Verbal abuse may not leave the outward scars and bruises that physical abuse does, but its wounds are just as deep. It shouldn't be excused or swept under the rug—no one deserves to be belittled, or to live in fear. If your husband or the husband of someone you know is verbally abusive, learn the warning signs and seek help. If you're a man who believes he might be verbally abusing his wife, it's never too late to consider counseling.
Verbally abusive husbands often display a level of possessiveness toward their wives that isn't normal. They may quickly become jealous with little or no provocation, and treat their wives as property rather than as human beings.
Shaming their wives, or making their wives feel guilty because of imagined advances from other men, is one of the many characteristics of abusers. They may also display jealousy towards family members, including children.
Abusers may try to control their wives by limiting their ability to spend time with friends or family. They often try to keep them from spending money, driving their cars, or using phones and other communication devices. By isolating his wife, a husband who is verbally abusive gains control over her. He may prevent his wife from working, and he may completely regulate her finances, either through intimidation, threats, or shaming.
A frequent habit of belittling or shaming his partner is a classic characteristic of the verbally abusive husband. By using insults, shaming tactics, intimidation and blame, he makes his wife feel worthless. A woman whose self-esteem has been damaged may feel powerless to leave.
Verbally abusive men are often emotionally unstable. They are quick to anger and sadness. They may threaten their wives either with physical violence or with humiliation. They may also use scare tactics, such as claiming to be suicidal or threatening to harm themselves, in order to gain control of their wives.