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

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.


  • 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.

APA Reference
Holly, K. (2014, January 22). Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Why Can’t I Just Leave?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 16 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 8 2018 at 6:02 pm
RUN to your friends and hide hon or he will kill you!!
December, 27 2017 at 11:51 pm
I'm in a really bad place.
My partner verbally abuses me and has started to punch, kick and hit me along with death threats. He literally flys off the handle at the smallest thing, eg. Me not stacking a plate in the dish washer the way he wants it, me slicing cheese to thick for his sandwiches,
He screams in my face and leans in trying to scare me. I stand there paralysed with fear, sometimes I nearly pee myself. He went fishing and woke me up early to go, he took me out in the middle of the ocean and stopped the motor of his boat. My blood turned cold. He started to tell me how worthless and pathetic I am as a human being (this is because I couldn't help him pack as much for our camping trip, because I was working all week and even though I asked if he would like help he would say no) he started screaming at me and I thought I was going to die. I thought he was going to drown me since a few hours earlier he told me he was going to bash me up and leave my body in a ditch. He forced me to get in the car before our trip but I was too scared. I tried to hail a car over to help me but no one saw me.. so I got in his car. He either thinks I'm the best thing ever or he wants to kill me. There's nothing in between. I know I'm in a bad relationship but my emotions are a mess and I feel like I'm stuck and helpless.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 30 2017 at 5:12 am
Leave now! I know it's hard and frightening. I known your emotions are a mess. But you need to run and hide. He will kill you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

wendy Lawson
December, 31 2017 at 4:34 am
I’ve been here. I know how scared you must be. You do not have to live like this.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 8 2018 at 6:04 pm
RUN the next stage is death
December, 22 2017 at 1:21 am
After reading all of yalls comments I decided it was time to share mine. I'm 19 years old and my fiancé is 27. We have been together 1 year and 2 months. 2017 has to be the worst year of my entire time. The first month of our relationship was amazing he would wine and dine me, so respectful, charming and everything above. I remember the first time I was ever abused physically I went to the bank I decided to do it while he was sleeping so I didn't wake him and as I was there at the bank he was blowing up my phone I told him where I was and when I got home I remembered being chocked so hard. The next months I cheated on him with my ex because I couldn't handle the names he called me and the abuses. My ex had never not once in 3 years had ever put his hands on me. And I wasn't used to it so of course it was easy to run to him. I told my fiancé and surprisly he didn't hurt me instead he cried and got over it and realized that the reason I did that was because he wasn't loving me right. After all of that we moved into our new place and he absuse got so real. He had broken 2 of my phones and would chock me and slap me all the time. Over stupid fights. I would always say stuff back and it made things a whole lot worse for me. He would pull my hair and hurt me so bad. After only being together half a year we got into an argument because he drinks way to much and I had said something I was driving his truck home because he had been drinking. He got so mad he turned the wheel and there were two poles and we landed right in the middle of both. God had to be watching over me that day because if I would have hit one of those poles I for sure would have been dead. We got home and he started chocking me and hitting me. He threw me into the wall I hit my ear so back there was blood everywhere. I called the cops because I was so scared. He went to jail and of course my stupid ass bailed him out. He promised to never hurt me again but you all know how that goes. Well he was on probation when he was arrested so they put him back in jail. What was he on probation for? A family violence charge from a previous girlfriend before me (I should have known then) and I bailed him out again after him being in jail for violating probation. Then he got but in jail 2 more times because we had a no contact order and we got pulled over twice. I would always pray that they would give him a no bond but they did so I thought it was a sign and bailed him out 2 more times. The abuse would never stop though everyday I constantly pray that we have a good day but we fight all the time. I've gotten to the point where I know what to say so he doesn't hurt me. His famous words are that he always says are "you pushed me" that's not an excuse for a man to hurt you. I've had so many bruises because of him. "You pushed me" is a saying I've come to hate. He is constantly jealous and always asking me where I'm at and what I'm doing something he pulls up the the house Just to check on me. He has distanced me from my family it's not even funny they Iive an hour away it's always some excuse why I can't see them. He gets mad if I don't post pictures on social media of how happy we are. He has called me names that have destroyed myself fat, ugly, bitch, stupid, mother fucker, cunt. Everyday I for sure get called a whore. He expects sooooo much from he the household work to be perfect and gets sooooo mad if there is even a wrinkle on his shirt or his clothes aren't taken to the cleaners.the smallest things make him so angry like if my car is dirty yet he broke my car windshield because he was mad and that's okay. So flash forward to December last week we got into an argument because he called me a mother fucker for no reason so flash forward and last week we got into a argument and for the first time in my life I thought he was going to kill me i got up and grabbed my dogs and proceeded to walk out the door he pulled me back in and chocked me so hard and was slapping me he was on top of me and I was fighting back so hard. I finally got outside and called the cops they came and saw the scratches on his neck from me fighting back and took me, YES me to jail because I didn't have any marks and he did. This is the lowest of my life I've ever felt I'm going to school to be a teacher and I don't know how I'm supposed to get a job with a family violence on my record. At jail I saw a judge and he looked at my fiancé back ground and saw a history of family violence so he let me go and found no probable cause to arrest me and I wasn't convinced thank you god!! But I'm so ashamed I've been to jail and I feel like I'm a criminal and it's only been a week since ive been out. And of course I took him back after he apologized I told him the first time he hits me again where over he said okay it's been a week and last night he slapped me and punched me so hard my neck is killing me. The only good thing about him is that he has a damn good job and makes lots of money. He was able to hire a damn good lawyer that he just got 1 year probation again for all his arrest that was it!!! And he always lets me keep his money but other than that, that man is the worst thing on earth I'm so emotionally drained and depressed, and I'm sso scared to leave because look what happened that time I feel like I can't even count on the cops to help me. I'm still so shocked on how I have given up so much in life for this man my family, school (I took off this semester) and my friends. I'm so alone. I'm hurt and I can move back in with my mom because she wants me back sooo bad. He put everything in my name and our lease is up and it would be the perfect time to move but I'm stuc in dept because of the holes in the wall the cabinets he's broken. I don't know why I allow myself to stay for some reason I believe he's going to change and I love that he has money but money isn't everything. I'm a beautiful 19 year old and I have goals for myself but I've been so mentally brought down Hes made me feel Iike nobody will love me. I hate to see what people think about me cause I have to move in with my mom. But I'm so drained and as I'm reading yalls post. I constantly see that other people can't leave either. Why? Why is it so hard to leave?? Why why why

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 8 2018 at 6:09 pm
Honey this man will kill you. The next stage of choking a woman is killing her. Please go to your momma and the debt will work itself out. Debt is better than death. Scratching to save yourself is not a crime if its self defence and you did nothing wrong so no shame -- the shame is all his. Wete you born to be beat by a guy that another woman was already strong enough to say I deserve better?
December, 19 2017 at 9:45 pm
Im n a abusive relationship, i have children i get verbally abused on a daily bases , he calls me broke bcuz he pays the bills, he hits me when i say things he dosent like, he hit me while i was holding my 9 month old son , im currently pregnant he still hits me n punches me , he dosent realize hes abusive , he cheats on he dosent help me with our son, i got a restraining once only to drop it bcuz he said i was wrong for calling the cops after he had a girl in my home cheating on me, i dont believe hes a bad person, now hes trying to take custody of my son when he dosent even spend time with him he pays for everything, im scared he going to hurt my son or me , the abuse is getting worse , im so depressed y is he doing this to us

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 20 2017 at 9:42 pm
I’m so sorry. You need to plan a way out. If you love your children you will. You do not want to see how selfish this man will get. He will hurt them just to hurt you. Men are capable of sick things.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Sarah Neel
December, 28 2017 at 9:20 pm
He's a bad person. Believe it
December, 19 2017 at 3:31 am
I've been dating my boyfriend for about five months. During these months he has broken up with me countless times, at least once every two weeks, and comes back apologizing saying that he was stressed out and didn't mean anything he says. He constantly picks out my flaws like holding onto my stomach fat or telling me I'm mentally slow. He always accuses me of cheating or talking to other guys when I let him check my phone whenever he wants, but I can't ever look at his phone without him getting upset. He currently won't speak to me because I went home with my own family instead of staying with his family for Christmas. I have lost all of my friends because of this relationship and I feel like I'm going to lose my family too. The problem is even though we have all of these issues I am still madly in love with him. I've tried breaking up with him previously and I went right back a day later. I just don't understand how I can love someone that constantly can tell me that he doesn't love me and can say all these mean things to me... I don't know what to do anymore

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 19 2017 at 5:48 pm
Dear Mackenzie,
The very fact that you have written this on December 19th…less than a week before Christmas, tells me much. I know this is going to be long but I ask that you read it anyway. Take what you want and leave the rest.
I can’t possibly share in this response all that I have been through in the last five years with my ‘boyfriend’ but I can tell you...implore you…leave the relationship now while you still can. The pain you feel in doing so will fade…I promise you. I don’t want you writing in response to someone else in five years like I am to you right now…because you stayed.
Mackenzie, I too saw ‘red flags’ early in my relationship. Because I hadn’t dated in a long time, I questioned whether it was him being a jerk or if it was me over-reacting. I too experienced very painful emotional abuse but second-guessed myself every single time after the anger and pain subsided.
At that time, what I experienced weren’t blatant forms of abuse such as name-calling, ridicule or attempts to isolate. I didn’t experience physical, sexual or financial abuse…nothing that I recognized as ‘signs’. The things he did or said all seemed like ‘singular incidents’ that left me feeling shocked, hurt and saying ‘What the hell?’ There was nothing blatant…in the beginning. If there had been blatant signs of abuse, the relationship wouldn’t have gotten off the ground. I wouldn’t have stayed long enough to fall in love with him. But it wasn’t blatant. Back then, I just found myself saying ‘What the hell?” an awful lot.
Things got worse and after five months of being hurt over and over again, I broke things off with him. At that time, five months together had felt like a long, long time…now I recognize that I could have left after five months without a lot of damage to my life. It just didn’t feel that way back then.
The first few weeks of the break-up were brutally painful. I had believed the relationship was going to be permanent. I loved him deeply and felt like I couldn’t breathe. I could hardly concentrate at work and cried myself to sleep every night. I believed that this man was everything I had wanted in a relationship and couldn’t understand how he could tell me he loved me with such sincerity yet say and do the things he did. The desire to want it all to go away, to have him just hold me in his arms and say, “I’m sorry…everything will be okay,” was so strong. But despite the pain, I stood my ground.
Unfortunately for me, he came to the dance classes I helped teach twice a week. It was very painful to see him there…like salt on an open wound. Could I have avoided going to those classes? Yes. But I was stubborn and felt the unfairness of losing something that I considered to be mine for several years (he had been a newcomer). It was my undoing. Within thirty days after the break-up, we talked after one of those classes and got back together. I can honestly say today that if I had not seen him again after the break-up, I would have been okay in time; the break would have been permanent. Had I done this, I would not be living the life I live now.
Instead, I placed myself in a position of seeing him at those classes. I thought I could handle it and obviously, I expected too much of myself when I was in such a vulnerable state. Now I live with the consequences of that decision…of having him in my life…living in my home. We are now legally considered common-law which could negatively, financially impact the remainder of my life. The explanation of this is too long for this forum.
Before I met this man, I was happy. I remember that. I was truly happy. I wasn’t even looking for a relationship. We just happened to meet each other the old fashioned ‘boy meets girl’ way. Who knew that in that moment, life as I knew it was about to be over.
Five years ago, I was well loved and well respected by my family, friends, workplace and community. I was a hero in my grown daughter’s eyes. I was healthy, fit and active. I had a career that I loved, I was making good money and for the first time in my adult life and I had a healthy savings account. I was able to travel to beach resorts with friends each winter and spend time doing bucket list things each summer. I went out for dinners with family and friends and bought my clothes from shopping malls. I went to salons to have my hair and nails done. I wasn’t ‘wealthy’ but I had reached a place in life where things had finally become financially comfortable.
Then I met him…and lost my career.
I had worked hard for so many years to climb the ladder and at that point I was a Director in a large company doing a job that I found very fulfilling. But the constant overwhelming shock, hurt and subsequent anger over his lies, cheating and abuse towards me, I found myself constantly trying unsuccessfully to concentrate, constantly struggling to keep up with my workload on massive amounts of relationship stress and little to no sleep. After a year and a half of round after round of abuse, I lost the career I had worked for so many years to grow. I will never forget sitting in my office hearing my boss tell me that I was being let go for ‘performance issues’. I was devastated. I was embarrassed. I was horrified. Yet despite knowing that this loss was directly due to my partner’s abuse, I didn’t end the relationship.
After that, my savings quickly dwindled. I wish I could say that the loss of all my money was solely because I was trying to stay afloat while trying to find work but a lot of that money was lost due to me constantly trying to appease my partner in one way or another. Again, much too long of an explanation for this forum.
So now I am completely stuck. No job, no money…I am now financially dependent on him. I NEED the amount he gives me each month as his ‘contribution’ to the household. It doesn’t pay the bills but it goes a long way to staying almost afloat. My attempts to find work keep getting sabotaged. I secured a contract position a year ago and he started cheating on me as soon as |I was away from the house. I was once again focused on him, on the shock, hurt and anger. I struggled to maintain an image of professionalism while under a tremendous amount of stress and not enough sleep. The contract ended early due to ‘performance issues’. I don’t even know what the ‘performance issues’ were…I thought I had been doing well despite what was going on in my personal life. Obviously, I can no longer see the impact his abuse has on me but clearly, others can. The humiliation is unbearable.
Attempts to concentrate on job searches during round after round of different forms of abuse becomes almost futile and it keeps me stuck. It’s one thing to say, ‘just ignore him’ and quite another to successfully do this.
It is a week before Christmas. I am so broke that I have had to borrow money from a family member to pay utilities so that they wouldn’t be disconnected. I can’t tell you how mortifying it was to make THAT phone call. I have had to utilize every penny of my overdraft to buy small Christmas gifts for the kids and grandkids. I have less than eight dollars accessible in my bank account, my credit cards are full from using them to stay afloat after my savings were depleted and I have no idea what I am going to do. I feel like my life is a giant game of Snakes and Ladders and I have somehow ridden the giant snake back to square one. How is it possible to go from having a great career and well over a hundred thousand dollars in savings to having no job and only eight dollars left in the bank…in five horrific years? And all of it because of a man? How the hell did this happen?
I look back at that first year with him and I honestly wonder, “Why didn’t I leave the relationship back then?’ If I had, I would still have my career, my money, my friends and the respect I used to have in my world.
Mackenzie…the bottom line is that over the last five years I have experienced emotional abuse, sexual abuse and financial abuse that has been traumatic and has been so horrific that today, I experience symptoms of C-PTSD and have an ulcer. The ulcer is a result of five years of constant traumatic events, weight-gain as a result and swallowing too many Tums each night to battle the heartburn. Eating feels like I am swallowing glass; this is the long-term effect of this stress I have been under. I am trying to get this ulcer cleared up before it turns cancerous and I end up losing my life because of this man.
I have lost all of my friends and my family has become distant. I know my reputation and good judgement is in ruins. I can’t seem to gain decent employment and I have lost everything I worked so hard for through so many years. Somewhere along the way, I went from staying in the relationship because I couldn’t bear to lose him to HAVING to stay in the relationship because I am completely broke and without work.
And as for that dance class that I so stubbornly continued to attend after breaking up with him five years ago? I ended up losing that too. At some point I stopped going because he had stopped going and I learned that he was using the time I was away teaching dance to go onto dating sites, porn sites or connect with other women in other ways. Going to dance became just another source of stress. All those years doing the dances I enjoyed and all those friends are also now gone.
I have fought hard to try to keep depression at bay and I keep praying that I can find work that pays well enough to pay the bills so that I can have a voice and kick him out of my house. Love? He stomped that to death a long time ago. And yes, periodically even today I get suckered in. He acts nicely towards me and I find myself thinking that maybe everything will be okay…but it never lasts long before another round of abuse occurs and I realize I’m just being used.
Mackenzie, I don’t know how your relationship with your boyfriend will turn out. All I can tell you is that if he has done all of this to you in the first five months, what will YOU experience in the next five years? Please don’t wait to find out. Sometimes, there are simply no do-overs and the losses can be horrific. Be strong, find your courage and say, “No more.” Mean it and leave the relationship. You have one shot at living the life you choose on this planet…don’t waste it walking a path that you already know you’ll regret. Hugs.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 26 2017 at 7:16 pm
Mackenzie, I'm so sorry for everything you're current;y dealing with! That's so tough! Have you considered reaching out to someone close to you about this? Maybe a therapist could be helpful to you as well. I got through some of the most difficult times of my life with the help of a therapist. The man that you're describing does indeed sound very abusive. Just 5 months in, these are some pretty heavy behaviors to already be dealing with so soon. Evereything you've described meets all the criteria and are glaring red flags for an abusive relationship. I'm proud of you for choosing to spend Christmas with your family despite his disapproval, I'm sure that must have been very hard for you. It's important that you continue to call it like it is in regards to his behavior, it is abuse. I hope you're able to reach out to the people in your life that you love and trust most, they will be the ones to lean on now. It's so hard to distance yourself from someone you still have feelings for but things will likely just continue to get worse and worse, Mackenzie. Again, I'm so sorry for your troubles and very glad you reached out to us. Thanks, Emily
December, 7 2017 at 1:22 am
Why isn't my comment published?
December, 6 2017 at 6:33 pm
Hello, you can call me Rafaela (not my real name for privacy). I’m a mom of 3 kids and I’m from the Philippines. I’ve been with my husband, who is also my first and only boyfriend since High school and we got married after 6yrs when I fell pregnant with my first child. We were happy, we sure had ups and downs but there are times when the verbal abuse will roll out. He calls me names, and disregards the fact that I’m too tired to do a house hold chore for example yet he demands that I be the one to do it. If in the event that I’m able to tell him to do it instead, a series of insults and banging and loud noises can be heard. He also has the ability to shame me in front of my kids, even at the mall and other public places. It just makes me feel That I dont deserve to be respected and I lose my morale everytime it happens. Aside from verbal, emotional and physical abuse, there was something like smashing expensive gadgets like throwing the phone across the room, slammed my laptop so hard it broke to pieces etc and these are my things, things that I bought with my own money or a gift for me. And then, the physical abuse which at first it was just a single slap, then a punch and a kick or two, then whoah full out boxing. This really doesnt happen all the time, say once in every 2-3 months. In between we will be the picture perfect family before the abuse will happen again. It felt like everytime was my fault and that I deserved it. Then I had the courage to leave with my then 2 kids. We spent 3 weeks away from him and he begged me to take him back. I decided to give him another chance, i prayed so hard and i felt it was the right thing to do. Then i discoveredthat I was actually 6 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child! So theyall yold me that its just hormones and all that’s why i left him. He promised to look for a stable job to support us, promised never to shout and cuss and all at me and all that shit. As time goes by, the shouting came back, the cussing came back but thank goodness the physical abuse never came back. I learned to be careful with my words and how i act and I also submitted myself more to him as a wife doing everything from being a house wife to the sole breadwinner and slave of the house. He also works sometimes as a part time freelancer but most of the time its me who puts money in the table. I wouldnt have minded if that was the case but they way he insults me and talks to me just feels so degrading. Fast forward 3yrs after we got back together, i met up with some friends and there was a misunderstanding on when we should meet. He is to meet me at the mall with our 3 kids after my meet up with my friends. Unfortunately my meetup got extended and I almost lost track of time and i just remembered when i got an angry text. So i hurried off to see them and left my friends, and what does he do? He shouted at me in front of other people and made a small scene at the mall. It was horrible. Then I decided to turn back and not go with them since he already walked the otherway holding my kids hands. I decided to spend time walking alone thinking of what to do. When i cleared my head, i went home and i realized i could not bear to talk to him. So we went 24hours no talking. After that, he made the first arrogant move. Things got escalated so fast that he attempted to slap me, and me being frustrated already, stood up (first time i provoked him fyi), and I said “go ahead! I’m all you can beat anyway” then in a snap he puched and kicked and threw me across the room, threw things at me, punch kick pulled my hair and strangled me a lot of times. All the while cursing and telling me that I was the one who provoked him so I so deserve to be beaten. He even taunts me to go ahead call the police file a case and to facetime my mother who is in the USA so he can show her how he beats her only daughter. The whole time I was being hurt physically, all i felt was numbness and fear and also I felt sorry for him. So instead of fighting back i attempted to hug him to pacify his anger. This worked previously but not this night of december 5, 2017. Instead of stopping, he grabbed my arms and strangled me. I was the one who begged him to stop but everytime i do, it just makes him more eager to hurt me. Then a miracle happened, he stopped, prolly tired and I’m aching all over. Then he apologized. I decided to test him, one last time and i pretended to forgive him and admit it was my fault and i accepted that I deserved to be beaten etc. The next day, i could barely move, i have bruises all over but thankfully they are concealed in clothing. Even though he is well aware of what he did to me and how I must be feeling physically, he is more concerned that his foot is aching from all the kicking he did, and his wrists seem dislocated and his shoulders are aching as well! I decided to ignore it. He seemed empathetic specially when he saw the biggest angry bruise on my shoulder and he kissed it and whispered “I’m so sorry, please do not do that again as i cannot control my anger”. Today, i’m still aching all over, walking is a struggle, my neck feels broken and swollen but I still manage to do my normal house routine but at a slower pace. There was just one thing that I asked him to do for me since I’m unable to stretch my arms fully because my rib and back are really painful, he shouted “so what?! My arms ache too you know?” He also said “you asked for it and now you’re complaining?” How can he do this to me? How can he treat me like this? He is normally very sweet but if i do something stupid or make a mistake or if we run out of food or money, you can expect a drastic change of behavior from him. Despite all, i dont think he is a bad person. I think he just dislikes to be in a bad situation, example, car battery ran out. Instead of looking for a solution, he tells me “i dont care about the car, let it rot”. Please help me. Should I leave? What should I do. I have 2 daughters aged 11 and 7 and a son aged 2yrs old. The 2 daughters are still at school. I feel like I should leave ASAP but I just dont know if its right or should I be planning first? No one from his family nor mine knows that the abuse happened again btw. Thanks for your time in reading my really long comment!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 7 2017 at 7:53 am
Yes....plan then leave, i am currently going through a similar abuse. We need to do whats right for our kids. Hes never going to change believe me i know.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 7 2017 at 3:59 pm
Thank you. I think I don’t feel any love for him anymore. All I feel is anger and pity for him. He doesnt care if I cant move too much because of my injuries, even had the guts to say “you asked for it right? You provoked me to do what I did to you now shut up!”. Every time I wince in pain he will just say he feels the same way and even pointed out my scratch marks on his neck. The nerve. Thank you again. You dont know how your response affected me. I have been praying to God to give me just 1 sign, and here you are. I hope you find your peace as well and please take care of yourself and your children. I would hug you if I could but cant so I’m just sending prayers along your way that we both be successful. God bless you

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 11 2017 at 8:01 am
Yes stay strong, God is w/ us. Reading your response helps me as well. Find the courage and hope u find the peace to moce on.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 15 2017 at 11:08 am
Thanks for sharing yoiur story its extremely nrave of you to do so, after reading you i know I do not want to be in my current relationship am single and my boyfriend who lives in another country verbally abuses of me because I will not initiate anything sexually with him, he even went as far to tell me to comit suicide because my life us soo booring. I cried and saud to myself he is just upset but i think I should end this now before we end up in a horrible situatuon this is not the first time hi verbally insults me and he claims its my fault because i wont sent him poctures of my body (nudes) he has told me to fuck off and that am extremely boring person. I have cried and asked him to stay, then he turns around and acts all guilty, but I just cant leave him. Am so confused I know it wrong, but i keep changing my mind on staying or leaving one good thing us were not married or have any children so that's a huge plus for me, but at tines I still cant seem to stop talkimg to him. Reading your experience lets me see were I can end up and I definitely dont want that for me
So thank you for sharing it helps alot. Good luck to you and your children.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 7 2017 at 1:35 pm
I read your story and I cried. 4 weeks now since I made the call to the police, and he is out of the house by court order. I am in the process of divorce. Today I feel ok. Other days I question my sanity. But I get through each and every day. And am always thankful at the end of the day to make it through stronger and wiser and with more clarity. It’s hard. And I wanted someone to tell me to get up and leave and to deal with it. But no one will, and when you do leave you will find you will be on your own, other than the juicy gossip it’s too much for anyone to deal with. But that’s ok. I actually stopped speaking to everyone about my situation for the 18 months before hand. But I started planning. Researching. Learning. And that in its self gave me purpose. Strength. Taught me I could rely on myself. So what I am saying is that don’t beat yourself up for staying or going back. They don’t change. And they just get worse. But start planning, that might give you some piece and purpose for now, and the support you need when you make that choice. Trust yourself. As I look back and for me, I am glad I stopped speaking to others about whether I should stay or go. I found that each time I did, I somehow found another reason to stay. I wanted out. That much I knew. Today is a good day. Thank you for sharing your story and as I read your comments where he has said you deserve it, I know I made the right choice for me. One of the last things he did say to me was I deserved it. For me and in terms of moving forward I have not spoken to him since and all communication regarding the children go through a third party. No contact for me is what I need, otherwise I would fall for the same charm again.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 15 2017 at 2:41 pm
Thank you and am sorry you had to go through that. Writing my story here helped a lot because I realized I’m not alone, that there are others who have similar situation as mine. I’m undergoing counseling right now which would help me make the decision. Thanks again! God bless you too!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 16 2017 at 7:44 pm
Please leave. Pack a secret bag of essentials that is well-hidden. Do not tell him you are leaving. Do not tell anyone who knows him you are leaving. Then, when he is not at home or pretend you are going to visit someone just go and don't look back. If you have photographs of the physical marks it will help you in your custody case. This is not a game. Your life is at stake and so are the lives of your children.
December, 6 2017 at 5:09 pm
Its been 3years and yesterday I thought it would be the day I die. I begged for my life as I gasped for what I thought would be my last breath. Just when I thought he'd let up strangling me, he put a pillow over my face. How did I stay so long this isnt the first time. He has spent hours brutalizing me over a text or me not wanting sex, or if I caught him lying or cheating. He has no car, no job, 3kids, and is epileptic gaww I feel like such a fool. I'm educated, with a career, house job, beautiful kids of my own. After this latest beating, I've had enough and I will never forget the look he had in his eyes, he won't be happy unless he kills me or ruins me somehow.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 6 2017 at 5:13 pm
I wanted to add that thankfully we live apart should be an easy fix, but I keep letting him letting him in. Its over now, but now the complete loneliness sets in (my support system is shattered now) . I have no one now.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 6 2017 at 5:15 pm
Why does it seem like there are so many abusers out there? Do nice guys exist anymore?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 26 2017 at 12:37 pm
Liz, This is terrifying. Thank you for reaching out, I'm glad you found us at HealthyPlace. You need to leave. This is an extremely abusive environment for yourself and your children. You are not safe and need to make an appropriate plan to safely leave. I know this is easier said than done but from what you've detailed here, your life is on the line, your children's well-being is in jeopardy, and this man should be behind bars. He will likely do irreparable damage to you before he will change and your life will be exponentially better. Your children will have better lives. You deserve to be loved and valued. I'm so sorry for everything you have dealt with. -Emily
December, 5 2017 at 9:56 am
My name is Alexis and I am 18 years old I’ve been in a relationship w my boyfriend for almost a year and he’s beaten me idk how many times , emotionally & mentally abused me as well and cheats on top of that . I am Tired He doesn’t allow me to have friends barely family or even any contact w the outside world . He currently has a case where he will have to go to court because of beating me so badly . Every time I give Him a chance he takes advantage of it & I’m just sick he tells me I’m ugly, broke, fat etc and doesn’t appreciate me at all . He says there’s other girls who look better that he should be with than me . I’ve prayed for a change but It doesn’t seem like I’ll get one ?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 5 2017 at 7:01 pm
I’m in a abuse relationship just like this one girl I’m still here and trying to leave I️ left once for 8 months and it was the greatest thing but i don’t live near any family and lost my Apartment so I️ moved back in with him. I️ have 2 dogs and evictions on my record from him so I️


l moved back with him worst thing i could have done please be strong and get out as soon as you can’t never look back because we all deserve so much better and a real man in our lives that we can see having children with.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 19 2017 at 9:29 pm
Lovebug, Hi, Thanks for your comment. How are you doing? I'm so sorry you lost your apartment and are back in that terrible situation. How far away is your family? Are you able to reach out to them? I hope you are able to get away from him again, like you said, you deserve so much better. Thanks, Emily

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 15 2017 at 1:36 am
Run, do not turn back. Cut all contact with him. Go stay with a relative. Tell your parents..!!! Run you are still young your Mr right is out there .

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 19 2017 at 9:26 pm
Alexis, Hi, thanks so much for reaching out, I'm so glad you found us here at HealthyPlace. Your comment broke my heart, no one deserves to be treated so poorly, you deserve to be loved and valued. I'm so sorry for your current struggles. You're so young Alexis, you have your whole life ahead of you and you do not have to continue living this way. I understand how badly you must want to just be happy and content but I must warn you someone who is as abusive as your boyfriend is will likely not change anytime soon and not ever without extreme therapy- there is nothing you can or cannot do to make him change, his abusive nature is distinct from your actions. The best thing you can do is try to save yourself and put distance between you and him. Please continue to reach out Alexis, we're here anytime. Thanks, Emily
December, 4 2017 at 12:41 am
I am with a mostly verbal, Sometimes physical abuser and I want out. 4 years of HOGWASH. The most important bit of info I'm taking away from this article is to not share your heart with the abuser. I've shared and shared and shared...and it always gets used as ammo against hurt me to make me feel bad. Reading this has been so helpful to me on how to 'escape'. Thank you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 19 2017 at 8:58 pm
Hippichic, Thank you for reaching out to us here at HealthyPlace. I'm so sorry for what you've been dealing with. I imagine it must feel terrible to allow yourself to be vulnerable and share yourself with someone and then it's later used against you. This is definitely unacceptable behavior. I'm so glad the article was helpful for you. Please continue reaching out and checking out the site. Thanks so much! -Emily Also, if you'd like, check out this article on <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Verbal Abuse Coping Strategies</a>
December, 2 2017 at 6:10 pm
I can't leave as bad as I want to
My son still in school
I have no money because he takes it all from me
He degrades me disrespects me
Emotionally mentally and physically abuses me
I'm not allowed to see my family
Have friends. Have a job or tlk to anyone or he beats me
I feel like a slave a prisoner a punching bag
I hate him with all my heart an soul but he threatens to blow my head off in front of my kids if I leave
Somebody please tell me what to do
If I stay or leave i fear he will kill me

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 3 2017 at 3:51 pm
Misty my goodness what your going thru is absolutely scary for you and your son
You need to leave and seek help from local authorities
Im sure you fear doing that but if you can get number for a womans shelter but you cannot stay in that your to wonderful of a woman
I know your scared but please start finding resources to GET OUT!!!!
Remember your worthy of so much more

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 4 2017 at 1:00 am
im so sorry to hear that. u need to seek help. do u have any relatives you can contact? ask them for help. they may be able to help you so you can feel strengthen to leave him.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 4 2017 at 7:11 pm
Misty , if you can find a way to do this
Get an app that can allows you to Audio or video record some incidents whether physical abuse or verbal to use as evidence when you get into contact with authorities which is the best approach I recommend
And after you do record it
Download an app that you can put the videos in , like a secret app with a password lock , the one I have is called calculator vault where the icon of the app is a calculator so it's not suspicious at all and work exactly like a calculator would
However , this is on my iPhone
So hopefully you have one
If not , search in the App Store either way
I hope for you to be free of this soon enough
November, 30 2017 at 12:44 am
I just got smacked in the face twice after 5 years of emotional abuse I have no friends or family to turn to zero dollars to my name and I have to go to work tomorrow. I threatened him with the police, he doesn't care. I'm dead in a shell of flesh that resembles me.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 3 2017 at 9:15 am
Hi Kylie,

I'm so sorry this is happening to you. What your partner has done to you is against the law, so do document his violence and file a police report -- it doesn't matter whether or not he cares. I know how impossible it feels when someone is trampling all over your self-esteem and sense of worth, but you have to care about yourself . Please confide in a trusted friend or family member, and contact a domestic abuse hotline like 800-799-7233. You don't have to do this alone. Good luck, and please come back to this site for support any time you need.
November, 29 2017 at 6:47 pm
My boyfriend and I have been together for almost six months, and I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing by reaching out. But every day is a non-stop jealousy fight. I can not even leave my house to go with my family with out his permission, and if I do get granted the permission he still gets mad at me. He accuses me every day of cheating or lying. He has all my passwords, all of my information yet still doesn't trust me. Be complains I never spend enough time with him, but I'm with him nearly every day. I'm physically, and mentally drained. I hate going to his house sometimes because he never allows me to be on my phone. If my mom or even a close family friend was to message me we will fight over it. I've never been in a situation where I've been treated like this. It's more like he treats me like an object. If I smile, I'm being "too friendly" when we go out or see people, or if I'm just sitting there I'm "acting different," or being a bit**." I just don't know what to do anymore. I've invested so much time and effort that it literally frightens me to leave, because I've had to cut everyone off. Even friends, and hobbies.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 3 2017 at 9:31 am
Hi Katelynn,

Well done for reaching out. You may not feel as though you're doing the right thing, but what your boyfriend is doing is far from OK. In fact, I would go as far as to say that he is abusive, and that you should seek help. Over time, his controlling behavior will only get worse and it could even turn violent, so please don't keep this to yourself.

It sounds like you need a break from the relationship to figure out whether or not you want to be treated this way, so is there a friend or family member you could stay with for a while? You must tell your boyfriend in no uncertain terms that unless his behavior changes, you can't stay with him -- and mean it. You might feel like you've invested a lot in this relationship, but it's nothing compared to what you stand to lose, and what you've possibly lost already. Nobody reserves the right to call you derogatory names or tell you who you can and can't talk to.

Good luck, and please reach out to your loved ones, even if you've cut them off in the past. If they love you, they will understand. You can't do this alone, and you don't have to.
November, 27 2017 at 3:13 am
Ive been with my current boyfriend for about four months and he shows signs of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. He constantly starts fights with me and calls me names which causes me to worry and say sorry because I feel that it is my fault. He isolates me from my friends and family and constantly wants me to hang out with him, I am exhausted. Part of me really does want to leave but then the other part of me is afraid of being alone especially since im clingy and got used to him. Every time I say it's time for me to leave he gets upset and yells and name calls me. Ive told him how I felt and that I want to break up with him and he threatens to kill himself which is guilt tripping me. Yesterday I went over to his house with my two friends to try to end things because I was afraid he was going to hurt me he threatened to hit me and my guy friend had to hold him back. He has split personalities and is bi polar and claims he cant remember what he did. He also used me a lot for sexual favors even tho I cry and say im not in the mood right now. I honestly just feel trapped and I want to leave but im afraid he is going to hurt me or my family I need advice.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 27 2017 at 7:36 am
Sierra, Thanks for reaching out to us at HealthyPlace! I'm so glad you did because you are most certainly in an abusive relationship. The way he is behaving, the way he is treating you, is absolutely unacceptable. If you have been with your boyfriend for four months and things are already as bad as you've described, you need to get out of that situation as fast as possible. He sounds dangerous Sierra, and statistically speaking, things will continue to get worse and worse. He clearly has some very serious issues and needs to get help for those issues on his own. If you think you're ready to leave but you're scared, I recommend you reach out to those close to you and communicate everything that's going on. Have you told your family? Have you considered reporting his behavior for your safety? From what I gathered, you're not living together, and that's a very good thing, leaving will still be complicated but you won't have to worry about that aspect. Have you thought about maybe sending him a text or email so you're not on the phone or in person, that way you can say what you need to say uninterrupted and end the conversation there? Maybe your best option would be to send a text explaining why you need to break up, that you need to put your safety and self-respect and self-care first and foremost and that you don't want to continue the relationship. After you send the text, if you're open to this, consider blocking his number. I think in a situation where a guy is sending you threats, trying to manipulate you with guilt and blame tactics, and making you feel unsafe, the best route is no-contact. I hope this was helpful Sierra. If you have any more questions please feel free to reach out anytime. I've attached an article below I think pertains to your situation. Thanks again, Emily

<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Reasons to Leave an Abusive Relationship</a>
November, 26 2017 at 3:07 pm
Hi . I have been with this guy for almost three years now we'll at the moment I left him cus I got tired of him once again I've left many time before . Now I wanted to search about emotional abuse cus I always figured I was being emotionally abused but then again he would tell me things and every single time id wonder what if I could have done something different ?. I always tried my best . But somehow things would not work out . It's really hard for me to explain it but . He would always get mad at me at db things like leaving my shoes in his car when he's car would always be messy and he'd tell me I needed to help him clean it when it really wasn't my mess , but anyways I'd leave something and he'd throw it away and say well don't be leaving your shit like that be cleaner ... When I'd help him clean his car all the time Everytime id say something I feel like hed wanna say something superior to what I said idk if that makes sense . He doesn't work he lives with his mom everything he has his mom got him I'm not trying to talk bad about him but I'd be tired after a long day at work and I'd say "I'm tired " he'd say "me to " I'd tell him of what .? He'd always tell me I work more then you your jobs easy ect. Always putting me down . I felt so low many times . Wed always argue and it'd lead to the point where I was crying so bad I couldn't breathe right , he'd just watch me ... And say more things I'd say how could you just " I don't understand how you could just watch me cry ? He'd just turn it around on me . He addicted to Krystal meth . At first I didn't want to I'd say no and hed keep insisting for me to try it one day I did. I got to the point where I'd do it with him daily I'm not addicted because I'm fine without it I wanted to stop I'd say i don't want to anymore he'd first say that's good baby . But then comee blow it in my face I guess he'd think it would make me want it .? I was ready to leave him for sure the time before this well i thought but then I found out we where diagnosed with herpes ... Of course I wanted to die . He cried and said he'd love me and if Id be there for him and he would to so I went back thinking I need to stay with him I don't want to infect anyone with this ... We found out because he had a horrible outbreak we went to the hospital thinking it was a rash I was there when the doctor said you have genital herpes I cried of course as he did but I did not for one second doubt him I hugged him o was there untill he got better got him ointment everything he needed I tired to leave and he started telling me he was gonna expose me that I was a whore and I gave him herpes not only was I already depressed cus I had it but my heart just sunk hearing that from him when I would never want that for him I'd never threaten him like that . He's done it before threaten me to come do stuff toy house cus I wanna leave even after he called me a whore slut I stayed ... Cus I felt discussed in myself . Recently I had been crying everyday I lived with him . Today I got tired to tired .... Of crying ... Being sad I left again I'm not scared of his threats anymore but I guess I just need advice because I'm afraid I'll end up going back ....

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 26 2017 at 9:06 pm
Flower, I'm so sorry for everything that's happened, that is just terrible. I'm so glad you decided to look up emotional abuse and found HealthyPlace. Searching for information and getting a better idea of what's happening in your life is such an important step to take. From what you've described here, it does sound very much like emotional abuse, you are correct. The name calling, threats, shaming, and degrading -- are all unacceptable behaviors and you deserve to be treated better, you deserve to be valued and loved. Flower, you seem to have found yourself in a very toxic and dangerous situation. Not only are you being abused but being in a relationship with an addict opens your life up to chaos, especially if you've done it with him. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for young adults, even more so than car accidents. Also, once you've been arrested for drug possession, your life becomes much more difficult to manage. Methamphetamine addiction is such a scary thing to grapple with, for yourself, and just having that in your life because of someone else. If you feel like you're not at the point where you feel addicted, I would run from this guy and never look back. So often when dating addicts, people may feel guilt over leaving but leaving is sometimes the most loving thing you can do for yourself and for the other person. Enabling that kind of behavior is very dangerous for all parties. You have to look out for <em>yourself</em> in this situation and put <em>yourself</em> first. Now to address the STD factoring in on your decision to go back -- I can see how you would get there in your mind, now that you have this STD you feel like you're stuck with him in a sense because how will you go on to date new people with something like this. Ugh, I'm so sorry! Unfortunately, the herpes virus is very common in the US. More than one in six young adults and adults between the ages of 14-60 have the herpes virus. There are prescriptions you can take to help reduce the chance of you spreading it to your partner and you can use protection as well. While I understand how that may factor into your thought process when weighing the pros and cons of staying with this person, I think you may need to alter the way you are looking at it as a factor. Right now you're looking at it like okay, we both have it, we are stuck together because I don't want to date anyone else and have to go through telling them or risk spreading it, etc. But looking at it like, ok this guy gave you herpes and treats <em>you</em> horribly as a way to deflect from his own blame in the matter, he threatens to use it against you, to embarrass you and trap you -- this is not the kind of person you want to spend your life with. I'm going to include some links to a few other articles I think you should check out.
<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Gaslighting, Emotional Abuse and Manipulation</a>

<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Reasons to Leave A Verbally Abusive Relationship</a>

Thank you for reaching out Flower, I'm so glad you're trying to better your life and find ways to stay away from this person that is hurting you. You wil be so much better for distancing yourself from him. Take care and please feel free to reach out anytime! -Emily
Stephanie J
November, 22 2017 at 5:54 pm
I’ve been in an abusive relationship for over 6 yrs. I’ve been hit, choked, kicked in the head, strangled with a cord til I passed out, and that’s just the physical stuff. The emotional abuse is much worse. Often told I’m a fat cow, lazy, useless, smelly cunt, twat, liar, bitch, thief, with a gimme job, no motivation, etc...from some 1 who’s lived off me for over 6 yrs and only worked a few mos

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Stephanie J
November, 22 2017 at 5:58 pm
But I can’t leave which is crazy!! I stay for NO reason. I’ve loved him for many years &amp; I always forgive him. He’s not always like this—even though I know it’s pathetic. I desperately want the strength to leave! Help me!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 24 2017 at 7:51 am
Hi Stephanie,

Thank you for that comment, and for sharing those details with us. I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through. It sounds to me like you already know you have to leave him. By staying in the relationship, you're endangering your physical safety and allowing him to diminish your self-worth. I'm sure that you love him very much, but your love will never be able to keep his violence at bay -- because it's not about you, it's about him.

First, I'm going to urge you to call a domestic violence hotline (like 800-799-SAFE) because it sounds as though you're in real physical danger. I would strongly advise you to document any abuse that occurs (emotional and physical) in case you decide to go to the police for protection -- which again, I think you should. If both of those options feel like too much right now, at the very least you should try to confide in a trusted friend or family member about what's happening. It's going to be difficult for you to find the strength to get through this on your own, so allow others to help you.

It can be difficult to really grasp what's going on in your relationship when you're always caught up in it, so try to get some distance -- even if it's just an hour in a coffee shop thinking things over. Get away if you can. Then, rather than focusing on all the things he does, think about how his actions make you feel -- afraid, vulnerable, in emotional and physical pain -- and ask yourself if you want to feel like that for the rest of your life.

I don't think you're pathetic, but it sounds as though that's what your partner is making you feel. Abuse doesn't discriminate, and often it's the "strongest" women who become victims of violent behavior. I don't consider myself a doormat, but I too have been in an abusive relationship and I know how it feels. Please get help before the abuse gets worse. Good luck.
November, 21 2017 at 9:32 pm
I thought I finally had enough. In February ,I told my husband of 18 years that I wanted a divorce. He told me if I was the one who wanted to divorce , I had to leave the house. We have bee together for 27 years and it has been emotionally abusive since the beginning. We have 3 girls 12, 8 and 5 and I had no place to go. He begged and pleaded for me to stay and try counseling. I did go with him to counseling but aftet a while, when I knew counselingwasnt working, he wasn't going to change and I couldn't do it anymore, I started looking for a place to live for myself and the girls. Finally I found a place and about a month ago I signed the lease and have still not moved in!!
Our entire marriage I have felt he never loved me for me and has always been trying to change me. He had an affair 12 years ago that went on for 2 years all the while I was pregnant with our first child and after. I served him with divorce papers back then and he moved out for 6 months but I ended up taking him back. He is also a cross dresser and promised he could stop that, purged all his clothes only to rebuy an entire wardrobe and continue the dressing. He guilts me when I want to do things with friends and picks and chooses the family events he wants to attend.
He always has something to say about how I dress, what kind of job he wants me to have, that I don't show him enough affection or ever want to have sex with him(which I don't because of the abuse and the crossdressing). Nothing I ever do is enough!
I had breast cancer 3 years ago and feel like he wasn't really there for me then. He wanted to keep it to ourselves and not let people help us during that time. He didn't go to my first chemo treatment with me after he told me he would. I have decided to take out my implants after a double mastectomy and stay "Flat" to be told by him that I should wear my prosthetics because otherwise I look like a boy and that it is "shocking to people" to see me without breasts.
I could go on forever. I just don't know why I am still here. He is doing everything now that I have wanted for so long but I know it won't last. We are in the honeymoon phase and I know it.
I just want to know why am I still here? Why do I feel so much guilt in leaving? How do I get feet out of the cement I feel like they are in!! All I want is to be happy and stop walking on the eggshells I have been walking on for years.
Please help!!!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 25 2017 at 5:49 pm
Courtney, Holy Moly! First and foremost, I am so sorry for everything you have struggled through. Twenty-seven years with this man?! That is a long time to live this way. I am impressed you went and leased an apartment. You are making all the right moves, inching your way closer to the readiness you need to be able to leave. Your husband sounds monumentally self-centered and you will without a doubt be better off having left him. Your daughters will benefit from the stability that will likely provide as well. To address your questions -- Why are you still there? Well, there a multitude of reasons why people stay in abusive and toxic relationships and a major one of those reasons is guilt. You have a family with this man and you've spent much of your life with him, it's not going to be easy to leave. It will be hard but it will likely be the best thing you could ever do for yourself, and your children. You are so close though! You have an apartment leased, you've run through the motions in your head . . . People cannot leave until they are ready, they just can't. I'm cheering for you Courtney, I believe you deserve a happy, stable life in which you feel valued, supported, and loved by those you allow to be in your life. Please reach out anytime, Thanks, Emily

Please check out my most recent article as I feel it directly pertains to your current predicament -- <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Reasons to Leave an Abusive Relationship</a>

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