If you are living with a verbally abusive spouse, you need an evacuation plan and you need to share the plan with your spouse. Try this: “I want to share with you a decision I have made. As you know, I have talked with you in the past about how deeply I am hurt when you lash out at me with critical remarks. It takes me days and sometimes weeks to get over the pain. I have decided that the next time you lose your temper, I will take some time away from you in order to recover. I think my healing will be faster if we are apart. I will not be abandoning you, but I will be taking a step to correct what has become a very destructive pattern in our relationship. I can’t survive the verbal attacks indefinitely. I don’t believe that is the kind of person you want to be. I’m sharing this with you because I believe in you and want to see you become the person you want to be.” He may get mad, or start crying. She simply follows the plan the next time he explodes. She is clearly communicating: Things are not going to continue the way they are.