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When Words Hurt: Addressing Verbal Abuse in Couples Therapy

Idit Sharoni

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I'm a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist based in Miami, a relationship podcast host, and an educator. I help couples transform their patterns of communication and heal after infidelity. 


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In your relationship, you know that you shouldn’t speak to each other that way. You understand that your partner’s last comment was an insult, not a “joke.” You may even realize that neither of you is thriving amid the habitual sarcasm or silent treatment.

Please know that you are not alone. Many couples are struggling just like you are. Recognizing that you are in an unhealthy relationship can be difficult it’s, still, it’s a crucial realization.

Do you feel too unsure to act even though you see warning signs and red flags? Do you wonder what exactly it is that you’re dealing with? Is it really verbal abuse?

To help you see the situation clearly, choosing therapy for couples with communication issues can interrupt toxic interaction. It can give you and your partner a safe, nonjudgemental place to start making healthy changes. We have been helping couples dealing with communication issues with couples therapy in Miami, FL for a long time. 

In the meantime, consider the following information about verbal abuse that might benefit you and your partner.

Image of a couple sitting thoughtfully on a bench looking out at water. With the help of couples therapy in Miami, FL, you and your partner can overcome verbal abuse and communication issues in your relationship.

Is it Verbal Abuse? Recognizing the Signs

Telling the difference between typical disagreements and verbal abuse is not always easy. It’s important to know that normal fights maintain respect for your emotional safety and the depth of your connection. Signs of verbal abuse like insults or threats are not okay during healthy relationship conflict.

For the sake of clarity, the simple definition of verbal abuse is simply that one or both of you use language to harm, control, or manipulate. When the behavior is direct and overt, such abuse is usually easier to pin down and identify. Thus, it may not be a surprise to you that the following interactions are problematic:

  • Hurtful name-calling and insults 
  • Shaming and criticism of looks, speech, or behavior
  • Disparaging comments about activities and relationships
  • Prevention or interruption of enjoyable, meaningful activities
  • Dictating clothes and appearance
  • Demands that devolve into threats
  • Embarrassment or humiliation in public

These are just a small representation of verbally abusive behaviors. However, if these interactions are common in your relationship, you and your partner have a pretty good indication that toxic communication is eroding your connection. 

It’s also important to recognize that verbal abuse can be more subtle. In effect, one or both of you may be continually causing each other to doubt your respective perceptions or abilities. This deepens confusion and resentment regarding your connection. Subtly withholding verbal affirmation, or undermining and discouraging each other is equally hurtful.

Image of a couple sitting on a tress root keeping their hands in their laps. Work with a skilled couples therapist in Miami, FL to help worth through the communication issues you face in your relationship.

If It Is Verbal Abuse, Can Couples Therapy Help?

Make no mistake, the signs and behaviors above are serious and deserve attention. However, they do not necessarily mean your relationship is over. Consider the red flags you notice as opportunities for change instead. A couples therapist in Miami, FL can help you approach your relationship differently. Addressing verbal abuse in couples therapy would help you do the following:

  • Identify your relationship. Are you experiencing any of the warning signs of verbal abuse? Would you describe your relationship as love/loving or something else (destructive, addictive)?
  • Create clarity. How do you view your relationship’s future? What does it offer you or bring to your life? The way it functions and your goals for healthier interaction help you decide whether to stay together.
  • Take action. Whether your relationship continues or not, safeguarding your mental health and happiness is paramount. Choosing to face your communication issues in Miami, FL with one of our therapists may be an invaluable step toward the self-compassion and steady support that changes your life. 

Can Partners Overcome Verbal Abuse With Couples Therapy?

Therapy for couples with communication issues is often most effective when both partners are ready and willing to lean into the process. The road to change isn’t easy but will be greatly supported by your mutual agreement to take these key steps:

  • Commit to repairing and reflecting on unhelpful, damaging behavior
  • Exhibit empathy, understanding, and willingness to address negative behaviors and communication patterns
  • Overcome relationship obstacles willingly to make the relationship work

Image of a smiling woman sitting on a smiling mans lap on the beach. If you and your partner struggle with verbal abuse, learn how couples therapy in Miami, FL can help you manage and create a healthier relationship.

Renew Communication With New Skills & The Help of Couples Therapy in Miami, FL 

Are you and your partner ready to correct your interactions and connect deeply again? Consider the benefits of therapy for couples with communication issues. At Relationship Experts, providing couples therapy in Miami, Florida, affords me and my team the opportunity and experience to help you identify communication issues and strengthen your relationship. We are dedicated to helping you. To start healing your relationship, follow these simple steps:

  1. Schedule a free consultation to see if couples therapy is right for you
  2. Meet with one of our skilled couples therapists for an initial session to start the process.
  3. Start learning more about healthy communication with communication counseling.

Other Services Offered at Relationship Experts

Couples therapy and marriage counseling in Miami, FL is not the sole service offered at our Miami FL-based counseling practice. Other services offered by our relationship counseling team include therapy for communication issues, affair recovery, infidelity recovery, online therapy, and more. For more valuable relationship support, please tune into my podcast!


Image of an upset woman pointing her finger and shouting to her partner. Discover how verbal abuse may be affecting your relationship and how couples therapy in Miami, FL can help!

I'm Idit Sharoni, your podcast host.

I'm an expert on relationships and infidelity recovery. I'm a licensed marriage & family therapist, a podcast host, and the founder of Relationship Experts  - a Couples Therapy & Coaching private practice.

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