Marriage, in India, is a holy sanctity. It is the union of two whole families together, to honor and bless the couple to be married. Various rituals are performed for this as they take on the holy matrimony and promise to spend a lifetime together. Indian marriages are glamorous and are defined by huge celebrations and festivities.

Conflicts in marriages

As it happens in every marriage, the ceremonies include the exchange of vows between the bride and the groom. They make promises during the rituals, to be with each other during sickness and health and to respect each other at all times. Marriage, however, does not provide you with easy answers. There are always conflicts and obstacles to cross. It requires immense trust and respect between the two partners to keep this holy knot alive. Every marriage, thus far, has its share of disagreements and conflicts. There is always a way to look past these obstacles. However, when these take the form of abuse of any kind, the marriage becomes more and more difficult to hold on to.

Verbal abuse

There are various kinds of abuse seen in marriages today. Verbal abuse is one of them. It can be defined as the use of abusive language, to affirm the partner’s inferiority or to make the spouse feel insecure. In India especially, verbally abuse is accepted as a part and parcel of any marriage. Here, it is taken to be a norm of society. Also, as compared to other forms of abuse in marriages, verbal abuse is an accepted practice. However, what we do not remember is that verbal abuse is one of the primary causes of the failure of a marriage. Verbal abuse is usually ignored and not treated with enough importance.

The failure of a marriage usually starts with verbal abuse.  It defines the first crack in the relationship. If this is not treated in the first place, it leads to more serious consequences. Moreover, no kind of abuse should be tolerated. The two partners involved in a relationship must treat each other with respect and uphold each others’ dignity. Often, the vows taken during the wedding ceremonies are not followed and they fail to treat each other well.  There are several kinds of abuse, including emotional, verbal, physical abuse and the likes. However, a person who is verbally abused, is emotionally wounded, and needs enough time to heal.

What are the signs of verbal abuse?

A wedding is a personal affair and it becomes difficult for a third person to interfere in the matters of the couple. Thus, each of the partners should be wary of this kind of abuse in their relationship.
Verbal abuse can be open or hidden. The former is easy to identify. It is defined by insults and name calling of the other partner in the marriage. The victim is critically noticed and blamed all the time. The other kind, hidden verbal abuse is something more subtle. It becomes difficult to demarcate the line between a normal argument, including aggression and verbal abuse.

The whole point of verbal abuse is to make the victim feel insecure and responsible for all problems. The self-esteem of the partner is heavily wounded in this. Due to constant blaming, the victim comes to believe that he or she is responsible for all the problems that crop up. The first sign of verbal abuse is the dominance of one partner over the other. Constant arguments can be regarded as one of the symptoms. The abilities of a person are questioned in such a situation. This hugely violates the rights of an individual.

The behavior of the abuser is unpredictable. He or she is generally manipulative and convinces the victim to accept a lot of unreal things. The abuser manages to voice the negatives in any situation in a very conniving way and blames the victim for all of this. The main aim of the abuser to take complete control of the life of the victim and make him or feel insecure, in every possible way, to the extent that he or she feels helpless.

Any form of verbal abuse commences with jokes and small cynic comments. This later builds up to hurling of indignities and insensitive statements. So, any argument, big or small, should not be ignored, as this is the root cause of verbal abuse later.

What are the situations of verbal abuse?

Name calling and hurling indignities is one of the primary aspects of verbal abuse. It is also one of the first few symptoms. Add to this, emotional blackmail. The abuser wishes to control every part of the victim’s life. In this way, the victim is treated as a slave gradually and is prevented from expressing thoughts, opinions, choices, and desires.

There is another situation in which, the abuser, on purpose, insults the victim in public, in front of friends and relatives, to bring in the factor of superiority. This may include passing of sarcastic comments, accusing the partner of every small issue, throwing baseless jokes, undermining and threatening the victim. The victim, in turn, slowly loses all self confidence and self-esteem and gives into the reckless behavior of the abuser.

Every marriage has conflicts and issues to be settled. However, it is necessary to identify that thin line between conflicts and verbal abuse. It verbal abuse if given the license of limitless growth, it leads to paramount problems. It not only breaks the marriage, but emotionally wounds the victim.

Dealing with verbal abuse

The first step to dealing with this problem is acceptance that you are being verbally abused. Since the victim clouds the thinking abilities of the abuser, it is necessary for the partner to come to terms with this. Thereafter, the victim can seek help from the circle of family, friends, and various support groups which are ready to help. This can hugely help you resolve the issue before it gets out of hand. Lastly, marriage and psychiatric counselors are of help in cases of verbal abuse in marriages. They can zoom in on the problem, analyze it and solve it, helping the partners accept each other, offering mutual respect.


Raja Kumar

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