The Verbally Abusive Relationship | Patricia Evans

Summary of: The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond
By: Patricia Evans


Are you struggling to understand the confusing dynamics of your relationship? Do you feel emotionally scarred but can’t quite pinpoint the cause? ‘The Verbally Abusive Relationship’ by Patricia Evans provides crucial insights into the intricate world of verbal abuse that often goes unnoticed as it leaves no visible signs. The book uncovers the tactics abusers use to manipulate and control their partners, from withholding communication to trivializing their partner’s feelings. It highlights the complexities of Power Over and Personal Power dynamics in relationships and provides guidance on recognizing the unsettling symptoms of verbal abuse. Develop a deeper understanding of verbal abuse and learn how to break free from its oppressive grip with this eye-opening summary.

Silent Suffering

Victims of verbal abuse endure emotional scars that are not always visible. Verbal abuse is a means of control that occurs in private, leaving the victim confused and isolated. The abuser often denies their wrongdoing, which leads to a sense of powerlessness for the victim. Moreover, verbal abuse is often linked to physical abuse.

Signs of Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse can take many forms, and the victim may find it hard to recognize. It is the responsibility of the abused partner to identify the mistreatment as abusers might be unwilling or unable to change. This article presents some symptoms of verbal abuse that individuals in a relationship should be aware of. These symptoms include feeling bewildered due to frequent and unexplained anger, inability to resolve conflicts, feeling confused because the abuser’s response does not match the intended message, reluctance to talk about feelings, taking a contrary position to prove a point, difficulty clarifying double messages, and being caught off-guard by unexpected reactions or broken promises.

Two Forms of Power

The book discusses two forms of power, Power Over and Personal Power. Power Over involves control and dominance, while Personal Power relies on mutual cooperation and co-creation. Relationships based on Power Over can create winners and losers, while relationships grounded in Personal Power focus on partnership and shared responsibility. Living in different realities can occur when one partner is oriented toward Power Over, while the other is not. Resolving issues together is the focus of relationships grounded in Personal Power, while Power Over partners often create destructive patterns. Verbal abuse can occur when a Power Over partner uses words and intent to control or devalue their mate.

Unveiling the Cycle of Verbal Abuse

The abuser exercises power over their partner and manipulates them to retain control. Verbal abuse, disguised as irritable, unpredictable, and explosive behavior, closes the door to genuine communication and intimacy. Anger is the underlying emotion that fuels the cycle of abuse, making the abuser feel better while their partner suffers. The book takes us through a snippet where Bella and Bert’s reality clash, with Bert denying his explosive attitude, resulting in no cooperation and communication. Understanding this cycle of anger and powerlessness is crucial towards tackling verbal abuse in relationships.

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