Much like physical abuse, verbal abuse can have long-term health consequences for the victim. Verbal abuse can contribute to low self-esteem, anxiety or depression. While emotional abuse can be more subtle than physical abuse, it also tends to occur more frequently, suggests Steven Stosny, a consultant in family violence for courts and mental health agencies, in his PsychologyToday.com article "Effects of Emotional Abuse: It Hurts When I Love." If you've decided to take action against your husband's verbal abuse, there are several strategies you can take to stay safe while ending the relationship.
Stay firm in your decision to leave. You might have second thoughts about leaving your husband during this process, but abusive partners often have psychological issues that are best left to mental health professionals, according to "Help for Abused and Battered Women," an article on HelpGuide.org. In fact, by staying, you are only putting yourself at risk while encouraging his behavior.
Maintain a social support network, says psychologist Marie Hartwell-Walker in "Signs You Are Verbally Abused: Part II" on PsychCentral.com. Have friends and family members you can stay with immediately. By escaping the household, you prevent the possibility of anymore verbal or physical abuse from your husband. You should also take any important personal items to this new location. If you are unable to stay with a friend or family member, local domestic violence shelters offer refuge. Visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website to learn more.
Separate yourself from joint accounts. For example, a new email address will prevent your husband from spying on you. This is especially useful when you begin your hunt for a divorce lawyer. Even if you never shared your password, play it safe with a new account. In addition, start a new savings account, suggests Hartwell-Walker. Here you can store money for transportation fees, legal fees or whatever else you might need to cover during the divorce.
Contact a divorce lawyer. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers website can help you find a local lawyer. Rely on this lawyer to guide you through the legal process as you proceed with the divorce.
Care for your mental health. Along with the possibility of issues such as depression or anxiety stemming from verbal abuse, the divorce process itself might add additional stress to your life. During and after the divorce, rely on the support of a personal therapist to ensure you maintain your mental and emotional health.
Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.