One of the most devastating effects of living with a verbal abuser is the change in self-esteem. As women begin to internalize the criticism and believe it's valid, self-image sinks lower and lower. They start feeling worthless, incompetent, unlovable. After all, when someone who knows them so well thinks they are so worthless and unlovable, then "it must be true."
Sticks and stones ... and that saying of old keeps many women in place until verbal abuse has destroyed self-esteem, making leaving even harder. They even start thinking that if this man loves them, they should hold on to him.
If you are in a verbally abusive relationship, start by acknowledging the abuse. This is not an easy thing to do, especially as your self-esteem is weakened. Outside help may be necessary because family, friends, and relatives are often under the spell of your "charmer" and don't offer belief or support. They think you are crazy not to marry this man.
Make plans to create a better environment for yourself. Don't stay too long, though, because every time your self-esteem sinks further, you lessen your chances of actually leaving.
Remember, verbal abuse escalates. Verbal abuse can and sometimes does, turn physical.