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How to Get Over a Verbally Abusive Relationship

When a destructive, verbally abusive relationship ends, it’s normal to feel a host of conflicting and unresolved emotions.

Verbally abusive relationships can destroy your heart and soul and make you feel like a completely changed person. The recovery process takes time, support from others, patience and self-love — but you can get through it and emerge stronger, happier and healthier than you were before.

Cut All Ties with Your Ex

People who have ended abusive relationships often feel the need to contact their former partners. On some level, you know that you shouldn’t have any contact, yet you might feel compelled to show your ex that you’re better off — or you may feel the need to offer forgiveness. Yet it’s vital to cut off all contact.

15 Comments to
How to Get Over a Verbally Abusive Relationship

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  1. Great article and great advice. Only one problem. When you have children with a verbally abusive partner you have to have low contact and can’t have no contact.

    You also need to be prepared for a difficult divorce and property and children settlement with someone like this.

    People who are planning to leave or have left with children have additional issues to deal with.


  2. I must echo what Frog’s Tale said — every bit, from not being able to escape contact and a really difficult child custody settlement. I was threatened and badgered out of any child support for 18 years. He had already destroyed my self esteem, and kept telling me that if I asked for money, the courts would just take the children away from me all together.

    The verbal abuse, resulting depression and bottomed-out self esteem even wrecked my ability to provide a decent income for myself and the children despite my talents and education. 22 years later, I’m still suffering from this. Get the help and support you need.

    A word to those facing this: Don’t believe it! Lawyers are there to work for YOU. Try to see through all the twisted logic. Get psych help right away, and let your lawyers do the work.

  3. I agree that children can add an extra level of complication but that’s why it is SO important to communicate with others your emotions and fears. When you’re in a relationship like this your good sense gets twisted, the psychological damage left changes your perspectives into negative ones and you start to buy into all the things your abuser tells you. But here’s an important and simple fact 99% if not 100% of what they say are lies. They know you well and they know what to say and how to say it to hurt and manipulate you. If you open up to other people and listen to what they have to say they will help talk sense back into you. If you are going through custody battles and/or divorce be honest with your lawyer, don’t be afraid to tell them what your abuser is saying to you. They are trained professionals and they will educate you on what can really happen and what your rights are. It is highly likely that if you are open about having been abused court proceedings will go in your favor. That information can greatly affect how custody battles play out. The law is on your side. If you feel threatened there are things the court can put into place to protect you. It may be beneficial to pursue a restraining order, this will not affect your rights to your children. There is hope and you have a lawful right to feel safe and happy.

  4. I was verbally abused by my mother growing up.It has affected every part of my life.I dropped out of school,had a nervous breakdown and now suffer from many emotional problems.The article doesn’t suggest what to do when your parents abuse you this way.I can’t cut my mother out of my life,that is not an option.Explain Dr Stacy Mosel what should someone with abusive parents should do to stop this behavior?

  5. There are fears after a verbally abusive relationship. Normally there are fears of uncertainty of the past, the future and not knowing. It is quite agonizing. You may be reluctant to relate with others, you may have many great friends, but there is this deep sense loneliness. This brings with it the sense of frustration, and it always takes effort and time for one to be able to overcome such a relationship and move on with their life.

  6. Every article I find says to cut ties completely or you won’t heal, what about if your abusive ex is also your child’s father and the courts have granted him visitation, on top of his new gf/sister-in-law comes into your place of work weekly. This is just my example but I’m sure there are many more out there where cutting ties completely just isn’t an option! Then what? Am I just doomed to hurt until I get a new job and by child turns 18??

  7. I also have noticed the cutting of all ties…however I also have two children with my husband. It’s not just him, my problems are deeper, I was sexually abused as a child and looking back I see how I flew under the State’s radar in therapy, I haven’t recovered. In the present I am married to an emotionally and verbally abusive man who is going through court issues after actually trying to be physical with me. But I’m the idiot who listened and took him back for one last try. Now I feel as though I live in my own personally made hell. But the kids…he isn’t verbally abusive to them, maybe a little emotionally with our mildly ADHD daughter, but in whole he is a much better father than husband. He also had a rough childhood, which I feel is the reason we lasted so long, 12 years, it was our damaged connection. But the lies, anger, and lashing out from personal pain into bullying has taken my self-esteem to nonexistent. I think the hardest part is seeing the lies. You hear them so often they become truth even if it’s not. I don’t have much advice yet because I am still struggling through this, but I reached out for help, and I don’t mean Welfare. Generally there are agencies in every area to help, reach out to them. It’s amazing how being told your not crazy and just having someone listen can raise your spirits. To hear someone else agree it is abuse and wrong is like filling your lungs, heart and head with the freshest breathe of air I have had in almost a decade.

  8. I have been verbally abused for the last 14 years I also want to leave but how. I have two childern with her . She constantaly puts them down screams at them shows no intrest in myself either . So how do you get out

  9. My boyfriend his verbally and physically abusive to me and I want out but its hard because he scares me. Yesterday we got into a bad fight he dragged me off my bed and hit me, also broke my tv the I bought. I know it’s just a tv but I worked so hard to pay for it. Sometimes he hurts me and yells at me around my son (he’s 2 years old and not the father). He tells me people are going to take my son away or I’m awful mother, I don’t do anything to help him (he has no job, and hasn’t had one in a year) I’m the only source of income. I’m vary scared to come home to my own apartment I do have family but he knows where they live so he’ll find me. I need help for not only myself but my son!

    • You need to find a domestic violence shelter in your area, they can help you with many things including bringing him to court, plus the ones I know of are in secret locations so he can’t find where you or your son are at all. Be sure to let your school know about what has been going on so they can know to not let him pick up your son from school.

      Also, get all the evidence you can of what he’s doing. Voice recordings, video, pictures, hospital records, anything can help.

      I had to get a restraining order so that I’d be left alone from my ex, although he still scares me even from several states away.

  10. I divorced my verbally/emotionally abusive husband 14 years ago. I am still dealing with the old memories left inside my mind. He was a master controller/manipulator, just short of physical abuse..I was terrified of his rages/threats of me being killed/overwork (as a farmwife)being cut off from family and often any friends I did manage to have. He was jealous of anyone who showed friendly to me. I learned to keep quiet, out of the way and let him do the took 28 years, 2 friends and 3 grown sons growning up, before I had the courage to separate and divorce..

  11. This post was very helpful to me. I suppose I am in the minority as I was in a verbally abusive relationship and the abuser was my girlfriend, Julie Zuckerberg.
    Julie would wish me dead. On several ocassions she called me a child molestor because prior to her I was with a 30-year old and 32-year old while I am 45 and Julie Zuckerberg was in her early 40s.
    Im addition, Julie Zuckerberg physically assaulted me on one occasion while drunk. She accused me of using the services of prostitutes. Further, on several occassions she claimed she cheated on me.
    After enough of this, a woman whom I loved more than I had loved anyone else became toxic.
    Despite this, I miss her (even to this day and I broke up with her on April 1). I also make posts on blogs that I know she will read. This is unhealthy. I so agree with you that all contact must cease.
    Because of this post, I am going to delete the blog and sever all ties that remain.
    Also, I have a date this weekend and am excited to go out with someone new for the first time in months.
    Just wanted to vent my story but also to thank you for this advice. It hit home and I know your advice is good advice.

  12. I was with my boyfriend for 3 years. He started mentally abusing me which I ended up breaking up with him alittle after we were dating for two years. He begged me back promised he would changed and cried all of the time. Prior to me breaking up with him he would call me a c word always call me stupid tell me he hates me and for me to burn and would wish bad things on me. He started treating me this way about 6 months into our relationship. When I finally broke up with him and he begged me back I ended up going back to him. He was good for about two weeks and then the mental abuse began (even though he promised me he would change). I still stayed i think I became used to the abuse. Some days when we would get up in the morning he just wouldn’t talk to me and I wasn’t sure why and he would ignore me for days. I would try and talk to him and he would tell me to F off and he hates me and wants nothing to do with me. He would never apologize for his behavior i just had to forget it happened and act like everything was ok. This July he proposed.a few days before he proposed he was texting me he hates me and he would never marry me and said so many degrading thins to me and insulted me and my family because he was having a bad day at work. A surprise to all i still said yes when he proposed even though the abuse was getting worse. It became about every other day he would say very nasty things to me through text and when he got home from work. I gave him all my love i did everything for this man and he walked all over me and took complete advantage. Once we were engaged he became worse. I would text him i love you he would write back negative things and how he doesn’t love me and would start with the insults. He would blame it on work but again would never apologize. I was very sick with bronchitis last month and he refused to come near me because he didn’t want to get sick which I was fine with because some people are afraid of germs. I was laying in bed with a fever and I heard things slamming against the wall and I got nervous so I ran outside the bedroom to see what was going on and he was throwing Tupperware all over our apartment and went to throw it at me. I asked what was wrong and he couldn’t find what he was looking for so that was my fault. He then put his hands on me got in my face and called me a c word and told me he doesn’t love me and will never marry me (we had been engaged only two months). I went back to bed scared and I was trembling. He gets this scary look when he is yelling. Whenever he was mad he would sharpen his knife and threaten to hurt me and himself. It was that night I decided I can’t live like this. He mentally abused me for years he got physical and all i was doing was walking on eggshells daily because I wasn’t sure what mood he would be in. Three weeks ago i left. We got up that morning he started with me calling me a c word and all of the other nasty things so when he left for work I moved out. I started suffering bad panic attacks months ago because of him and my anxiety which I never had before him had gotten bad that I could barley drive a car anymore and had trouble functioning day to day because of him. He was making me ill. Once I left he won’t stop trying to beg me back telling me he can’t live without me and I am his whole world and he was just stressed out about work and I should know he didn’t mean any of it. He has been texting me over and over he sent me flowers to work and he told me he promises it will never happen again and we are supposed to be planning our wedding. I wanted to be planning our wedding but he decided to be so cruel to me. After years of dealing with this and me suffering panic attacks because of this mental abuse i finally left which was so hard to do but I started to feel unsafe around him with how often he snapped at me for no reason. Now he is promising me the world and told me it wont happen again and we have to work through this because it would be ridiculous for us not to get married. I’m heartbroken that I allowed myself to be treated that way for so long and not sure how I could love someone so much who treated me this way. He wants me back but I know I can’t especially after he has gotten physical with me and the nasty vulgar things he would say to me are just terrible.

  13. First I just want to say how empowering it is to read about all the individuals who were strong enough to leave. Your stories and words give me hope when I’m feeling weak or second guessing my choice to leave when times get lonely. It’s so hard, I was “married” for 5 years to an abusive man and feel like I have lost everyone. To make things worse we have a 2 year old who I’m asking for full custody over. Even though our son has witnesses the verbal and much of the physical violence, he still asks when his daddy is coming home. It breaks my heart every time. I don’t know what to say, so I reply with daddy is at work ( even though he hasn’t had a steady job in 2 years). This process is one of the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through and I often feel like I’m withdrawing form some sort of addiction. But at least if not for myself I know I must break the cycle of abuse for my son. He deserves better. I hope that others reading these stories, our stories, who are trying to find the strength to leave or the courage to stay out of the toxic relationship, do so. You are amazing and wonderful and I need YOUR help to stay strong. So stand up and wipe the tears or blood from your face and GET OUT. You may be lost now, but just remember, no matter what the sun will rise tomorrow.

  14. Because my situation was less severe I stuck with it. Now I’m with him close to 18 years and I’m regretting it more everyday. He’s one of those people who seems nice but isn’t. –It’s not that simple, wish it was.
    Compliments don’t happen, praise is out of the question, but his ailments are heard almost daily.
    My kids feel bad. The negativity is hurting them so much. The crazy old school way: Earn the praise for a very long time before you get 1 praise.
    But it’s 4-10 negatives for each praise here. Stopped hugging the oldest at age 5. What a HUGE mistake. Epic.
    I try to count my blessings bc that’s the only way some days. I went to therapy and feeling like a victim wasn’t what those therapists dealt with. So far no one on the plan can handle enotional abuse therapy.



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