STAGE 3: Devaluation
One day, you wake up and realize that the compliments have stopped, and all you are hearing is criticism.
Predictors of Abuse
The criticisms are no longer phrased politely as suggestions. They are outright insults: “You look like a clown in that.” “I hate that scent you are wearing. When did you become such an old man?” Eventually, the insults go public. One day, you are out with friends, and your beloved not only starts criticizing you in front of them, but to them in front of you.
The verbal abuse escalates until it is the main way your partner speaks to you. Your wishes are ignored, and you are treated cruelly. The fights escalate into screaming matches, and you find yourself yelling or crying hysterically. You may be physically abused in some other way as well; unless you can find a way to put a stop to it, this will become your life.