Double

Verbal abuse gives double messages to the abused person.

Abuse: Verbal abuse is about control; it is not about love. Double messages are part of verbal abuse. One verbal abuse message says I love you. One verbal abuse message says I don’t love you.

Abuse
The Double Message of Verbal Abuse.
Stephen Fox

The double message of verbal abuse makes the abused person feel confused and sometimes even makes the abused person feel crazy. Verbal abuse is the language of control; it is not the language of love. Love does not create verbal abuse. Dominance does.

A verbal abuser does not abuse out of love. He/she abuses out of a desire to control.

When a person who is being verbally abused gets the double message of verbal abuse, she/he is confused. The double message is:

  • I love you (those nice, sweet words of seduction)
  • I don’t love you (the words of abuse)

.

In any long-term relationship (not limited to but including marriage) the double message makes the person who is being abused feel confused or even crazy.

Why?

A long-term relationship is thought to be loving and safe.

When the abuse starts, two messages are sent at the same time, that old "I love you but…" routine.

The person being abused and getting the double messages is confused because the relationship is a safe, loving place where seduction takes place and the relationship is not a safe, loving place because abuse takes place here.

If you are in an abusive relationship, common double messages might be:

  • "I love you so much that I.."
  • "We have problems only because I love you so much."
  • "Sometimes loving you so much makes me…"
  • "I love you but…"

Just remember:

  • Love does not create problems, dominance does.
  • Abuse is about control, not love.

And…

Verbal abuse always precedes physical abuse.

Again…

Verbal abuse is about control; it is not about love. Double messages are part of verbal abuse. One verbal abuse message says I love you. It is followed by another verbal abuse message that says I don’t love you.

Additional information about abuse or being abused.

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