So glad you are participating in this free online tutorial to earn a certificate in verbal abuse defense. I can tell by your answers that you are really thinking about this situation. You wrote, "It makes sense on a logical level, but in practice I'm not convinced. Even if I don't engage, he will continue to yell at me and criticize me. It's easy enough to say that I don't care what he says, but words do hurt the heart."
Yes, words do hurt and we are not saying that you don't care. You are in this workshop, of course you care. We are not asking you to not care; we are asking you to stop allowing the behavior--put a stop to allowing someone to abuse you. As you continue in the workshop and follow with the workbook, you will gain skills in disengaging. Eventually you see that even if he "hurts" your feelings because he isn't loving you the way you picture love, that it isn't you, but him that has the problem. If a little kid runs up to a teacher sobbing about how the bully called him a name and cries, "He called me a booger!" The teacher's best response is, "Well, are you a booger?" and the kid hesitantly replies, "No," and the teach says, "well there you are." The child learns that if he does not accept the name calling, it loses its power. Granted your man knows how to get a rise out of you (the words that hurt you most)--but learn to substitute the word "booger" for what he calls you--Glenda, are you a booger? No--do not give him that power to destroy you.
I can guarantee that in practice when you take your power back, it all changes. Some partners grow up and learn to value their counterparts--some leave. But in any case, you learn that you are not a booger.