Allen Berger, Ph.D.

Identify verbally abuse relationship

In this Twoology video, relationship expert, Allen Berger, Ph.D., discloses two ways to identify a verbally abusive relationship. An abusive relationship occurs when you have a vertical rather than horizontal power structure. When one person has power over the other, abuse is likely.

How do you identify a verbally abusive relationship?  If you’re wondering if you’re in a verbally abusive relationship, there’s a great book called The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans, and I’d recommend it to anybody. You will be able to find it on

The issue is that, in a verbally abusive relationship, the relationship is really characterized what we call power over. And that means that we end up relating to each other vertically rather than horizontally. So, one person is up, and one person is down. When a relationship goes that way, there’s trouble, and it escalates.

One sign of trouble or one stage of trouble is the verbally abusive part. It can escalate even more where it becomes physically abusive in a relationship in terms of the power over.

This power over thing is a way that somebody learned how deal with somebody else in their family growing up. I always tell people that you recreate the emotional environment that you experienced as a child. And, if your partner is relating to you that way, that’s the only way they know how to relate. They have no idea what a mutual relationship looks like and is based on.

Now, the issue becomes:

  1. not just understanding that you’re in that kind of relationship, but
  2. starting to focus on what you can do about it.

And there are some great things you can do about it. I’m sure that you can find many answers right here on this site.

Other ways to identify a verbally abusive relationship:

  • Your partner threatens to leave. Uses threats to intimidate.
  • Your partner controls you by name calling, swearing and screaming.
  • Your partner discounts, dismisses and makes fun of your needs.
  • Your partner continuously criticizes and blames you.
  • Your partner degrades or humiliates you in public or private

By Twoology

Copyright – 2013-14 – Tunomi Unlimited Incorporated (Twoology)

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