ARCHIVE - Leaving an abusive relationship
I am thinking about leaving my husband, but I am finding it so difficult to make the final move. I just can't seem to leave him.
Created by redchicken on 26-Oct-11 16:45 GMT
where to stay with him is more painful than to leave. I rang the helpline and the lady was so wonderful it gave me the strength to do what I had to do. Please call the helpline and just talk to them. They really are wonderful.
Posted by Betty on 26-Oct-11 16:48 GMT
when it gets to the point of absolute emotional exhaustion,
when it gets to the point that no matter what you say or do makes sense anymore
when it gets to the point that there is no point
when it gets to the point that nothing else in the whole world will be worse than existing the existance that you are living right now, on a daily, hourly basis
when the silence is deafening
when the dread of going to sleep or even worse...waking up...
to the same relentless, vaccuous, meaningless, void
then its time to use, ALL your energy, into focussing into what YOU want to do
Ring the helpline,....it's the scariest thing to do in the world...at that very moment,
but its also the most liberating feeling, when you actually have someone on the end of the phone who is actually listening to you for the first time in ages, who is willing to offer you comfort and advice, and show you that there is a way out of this prison that you live in.
Preparation, is the way forward. Collate every bit of information from this forum. Talk to an Outreach worker at Women's Aid, and hopefully, you will find that the fear of leaving, is not as scarey as the fear of staying.
I hope that helps.
take care and good luck
Posted by ka3n on 26-Oct-11 20:13 GMT
Hi Redchicken and welcome to the Forum. I hope you will find it useful source of support and advice as you work through what it is that you want to do and when. The other members have a wealth of knowledge and experience and I can see you have already had some great advice and support already.
Please do consider calling the helpline 0808 2000 247 to talk though your options. They will not tell you what to do but you may find it helpful to explore what it is that is stopping you taking that next step.
Keep posting and let us know how things are going.
Posted by WA Moderator on 26-Oct-11 22:35 GMT
She is very insightful and right. There comes a point when the pain becomes too much to bear when to risk you take in staying is greater than the risk you take to leave, thats the right time to go and its a journey, but you will know when the right time is. It may not be today, tommorrow or next week, it might be next month or next year. While you are waiting gather your strength, evidence and accumulate resources. Make your plans quiety without raising suspicision. Lie if you have to even about your feelings so as not to bring attention to yourself. It's about self preservation. Get pleanty of rest and sleep. then when the time is right to leave you will.
Posted by awoken on 26-Oct-11 23:34 GMT
I had not found this website and did not have any support at the time but I reached the end of the line. I was utterly emotionally exhausted, I was depressed, I wanted to die, I was physically exhausted and I had had a tiny glimpse that there was another life out there. I said, following a terrible evening of fairly typical abusive behaviour " I can't do this anymore". He was quite sarcastic and said " what do you mean" and then mimicked me in a baby voice. " I followed through and said " I want to leave. I want to sell the house and split everything 50:50 and I dont want to be with you any more". To be honest I think he was shocked because he then wanted to talk. The realisation that I really meant it took a few weeks. But for a while I actually felt exhilarated. That was later replaced by severe depression and I went through a bit of a breakdown. But this was really the fact that I was owning up to and facing the fact that I had been abused for almost 18 years. Reloading the hundreds if events one after another and reliving them was incredibly hard and painful. But my family, friends, doctor, counselors and work all supported me ad did my solicitor when I filed for divorce. Make sure you have a good support network around you. I wish I had known about this site. Leaving was the hardest thing I have done but staying would have killed me eventually. I started to talk and I told people why I was leaving. I think that helped.
You CAN do it but be prepared for a rocky path. It is worth it.
Posted by pili-pala on 26-Oct-11 23:50 GMT
anyone, what he is like, even if it's on here, sharing it with someone makes it more real and unacceptable. It was a police officer who made me realise his behaviour was unacceptable, just having someone tell me it's not right made a vast difference.
Posted by Marionette on 26-Oct-11 23:58 GMT
I left mine last February. The road has been hard, slow and it is not over for me. Eventhough it has been the hardest thing I have ever done, and I have days filled with despair, leaving was right, it felt right and still today, I am so proud of myself for leaving. Some days I even experience joy, contentment and happiness. I look forward to those days being closer and closer together. Go back? Not in a million years. The taste of freedom...we had loads of money but none of it was mine. Now each £5 seems a fortune. Mine to spend wisely. Or not. But its freedom. The TV remote, enjoying my children, being free to be affectionate to them, there are so many things that I relish now. What I am wanting to say is that just before I left him, I was terrified of what would happen. Would I manage on my own. What about DIY and the car? Could I move things round the house. What about when the kids were sick? And you know what the answer was? YES YES YES! I manage pretty well. And you will too It will be hard. But you can do it Wishing you strength, sleep, clarity of mind, perseverance, and in time, joy, contentment and happiness.
Posted by KiaKahaWahine on 27-Oct-11 10:51 GMT
Posted by citizensmith on 27-Oct-11 17:26 GMT
ka3an is so right, as are all of the others who have replied.
sometimes it's the straw that broke the camels back that makes you leave, i suffered years of horrific abuse but it was something really minor in comparison that made me strong enough to cut off all contact. Do whatever is best for you, if you know it's the right thing to do, find the courage and get all the support you can and get out. thinking of you xx
Posted by citizensmith on 27-Oct-11 17:26 GMT
You have made a big step by posting here. Keep posting and reading the forum, these ladies are fantastic and supportive, and wil never judge you. They give brilliant advice and contact the helpline. Sending you a hug
Posted by trying hard on 27-Oct-11 18:18 GMT
Why can't I do it? I could list hundreds of reasons why I should but I can't. I wish I had left 5 years ago when he hit me. He was living in my flat at the time so why didn't I throw him out, I could have saved myself all these years of pain. Him convincing me I need help and to take anti-depressants, isolating me from my family and friends. Destroying my self esteem and confidence, following me everywhere even to the bathroom. I don't love him any-more, so why can I leave?
Posted by redchicken on 10-Nov-11 23:22 GMT
I simply cant take any more of the put downs, I have got a bag of items together for both me and my kids, I am slowly squirreling away some money and we will go into refuge as soon as I get the courage to go, but I just cant seem to make that last step, the last 11 years have taken it out of me but I have to keep strong for the kids.
Posted by needshelp on 10-Nov-11 23:56 GMT
I have been in contact with Women's Aid and I met with a lovely lady. She has arranged some viewings for some flats for me. I am so scared about leaving my life with my husband to start all over again with no money and no job.
Posted by redchicken on 17-Nov-11 12:53 GMT
I want to wish you all the luck in the world. You made a big step meeting lady from wa. You can go and look at flats then see how you feel. I can really relate to you. I would love to find strength and courage to leave sometimes but i am no where near ready to do it. So think you have done so well take it at your own pace no pressure sending love and strength x x
Posted by Confused29 on 17-Nov-11 13:08 GMT
i did that, 1,5 years ago, and it was very very scary and overwhelming, but i didnt have to stay out at night, walking around and sit in pub just to be away from him, i didnt have to be scared anymore. and to be honest, i was almost too weak to jump out of the boiling water, i just couldnt call back the landlord who wanted te let me the appartment. it was onl after i think 13 days i knew i had to leave
it was one of the hardest decisions to make since with leaving my dream and m hope were destroyed, m dream to live happily ever after with him and m hope he would take rsponibility for what he did to me. but it was also one of the many steps i still take to finding new hope and dreams, that will be more rewarding and honouring to 'me'.
i dont say it is easy, but do give urself the chance to heal ur pain.
it will not heal if every day u run the risk of being hurt again.
so the pain i felt and still feel is in no way less painfull than living with ex, since it is mixed with the swwet memories AND my undying love for him (i know how stupid this may sound, but he is still the uy and person in my life i loved most of all), but it is a healing pain, not a pain that will be fueled on a daily confrontation with someone who clearly didnt give me what i deserve, good love.
give urself the chance to let good love into ur life, by honouring your needs.
you deserve to live free from pain.
and remember, that after u take the plunge there will be people, us e.g, standing on the shore with tea, warm towels and mental support
u are not alone
rapa (no capitals since lieing in bed with flu.....)
Posted by Rapaiola on 17-Nov-11 13:13 GMT
i had no money too, and no job ( contact was ending) AND ex wanted me to give him back money he GAVE to me earl in relationship- so there was i, feeling so much pressure, maybe u have that feeling too?
but u can do it.....
......i signed the contract of work AND app. the same day, followed by a turmoil of emotions.....but i did it, and now am totally independent and free (not emotionally in all respects but at least physically and financially)
if i could do it, so can u
we'll be here whatever u decide is best for u
Posted by Rapaiola on 17-Nov-11 13:31 GMT
and a life line.
Remember that no matter how hard it is to leave right now, when you do make that decision it will be a wrench. Dont get me wrong...I am not trying to put you off in any way.
Leaving all that was, the dreams and asperations we had, whilst living with them, wishing every year, that next year will be better, (when it never was)....living in denial ourselves half the time, wishing so much that the relationship could be what it started out like and not what it became.
You deserve a life. You deserve so much more than what you are living now.
Regrets. Oh yes...there are plenty of them...
the only regret I have now, is that I didnt leave him sooner.
Its taken me a while to start to believe in myself, and to feel new, reborn, and believe that my future is brighter.
This is a daily regrowth. New simple experiences are so empowering. Being able to make my own decisions on a daily basis, and to know that even if it goes t*ts up..then it won't matter, life is full of challenges. Life is constantly evolving and making your boundaries stretch,
I wish you well, and hope that your future will be all the things you wish for.
Don't delay. Act today.
So, what are you waiting for....?
I would love for you to be able to be in my position in a few months time, to come back on this forum and be helping someone else to get to make the life changing decisions to set them free.
hugs, and tea....as always.
Posted by ka3n on 17-Nov-11 21:50 GMT
I thought leaving was going to be much much harder than it turned out to be. It's almost a year since I left and although I have moments of self doubt and sadness, my life is so much better than it ever was in the seven years I lived with him.
I don't normally like to ask for help from people - I don't like to impose. But I was so desperate to get out that I asked help from as many people as I could. I even bullied my future son in law to hire a van to help me move and pinned him down to days he could help me. I got family and friends involved - even my ex husband from before this relationship! Just for a month or so I became totally selfish and focused on what I needed to do. This wasn't like me - it really felt as though I was fighting for my life!
The problem for a lot of women here is that they aren't demanding or high maintenance people. They are used to backing down and pleasing others. They are lovely people and that is one of the reasons why they have been abused - they see the good in people, they are kind and want to please and are therefore vulnerable to abusive bullies and control freaks.
We don't want to change these good points - our kindness - our seeing the good in others. But to get out we need to be ruthless and single minded.
Be strong and determined - and get help. Don't spare him - tell people what he has been doing and explain why you are fighting for your future. I found friends and family were wonderful when it came to the crunch and although I could have managed alone, their practical and emotional help was invaluable.
Financially it was difficult to start with. But one year on and I'm actually better off than I was when was with him. I realize how he controlled my finances and my work without me being aware.
It will be hard and chaotic for a bit but you won't regret it. The difficulties you face afterwards are different - they are solvable - unlike the problems faced within the abusive relationship which never get resolved and only get worse and worse.
It will be great to hear that you have got out and are on your road to a new and happier life!
Love Ava xx
Posted by Ava on 19-Nov-11 14:42 GMT
You say you could list hundreds of reasons why you shouldn't stay so why not do it for real. I was on a long slow journey towards 'leaving' although for many many months I thought - if only I could get him to understand how I feel then surely he'll stop being unkind - when he REALISES. I didn't realise that he KNEW and it was how he actually wanted it.
Someone said to me, it was like death by a thousand cuts. Two months later that sank in and I realised I'd been waiting for something BIG or conclusive to happen. So instead I sat down at the computer and I wrote and wrote. Very short bullet points. Everything that had hurt me. Big or small. ESPECIALLY small. The little digs that you almost double take at. Did he sat that? Did he mean that? Did I imagine that he implied something? Anything where I'd had that 'sick' feeling, where he'd caused me anxiety or disapointment or if he'd found me disappointing or if I had done something 'wrong' that didn't feel wrong to me.
I quickly found is written about 300 things in an hour. And although I worked out that this was potentially an average of one thing a week for six years I also knew that this was not an exhaustive list and I could keep going and keep remembering and that it was more the tip of the iceberg.
And seeing it all written down really helped. It led me to google Emotional Abuse which led me to Women's Aid. Which made me realise it WASN'T ME. And the lovely women here told me about the Lundy Bancroft book which I read
And all these things combined made me realise that no one else could make the decision for me (sadly no magic wands although I wish there were). And so Ive filed for divorce - and right now honestly more scared than ever - but looking at the light at the end of the tunnel and just trying to be brave every single day.
Good luck and I wish you well on this journey. Posting on here is a really fantastic and positive step so WELL DONE and post again soon
Posted by beingbrave on 19-Nov-11 15:24 GMT
yes, the pressure I feel is really intense. I feel so scared and alone. But I know I have to do it. No-one not even my husband has the right to tell me where I can and can't go, who I can and can't speak to.
Posted by redchicken on 19-Nov-11 20:58 GMT
Thank you all for your replies. You are really inspiring.
At the moment I am really doubting my decision to leave. He is on a real charm offensive, but I am still going to see the flats on Monday. I have to.
I am doubting myself, am I blowing it all out of proportion, am I being silly?
The thing I cannot ignore though, is that I am afraid of him. Nobody should be afraid of their partner. This relationship has to wrong if I am afraid of him.
Posted by redchicken on 19-Nov-11 21:03 GMT
You really should NOT be afraid of your partner. Go and see those flats. This could be your sliding doors moment.
Posted by beingbrave on 19-Nov-11 21:08 GMT
Yes, that is how I feel. I am waiting for something BIG to happen. I wish sometimes that he would hit me again, shove me, push me, scream and shout in my face. Anything that I can use as a springboard for my escape.
Posted by redchicken on 19-Nov-11 21:09 GMT
What an Abuser does if you are leaving him:
* Promising to change
* Entering therapy
* Not drinking
* Making apologies
* Telling you you will be lost without him
* Telling you no one else will want to be with you
* making you feel guilty
* Turning very nice
* taking care of things you have been complaining about
* insisting he has already changed
And these are the nicer things he might do. There's a long list of the other things - the unkind things that we're afraid of. What I mean is, don't be fooled by the charm offensive. It's all part of the mix - this part is the hook that keeps you there.
Please read the book if you haven't xxx
Posted by beingbrave on 19-Nov-11 21:20 GMT
No I haven't read the book. He keeps talking about Christmas, how it is going to be this year.
I am going to see the flats. I am going to try and ignore the kind things he is doing.
Posted by redchicken on 19-Nov-11 21:23 GMT
It's an eye opener. Good look with the flats.
Christmas - well I'm dreading it - but there will ALWAYS be a reason to stay...
Posted by beingbrave on 19-Nov-11 21:41 GMT
We are supposed to be staying with his family in a cottage in Wales. The family who believe that I am a total nut job and their son/brother is my saviour, who puts up with my bad behaviour.
Posted by redchicken on 19-Nov-11 22:01 GMT
Well stuff them - who are they and who cares what they think? If they really believe that of you then theyre not worthy of you either, and surely their son would be better off without you (!). Seriously, I have moments when I worry what his family will think of me - but then I remember I won't have to see them again (perhaps at weddings) and I care much less about what they think since the truth is in my heart.
Besides which I think his dad speaks to his mother with appalling disrespect - in fact so does my husband - and I don't think I want to be around for that anymore either (though I do like my mother in law and worry about her too).
YOU are the most important one here. I know it's hard to think like that after years of putting others (him) first, but don't be swayed by what he tells you or what his family think
Good luck, thinking of you
(ps seriously get the book)
Posted by beingbrave on 20-Nov-11 08:46 GMT
on charm was even going with me to look for appartments. We made a "fun" cozy day from it. Made me believe we could "make it" - even though I would move out. I FORGOT all about the reason I wanted and needed to move out in the first place
All his twisting of things.
I felt, like you, that I had to do it. You know that image of the frog? Being put in warm water, that will slowly come to boil he will stay in too long. A frog thrown in hot water will jump out rith away. I felt like that frog, that had to crawl out. On last strength. I almost couldnt think straight, could'nt word any reason I needed to leave, but I went for that gutfeeling and I was thinking the same as u: I was afraid of him, and that was all enough reason to go on with it. Although I hardly knew why I wanted to move out. I didnt want to lose him. But I lost mysefl, eg when I was standing in the shower and shower with curtains open, since I was afraid he could get a knife and stab me through the curtain. When I didnt hear him breathing/sleeping next to me I figured he was awake and thinking about a way to attack me verbally or (even though he assaulted me "only" 6 times) push a cushion in my face and smother me.
I was always on red-alert and I couldnt take it anymore.
You deserve to live free of fear.
And u are a brave brave woman, to go on looking. We will be here to think with u on ur options. Hope there will be a nice flat monday, where u instantly feel good. Are u looking for certain flat? Would u love to be in/near nature or have a nice bathroom, or don't u have so many options since u just wanna go?
LOVE and remember one thing: u steer away from fear right now, and towards freedom and your own life. Happiness is just possible and waiting on u from there......I left 1,5 years ago an still feel much pain, but it's a healing pain, not one that is fueled by abuse every day...
Posted by Rapaiola on 20-Nov-11 08:59 GMT
until two weeks ago and its so right what others are saying its not one BIG event (like many for a while i wshed for him to physically hurt me thinking that would be the strenght i needed) it was just something minor(ish) that prompted me to tell him it was over and I was leaving so i packed a bag (plus dog) and walked out. in retrospect leaving someone on the weekend or after 5pm with no real plan of action is not something i would advise and not something that i intended but was what happened. the thing was i could deal with my life being threatened (that was normal) but i couldnt deal with other people's lifes people threatened because of me nor could i allow him to let me take another 'sick' day beacuse i didnt know what he may do.
for months the lass at the other end of the line said to me 'its ok that your not ready but oneday you will be and till then im here and you can talk'
take the advice, pack a box of important documents, make plans if you need to - i even found out you could make a plan flee if that works better for you, but one day you will find the strength and you will feel like a weight has been lifted
i will end there on a positive i dont pretend that my live is sorted far from it i am officially homeless (didnt make it to refuge as no time to fill in the risk assessment forms and i work full time so they cost alot) but i am safe and i no longer have to worry about what will happen when i get home from work
keep up your strength when the time comes you will know till then keep safe
xx forwards x
Posted by forwards on 20-Nov-11 22:52 GMT