Verbal & Emotional Abuse FAQ: Help, My Husband Calls Me "Dumb" & "Stupid" All the Time by Dr. Bethany Cook Clinical Psychologist

Expert Q&A Relationships
2 months ago

Q. "My husband calls me 'dumb' and 'stupid' all the time, as well as other things. If I ask him to stop, he does it worse. How should I handle this? His behavior is affecting my mental and physical health."

A. I’m really sorry to hear this is happening. His behavior is classified as emotional abuse and NOT OK. Of course it’s impacting your mental health, it would me, too! Watch this video on how words impact plants.

His behavior also shows a lack of respect to you and every human is worthy of this basic right. I know people can get upset, but even when upset calling someone these names repeatedly after you’ve shared how you feel about it and how it’s negatively impacting your mental health (and by default him) is verbal abuse, period.

You can handle it one of two ways:

  1. Leave. 
  2. See if he will go to couples and individual therapy to work on understanding why he can’t stop intentionally hurting you and learn skills to positively switch up the behavior. If he can’t do it, leave.

I understand sometimes it’s not as "easy" to just up and leave. If that’s the case write me another question specific to your situation so I can offer specific steps you might be able to take. Again, I am sorry this is happening to you. It isn’t OK. Sending hope and hugs.

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Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
I believe this happens more often than some people may think. Many thanks, Dr. Bethany Cook Clinical Psychologist , for sharing this very helpful insight. Hugs and hope all around!

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