People who are in abusive relationships usually stay for years, even decades. You want to end the relationship. But you’re scared of what your abusive partner will do once you walk out the door. Whether the abuse is physical, emotional, or both, it can feel impossible to break free from such a toxic situation. This article offers some helpful tips on how to leave an abusive relationship safely and with dignity.
Learn about abusive patterns and behaviors
Abuse is a pattern of behaviors used to control someone and get them to do something they don’t want to do. Abusers don’t just hold their victims through violence; they also control them through fear and intimidation. The kinds of abuse that are not physical may be more difficult to recognize, but they are just as harmful to victims as physical abuse. They include:
- Verbal abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
- Spiritual abuse
- Psychological abuse
Abuse is not limited to just romantic relationships, either. Abuse is defined by the absence of choice. The victim of abuse has little to no control over what is happening. Abuse can be hard to identify because it often happens behind closed doors and without any witnesses. It is not always easy to identify when you or someone you love is being abused. The abusive partner is often very good at manipulating the situation so that you believe it is your fault.
Establish that you’re not at fault
When you’re being abused, it’s easy to feel that you’re somehow bringing it on yourself. It’s also easy to feel that you’re not a victim, especially because you don’t fit the stereotypical image of one. Oftentimes, people are abused by someone they love and trust, so if you’re in a relationship like this, it’s even easier to blame yourself for the abuse. If you’re being abused and you’re wondering whether or not you’re at fault, you’re not. You’re not at fault because you are not the one who is choosing to mistreat you. You’re not at fault because you didn’t put yourself in a situation where you are being mistreated. You’re not at fault because you didn’t cause the abuse.
Create a discreet plan to leave
Abusive relationships don’t always begin this way. The initial time of falling in love is like a drug that creates a high that makes you feel invincible. Unfortunately, this drug doesn’t last forever. The abuser’s true colors will begin to come out. They will show themselves as controlling, manipulative, jealous, and possessive. It would help if you created a plan to leave before things get to this point. If an event calls for it that the abuse gets out of hand, it’s best to call upon authorities and a personal injury lawyer to help you get the best compensation for the loss.
If you need to leave your relationship, you need to create a plan that will allow you to do it in a discreet way. Don’t leave your things on the bed or in an obvious place. Plan to stay with a friend a few nights a week and keep your valuables with you. If you have children, make sure they go to school and daycare every day, so your partner doesn’t become suspicious. If you work, plan to leave a tad bit early or come in a tad bit late.
No matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, no matter what you say, the abuse will continue until the abuser decides to stop. Some abusers will only stop if you leave immediately, some will only stop if you leave for good, and some will never stop.
Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to tell your friends and family that you need their help and support. In fact, it’s very important that you do tell others that you need their help and support. It’s easy to keep things to yourself and hide what’s going on, but you can’t get through this alone. It’s also a great idea to have a powerful attorney from the family law area on your side as you leave.
Reach out to others in your life and let them know what’s going on. They can be a great source of support and comfort for you, and you can also be a source of support for them.
Prepare yourself emotionally
You’ve decided you’ve had enough of the relationship and have decided to take action. Now you have to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for what’s coming. Depending on the situation, the person you’re ending the relationship with will probably try to make you feel guilty and convince you to stay. They may be angry and scream at you, beg you to stay, or even threaten you. They may try to make you feel bad about leaving them or tell you that you’re no good without them.
Depending on the situation, the best way to end a relationship may vary from person to person. It is also important to be aware that ending a relationship may not be the end of abuse. If your partner is abusive, they may threaten or try to continue the abuse even after you have ended the relationship. If possible, tell a family member or friend and your lawyer about the abuse before ending the relationship. This can help you get emotional support if the abusive partner tries to get in touch with you after the relationship has ended.