When we think of abuse and abusive relationships, we most often think of physical abuse. Most of us never think of verbal abuse. Some of us don’t even know it exists, or what it is. It is more prevalent than I care to admit, and much harder to acknowledge or admit. But often times, words leave bigger scars than physical blows. We all need to be aware that the words that leave our mouths can damage others. Something we may think is no big deal can really destroy a person. A simple statement on our part may, in fact, alter someone’s life. I know in my own marriage hearing things like “are you going to eat that” or “you need to go the gym more” or “she is prettier than you” or “I could go home with any woman here, why would I want to go home with you” did so much damage to my heart and my self-worth. But that doesn’t even compare to what others experience. My friend Karen is just one example. Here is her story.
I am sure most of us have heard the saying “sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” What a lie! I would take the physical abuse I took from the man who said he loved me over the mental and verbal abuse he dealt out every single day. Why? Bruises heal, but the hateful, hurtful words still linger with me today.