Most people have once gotten so angry that they have called people names or said something insulting. Those people also, usually, apologize afterward, realizing that they made a mistake. Verbally abusive people often don't react this way. Instead, they commonly feel that their abusive behavior was justified and that it was the other person's fault.
Public vs. Private
A verbally abusive husband may be very charming in front of other people. He may have even been very charming before the marriage. But when he is alone with his wife, he is cold, cruel and/or nasty to her.
A verbally abusive husband will make jokes that insult his wife or put her down. He will ridicule her abilities, personality, heritage, family, education or job. If his wife tells him she is hurt, he will tell her that she is too sensitive.
A verbally abusive husband's moods and behavior are unpredictable. You can't always be sure what will upset him and what will not.
All the problems and fights are your fault, according to a verbally abusive husband. He blames you for his anger, outbursts and the distance between you emotionally.
Threatening and Controlling
Verbally abusive husbands threaten their wives with physical abuse, abandonment or other negative consequences to get them to do what they want. Such a man wants to control his wife's behavior, thoughts and even her hair and clothing styles.
Name calling, insults and judgments are the hallmarks of discussions with a verbally abusive husbands. These men also withhold information about themselves. They use discussions not to resolve conflicts or develop intimacy but to hurt and control you.
These husbands may leave their wives stranded at places, break objects, abuse drugs and/or alcohol or abuse things their wives love. Their anger and/or withdrawal increases in frequency and intensity as time goes on. They may "accidentally" hurt you physically, threaten to hurt you or your family and/or begin to physically abuse you as well.
Jennifer Zimmerman is a former preschool and elementary teacher who has been writing professionally since 2007. She has written numerous articles for The Bump, Band Back Together, Prefab and other websites, and has edited scripts and reports for DWJ Television and Inversion Productions. She is a graduate of Boston University and Lewis and Clark College.