It’s challenging sometimes to know what’s wrong in your relationship. If you’re like many other people, you probably want a loving relationship more than anything else in the world. Maybe you’ve tried and tried and tried to make your relationship work and yet somehow you just seem to be going back over the same old arguments again and again.

Questions to consider about control or verbal abuse:

• Does your partner always monopolize the conversation?
• Does s/he always need to be right?
• Does s/he regularly judge or criticize you for things you do and say?
• Does s/he blame you for everything that goes wrong?
• Does s/he interrupt you regularly or override what you’re trying to say?
• Does s/he order you to do things or make demands of your time and energy?
• Does s/he use sarcasm, put you down or make jokes at your expense?
• Does s/he make you feel stupid, uneducated or not good enough?
• Does s/he tell you how you SHOULD think or behave rather than collaborating with you on joint issues and decisions?
• Does s/he regularly make you doubt yourself or try to pull the rug out from under you when you have new ideas or plans?
• Does s/he undermine your friendships with others?
• Does s/he expect you to always be available for her/his needs and wants?
• Does s/he have angry outbursts when you don’t do or say what s/he wants?
• Does s/he deny or minimize what s/he has done to hurt you?

As a psychotherapist and a marriage counselor, I know that control and verbal abuse can be very confusing and destructive. I regularly see clients in my office who have lived with control or verbal abuse for many years and never understood what the real problem is. Possibly the most confusing thing about a controller is that s/he will generally accuse his or her partner of being controlling, which makes the partner doubt him or herself and wonder if s/he is the problem.

Unless you are educated about control and verbal abuse, you could easily spend years doubting yourself and wondering if the problem is actually you. Many people experience tremendous emotional pain before they realize the truth about their relationship.

Recovery is Possible!

Fortunately, knowledge and awareness of the real issue brings new hope and wonderful new possibilities. If your partner is a verbal abuser, you can definitely learn to take back your personal power and stop allowing that abuse in your life. Healing does require that you do some soul searching to understand why you have tolerated abuse in your life.

The good news is that with a little time and effort, you can absolutely learn to empower yourself, set healthy boundaries and stop the pattern of verbal abuse in your life!

Author's Bio: 

Kari Joys MS is an author, psychotherapist and energy healer in Spokane Washington. Through her work, Kari transforms stress, anxiety, depression and abuse issues into self esteem, inner peace and light-heartedness. Check out her website at or her Facebook Fan page at