholic herself. I am a recovered Alcoholic and hope to stay in the recovered state, in spite of my unfortunate experience. This woman is self centered, selfish, and controlling. The abuse I experienced, that I had never been exposed to before, was more emotional than verbal, even though there were a few verbal exchanges. I was always told, that she wasn't very good at relationships. Duh! for me. The abuse I experienced was insidious and so subtle to the point that I thought I was at fault or that something was wrong. I believe that when one is psychologically balanced , is caring and has empathy they can become brainwashed as the result of what is called "crazymaking". I know that I overlooked the red flags even though the emotional rollercoaster was well underway. Recovery will come; I didn't realize the amount of emotional trauma though. D From Tennessee

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 03, 2001

S1

Right on! I just experienced exactly this with my abusive husband. I haven't and didn't yell at him. I actually read to him from this site these exact words "lack of communication is by far the most frustrating and destructive part of the abusive relationship. You can't even solve minor issues involving children or finance without being attacked or accused of attacking. That is what really wears the partner down. Not their rage and anger, but your daily frustration and loneliness". What he picked up on was the word "daily" and started in. DAILY, SO WHAT I HEAR YOU SAYING IS THAT EVERY SINGLE DAY I RAGE AND YELL AT YOU. SO IF YOU'RE SAYING THAT, THEN WHAT ABOUT THE LAST TWO WEEKS? (Which have been relativly calm). HAVE I BEEN YELLING AT YOU "DAILY" FOR THE LAST TWO WEEKS? I MAY AS WELL NOT EVEN TRY. I told him that this is wasn't what I was saying and that I knew exactly what I said because I had read it word for word. HE THEN STORMED OUT SAYING THAT IT "WASN'T A GOOD TIME FOR HIM TO COMMUNICATE" and that I was pushing his buttons and wanted to fight. Sound familiar anyone??

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Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2001

S1

Thank you very much for your educatinal article!

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Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2001

S1

You are completely right on about the interruption aspect; I was thinking that my partner just had absolutely no communication skills; it makes much more sense that this is just another way of him controlling me.

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Date: Sunday, October 14, 2001

S1

AMEN! Thanks for opening my eyes.

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Date: Saturday, October 13, 2001

S1

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Date: Friday, October 05, 2001

S1

Thank you for your insight, I have seen my mother all over these pages, and the more I learn her actions and why, the better I am learning to handle any confrontations. Its so VERY hard to do... Krissy Z

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Date: Tuesday, October 02, 2001

S1

Boy, does this describe my EX husband. For years I thought my communication skills were not what they ought to be; he had me so confused. Finally, it occured to me that I couldn't say anything to him that he would understand. As my counselor said: I don't have the key. I am printing this to show to my family. This describes verbal/emotional abuse in very understandable terms. We all just call him "nuts."

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Date: Monday, October 01, 2001

S1

hi irecentley married after being with him for 4 years. things are really getting out of hand now .my husband constantley calls me names,like i am trash,garbage ,dumb, i am the worst woman he has ever been with,etc.,etc. also my friends are no good they are not allowed in my home. but he goes all weekend to his friends. i ave a little dog he does not like my husband. now i am supposed to get rid of him or he is going to break his legs. i once had to get rid of a dog already. i feel so alone now. i used to have lots of friends no nobody.sometimes he is nice and brings me presents but now it is almost every day unbearale. please help! my e-mail is birkoch@hotmail.com please reply a.s.a.p.

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Date: Saturday, September 29, 2001

S1

Hi, My name is Sharon. I am 43 years of age and have just finished reading Patricia Evans book. I guess I am in shock. I thought my husband was going through a middle life crisis. I read your comments about "echoing" and I wanted to tell you I know how it feels. He has also seen to it that I dont have any friends anymore, I work for him during the day so I guess for the last three years I have been totally under his control 24 hours of the day. In one way it is a relief to put a name tag on what you are experiencing and to know you are not at fault but on the other hand the dream of them understanding you and changing I think vanishes. Can they change? I loved him so much, now I feel numb. I left him in November last year. It took so much courage to walk out the door. I was an emotional wreck. I went to stay at my brothers place who I loved and he had been so concerned about me. My loving brother who was so concerned spiked a couple of drinks he gave me and then after I staggered to bed raped me. Three days later I cracked and rang my husband because I thought I was dying. My parents know but dont want to. They have shut me out. My husband focuses his anger now on my family and me. I find myself wanting to live on a deserted island with my three teenage children but also wanting a best friend. Thank you for your insight, I just wish you would respond. I need a friend. At the moment he verbally attacked me last night, was out all day, and went to bed as soon as he got home at 7.00pm. I feel so alone. Thank you again.

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Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2001

S1

1. He often tells me to not interrupt until he is finished. This lecture can take 5, 10, 15 minutes, with the entire verbal interaction lasting an hour or two into the night. I find it difficult to not interrupt, because the info is hurtful, untrue, blaming, onesided, angering. Ive found it harder to sit and take this in as Ive gotten older. 2. Three rules he stated to me when we first married; 1) do it my way because it is the right way. 2) I want what I want when I want it. 3) I always state the brutal truth. The info in the brutal truth can be true, however the delivery is hurtful and hateful.

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Date: Thursday, September 13, 2001

S1

I just wonder how many abusers (percentage wise) are men, and how many are women. I frequently hear about actions by wives/girlfriends that seem to fit the abuser pattern, but most of what I read makes the man out to be the bad one.

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Date: Friday, September 07, 2001

S1

Exactly! I am at work reading this and I am about to cry for the joy of being validated. My abuser has come in and out of my life for 13 years. I am called names and interupted. I am "filthy" yet he hasn't cleaned his apt in 6 months and mine is spotless etc. I was raped while I was with him and he tried to stab me. He tried to run me down in his truck. He broke into my house after I kicked him out. He called the cops first and told them I was an histionic and to ignore me when I phoned in the break-in. They did. He says to this day I made all that up. He re-writes history and invents pathologies for me to invalidate and destroy my ego. I am drained psychically. I just found a new apt far away from him but I feel so weak and damaged from his overt or insidious attacks I am having a full blown anxiety attack.

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Date: Saturday, September 01, 2001

S1

Wow! I have had these same conversations. I believe that your right the abuser does not want to communicate and has his own language.

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Date: Saturday, September 01, 2001

S1

what is it called when someone changes their mind and position on important things all the time? i know someone who broke up a relationship because of a certain position they held and then seemed to change their mind completely and then changed again completely. what is this all about? something about the comment "their language is a tool to protect themselves from emotional exposure" rings true.

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Date: Saturday, August 25, 2001

S1

I have just told my husband that I've filed for divorce, he tells me I'm getting exactly what I've wanted for years. After reading your web page I finally started to tell myself that I have no reason to feel guilty for what I'm doing. I've always tried to make things better no matter what I do he finds fault with it. He has always invalidated everything about me as a person,mother,and wife. I have never finished a conversation without being interruped and him telling me how wrong I am about anything and how horriable my children are. The pain and guilt that I have is immensiable, especially the way he has everybody convinced how much of a terriable person I am and my 15 year old son. This cuts so deep in the heart but I know I'm doing myself and children a great favor by getting out--- EXHAUSTED. I know deep in my heart that I've tried everything to keep our marriage together---marriage counseling two times in six years. This all makes sense as to why me and my son have so many headaches and stomache problems, constant stress.

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Date: Friday, August 24, 2001

S1

Wow, I feel as though you have lived in my house, this was like listening to a tape recording of my marriage.

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Date: Friday, August 17, 2001

S1

Wow, did this hit the nail on the head. My soon to be ex-husband would constantly say, when I tried to explain his abusive behavior, "What do you expect, I learned it from you."

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Date: Monday, August 13, 2001

S1

Well put. The frustration and hopelessness of communication, is the most wearing. Thanks for the attack back references. having been increasingly subjected to no answer and a swift attack, what you wrote makes sense. My abuser is accusing me of what he does, is doing, witholding, intent to deprive, arguing, etc. Thanks for articulating what is irrational and feels like a swift slap across my face, a stunning blow verbally. This escalated to hitting me, my abuser 'knowing' that was what I wanted to do, to justify by accusing me afterwards.

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Date: Monday, August 13, 2001

S1

Do you know of any online suuport groups for victims?

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Date: Monday, August 13, 2001

S1

My husband does that the most out of everything and it makes me so mad. That is the cause of so much frustration. If I tell him that what he said hurts me, he will say you do it too, it is always turned around. I try to say, look, I'm talking about now, but usually he doesn't get it.

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Date: Saturday, August 11, 2001

S1

I have lived with a verbally abusive man for (15) years and he is getting worse all the time. There has never been, nor ever will be communication in this marriage, he will not seek help, he doesn't think he needs it. And he is real cleaver at not doing it while other people are around, because then it makes me look crazy when he drives me to the point of wanting to choke him. I do not know what to do, walking away with nothing in this society, sets you up to be homeless, and without a means to care for yourself.

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Date: Monday, July 30, 2001

S1

Excellently written. This has been my life. I just wish there was a way to make the man see.

P.S. In the paragraph nine -- "They generally answer a question with a question in an attempt to through the partner... (the word "through" should be spelled "throw").

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Date: Saturday, July 14, 2001

S1

WOW hit the nail on the head! It feels like this relationship is a game of war. Problems don't get solved and we are not growing up together just getting older and rehashing the same problems. I feel hurt by something he says and he denies the responsibility of hurting, it is simply my fault for being too sensitive or in a state of delusion. Im begining to understand this selfprotective reality of his. He must feel lonely and empty inside. I feel lonely for him, I know the facts and am aware of the damage and waste of time in my own life by stickin around, its taking time to fully comprehend this situation. Im having a hard time accepting how anyone can live in such a reality.

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Date: Friday, July 13, 2001

S1

I cannot understand why after almost 7 years of being controlled I did not realize what was happening. I finally faced up to the fact that this relationship, no matter what I did was not going to work. My sanity was at stake too. I tried and tried, but he would not communicate with me on an emotional level. I am too exhausted to continue with it. I could never do anything right. I tried and tried..even put my pride and my humility on the line. I still cannot understand, because I loved him, why he wanted to make me feel unloved and insecure. I was told I was too demanding because I wanted to know if we were having dinner together..and alot worse. I was always getting compliments from others but never him. he witheld affection and conversation so many times I cannot count them. But if I witheld affection I was a cold Bitch. I began to no longer be myself because I was afraid of a verbal attack. Why oh why did I waste so much time before I realized what was happening?

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Date: Monday, July 09, 2001

S1

Amen! I have just learned to give a name to what I've been experiencing in these last 11 years of marriage....I could never understand why I couldn't communicate with my husband when I am praised as a teacher and communicator by everyone else. Now I know IT WASN'T MY FAULT! This is a really accurate description of his "language". Thanks!

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Date: Sunday, July 01, 2001

S1

After reading up on codependency and being in therapy, All Ive been able to do is cry. I wish he would have just hit me 18 years ago instead of yell and be-little me over that period of time. At least then, I could have gotten out sooner. Someday I will have the courage to rescue myself and my son....

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Date: Thursday, June 28, 2001

S1

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Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2001

S1

Last night I was talking to my boyfriend and we had a disagreement about where we bought soemthing the week before. I thought it was one store he thought it was another. We argued about this for 10 minutes. He informed me that I thought he was incompetent b/c I didn't remember what he remembered. That I NEVER think that he is right and I just think he is stupid. I never said any of these things, or even implied them. I just told him I remembered it differently than him. But to him he was right no matter what and how dare me tell him he was wrong. Well, I didn't. I just had a different memory of it. He would not see it any other way. He was very mad at this. I just don't understand what the big deal is. We didn't even need to argue about it. Just say "oh, I thought we bought it here." "no, it was here" "well, lets just check tomorrow and find out which place it was". Who cares who is right anyway. It was just a matter of memory. We just needed to go to the right place and return something that's all. Who cares!!! But no, he had to make this big issue of who was right. This happens all the time.

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Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001

S1

I am so enlightened by this entire site. The above mentioned scenario is identical to what I am faced with on a daily basis. It is almost like you are a fly on my wall!

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Date: Monday, May 07, 2001

S1

This rings all too true. I have had these very conversations with my partner. He doesn't think he has a problem - it's my problem. I'm too sensitive. I can't begin to talk about how dejected, rejected, degraded and exhausted I am. Life doesn't have to be this difficult. I really feel things are hopeless and I am helpless. I have read Patricia Evans. I have read Dr. Susan Forward. I can't go on walking on eggshells and having my life ruled by his moods. I can't go on living this shell of an existence, not being able to speak, not being able to actually speak the truth but instead first thinking about what effect my responses to his abuse will have on him and then having to only say things that will either placate him or defuse the situation. He will not go for counselling especially since I'm the one with the problem - not him. I suppose that's one thing he has right. I am the one that is doing the suffering, so I'm the one with the problem. The problem is him.

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Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

Good info -- I've just been through some of this -- "you do that too, and I don't like it either" "I don't like the way you reacted" (to the bad stuff I did to you that is not relevant to me!).

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Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

oops I thought that this was a comment as to whether what was said to me was abusive or not. sorry abt my last note - not meant toward you.

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Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Deleted!