Monday, January 8, 2018


Many therapists share this scientific scenario to help victims of verbal abuse understand how they've been conditioned.

Place a frog into a pan of scalding water on a stove and the frog will immediately jump out; however, if you place that same frog into a cool pot of water, then gradually increase the heat, it will literally boil to death.  That sounds scary, yet that's exactly how verbal abuse can progress.  When little things start to happen, we may or may not notice them, but as they continue, we find that we've adapted until we become shells of our former selves.  Verbal abuse is considered domestic violence, and is very dangerous.

Here is a real conversation between a couple that I've been friends with for quite some time, and as you read this, I promise you'll shake your head.  While these scenarios focus on the woman as the abused, please know that men may also be victims.

Husband:  I don't know why you bought that picture and put it in the living room.  It doesn't even match the rest of the furniture, and it probably cost too much.

Wife:  Yeah, you're probably right, it doesn't really match. Actually, *Janet gave it to me.  I just loved the colors so much and wanted show it off if we have visitors. That's why I put it in the living room.

Husband:  It does match with the living room furniture even though the colors suck.  Does your friend Janet think we need her charity? She's always passing off her stuff on us.  What's wrong with her?

Wife:  You're right, it's a really good match.

Husband:  How in the world can you say that picture goes with anything that's in this living room? You're crazy! (Raising his voice)

Wife:  Okay, maybe the colors are not quite right.  I'm with you.

Husband:  That's not what's wrong with it, you idiot.

Wife:  I'm just really trying to understand what you're saying.

Husband:  No you're not.  You just want to twist everything I say around, like you always do.  I can't talk to you because you never make any sense!

Do you see the dynamics of this dialogue? There's literally no way there can be a healthy conversation despite the wife's attempt to please her husband. Every attempt is met with resistance, and this is just about a picture on the wall!

Here's another example of verbal abuse disguised as joking comments:

"You'd fall apart or kill yourself if I wasn't here to take care of you".
"All the women on my job tell me all the time how lucky you are and that you need to straighten up".
"You need to know your place".
"Your feet are so small, it's a wonder you don't topple over from the size of your head".
"What else can I expect?  You're only a woman".

If you respond by saying you aren't amused, you're then angrily accused of not having a sense of humor, or what's been said is no big deal.

Or perhaps this has happened to you during a conversation:

Wife:  I really need to talk to you about something that happened at work today.

Husband:  (Covering his face and sighing) What is it?

Wife: Silent because she's afraid of his reaction.

Husband:  Glaring.  Come on, I don't have all day.

Wife:  They're during some restructuring at work-------

Husband:  Cutting off his wife.  What is taking you so long to get to the point?  You always have to drag things out!

Wife:  I'm trying to tell---

Husband:  Cutting off his wife again.  Look, this is taking too long, then gets up and walks away.

As kids, we learned early on that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me", yet we now know that this quote is fictional.  In fact, verbal abuse produces dramatic consequences that include loss of self-esteem, lack of confidence, fear, doubt of self-worth, and wondering if something is wrong with our own thought processes.  The life we lived is in the past, our successes, and feeling good about who we were, is no longer valid.

Being called horrible names, cheated on, degraded or embarrassed in public, humiliated around strangers or even family members is not how we should be treated.  Perhaps you are constantly blamed for things which have nothing to do with you, or everything you do is wrong.  You're at the point where you're ready to pull out all your hair with frustration, and doubting your own sanity.

If this has or is happening, you're definitely not alone.

If you can safely, seek assistance from someone you trust, or contact a domestic violence shelter who can provide valuable information.  There are people who care.

 Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

For more valuable information, visit:


  1. Abuse comes in many forms, and all leads to devastating consequences. But that's the thing about abuse. Sometimes, it's too late to recognize the signs.

    1. So very true. Painful to go through and rough to get out, for sure. I've heard about some real horror stories. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. "You don't have a sense of humor" : oh yes, I heard that ! But not talking to you at all can also be an abuse, I've experienced that recently at work...

    1. That's true as well. So many forms of abuse and many people don't recognize or acknowledge until something terrible happens. BIG Hugs...

  3. This type of abuse is easy to miss because some might mask it under communication skills (lack of), etc.

    1. Hey Braine: You're absolutely right! Verbal abuse starts out so subtly, while those from the outside may not believe the victim, but meanwhile the language and abusive conversations begin to escalate. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs...

  4. I'm so glad you posted this. You know this is EXACTLY how I feel about verbal abuse. I've been in situations where I was belittled at every turn. After about three times of trying to understand the person, I walked away. I won't ever let anyone belittle me. Maybe it's because I have had to stand on my own since I was 19, or maybe it was because I have seen this type of abuse in others. Whatever the reason, I simply will NOT allow it to happen to me. There are too many people out there who will provide positive or constructive words and phrases, and have conversations that are healthy. I can't allow the negatives to control my life.

    Again, so glad you have been chosen to be an ambassador for abused victims, whether verbal or physical. You rock, dear RO!

    1. Kudos to you for the courage to walk away when someone attempted to disrespect you, and good that you take a stand as needed so many know your boundaries. I agree that there are so many positive people out there who really care, and lift us up. This has been a platform for years, so I'm thrilled that some are taking notice and spreading the word. Thanks so much Elizabeth. You are the best! Hugs...RO

  5. As a wedding photographer, you would be amazed at how much I hear / see this kind of abusive dynamic... it comes out a lot during engagement photoshoots quite a bit. It's rather disturbing to me.. -

    1. Wow Gingi! That's totally crazy, and unexpected! How frustrating that must be to you to see, and I hate that you have to go through it. You've taught me something I sure didn't know! What's even sadder is that this is already a horrible sign of what's to come in the marriage! Hugs...RO

  6. Just to make the point, it not always just about a man and woman. The same happens between 'couples' of all persuasions. It is relationship abuse. Your examples are very salient.

    1. You're right Andrew, abuse sadly happens between parents and children, same sex couples and lots more. However, I speak about things that I have seen or heard specifically here. I wish it didn't happen in any type of relationship, but either way, more people need to talk about it, and not sweep it under the carpet. Thanks a bunch for your feedback! Hugs...RO

  7. Some people are too toxic to please, nothing makes them happy

    1. So true, Adam. Those are the people not to hang out with if possible. For me, it's just too exhausting for sure. Hugs...RO

  8. Important stuff to post about. I can't believe some people are treated this way though. It's just sad...

    1. It truly bothers me for sure Evelina, and you're right it's so sad. Hope your Sunday is fantastic, and thanks for the kudos! Hugs...RO

  9. If you know you not ready for a relationship why get into one and still cheat and liar. I was dying inside for my cheating husband, i had no prove, no one to run to. Everyone thought i was paranoid. until i was referred to a Private Investigator  Mr James . I told him about my situation and He understood me well and helped me spy on my husband iphone.He hacked his Gmail and Facebook account and linked all his WhatsApp and phone conversation to me, to find out the truth.I saw all the evidence and i was heart Broken,I just want to openly say thank you Mr James for helping me get evidence against him,i feel so hurt. If you need help please contact him ( via email. 

  10. My wife was so smooth at hiding her infidelity and I had no proof for months, I saw a recommendation about a Private investigator  and decided to give him a try.. the result was incredible because all my cheating wife’s text messages, whatsapp, facebook and even phone conversations was linked directly to my cellphone. ( ) Mr James helped me put a round-the-clock monitoring on her and I got concrete evidence and gave it to my lawyer..if your wife is an expert at hiding her cheating adventures contact Mr James

  11. Hi everyone,I am Sara Smith.I know how hard it can be to be cheated on.My husband cheated on me while I was pregnant.The psychological stress it had on me was very terrible;I lost appetite,got depressed,and almost committed suicide.
    He was cheating with my bestfriend.They had been hooking up for a long time before I got to find out.I started suspecting him when I caught him in obvious lies about his whereabouts, activities, finances or other issues.
    I tried to get him to open up to me,but it resulted in him physically assaulting me.I ended up with bruises on my neck,face and other parts.This physical abuse continued for months and I continued to blame myself.I tried to communicate more,but he didn't care about either the kid and I.His actions made me lose the baby.
    I got very worried and I had to clear my doubts about him cheating.I then hired a level 12 pro hacker and private investigator CYBERBLACKHAT9@  .He got into my husband's phone and got access to his text messages,call logs,facebook,whatsapp.My husband thought he was smart enough to not get caught.The hacker got a lot of details off his phone.To my utmost surprise,I found out he had been cheating for over a year.
    As an advice,it is better to clear your doubts about a partner's infidelity than to keep guessing.It would save you a lot of stress.Infidelity destroys  relationships.


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