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The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

55 Common Abusive Remarks

Ever wondered what abuse sounds like? What do abusers say to their victims to get them to acquiesce? Some of the statements listed below might even sound acceptable in certain environments, but they are not. Abusive behavior is pervasive and without awareness, it will continue.

There are seven major types of abuse.

  1. Physical abuse is intimidation, isolation, restraint, aggression, and endangerment.
  2. Mental abuse is gaslighting, silence, manipulation, and victimization.
  3. Verbal abuse is screaming, bullying, name calling, berating, and blaming.
  4. Sexual abuse is jealous rages, coercion, sexual withdraw, rape, and degrading acts.
  5. Emotional abuse is intense anxiety, guilt, confusion, shame, anger, hostility, rejection, and fear.
  6. Financial abuse is stealing, destroying assets, hiding resources, refusing access, falsifying records, and interfering with work environments.
  7. Spiritual abuse is dichotomous thinking, prejudice, elitist beliefs, demanding submission, excommunication, and estrangement.

Here are some common abusive statements:

  1. You never do what I ask. – This is an absolute statement designed to intimidate.
  2. You are always out of control. – Another absolute statement.
  3. If only you would … then I wouldn’t have to get angry. – This is blame shifting.
  4. You make me feel so angry. – More blame shifting.
  5. Just do it my way and everything will be fine. – This is intimidation.
  6. I only hurt you because you hurt me first. – This is blame shifting and not taking responsibility.
  7. I do this (abuse) because I love you. – This is twisting the truth.
  8. This is our little secret, no one needs to know. – This is isolating and threatening.
  9. You can’t leave until I say so. – This is restraint and intimidation.
  10. If you don’t do …, I’m going to kill you. – This is endangerment and threatening.
  11. You deserve to be hit. – This is aggression.
  12. This (abuse) is for your own good. – This is manipulation and twisting the truth.
  13. I know what is best for you, you don’t. – This is demeaning and intimidation.
  14. Your family or friends can’t be trusted, you can only trust me. – This is isolation.
  15. You misheard me, I would never say that you are crazy. – This is gaslighting.
  16. You have a bad memory; I know what really happened. – This is gaslighting.
  17. I’ll talk to you when you have done what I asked you to do. – This is passive-aggressive.
  18. I’m stronger/more powerful/smarter than you. – This is intimidation and manipulation.
  19. I will hurt myself if you leave me. – This is threatening and endangerment.
  20. It is your fault that we are in this mess, not mine. – This is projection.
  21. If you don’t have sex with me, then I’ll have to have it with someone else. – This is threatening infidelity.
  22. You don’t deserve the things I give you. – This is browbeating and demeaning.
  23. I have to have sex and it’s your duty to give it to me. – This is coercion.
  24. Just do this one (sexually degrading) thing one time and then I’ll be satisfied. – This is selfish appeals.
  25. I saw you checking out that person, you just want to have sex with them. – This is a jealous rage.
  26. When you start being nice to me, then I will give you a birthday gift. – This is shaming.
  27. A good wife or husband would do this for me. – This is guilt-tripping and shaming.
  28. I don’t owe you an apology. – This is refusing to accept responsibility and not apologizing.
  29. I’m the one who feels (angry), you can’t feel that way. – This is playing the victim card.
  30. You’re confused, I know what is right. – This is gaslighting and confusion.
  31. You are such a … (degrading name) – This is name calling.
  32. You should be ashamed of yourself; I’m not like that at all. – This is shaming.
  33. If you don’t do this, I’ll leave (divorce) you. – This is extortion.
  34. You can’t go back to school (work), you are not smart enough. – This is financial abuse.
  35. No one will ever love you as I do. – This is alienation.
  36. It’s not stealing when it’s family. – This is stealing and twisting the truth.
  37. This company has so much money, there is nothing wrong with me taking something. – This is stealing and fraud.
  38. You are such a mess, why can’t you look better. – This is nitpicking.
  39. When you do …, then I’ll have sex with you. – This is withholding.
  40. You can’t manage money, so I have to keep you out of the accounts. – This is forbidden access.
  41. I’m in control of you even at work. – This is dominating, isolating, and controlling.
  42. The only way I can get your attention is to hit you (throw things at you, get angry). – This is aggression.
  43. It is your job to make me feel better. – This is increased anxiety and manipulation.
  44. Those people are disgusting, I am better. – This is discrimination and dichotomous thinking.
  45. I’m in charge and I deserve to have this. – This is an abuse of authority.
  46. I lied to protect you. – This is confusion and twisting the truth.
  47. You have to do what I say, God said so. – This is spiritual abuse.
  48. It’s not my fault that you are hypersensitive. – This is inciting insecurity and blame shifting.
  49. I am an example for (work, church, friends) so you have to behave perfectly. – This is unreasonable expectations.
  50. I’m perfect and you have to be as well. – This is also unreasonable expectations.
  51. No one could forgive you for what you have done. – This is shaming.
  52. You intentionally make-up stories about me to embarrass me. – This is playing the victim card.
  53. You don’t hear me when I talk in a normal voice. – This is using the tone of voice to intimidate.
  54. I won’t comfort you until you do … – This is rejection and hostility.
  55. This (abuse) is a family matter; no one needs to know about it. – This is alienation and isolation.

If you are in an abusive situation, please get help from a professional counselor. There are many ways out of a traumatic and abusive situation.


55 Common Abusive Remarks

Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

Christine Hammond is a leading mental health influencer, author, and guest speaker. As an author of the award-winning “The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook,” and more than 500 articles, Christine has more than one million people downloading her podcast “Understanding Today’s Narcissist,” and more than 400,000 views on YouTube. Her practice specializes in treating families of abuse, and trauma, with personality disorders involved which are based on her own personal experience. Her new book, Abuse Exposed: Identifying Family Secrets that Breed Dysfunction will be published in 2020. Christine is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Qualified Supervisor by the State of Florida, a National Certified Counselor, Certified Family Trauma Professional, with extensive training in crisis intervention and peaceful resolution. Based in Orlando, you may connect with Christine at Grow with Christine (


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APA Reference
Hammond, C. (2019). 55 Common Abusive Remarks. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2020, from