Of course the smart comments, put downs, and harsh sudden remarks will not go away. Abusers cannot change. Accepting that they are who they are and they will never change is part of your own growth.
Getting to a point where they stop bothering you is also tough. However, to what level they bother you and for how long is what changes. Also, how you look at them changes. When they no longer have the power to completely knock you off your balance. When they no longer get into your very inner thoughts, emotions, and nerves. You know then that you are free at last.
Abusers are two types: A type you can choose to walk away from because you owe them nothing. However, when there is an obligation, like when the abuser is a family member, then things become a bit more complex. I always thought that being in a relationship of obligation with an abuser is a curse. I am now more inclined to consider it a learning experience, even though a very tough one.
After a long journey of self discovery, one might reach a level of being free from the spell abusive family members put on you. Then amazing things happen: It becomes easier to see the abusers’ vulnerability, and how they are not as strong as they try to look. You also see how they start adapting to you being strong, and showing you respect. You also see how they keep making the abusive behavior, however less often and they quickly retreat from it as they see you bothered but not shaken by what they did. What amazes me is when they even become apologetic.
The cycle of abuse is totally different after you regain power.
The traditional cycle of abuse might resemble something like this: Abusers look for when you are most vulnerable, and strike hard. You retreat feeling sorry for self and bad about you taking the abuse. You start thinking about how unjust the abuser is to you. The abuser sees you in that state and feels powerful and in control. They are in control. You are not. Abuse becomes more frequent and harsher. The cycle continues.
After regaining freedom, the cycle changes; They cannot find a vulnerable moment in you. They make a lot of preparation to put you in that weak psyche. You do not go there. They get impatient and throw that harsh remark. You show discomfort. Showing discomfort is a sign of being strong. There is a difference between showing discomfort but accepting self, and showing discomfort and feeling sorry for yourself. The former is strength the latter is weakness. So since you are not weak, that means they have to retreat. This is amazing because if they cannot break you, they try to pick a fight to get you weak. Then they might try to make you feel guilty for misunderstanding their intentions. It is very funny when they do that by the way. If you still do not break, they will retreat and start showing you respect. More respect than before the incident because they now know you are strong. Abusers only respect power. Nothing else. Humanity, kindness, humbleness, and similar good traits are signs of weakness in their book. So when they see strength and confidence, they retreat and show respect.
Do not misunderstand power in its superficial shapes. Power is not physically power, or cruelty, or fighting, or shouting. All of that actually is weakness. Real power is accepting self and being confident. Staying genuinely calm and unshaken.
Some people only respect those who are powerful. So you show power they will go look for someone else to abuse. Once in a while they come back forgetting that you are powerful. But they again find out you refuse to play victim. The abuse subsides. Then a new relationship forms, with you being in control of yourself.
This is one of the strangest change in relationship dynamics I have ever seen.