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How do you block out the mean-spirited, degrading comments by someone you love?

Updated on September 21, 2008

Sometimes it is about control

So many times, we find ourselves a victim of the ones we love the most in this world. In some cases, the person is angry about something in their life or simply unhappy and showing it the only way they know how.

However, in many cases it is more about the control than an anger issue. After living with mental and emotional abuse for many years, I finally had the strength to start a new life. The effects of that abuse, however would last for many years to follow. In my case, it was about the control that he had over me by being able to intimidate me through his words. My self-esteem plummeted and I felt as if I was worthless.

Once they have your self-esteem broken, it is very easy for them to control you because they simply make you feel like you are not worthy of making any decisions for yourself. They want you to feel as if you are no good to anyone so that you remain their "property" because you feel as if nobody else will want someone as worthless as you.

Professional counceling may help

If there is any way they will agree to it, a professional may be able to help. That will be completely dependent on them being willing to actually participate in the sessions. Many people will agree to go just for appearances sake. Others will refuse because they are afraid of losing the power that they have over you.

It is imperative that some type of help is acquired if this is something that seems to escalate as many who start out as mental abusers often progress into physical abusers over time. It is also very important for the abused to get professional help as well. I often wonder if I had gotten professional help if I would have gotten beyond it many years sooner.

Sometimes it takes drastic measures

In some cases, leaving may be the only option, as was in my case. If the abuser refuses to get help and continues the abuse, there may be no other alternative in order for the abused to reclaim their life.

Trust me when I tell you that if it is about control and they refuse help, it will only get worse. The more power they gain over you, the more power they want until sometimes it becomes physical. The power of speech is no longer enough for them and they escalate to the next level of power over you.

It all comes down to a choice. And if there are children in the house, they are learning that it is ok to treat people in this manner and in many cases will repeat the cycle of abuse. The abuser may also begin to turn their attention to the children as well. When they know that they have you in their control, it is highly possible that the children will be their next target!

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    • profile image

      Mark 5 years ago

      I have been accused of being verbally abusive by my wife. I did not think I had been but I respect her and love her and eventually sought counseling. I learned that I do get defensive and angry when I feel humiliated and frustrated. I know that when I behave angrily I lose the ability to communicate my feelings effectively. My wife responded to my anger by immediately disregarding anything I had to say. She responded only to the anger not the source of it. She was right and responded appropriately.

      Now I am using the tools I have learned in counseling to behave in a less angry manner. I do not assume an aggressive posture. I use a quiet voice. I pause to reflect before I speak. I think in terms of looking for an ultimately loving outcome. As a result, I still often feel humiliated and frustrated and the source of those feelings is still not addressed. I recently discussed this with my wife. I asked if she had seen any improvement and she responded saying that I did use a quieter voice but that I was still angry.

      This is an enormous source of frustration to me. I feel powerless to express my feelings. The accusation of verbal abuse seems impossible to overcome. Any argument, disagreement or criticism I may make is dismissed as invalid. If I say that I am not being abusive simply because I am angry, I am told that I am in denial. Then I am under the double whammy -abusive and denying it.

      I hoped that I could regain my wife’s respect both personally and emotionally but it isn’t working. I have tried talking with her about it but she doesn’t want to discuss it because she fears that I will just get angry with her. I am in a relationship where I feel very small and lonely. I think the term for my condition is called emasculated?

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image
      Author

      Bonnie Ramsey 10 years ago from United States

      Betty,

      Thanks for stopping by! I am glad that you are finding relief, however, I would truly hope that this would be a last resort for anyone in this situation. If the problem is from a mate who is crushing your self-esteem then you should not be forced to take anti-depressants just because they don't know how to treat someone. I am sure there are some who need this treatment but speaking as someone who was forced into this very thing, I would make sure that I tried to get rid of the source of the depression first if possible. Once I did, the anti-depressants followed. I wish you all the best!

      Bonnie

    • bettymcm profile image

      bettymcm 10 years ago

      If you want to "block out" digs and putdowns, a mild anti-depressant can work. It's done wonders for me (suggested by Mayo Clinic doctors). I hate to suggest anybody resort to drugs, but in my case, I would get crushed at the slightest putdown and couldn't stand up for myself. With my little pink pill, I don't get crushed anymore. Remarks do not have the same effect. It takes away the leverage that once existed.

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 10 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      My ex was very verbally abusive and I stayed 7 years in the relationship, until I had an "aha" moment and realized I deserved better. When we learn to have self love,  we don't feel the need to stay in relationships that belittles one. Nowadays, I am with a beautiful loving and kind man. Ironically, my present mate, also was in an emotionally abusive union with his past girlfriend, and he terminated the relationship around the time I did with mine.

      However, when I think on occasion of the ex, I may wince a little, but dont have any animosity towards him.  Everything that I have experienced in my life is part of my journey and growth,  even the ex. 

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image
      Author

      Bonnie Ramsey 10 years ago from United States

      Oh m! I am sooo sorry, Gerry! Got the name mixed up with someone else! On 2 hours of sleep I am surprised I know my own name. Again, I do apologize!

      Bonnie

    • About-The-Home profile image

      About-The-Home 10 years ago

      Thanks for that wonderful reply.

      I'm not Angela though, I'm Gerry

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image
      Author

      Bonnie Ramsey 10 years ago from United States

      Thanks so much, Angela! You are right in that I may always be effected in some way of his past behavior. However, I feel he is the one who is suffering the most. As hard as it is to believe, he really did love me. In fact, he tells his Mom that he always will. He has had several bad relationships since our divorce and is now alone dealing with major health problems.

      But now I will really blow you away! We all get along great! In fact hubby and I go visit his family quite often and we still talk. When he is there, it is not awkward like you might imagine. He has to see how happy I am with someone who treats me with respect and that eats away at him. I don't wish that on him but that is how it is. He is and always will be a part of my life as he is my youngest daughter's father. I have let go of the resentment that I felt for him and only wish him health and happiness. When he goes back to have another heart surgery, I will be right there with my daughter at my hubby's insistance as I was the first time. Grudges only eat away at your life and I just don't have time for hatred.

      Thanks again for your nice comments and concern. I think you are a wonderful person as well.

      Bonnie

    • About-The-Home profile image

      About-The-Home 10 years ago

      The sad thing is that this abuse is still affecting you after all those years with a caring,loving partner.

      So the abuser is still controlling you to some extent.

      This is sad because from your posts you are a wonderful person.

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image
      Author

      Bonnie Ramsey 10 years ago from United States

      Dorsi,

      Thanks for visiting and your nice comment. I must admit that it was hard to leave but not as hard as I thought it would be in the beginning. Due to a lot of family support, I knew I was doing the right thing and they were great at helping me realize that I WAS worth something, which helped me all the more to start to rebuild my life. The rest of the credit I must give to my loving soulmate. He has taught me that I do not have to defend every little move I make or every friend I have and every dime I spend. We have been together almost 14 years (married almost 13) and even now sometimes I feel like I have to explain why I spent extra at the grocery store or shopping center. He just tells me he doesn't care what I do with the money! He knows I am NOT a shopper! It is really strange sometimes not having to be afraid to speak to a friend for fear of accusations of cheating and such. I guess some things will always stick with me from being in that situation for so long!

      Bonnie

    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 10 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      Bonnie, you were brave to leave. Many women stay and never break the cycle. Any kind of abuse is never OK, but sometimes we are conditioned to just stay and listen to or deal with it.

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image
      Author

      Bonnie Ramsey 10 years ago from United States

      Patty,

      Thanks for dropping by and posting. This is great to know. I think all states should follow suit! This is something that is happening so widely and people just seem to accept it as a way of life. It is sad that so many feel that they have to live like this!

      Bonnie

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Verbal, emotional, and financial abuse are recognized by some of our local court systems in my state now, finally! There is hope.

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image
      Author

      Bonnie Ramsey 10 years ago from United States

      MrMarmalade,

      Thanks for the nice comments and taking time to visit. The sad part is that there really isn't any government agencies that will help an adult who is being mentally or emotionally abused. These are what I consider the "invisible" abusers because there is no visible evidence that this is happening. Unlike bruising that can be seen, this form of abuse often goes unnoticed or even unbelieved for far too long.

      Crop in anytime. Your comments are always welcome.

      Bonnie

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 10 years ago from Sydney

      A well spoken hub and my thought go out to all the abused.

      I understand that the abused has often been abused.

      We have government dept, there to prevent and when they miss out they tell us understaffed and under resourced.

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