3. Is it easy for you to imagine him/her talking like you?
4. Does each of you show good will and an effort to understand the other?
5. Is there any ordering or blaming going on?
Evans writes, "Abusive men stop at nothing to squelch, put down, correct, criticize, belittle, trivialize, ignore, snub, sneer at, and, when all else fails, put on displays of rage in order to dominate and control their mates."
From the List of Controlling Behaviors compiled by women of The Marin Abused Women’s Services and by men in the Men Allied Nationally Against Living in Violent Environments (MANALIVE) program comes these three objectives of verbal abuse to accomplish the destruction of your partner:
1. Diminish partner by making him/her seem less than he is.
2. "Thingingfy" him/her–make a thing out of partner.
3. Threaten partner.
Men or women may actually believe they have a right to control and dominate, or have power over, others. However, as the divorce rates began to escalate and domestic violence increasing, the entire question of dominance, control and oppression has come under scrutiny.
For the most part, victims of verbal abuse have lived in isolation, each thinking he/she was the only one suffering. This made it hard to define the cause of suffering, plus… the survivors have almost all been blamed for their suffering.
In addition, all survivors of verbal abuse have lowered self-esteem, no matter how much they may try to ignore it.
Evans writes, "The survivors of verbal abuse consistently reported that they came to believe what they were hearing."
In the verbally abusive relation, control is the issue. "I love you" usually means "I want to get you and control you."
When a person believes someone loves her/him, it is hard to believe that person would against her/him "subtly, covertly, sometimes overtly, and always hurtfully."
Many survivors did not what what was wrong in their relationship–mistakenly blaming themselves, their partners’ drug or alcohol abuse, their partners’ childhood, job, etc.
Evans writes, "To live fully, creatively, and enthusiastically requires that the survivors of verbal abuse know fully what they have encountered and how many of them there are. With this knowledge they can break the taboos and bring about change."