Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Why Can’t I Just Leave?

Wednesday, January 22 2014 Kellie Jo Holly

Leaving an abusive relationship usually can't be done the moment you figure out your partner abuses you. Leaving abuse takes planning and time, if you have it.

So many people beat themselves up over the question "Why can't I just leave?" You want the easy answer? You aren't ready to leave yet.

You

  • haven't been convinced that the abuse warrants you leaving, or
  • you lack financial resources, or
  • you're in business with your abuser, or
  • the kids are too small, or
  • the kids are almost out of school, or
  • the abuser needs you, or
  • fill in your reason here.

Notice I said fill in your reason here. These are not excuses. The reasons you stay may sound like excuses to someone else, but don't let anyone belittle your decision to stay. I really want to end that sentence with "to stay for now" but truth is that you may never leave. You could be 70 years old and wondering how your spouse is managing to exceed life expectancy, them being so miserable and nasty and all (lots of people are doing this right now).

I want you to be okay with choosing to stay, because making decisions is empowering. Staying is a choice you can make.

Leaving An Abusive Relationship Is Important

Irresponsible Advice

It would be very irresponsible of me if I don't say a few things at this point.

  • I want you to end your abusive relationship. Life is too short and precious to spend it with a person who hurts you.
  • If your abuser physically assaults you, I hope you leave right now. Verbal abuse escalates to physical assault and assault escalates to death. Additionally, you may not be the only one to die -your abuser could murder you and then your children and anyone else on the scene.

Point is that choosing to stay with an abuser will have very serious emotional and/or physical consequences. It is only a matter of time.

Leaving An Abusive Relationship Is Not Your Only Option

Honoring a person's choice to stay in an abusive relationship is a relatively new concept to domestic violence social workers and other domestic abuse helpers. You might find helpers who support you no matter what you decide to do. On the other hand, you might find helpers who decide there's nothing they can do for you if you do not leave the abuser. That hurts, I know, but just because they're the experts doesn't mean they always know the right thing to do.

Additionally, many of your closest friends and family members may distance themselves from you if you choose to stay. Often we tell ourselves that they're tired of listening to us complain when we won't do anything to change it. Remember though, the ones who love you need to keep themselves sane, too. If they're in the battle with you, they may not be strong enough to pull you out if you change your mind and leave the relationship.

Don't take it personally if people don't support your decision to stay, and please don't beat yourself up because you feel you can't leave. Let's just roll with this for a while and see what we can do for our mental well-being when we choose to stay.

Key Concepts to Accept About Your Abusive Relationship

You cannot make your abuser happy, therefore you cannot make them mad, either. You do not have magic powers that control your abuser's words or actions and no combination of your words or behaviors will result in an end to the abuse.

Most everything you do and say will be "wrong", and if you are right today, you'll probably be wrong tomorrow. So you may as well do exactly as YOU please at all times. Make your own decisions, act on your hunches. It doesn't matter what you do, the abuse will continue.

You are in a relationship that thrives on your honest disclosures about yourself. However, unlike healthy intimate relationships, your significant other uses your deepest secrets against you. You cannot trust your abuser with your heart, so keep your mouth shut about it.

There will be moments of joy and pleasure in your abusive relationship. Go ahead and enjoy the sex, the compliment, the joke, etc. But leave the joy in the moment. Don't assume that because s/he smiled a minute ago that the smile will be there when you look again. Humans need joy in their life, so grab all you can.

You need a safety plan. Period. Abusers are unpredictable and you never know when you're going to have to get away from them. Thinking through a safety plan during moments of peace will help you to think more swiftly and clearly during moments of danger.

Keep people on the outside of your relationship close. Isolation is the abuser's best friend. When you're isolated from others, you lose the most valuable lifeline an abused person can have - ideas from people other than the abuser. You increase the effects of abuse by only hearing your abuser's opinions, so stay connected to the world outside your home.

Educate yourself about domestic violence and abuse. Search words and phrases like verbal and emotional abuse, side effects of abuse, gaslighting, crazy-making and brainwashing. Learning a little bit each day about how your partner manipulates and controls you lessens their ability to do it.

Concepts to Accept About Yourself

You are human; a delightfully imperfect person who can do the very best you know how to do in this instant. Every instant.

You are lovable.

You deserve respect.

You can choose one thing today and another thing tomorrow.

You are powerful.

You can learn, grow and adapt.

You do not have to accept or absorb lies, even if the lie has a grain of truth to it (see Detaching from Verbal Abuse Hypnosis MP3).

You hold God's hand, even when you cannot feel it, but sometimes you must do something differently so He can help you in another way.

You decide who stays in your life.

You decide when leaving an abusive relationship is right for you.

You can also find Kellie Jo Holly on her website, Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

View all posts by Kellie Jo Holly.

Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Why Can’t I Just Leave?

Karen Blanco
says:
January, 22 2014 at 7:04 pm

Thank you!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Lin
says:
May, 23 2018 at 7:49 pm

I cannot reiterate that sentiment enough . 'Thank you' seems ,in some ways, too little for me to say. This is Not to denigrate Karen - far from it. I thank You Karen, for your post. This is the first site (of many), which makes absolute sense to me. It takes the blame Off me for staying in an abusive relationship! Everything is starting to explore. Gaslighting, Yes; brainwashing, Yes. I'll continue to read,and post again, but meantime, may I applaud anyone who is in an abusive relationship,and trying to make sense of it. I've spent 16 years doing this and finally, there is enlightenment. Congratulations,and as Karen said - Thanks.

Joelene
says:
July, 23 2018 at 1:59 pm

I am in a relationship for 6.5 years and I have a 5 year old child and 2 sons from a previous marriage....I live with an abusive man who belittle me every chance he gets.i am never right no matter what....he controls me to the point of telling me what colour lipstick I should wear.He also tells me what to wear...I have finally come to the realisation that I want out,but we have a child together and his telling me he will never allow me to have custody of the child,because I came from an physical abusive marriage,he calls me names and we happy one day and sad the next I never know what will trigger him.He is a successful insurance manager and thinks everything is about money.....I pray for strength

Tracy
says:
October, 17 2018 at 1:12 pm

I’m there with you. My baby is 4-1/2 months old and I’m just realizing how emotionally/verbally abusive my husband is. I’m terrified to take the next step because I’m afraid he will try and take my baby. Ive been with him 18 years. I love him but now I think that’s just not enough. I never know what triggers him either. I can say the same exactly thing to him one day and he is fine and the other day he will fly off the handle. It’s just so inconsistent and not at all what I want for my baby. I don’t want her to grow up to think it’s ok to treat others this way or to have other treat her this way. I used to be a strong I dependent woman.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Ts
says:
June, 10 2018 at 12:53 am

Thank you for this... I’m on the verge of leaving after 27 years yes 27 years of my life wrapped up in abuse. Not easy , no emotions left, planning stage trying to be very organized.. no where to go, no family, kids grown but he will harass them if they help me. Ready to go far away to stay safe. He will hurt me badly this time. Thank you for your info.

fiona jack
says:
June, 25 2018 at 9:11 pm

I don't know why I have to be abused but I can't leave him.I love him unconditional,

Selena
says:
July, 10 2018 at 12:42 am

You love him but he doesn’t love u. Don’t be naive. Get out, get over that thought. Someone who loves u won’t hurt u. #period.

Annette
says:
August, 23 2018 at 3:28 pm

Your supposed to love your kids unconditionally not him, that is his parents job and looks like they failed.

J
says:
September, 17 2018 at 5:09 pm

There is nothing to love about him. He is an empty soulless shell. Don’t let him turn you into one too.

Chris
says:
November, 29 2018 at 3:32 pm

This was my situation, I thought I loved my wife unconditionally. I've left my abusive wife 2 times. In therapy I leaned the unconditional love is not love at all. It's an addiction to the abuse called a Trauma Bond. My brain feels so good when the abuse stops it feels like I love her so much for that brief kindness followed by a calm. The most painful part of leaving is when you stop lying to yourself and stop making excuses for their behavior. Took professional help for me to do that, 18 years of conditioning. If you're enduring abuse out love it may not be love you are feeling.

November, 30 2018 at 11:43 pm

Hi Chris: Thank you for sharing your story and explaining this. The trauma bond is so important, but I feel it isn't well known. You had such a beautiful way of describing what happened and I know that others will benefit from the way you explained what happened to you. -Kristen

Rose
says:
July, 29 2018 at 7:15 am

Hi I feel for you I Truly do and pray the best for you in your new life I am in the same situation as you, after 19 years of marriage (first) and I promised God i would never leave and he knows this so he takes advantage of that I think but I am ready to leave and see what a real life feels like, I was a foster child so no family, I don't have friends, well 1 but lives in New Mexico, I do have 3 kids but live to far away and I have Anxiety so afraid to drive in unfamiliar areas I have a business but would need a huge truck to pack up and leave plus no strength to lift all the boxes up and down 2 flights of stairs because of degenerate disk disease so I feel stuck, my business requires a computer so never learned how to fix things on it or how to set it up, there are cameras outside the house so he would know when I leave, luckily though he drives truck for a living but he can be home withing 8 hours and would have to find a place that accepts pets as he brought home a German Shepperd plus we already had a German Shepperd and I have a cat, I have a fear he will harm them if I leave them behind, He has called me every name in the book and says I am the way I am because of my F--- up life, I am a nut case a lunatic mental etc Oh and the big one I am a Fat F---ing Slob, I can rarely do anything right in his eyes. I think the first thing i need to do is start getting Organized my self, I was going to say how but because my husband knows computers very well he will most likely read this message so will try to figure out how to get to the History and delete this message, I wish there was somehow we could talk because I really need a friend who understands the hurt we all face

Sue reilly
says:
July, 29 2018 at 2:37 pm

Hi Rose, you are not alone , I’m been marriage for 30 years and 15 years] go last he became a drug user and abuiser , I loss my 2 daughters respect and grand children all because I wasn’t aware what abuise was and when it started I just had an Annersyum operation , then many illness that followed I do have degenerate back disease ,to I just about can walk, 26 surgeries on my hands plastic joint keep breaking them. I’m stuck with absolutely no one , how do Ipack up and leave and get some where so I stay and let my self feel less than because I know it’s wrong. . I ended up with ptsd , no children and grandchildren you can’t imagine the pain and loneliness I feel on mother’s day holidays, I pray that I will die soon. This fate of living with mental and verbal abuise There are times I wish he would die , maybe prison is the answer . I do know how you feel not many people can understand why do you stay with a person you longer love , I just pray to die early yes we need friends who are in the same place we need comfort .

Fionnaidh Halloran
says:
October, 9 2018 at 8:05 am

Hi Rose, your story struck a chord with me as our circumstances are so similar. I also have DDD, 3 dogs and a parrot, he's threatened to Popeye (his and his brothers term for shoot) all of them at one stage. I still find it hard to accept i am being abused, more verbally than physically but he has hurt me in the past, plus threatens how easy he could in the future. I'm going to see my doctor this afternoon, i pray that i can actually get the words out this time and not use my health issues as the reason I'm there. We're in a 'quiet' time jyst now, but i'm so anxious cos all the little signs are there that he's ready to rare up! Constant sniping then trying to make it out that I'm the one angling for a fight. He's starting to intimate that I'm the abusive one and i hit him!! He's 15 1/2 stone and 5ft 10inches.
I wish you all the strength in the world in whatever you choose to do. I feel more empowered by reading other peoples stories, that I'm not alone. I've also started picturing myself in my own place, the powers of attraction, 💕

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Candace
says:
August, 23 2018 at 9:26 pm

Im soo glad i found this page! I have no one or no friends to talk to anymore its good to not feel alone and not think im crazy. I have a question though i have money saved up to leave me bf and im currently looking. But i cant help but feel guilty for wanting to leave him but i know i cant stay. I feel stupid for feeling bad but i cant help it but i know i cant stay is this normal?

Fionnaidh Halloran
says:
October, 9 2018 at 8:16 am

Hi Candace, i too have nowhere to go to. My parents are elderly, my dad is my mum's carer, so i cant put this on them. My daughter would be easily found too. I am saving money too, i have said out loud to myself, that i want out, i am no longer willing to be treated so badly anymore but the guilt IS horrendous(we're actually in a 'quiet' spell just now). I'm finding that by remembering what he's said or done strengthens my resolve that bit more, but im not saying its making the decision easy. I've found out through self reflection that i am a people pleaser. I like helping people, i don't like to rock the boat and will do any thing to avoid confronation.
Stay strong and try and find someone from your local womens aid/shelter who can give you concrete advice. The more information we have the stronger we become. Is è ar n-am anois (Scots Gaidhlig fir 'our time is now '

Kimber
says:
October, 16 2018 at 12:45 pm

I am also glad i found this website. Again last week was about the 40th time with the verbal abuse, being in a relationship for 13 years with my bf and i keep putting up w/his sh**. I too seem to feel "guilty" to leave him, probably because he keeps telling me we have been together *that long* and its crazy to just end a relationship for being together so long. I too know i can't stay, and i feel the same way. I am hoping soon, that i have the strength to just say * I am done* and not listen to his his words about how he is sorry for the umpteenth time, and how he will never call me names again. I know that will never change, and yes i am waiting for the next attack of verbal abuse, because he won't change. I just want to be the strong one and say * I am done * and really just tell him to leave and move out and move on. I pray to God every day about this, yet i am the one who needs to be the strong one and stick to my words.

Kalina
says:
November, 7 2018 at 8:31 am

Hi, I have been married to my husband for 14 years. Endless amounts of verbal abuse with a little bit of physical theown into the mix when I REALLY piss him off. I have 4 kids between ages 6-13, and 2 dogs. I went out with a friend last month and stayed out "too late", he had me by my throat up against the wall in our room. I took the kids and left that night. We came back the next morning to grab some of our belongings and had another major fight. He said if you leave I will kill myself. I said whatever (he's said that before), and continued going about my business. I went out to the garage to smoke a cigarette, and found him dangling from the rafters. He had hung himself with one of his belts! I started screaming, the kids witnessed it all. I got him cut down and he did survive. He had what looked like bad hickey marks around his neck. Scariest moment of my life. His family and I had an intervention with him. But he refuses to go to therapy or talk to a doctor about anything! The verbal abuse isn't as bad, but it's still there. I feel like a bystander in my own life just waiting for the moment it gets bad again. But where do I go? What do I do? I have ONE friend. I literally have no family aside from his. Mom, dad, grandparents, all deceased. I feel guilty for even thinking about leaving now, and I do love him, but what about me and my feelings.

chris
says:
November, 29 2018 at 4:03 pm

Hi Candice,

Yes that is very normal. All abuse survivors know exactly what you describe. One way a abuser makes you stay is by making you feel guilty for wanting end the relationship. I've been been there. This my experience. The guilt you feel comes from grieving process, a process you may be suppressing. You're staying in a relationship that is already over for you. But because you don't leave, and there are other thing that make leaving hard you to leave. You feel like you're lying all the time.

In my case trauma bond. Fear of what she might do if I try to leave. Fear I might lose my kids. So much fear. Then on top of social constructs of marriage. Vows until death do us part. The abuse also keeps me there. The guilt leveled on me. "Why are you doing this to the kids". So much guilt leveled on me. The attacks at my confidence and the financial abuse. Make it really hard to leave. I did though. I left, my daughter just gave me the biggest hug. She never said a word. She didn't even tell her mom I had left. She knows. They've seen it so often. I'm out 4 day now. It's hard you will feel that guilt. But it's not about you bf, it's about you.

Sharon Blanchard
says:
January, 27 2014 at 4:10 pm

If only I had known some of theses facts years ago, I would have been more prepared for today.Narcs are silent killers and get away with abuse and destroy lives.

Sheryl
says:
February, 16 2014 at 11:40 am

I really needed to read this article. I'm so confused, because on one level I know what my husband does is abusive...but on another level I think I'm wrong and just expect unreasonable things from him.

To me, this is my first step - to try and regain a grasp of reality. Thank you.

suman
says:
February, 21 2014 at 9:30 am

What r the coping strategies for a woman in her golden years, not plsnning to divorce, other options, married to a narcissist controlling, angry,verbally abusive man for 25+years.he keeps me away from his children, had long vacations alone.
No love, caring or empathy for me, feel abonded despite me meeting all his needs and living him.
Thanks

starlette
says:
March, 4 2014 at 1:46 pm

Thank you for this blog. It will help me to help others going through abusive relationships. Many of them are so blinded by the abuse. They believe their spouse will eventually change. Again, thank you.

starlette
says:
March, 4 2014 at 1:54 pm

Have you ever wondered why we have been in so many relationships to find that they did not work? We have spent countless years with this person trying to make it work. Have you ever wondered why we stayed in these relationships as long as we did? Have you ever wondered why we have attached ourselves to people who did not have our best interest at heart? Maybe we have become a “broken rib” and need healing from within and without as we share our journey from hurt, pain, guilt and remorse to wellness, forgiveness, happiness, joy and strength.

Jennifer Hernandez
says:
March, 22 2014 at 1:00 am

Thank you so much for this information. For almost a year, I was taken into a place that was so unfamiliar. He only made me feel good before and during sex. More than ever, our fights and arguments has turned from bad to worse and very ugly. I refused to accept the negative adjectives he uses to describe me. The accusations he has made about my character are wrong. I can't believe that ihave fallen for someone so evil. I ccant believ that there are actually people like him on earth.. Thank you for giving me the courage to pack my bags and leave.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Miranda
says:
May, 18 2018 at 12:02 am

I am in the same boat. I need to leave but just haven’t. What made you finally leave and how did you do it?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Thelma
says:
July, 13 2018 at 7:48 pm

I am going through the same thing for 16 yrs now. I want to leave but I am scared. How did you do it?

Angela McLaurin
says:
March, 25 2014 at 8:45 am

You can't believe in yourself because they have you convinced that you can't make it without them . you feel alone and scared for your life.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Sharon
says:
June, 10 2018 at 6:32 am

You're so right hun, my abuser does the same thing, I suffer with servere mental health and have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorders, anxiety, avoidant personality etc. Because I don't have any family he convinces me I will not survive without him, if I can survive his abuse for 13yrs. I'm sure I can live the rest of my life without him x

Cienicea
says:
May, 17 2014 at 4:19 pm

I feel like this is the first time someone's really given me legit advice on my situation. I get so tired of hearing people say things like " just leave him, your better than that"... all that stuff. It never helps. Thank you for being the first person to understand my situation, just to read this article has helped in so many ways. Thank you for being real.

Andrea
says:
June, 5 2014 at 12:42 am

Thank you. The ideas that you have shared are very empowering.

Fred
says:
June, 9 2014 at 8:47 pm

"You are in a relationship that thrives on your honest disclosures about yourself. However, unlike healthy intimate relationships, your significant other uses your deepest secrets against you. You cannot trust your abuser with your heart, so keep your mouth shut about it."

This is sooooooo true. I can't tell my partner anything about my past, desires, frustrations, bad days at work, anything. Anything I say can and will be used against me when she feels like it.

And, a source of frustration for me right now ...

And the bit about isolation is so true too. Whenever I see my family, there's a debt that's hard to pay. But I have decided to try to stay connected with family. I would add friends, but I really don't have any right now.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Olivetree
says:
July, 26 2018 at 9:28 am

Hi. You can be my freind. My situation is like yours

evelyn brandt
says:
July, 16 2014 at 2:26 pm

I feel I am to old to leave my husband and I do not know how to be alone.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Maureen
says:
June, 22 2018 at 6:41 am

Same here. Where do we start again. With not enough money for two households and i have distanced myself so far from people that i just dont have anyone. Not easy when you are going 65

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kate
says:
July, 30 2018 at 9:53 pm

Evelyn, have you made the break? You are not too old. I am 74 and am leaving my husband.

jasmin
says:
August, 13 2014 at 10:38 am

Thank you

melball
says:
August, 18 2014 at 4:05 pm

I decided to leave my verbally ebusive relationship today and I am still in denial and think well I could just go back and it would be easier but I also think my 2 children are the ones suffering and I can't go back we all deserve to be happy so I have to be strong and stand by the decisions and NOT go back and it is hard

green pixie
says:
September, 8 2014 at 9:42 pm

Thank you for this article and for your supportive, non-judgemental approach. It has only "dawned" on me recently -much to my surprise and horror- that my partner could possibly be abusive. Previously, I was fairly judgemental of people who stayed with abusive partners but now I can understand just how complex, confusing and difficult it can be to leave an abusive situation.
My own experience is that leaving can be so very difficult because:
* Sometimes emotional abuse is very difficult to identify and even name. Some abuse is so subtle and "clever" that people may not even realise it's abusive (myself included). It can just be that sickening feeling deep down that something is wrong and feeling terribly upset/distressed by certain behaviours or words from your partner but you can't think straight or even articulate WHY you feel this way.
* Abusive people can be highly intelligent and convincing in their arguments so that you do really end up believing the problem is YOU and that the difficulties in the relationship are due to your own issues, faults and failings. Therefore, you keep trying to make things better, "work" on the relationship and "improve" yourself etc.
* It is still possible to truly CARE about the person who is abusive (though maybe this is an illusion?). He obviously has some deep issues and as a compassionate person, I can see his pain and find it hard not to want to help him, even if he sometimes deeply hurts or frightens me.
* These relationships overall are very "difficult", taxing and draining. I can feel so engulfed by my relationship and all its complexities that I don't even have the energy to begin to do all the things necessary to leave (finding a new house, buying a car, getting a different job and whatever else...)
* My partner CAN be incredibly sweet, caring and look after me well. We DO have some fun/interesting/nice times together. So when abusive behaviour does happen, it is so disorientating, confusing and almost surreal that I am paralysed by shock and disbelief. When things go back to "normal" and he is being sweet again, it almost feels like it never happened so I deny or lessen it in my mind or start to believe, "perhaps I am the crazy one" (overreacting, imagining things, being too sensitive, being "forgetful" etc - as he has suggested).
* You do just feel SO alone when awful things happen and "paralysed" as to where to go or what to do so it can feel like the best/easiest thing is simply to stay, try not to say or do anything to "set them off" again and simply hope things improve.

Reading blogs and information like this is so helpful in feeling less alone; in feeling less "crazy"; that perhaps it's not ME and that it's not my fault I've ended up in this situation. I am not going to beat myself up for choosing to stay for now. I do hope to have the strength and courage to leave if/when the time is right and if things don't change. Until then, I will definitely try to use your suggestions to lessen the impact of any abusive behaviours/words that may occur and to use this time in my life to become a stronger person.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

“B”
says:
May, 23 2018 at 12:31 am

Everything you said I go thru, literally just happened to me today

May, 23 2018 at 3:29 am

B, I'm so sorry for everything you have been suffering. I'm so glad you found us here at Healthy Place, we have a wealth of information, articles, and resources that may bring you comfort or guide you on your path. Please reach out to us anytime. Thanks, and hang in there, I'm rooting for you. -Emily

evon
says:
May, 27 2018 at 1:14 am

I would go fishing with my boyfriend early in the morning and he would be nice until we left the maverick, and he berate me for ,25 minutes, n I could not say anything cause , he would use it against me

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Beee
says:
May, 30 2018 at 1:07 pm

Wow this sounds exactly like my situation. In a sense I feel like I need to try and help him because I know he has anxiety problems and I try to understand his issues with trust. Like you when we are good we are soooo good, he is so sweet is like we are doing great but then out of nowhere or if there’s a trigger things go downhill quick. No matter what, I feel like I can’t walk away like something in me won’t let me. I just need to be there and I dnt know what it is I almost feel crazy for putting up with it. I always feel like if only we could get through those problems we could be great together. He has now decided that he will go to therapy but I dnt know. Sometimes I feel emotionally drain and I feel my anxiety act up. I am just not ready to walk away even though somethingnin tells me to leave sometimes. It’s like there’s something always pulling me back to him.

Anna
says:
July, 27 2018 at 7:09 am

I've felt this for 20 years and after surrenduring all of my income to him for numerous "business opportunities" and "companies" he has started and never been able to fulfill, I've began having panic attacks at the thought of letting him continue to control my finances. So, I've been studying the traits of abusers. I've found that he fits the clinical definition of psychopath perfectly and at first I was horrified at what I'd let be done to me, and how I've ignored my gut feelings all these years, how much of my life has been wasted on the hopes of false promises of all these great rewards that were supposed to come .... at 20, He told me in 10 years if I supported him, he'd help me become wealthy and independent. Then at 10 years of surrenduring all my money (oh wait, I was allowed to keep 10%)... we were always "almost there". We only ever needed another 6-18 months.

When I came to MY personal boundary- 40 years old- Unfreaking believable- he still one last time gas lighted and guilted me, and threatened me with being cut off from other people I love. It was a horribly verbally and emotionally abusive scene, which his 20 year old daughter over heard and recognized as toxic. Long story short- keep reading and educating yourself, as horrific as it might sound, yes I've chosen to stay in this relationship until I can figure out how to let go. I'm closer every day.

Keep going! You'll find your way. Thank goodness for websites like this for us "inbetweeners" who are just beginning to realize what is going on, but not quite sure what to do next or where to turn.

J
says:
August, 19 2018 at 12:48 pm

I feel the same but im scared and confused because we just had a little girl and i dont want her in this up and down i want stability but no matter what i do or dont do i cant find it some times he is amazing sweet and a great dad and the when it gets bad its bad so much name calling and yelling and silence for days during which his anger takes control and he wont go near our daughter for all those days it seems so selfish i just dont know what to do and have no one to talk to we moved weeks before i found out i was pregnant to a state we only know 2 people and i cant talk to either of them about this they are both extremly overactive it would make things so much worse i thought i was the only one dealing with this my whole family have been in physically abusive relationships so verbally and emotionally abusive seems to be easy to deal with but im tierd and sad.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Sandcastle
says:
June, 11 2018 at 6:54 pm

I've been in this abusive relationship for 17 years now. I suffer from bipolar disorder, and he always says I'm crazy, degrades and humiliates me, physical abuse stopped several years ago due to restraint orders that I ended up dropping, because he wouldn't be able to see his children if he went to jail. 3 nights ago, I woke up suffocating, as he was forcefully Applying pressure on my CPAP mask, blocking the co2 vent. He said the mask was leaking air, and it was keeping him awake. I went to the police department, and the officer started screaming at me "Why did you wait until 1:00 in the afternoon to come here? He doesn't realize the strength it took me to walk through the police station doors. I had a hemorrhage in my left eye, probably due to the lack of oxygen. I took several selfies of it. Some days, I wish he'd just finish me off, I died emotionally years ago, I'm sure he'll get away with killing me physically. Seeing my therapist tomorrow.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

rose
says:
July, 29 2018 at 7:43 am

WOW Very powerful I am going through the exact same thing & feelings. Half of me wants to stay and work things out the other half just wants to see what normal feels like I feel like I am tied up and can't get loose, he has called me every name in the book and then turns the argument around and puts the blame on me and off him as if I am abusing him. I lost it yesterday on our way home from Wal-mart after he said I was the one arguing so like usual he has to put me down in front of people so I figured I would give him a taste of his own medicine so started yelling back at him (yes in public) I hated it but I lost it, on the way home it hit me, I need to get out of this, Can't really go anywhere without him arguing, I can't talk to him about my feelings because he calls it the blame game or he talks over me so loud so then I just stuff all the feelings back inside my box, I now have health issues all related to stress, stress that I have had since I was a little girl, I am now 54 years old no friends no family (foster child) what am I supposed to do I am new to this, he will say I let my emotions get in the way. What exactly does that mean as I truly do not know? I am very forgetful probably because of all the verbal abuse I have lived with, am I really a crazy, mental lunatic that he says I am?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

J
says:
August, 19 2018 at 12:37 pm

I have been on the longest worst rollercoaster with my boyfriend/fiance for the past 9 years i have thought about leaving so many times i tried once but he pulled me back in i dont even know who or what i am anymore i dont know what to do i had so much control to not bring a child into this chaos for all these years until last year i let my guard down when we were good really good for once and i just gave birth 6 weeks ago to my beautiful baby girl and still nothing has changed and now he has this ill always be here so i better make it work i just hate this i dont want this life for her but i am still afraid yet hopeful i feel crazy i dont know what to do.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Meplus3
says:
November, 25 2018 at 10:08 am

What you have written completely resonates with me. The emotional abuse from my husband was so insidious that I had a great deal of difficulty recognizing it for what it was/is. It is so much easier to ignore it, stuff it down and turn off your emotions about it all. Worst of all I taught our kids to do the same thing because I regarded it all as being minor mishaps - dad is just needs to calm down, he doesn't really mean what he is saying, just ignore it and it will be fine soon.
The abuse didn't seem blatant. He has never hit me or the kids, he does not control my money, who I see or what I wear, but his words do still control the family in some way. When he is unhappy we all must be made unhappy as it is our job (especially mine) to make sure he is made happy again. We walk around on eggshells not knowing when a happy time will turn ugly just by saying something that will set him off. We always feel off balance around him. I have been in such denial. It is only now that our kids are suffering from depression in their teens years that I am realizing how bad things are and the terrible affect it has had on our kids. It sounds awful, but even 3 years after discovering this I am having difficulty leaving despite knowing the kids are suffering. My husband and I have been together for 30 years and I feel worn down and exhausted mentally and physically. The mind games that he plays that make him sound like the victim have taken their toll. It's so difficult to sort things out in my head. I feel so confused at times and other times it all seems so clear. I am working on building myself up so that someday I can save us all.

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