Verbal abuse is warfare. It employs the use of words as bombs and grenades designed to punish the other person, to place blame, or to justify one’s own actions or decisions. Abusive language is filled with poisonous put-downs which seek to make the other person feel badly, appear wrong, or look inadequate. Most people who practice verbal abuse are suffering from low self-esteem. Anything which threatens their worth will stimulate a flow of angry words. The slightest criticism can ignite the flame. Understanding this, may change your attitude toward your verbally abusing spouse. Seeing them as a needy person, rather than an abusive person, may help you take a more constructive approach.