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Power of Words-in relations

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by Tridev, May 2, 2010.

  1. Tridev

    Tridev Silver IL'ite

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    ‘Tongue is not steel but it cuts’, thus goes the old saying. It not only cuts, it cuts deep. But along with its capacity to cut, the tongue also has a tremendous capacity to stitch and unite. Whether our tongue will cut or whether it will unite, well, much depends on how we use it—on how much we have disciplined our speech. Words have marvellous power.

    A popular way to illustrate it is through the story of a man who sued another man for calling him names. The judge called the complainant and asked him what the accused had said. ‘He called me a hippopotamus’, replied the complainant. ‘When did he call you?’ asked the judge. ‘A year back,’ replied the man. ‘And you are reporting the matter now?’ exclaimed the judge. ‘Because I saw a hippopotamus in zoo yesterday,’ said the man.


    Sound symbols play a prominent part in the drama of human life. I am talking to you. I am not touching you; the pulsations of the air caused by my speaking go into your ear, they touch your nerves and produce effects in your minds. You cannot resist this. What can be more wonderful than this? One man calls another a fool, and at this the other stands up and clenches his fist and lands a blow on his nose.


    Look at the power of the word! There is a woman weeping and miserable; another woman comes along and speaks to her a few gentle words, the doubled up frame of the weeping woman becomes straightened at once, her sorrow is gone and she already begins to smile. Think of the power of words! They are a great force in higher philosophy as well as in common life. Day and night we manipulate this force without thought and without inquiry. To know the nature of this force and to use it well is also a part of Karma-Yoga



    In married life, when it comes to verbal abuse and disagreements, we notice from all quaters people using words, gestures, silent treatment to cause pain, things will be said and then counteracted that its said in anger and not meant, apologies can only minmise the effect of verbal abuse from the point of view that the victim can get a chance to forgive or a base to forgive, whether the victim can actually forgive is a matter of time. Sometimes victims themselves become abusers, due to the negative enviornment....​

    Just wanted to open a discussion , people who are suffering, regularly, or occasionally, in past or present, verbally abusive relation. Who are trying to find meaning in what is said, who making efforts to forget and forgive. What is that bothers you the most , what is said or who says it or how and when it is said? How do you work to resolve the internal conflict. ​


     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
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  2. Spiderman1

    Spiderman1 Gold IL'ite

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    1. Silent Treatment is the worst. I hate those 'unspoken words'. I'd rather someone speaks frankly, rather than try to communicate via silence which is childish IMO (except in rare instances when it can be a powerful tool - but used often it will become childish).

    2. I agree with you Tridev, that words can hurt longer. It is very difficult to take back certain things and those can strain relations between any two people - no matter the relationship, parents, inlaws, spouses etc.
     
  3. coolphani

    coolphani Bronze IL'ite

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    Good Post, Tridev.

    The part of my life before I got married was like a fairy tale. My parents took good care of me..where never verbally abusive and I always out of trouble.
    The problem started after I got married to my husband. I went against my parents to get married to him. Before I decided I was told my DH's Dad beats up his wife and is very verbally abusive. He is famous for his bad mouth and his rude behavior in his neighborhood. I ignored this red-flag and got married. My DH was very verbally abusive in the initial yrs of my marriage. He still is but he is a lot better. On top of that He nags all the time...do this , do that.It irritates me. I work too, I have a long commute and am dead tired when I am home. The least he could do is let me relax for half an hour before I slog in the kitchen

    What bothers me the most is: Who says it and what is said.

    Half of what my husband says is pure rubbish- doesn't make any sense.I don't understand any of the foul language he uses . When I call up my parents and ask them what they mean- They just tell me to forget and divert my mind or take a nap if it's the time of the day. I suspect they don't know the exact meaning either. All I know is he picked all this up from his Dad. I am worried tomorrow if I have a kid with my DH and tomorrow my DH get's back to his old ways the kid will be a verbally abusive person when he/she grows up-at least the kid will pick up al the foul language. I suspect there is a chance he/she will become a bully in school.

    It rips me apart to see the person I am married to use foul language against me just because I don't agree with his views. I am not a slave to do whatever he says and agree with all his views. He calls me a s*** when he knows he is loosing a fair argument. A s*** because only such a female can voice her opinion against a husband and because only such a female is capable of being financially independent in this country before getting married . I spoiled my health a lot during the initial days thinking of what all he said and why he said. Slowly I was loosing my confidence and was sloppy at my job. It took me a whole 2 yrs to realize I have to ignore and forget. I can never fully forgive him for calling me a s*** .
    He even bad mouths my parents and threatens to get them murdered. They don't deserve it. He has a batch of friends who have an aversion against independent females. He blindly follows their advice. I keep 2 of his friends out of my house and out of my life. He visits them regularly and they visit him when I am out shopping for groceries or at the mall . They meet behind my back. Half of what he says is highly influenced by those 2 guys.

    These days I just turn a deaf ear to whatever he says when we have an argument. That's the only way I can keep my BP low and myself from turning insane. I still cry my heart out some days thinking what I did to deserve this instability in my life. My mom is my strong pillar. I would have jumped off to my death long back thinking about all the words he said if not for her words of comfort and advice. Whenever he threatens me with a divorce I just say ok, and wish him good luck. I risk my future over this guy because I see him changing-snail pace. I might not have made a right decision- but I refuse to have a kid with him unless he learns to respect his wife.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  4. Tridev

    Tridev Silver IL'ite

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    Thanks Spidey and Coolphani, for your inputs.

    I feel the power of words play very important role in any relationship, lets say a relationship is not abusive, absolutely right, but some days, either husband, wife, or others in family are feeling blue mood and need a shoulder to cry or talk or listen to. However, there is no one, even though there are people, there is no one, in the heart one knows there is no one whom one can talk , they will not understand etc. I have seen and known people who expect that when they say something that is bothering them, they would get some comfort from loved ones, for e.g a wife saying she is very upset and unhappy at certain things happened in her office, but her husband instead of given it a ear says so what?, there is no abuse, but the emotional disconnect will throw the wife off. she will not know who to talk, same can be true for husband, kids, others around, many time people suffer in silence as they feel their feelings dont hear appropriate words

    Like my friend who said his wife keeps looking if someone in his family is crying, she cannot comfort , counsel, same is true to great extent with my wife. If I tell her something,that shows my pain , I wont get any reasonable answer, and when I get the tone will be such that it gives no comfort, a person keeps thinking why so? this develops misunderstanding, and feeling that actually the spouse is not understanding.

    There are many dimensions to spoken, unspoken words....
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  5. Tridev

    Tridev Silver IL'ite

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    Coolphani, I have read your earlier posts too, I can relate to great extent with your situation because I am in one such. My wife is much like you, strong, independent, not sure about you, but she is verbally very abusive, angry, she can say things that comes to her mind, she will not be able to comfort a grieving.,bring peace in a situation after conflict.

    I feel your husband may have abusive tendencies, but he may also not be getting emotional support from you, your relationship lacks that, the communication is broken at every level, so basically your husband goes out for suggestion and gets carried away with what others say and start believing too, because if he asks u or talks to you, he may not be getting the emotional bonding on those issues. I may be wrong but correct me if so. But the emotional bonding is completely missing

    I have read about stubborn personalities be it man or woman, in my case my wife, they will keep living in a bad relationship and not do anything to improve, with a hope that something will change in other person or situation while they trying very less to change, the stubborn nature does not allow them to even seperate amicably, the stubborn personalities cannot make anything straight by themselves and also refuse others to mediate in the problem to get a solution.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  6. SriVidya75

    SriVidya75 Platinum IL'ite

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    As much as I understand that words are more hurtful, but I also started beleiving that sometimes we have to understand why someone behaves the way they behave and accept them as they are (If we think they are showing signs of change and there is a chance of them changing down the line)

    Many times some of these verbal abusers dont know how to put across their feelings. As coolphani said, if her husband is not winning the argument he gets all upset and angry and starts using most outrageous abusive words. May be he doesnt mean them. May be those are just words for him. orMay be all he wants his is wife to shut up:hide:. By using that one abusive word ultimately his goal is reached. she shuts up and wont talk as she is upset with his behaviour. However the family life goes on as usual.same cycle repeats again after couple of days. soif she gives in everytime without telling him during the cool off time that she wont accept this behaviour of name calling, how would he learn and even if she makes her point about it, that might be blown out to another big fight.

    So might be we all have to take a stand some where and draw a line and say you stop talking BS and be a normal person for us to be living together if not I dont want to be with you (this is like the extreme step) or stop responding to his arguments and just move on to your tasks.Totally ignoring but being normal.

    Remember all they want is to hurt the other person as much as they can! They have that inner anger might be from childhood experiences or something at work or from friends or anything that ticked them off...instead of handling it in a constructive way, they start handling it a destructive way, where they spoil their mental peace and also others.

    I read somewhere that not just the victims of abuse, even the abusers go through lot of mental agony, pain, and trauma. Even though the abusers yell/put down their victims, still they have that inner insecurity and incompetent feelings that makes them do what they do!Abuse is the way they communicate...and they dont know how to communicate their feelings in the right way!! This is the gray area..where they need to be trained on...or where they have to learn

    No matter how much ever confident/arrogant/self reliant a abuser might look from teh surface, I guess the bottom line for spouses of such abuser is to understand why the abuser is behaivng the way they are!! Might be research on what ticks them off, who are their best friends, what do they like and not like and ask questions on why tehy like something and why they dont like something, (sometimes when we pay attention to such details we can relate to lot of things). Also the spouses of such abusers if they can read some self help books and slowly start following those methods to cool off the burst outs, it would help alot before hurtful episodes.

    Also most of us would have observed that if our spouse is abusive, some one related to them i.e their parents or siblings or someone in their extended relatives are similar to such spouses..i.e if the father/mother is abusive, son/daughter also kind of picks up on those qualities (by the way not everyone)..or might be the son/daughter wanted love and affection /approval/attention from a certain parent which they couldnt have got ...or might be they got it but not as per their expectation..so such spouses look for their parents/relatives/siblings characteristics in their partners and try to take out their hurtful feelings..(because thats what they are used to...all this while) they have been bottling up their emotions this long and when their partner looks/sounds anything similar to such parents/siblings from whom they didnt get what they wanted or who had put them down ..these spouses tend to burst out on their partners and take out all those old feelings of anger/hurt on the partners(as its not you in their minds, its their parents/siblings characteristics they are seeing in you)..

    Most of the times its about what we get is what we give...if someone is giving love..might be they got love in one form or the other..if someone is giving away hurt..thats what they might have gone through or something that had been making them act that way

    However..some of such abusive actions/feelings/words can be treated or corrected provided the abuser knows that its wrong and the abusers have to feel responsible and committed to change their behaviour..then am sure they would come back to normal track in their life..but most of the times it happens that in mens case the parents/relatives take their side and say he is a man, he can do what he wants and the wife is supposed to just keep quiet..so how can their son change?? does he see that opportunity at all for change?? NO...so thats a very big risk for spouses of such son. Also if the daughter is super abusive and throws tantrums all the while and her parents supported her all the while during her childhood and adolescent stage, husbands of such daughters are going to have real tough time to mend their ways.

    My thought would be, even before we suggest counselling to such abusers, best thing would be to observe, research on whys and whats of their behaviour, find out the root cause, and most of all..make such abusers talk..they have to talk , pour in what they feel/think/want..that gives more information for us to figure out the action plan...


    Last but not least..if you know your spouse is a big time verbal abuser, andd thats in their blood and genes, Yes you would feel bad for a while, your blood would boil lot of times, but slowly you would realise its not worthy, thats him and its you...there is lot of difference in both of your behaviour and approach. So we have to realise who we are..and who they are..see the difference and let go of all the past hurt..because if we keep looking at the past hurt and not able to let go of it atleast some times it becomes difficult to move on with life..past is not worth thinking about...past should give us lessons to think and move on with more knowledge and capability to handle future. thats what past is for!! So atleast verbally forgive your spouses/inlaws/friends/rleatives for what they did..so after that verbal forgiveness slowly our inner being and mentally also we would start accepting that we have forgiven them. (though again forgiveness is a long process..but we have to start somewhere)

    Hope my post :crazymade some sense
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  7. Spiderman1

    Spiderman1 Gold IL'ite

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    I'm sure a lot of you have experienced this in one form or another - tell us how you felt and how you went about it.

    Providing constructive criticism is an art. Many of us and our families havent learnt that too well.

    You want to criticize a person so they can improve. However, there are ways to do it. If you point out inadequacies of a person bluntly, there are a couple of negative effects: 1. You anger them, hurt the relationship etc. 2. The whole point of improvement takes a back seat, as the inadequate feeling overwhelms the other person.

    Constructive criticism is not easy, but without this skill, a lot of "good intention" advice and suggestions will go awry!
     
  8. ShilpaMa

    ShilpaMa IL Hall of Fame

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    Spidy,
    Am in this boat & it hurts me the most cos in my upbringing I was stopped whenever I used any bad word as a young school goer -teen... I was told to think 100 times before opening my mouth cos I was surrounded by dad's relatives who would feel offended. My parents never used these words for each other.

    However the same was not true post marriage.. still for 3.5 yrs I had a wonderful DH who never used bad words for me, it was only after childbirth when there was a regular longer stay of his side, that he picked up dirtiest of words and says "IT HAPPENS" when under pressure. It was nominal at their house and barely anyone addressed each other in a better fashion so ITS A BIG DEAL. He grew up seeing spouses blabbering abuses the moment they turned their back to leave the room.. so its NORMAL for him but not for me. He never saw love or understanding.

    At times I've also heard from his folk that they need to think before speaking to XYZ... so that implies for rest they never think but simply sharpen their razors.

    In all IT HURTS :rantsince I wasn't used to it.

    Over the weekend I told him that am tired of this behaviour of his and there's been no fights as discussed for more than 6 mnths since I'd been brushing a lot of things under the carpet however if things dont change then I really wont appreciate this setup anymore. He said he shall work towards it. I asked him if this discussion shall also go up to his "WELL WISHERS" and he said.. no it wont. Lets see if he comes back to pre baby days ...... He did change for 2 days.. however the biggest hurdle of my life is the daily calls and remote controlling of daily decisions of this house.

    Power of bad words can be detrimental in daily relations and more so over the new communication media... best were the days of TRUCK Calls where the cost was so high that people seldom chose to contact others.
     
  9. mithy232

    mithy232 Silver IL'ite

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    Nice topic Tridev.

    Count me too. I have been verbally abused by my dad whenever I support my mom. Still the same continues and we are surviving. He is the person who encouraged my mom to study and take up a good job. Poor lady, she is passionate about work and so followed his advice and got a job. Then she realized the fact that my dad wants so much money to lead a luxurious life. Even that is fine...but to keep her under his control she is always abused. She is made guilty for all her actions. Facing all these hurdles, she failed to be a mom to me and my brother and we played that role to her. Absolute family set-up is ruined.

    Even I am abused a lot which went to an extent where I started doing the same to him. For about 3months I couldn't control myself. I questioned everyone in my family which irritated them so much and they all labeled me mad. Then I went for counselling and understood that they are not going to change and I should be ready to face it.

    Nowadays I handle him well. When he shouts at me, I learnt to say "Okay. What next?" He is boiling and am relaxed. I listened to those bad words about lakh times. Now it became a common word to me. So no worries now. :)
     
  10. Tridev

    Tridev Silver IL'ite

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    Mithy, your approach is right as of now, since you saw , how you got dragged into abuse and became a abuser unwillingly too, that is the power of words or price we pay living in abusive enviornment. Its a circle where no one know where it starts and where it ends. Everyone will have his or her own reason, version , that this triggered him or her. Not many people have control on the mind and emotions, most of the times emotions play havoc, emotions which come as baggage from early childhood, we see and hear so many things around us since the time we start understanding things, they make impression on us.

    Your saying what next? is right, it can also be replaced with So what?(I read it somewhere to calm ourself down, question ourself, if someone said something , so what?)

     

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