5 Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship

The stages of leaving an abusive relationship aren’t fixed. Rather, women tend to move back and forth between stages before they leave a man who abuses them. Knowing what the stages are can help you prepare you to leave an abuser.

Abusive RelationshipsIf a man is abusing you, read The Emotionally Abused Woman: Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself by Beverly Engel. Emotional abuse is often hard to detect and accept; it helps to have an objective perspective on the abusive relationship.

These five stages of abuse below are based on research. It’s important to remember it’s a woman’s “fault” that she’s staying in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship. Leaving is one of the hardest things she’ll ever do. Now matter how much you know about how to leave an abusive relationship, leaving an abuser is rarely easy. It may help to learn about the specific stages that some women go through before leaving an abusive man.

If you aren’t sure if your boyfriend or husband is verbally abusing you, read 5 Signs of Verbally Abusive Relationships.

Here’s what Tina Turner says about how to leave an abusive relationship: “Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.” Tina Turner was abused by her husband for 16 years

Letting go of a man you love, even when you’re in an abusive relationship, is one of the hardest things you’ll do. One of the most important things is to learn why you’re staying with him — what’s holding you back. Here’s what research shows about the stages of abuse and how to leave an abusive relationship.

5 Stages Women Go Through Before Leaving an Abusive Relationship

According to a University of Illinois journal article, abused woman go through a five-step process of leaving abusive relationships. Below are the fives stages, based doctoral candidate Lyndal Khaw’s dissertation work at the U of I.

Stages 1 and 2 of leaving a man who abuses. “In the first two stages, women begin to disconnect emotionally from their relationships,” said Khaw. You hear them say things like, ‘I started not to care for him anymore’.”

Stage 3 of leaving an abusive relationship. In this stage of leaving an abusive relationship, women go through a collection of episodes of abuse. They start to notice the effects on their children. “Women make preparations to leave, such as finding a place to stay or secretly saving up money,” she said. “This stage is important for women as they switch from thinking about leaving an abusive relationship to actually doing something about it.”

Stage 4 – going back to the abusive relationship. “Then, at Stage 4, when women take action, we see a lot of what we call ‘back and forthing’ because when women leave, the emotions often come back,” said Jennifer Hardesty, a U of I assistant professor of human and community development. “They need clarity. They want to be physically and emotionally connected again.”

If your partner says he abuses you because you make him depressed, read How to Break Up With Someone Who is Depressed.

Stage 5 of leaving an abuser. Being gone for six months or more marks the last stage on how to leave an abusive relationships. “But even then they may have boundary ambiguity if their ex-spouse won’t let them go. With continued contact through court-ordered child visitation, the potential for ongoing abuse remains as well as continued confusion over the abuser’s role in the woman’s life.”

Leaving an abusive relationship is much more complex than just deciding to change, and it involves more than a woman’s prioritizing her safety,” said Hardesty. “Other actors are involved. The abuser makes decisions that affect a woman’s movement through the stages. And children can be a powerful influence in motivating a woman to get out of a relationship and in pulling her back in.”

Is a man abusing you? Visit the Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233.

Encouragement to leave a man who abuses

abusive relationships

“Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship” image via Pixabay, CC license

Read How to Move Out Without Your Husband Finding Out. This is a very important article for women who want to leave a man who abuses them! It’s written by a woman who left her abuser.


“Don’t wait until everything is just right,” says Mark Victor Hansen, author of the Chicken Soup series, including Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul: Your Personal, Portable Support Group with Stories of Healing, Hope, Love and Resilience. “It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”

If you can’t let go, read my article about letting go of someone you love.

Are you ready to share your story of living with – or leaving – a man who abuses? I welcome your comments below. Writing about your life can give you clarity and insight. If  you need help with these stages of an abusive relationship, please call the domestic violence helpline – I listed the number above. I can’t give advice on the stages of leaving an abusive man.

Fix Your Marriage

A public service announcement from Verizon: Through HopeLine, the general public can help prevent domestic violence by donating no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories in any condition from any service provider at any Verizon Wireless Communications Store. Wireless phones given to HopeLine are refurbished and provided to local domestic violence agencies or local government and law enforcement agencies for use with their domestic violence clients – complete with 3,000 minutes of wireless service and text-messaging service. Donated phones can help victims of abuse feel safer and less isolated by giving them a way to call emergency or support services, employers, family and friends. Phone donations given locally benefit victims of abuse within that geographic area. To learn more, go to Hopeline from Verizon.

Article Name
5 Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship
Learning how to leave an abusive relationship takes time. But when you're ready, it happens fast! The stages of abuse will prepare you to leave an abuser.

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Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
I'm a full-time freelance writer and blogger in Vancouver, BC. I created the "Quips and Tips" blog series; my degrees are in Education, Psychology, and Social Work. I welcome your comments below, but I don't give advice. I can offer you a prayer and a blessing, though! You'd be surprised how helpful a prayer can be....

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175 Responses

  1. guyme says:

    pretty one sided isn’t it? The female ALWAYS, HAS to be the victim; women are never nutty shrieking freaks who are never heartless. Six or seven times a week I have to put up with shrill and relentless tirades in front of our scared sons both under two by a woman who thinks of nothing at attacking me violently when I suggest she may benefit from talking to a professional. While she is absolutely remorseless (has never apologised even to our sons) and affectionless I have done nothing but encourage her positively (she’s now half way through a uni course thanks only to me) and done everything I can to bolster her self esteem to the detriment of my own. On one occasion she turned from pleasantries to a shrieking freak while I held our oldest son who is two, lashing out violently hitting me and our son when I pushed her back and she fell. She threatened to call the law on me and charge me with abuse. Unless guys kneel down and kiss womens butts 24/7 evidently we are at fault and if women choose to point it out violently and in maniacal abusive language we dare not respond, least of all in kind, lest we are the one’s who suddenly the perpetrators; even in defense of our kids. I dare not even come to the aid of my crying baby son in the middle of the night because she is likely to argue loudly with me. I used to come to my kids, I still want to, I dare not now. I need to sleep in another room from her with the door locked. Women expect men to be so tolerant of their moods yet show little to gratify us. I sold my car to fix hers because she loved her car, I bought her jewellery with the change; I buy her jewellery every birthday, I buy my kids gifts for non occasions and I allow myself the luxury of 10 beers 4 or 5 times a year. Slowly what I can even spend on myself dwindles; if it didn’t it would result in further psychotic episodes. Yeah, a woman who chooses to be with a guy deserves spoiling and friendship, but when it isn’t a 2 way street, and even worse, an abuse of the kindness, love and affection you show them then maybe, just maybe you’ve been put too high on that pedestal so even the best of us become so below you from your perspective we are all gutter trash. It’s a two way street, stop thinking your relationship is your relationship and start thinking it’s his relationship too by returning the kindnesses and freedoms he’s given you and he may not be so aloof; because that’s how relationships begin to crash when aloofness sets in. Stop asking what this relationship can do for you and ask what you can do for it and I will bet 70% of verbally abusive men will not be abusive.

  2. Debra says:

    To the women with children: you are afraid to leave but you are responsible for protecting your children. If he is “kicking them in the head” you are just as guilty of abuse as him because you allow to happen. The mental harm that happens just watching you being abused also has long-term effects. GET OUT NOW!!
    To the young girls: for many it is your first love, there will be more loves in your life, you don’t need a man to be somebody, but you will never have a chance at a good relationship as long as you stay in the abusive one. Take time to heal before getting with someone else. GET OUT NOW!!
    I was in an abusive relationship, now my daughter is in one, with a 42 year old man. She is 20. I try to get her to leave, i see the stages she is getting to, but she also sees her dads gf staying with him. Yes, he is on his 6th relationship since i left him 19 years ago, abusing every one, including the current gf. So, yes, it is true they won’t ever change as long as they dont try to seek help. But you can’t hold out hope they will realize what they are because the majority won’t, AND YOU CAN’T FIX HIM, HE HAS TO DO THAT HIMSELF. GET OUT NOW!!

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Victoria,

    You have realized something so important! You need to help yourself before you can help anyone – and you can’t help everyone, no matter how much you love them. Your boyfriend needs the type of help you can’t give: professional counseling to overcome his tendency to be manipulative, controlling, and abusive.

    My prayer is for you to speed through the stages of leaving an abusive relationship! May you find courage and strength, hope and peace. May you see that you are worthy and deserving of a loving, kind, compassionate relationship that is not abusive or disrespectful. I pray that you see yourself as God sees you: a lovable, beautiful, valuable young woman who has so much potential. May you protect your body, heart and spirit from men who are abusive, and may you find a relationship that is full of honesty, hope, happiness, fulfillment, peace, and support. Amen!


  4. victoria says:

    hello. my name is Victoria. I am 18 and my boyfriend is 17. we live within walking distance of each other and he was abused when he was a kid and now it is reflecting onto me. and I really confused because he hasn’t actually hit me. except on accident and during that time he apologized. but he also puts me down and get really, really jealous. and he said not to leave him because he would kill himself. and I really love him and I don’t know how to help him. but now I am thinking I should be helping myself before I can help him (if I can). please help me and this page was REALLY helpful so thank you so much.

  5. Jan Attard says:

    Thank you kindly for this forum for all of us strong incredible women.
    Five Stages of Leaving An Abusive Relationship is a work of Art into all of our lives. What I took to heart, “it’s a woman’s fault that she is staying in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship”. Though I would attempt to argue this fact, I too concede it is true.
    Health comes in loving ourselves enough to move. Listening to our inside voice, logic and reason when all attempts at peace have failed are the ultimate way to freedom. What I learned about myself and about others from removing myself from violence and starting life fresh and unencumbered allowed in miracles and moonbeams! Silver linings are possible! For twenty years I have written my way to health as victim advocate, as Law Student, as Nurse Expert one tremendous step at a time!
    My work product, “Tunnel Vision, a focused life” by Pseudo Name Isadora Fokine Beauregard is for all of us who need a clear path internally charted clearly and deliberately. For all of us who truly believe in miracles! Carpe Diem http://www.tunnelvisionapproach.com.

  6. Kayla Maxey says:

    At 22 years old, I too have been in an abusive relationship, actually I wasn’t even married a year before the abuse started. Looking back now, I see signs of the abuse starting before we were married. I left last year on the 4th of July… kind of ironic how it was my independence day. It has been such a struggle, but I know that I am in a much better place than if I would have stayed. I have started a blog to document my feelings through it all and in hopes of helping someone else. My prayer for each and every person suffering from abuse, is that you realize you are worthy of so much more. No one deserves to be treated poorly, we are all children of an almighty God who loves us. He loves you enough to meet you wherever you are today. I honestly don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have Jesus.

    I have shared more of my story on my blog, for anyone interested in reading it.

    Also, if anyone just wants to “talk” I’m a good listener… ksmaxey92@gmail.com

  7. Laurie says:

    If you’re in an abusive relationship and you aren’t ready to leave, my prayer for you is for safety and guidance. May you find the right people to lean on and resources to learn from, and may you have faith that thought it will be hard to leave, you won’t regret it! May you be filled with energy, confidence, hope, peace, and inspiration to move forward.

    May you know, deep down in your heart, that you deserve better. May you be blessed with self-love and joy.

    • Ashamed says:

      How did I get to this place? A strong educated woman and I didn’t even notice that I’m being abused because I fight back and I talk back. I thought since I dish it back to him that didn’t put me as a victim. I feel horrible, scared, pissed off, ashamed and so many more emotions all at once. Wed was the turning point when I got an email from my sons teacher because he was crying at school because he heard the fight, him telling me that he was going to hurt me and my son was scared for me. CYS came to my house that night! I felt horrible lying my way thru that mess so I wouldn’t lose my kids and have people find out what’s going on in my home. I know I need to leave and I feel absolutely terrified because I know once I do I won’t be able to hide the truth anymore then have people questioning me and feeling sorry for me.

      • Alison says:

        I completely understand what you are going through, after a year of being verbally/emotionally abused I started to fight and talk back, so in his families eyes we just weren’t a good match. His family were important to me as both my parents have recently passed away and I live in a foreign country. After 3 years of hell, I finally left my husband, while he was at work. It’s only been 3 months ago and since then I have been coming to terms with being married to an abuser and going through all feelings you described. I am really struggling with the anger and telling myself I should have seen the signs, listened to my gut instinct from the beginning…. My son is only 3 and in the last few months before we left there were occasions where he would shout at my husband to leave me alone, he started refusing to go to nursery so he could make sure I was safe. The day I left was the day I could never go back to being in such a horrible, disrespectful and damaging relationship. In some way I’m lucky that my soon to be ex-husband is such a complete narsasist, that he has started dating again to find his next victim. I hope you find it in yourself to leave, it took me a year to find the strength and there were many times I didn’t think I would.

  8. Tiana says:

    This article was very helpful and insightful. I’ve decided that I want to leave my 2 year abusive marriage. I can’t see staying in here 10+ years. I can’t imagine going through this pain for that long. I know it might put me at an all time low in so many ways but i feel like it will be worth it in the long run and the longer i stay, the worse it might be. I can’t see subjecting my kids to this chaotic abusive environment any longer. I truly empathize with anyone who is going through this and who has been in an abusive relationship. I never thought I would be in one but why would I think that when my mom was the verbally abusive/controlling type? I married the same kind of person, go figure. I tried to talk myself into staying with this monster of a man for the sake of the “kids” esp since we just had a baby not that long ago. i knew a year after being married to this man something just wasn’t right. i couldnt put my finger on what it was but somehow God led me to the book by Patricia Evans and that is when the light clicked for me. From there God placed a few people in my life who have been in the exact same situation and I was able to get guidance from them. I absolutely can’t stand living with him anymore bc he treats me like a child, corrects everything I say, criticizes everything I do. He makes me feel less than, unworthy, always calls me names. Anytime I hang out with my friends or put make up on that means I’m cheating. Although he is the one who has remained unfaithful. He controls my phone, is a stalker, tracks all that i do. Its insane. He is like a big ball of negative energy and i can barely talk to him anymore bc he has a problem with everything I say. I really hope this transition to separate goes smoothly for me. I need to start working on a safety plan…i think? I just hope he is cooperative since we will both be moving out of our house soon and he goes his way and i go mine.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m wondering how you are doing? I’m living in a hotel thanks to the state. Thought I had friends I could turn to. Spoke up and was shut down. They’re all afraid of him. So we are out in the cold. Worst winter to be homeless on the east coast. I want my dog, he ‘s basically holding him hostage. Sort of wishing I could fast forward the next three months to something stable. Remaining strong. Every day I’m away from him, I feel a little bit more like myself. Best wishes to you. Definitely have a safety plan. I got all our important papers out a week before I left, stashed them at my office. Gathered up my daughter and everything I could carry, which wasn’t much, and walked out the door. I didn’t wait for the next explosion. I left in the part of the cycle of abuse, where I was just walking on eggshells, not a crumpled, bruised and broken mess on the floor after a fight.I will no longer live my life on eggshells. Stay strong. You deserve better. (I just keep saying it. One day, I’ll believe it.)

  9. c says:

    I am very insecure about myself since I found him on dating sites and I’m not perfect but lately he has been switching my underwear and bras by bringing other women’s things in to my house . He has been mean to both kids hitting smacking them in the head face kicking them and he has hit me a few times along with a threat of him shooting me in my head . He has made me feel so insecure and unsafe but I love him and want to be with him is there a way that could be possible

    • Tanya says:

      please leave. You need to see it is him who makes you feel insecure,if you don’t see that. It will get worse and that is already so horrible.
      Please confide in people. I know it is hard but there will be one who helps you. Need to start making plans to leave then do it.
      It doesn’t matter that you love him, you should not b treated like this. He does not respect you in anyway.
      You will become even stronger once u have left as you will regain tour confidence.
      Please get out!
      I’ve never written in these collumns before but I have read many things as to help me stay on track that it is not me and I have left.
      And please do not go back if you miss him or feel guilty,that will give him an excuse to abuse you more.

  10. cali says:

    I want to leave so bad every night I cry myself to sleep. I just have no money no friends or family and only have him. He controls all the money everything. I wish I could leave

    • Love Shouldnt Hurt says:

      Im so sorry….i know exactly how you feel…i wish i could find the ccourage to walk away

    • Karma says:

      You wish. No u need to leave before you end in the emergency room. I left my abuser three months ago when I ended up in a hospital bed.unable to talk because he hit my skull with his fists like 18 times. Yes he probably was trying to kill me. i only got away bc i fought him off of me then ran outside and grabbed my phone to call the police. Which he dissappeared when they came. Do you want to end up dead or injured. I never thought this guy was capable of doing something so violent.
      But my life is more important so is your health. And he still tries to call me or meet me via email. I changed my number so he cant even call. These abusers are smart. You have to get away.

    • kim says:

      Yes.I was there for 15-20 yrs., now I can afford to get out..now hes actin like a changed man(he still has all accts in his name and wont stop charging) would you go anyway? Plus, its hard living in a house of hell, bad memories, ptsd, even though he is being so sincere and loving? what would you do?

    • Alison says:

      Are you able to make contact with any agencies or support services for abused woman in your area? I live in the uk and there is a charity called woman’s aid who help woman to get out of all types of abusive relationships.

  11. Trisha says:

    I have been looking for some answers to my problem. I know on her all have been women, but this is for my brother. May he rest in peace. My brother was in an abusive relationship verbel and mental. He finally kicked her out by way of police. And she was not to come back after getting her stuff. She left him nothing but the house. She wound up stocking him and calling the cops on him for an exs alimony payments. Then called him to ask how his trip to jail was. Two weeks after all this went down my brother was killed in a semi accident. He was burnt beyond recognition and it took a week to identify him. She now has claimed his body and is not letting our family know where he is being kept at or being buried. He had no will. He had told us before that he would have wanted to buried by my dad who had died at age 52. My brother was just 34. 10 days after his birthday is when all this happened. So to anyone who is being abused please get out. Write down anything that would protect you from them being able to take you away from your family. Document anything you can and get as far away as you can. Don’t let anything like this happen to anybody else. Life is precious and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Everyone deserves a happy ending. And we have check with a lawyer and she has every right to do what she wishes with him.

    Be strong
    Be safe
    Everyone deserves to be happy

    • Eileen says:

      Hey I’ve been reading all your stories and mine is the same I have been with my husband now 8 years. We have 6 year old son together and I have a 12 year old from my last marriage. My husband is verbally, emotionally and physically abusive to me. I got pregnant when we were together 4 months that’s when the sex stopped he started being very mean to me didn’t care if I felt sick or anything . I can’t seem to do anything right. I have tried I think I’m going crazy. I have tried to leave and when I do he follows me he said the only way I can leave is if I sign over custody of our son to him. He blames me for everything wrong in his life. He is always in a bad mood he spits on me punches me silent tx no sex no cuddling nothing. Last summer he put a restraining order on me and had me arrested. He hates me all my family is dead I have no where to go. He controls all the money and my car is broken. I’m afraid if I leave him he will stalk me and take Max our son. I’m a shell of the person I used to be I always depressed and angry. I don’t want to leave the house. I have no more friends and he is turning his family against me. What should I do?

      • Annie says:

        I nust wanted to let you know you are not alone. I, too, am being abused. The emotional abuse is the worst. Having someone I love tell me that no one else will love me & that he can get any other woman he wants. Calls me the worst names including the c word. He doesn’t have any empathy & has no understanding that my mom also has stage 4 lung cancer. He’s a narcissist & only cares about himself. He doesn’t have a job. Rents a room. Drives a truck that I got for him. I’ve caught him cheating about a dozen times and know it’s been way more than that. We’ve been together over 7 years. We met when I was 45 and he was 38. I’ve been thru breast cancer and lost my long hair & have scars from my reconstructive breast surgery. I believe him when he says no one will ever love me. Knowing all this, I am still with him. I used to have lots of friends & I loved life. Im financially stable but feel like he is my addiction. How do we end up at this place in our lives?

        • Yana Rovinskaya says:

          We will survive. I am going thru the same, Look after yourself,

        • Karen says:

          Wow that’s like my husband, my dad has been very sick lately, my mum is in need of emotional support, my husband has no empathy for us whatsoever..what is it with these d***head men?

          • Ali says:

            I’m in a similar boat except I just found myself getting conned by a man I met two months ago. He could tell I was a nice, caring person who was working on myself (because we met at a support meeting) – I was warned NEVER to date men from these meetings but I thought he cared. Before I knew it, he claimed that he needed a place to stay for a little while but that he could help with bills. At first, he was seemingly sweet and cheery but it didn’t take long after I let my guard down and let him move into my home for me to start feeling the pressures of abuse. (I was abused pretty bad by my ex husband for 8 years when I was really young bc I got pregnant so I KNOW what abuse feels like) except when this guy turned on me, I didn’t want to believe it. I then, received horrible news… I had gotten pregnant! It was definitely his. At first, he was nice. Then within a week for the FIRST time he attacked me. The abuse was before verbal and emotional but now in just less than 2 months had turned physical plus I was pregnant and he was jumping on top of me and holding me down where I couldn’t move and he did this at least twice in a 2 week period without anything but a 2 day break of “politeness” to turn the honeymoon phase back on.. He then was getting phone calls late at night and accusing me of cheating while I was up at college. He stalked me and lied about his majorly long criminal record and he constantly claimed he was broke. He never helped me with the bills but claimed while screaming at me he was helping but he wasn’t. He was helping HIMSELF. He asked me to get a gun out during the last fight where he attacked me…. I have no clue why he wanted it but I threatened to call the cops on him and told him to get out of my house!!! He packed his stuff FAST and was out. He owes over 33k in back child support to his other child’s mother and he refuses to think he has to pay it. He literally waltzed in my home without paying for anything and just “assumed” he would become “the man of the house!!!” I knew not to let him move in here and that it was moving too fast but I was too submissive and kind hearted to just tell him no. Things got physical before I was ready but he moved FAST. Also, he claimed he was this mega Christian guy who believed in God and the Bible. I never saw ANY what I would call loving actions come out of him. I feel sorry for anyone living with an abuser. They are seeming to become more common day by day. The sad part is, is there is ALWAYS another woman to move in with to pick up where we left off and he will do it to her too. I hope in my guy’s situation that he get dumped repeatedly by meeting women that he is trying to control and manipulate bc it is NOT FAIR for him to continue to walk this planet and just hurt people. I know I can’t do anything about it but I can only help myself. Please ladies…. realize these men don’t care, it’s not your fault, yes it will be hard and it will hurt to leave them BUT the other choice is to continue to be abused and that is no fun either. Also, watch out the next man you meet. Take time to heal before meeting and dating another man. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed I have picked up one right after the other and the last one I swear sniffed me out of a crowd and immediately started playing his games which were meant to try me, test me, and see if I was easy to manipulate. Be strong and I don’t know what it is and it seems like it’s in the water these days but even if you have to be alone it is better than being abused. Before I read your comments I was sad and beating myself up bc mine already has a new “bed buddy.” BUT now I know it’s not me it’s HIM and I really hurt for what she will have to learn about him the hard way. The way we all had to. Forgive my book but I feel like it helps to just get it out. Thanks to all and I hope and pray you will find the resources to get help to get out.

  12. Laurie says:

    I will keep you in my prayers, that you find strength and courage to leave this abusive relationship. You are heading in the right direction – you are aware of the stages women go through when they are abused – and that is a good start. May you dig deep, and find your confidence and hope.

  13. TO WHO IT CONCERNS says:

    First I would like to say thank you to everyone sharing their stories, it helps me to know I not alone.
    I am currently in an abusive relationship now and have been for 12yrs. It eats me up that I’ve let things go on this long and why am I so weak and don’t leave. my boyfriend has punched me, kicked me ,slap me, beat me with belts, cords, has thrown drinks and food in my face I could go on an on. he controls everything money , where I go ,family & friends and blames everything on me, I feel like I am losing my mind I can’t believe I am even on here telling people what is going on in my life its embarrassing to say that he has done all these things and I am still with him but at the same time its nice to get it off my chest. I know I need to leave but I am really scared cause he always says that if I leave he’s gonna show me how much hates me so that ill never come back around him. I’ve tried to leave in the past but he would always sucker me back in. The last time I tried to leave he gave me this big story about how could I do this to him while his mother was sick and dying so I come back. when I came back he told the only reason he said that is so he could beat the sh*t out me then I could go but of course he didn’t let me leave afterwards. I ‘am so scared to try again he says the next time will be worst then the last. I don’t expect anyone to have an answer for me I just want to tell somebody, I know I have to find it in myself I just don’t know how but I hope that day is soon.

    • Dear friend,I’ve been married for 19 yrs with 2 children.been with my husband for 20.I’m 41 that’s half my life.last night at Xmas my husband yet again yearly decided to unplug my cable box and dismantle my tv because I wouldn’t have sex with him.sex is something an abuser often demands because remember he’s always in control or they want to believe they are.Perhaps they are because we are still here taking their anger verbal insults.my favorite is count and I am often told that in front of my children.I’ve left several times but always returned because I felt bad for him,I loved him,couldn’t do it on my own without him,had children with him,didn’t want to be alone forever.well here I am 20 yr. Later.much older not wiser.have 2 kids that are scared of what they saw and concussed.sad part is I can’t even tell them to find a wonderful man later in years who will do right by u,because look where I am.I’m an amazing woman stronger than I should ever have to be.I’ve been pregnant in summer and he ripped the a.c. out of the wall to put it in his trunk to take to work and left me with no lights in a dark Appstore a rtf.in summer to just lay their with is child inside of me and cry til I fell asleep.I’ve walked on eggshells my whole marriage,trying not to make him angry or upset.he’s embarrassed me infront of people and my own dear family.he’s cursed me ,slapped me,broke my things,throws the Xmas tree each year,he killed my love we d dog.so as u can see it will never change or stop.not until I say alisarosario it’s time to live and find a happy life.a life where UR free to live and u can even smile and be happy.I have many decisions to make for me.money is a huge issue.there’s never enough of it around.but I’m getting out.I’m getting out.

  14. Laurie says:

    Dear Karma,

    Thank you for being here, and for sharing your experience with leaving an abusive relationship. I especially like your poem — what a healthy way to express yourself! It was lovely to read, and I’m so glad you shared it.

    May God bless you as you proceed into a clear, happy, bright future.

    In peace and passion,

  15. Karma says:

    All your stories sound like mine. Stay stong amd stay away from your abuser. What if you have children ? Would u want to put your kids through this?
    Im 28 nursing student. He was my neighbor. I thought he was charming til the day he almost killed me and hit me 15 times in my brain. I had to call an ambulance and stay in the hospital for two weeks.
    All because i loved him.
    Be strong and leave. And dont go back they always try to get u to meet them somewhere or call. Dont fall for it.
    Its Life or Death

  16. Daniella says:

    These stages of leaving abusive relationships are good to know. The man I loved for 3 years told me he would never leave me, all of a sudden he said we should just be friends then I knew he don’t me love anymore. But he was abusive and I didn’t want to admit that. Maybe sometimes the only way to leave an abusive relationship is to be left first because it’s too hard to leave on your own.

  17. Laurie says:

    Dear Nerissa,

    It sounds like you have so many thoughts and questions whirling around in your brain, you don’t know which way to turn or what steps to take first! Deciding if it’s time to leave an abusive relationship is difficult….and the longer you stay with him, the more difficult it is to leave.

    I’m afraid you’ll never have all the answers to your questions. Nobody knows what will happen later today, much less whether your relationship will change or your boyfriend will change. But, chances are good that he will stay the same. People need strong motivation to change, and men who abuse need counseling and support. Sometimes things do get better in time.

    My friend was in an abusive marriage for 15 years, and she kept hoping and praying that things would get better. They never did. She finally left him, when her son was four years old. That was three years ago, and she’s still dealing with the consequences of both the divorce and of staying in an abusive relationship for so long.

    I encourage you to talk to people in person, and my prayer for you is that you listen to God’s leading. I pray you find wisdom and courage and strength, and that He brings you people to support, love, and help you. I pray that you develop confidence in yourself and in Him, and that you know deep in your heart and soul that God loves you and only wants the best for you. He wants to protect you, and He doesn’t want you to stay in an abusive relationship. He wants you to be free, healthy, happy — and He wants you to find your identity as the woman He created you to be. He wants your child to be strong, and to grow up in a healthy, happy environment. I pray that you are able to find the resources and supports you need, Nerissa, and that you connect with women who can walk alongside you as you rebuild your life and get healthy. May you find spiritual strength and freedom, love and courage. Amen.

    One way to start taking action – for we can’t just pray, we have to act! – is to call your friends, family, and even a distress line. A woman’s help line. Talk about your situation, and accept help when it is offered.

    Come back, let me know how you are.


  18. Nerissa says:

    I’m very confused. I’ve been with him for only a year, but somehow my whole life has completely changed since he came into my life.
    A year ago, I was a emotionally disturbed, twenty-one year old female that lived in the same old house, in the same town for all my life. I dated only girls all my life and had never been in a girl-guy relationship. I never wanted to settle down, get married, or have kids. I was extremely self centered and defensive to the point of violence and always stood up for myself.
    A year later, I’ve reduced to being this pathetic, depressed person who is afraid of everything and everyone around me and cannot stand up for myself. I now live with him, a state away from my family and friends, I’m 17 weeks pregnant and planning to marry him because he’s enrolling into the marines when the child is a year old. I don’t leave the house or do anything with anyone unless I beg him to let me go visit my family. I’ve lived in this new state for seven months and I have made zero friends and never went out of the house for anything besides shopping for food.
    He started off so sweet, completely different from anyone I ever met and different from how he is now. He moved to my home town last year, he was this quiet and withdrawn boy who appeared really dark at first glance but had such a sweet and caring nature behind all that. He’d ask to cuddle just to cuddle, he’d kiss me and say he loved me, he’d tell me he thought I was beautiful, He listened to me talk about how stressed I was, about the issues of my past, he let me vent. He also trusted me with his issues and emotions as well, and we helped each other out of destructive patterns.
    When we moved in together, everything suddenly changed. It only took a couple months and he was suddenly a different person. I can’t pin point what made everything change. The emotional abuse started first, and I didn’t even notice it for a long time because he’d always say it was ether a joke or that he was just angry and didn’t mean it. Sometimes he joked and say I was stupid, he’d say he was going to kill me, he’d call me “ugly duckling”. Other times he say stuff just to hurt me, that I was childish, weak and pathetic, that I couldn’t handle life and was running away from everything. He tells me I shouldn’t be depressed or sad, he says that my life isn’t that hard, and that I should learn to bottle my emotions up. Not only can I not talk to him when I’m upset, but I can’t even call my Mother or a friend to talk. He thinks I should do it all myself because thats what he does. He doesn’t say he loves me much anymore, he doesn’t say kind things to me, ask me how I feel, or even hug or kiss me for no reason. He doesn’t look at me the same anymore.
    The physical abuse only happened for about two months then stopped, but it happened many times during the two months. I was so confused because he’d attack me over small things, like forgetting to get him coffee or make the bed. Sometimes he wouldn’t even tell me why. Everytime he’d do what I always heard abusers did in relationships, he’d say how sorry he was, how he’d never do it again and be really nice for a few days. I don’t really know why he stopped beating me, I would bring it up constantly out of spite to put it in his face because it did seem like he felt bad that he did it. I hadn’t brought it up for months since it stopped, until about a week or so ago. I finally explained to him that I have serious post traumatic stress from it and its hard for me to trust him, I asked him why he even did it – thinking maybe he had a deeper reason than coffee and bedsheets, he said it was because of “the stupid shit I do” and that he has anger issues.
    I get mad a lot, because whenever he says or does something that hurts me, I always forgive him and hold him every night, I always tell him I love him. But if I do something that hurts him he holds it against me, he doesn’t want to talk to me, doesn’t want to be near me, and sometimes he’d rather sleep on the floor than the same bed as me. I always forgive him so easily despite how he treats me, and I hate myself for that.
    I’m also pregnant now, very emotional and worn down. He doesn’t show me any support or comfort, and won’t even talk to me about the baby. He doesn’t even call it his child or knowledge it, yet he constantly gives love to his dog and calls her his Baby but he never refers to the child growing inside me as his. He’s told me he has no emotional attachment to the child at all.
    I’ve thought about leaving, I mean, why should I stay? Well, I’ve tried to leave several times before, he’s always talked me out of it. He’ll guilt me, tell me that he loves me and that he doesn’t want me to go. He’d tell me we wouldn’t make it on our own, he says I wouldn’t survive on the outside and my life would only get worse. He always says I’m running away. But above all that, I hold onto that boy I first met, the sweet one that would kiss me everytime he came to pick me up, that would wanna cuddle for no reason, and sit and talk for hours. I keep hoping to see that person again, the sweet look he always had and that soft tone he’d use with me. But I don’t see him anymore, theres this other person now, he ignores me a lot throughout the day, only talks once in a while even though we spend all day together. He’s cold and rude to me when he’s angry, he makes me feel bad about myself. He looks past me, like he doesn’t see me. and now whenever we have talks, he half listens while on the computer and doesn’t show interest in anything I say. We’ll watch a movie together here and there, and we usually always sleep together at night but thats it. I don’t feel like he’s my partner anymore, I feel like he’s becoming a roommate more than anything.
    I don’t understand how things can change so quickly, how in such a short time my life, my personality and his personality are completely different. I feel like I jumped into another person’s body and life. Its so confusing.
    I love him, for who he was and the times he still shows that person, but i hate how he treats me and how he acts. I keep hoping things will change and everything will be like it was before but it only seems to get worse. I don’t know if he’ll be a good husband to me, or a good father to our child. I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes too, I was bitter and angry when we first met, I had depression issues and tried to kill myself often even if he’d try to talk me out of it, I’d get mad at him and say hurtful things. I made all the steps I could to change that, and I try to think before I speak or act. I try to think of what he wants, try to make myself a better person and girlfriend for him. I try to fix all the issues in the relationship, accept and forgive his mistakes and be loving towards him. But he hasn’t made any steps of his own to improve things. And I’ve done so much on my end. I’ve given up everything I had before, left my family, friends and pets behind, gave up going out, socializing, extra spending, even doing my religious practices so I could be with him and make him happy. I’ve done a lot as well, I do most of the things around the house like cooking, cleaning up meals, laundry, walks to get smokes or drinks from the stores, minor cleaning. He’ll take out the trash sometimes and do the major cleaning once a week or every two weeks but other than that it all kind of lies on me. Being 17 weeks pregnant, its a lot for me to do.
    I don’t want to sound stuck up, but I feel like I could be doing better and that someone could treat me better than this, that I deserve better. It feels wrong for me to say this, I guess just from the PTSD from this relationship and abuse in my past relationships…But I feel like I shouldn’t put up with this anymore. I want to be in a relationship with someone who will show interest in me, want to spend time with me, give love and accept love. I want to be with someone who will support me and comfort me when I’m upset, not tell me to suck it up or that I’m being childish. I want to be free from this, just spend a while on my own, getting my life together. I want to go back to school, get my ged, get a job and a car. I want to make friends, see my family. I want to raise my child in a happy home, even if money’s tight. I would rather have the kid not be able to get a new toy every month than have to see this kind of stuff and be raised in a home where this happens…
    Should I leave? How do I get out? what do I say to him? What will happen with our child? Will I be able to make it on my own as a single mother? Is he going to be all right? Will he hate me? try to turn the child against me? Or not want to be in their life at all? All these things keep running around in my head, I’m so confused. I love him so much but I can’t put up with this, I can’t hold onto the person I met because that person isn’t there anymore…he may never have even been that person… I keep trying again, giving it another chance and another chance… “Things get better in time”…do they?
    I might tell him that things need to change and quickly, tell him he can’t talk to me like that or treat me like that, or I will take the baby and leave. Or I might just walk out, get it over with and kill it quick…I’m so confused.

    • Danielle says:

      I hope you’ve left. Leave. You deserve a better and happy life. I’ve been watching someone in my life go through abuse for 10yrs+, three kids, it’s miserable. It’s no life. You are so smart for recognizing this now. Run! Get out! Look after your baby. I promise you will love your baby more than you love your boyfriend. Your baby will love you so much too. Your abusive boyfriend doesnt deserve your love.

    • Leslie says:

      Same thing, run, get away. You’re not confused. You already know in your heart what you need to do and this will be one of the hardest things you will ever do. I know because I did it three months ago, I filed a restraining order partly so I wouldn’t be tempted when he would inevitably call and try to get back into my life. You deserve so much more, so much better. Leave this POS and never talk to him again.

    • Sophie says:

      POS is right! I am finally in the WAKE UP stage and I always knew deep down what he was doing was WRONG!

      I’ve only known this POS since May 2014….he started the 1st month I knew him! It started with him yelling, pulling me down to the floor…he said “he’d had this under control for 20 years” said, “he hoped I didn’t look up his criminal history” This man is 57 years old!!!! I’m 52, old enough to know better; lonely…but you’re never too old to find someone decent! I gathered my things and left several times, he was always in hot pursuit of me, following, phone calls etc.

      He threw a glass down on the concrete floor; he had a roommate who inquired “what was going on” yet he did NOTHING! It started with him grabbing my face and throwing me around! He would cry and I felt sorry for him! His house was in foreclosure HELLO! Red flags all over the place! He’s irresponsible, immature AND He drinks too much.

      He has pulled my hair, slapped my face! slapped my ears, put his fingers in my mouth as if to stretch my mouth….spat at me….torn 3 shirts of mine; ripped a necklace off of me…kicked a me lightly, drag me around by my hair!!!! so much so a big clump came out cover me with a blanket and then throw me across the room with such force I was afraid I’d get whiplash….forced me to eat, drink, etc. –

      He KNOWS what he is doing! They KNOW what they are doing. Don’t kid yourself..
      Other abusers/or a$$H men will back them! (bail them out of jail; consort with them and blame the woman)

      Psychological – He took texts from other women while we were together…on one of our 1st dates!!argue with another woman he was on “rebound” with- who was moving (Geez, I wonder why; ;to get away from him?) telling her he was going to have sex with me, the new one. Then, as he took me to work one day, said he had a wreck in a certain spot fantasizing about having sex with her.

      He’s a liar, he’s an alcoholic! He’s on probation and he can’t even stop! Just the other day we were arguing over the phone and he comes chasing after me in PUBLIC!!! For once I didn’t have to call the police! (About 5 other people saw him) He’s very dangerous; he’s on probation and he’s lucky, because I helped him get OFF heavy charges!

      He would grab my phone, keys and purse…..SCREAM at me!!!! The police were like…how come you never called us before? Well, I couldn’t, he always had my phone, my keys, etc. I couldn’t call, he’s tall an much stronger than I….and Yes, now the verbal, psychological stuff really starts…

      He would as you say, “half listen” or perhaps not listening at all, treat me like I’m the stupidest thing on earth……micromanage me if I drove…picked up his reading glasses…”start this piece of sh@t” ….

      He’s NOT a MAN, but a dangerous THUG. I feel horrible because my WHOLE family HATES HIM and I’m old enough to know better! I need counseling just to get my head on straight after all of this. My 22 year old son cried…because someone in my family (whom I wish had NOT!) told him.

      This man is on medication; is getting “counseling”, is on probation, etc. When he pulled this last thing in public….trying to get me to go with him in my car…I really FINALLY felt in danger and I knew he cannot/will not change.

      Dont’ try to understand them or feel sorry for them, who KNOWS what goes on in their brains…THEY are the ones mentally deficient. NO ONE deserves to be treated that way. I can’t believe he was ever “top in his class”

      I know I need a lot of help as to why I put up with this for almost a year. All I can do is take it slow and hope to get stronger every day. I’m SO sick of the drama!

      All I can do is fight the impending loneliness and try to remember my poor son’s broken hearted face as he never wants this for his mother….this is what that POS is teaching your kids! Don’t let him!

  19. Laurie says:

    Dear Taimi,

    Thank you for being here, and for having the courage to share your story. It sounds like you’re in a very abusive relationship, yet you are a strong woman who is determined to survive!

    My prayer is that you find a safe harbour, a safe place to go and heal. I pray that you turn to God for direction and guidance, that He sustains you through this scary, uncertain time. May you gain strength, hope, and faith from connecting with the ultimate Source of power and love. And, may you find people and places that help you leave that abusive man, and rebuild your life.

    I hope you let me know how you’re doing.


  20. Laurie says:


    Thank you for sharing your experience of getting out of an abusive relationship! It’s so important to hear from survivors, because it gives us hope, strength, and courage.

    You left an abusive man, which means whoever is reading this can leave, too. It’s hard and it doesn’t happen overnight (which is why there are stages of leaving an abusive relationship), but it can be done.

    You are not alone.

  21. Laurie says:

    Dear Chels,

    I’m so glad you’re here, and that you found this information on leaving an abusive relationship! It sounds like it’s a very difficult struggle for you. It’s painful to be in the relationship, but you’re scared to leave because your boyfriend’s reaction is unpredictable. He might even become violent if you leave.

    It takes courage to talk about your relationship, and explore different options. You’re scared, but you’re reaching out for help! That’s awesome. You are taking care of yourself by taking these first steps towards freedom – and you are taking care of your son by learning how to protect yourself.

    Who are the two people you’re closest to? Tell me what it’d be like to tell them what you’re going through. How does it feel to tell them? How would it feel after you told them you’re in an abusive relationship, and you want to leave?

  22. Chels says:

    I have been in a abusive relationship for 4in a half years and counting. It started when I was only 14 years old by the time I was turning 16 I gave birth to our son. Now my son is 16 months im 17th the dad is 18. He cheats on me he controls everything I do down to im not allowed to shower only when he says. I hate him so much and I don’t want to be with him. He goes to work or to bowling and I don’t know if he is realy having sexn with 1 out of 20 girls in this town that he sleeps with. I went through his phone that’s how I know he cheats. he has cheated on me since the day we go together. I don’t want to be with him. He says he would come find me and kill me if I ever left. I just want to be with someone who loves me and I love. Im only 17 and I cant even live my life like a normal person does. Im to scared to tell anyone. I don’t want my mother to get stuck paying for my sons needs because the father is doing this. If I leave and tell anyone im in danger if he finds me..

    • Yaz says:

      Dear Chels, Thanks so much for sharing your story. I really hope that you will get the courage and strength to leave your abusive partner. There is so much help out there and so many people who can support you in all ways. I totally understand the feeling of being scared, I left an abusive partner earlier this year and it’s a huge step but with the right support around you, you can do it. Just start by taking little steps, maybe you could get in touch with a local organisation that support women in abusive relationships? They can give you the advice and support you need to give you the start making those first few steps. Keep strong and looking forward to the happier future you deserve.

  23. Laurie says:

    Dear Lynn,

    Have you read any AA books, such as the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous? The central idea is that we’re powerless over our addiction – and I believe men can be an addiction!

    Getting counseling is an excellent idea, and will help you learn how to protect yourself against abusive men. I also encourage you to learn about the basic tenets of AA. For instance, the first is that we’re powerless over the craving. We need to rely on a Higher Power (God, for many people) to protect us, guide us, and keep us strong and healthy. I’m using the AA tenets to fight my eating disorder.

    In peace and passion,

  24. Laurie says:

    Dear sk,

    You and he have been through so much together! It sounds like it’s been a long, tough road.

    Thank you for sharing your experience here. Leaving an abusive relationship is never easy, even when we know we’d be better off without them.

    What sort of help do you need? If you have an idea of where you want your relationship to go and what you want to do with your life, it may help you get the help you’re looking for.

    I invite you to share your hopes and dreams for your future — because I believe that is the first step to moving forward!

    • Lynn says:

      Hi Laurie. I want to get myself healthy and learn how to love myself. It’s so hard to do. I haven’t had contact with him. I am just having a hard time getting over him. I think about him being with someone else and it hurts. I just don’t i
      Underdtand how he can act like I don’t exist and u
      Pretty sure he is probably dealing with someone. It’s like he never loved me like he said. I don’t want to go back ever with him. I am scared if he does call that i would jump to see him if he wanted to. So I need to get into counseling and get the help I need. I read these stories of other women who go through the same or worse and It makes my heart hurt. We are loving people and we get involved and lied to and used by these men. They truly are psychopaths. They destroy us. These sites help me and I need all the help i can get.


  25. Laurie says:

    Dear Katie,

    Thank you for being here, and for sharing your thoughts and feelings. It sounds like you’ve been through so much with your husband, his behavior, and your health. It’s been a heavy burden and a long journey, hasn’t it?

    I wish I had words to make things better, to help you leave this abusive relationship and start over. I wish God would swoop down and save you! But He doesn’t work that way, does He? He requires us to take action, to trust Him, and to walk in faith and hope.

    How was your Christmas and New Year – has anything changed in the past week or so?


    • Lynn says:

      I have known this man for 16yrs. I was with him for 6 yrs just casualty. I didn’t see him for5-6 yrs. he got In touch with me in 2011 and I have been with him ever since. We have broken up soooo many times and got back together. At first everything was great and i still had strong feelings for him. Things changed around 3-4months. Saw girls on his phone. Caught him lying. He was never wrong. He would blames me for everything. Turn it all on me. He was Jekyll and Hyde. Started with choking,kicking,hitting,hitting me a wire. He would feel bad. I stayed things of course get worse. I was spit on. All my stuff destroyed along with my car. He gave me a concussion,stabbed me with a pen in my leg. I have scars on my wrist from something he threw At me. He has done horrible things to me. He head utter me and have me a black eye. Goes thru my phones deleted male contacts. He is on dating websites and alway meeting girls. But tell me he loves me and wants to marry me. In front of everyone he is the nicest guy. Why do I keep goin back. I can’t ever seem to be done with him. We both keep going back to each other. This last time I said I’m done and I am going to keep his number blocked. His past relationships all had order of protections and he was abusive with them too. I think if he sees how much I love him he will change. I think about him with someone else and it makes me sick and I think he is going to be different with them. He has a long criminal history. He seems to have a hard time with keeping a job. But when he has money he always helps me. He does like to drink a lot and he may do other thinks. He rages and is so moody and he won’t communicate with me at all. He is secretative with everything in his life. He hasn’t tried to call me and it’s bothering me. We have done this before and we end up back together again. It’s a cycle but I can’t get out of my mind that he probably has some girl he is trying to pursue so it’s ok if he isn’t around me or it talking to me. It drives me insane. I know he is abusive but it’s so hard to leave him for good. I think of my life and I can’t imagine him not there. It’s messed up. We do enjoy being with each other n have fun. But it only lasts so long. I just need some I put and someone to talk to. I cried all day today and left him messages and told him it really is over because of all the hurtful things he was saying and always trying to hurt me him saying he has real girls he is dealing with. He is do mentally,emotionally and psychologically abusive. He loves to give me the silent treatment. Idk. I need some help.

      • Kimberly says:

        I know your pain. I was married to an abusive man for 5 years and with him for 7. Our relationship was similar to yours, on and off again. He also spit in my face, head butted me in the stomach, and has punched me in the jaw. He would go into rages over the smallest things. He would use projection and blame me for his problems. He did not care if he yelled and broke things in front of the kids. This type of behavior is not normal and it is sad that it took me this long to finally realize that he would never change. I found numbers of other women in his phone and email accounts and he would get really angry if I confronted him. I finally had enough when he threatened to hurt me really bad and started raging and throwing things. I told myself that I refused to live the rest of my life like that. I know that it is hard but you have to find the strength to leave, because it only gets worse. Those type of men do not change, because they do not believe they have a problem. It is not you, so do not blame yourself. This man is obviously screwed up and is trying to control you and whoever else that will allow him. Mine use to use the silent treatment too, it is only a control tactic to try and break you. Once you realize that this ma is sick and you can not help him, you will move on. Trust me he will continue the same behavior with other women, until they discover the truth about him and leave.

  26. Katie says:

    I have been married for eleven years. The abuse started within weeks of our wedding. This is my second marriage, I had a 2 year old son from my first marriage when we met and married. He was so good to my son. He was sweet and loving. He was also divorced with a son a few years older than mine. We had much in common, we had both been cheated on my our previous spouses and he seemed to understand my pain very well.
    At the time I was a new Christian. I actually met him at an Easter morning service on the beach. He came across as a devout Christian. He is older than me, and seemed to be so mature and stable, the opposite of my ex-husband.
    He proposed on our first date and we married three months later. He spent most of our engagement time in another state, spending time with his son while I made all the arrangements.
    After our wedding he moved in with me. After my divorce I worked very hard at three jobs to buy a house for my son and I. I was determined to give my son the life he deserved. I wanted a backyard for him to play in.
    My husband lived in his mothers garage when we met. He had many reasons why he did not have a place of his own, nor any money to his name, all of which were not his fault. I suppose that should have been my first clue, but I was blinded by “love”. He always seemed to say the right thing whenever those “red flags” came up.
    Soon after we married his whole personality changed. He was no longer charming. His once loving and uplifting words became hurtful and demeaning.
    I should also mention that as a 6’2″ 270lb Marine trained as a sniper, he was VERY intimidating to my 5’2″ 85lb self!
    He began to use my son to hurt me. After one very frightening incident I reached out to our pastor. He began counseling us and it soon became apparent to my pastor that my son and I needed to get out. He and his wife offered a safe place for us, but I was so scared to go through another divorce. The first one nearly killed me and I was still so blind as to think that if I just loved my husband more I could heal his pain and he would stop hurting us.
    I decided to stay with my husband and pray that God would fix our marriage.
    My husband soon moved us to another state more than 10 hours away from all of my friends and family.
    Within days of moving my worst nightmare came true. He lost his temper horribly and nearly killed my son and I. I was able to call 911 and police were soon there to help. I should also mention that at this time I was now pregnant with our first child together. I was only 4 or 5 weeks along.
    The police arrested him and I felt awful. My son cried as they took him away.
    The next morning I bailed him out. He had a year of court-ordered anger management classes after that. It just made him more angry. He used it to punish me. He was so cold and cruel during my whole pregnancy. I went into labor at 26 weeks and nearly lost the baby. I was put on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. My mother flew out and stayed with us for three months and helped take care of my son and I.
    My husband began sleeping in another room after his arrest. We have not slept in the same bed for the past 8 years.
    For the past 8 years I have been nothing more than a possession to him.
    Every time I tried to leave he would get me pregnant.
    Now, with five kids I feel so trapped.
    I left for three months last year, but he forced me back.
    I cannot get a restraining order because he does not leave any proof of his abuse. He has made it VERY clear that he will not go to jail again.
    I want so much to leave, but my health is so poor. I have severe PTSD. I have suffered a stroke and I have trouble getting around. I am only 33, but my body is more like 83. I fear that I do not have the strength to leave. I pray every day that God will heal me so that I can leave. I know I will die if I stay.

    • jolene says:

      OH MY GOODNESS! I am 32 and i thought i had it bad! That is heart wrenching I want to help you. I cannot believe you are only 33 and live like this!!!

  27. Laurie says:

    Dear Al,

    It sounds like your boyfriend has charmed you! He is so attractive, alluring, compelling – and he can have any woman he wants. He chose you, which makes him even more attractive. I think he makes you feel special because he’s so amazing and he chose you…and yet he makes you feel awful because he verbally abuses you.

    You haven’t told anyone how he treats you because you’re embarrassed and ashamed. You’re confused, and you don’t know how to admit that he treats you so badly! Your friends and family would be horrified, wouldn’t they? The would want you to leave him, they would want to protect you because they love you so much.

    But, leaving an abusive relationship isn’t easy. It seems like it should be simple to walk away from a man who abuses, but it’s very complicated. There are lots of emotions and thoughts to process, and many entanglements to sort through.

    I want you to talk to a counsellor. I want you to call a domestic violence hotline, and learn that you are experiencing what hundreds or even thousands of women do! I want you to talk your relationship through with someone who is trained, who knows where you’re coming from and why you’re staying in this abusive relationship. Likely, you’ll talk to someone who has been in the exact same position and who has felt the exact same complex, difficult emotions.

    Will you call a helpline, or go online? Learn about abusive relationships, and start figuring out what is keeping you trapped.

    You are a smart, strong, brave, resourceful, beautiful woman! And, you deserve to be treated with love, respect, dignity, and kindness.

    I welcome your thoughts. Come back anytime. Be safe. Protect yourself. Connect with God.

    Love yourself.


  28. Al says:

    I think I need help. In fact I know I do. I have always been in relationships, had dates, and have felt attractive. I am 31 and have been in veterinary school for over a year and have had a great life. I am loved by my family and have great friends. I have been dating this man for almost two years. He is the most handsome man I have ever seen. He is from a country that gives him a beautiful accent. Women everywhere melt in his presence and he has chosen me. But he has also chosen to abuse me verbally. We are from different countries, so some of the words he uses are different in the U.S. than in the U.K. We have lived together for a year abroad and I just moved home. He is planning on coming here with the dogs (our dogs are like our children). He has called me all sorts of names and has gotten in my face before and threatened to put holes in the walls and smash my computer if I didn’t stop what I was doing and listen to him. I never knew what I was coming home to. Everything was perfect at first and as his business went down hill and he ran out of money, things got worse. I have spent thousands on him, and I don’t care about being paid back I just want him and the dogs to be safe. I feel so stuck, and cannot tell any of my friends and family the full truth. You probably all think I am in idiot, but its easier said than done. I love this person and when things are good they are so good. But I feel like I have lost myself, been distracted from school, and feel like I have become a crazy person. Please help if you have any words of wisdom.

    • hey yah says:

      You dont tell your family because you are ashamed of what they would think?
      Or may be your family is not supportive enough?
      The truth is you have started having doubts about this man that you so want to
      love you but apparently he just do….es…not.
      His hurting you and all the pain may continue for a while with you spending your
      hard earned money on someone that
      does not love you and makes you scared and wants to smash your computer.
      But the point is you have started noticing.
      God willing, you will have energy to dump him and his irresistible accent.
      Wishing you all the best.

  29. lolie says:

    I have been in a relationship with someone I did not realize was abusive. I often wonder if he even realizes he is abusive. He was charming at first, we had similar political views, he seemed rational, logical…he was a CO. But from the moment I met him I had this eerie dread that if I got into something with him I would not be able to get out-I’d be “trapped”. He brought me flowers, we went on dates, he wanted very quickly to spend the rest of his life with me. Said I was different from all other girls he’d ever met….I was really quite roped in. I noticed his cold moods when I wouldn’t return his quick “i love you”. I noticed quickly too that we always had to do what HE wanted to do, whether it was eat at a certain restaurant, or go where he wanted to. He also began to make derogatory comments, like I was the “ugliest girl at the beach”. Or that I had (excuse this) a “middle aged vagina”, then he would say he was joking and that it was his sick sense of humor. I felt disgusted. His moods have become very erratic and he angers quickly, I can feel the moods coming on. The other day, we were driving into a wooded area I had never been- he was “suprising me”. It was overgrown, a little odd and remote. He said to me that he was going to kill me and leave my body in the woods. Then said it was a joke. This was the final straw and I’m leaving.

    • Laurie says:

      I’m glad you’re leaving, lolie! I hope you get support and guidance, because leaving an abusive relationship can be so difficult. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

    • amanda says:

      Oh please leave! That is not a joke, no one should ever say anything like that. I hope you did get out.

  30. Kelly says:

    My ex abuser is a cop and believe me it’s much harder to get help when he’s convinced his cop family that you are the problem and are only trying to get him in trouble. The thing is statistics show that military and police families have higher violence and abuse rates. Cops know the law, what they can get in trouble for and will be sure you have no proof. Any kind of conviction will require physical evidence, believe me I found out the hard way. After a year and a half of investigating he got a city ordinance violation of disorderly conduct. He also decided to shack up with a young naive probation officer. Very convenient for him! He will be returning to work as a cop after a year and a half paid administrative leave. Nice vacation! However, his actions provoked two 911 calls by me while we were still together and some of his fellow police family has suffered. Two lost their jobs, and others were punished for trying to cover up my calls for help. After a crazy year and a half supervised visitation schedule, because I reported his abuse of our mutual children he now has a normal custody schedule. He was going to fight for 50/50 so I chose my children, agreed to drop my DV RO in exchange for him agreeing to less time with the kids. It breaks my heart. Things are rosy now with his new gf but they were too when he and I met. He went through my purse, car, computer, email, backpack, etc, kept track of my mileage. Constantly down graded me and my oldest daughter (previous relationship). There were times his anger, rants, yelling, screaming, cornering, tackeling, intimidation and threats were so severe I wondered if he would kill me. I hid a note in my backpack once that read, “if I am found dead or turn up missing please investigate him.”. He found it, brought it to our family counselor and accused me of trying to get him in trouble. The counselor bought it. He is very intelligent, manipulative and convincing. I am free, except for the fact that we share children. I am prepared. I know his quest to hurt me will never really end. He will continue to try to gain more custody, turn them against me and hurt me. If and when his current gf realizes his true nature I’m sure he will blame me somehow. I can only pray she leaves him and tries to help me fight for my kids. I never want to see them end up in an abusive relationship. So, when you see those red flags please don’t ignore them. Please recognize abusive traits and stay away! You can’t fix an abuser, they have to want change for themselves and follow through with it!!

    • Laurie says:

      Dear Kelly,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience of leaving an abusive relationship. It sounds like you have gone through hell – and your ex abuser is a charmer who knows how to manipulate people! It’s terrible.

      I’m so glad you’re free, and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Hopefully, his current girlfriend will recognize that he’s an abuser, and come alongside you to fight him.

      You are a strong, smart woman – and I admire you for what you’ve survived! You are now helping other women leave abusive relationships, just be being here. Thank you.


      • Kelly says:

        Thank you for your blessings. His abuse was very psychological, mental, emotional and verbal. Through his police training he knew how to be intimidating, menacing and threatening without being physical. It was horrible. There were times he would tackle me and use police tactics to get me down. He would bend my wrists and apply force at pressure points when I would try to call someone for help. He left bruises once, which I showed to our counselor. During one of our counseling sessions, he verbally degraded me in every way possible. Face red, arms flexed, in my face, said every single thing he knew would hurt me then stormed from the room. After he left our counselor asked, “do you realize your being abused?”. I was dumbfounded, I called it a quick temper or bad anger. I begged him for years to attend anger management. I tried to leave twice and when I did he would patrol my workplace in his squad car, follow me home, all under the pretense that he was protecting me. The second time I left was because he actually kicked me out of our home while I was 2 months pregnant with our 2nd child. I lived with family for several months. His grandfather passed away, he begged me to attend the funeral with him, said he needed me. Then he promised to get help. I agreed to return and of course he never addressed his problems. We only attended couples counseling which actually helped me decide to leave. I cannot explain how many times he attacked me. Once because I wanted to run to the local grocery store to buy hot dogs for dinner. I was chastised for spending too much money for gourmet meals. Sounds hilarious now but at the time it became a personal attack on me, how irresponsible I was, how I would never have anything, accomplish anything, be a good parent, etc. He got in my face, screaming, yelling, arms flexed, chest puffed out all because I wanted to buy hot dogs!! These encounters happened often, especially if he knew I was stressed and would easily break. In the beginning I would just cry, beg him to love me and let go of his anger. Eventually I became numb and did not respond and would calmly tell him he needed to stop. When he realized his tactics weren’t hurting me and eliciting a response he began attacking my daughter and sometimes even his own children because he knew I would fight back and defend them. My daughter was a straight A student when we first met. After years of never being good enough or measuring up to his unattainable standards her grades began to fail, she became withdrawn, reclusive and would only want to stay home if he wasn’t going to be home. I was in college pursuing an RN degree. It was during this time my then 3 yr old started talking about touching and was afraid to tell me because she believed her dad could hear what she told me even while he was at work. I knew I had to leave and report it all but I was scared and unsure of where to go for help. His coworkers were the men in charge of investigating abuse. I didn’t think any of them would ever believe me and of course I had been spending years pretending things were ok. His police family only knew what he told them, which was mostly complaining about how terrible I was, not knowing how to discipline, being a bad parent, etc. I did find out through a mutual friend that he was also making things up about me. He had built a case against me and most of his police family believed I was some kind of monster. Very smart. I had confided in one person whos husband worked with him for years about our relationship. When I finally told her the accusations my 3 yr old had made she told me, “it’s never easy doing the right thing but I know you will.” I reported to a doctor, was referred to a CPS agent. All the while I stayed because I was scared if he found out I was planning to leave and report these things he would hurt me. The weekend before I was scheduled to bring my daughter he raped me. Sat on my chest, tried to force felatio, tried to have sex, while I cried, begged him to get off me and stop. I was so afraid my children would wake up and witness it all. CPS interviewed my daughter individually, then us together. Then the entire story came out but I had no physical evidence. The thing is people don’t want to believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. I managed to leave and finish school, graduate with my degree. This was the hardest thing I have ever done but now I’m able to support my family. By myself and have no interest in being with another man again. I just want to raise my children to the best of my ability and work at my career. I always wanted to believe he could change. I blamed myself for years. No matter how much love, patience, understanding, selflessness you give to an abuser, it is never enough. You cannot fill their void. You cannot fix them. They will dry up your heart and come back for more. I consider myself an intelligent person. The day I realized he was an abuser I was dumbfounded. We all think of abuse as broken bones and bruises. The thing is he had wittled me away to nothing slowly and deliberately so that I never really saw it coming. I remember thinking, how did I get into this relationship? He was so charming and sweet?! Ugh!

  31. Keri Kight says:

    Wow, Laurie, you have received such a huge response from the post. I think the most important part of making sure stage 4 does not last forever is to have support. I was able to move back home, and even though my family had their own emotional issues, I was at least far away from my ex boyfriend. When I started talking to other people about what happened to me, that’s when the real growth started, and I was able to transition into stage 5.

    My advice to all women who have experienced an emotionally abusive relationship is to find someone to talk to. You are not alone, and you don’t have to heal alone. It’s okay to ask for help. It does not make you weak. You deserve happiness and acceptance.

    • Laurie says:

      Thank you for your thoughts on leaving an abusive relationship, Kelley! Finding someone to talk to is HUGE. Break the silence, no matter how difficult or painful it might be.

      Stay true to you and all you do,

  32. Laurie says:

    Dear Cory,

    Yay for you!! What a survivor you are, so brave and able to take care of yourself. I’m very proud of you, and what you’re accomplishing in your life. One step at a time, friend, and this will all be behind you.

    I’ve had trouble making new friends, too. Recently, I’ve connected with people by walking my dogs. It’s a great way to meet neighbors and it’s easy to make conversation when your dogs are snifing each other’s butts :-)

    Another place is book club – if there’s a book club in your area, it’s a wonderful way to start over. Church as well – and if you don’t believe in Christ, maybe you could think about a different type of spirituality. Faith and spirituality are wonderful sources of strength.

    Volunteering is another good way to make friends, especially if you go to the same place every week.

    What do you think of those ideas? Another idea is to take exercise classes at your community center. Anything that gets you out and involved with people will help you make friends.


  33. Cory says:

    Hey Laurie,
    It’s little miss, ” I am literally writing this while hiding in my car in a public parking lot”
    I am terrified no more! I made it, so far. One night he was harassing and threatening me in my car in town telling me to take him home with me. I wasn’t about to fall into the trap again. Again he refused to just get out of the car and leave me alone. I was terrified and had already had a terrible couple of days without even dealing with him. So when he started, I just couldn’t take it and began bawling. Little did I know someone was about to answer my prayers. Out of nowhere it seems, an SUV pulled up behind me, and really close. I didn’t know what to think so, I about to drive away, when the red and blue lights flashed. I have never been so happy to see those blue and red lights and the police in my entire life.
    It had usually been a motto of mine for the police ” always there when u don’t want them to be there, and never around when you need them.”
    That night proved me wrong.
    He was taken to jail, conveniently enough, he just happened to have warrants. So they took him to jail, and I am waiting on word from a judge about my protective order.
    I wrote the police department an email, thanking them for doing their jobs, and potentially saving my life.
    I was so appreciative, I just wanted to bake them some cookies or something. But decided against it as this was a town that has had its share of exlax brownie pranks. So I figure a proper thank you to the commanding officer would do just fine.

    Only thing now is, I don’t have any friends left. Where can I go to try and make new “quality” friends? I don’t even know where to start.
    Any thoughts? … I am not looking for advice, just wondering how do people make friends as adults? Since i dont have a regular job where i meet people every day, and i don’t go to school anymore, where do i go to meet new people?
    Do they have a dating type site where you can look up people to be friends with in local areas? If not they should have one.

    Thanks for listening again,

  34. Laurie says:

    Dear Marina,

    I am so sorry for what you’ve been through – I want to give you a big hug! I’m glad you’re in therapy, because it’ll help you to talk through your emotions and thoughts about what you’ve been through.

    Your partner treated you very badly, but you had the strength and courage to leave and start over! That is amazing, and I am glad for you.

    These are the dark times, but believe me — these dark days will end! You will see the light and be happy again.

    You are a valuable, worthwhile, gentle, caring, compassionate woman who deserves to be treated with care and love. Your partner has beaten down your self-respect and self-confidence…but you won’t stay down for long! Like a phoenix, you will rise from the ashes to start new.

    Come back anytime, write out your feelings, tell me how you are.

    Blessings and hugs,

  35. Marina says:

    It’s hard to read what some of you have been through but it’s encouraging to know that you are getting through it. It gives me hope. I spent 8 years with an abusive man. He started out great, but the red flags were there and I didn’t see them until later when I realized I was in too deep. He has screamed in my face, left me at restaurants, degraded me, he was horrible. He always accused me of flirting, cheating or lying. If I tried to walk away from him, he pushed me to the floor, pulled me hair, he got me in a choke hold. About three times he covered my mouth and nose and I couldn’t breath. I thought I was going to die. When we where in his car and his was getting ready to drop me off at my house, he changed his mind and sped up. I got scared because I knew he was taking me to his apt and would be trapped. I told him to stop the car but he didn’t, so I pulled the emergency break. He grabbed my arm and twisted it so hard I though it was going to break. I feel like he is a monster for doing these things to me. But I kept going back. I went to his apt a day after he abused me and there was another woman in his bed. I reported the abuse. And there hasn’t been contact between me and him. I feel used and abused and discarded. In some ways, I feel free, then other times I want so badly for him to want me and to treat me great like in the beginning. This abuse only happened a week ago. I am going through therapy and I know it’s going to take time. I cannot wait until the pain and hurt go away.

  36. Laurie says:

    Dear Cori,

    Oh my God, I wish I could give you shelter!! Your boyfriend sounds like he is losing his mind; has he been diagnosed with schizophrenia or a mental illness?

    I understand why you don’t want to call the police, but I don’t see how you can protect yourself without external force. Will the police be able to take you in for something if you call? Maybe that would be better than staying with your boyfriend! But of course, there’s your grandma and her property to consider.

    Have you called the Victim Services unit? Most areas have a number to call for women in abusive relationships.

    By the way — I know that cat song – “We thought he was a goner! But the cat came back…” :-) It sounds like you have a sense of humor.

    You are a strong, smart woman. You made some bad decisions with your boyfriend, but you will pull yourself out of this. It just takes one step at a time to get out of this nightmare.

    Look up a Victim Services unit — or even a local mental health services number. Your boyfriend is mentally and emotionally unstable, and you can’t protect yourself from him. Please call for help, and let me know how you are.


  37. Laurie says:

    Dear mj,

    There are so many decent, kind, loving, healthy men out there! You don’t have to settle for an abusive man. You deserved to be loved and cherished, to be respected and cared for.

    And even if there weren’t one single nice man left in the world, I think it’s better to be alone than to be in a crappy relationship. Life is so precious, so short, so amazing — why spend it in fear, sadness, depression, darkness?

    Have you ever been alone? What does this look and feel like to you?

    I know that raising a child as a single mother is very difficult. I also know that there are thousands of couples who would be so happy to adopt your baby. My husband and I can’t have kids, and considered adopting. We decided to live childless, because parenting isn’t that important to us. But if you gave your baby up for adoption, he or she would be a gift to a couple who can’t have one of their own.

    If you decide to get an abortion, will you talk to an counsellor? At BC Women’s Hospital in Vancouver, all the women have to talk to a counsellor at least once before the procedure. Is it the same where you are?


  38. cory says:

    Well, i will start off with the basics. I am 26, been with this guy almost 6 years. I live with and care for my grandmother on a 28acre ranch in a rural area 7 miles to town either way.
    As with most relationships it did not start out the way it is today. Although im pretty sure how i started dating this guy might shock some. He was the one who “rescued me” from my previous abusive relationship. Also i saw how he had helped out others in my situation that were cousins, or childhood friends of his. Because of this, i figured i would be safe, and would never have to deal with being chased out of my own home,at 2am, barefoot, fearing for my safety. Boy was i wrong.
    The emotional abuse i cannot quite remember when it started. The physical abuse began on a road trip, when we were yelling in the car, i asked him to please pull over and let me out so i could calm down. He sped up, and i warned i would pull the emergency break if need be. He laughed. So i pulled it. Next thing i know he slams my head against the passenger side window. I almost got knocked out. This was the day i felt betrayed. I swore to myself no matter how much he apologized, begged, or swore he wouldn’t do it again, i wouldn’t continue the relationship.
    Yet 4 years down the road, and here I am. Only now I am literally sitting in my car in a parking lot hiding from him. Over these last few years there have been a couple times when I could have sworn, this was going to be my end.
    Unfortunately for me, it is no longer a matter of should i or shouldn’t I, it is beyond, why, I am at the when and how do I get out alive?

    Over the last 9 months his behavior has taken a nasty turn. This is when I found out he has full blown paranoid delusions. I began with him thinking I was exposing myself to guys out the windows, to now he thinks guys are in the mattress, inappropriately touching me, while he is there no less.
    Not only are these thoughts, incorrect, I am not even cheating. Although he thinks I am the most scandalous female in the state. Funny I can count all previous sexual partners on both hands. Because he thinks i am lying, he hurts me, but if i were to lie and tell him what he wants to hear, im pretty sure it wont change my punishment. He becomes controlling, and many times tells me to stop arguing or crying, or he will “knock me out” “kick me in the face” or other threats. Worst of all he wont get away from me so I can calm down and wilk not let me leave no matter what. These are the times i become terrified that i might not see another day.
    Okay, so I need to get out, and just like others, I of coarse have no more friends to run to. My grandmother doesn’t need to be stressed about the situation, and any other family members have their own lives, and only show faces at holidays.
    When it happend today, as soon as I saw him walk down the street, I packed what I thought I might need for a couple nights and bailed. Because he is like the cat from that song, where the guy keeps trying to get rid of a cat. “but the cat came back the very next day, the cat came back, thought it was a goner, but the cat came back and just wouldn’t stay away.” He keeps threatening to pack his stuff, and that he wants me to take it all, to a place of his choice, but then he just pulls a control freak, and says “No, take me to the house I will pack it my self, and then u can give me and my stuff a ride to….” I do not feel safe doing this. Calling the police isn’t an option I want to take. As i am currently in my last few months of felony probation, and don’t want to jeopardize my freedom, or anymore of my future than possible. I got a felony while on a trip with him in Utah. Wrong place wrong time, and I was charged with things that were untrue, and I had the worst public pretender in the state, told me I had to plea to felony, or I would go to state prison for 5 years.
    So I really just want to get him out of my life for good, get off of probation, and move on with the broken pieces of my life. I can always fix my broken life, but only if I still have a life to live.
    Moving is also not an option, as I must care for my grandmother each day. No one else has the time.
    I’m in the worst nightmare of my life, I just want to wake up. Any help no matter how insignificant it may seem is very appreciated. Believe me, I have been there once, and planned it all out, then had a knight in shining armor come save me, only to find out he was nothing but a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
    Thank you for reading, even without personalized help letting it out, really helps me at least take a breath of hope.

  39. mj says:

    Thankyou ever so much for getting back to me and for your kind and encouraging words.

    I haven’t spoken to a counsellor but I would like to. Years ago my immediate family knew he would get angry and they advised me not to continue with the pregnancy back in 2007 but then I blamed them terribly for not supporting me even though deep down I knew they only wanted the best for me. They think me and my partner have a really good relationship now, mainly because I have led them to believe this.

    If I terminate this pregnancy I want to do it as quietly as possible. It caused so much pain last time. I am booked in to have the termination this coming thursday so I need to think and fast.

    I just know that my life will not be the happy life I had hoped for if I stay with him and that scares me.

    Part of me believes if I have an abortion this time round it will be so much easier because I desperate to free myself of him. I am just scared of the pain I will feel again when my baby is gone from me and accepting that there is no going back from that. Nobody told me life can be so hard…!

    I am so used to being sworn at amd shouted at but there are many men ouy there who don’t treat women like that aren’t there?? Sounds like a silly question buy I’ve forgotten what a respectful man is all about.

  40. Laurie says:

    Dear Elsa,

    Congratulations on being terrified and moving ahead anyway! That’s what true courage and bravery is — feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

    Remember that even though you may not have friends or family to support you right now, you will find the support you need. There are dozens of kind, loving, supportive men and women in your area who will be happy to help you transition into a new life.

    People will help you, if you ask.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Come back anytime and let us know how you’re doing.


  41. Laurie says:

    Dear mj,

    Thank you for being so honest here, and for sharing what you’ve been through. You are a survivor! You’re a lot stronger than you think, and I know you will make your way through these difficult decisions.

    If I were you, I would not want to bring a baby into this relationship. He could do some serious damage to the baby — physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I would never be able to forgive myself if I brought a little one into his violent, hateful, angry world.

    But I’m not you! I can’t tell you what the best thing to do is.

    Have you talked to a counsellor about your options? I think it’s really important to talk through your thoughts and feelings about your life with someone in person, who can guide and support you.

    Do any of your friends or family know what you’re going through? I think that’s another very important part of coping with an abusive relationship. Men who abuse tend to isolate their victims, which makes it really hard to see the relationship for what it is.

    Let me know what your thoughts are on those questions.

    Stay true to you,

  42. mj says:

    Before I say anything I just hope that you don’t judge me…but I need help because I am confused and feeling very vulnerable. I have been with my partner 8 years. In that time he has all but hit me. He has grabbed my throat, my hair, pushed me in my face, pushed food in my face, pushrd me onto beds, the couch etc, humiliated me in front of friends and spat me…the list goes on. He calls me a fat b**** and all other manner of things.

    2 weeks ago he really got in my face and i thought this time he is definitely going to hurt me but things didnt get to that and that when i realised i need to get out of this situation and fast.

    Fast forward 2 days….i find out i am pregnant. Now i have been pregnant to him before and gotan abortion.****please please try not to judge***** That was 6 years ago and i knew then that he was dangerous and that he wasnt right for me.

    You might ask why i have stayed with him. I think firstly its because im weak. In a way its easier to stay or so i have told myself all these years. I have also had eating disorders all my teens and twenties and have pretty low self esteem. The abortion was hard for me to deal with. It took 3 yrs for me to stop crying for my baby and i have done nothing but long to be a mother ever since.

    However. ..and I say that with a very heavy heart…I know I cant have this man in my life. He is wearing me down, changing the person I am and pretty much destroying me. So I ask you really what would you do? Please any constructive comments would be appreciated. Do I havr a second abortion, do I raise the child alone or do I stay with a man I hate for what he has done to me. Im scared and sad. I nevrr thought I would abort one baby let alone 2. Thanks guys x

  43. Elsa says:

    Yesterday for the first time I allowed myself to admit out loud the truth. My husband is abusive.
    I have spent the last seventeen years being hit both physically and emotionally. But it was when he began to act that way (verbally) to our child that I finally was able to see it for what it really was.
    Over the last two years things have progressively worsened. Over the last couple weeks it has become more and more apparent that I am trending dangerous waters.
    He is disturbed and needs help – but I cannot help him nor can I ignore the pain and torment that he puts me and my child through.
    I have nothing. No money. No Friends. No where to go.
    But I will leave him.
    I am terrified. Terrified of what he will do when I leave. Terrified that I won’t be able to support my child and myself. Terrified that people won’t understand.
    But I must leave. I must.
    Thank you for your site. I have found strength…knowledge…and affirmation in it.

    Prayers to all you ladies out there who struggle.

  44. Laurie says:

    Dear Heidi,

    Thank you for sharing your process and progress – you’re not a burden at all! On the contrary, you’re showing us how to be strong and smart. You’re role modeling the steps it takes to leave an abusive relationship, and I am very happy for you.

    I really hope women read this BEFORE getting involved too deeply with men who abuse. Once you get in, it’s so difficult and scary to get out.

    You’re doing everything right, Heidi. Everything WILL turn out well, and you’ll be happier and healthier for it. This experience is happening for a reason.

    If you ever come to a yoga workshop or training in Vancouver, let me know! I’d love to meet for a walk in the park :-) I have 2 dogs, so if you have to leave yours at home, then you’ll at least be surrounded by new furry friends.

    Don’t forget to come back and let me know how you’re doing…

    Stay true to you,

  45. Heidi says:

    Hi Laurie,

    Oh, thanks so much for checking in, and for your prayers. I feel so drained and exhausted, and notice I’m slightly shaking all the time from hyper-vigilence. Sigh. It’s beginning to get better though. I always seem to write such long messages to you, I hope they’re not a burden.

    I got paperwork for protective order Monday, and am filling it out for Thurs (tomorrow) morn appt w/ Victim Assistance. Then take paperwork to court to submit to judge. If judge approves, could be in place by wkend; if wants hearing, will grant temporary order. Thurs aft appt w/ YWCA domestic violence counselor, then eve Victim Assist runs support group I will try out. Fri welcome relief of attending and teaching yoga classes…more normal life routine again.

    The Seargent recommended I send a follow-up email (and to mental health providers as well), so there IS a paper trail, and CC-ing it to others as I did the first time, and informing the director once again of my concerns; including what I forgot to previously, about Jay’s homicidal threat (witnessed by me, another supervisor, and two of his mental health trainers) on CCS garden property against several specific police officers by name. The seargent said he was VERY glad to be informed of a homicidal threat to himself! And that’s all I can do, and then LET GO!!!

    I’m exploring places I could go for a little getaway to decompress without always worrying that he knows where I am or whether he’ll suddenly show up. I might be able to stay with some friends, or someone who knows someone; have to arrange logistics w/ my dog. I’m longing to sit on the lakeshore and watch and listen to the waves and the seagulls soaring for soothing comfort. And finally be able to relaaaaax I hope.

    I will be meeting over the next few weeks with several support people for mentoring in how to really get my yoga teaching business going, marketing, etc. I guess that will be part of the process of identifying some of my own desires, goals, choices, and plans again. Haven’t done that in awhile! Learning new things scary and exciting both.

    In case it might be helpful and empowering to any of your readers, here is an excerpt of the email I wrote to Jay:

    “In answer to your question, I reported to CCS your out-of-control, violent, threatening, suicidal, and homicidal behavior over the past several weeks, culminating in the events of Tuesday June 18. I discussed concerns for my safety, and the safety of others in the CCS garden setting. I called your therapist and mental health treatment team, for assistance and support for you and others around you on Tuesday June 18, in response to your threats to destroy the community garden at your house, suicidal threats, enraged behavior with police who came to do a wellness check on you, and threats toward others.

    The next morning, Wednesday June 19, your bizarre behavior, as if you had no memory of what had happened the day before, was disturbing and seemingly indicative of an altered psychological state. Given your patterns of unpredictable, volatile behavior over many years, (and your assault on your housemate just the week before – which he chose not to report to the police)…I was extremely worried, not knowing what to expect from you at any moment. Wednesday morning your skills trainer and her colleague came to check on you at the CCS garden. Four of us all heard you make specific homicidal threats against several police officers by name. According to state law, mental health professionals are legally required to report any threats of self harm or harm to another person to their superiors, the police, and the person(s) threatened. I was very concerned when those professionals did not report it, and so I did.

    I informed CCS that I did not feel safe being in that garden until at least appropriate safety supports and behavior expectations were put in place; if your continued participation in that environment was appropriate at all. I do not want myself, nor anyone else, especially children (like the volunteer youth group of 13 kids that came the next day, Thursday June 20) to be in danger. It would also be an individual and organizational liability if you were to destroy property, or scare or hurt a person (all of which I have seen you do in other circumstances). Such serious threats trump any right to confidentiality.

    I understand from your texts on Wednesday July 3 that you have made the decision to resign from the CCS garden.

    As always, I hope that you will find greater peace, stability, and well-being in your mind, soul, and life, Jay. I cannot continue to put my safety and health at risk in that process. Over several years of dating relationship, I tried to explain away (to myself and other concerned friends) your frequently recurring incidents of unpredictable and volatile states-of-mind and behavior, wishing to help support you in your recovery. But it became increasingly apparent that it was not healthy for me to remain in relationship with you. Now, after having witnessed your behavior escalate over the past few weeks to levels of aggression and violence that I had not previously personally experienced; I need to remove myself. I am very thankful for your capable mental health treatment team to accompany you in your inner work. As I said before, I appreciate all the wonderful gifts of who you are that you have shared with me; and I regret any hurt we have caused one another. I expect you to relate to me respectfully during this transition process of safely collecting my things, and transitioning out of the dating relationship. I release you into the loving hands of God.”

    And so it is. And so this is where I am. And so this is life right now. And so…
    Friends reminded me of the quote,

    “And all shall be well,
    And all shall be well,
    All manner of things shall be well.”
    – Julian of Norwich

    Sinking into heartspace for all,

  46. Laurie says:

    Dear Heidi,

    How did it go when you went to the Victim Assistance office to see about getting a protective order? Are you feeling okay about things – have you made any plans?

    Every night, I pray for you and everyone in abusive relationships. I hope you can draw on the strength, hope, faith, and energy that is available to you!

    Are you writing your plans and goals? Sometimes that helps!

    Stay true to you,

  47. Heidi says:

    Oh Laurie, I almost forgot!
    I could use some extra prayers tomorrow because I’m going down to the Victim Assistance office to see about how to get a protective order. I’m really nervous, but it’ll be nice to be in an environment where I’m sure of support and advocacy (unlike a few other places I’ve experienced this last week). Will give you the scoop tomorrow.

  48. Heidi says:

    Hi Laurie,

    As always, a great response to my post. Your support and encouragement are aMAzing and help me feel soooo much stronger. I will write more tomorrow to give you the update. I did check out the website you suggested – very interesting stuff! It’s nice to be told that I’m valuable and to keep coming back to write to you.

    Thank you! (:

  49. Laurie says:

    Dear Heidi,

    I’m so glad to see the progress you’re making! That’s amazing, how you’re growing and learning and changing how you respond to him. You are resilient, and you’re finding ways to survive his abuse. That’s fantastic – you are taking your power back!

    You’re surviving his abuse, and rising above it. You’re learning new ways to cope with his statements and actions. And, you’re learning how to protect yourself. I’m so proud of you, that you’re glimpsing how unhealthy he is!

    You’re right when you say that if you could really believe you’re lovable, then a healthy man will love you. It’s a huge struggle, though! I fight the same battle every day; sometimes I hate myself, I beat myself up, I punish myself.

    Loving ourselves is the hardest thing we could do, because it requires discipline. It’s far easier to fall into the trap of abusing ourselves — and accepting abuse from others because we believe we deserve it.

    Have you read any of Byron Katie’s books? I LOVE her writings, here’s here website: http://www.thework.com/index.php

    I like her books better because I’m a print person, and I especially liked I Need Your Love – Is That True? It’s really, really good — it teaches us how to challenge our thoughts and get healthier.

    Stay connected – don’t drift away! I welcome you back anytime; I’ll be here :-)


  50. Heidi says:

    Hi again Laurie,

    I’ve been thinking a lot about my life, and yours’ and others’ comments. I’ve been repeating to myself some affirmations adapted from Louise Hay’s book ‘You Can Heal Your Life’, like: “I love myself. I am worthy of love, respect, dignity, harmony, and peace. My relationships are healthy and safe. I am willing to change. I release the thought patterns in myself which created these conditions. I choose to be healthy and free and happy.”

    And so practicing Transformation begins again…

    Thank you for being so straightforward in your observations. Even if hard to take in, I need to hear this perspective. I need to hear bluntly that it’s pointless for me to stay in the relationship hoping that my boyfriend will change; while getting sucked more and more into the drama of his out of control life. I need to hear that I am an empowered, intelligent, beautiful woman with potential; and that I deserve to be with someone who is stable, respectful, healthy, and truly good to me (and themselves). When my own mind can’t find these thoughts and beliefs, it’s helpful to hear them from someone else.

    He has kept escalating since the incident I described previously. This week it was becoming enraged and threatening to till up and destroy the whole garden, and then kill himself (and very angry yelling and aggressive at police who came to do an emergency wellness check on him). I’m proud to say that I did not rush over, nor did I go into any sympathetic supportive patterns. I merely said that I heard how he felt, given how he’s experienced his life; and that I could understand that he might not want to live, and that’s his choice, and I release him into the loving care of the Great Divine. Oh, and that if he was planning to be dead in the morning, to please drop off my work clothes and boots on my porch before that. (:

    It’s kinda funny to write and read that now, and helps me to see I am making progress in changing my behavior and choices. Of course he was still alive and kicking the next morning, and has acted as if everything is completely normal and nothing happened at all. His providers are exploring Axis II Narcissistic Personality Disorder along w Axis I Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, (previous diagnosis bipolar they don’t think is accurate anymore…). Realizing how much deception and manipulation takes place, as it became obvious he did in fact remember a lot of the incident, but acted as if didn’t.

    So I’ve kept a fairly safe distance, not setting some dramatic boundary, but just slowly distancing (hope this might decrease likelihood of an explosive reaction, as well as not giving him the attention he wants). This evening I worked hard at not giving in to my habitual desire to go on a walk together with my dog (a favorite activity along the river). I realized I was feeling increasingly anxious and uncomfortable and unsafe as the time approached, and so just said I wasn’t feeling up to a walk after all. My neighbors helped provide a good buffer when he showed up on the porch anyway, and I was able to just say I was tired and not feeling the best to go. Strange how clearly I am starting to be able to glimpse how unhealthy he is, when, with the help of a little space, I’m not wrapped up in the feelings of attachment, etc; and when I believe I have a choice to not put myself in his company.

    He seems to have no ability for self-awareness or analysis of thoughts, emotions, behavior, effect on self or others. Ironically, one of his siblings is going through a similar situation of abuse by their partner, and he is all upset about that…but can’t see the bizarro world parallel with the lack of safety he creates for me and his mother and those around him. Sigh.

    I guess all I can do is open to change myself. If I could really believe I was lovable, then I could probably love myself, and believe that a healthy person could love me also. I’m realizing how much guilt and shame I still pile on myself for my marriage failing; believing (as my former husband repeated) that my mental illness recovery process from the childhood ritual abuse was all to blame. I’ve been talking about that with my therapist, and boy is it a hard one for me to turn upside down and shake off and re-frame. So if I still believe that, then of course I think I’m not worthy of and could never be loved by someone also not “messed up”. Another sigh.

    I appreciate your questions about what do I THINK about my OWN THOUGHTS that I wrote. Not what someone else thinks, but what do I THINK?! It’s takes awhile to even begin to find what I think or feel or like or want or wish for or dream of…I’m so no used to that. It seems so much easier to see clearly how of course another woman does not need to stay in abusive relationship, and is lovable and worthy and empowered and has choices and is free etc…For some reason much harder to tell myself.

    Well, I guess I’m remembering why journaling and writing help process things to get unstuck. Thanks to your suggestion, Laurie! (: And THANK YOU for taking the time to be present to me and anyone who may write in. It helps a lot, especially at times when other resources are not so accessible (like late at night). Please write back again!

    Blessings and peace to you and all,

  51. Heidi says:

    Thank you so much for your in depth reply, Alot of things for me to think about in your comments. I will respond more a little bit later. It helps so much to feel your support, and hear an objective outside perspective. Thanks so much,

  52. Laurie says:

    Dear Heidi,

    Thank you for sharing your experience here – it sounds like you and your boyfriend have been going through a lot of emotional and physical turmoil! I have a dog, too, and I’d pretty sure all those experiences – both emotional and physical – are affecting your dog, as well as yourself and the people around you.

    It’s important to remember that your boyfriend may intend never to hurt you, and will promise never to hurt you, but his anger and impulsivity isn’t something he can control. He seems to be at the mercy of his raging emotions, and what he says when he’s calm doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll follow through when he’s triggered.

    It doesn’t matter what I think, or what anyone who reads this comments section thinks. The important thing is what YOU think — and if you believe in God, what He thinks.

    What do you think about your comments? What would you think if another woman wrote them? How does it feel to slowly begin to disappear? What does your heart and gut tell you when you think about abandoning your own personal growth and issues so you can focus your energy on your boyfriend’s issues?

    You are a smart, insightful, strong woman who has survived so much!! You listed several wonderful resources, and you know how to get the support you need.

    Being strong and courageous is much more difficult than taking the easy route. I think the easy route for you would be to continue to let your boyfriend’s emotions and behaviours run your life, to play the sacrificial martyr, and to let yourself take a back seat to the drama he creates.

    The hard route is to take time to honestly answer the questions I asked above.

    And, I urge you to not to expect your boyfriend to change. You will be dealing with his outbursts, counselors, case managers – and eventually the police and even the court system – for as long as you’re together. If you have children with him, he’ll be sucking you dry for the rest of your life.

    Not a pleasant way to end my thoughts for you! I’m sorry, but I think you deserve someone who treats you with love, respect, gentleness, intelligence, and goodness. You are a valuable woman who brings so much to a relationship and the world. Save yourself, for the right man.


  53. Heidi says:

    Hi Laurie,

    I’m really glad to find your site and the support here. I’m feeling confused and uncertain and ridiculous and angry and scared and stupid. I have been in and out of relationship with my boyfriend for about two years, after going through a nasty divorce from my 14-year marriage.

    I feel like one of the people who posted a comment about “jekyl and hyde’. He is the most wonderful, kind, thoughtful, sensitive, affectionate, helpful, enthusiastic, charismatic, etc man I’ve ever been with. AND he’s the most volatile, moody, emotionally out of control, extremely anxious and depressed, and scary man I’ve been with. He’s now finally getting good medical and supportive treatment for mental health issues, as I have also over the years.

    I’ve been in therapy for a very long time for recovery from childhood sexual abuse and ritual abuse, so seem to be repeating my learned pattern of somehow thinking it’s ok for my world to feel chaotic and unpredictable at any moment, and not to be able to rely on a partner. I’ve tried to break up with him about 6 or 7 times by now, every time going back out of insecurity, loneliness, lack of self esteem, needing help with transportation and care for my service dog, the good things we share and do in common, being in the same social and work groups, being afraid of his reaction if I really truly break up.

    Everything seems to go well for awhile, and then he suddenly has these gigantic out-of-control emotional reactions to life stressors, and either gets super anxious/depressed/suicidal, or in a rage. He hasn’t done anything to me physically (yet), but I’ve seen him yell and scream and break things and continually blame everyone else in the world for his problems.

    He also has a 19-yr-old son from an old ex-girlfriend, and has been denied visitation for the past number of years. He has a 4-yr-old criminal record for domestic battery with his ex-wife, which he continues to argue was all her fault, and he was just misunderstood and abused by the police. I’ve felt so incredulous of myself, given my about 15 years of intentional recovery and therapy, and thinking I’m in a better more grounded state…that I have kept coming back to this relationship, even knowing what his history and patterns will almost inevitably lead to.

    So this week on Tuesday, there was an incident where conflict escalated between he and his male housemate, who has been sent a letter by landlord (bf’s mom) to move out and is very upset. The housemate (hm) has serious mental health issues, and has been increasingly inappropriate and disrespectful (especially toward me). So I guess it felt like the last straw to my bf when yet one more verbal insult happened. Even though we had prepared with conversation with pastoral counselor, and agreed to no interaction w/ hm, and bf had expressed concern that if anything did escalate, it would be bf who got in trouble b/c of criminal record…Even with that safety plan in place….my boyfriend chose to escalate the conflict.

    We were outside peacefully working in the garden (a shared love). He stormed inside and upstairs to hm’s room, yelling (if I had tried to stop him I would have gotten mowed over). Then they both came downstairs screaming and yelling and insulting and name-calling and blaming. I didn’t see what happened in kitchen, but apparently hm started throwing food off counter, and (according to bf), bf grabbed housemate’s arms from behind to stop throwing. In the process, hm fell down (hm says he was pushed down). I was outside w/ my dog, and saw bf holding arms and hm fall. I yelled at bf to stop and get his hands off hm immediately and walk away; which luckily he did. Hm followed outside yelling, but did not pursue. Bf went back to digging in garden. Luckily(?), hm decided not to report to police.

    This probably sounds like nothing compared to some of your readers who have described lots of violence against them by partner. And I experienced extreme violence growing up. But to me, this was the first time I’d seen him actually initiate violence toward another person (even though he swears he would never take anything out physically on a person). And just as disturbing was his reaction afterward and since. Right after he just kept obsessively repeating that hm deserved it, had it coming to him, needed to be taught a lesson, if he was gonna act like a child needed to be disciplined like a child, no one else was doing what needed to be done, hm just needs to leave can’t stand him there anymore, etc…He could not see any other point of view, or that his anger was out-of-control.

    I called several support people, and friend came until bf’s counselor called back from my paging her. Bf had session w/ counselor the next day; and also met w case manager. They have already been working on emotion regulation and communication skills training with him. I spoke w/ skills trainer, and they said if hm had reported to police, bf would have definitely gone back to jail for domestic battery, w/ that already in his criminal history. But they assured me that he can learn anger management skills etc.

    What is most disturbing to me is that, since the incident, bf has taken no responsibility for his actions whatsoever, none!!!!!! His rhetoric is all about blaming the other person, and when someone else does something which pushes him too far, he believes he has the right to become violent. I said that sounds like what happened w/ his ex-wife, which landed him in prison; and he said the same thing of her pushing him too far; and that I didn’t live in the real world where violence was just the norm.

    So I asked what would prevent the same thing from happening with me?!?!?!?! Which of course he said would/could never happen…… /;

    We had just been talking about me moving in there when his housemate moves out, and probably getting married. We have so much in common: love gardening and farming together, food justice issues, and working in empowering the community for social/economic change, and share similar faith background and non-judgement of each other’s beliefs, i get along well with his aging mother, he loves my dog like his own child, and he makes me feel the most loved I ever have. And yet, there’s this other side of him which is NOT SAFE!!!

    I don’t know what to do. It’s so hard to let go of all the good stuff with him, and then be afraid of being alone again, or that I can’t make it on my own. I’ve had my own mental health struggles all these years, which is why my former husband ignored me for years, telling me I was mentally ill and had not made any progress during our entire marriage, and then left me. So it’s pretty hard to believe that anyone truly healthy (who hasn’t also had serious challenges) would want to be with me, since I still struggle with a lot of stuff myself. I guess I can’t imagine someone better, so think this maybe is the only choice for someone to love me.

    I feel so ridiculous saying all this, and I’m embarrassed and afraid you and other readers will think I’m stupid. I should know better/be better since I’ve been in therapy for years, and the last time bf exploded several months ago, I broke up, changed my locks, and started attending a domestic violence/sexual abuse support group. It’s been very helpful, but I haven’t told them that I went back to him again. I’ve been isolating myself from friends and my church because of feeling so ashamed, and that they won’t understand and think terribly of me. And I have to work with him co-coordinating a community farming project two days a week, which I can’t abandon. The food bank needs me to keep developing the garden, and it’s my dream and passion finally happening.

    But I don’t know how much of my time is spent just trying to manage the crisis and support structures of my boyfriend’s life. And then where am I? Where do I go? I feel like I slowly begin to disappear, and can’t even make headway on the things I need to address in my own life because all my energy is used up being co-dependent with him. And I get very anxious and then am not able to do my own life responsibilities.

    I’ve taken more personal space away from him this week; and last night I made him bring me home because I didn’t feel safe there with him. He says he knows I’m mad at him, and he’s invited me out to dinner tonight w/ a friend to “make peace”. I told him we need to have conversation about this, but it will not “make peace”.

    Thank you all for listening to me, I didn’t mean to go on so long; but I guess you’re right, Laurie, writing helps get it out of me. I guess I need to reach out to my support people and figure out what to do. I could also call and leave a message for my therapist. I would be glad for an encouraging response from you Laurie (your comments seems so helpful). I appreciate all your support in advance, and send prayers that each of you is safe this day.


  54. Laurie says:

    Dear Just Tired,

    Thank you for being here. I just want you to know that I heard you, and I’m praying for you. If you want to say more, I’m here to listen.


  55. Just tired says:

    I have two boys who i never want to act like this. Im scared i need out and have no money no job and no where to go. I pray someday i can make it out but im feeling hopeless. I love him and im just tired of makibg him love me

  56. Laurie says:

    Dear May,

    There is so much going on in your life – no wonder you’re confused! You’re coping with a lot of both good (beating cancer) and difficult (your relationship with your husband).

    I encourage you to sit down with a professional counsellor, and talk about your options. You need a sounding board, someone who is objective and trained in the art of helping people see their lives and relationships clearly. I can’t do this for you.

    You might also consider a trial separation or marriage counselling. I don’t know what the best option is, because there are factors I’m not aware of. But, there IS a way to cope — it’s just a question of finding it!

    I hope this helps a little — I also encourage you to keep writing out your feelings, struggles, and possible solutions. The more you write, the more insight you’ll (hopefully) gain. You need to keep getting this stuff off your chest.

    Please feel free to come back anytime, let me know if you contacted a counsellor or someone else objective.


  57. Laurie says:

    Dear Terri,

    I wrote this article for you:

    Why Can’t You Leave an Unhealthy Relationship?

    I hope it helps, and that I hear back from you! I asked you a question at the end of the article :-)


  58. Laurie says:

    Dear Kerry and Miyu,

    Thank you for being here! You are taking steps to leaving the man who is abusing you, and I’m happy for you and your kids. It’s a tough road, but the short-term pain of leaving is worth the long-term gain.

    Keep the faith, and stay strong. Come back anytime to let us know how you’re doing.


  59. miyu says:

    Thank you ladies for sharing your stories because it has help me. I will leave for good this time and I will never look back.

    I have a five year old daughter and been with my boyfriend for over 10 years. He wasn’t there for his child’s birth because he was with another girl and taking care of her two kids. I took him back because our little girl and I love him. He dosen’t think he is abusive but he is. He is verbly abusive, lies, munipulative, cheats, steal and use drugs. After four years I moved out of state but came back to him because he said he was going to kill himself and there was no one to watch my child while I worked. I came back and nothing really changed. I knew I should have never came back. I had a miscarriage last year and I didn’t even get really support from him. I supported his ass for years and he take money away from his own child. She loves her dad so much and that hurts me so bad because I know he’s no good for her. My heart, mind, body and soul tells me to run as far away from him as I can. He makes me feel like I am the one who’s strange, stupid, useless, ugly and worthless. Yes, he scrays me but I know he’s not going to do shit. My family knows what he has done to me and they hate him. I know there’s a light at the end of this tunnel and I can’t wait to see it. He doing the same shit his father has done to his family and his brother. Yet he doesn’t want to see.

  60. May says:

    I’m reading everyone’s comments and almost feel guilty posting this because my situation isn’t as severe, but maybe my perception is just completely messed up. I have been in this marriage for 18yrs. My husband barely talks to me and spends most of his time at the gym/tv/computer. He has always been obsessed with money/making money. When we were first married I didn’t notice as much because I had great friends and co workers and made my own money. Actually, at first I was the bread winner. When our first child was born I became a stay at home mom. He wasn’t happy about it but I wanted to be home with my baby and stood my ground. It turned out our child was special needs and required round the clock care. He was in complete denial and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t handle motherhood when all the other moms could, wanted to know what was wrong with me. I even believed him until a doctor told me about my child’s challenges and said I would need lots of support and help. He refused to help and wasn’t going to change his life, even after I had a nervous breakdown from exhaustion he told me I was acting stupid, but still no help. Over the years he began to control all of the money/investments. After the birth of our second special needs child it was all I could do to take care of the kids and didn’t pay much attention to the finances. He invested a considerable amount and locked it up in stupid stocks so when it came to needing extra care/therapies for the kids he wouldn’t let go of his money. He was sure the stocks would be worth something someday. I told him our family is worth more now. Our relationship became strained. He showed less and less affection. Barely communicated unless he was doing a critique on my housework or how my body was starting to look like crap. When people would visit our home and comment on how clean it was and it had to be hard to keep up with kids and the house, he would point at me and say that’s the housekeeper and cook there and made it clear to me that he expected those things from me in order to earn my keep. If I’d ask him for money to buy things we need he would say “Okay, we don’t have it, but okay, we’re in debt.” I’m nervous every shopping trip to buy anything. It’s not a normal way to live. He’s starting to take the same critical attitude with my older son with the teasing and belittling and that’s where I draw the line. My son can’t cognitively understand all of that stuff and it makes him upset. I’ve explained it to my husband, but he just says that he’s being funny and I’m taking it wrong (even though my son’s crying). Or he’ll tell me it’s between him and my son and nothing to do with me. I tell him that he is OUR son and we need to parent him positively and together but he just repeats, “it’s between him and me”. I’m so confused and don’t know what to do. I want him to just go, but my boys really love him and he does love them too. He needs help to be a better father. At this point I’m honestly not interested in him trying to be a better husband anymore, that ship has sailed. Is it possible to separate with your spouse and still be under the same roof (different rooms)? My kids honestly would be devastated if they didn’t see him come home from work everyday. They’ve been through so much this past year with a new move and me getting cancer and (thankfully) getting through it. I just don’t know what to do…..

  61. Terri says:

    I’m a prisoner in this house, I don’t know how to get away from him, I know he loves me, but I’m so tired of being abused and. Controlled and verbally and emotionally abused. Recently it started getting physical with him punching me. I was going to leave but he keeps saying all the right things to keeper here, he won’t work, drinks and I don’t feel like I’m ever going to be free if his hold on me. What is wrong with me?

  62. Kerry says:

    Wow. I am amazed at how many of us find ourselves in an abusive relationship. I was in denial, or hoping I was “good” enough to change him. I am finding out that my mate of only 8mths has a history of abuse and violence. I have not ever been hit physically, but he has destroyed me emotionally. He lies like no other, sells drugs and wont keep a job. He recently was arrested for a warrant and I for the first time had access to his cell phone. I am disguted at how many women he communicates with, and scared I may have an std or aids!!! OMG! I have beeen screamed at, called bitch more than my real name, helped him out financially to be told he cant pay me back. He pulls these disappearing acts. Then acts like he never left. I tremble just at him raising his voice. He punches holes in walls, breaks things and then is sorry pitiful and tearful!? Its so emotionally draining. I have finally admitted to close friends, and went to Domestic Violence counselor. I hate that I have taken his bullshit, verbal attacks and dr jekyll and mr hyde personality. I am tired of living on egg shells, feeling guilt for his issues. God help me. Thanks for allowing me to express myself

  63. Laurie says:

    Dear Angela,

    I’m glad you found the strength to say no to him! It’s awful about your bruises, but I am relieved you found the courage and strength to stay away.

    I hope other women are able to find strength and courage in your story.


  64. Laurie says:

    Dear trying,

    It sounds like you have one foot in, and one foot you! You’re trying to leave, but self-doubt and fear are keeping you there. Your husband is manipulating you into second-guessing yourself.

    I wrote this article in response to your comment:


    I know you’ve already told him you’re moving out — but I want you to know that he is following a predictable pattern of trying to manipulate you to stay! He is playing on your insecurities and self-doubts, and he knows how to push your fear button.

    You know the right thing is to keep moving in the direction you’ve already initiated, but you’re scared. It’s okay — and normal! — to be scared.

    “To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.” ~ Katherine Paterson

    Tell me what you’ve decided to do!


  65. Lost But Trying says:

    Happened across your this site tonight. I have got to get out of this relationship. I am just praying for the strength and means.
    I paid the homeowners insurance and the accountant who did our taxes and guess what? Yep, even though I talked with him about these expenses and even told him the totals the days I paid them … I was yelled at and threatened and as I was cowering in the corner he kicked me! I am done! I went to dr. earlier today and I have a sinus infection and my throat is so painful! When I came back home, all he said — yelled– was shut the door. Seriously, can I get in the door first and how about asking what the dr. said. He just doesn’t care! I don’t know how I am going to do it, but I am outta here. I have no money and so many bills and debts, but I have to get out of here. I feel like I am dying and my kids — my poor kids — deserve so much more! I have a special needs child and he is no help with her. I just do not understand his behavior. He is so angry all the time and just hateful. I hate him! His own mother won’t even speak to him anymore! I am tired and just feel like I am dying! I will stop now. Thank you for offering a safe place to let it all out and such wonderful resources!

  66. Laurie says:

    Dear Angela and FinallyFree,

    Thank you for sharing your stories here – you are an inspiration!

    It’s always hard to leave, no matter what stage of an abusive relationship you are in. Hold on to these stories of hope and strength, and use them to find the courage you need to take care of yourself.

    Leaving is hard, but staying is harder in the long run (though it seems easier).

  67. Gem says:

    I have been reading everyone’s stories. Many of your stories inspire me. It’s been 5 nights since I left my emotionally abusive husband. I am 29 years old and I have been with my husband for 10 years and married for 7. We have never had children as I never felt it was a good time to have them. I felt that our marriage would not have been able to handle having children. A couple of years ago I started researching what was wrong with our relationship. All the stuff I found on emotional abuse was me. I printed some stuff and put it in my journal. When I did this I started to document what was happening in our relationship. After another episode of me not being able to do anything properly and me wanting to discuss it at some time and being told that I just had to let it go, even though I was very upset. I threatened to leave and he just kept doing his work he bought home with him. So I stayed and the next day I looked through my journal. I realised the emotional abuse was in a cycle and that my emotional needs will never be met staying with this man. The next day he went to work and I packed my stuff and left. I am now staying with family, who support me in my decision, however were somewhat surprised to hear what had been going on. As a child I watched my mother being physically abused, which was emotional abuse that I suffered. I never thought I would be with an abusive man. I guess I didn’t realise what emotional abuse was for a long time. He also often blamed my sensitivity and lots of other things on my childhood. I am yet to sort out what I am legally entitled too and I am somewhat relieved to know that I no longer have to walk on egg shells and hope I don’t do something to upset him.

  68. Sue says:

    I’m 53 aend been married for 31 years, we have 3 children and the last one is going to leave for collage in the fall.
    he has always been abusive.and i dont understand , we have money a nice house thats paid for 3 health kids. why isnt he greatfull
    sometimes its better then worse again, he says its my falt because the house isnt clean enough or i spent money without asking first.

  69. FinallyFree says:

    I have been free from abuse now for 25 days. I was always so afraid to talk. I felt shame for being in this situation, guilt for still hoping he would change or the anger and abuse would go away, and confusion for still having loving feelings for a man I just wished would die and let us be free. But then I talked. One night four weeks ago a very dear friend came to see me and I just started talking. And talking. And talking. I just couldn’t stop. I had to tell her, I had to get it out. For years I just used to think ‘hit me already, so someone will see the bruises and then I can leave’. Sexual abuse, exploitation, threats, psychological abuse, verbal abuse, isolation, financial abuse, terrorizing, bullying our children, property damage, abusing our family dog and making us watch, substance abuse, drug trafficking… why the hell did I feel like he had to hit me in order to finally have a reason to leave?! I had a realization last night when I was giving my children a bath, and that was ‘Oh my God, I’m not afraid right now. I don’t have to be afraid that he will come through the door and drown all three of us in the tub.”

    Ladies, I have read your stories, and I GET YOU. Fear, confusion, poverty, lack of resources, still having loving feelings for your partner. I GET YOU. But it is NOT ok for you to feel afraid in your relationship. Healthy relationships do not include fear. Did you hear me? I said, healthy relationships do not include fear. Get out and stay out. He will promise anything to maintain control over you, and I know you don’t want to go back. The only thing following this honeymoon phase is abuse. Yes. You are allowed to make decisions to keep yourself and your children safe. Speak up. Speak up. Speak up. Speak up. Speak up. Speak up. Ask for help, and you will get it. Ask for help and you will get it. Ask for help, and you will get it. You and your children can have a safe life. It’s not going to be easy. The past month I have been a friggen wreck, just trying to keep my shit together until the kids fall asleep so I can fall apart. But it gets better. No one said this was going to be easy, but you know, decisions that are worth our time rarely are.

    Please, stay strong. You can do this. You can get through this night, this morning, this afternoon, making supper tomorrow, getting the laundry done. You can do it without him. You don’t need his shit. You are worth so much more than living in fear. Remember Dory from Finding Nemo? Just keep swimming. Come on girl, you can do it. Just keep swimming. Get your ass the hell away, and stay there. Just keep swimming. Its fucking hard, but just keep swimming. One hour at a time, get away, stay safe, don’t let your guard down. You are mama bear protecting her cubs. Do it. Get out and stay safe from abuse.


  70. Angela says:

    I have been dating a man I met 6 months ago. He relocated from another state (Texas). I absolutely adored the texas accent. We spoke on the phone and sent text message/emails daily. We went to New Orleans in January for my birthday. I noticed he started raising his voice to me “at times”. I let it go. I noticed he started calling me and texting me more while he was at work and I was home. He works nights. I work days. He asked me if I wouldn’t mind staying at home while he was at work. I would go to the show with my friends or out to eat. They are women friends. He said he had trust issues and he asked me if I wouldn’t mind staying at home on the nights he was working. I said ok. When he took me to New Orleans, we had a disagreement which led to a big argument. He did the yelling, I listened. I was in another state with this man and he had the plane tickets. In the middle of this argument, I tried to leave and he blocked the door with him sitting in a chair and told me not to leave. I wanted to leave. I let him calm down, he apologized a million times, told me it would never happen again. I said OK. Last weekend, I was at his house, we had a disagreement. He started yelling at me. I said enough, I grabbed my purse, my phone and my keys and proceeded to leave. He stopped me. He physically threw me in the bathroom and told me he did not want me to leave. He said WE were going to talk. He took my purse and broke the handles, he took my phone, my keys. I tried to open the bathroom door and he threw me to the floor. He said that was an accident. He turned around for a second and I was able to push him out of the way and I was running to the door and he tackled me and again threw me down. I have bruises on my elbows, knees and hip. I was determined to get out of there. He started crying and grabbed me and hugged me and asked me to please not leave him. He would do anything I said, he would buy me anything I wanted??? I made sure he was calm, told him what he wanted to hear. I was not able to leave until the next day. That was last Sunday. He has sent me emails and text messages asking if I was going to spend the weekend with him like I have in the past. His days off start on Thursday and he goes back to work on Monday night. I would usually go there on Thursday night. Well, today is Thursday and I told him NO, I will not be there. I won’t go there ever again. I am very grateful for website like this. I learned a lot and I am glad I am a strong person and I picked up on the inital signs of how an abuser starts. I know I am in the early stages and I don’t want to find out about the “later stages”. I know he is going to continue to contact me and if it gets to be too much for me. I can always call 911.

  71. heartbroken says:

    Dear Laurie

    I thought about being honest & telling my friends and family but never do it…so many secrets and so little truth…. The cheating the beatings the hurt,I feel its to much to tell and I feel like a hypocrite when I tell the truth. Im glad I can say it here…

  72. trying says:

    I am 30 yrs old and am now trying to leave my husband. We have a young son who I am afraid will grow up to be angry and emotionally and verbally abusive like his father. He has never laid a finger on me but his words and moods cut like a knife. I never know what will set him off he doesn’t shout or scream and swear at me unless provoked, but the simmering anger and menacing way he has when he is upset has been enough to train me not to speak up for myself or do anything to further anger him. I guess seeing the way he handles our son when he loses control is what is pushing me out the door…convincing me that I am not imagining this. I’ve packed and told him I’m going, taken most of my things to a family member’s house but Im struggling to find the strength to take that last step. Since I’ve said I’m leaving he has used my childhood against me, saying I grew up in a broken home so I think its okay to tear our family apart, blamed my post partum depression and the meds I take for the depression etc. and basically any little flaw he can dig up to make me second guess myself. He apologizes and says he knows he’s hurt me and it will be different but in the same breath will say how its my fault. He can twist ANYTHING i say to suit his theories about how really its me. I’m trying so hard to be strong and go, but when you have spent 15 years learning to doubt yourself always its so easy for him to manipulate you. I’m afraid to take my son out his home and afraid of what will happen after.

  73. Laurie says:

    Dear heartbroken,

    How do you feel about being honest about your relationship with your friends and family? You won’t be the strong one anymore, who everyone goes to for advice.

    You’ll be more equal to others, more real, more authentic, and more lovable. You’ll be human, and your relationships will grow stronger because you will learn how to receive love, help, and advice. You won’t just be giving it from a position of power and strength. This is a GOOD thing, a very healthy way to be.

    We can’t be strong all the time, or weak all the time. A whole, healthy woman is weak sometimes, and strong sometimes. Needy sometimes, and giving sometimes. It’s all about balance.

  74. heartbroken says:

    Dear Laurie

    No I have not told anyone,its always a,I fell tangled in the bed sheet and I hit my forehead with the door or,we were playing around amd he hit me with his head on “accident” To all my friends and family I am thatstrong woman,direct always helping and giving advice but never usingit , I’m the gir with the perfect strong mind and weak with love and self destruction,that’s what I call it….

  75. Laurie says:

    Dear heartbroken,

    Thank you for being courageous enough to share your story here! Many women can’t tell anyone when they are being abused – it is embarrassing and even shameful to admit. It takes a great deal of courage to tell what you’re experiencing.

    Being scared to leave is normal. You’d be leaving what you know for a totally new, unpredictable life. It’s difficult to take a risk and leave an abusive relationship, even when you know you should.

    Have you ever told anyone in person what you’re going through? A friend, family member, or someone else you trust? It’s okay if you haven’t, and I’m not pushing you to talk about it. I’m just curious if you’ve taken that step.

  76. Laurie says:

    Dear Tia,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with this man. You are a very strong woman, and I respect you a great deal.

    May your story inspire other women who are being abused to look at their lives a different way…and eventually leave.


  77. heartbroken says:

    When I read its like I’m reading my life, its so sad,he just beat me up right now,while he was drunk,he is so troubled and I don’t know why I continue to try to help,when he beats me I think that no wonder does women kill their husbands,but I love him so much that I can’t see him in pain,I would not hurt him,I know if I leave I will be better,but I’m scared to leave,my legs hurt from where he hit me,since I was trying to avoid gettin hit in my arms or face,since I don’t want anyone to know,HOW DO I GO….I have 2boys wityh him’and crazy as it sounds he is great to them,but I feel like he hates me,since I forced him into this family thing he don’t know,I fel like one day he will kill and I feel like I allow it. I want to go and be happy wity my boys I adore them, but I can’t seem to get up and go.

  78. Tia says:

    After empty threats and verbal abuse he at last took that next step and actually beat me. Not just a slap or push. He knocked me all over our apartment. When I got up, he knocked me back down. He chocked me and refused to let me leave the house. I grabbed our 2 month old baby and headed for the door. He stood in my way and demanded that I give him my phone. I could not give it to him, it felt like I would be handing over my life. So I pretended to look for it and when he turned his back I bolted out hte door, barefoot and holding my baby in a blanket. I called my brother in law who came and took me back to the apartment that my husband had lef, I collected my things and I left. I will never go back to this man who put my life, and the life of my child in danger.

  79. Laurie says:

    Thank you for sharing your stories here. I am so sorry you’re in an abusive relationship, and I wish I could help you figure out what path to take!

    My prayer for you is to get as healthy and happy as you can. Connect with people who love and support you, and remember that the journey to the good, fulfilled live that you deserve won’t be easy…but it will be worth it.


  80. Astra says:

    Oh my dear women….

    I read all of your posts and I find something in each one of your stories that connects mine to yours. The similarities are unbelievable.
    I have been away from my abuser now for 1 month. Only because he is in jail. Last month he violently attacked me, which he had done many times over the past two years we were together. But this time was different. This time he pulled a gun on me, which he had done several times in the past as well. But this time he actually fired 2 shots at me. One went through my arm into my stomach, and the other grazed my leg.
    It is by the grace of God that I am here to tell this story. I layed in bed and bled for 2 hours because he refused to call for help and had broken my phone earlier. When an ambulance finally arrived, they arrived just in time to save my life.
    The man that I love almost killed me.
    And sick as it is, I still love him.
    Somehow, though, this is a blessing. If it had never happened, I would still be with him cause I was that deep into it. A combination of fear and hope kept me from realizing that my life was on the line.
    Now I’m trying to get better. Reading and writing, imagining my future. I’m putting myself first which I haven’t done in I don’t know how long…
    In the words of Maya Angelou – ‘Still like dust, I rise…’

  81. Jennifer says:

    I am 29, two kids from a previous relationship and first marriage. I am a full time honor college student and I have turned on my attacker. I feel like this is and has escalated to a point of no return. I no longer wait for the threats, downgrades, and physical abuse I’m all over him like a raging mad woman. My toleration for his shit is at an all time low. We have previously broke up lived seperately but my need to have a family and his support along with his fake promises of change I get sucked right back in. I HATE HIM. My kids are young 6 and 9, their father abandoned them. I feel so terrible for them and what they are going through. With issues of the abandonment my husband plays on that with the “you’re taking my family away” but my kids are wise and truly know he speaks of me not them but none the less it is highly upsetting and then I become the bad guy! I too have undergone physical changes due to the appearent onset of depression, yet he constantly accuses me of adultry. He is the guilty one of that might I add. I wish I could just run away, disapear, or he fall off the face of the Earth! Another thing I would like to mention because I didn’t see this in previous statements my husbands characteristics: He is highly dependent on my presence and affection, he is obcessed with me, he has good days for about 3-5 days then all hell breaks loose for 2-3 weeks and this is a regular pattern, he is a pathological liar, more juvenile than my children, CONSTANT VICTIM, demands sex constantly, molests me in my sleep then denies it happened or say “oh you was wanting it”, deflects all his problems on other things like he has no control of his actions (victim),prevents me from leaving when I have class/work/kid functions/interactions with friends/family, cries on cue no problem, multiple dementions to his personality to the point where he has “no memory of what he JUST said or did”- which I dont believe – He tried medication for bipolar and depression which he and his mother were convinced his life depended on although there was no medical doctor who would diagnois him bipolar-They found a med pusher- needless to say that fail!

    I could go on for days about his behavior it is endless and I have been dealing with this for much too long. Like I had formentioned above I have turned on him. I am not afraid to fight back and it gets ugly and unfortantly he has attacked me in front of my choldren and I fought back leaving him injured therefore making me look dangerous to my children- they do not understand he was the agressor because the fighting is pretty much relentless.

    I need a way out before it gets any worse!

    I previously made contact with the safe house in our community but I am not alowed to bring my personal items my property or pets and I am in no situation to just completely start over and I consider my dog as a child I am afraid my husband would kill him as he has threated before.

    I understand there are books to read but possibly putting for contact information for real help out there would help so many like myself. I would like to close saying this I feel bad for hitting my husband in selfdefense I truly do, I feel his psycho behavior has caused me a bit of insanity I can no longer control I feel like a caged animal and it is my only way help myself a switch just flips and I go HAM on him it truly terrifies me. I do not recommend any other women to fight back for it could have great consequences than you are already experiencing.

  82. Carol says:

    Dear Unhappy me. I hope I can help. I have just left an abusive relationship. I had to change my number and block his emails. When I met him I too was slim., happy and confident but became frightened and drank alot of alchohol to help me though. The abuse was progressive until i no longer knew who I was anymore. Then for one last time he hung up the phone on me and was leaving me for weeks at a time, hen coming bacj when he wnated to. I felt suicidal. My freind told me i had to cut ALL CONTACT to get out of it. She was right. I have now been completely away from my abuser for two weeks and had to take valium and sleeping tablets, and am still in emotional pain, but it is lifiting day by day. PLEASE PLEASE try and leave. PLEASE. you CAN do it, andmust do it. Do you have anywhere you cna go ? you may need to just pack and leave one day when he is out and NEVER EVER ahve any contact with him again. x

  83. Gretta says:


    Am writing some stuff about abusive relationships and landed here to read what you had to say about the stages women go through before they leave. Anyway, just wanted to comment on the ad – I think it is an ad – that appears in the middle of the article and note how inappropriate it is. I’m not in an abusive relationship now, but if I were looking for support and working up the courage to leave, as I once did, coming across “How to get your ex back”, “Stop the divorce and save your marriage” and “How to captivate a man and make him fall in love with you” would have been anything but helpful. Perhaps you can get your ad people to run a different algorithm or something.
    And, while I’m here, a big shout out to all you women (and men) who are leaving abusive partners!!! It’s not an easy road and sometimes you’ll have little support even from those you believed knew what was happening, but make the break. And, if you think there is no good reason to, go look in the mirror, remind yourself how strong you are (you’ve survived this long, remember), and you deserve to live without fear.

  84. Laurie says:

    Dear Erica,

    I answered you here:

    Why Doesn’t He Love Me the Way I Love Him?

    I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts.


  85. unhappy me says:

    please i really need help
    this is my story
    i married my second husband 4 years ago he changed once we married
    i should have realised something was not right when he refused me sex on our wedding night
    he has some sort of mental disorder i think
    he is very emotionally, verbally and mentaly abusive he always yells shouts and swears at me
    i cannot do a thing right and everything is my fault
    he puts me down and shows me up in front of others
    he lies steals things
    he witholds sex and affection he is a bit of a hypconcriac always says he sill or tired and makes me massage his supposed sore shoulders, back knees
    he never ever does housework he leaves food clothes rubbish around for me to clean
    im scared of him
    he controls money he is very angry, controlling and manipulative
    i have no freinds job car or money
    i have kids from a previuos marriage he hates them
    i joint own the house with him but most of the things in the house are mine
    ive nomwhere to go or cannot support myself or my kids
    i live in fear and like it when he is at work
    its like walking on eggshells with him
    his moods change so wuickly
    he has debts and spends what we dont have
    he uses my credit card.
    im in tears most of the time
    i was once a happy confident slim woman
    now im a shell of my former self
    im a crying overwieght woman with no confidence or self seteem
    i wish he was dead
    theres no love or affection

    • Karma says:

      I am 29 year old female with mental issues. I sufffer from ptsd and bipolar. This guy was my neighbor. At first he seemed charming. He would tell me he loved me. He would do nice things for me. Like go to the store and get all the things I liked to cook shrimp, steak,and rice. Just like other stories very charming at first. He had no money and lived at home with his mom. So I asked him if he wanted to move in with me(a big mistake).
      With in two days of us moving in together he began being very arguementative and verbably abusive. Calling me a bit*¥. He beat me up so bad and almost killed me. He punched me over 15 times. He stomped on me 5 times on my brain.and punched me in my chin. It was maybe a hour of him beating me b 4 i ran upstairs wiith my phone to call the police.

      Looking back he could have killed me. I had to pack up all of my things and leave.
      I dont even have children with the guy. Then hes been trying to call me from other peoples numbers. He enjoyed seeing me in pain. Thats not love

      • Karma says:

        Women have to have the strenght to leave
        2. Realize you are not being loved just used
        3. Make an emergency escape plan

        4. Get out and stay out

        5. Love yourself enough

        6.realize you could be living with a psyco or maniac. A person who has no feelings and uses others. There are crazy people in the world.protect yourself as if u have kids. If you have kids LEAVE.

  86. Erica says:

    Ive never commented on a post, im always the one to just read what others have written and try to gain from that but every story is different, and i really need advice. I am 22 years old and been with my boyfriend on and off for 3 years. i have a 4 year old son with another guy, but found out few weeks ago im pregnant! when i tell my story people are going to think im absolutly a IDIOT for remaining with my boyfriend, ive heard it a million times and i know people are right. But love is definetly blind! My boyfriend physically abused me back on feb.1,2011, it was extremly severe and could have resulted in death if i didnt get the chance to run for help! My boyfriend was a severe alcoholic at the time and is now 5 months sober due to the fact he has to be. we seperated, he was in jail for several months for the incident.He abused me few times before this incident but not nearly as bad, and few times after, which was a punch or two only that one time was it SEVERE! It was a huge impact in my life and changed me forever. after months passed i was able to forgive him, i dont know how but my love for him was so strong it made it possible, i still not have forgotten what he has done, but i try to look past it. Theres been numerous pain caused on both ends, and i know our relationship is probably broken, but i keep hanging on hoping its fixable. I give him alot of love and affection and want it back so badly, but dont seem to be recieving it. ive tried talking to him telling him what i need more of, and its like he doesnt try to even take it into consideration. i so badly want his love that its emotional killing me inside, i find myself crying alot. And im pregnant with his child, and its something he’s said he wanted numerous times, but now that its happened theres been talks about abortion. And he’s not excited or happy, so its extremly difficult for me to be excited about my pregnancy.Our sex life is not the same, we would have sex multiple times a day everyday, and now i find myself wanting it but he barley does. He says he still loves me, but im unsure i feel like he is just staying with me because he’s comfortable and its familiar to him. Im really hurting and i feel alone, no one wants to give me advice because they dont even think i should give him the time of day, and there probably right, but there are good times that no one sees! im completely torn, i just want to be loved, i dont know whho to turn to anymore or the next step to take!

    And if you want to read about the domestic assault to get a understandingt of that as well, you can go to google, type in brandon larsen feb.1st 2011 domestic assault with strangalation Oakdale, Minnesota!

    i extremley appreciate any advice and critisism. Please dont hold back i really need some honesty!

  87. melanie says:

    To the above reader.. you have got to get yourself together. An abusive relationship can make you believe things that aren’t true and brain wash you. I myself, have left a emotionally and physicallly abusive relationship of five years. Whenever I attempt to leave this man he threatens me, keys up my car or comes over un invited to my house where he threatens to hurt me if I don’t let him in. So then my emotional behavior let’s him in and he takes control of the whole conversation. He gets irate and intimidates me. You’ve got to put yourself first and ask yourself what is keeping you tied to this man. Something about you has to change bc obviously he will not change. Change you. I’m not going to say hate him, but don’t think of the good times if there were any. And keep a daily journal this really helps. I know I’m going through a tough situation myself but I know that I’m a loss to him. He has never helped me or made me feel safe. And he can quickly give me happiness but in two seconds snatch my happiness away. And he knows that. I will continue to ignore him and remember why I dislike him so much. He’s done nothing but hurt me and made me miserable. But my life will go on.

  88. Lin says:

    I left my husband 4 days ago after 2 years of abuse. I pocket called 911 from the car and they found me an arrested him. The sick thing is I miss him terribly. I must be just as sick. We have a 7 month old so Im doing it for him more than for myself. I feel like I’m a bad mother by taking him from his dad but I feel just as bad for keeping him in that environment.
    I’m staying with my family in my home town. I hope these feelings I have of missing him get better.
    It’s the hardest thing I ever had to do.
    Good luck to all women out there in recovery. We’re not alone.

  89. abby says:

    I haven’t wore shorts in weeks; It’s 80 degrees & I’m in a long sleeve. Nobody is surprised by the marks anymore; or by the fact that I always go back..
    People stopped asking questions months ago, now it’s pretty much expected; yanno?! Like socially accepted!!

    But; I haven’t stopped counting..33 bruises from head to toe, one identical to the remote. A spitting image; buttons & all! but what hurts worst; is when the other girls call.

    33 bruises; that’s just your average daily..please god save me?!?!!!

    I’ve always had natural beauty; Now the abuse is all you see.. 33 marks of insecurity; 33 marks of the beast; a once beautiful body; NOW LOOK AT ME!

    one vanishes only to be replaced by two..Two fade & then comes four; it’s escalating; there’s always more; i don’t even tear up anymore; to numb to even cry..replaced by 5;

  90. anie says:

    hi Sara,
    i read you post and it brought tears to my eyes as i was married for 3years and in the same situation as you.i know how you feel.i left my husband 4times but always went back even though the abuse was getting worst each time i went back and just like you i had no one apart from my aunty who knew it all.i finally found the strength to definitely leave him when he left me to die whilst i had an ectopic pregnancy was in terrible pain and he denied taking me to the hospital.i walked during an hour myself to get there, i didnt have a phone to ring anyone neither money as he kept my bank card and ids so he could control my money.stayed in the hospital 4days and he came once in the hospital and told me he was happy to see me suffer, and it was like a blessing anyway that the baby is gone.i came back from the hospital and the abuse didnt stop he wanted me to leave his house the next morning at 6oclock to go to work i refused as i got week off,he doesnt work and was afraid id lose my job and he became aggressive.i then left and went straight to the police station for the first time and a really nice woman took my details and i told her everything from the beginning they took a statement and arrested him and put me in a place of safety where he couldnt find me.i was scared,really scared but thought if i’d stay i’d die.since then i started the divorce procedure with the help of an dv organisation and solicitor got an injunction and im starting to breath again, i do have terrible nightmares but i think thats all thats left of it.please huni please do not let it get too late, there are people out there to help, dont think you are alone.he always said to me no one will ever believe you i thought he was right but he wasnt.you deserve better and the sooner you leave the better .be strong.
    x and hugs

  91. Sarah says:

    I got married year before n intially i was happy with my marriage but my husband start doubt on me even on going out he used to say ur not with me but with go n marry him n all other things some times on watching tv to eating food he torture me like any thing later it goes worse when my sister in law come to live with us n he was going through some economic problems now sitution is more worse when my sister in law concey our normal fight to her parents n her parents get involved worstly n now my parents more than husband n wife fight it became parent parent n our marriage is on divorce ene but i dont want to end my marrriage as i love my husband so much..please help me.

  92. Sara says:

    hi ive been in an abusive relationship for almost 3 years, he wasent always like this, it used to be good in the beginning but after the first year he started gettin over protective and abusive.
    in the second year it got worse, all my firends stopped talking to me cause of him, i have no one left now except my mom and she has an idea but i never admit to it. i am alone and need help.
    it has gotten extremely bad, he wont let me leave, last time i left him and went and stayed at my moms, she was away, he smashed her front door , got a hold of me punched me extremely hard in the left temple and left me with a concusion.
    so far he has given me broken my ribs, given me multiple black eyes, suffocated me, punched, kicked and bruised my entire body, fractured my ear, broke my nose ( knowing i had a nose job)slapped me in front of all of ours peers, kicked me in the face in front of all of our peers, constantly call me names, and tell me how embaressed he is of me cause im such a hoe, even though i havent gone out in almost 2 years dont drink dont smoke, dont party, dont have any friends, dont have any type of social media account. all i do is work and go to school, and unfortunatly im falling behind and down in school cause i cant even concentratee, considering withdrawing
    now its gotten worse, ive been getting beaten up everyday, yesterday he gave me a black eye because i question where he was going, the day before that i got slapped because i asked him about a messege, i constantly get beat up for every reason and when i threaten to leave him he threatens me and my family, every time i have tried leaving hes either stopped me and beat me up extremely bad or tracked me down and beat me. anything i do i get threaten to shutup or do something different before i get a beat down
    i dont know what to do anymore, im extremely depressed rght now and unhappy, i have no one to turn to, he wont even allow me to go see a therapist or i get beat
    please can some one help me.

  93. Buddy says:

    Hello everybody,
    I’m in need of advice, I have a friend that is in an abusive relationship and don’t know how to get her out. She has three kids two of witch are the abusers, she has no job and is supported on his income. She says she is ready to leave but needs to get her ducks in a row first. Her boyfriend of nine years hits her, chokes her, and verbally abuses her regularly, he is a pill popping junky. she fears that if she leaves him she will lose a custody battle because his family has money for a good lawyer. he has threatened this fact every time she tries to leave. She has never reported any of the abuse to authorities so there is no record of it. She wants to find a job and move out but can’t afford childcare. I want to take the old school approach and go give this douche bag some of his own medicine but i know that would only make things worse for her in the long run. what programs are available to help her get out of this relationship? I’m in Washington state if that helps. What should her next step be? i have promised to help her get out safely and that is what i intend to do. I just need some solid advise and some direction of where to go. any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much in advance,

    ladies there are a lot of nice men out there that would not raise their voices or hands towards. Don’t settle for these abusers you deserve better.

  94. Debbie says:

    I know someone in an abusive relationship. Her husband has anger management issues – Yells at her for 2 hours straight at top of his lungs, chats you are a loser 50 x in row, belittles her in front of the kids aged 3/6 yo… this has escalated to the point that he has pushed her onto the floor – last 2 times in front of the children who are crying. He tends to block the doorway – so she can’t get out. He even took the door down when she made it to a room. On 2 occasions, she was set to leave. But opted to stay. She is a stay at home Mom who suffers from health problems that have gotten worse the last couple years. So, she fells that she must stay for financial support, including insurance coverage. Apparently, his mother was treated this way. She stayed in the relationship. She has been in the same home when most recent yelling happened. When my friend yelled for help, the MIL asked what did you do to cause him to act this way…. I have been supportive. But, don’t understand why a woman would stay in such a household. I worry she will end up severly hurt or worse….
    And what about the kids…. Am I doing enough, or anything else I can do? Or am I going to get a call that she is dead someday?

  95. Janice says:

    This response is to Heather,

    You may or may not realize it now while your so deep into your situation. There is a process of getting out but a plan needs to be set in place first.
    1. start setting money aside
    2. get you and your children’s important papers together,i.e; marriage papers, shot records, tax filings, dental, medical information, birth certifcate, school records, bank information, car deeds and so on- hide them in a safe place
    3. same safe place pack clothes and toys for kids, can foods, bottled water
    4. attain an injunction (restaining order) from the court and have him removed from the house,close bank accounts; if signed by the judge you will have to go to the court hearing to attain a permanent injunction of protection.
    5. once injunction is in permanent injunction status, go get items and money from safe place, leave the state and start over in a faraway state. Once you are in the new state report to law enforcement that you have a permanent injunction and file a confidential address with the old court house (mail it to them) there are Advocates in most counties and all states that can help you do this.Got to have a plan of escape.

  96. Jess says:

    Hello, I’m a 23 and my boyfriend is 38. I’ve been abused for about 2 out of the 2 1/2 years we have been together. He has choked, slapped, punched, and verbally abused me. All my friends and family knows about it and I think my coworkers do too because I have perment bruises now. I’m ready to leave but I think I’m afraid. I’m afraid of starting a new life because he has. Are me feel like I wouldn’t be able to.

    He is the typical abuser….rough childhood and never completed Any of his goals in life and I’m the opposite. So he puts me done. I’m slowing realizing that im better than what he says I am. So I don’t know what stage I’m at now. But I judged wanted someone to tell.

  97. Laurie says:

    Dear Suzanne,

    I am so sorry to hear what you’ve been through. Leaving an abusive relationship is so difficult, even when it seems like you should leave today!

    You’re not stupid. You’re normal, but your perspective is skewed right now, because your abusive boyfriend has messed with your mind.

    I wrote this article for you:

    Is Your Boyfriend Emotionally Abusive? 4 Ways to Get Strong and Leave

    I hope it helps, and encourage you to start telling your friends and family that he is abusing you. Lean on them for support, love, and guidance.


  98. Diane says:

    Dear Heather,
    I can’t imagine a town with absolutely no help. Is it possible to take small amounts of clothing and stuff you absolutely need to your grand-ma’s on your way to work, over a short period of time? Then you can just leave with your kids one day. Remember, stuff is just that…stuff. The most important thing is safety and sanity. You will have other stuff. You only have one mind. You have to make sure you will not go back. Actually, going back and forth really messes up the kids; more than leaving and making a good life for yourself and them. I commend you for getting an education and working in spite of all you are going through. You are truly a strong and intelligent woman. You can do this. Don’t listen to negative voices in your head. They are lying to you. You have nothing to feel guilty about. He will suffer the consequences of his actions. You will suffer the consequences of yours. He will have choices to make without you there to save him all the time. That is NOT your job. It sounds like you are more of a parent to him than a wife. Your responsibility is to yourself and your kids. Not to him. He has chosen not to be responsible. Praying for you and your family.

  99. Heather says:

    So, I have been reading posts like these for almost two years and yet I have never posted anything. I have been with my abuser for 9 long..years. We have 3 children together that I support. He hasn’t worked most of the time we have been together probably 6 years total. He has a “job” now but only works 8 hours every two weeks. Not enough to support anything. It started when he shoved me when I was pregnant with 8 years ago, turned into choking, punching, name calling. He would leave in the middle of the night and sometimes didnt come home. When I would confront him it made everything worse, he has torn up my car, yelled and screamed names at me, held a coffee table over my stomach while I was pregnant, destroyed my house, and yet I still remain with him, I have left several times no longer than a week and then feel guilty. I feel like a bad person because if I leave he will be homeless. He hasnt touched me in a little over a year but the last time was the worst, I had to go to the emergency room etc. I feel if I leave my kids will be mad and if I stay they will be mad when they get older. He hasnt hurt them physically. He has an awful family and I can never get a word in. My opinion of something quickly turns to and argument, He states he will change get a better job, go to counseling and all that b.s. but it never happens. I can move in with my grandma but I dont know how I will get my things out. I rent not own. But Im terrified because once he has no where to go he will be furious and make my life miserable. I know i need to leave, and I know Im not perfect I have name called too but only after the fact that I feel so cornered and cant get through I try to show him how ridiculous this is, but it makes everything worse. I try to be nice and then he starts taking advantage of me asking me for money or a massage, and I dont want to I so emotionally battered I hate him. I know they say go to a shelter go to counseling, but how, when , where nothing is available and I dont want to lose my job I have been there 2 years and Im going to school. I thought being gone more would make things better, but it hasn’t. I need to leave and I have tried being an adult by saying to him ” staying in this relationship isnt healthy for either of us” but he doesnt get it oh if you wouldnt do this I wouldnt do this he says.OMG there is no reasoning Im so burnt out. Our whole relationship has basically been me at home, besides work and school. So Im not allowed to go out and we never go out together.I am at a loss for words, but I needed to get all of that off of my chest.

  100. Ron says:

    You guys should look up Sam vaknin’s YouTube videos, he talks about gaslighting, projection, codependants, narcissists, psychopaths, abuse, what to watch for with counselors, and other stuff.

  101. Diane says:

    Dear Suzanne,
    You are not stupid! don’t call yourself names. This feeling you have is normal. When we are in an abusive relationship, we want to see the good in our man. We cling to the “honeymoon phase”, which is after the blow up when everything is good and you feel like you are his princess. Just remember that that feeling only lasted a short time, until the next time something happened that he didn’t like, and the violence escaladed. It’s like an addiction. It can be broken; you must be strong. A good counsellor could help you with this. Focus on getting healthy and breaking the addiction. It could take a long time but when you are finally healthy, you will be able to have a relationship with a man who treat you with respect and love ALL of the time. That will be a lot better than having to endure abuse to get a little bit of affection or kindness. You may want to read Codependent No More by Melodie Beatty and you can look for a Codependent Anonymous group in your area. You can do it! Diane

  102. Suzanne says:

    Hi, i am a 22year old girl. 4years ago i became besotted with a man 7years older than me. He was my best friend and i thought i had fell in love with him. For four years this man had cheated on me or attempted (before he was caught) to cheat on me. I forgave him so many times as i was so emotionally attached to him. He then began to lightly abuse me, would call me names push me or throw things at me. It began to get worse he then broke sweeping brushes across my back, spat on me and even continually punched my face so hard i ended up in hospital. This man used to take my expensive phones and break them he used to demand what we would watch on telly demand when i go to bed or what room i could be in. One night i went to bed early as i was tired and it seemed because i never “asked his permission” he came in and cut up my clothes before my eyes. I never told anyone what i went through and still havnt. This man would constantly emotionally get inside my head and apologise so much and say he would change. I went back once but i have no left the for the second time after he had took his belt off and whipped it across my stomach.. I am very emotionally attached to this man and can sometimes bizzarely miss him when i think of what he was like when he was not abusive, but my best friend. I know i am stupid for even havin these thoughts but i cant help it. I dont ever want the feeling to want to go back to him. Please help!!

  103. Ron says:

    Well my friend I was talking about sounds like she’s unsure of her decision to stay, she seemed so hell bent for leather when she chose to stay, now she’s using if/when she leaves, I personally think she’s done I just don’t think she’s really ready to take that step forward, unfortunately for me it’s really hard to read the situation because of how quickly circumstances change, and im sure she is having a huge mental battle with herself. She’s still in the honeymoon phase. As simple as the phases make this seem, the actual works of it aren’t that simple.

  104. Laurie says:

    Dear Nicky, I am so sorry your husband is abusing you. You must feel alone, helpless, and trapped – I know I would!

    I’m afraid nobody can wave that magic wand and help you leave that abusive relationship. You have to find the courage and strength inside of you, and wave your own magic want. You need to get out for your children’s sake, if not your own.

    I don’t know what options are available to women in your area, but I encourage you to call the domestic violence hotline TODAY. Learn what a safety plan is, and how to end domestic violence.

    You may feel trapped, hopeless, and helpless — but you’re NOT. He wants you to feel that way! Don’t let him win. You CAN leave him. It’ll be hard, but if you reach out for help and support, you can rebuild your life and be happy again.

    Will you call the domestic violence hotline? The website link is http://www.thehotline.org/ .


  105. Nicky says:

    The violence in my relationship has changed it used to be throwing cold water on me whilst i sleep, taking my phone and car keys, pushing, hair pulling etc.. My husband has now realised that this leaves evidence so spits on me and says hurtful things about me, my family and my job. He makes me feel that i will never achieve anything. He has now started being this way to our eldest daughter and always puts her down. I feel such a failure on many levels. I cant move out as i cant afford it, the council won’t help me and i feel i’ve not only ruined my life but have let my children down and scarred them for life making them feel this is normal. I often wonder how they will ever have a normal relationship. I’m so down and low and feel totally trapped and worthless. I sit on my daughters bed all weekend as i’m not allowed to watch “his telly”. I would quite honestly commit suicide but cant as rhat would leave my children with him. I just wish that someone could wave a magic wand and things would be totally different. I have even started to think that all he says is true and i am stupid and will never achieve anything. The worst thing is i feel if you are hit etc then you can see the damage whereas words are so so hurtful especially when they are all your hang ups that get thrown back at you

  106. Ron says:

    Thanks, even though it’s hard to swallow.

  107. Laurie says:

    I think it’s normal for women to go back and forth between these stages of leaving an abusive relationship. Much like the grieving process of stages of mourning, there is no linear path to healing or freedom. And, like grieving, it can take a long time to cope with the emotions. It’s not a linear, black and white process.

    Ron, it’s so great that you’re there for her. And that’s all you can do – just be there for when she decides to leave her abusive husband. She’ll eventually make the right decision…but it may take awhile for her to get there.

    The best way to support her is to accept that love – even abusive “love” – is complicated. Even women in abusive relationships find their feelings very confusing, complicated, and even frustrating. It seems that it’d be a no brainer to leave a man who is abusive and who is teaching his sons to abuse, but human beings are rarely easy to understand.

    I hope this helps, and welcome you to come back anytime to share how things are going.


  108. Ron says:

    I have a friend she got up to stage 3 I think. She was saving money up in the event she had to leave. To make a long story short. He got wind that she was thinking of leaving, because he told him not as bluntly though, and sense he’s the only source of income he withheld money, for about a month. A pastor got wind of it nd asked her of it was ok to call him. Well the guy apologized, but I know him very well we, were best friends at for 3 years, until one night I realized I didn’t mean anything more to him other than an object. Anyways she agreed to stay o work stuff out, but im convinced that man is either a narcissist/psychopath, anyways. Now see says she’s starting to have feelings for him again. I get she wants to keep her marriage intact, and I get wanting to spare her son from a divorce, but she seems to be ignoring the fact that her son is turning into a bully like his dad, even a stranger pegged him as an abuser to her face, at the moment I’ve stopped trying to convince her that he is still manipulating her. Im really just trying to understand if women ever go back to any previous stages. I still want to help, but until she’s really ready to make that step I can’t do a thing. Anybody have any advice, or should I wait hope and pray that she comes to that decision?

  109. Diane says:

    Wow! No words can describe the feeling I got from hearing your stories. Knowing that something I went through helped someone else makes it worthwhile to write about.
    Good for all of you who refuse to let someone oppress you. How can you be everything God created you to be when someone won’t let you grow. It’s been 6 weeks and a day of freedom for me and my kids. There is peace and love flowing through the house. We all have jobs and we work together as a team. The changes in the kids, especially my 15 yr old daughter are beautiful. I did the right thing.
    I started a new job last week which is very demanding. There is possibility of becoming the Manager in 3 months. It’s an exciting, challenging and demanding job. One I couldn’t have taken or succeeded in if I were still living with my husband. In retrospect, someone once told me that he was jealous of me, that’s why he couldn’t enjoy anything with me. I brought out in him the places where he wasn’t successful. I believe that now. It’s a very sad thought. It means he was extremely insecure. His rights, rules, time and schedule always came first. People rarely mattered, especially his family. That is very unhealthy.
    When you start to believe what he is saying to you; if you can’t leave permanently, at least call the 1-800 number of a shelter, get a counselor and/or find a way to get out of the house/negativity through volunteer work/an exercise program/a children/mom’s hub or group. Get out for walks with the kids, go to the beach, park. If your partner wants to go with you sometimes, let him come. At least you are out. Enjoy the beauty around you; the laughter of others. Play with your kids. Think of 5 things you can appreciate everyday. Don’t let your partner into your head. That space is one you do have control of. Take nothing he says personally, then it won’t hurt so much. See it for what it is…HIS issue. Keep your mind, heart and thoughts pure. Don’t be mean, hurtful or vengeful. Just detach lovingly! I got that from a book called, “Codependent No More” by Melody Beatty. Your library should have a copy.
    As for the stages of abuse: I am in stage 4 and after 2 weeks of being out of the house, I really hoped to hear from him for a few days. I had to explore what it was in myself that was being drawn back to him. Turns out I have an approval addiction. I heard some of the lies he is saying about me and I wanted desperately to explain the truth to him so he could want me back. It’s rediculous! He knows it’s not true. He’s saying those things because he’s playing the victim. He’s weak. The Truth will defend me. I don’t have to say a word to him or anyone else. I can’t afford to care about what he thinks, says or believes about me. That will suck me back in.
    I have great girlfriends who have supported me through all of this. They love and accept me unconditionally and that’s more than I have ever gotten from a man. I can even get a hug from one of them when I need it. This has changed my life radically. I still occasionally crave being a couple. I always wanted to be married. I never married for love however…still trying to find out what I married for. I have been married 3 times. I am fine with spending the rest of my life alone. Enjoying life and my kids is really all that matters right now. I’ve had to mourn my dream of that happy and exciting marriage. Step families are hard. I recommend staying alone until your kids and his are out of the house.
    Our culture and the media, often portray a woman needing a man to take care of her and/or her children. We get sucked into that and it’s just not true. Every man is not a good man and even a good man can be a horrible husband. Be smart. Respect yourself and stay pure. I wish someone would have given me that advise when I was growing up. It’s never too late to start over. I’m almost 50. It’s time I give myself a great life! I hope you do the same.
    Stay strong sisters, Diane

  110. Mer says:

    Thank you all for sharing your heart felt experiences. It is helpful to women like me who is confused about the life that I am living. I have been so called married to him for almost 7 years now. Am pregnant with my 3rd angel. My two babies are amazing and God has blessed me with them. I have said and done so many things to change things but he is so manipulative that I keep oppressed and fight to maintain some level of happiness. At this level, I am not sure there is any need to say anything since I feel like I am insane with all his cheating. He will never admit to any level of not wanting to be in the relationship. I am unclear that I am allowed to leave the marriage just because there are fights! It is sad that I am never myself. It is hard for me to stay and be the best mom I could be for I spend most of my time trying to dodge him in the house since he cheats continuously but pretends like there is nothing wrong in the marriage. Should I just leave? I am sad! Never before have I felt stuck in any part of my life before… I do not think this guy understands that I would do anything about him doing whatever he wants in the marriage. Anyways, Thank you everyone who shared. I feel now that my children will be better off that I leave and raise them at healthy environments rather than stay and wallow/get treated so bad at the hands of my so called husband that is supposed to be cherishing me.

  111. Laurie says:

    Dear Lin, Miranda, and everyone else who is leaving or has left an abusive relationship,

    Thank you for sharing your experience here. I wish you all the best – I hope you have surrounded yourself with supportive, strong women. I hope you live in peace, and that the men who abused you leave you alone forever.

    May you live a life of joy, peace, hope, and happiness. Keep reaching out for help — especially in person.

  112. Lin says:

    I just left my abusive husband a little over a month ago. We are separated but I have not made any sudden moves yet, and I make sure he sees our son every day. We were married for 12 years, during which signs were always there and he would tend to get angry with me or violent if he didn’t get what he wanted. But the last couple of years got much worse. I developed depression and stopped taking up for myself, and his violence, emotional and sexual abuse got nuch worse. I changed myself to try to change him and make him happy, but I finally developed severe symptoms of PTSD from the many assaults and threats I had received. So far things are calm, but the PTSD is now a new challenge to overcome and try to cope with and I often feel paranoid or threatened that he will assault or threaten me again.

  113. miranda says:

    hi i commented on this post a while ago it has been 9 months now away from my abusive ex partner , sorted out all the legal things when he sees his 3 kids ,every saturday for a day and it is working out. I have already accomplised so much,doing a course already passed half of it,given up cigarettes and i just have a better happier life can be a bit lonely by myself but i was 100 times beforehand my family hasnt really been supportive but their are others that have helped me the womens refuge and also i have the courage and strength that i am worth something and a part of society and deserve respect, but you have to respect yourself too to get respect, i am trying to be a good role model for my 3 kids and my children are happier we may not have lots of money but we have a roof over our heads, food, and are always number 1 priority, but were in a better situation then before. Just remember nobody deserves to be abused in any way emotional physically or sexually. Mine was emotional and physical but mostly emotional, I was made to feel 10cent worth every day, i believed it because it was drilled into my head i used to feel so bad i just shut down and lost who i was and in the process my spirit my whole emotional wellbeing and my children was being affected, it is good to accept what has happened to move on with your life properly and you know the warning signs of an abusive person so it dosent happen again. I wouldnt have gotton through this without the womens refuge, i felt really embaressed at first ringing them but i know i needed to make sense of what i was going through and needed supportive kind words and thats what i got.I hope everybody can live violence free

  114. Ariel says:

    Hi Dianne,

    Your story is inspirational, thank you for sharing. I left my abusive relationship of nine years with two children on May 16, 2012 in much the same way. I called my dad in the morning from work and had him meet me at home where my boyfriend watched our children to help me pack and move all our stuff out. He was there that afternoon and I only spent about 5 minutes of discussion with my ex re-affirming the fact that he should have known it was coming, I wasn’t joking when I said that I would leave (like he had apparently thought) and the day had come, we were gone. I haven’t regretted it a day since. I love him still and probably always will to some extent, but I felt that I had to leave to save myself, my children, and my soul, really. What being in an abusive relationship takes away from you only abused women will understand. That’s why I had to thank you for sharing your story, as it mirrored some of the feelings that I’ve felt since that day and it is so nice to hear that I’m not alone with those. Stay strong! And please keep writing! :)

  115. Ron says:

    So I take it stage 4 is probably the hardest stage to get past. Does the honeymoon phase in abuse have anything to do with the back and forth? I would assume at this stage the know they are in an abusive relationship but are having a hard time accepting that actually leaving is what they should do. Is there a time when they go back to stage 1?

  116. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Diane,

    Thank you so much for sharing how you left your abusive husband! It required so much courage, hope, planning — and you did it!!!

    You’re an inspiration to other woman who are scared to take the leap. I know that your story will help them, even if they can’t leave their abusive relationships right now. Thinking is the first step to freedom and happiness!

    If you don’t mind, we’d love to hear how you’re doing! Feel free to update us when you can.


  117. Diane says:

    Two weeks ago, at this time, I was sleeping thanks to a sleeping pill; knowing it was the last night of being oppressed. My husband went to bed happy, thinking he was on top of the world. He makes lots of money; is at the peek of his career and is a great leader in his church.
    The next morning, he was slower than usual to get up and leave the house. Before he left he announced that he had a meeting until 10am and he was going to work from home afterwards. Oh boy! How were we going to pack and move out in less than 2 hrs.
    I had half the bedroom packed and the bed stripped before he was even out of the house. I had knots in my stomach and thought I was going to vomit most of the morning.
    As soon as he left, I told my 15 yr old daughter that she wasn’t going to school because she had to pack her room. We were moving. She was shocked! She said, I thought things were better? I said it was important for her to think that. I would explain later…for now, we had to pack. She got to work. My son, 21, was up early and had helped me move what we could for 2 days before. He quickly got to work also. I had organized everything through a women’s shelter, in less than 5 weeks. As I sorted and organized for the move, my husband thought I was spring cleaning and was very happy. I was even more compliant than before during this time. I did anything to keep the peace and make him happy. I tried twice to tell him, but as usual, he wouldn’t let me speak freely. Everything I said and did had to be done in a particular order, with no emotions. He could rarely handle emotions, especially from me. In 5 yrs, we never connected. It began the night of our wedding when he wasn’t very interested in sex because he felt I wasn’t that beautiful. He had met me as a very well toned woman, however, I was in a car accident 2 months before our wedding and suffered a whiplash. I couldn’t work out. I was in pain. That didn’t matter to him. He spent 3 months withholding affection because I hadn’t given him my best body. I was devastated. This was not the man I had known and fell in love with. He was harsh with me and my kids; was almost military with routine and time. He couldn’t enjoy anything; not even his own son. He went through my emails and my journals and he suspected me of so many things. He used the Bible to prove his points and to teach me lessons. Luckily, I knew the Bible long before he came along. I could put scripture in proper perspective, but after a year, I stopped trying. I knew it just wasn’t worth my energy to argue or fight with him. I conserved my energy to find small things in everyday to enjoy and to appreciate. It wasn’t easy, but it was important for me to keep my sanity. He never physically abused me or my children; one time, he did raise his hand at me, grabbed my glasses and threw them on the floor. I think it shocked him as much as it shocked me. He then left the room if he got too angry. All of the “punishments” he inflicted upon me…like withholding affection, cutting me off of any finances, isolating me from my children…were apparently to teach me lessons so I would grow into the woman God wanted me to be.
    So, now it was all going to end for me and my kids. I had to be really strong and really courageous and not feel; just pack and breathe. We didn’t worry about boxes, I had some in my trunk and we used garbage bags for the rest. I didn’t worry about the plants or special art work. I took what I really needed and left the rest. We were out of there in an hour and 50 minutes.
    When we got to the geared to income townhouse, my kids and I stood in shock as we told the movers where to put things. We finally sat down on the couch to eat at 2:30pm, and my daughter said…look mom, we are sitting on the couch and eating. Something my husband would not have allowed. Then she commented that she could actually go anywhere in the house and be happy. No one was going to make us uncomfortable in our home anymore. Earlier my son had hugged me and told me he loves me. For me, these were confirmations that I did the right thing. It was extremely hard for those weeks before. I hated being deceitful, but I had been deceiving myself for 5 yrs., thinking he would ever love me for who I am or that he would ever wake up and see life as it is. I hated the thought of him coming home to a half empty house and his wife gone. Had I told him, he would have ranted and raged and tried to stop me. His biggest pain is humiliation. He would have done anything not to be humiliated. My kids learned who their mother is that day. They know how loved they are. They know that I am a woman of action, not just of words.


    To learn how she left her abusive husband, read How to Move Out Without Your Husband Finding Out


  118. alicia robertson says:

    just lost my niece to a very over powering husband. He would beat her.while kids watching.it was terrible.we know he killed her and then told cops “,she killed herself.” People have send copies of the texts she would text out to her friends..she would not listen to us anymore cause she loved him.we would point the fact that be was abusive and that only got her to stop talking to those that really loved her. These people alienate themselves to not hear the truth. She feared leaving him due to him telling her he would kill her and the kids… she would leave him and then he would threaten her and she would come back to him. She had tried to leave him several times before .SHe had filed for divorce and he was to be served that day this terrible thing happened.Please girls run when you get the chance.You can never change an animal like my niece had…… lost without my niece in san antonio texas

  119. craig says:

    Why is everything on this website all about men abusing women.I worked with two guys in my old place of work.One of the guys had scratches on his neck the other had bruises on his legs from his wife had kicked him during an arguement.Admit 3 out of 4 cases it’s the man that creates the physical abuse yet when two are yelling screaming at each other then it’s the womens fault as well.

  120. Mikado says:

    To leave an abusive relationship, you need to be a survivor and a strong woman — and believe you have what it takes to leave this abusive relationship once and for all!

  121. miranda says:

    i just want to say to hayley I know what you are going through i have had the smae experience as you . I finaally left my partner 6 months ago and it was hard just up and leaving with 3 children but you need to get in touch with the women refuge and they can help you do the first step .There are so many peopple that will not judge you leaving a relationship is the right thing to do,just remember that people around you do care about you there.Good luck i hope you leave thisterrible negative life and step into a new happy positve one

  122. hayly says:

    hi im 26 and have a2 year old and a 6month old.i have been in an abusive relationship for 2years.my family wont talk2 me and i hav no friends left,i am a shadow of who i used2 be.to start with it was just controlling,but then he started2 push me around and grab me by the throat.he is very proud of the fact that he has never hit a woman but hes hit me in the face with a belt,pushed me over while i was pregnant and threw anything heavy he can.iv been subect to sexual abuse by him also (mainly during my pregnancy),wich i feel a lot of guilt for as my son was premature and was in intensive care for a while.i feel like such a bad mum,i promised myself that id never put my children through anything bad.i feel like i cant enjoy my children,i spend my life trying not2 let it effect them,but i no it does.i need the strenth2 move away,my children are worth more than what im giving them.i came on here because i dont no where else to turn.how can i love some1 like this?he is the most sly evel person iv ever met,its got2 the point of feeling suicidal,i cant live with the guilt of my children living like this,all my daughter ever seems to say is dont cry mummy,its ok………which breaks my heart as shes only2.i just dont no what to do.

  123. K says:

    My abuser looks like a model citizen to most people. He makes a lot of money, is attractive, and on the outside appears to be a concerned parent.

    I was a junior in high school when I met my abuser. He was in college. By the beginning of my senior year, he had learned how to control my schedule: telling me when I was allowed to work, do homework, practice piano, exercise and which friends I could see. He even controlled how much sleep I got. By the time I was in the middle of my senior year he had convinced me to quit the swim and lacrosse teams that I had loved and participated in during the previous three years so that I could focus on him.
    We were mormon, so he served a mission and I went to BYU. When he came back we got married and he convinced me to drop out of school so that I could support his schooling. He couldn’t get into BYU so we moved back to his hometown and he briefly attended OSU. I found a way to work and go to school for a year. During that time he used physical intimidation strategies like pushing and backing me into a corner in order to make me comply with what he wanted. He also began a major campaign to try to convince me I was insane. When I got pregnant (because he refused to use protection) he convinced me to quit school again. After my daughter was born, he would not support me working outside the home again during the 13 years that we were married. We had two more children. He got a civilian job working for the military and ended up making good money. But, he did not allow me to use his income to buy clothes for my children or myself, and often he wouldn’t allow us to have money for groceries. I taught piano with a baby on my lap to feed and clothe us. I don’t know what he did with his income – which eventually grew to well over six figures.
    I discovered that he had a pretty thick porn habit (probably spent 15 – 20 hours/week at it) early in our marriage. When I confronted him with it he blamed me and the verbal abuse started in earnest and never stopped. Verbal abuse is so painful – he would specifically use whatever thing he could to make me feel awful about myself while maintaining that I was crazy and could never be loved or accepted by any other person. He would also throw things at me occasionally, or do things to scare me like raising his fists and grinding his teeth. He had isolated me from my friends and my family and my ability to work or to get an education and I believed what he said.
    After about four years of that I began to realize that I had never resorted to calling him names, or talking badly about him behind his back. He had put video surveillance and microphones in every room of our house to monitor me while he was at work and he monitored all of my email and phone correspondence – I had never done that. By then he had spent a decade lying to me about anything and everything under the sun – I had never done that to him either. He often forced me to have sex with him against my will, I was not allowed to say no. Period. I never did that to him.
    It became obvious to me that what he felt towards me was not love and was utterly void of respect. I stayed for the kids, and because I was afraid of the repercussions of leaving him. He began insulting me to my oldest daughter. When he started belittling me to her in my presence, I realized the marriage was long long long over and that I would not be able to have good relationships with my children if I stayed. When he realized that I would be leaving him soon he held me hostage in a car for three hours in an attempt to make me stay. He tried to sabotage my ability to work. He also threatened to take my children, threatened to kill himself, and threatened to leave the country and disappear.
    I began dating not long after I left him. My abuser threatened by boyfriends life. When my abuser began dating, he claimed that his girlfriend would “tear me to shreds” if I ever talked to her. I enrolled myself in school as soon as I could (8 months after leaving him) and he moved to Europe with his girlfriend. He would correspond with my children via video chats. But because he did not have any responsibility for putting them to bed, or feeding them, or making sure they showered… he would talk to them at all hours of the day, seriously undermining my ability to parent them. His girlfriend would do the same. I could hear their voices on the computer when I was helping my children with homework, or doing my own studying or even trying to sleep. Eventually I put my foot down and cut him off. He could not come into my house at all hours of the day anymore. I gave him two specific appointments each week when he could visit with the kids. He threw a fit and contacted every member of my family, my lawyer, my friends… And you know what??? He doesn’t even bother to call half of the time. For him it is all about control.
    He recently decided he would be moving back from Europe. I have moved about 45 miles from where he used to live so that i could be closer to my school, and so that I could be away from all the memories of him. Before he has even returned he has already filed two “emergency” motions trying to convince the court to force me to move back to where I used to live. He has tried to convince the judge that I am a “hedonist” who doesn’t put my children first because I moved to go to school.
    At this point I accept that I will probably have to deal with this man trying to manipulate, control, and threaten me through my children for the rest of their childhoods. It is harder to accept the lies he tells to our three daughters and the hurt that he causes to them by his coming and going.

  124. meli says:

    Hi,well let me start by saying!! I’m 29 my baby father is 41 we have two children together I already had three,first relationship was bad I got cheated on and hit.then I met him he was nice we moved in together and its been almost seven years.during all this years he called me bitch whore crazy mood swings and so many hurtfull names. I admit I done it back to make my self feel better.but here is the problem. He ignores me he truck drives for weeks and comes home. I’m just a piece of furniture. I caught him on porn websites.and god knows what. I’m so dumb I didn’t go back to work its been six years. I cry every night and I can’t leave I have no money family to help me untill I get on my feet . Every week he is home I’m unhappy as soon as he leaves omg!! I do things with my kids. I need to leave his verb abuse is killing me. He tells me he hates me and he is sick of me telling him about woman he looks at. He makes me feel so ugly! I wanna have wings and fly.

  125. mish says:

    Where do I begin .. I’ve been in a relationship for 10 yrs.It started out great! I was young early teens he was a little older then I was.We partied had allot of fun smoked weed frequently until I became pregnant for the first time with our son.I quit everything. He continued to drink n smoke sometimes he’d come home other times he wouldn’t. He was dedicated to his work but loved the party.one night he drank a bit much and pulled a knife on me when I was 9mths pregnant. He sobers up after a long while and didn’t remember doing it. Few years pass were having a backyard bbq he and his friends were up drinking after mine had all left or crashed for the night by this time I was pregnant with the 4th . He took off from the house I got up from bed wondering where everyone had gone he left the doors open flapping in the breeze and I wasn’t to happy and made sure to let him know tht which was a bad idea because he attacked me. One of his friends tried to stop him while the other cheered him on. Then we were ok for another few yrs then pregnant with the 5th an argument started again and another knife came out. Now only a few nights ago I got sick food poisoned and I was lying down he came over took the blanket I had and kicked me off the couch and layed in my spot. Me being sorta mouthy I’ll admit said you just wait till your sick he attacked me again. I hve huge bruises under my arms my 4 older children were playing outside @ the time he stopped when I fell right near my youngest and she started to cry.so like usual after all our spits spats etc.. He goes n packs a bag and I ask him how can you do this to me I’m supposed to be someone you love and care for he slapped me in my face and told me to shut my mouth. This abuse is not an all the time thing only once in a blue moon so sometimes I question am I really in an abusive relationship!?! I don’t know. All the times before I’d down play it oh it’s only a bruise oh he only shoved me. I’m supposed to get married this year and I do love him I know he does love me or at least I think so he is a good guy and a very good person the majority of the time.is this my fault do I drive him to the point.I don’t know.. He is now @ his moms place she is sick right now and really plays it up and he thinks she is dyeing I know different but won’t say anything to him. I know she thinks he does everything around here because he really has everyone believing he is a vic and I’m just a lazy b***h. I clean all day everyday I give him everything and anything nothing seems good enough but then there are other times when e is very appreciative :s I’m so f***ed up I dnt know what to do cause this isn’t an every day thing..

  126. Nes says:

    I am a 27yr old woman, trapped confused and baffled how I ended up this way. I am with a man who everyone thinks has his sh*t together, the perfect man. But really he is a mentally abusive a$$hloe who has major issues, and who uses my children against me.

  127. Tammy says:

    My name is Tammy. I live in india, am indian, this is my pet name. Ours was arranged marriage. i am going through highly mentally abusive husband who is very normal as per everyone’s say but only i know the truth. he is highly mentally abusive. he blackmails me every single way. there is not even a word of communication between us. He does not want to be a part in our lives (i have 8 year old daughter) and we are not a part of his life in every single meaning in every way. there has been no connection physically also right from beginning. Daughter is the result of my initiation and even after that he says, “u wanted to do it.” Oh my god, in spite of all this i have been bearing all that until date. How do i leave him, he is the one who is paying bills. in india woman leave everything and go to live in grooms house where they are not allowed to work. No one is believing anything i say because he is acting outside of everything being so normal. Even my parental side do not feel anything is wrong. Whoever tries to talk to him about our relationship, he excuses himself out of it. Very cunningly manages his freedom. He is not bothered about us in any way. in between he would do little things like bring 3-4 T shirts for daughter and thats it. He never initiates talk or anything. Worst part is my in laws support him and accuse me for everything, even his sisters. Can anyone please suggest what i should do as i am 39 now.

  128. Fran says:

    I was with a man for 2 and half years. At first, it was great, as usual, but his wife had left him so I was on the watch out. The verbal abuse started very subtly, commenting on my clothes, appearance, loud laugh, how I interact with others. Gradually, it became worse, criticising me constantly about everything, would laugh if I got mad, or hurt, saying he was only joking etc. Didn’t ever get physical, as in hitting me, altho did throw my bag across the room in a temper, but that was only once. Did put his hands on my neck, pillow on my face, but always in joking fashion, now I’m beg to wonder. Loved when he made me mad. He’s on medication for depression, but loved to tell me I am the mad one. Now, all of a sudden, for the last three weeks, he has stopped picking up the phone when I call, will only reply to texts. At first, told me he was ‘thinking’, last week said he will get in touch soon. I don’t believe him. I feel we’re finished. Anyhow, I should not go back. My dilemna now is, how do I face up to the fact that an abusive man left me? Isn’t it usually the other way around? He is def. playing with my head at this stage and I realize now that it is part of the abuse. Hopefully, I will get over all of this soon. Very disappointing, as I am in my fifties and was thrilled to have met someone at this late stage of my life.

  129. Katy says:

    I just finished readin Amy’s story and have to say You Go Girl! I’d love to hear that you’ve done,your out with the kids and laughing and he’s looking a the lowlife scumbag fool that he is! Reading the words “I just want to spit in his face” was something I relate to, but my ex (of only four days) has done it to me one to many times and it sucks but I can imagine doing it to him who is the one who deserves it, would be soo satisfying! I am 25 and have an 8month old baby and his father has been abusive right from the get go to be honest, but he is clever! Picking and choosing his moments and coming crawling back with all the right lines, I felt sorry for him more than anything! Then we found out I was pregnant which we were happy about and everything felt right about it, but I was being fooled and things just progressively got worse he used to have me cowering on the floor begging him to stop fully pregnant and just all belly, when I think about it now it blows my mind that he could do that, but anyway my son was born on my 25th bday and he was away on a Europe tour with his band and six weeks later he returns, things were ok, but he was always away with his job and the band on tour with their new album, soon enough I get sick of being alone and all of a sudden he quits his jobs “to appease me” what the hell? It all went down hill from there it used to be every couple of weeks I get shoved and pulled to the ground by my hair, punched thumped kicked spat on and at,taunted shoved into closets, then be made to feel sorry for him and letting him back in with the promise it’ll never happen again, but it always did so 14stiches later a fractured and then incorrectly healed coccyx (tail bone) ect ect in the weekend just been I was kicked into the wardrobe unable to get out while he emptied the contents of my deodorant can under the door to me then that night threats about rape and beatings every time he thought he could hear me cry a hiding in front of my son followed by a fully serious and close call smothering with a couch cushion which my baby starting to cry was the only reason he stopped it! And then the next to hours of being ordered and followed around by him hitting me pulling me to the ground and kicking me while begged him to please just let me take my son and just leave, I have just yesterday filed to the courts for a protection and parenting order he has bail conditions not to contact me, but he has he wanted to tell me how much he loves me. Which is soo f***ing sick it makes absolutely no sense! I let go today ad it was my lawyer who has had her own domestic violence experience five children a half medical degree and is now a fully qualified top of the line lawyer who chooses to work in the family court to help and protect women like us opened my eyes and quite simply during our paper process educated me! Oh my god! I feel empowered to be a women we are amazing creatures our abilities are just limitless and these thugs with all their filthy games and manipulation come into our lives and disrespect everything it’s just unbelievable and I always used to think it will never be me and it was/ is! But I’m proud to be me and it’s these experiences who make me who I am today but there is no way I will ever let any make the same mistakes if I can, I think women in this position really need to be educated, I found facts really effective, you know they made me go ok well if that’s what the statistics say then I better get the f out of there bcos I will be just another statistic soon and to my son I’ll just be a pretty face on a bit of cardboard! F that breaking your soul and clouding your light your need to stand tall do what you gta do and keep this in mind; The secret to Happiness is Freedom and the secret to Freedom is Courage! I think that deep down inside there somewhere there is a little girl well just past her is the biarch that stands tall with her shoulders back and her chin up and when you find her she will prob say something like “nah F**k That S**t we’re f***ing outta here befor I have this c**t for lunch” and you’ll do it your own way and as soon as you reach out and mean it all the pieces will fall into place, believe in youself!

  130. Mildred says:

    here I am about to leave the Man of my life who I met twenty years ago but he is also my abuser… I finally packed my bags today and i;m leaving him… then why do I feel so damn hurt like someone stuck a knife in my back? I know this is the right thing for me and my kids but why am I thinking about changing my mind? I feel like its so hard to let go but at the same time I wanted to let go a long time ago… but I want to know if I let go of my abuser will the abuse stop?

    will I get my life back? I just want to live again and let all of this negative s**t go… please send me your comments and your thoughts every little bit counts..

    thanks for taking the time out to read about me, be safe, and God Bless …

  131. pastor's wife says:

    My husband is a pastor and we have been married for 10 years with a six year old son. I am currently in a very sexually and emotionally abusive relationship and have been for the entire 10 year marriage. I am trying to take steps to leave but I am very afraid. I really don’t want to disappoint our church family or relatives because they think that we have the perfect marriage but I am miserable!

  132. rita says:

    one life not a rehearsal find the strength and break free from abuse.

  133. miranda says:

    I will share my story,I am a 29 year old mum of 3 young children,I ended a 10 year abusive relationship 4 months ago and it was the best thing i have ever done,I had broken up with him before about 5 times,the final straw was when i felt my identity and who i was slipping away,i just wanted to break away from the relationship,my initial first step was seeing the womens refuge to see if they could help me,then i sought a place to live for me and 3 children, i done this secretively,and finally left when he was at work,my dad helped,i spoke to my dad finally about the abuse about 2 weeks before i moved out ,after 10 years he had no idea ,as my ex was so charming to people around him when he was around me,he fooled everyone,i was scared to even talk to my father about it,i was scared of my exs reaction if he knew i had been talking to him.I have lived in fear with his mood swings and quick temper i always tried to keep the situation calm for my children,also dealing with my child who was diagnosed with adhd was very hard at times,i am still healing now as it has only been 4 months and it can only get better ,my children see him once a week now,he is being nice to me now,he still wants a relationship with me ,as hes told me and cried showing emotion and tried all the tricks in the trade and said that i am breaking this family apart and blamed things on me,i told him that their will never be a relationship anymore i will not stop my children seeing thier dad,but am now on a new journey in healing my new life one day at a time i wish anyone who is in an abusive relationship to get out as soon as possible,i lived it for 10 years and my children seen it,the grass is greener on the other side,no body should put up with anysort of abuse

  134. amy says:

    I’m not sure where to start.
    I was a single mother of a 2 1/2 yr old when I met this really sweet charming guy that whirlwind romanced me and 3 weeks into dating he was picking out rings..i thought I was somethin special cuz who could love me that much that fast! We were married after only 3 months of dating. And even after we agreed I would go to school before expanding our family..he convinced me we needed to hurry and have a child because his mother was having a pacemaker put in and she had waited 16 years for a grandchild.
    I was 20. Very impressionable still and agreed.
    3 Mos preg he started acting different..accusing me of cheating and lying.while he traveled for a living I stayed home and worked at a local hotel as a front desk clerk. And no matter the money I put into the account, we were constantly in beg numbers. He would say its because he had to pay for expenses out of town..but he had a perdium.
    I had our son and he kept getting stranger.
    He asked odd sexual favors,bought toys and started secretly having people watch our intimate times. When I discovered that I put an end to it and tried to get away. At that same time my family needed me and I started fighting for custody ofu siblings as my mother was no longer mentally capable.
    Because of the state needed proof of a good home..as I was trying to divorce this mand and still get the kids his threat was he would tell the case worker I was not stable if I left him. So I stayed. But he started getting physical..shoving me into the dresser because I wouldn’t let him on the computer..another time peanutbutter in my hair because I was going out to my girlfriends birthday party and he changed his mind about my going.
    He was constantly telling me I was crazy. I did t know what I knew or when I would ask about an incident, if I couldn’t recall dates then I was making it up. It got to the point that I was questioning my sanity.. When I discovered gay websites on our computer and he had propositioned me with a3 some with another man I was floored. Then as a surprise for our 7 th anniversary ,took me to a swingers club and I wake up after passing out drunk and he’s having sex with an older woman in the same bed I was sleeping in..i was so disgusted I told his mother everything..
    He admitted and begged forgiveness.
    I stayed the remainder of that year but with a plan..and he treated me worse than ever. Changed the locks for laughs and started having women calling the house that he had met online..before I was ever gone.
    Finally I got out with my children a whole mile up the road.
    We were given joint custody but during his time he passed our children off on his parents..he stalked me at work and parked outside my apartments. Broke into my car cuz he had the code..and left notes begging me to come home. Poems and flowers..then when I did t respond to those I got hundreds of calls a day.
    I got the police involved and was told unless he threatened my life there’s nothing I could do.
    A year later with his on and off harassment, I finally met someone else..got married and moved away
    90 miles..with the approval of my atty since I was custodial parent..and I had told him and his family for 3 mos I was moving( get ur shit in writing!) I was served with a motion that forced me back within 30 miles and that my children were in danger. The judge made us agree to 30 miles or my x would get custody.
    So with all the phone records and stalker evidence and falsified records and statements he managed to get MORE rights to our kids and run off the guy I was with. Then he started transfering $ back out of our joint acct I was forced to keep for child support deposits..until I had more overdraft charges than I had income..i reported this and he was court orders to have it taken out of his paycheck..but in the meantime I lost my car and my apartment. Which landed me back in his house..renting from him..ha! Ain’t that some shit! So for all yall that wanna get away! Good luck. If u got kids they will become a weapon.
    I love my kids and I sit here pissed that I was forced to come back here! And he loves me now more than ever. He says he can’t survive without me and I belong to him.
    As he grabs my ass to tell me that ALL of me belongs to him
    M. I want to spit in his face.
    Ask me about my plan this time. And when im done here he will wish he woulda just let me go.( I won’t hurt him physically I promise) im not crazy..its a brilliant plan..he shouldn’t have made me his obsession.
    i shouldn’t have come back,but its hard when as a mother you want to protect your children and the man uses his $ and education to manipulate your lack of education or finances to control your every move.
    This will be a happy ending! I will save myself and my children. And he will cry.

  135. Earth Angel says:

    Hi, I just left my husband of 12 years from abuse. It had become so normal I didnt even know any different. Now i find the truth about him, how he cheated on me many times then subjected me to sexual abuse. Then there was the physical and mental abuse and the threats and blackmail that I suffered for many years. In the end he left me no choice but to drive myself to the local police ststion at 2am in the morning after I had given the children to my parents as I would never leave them with him like that. I had no idea what was going to happen when I arrived or even if they could do anything and I was welcomed with open arms and given so much support I think I am still in shock at the ammount of support I have received. But this took me 12 years to finally leave so I understand that it is not easy and cannot be done over night. I knew when I left that it had to be ready and strong so that I would not waiver back. I tried to leave peacefully on many occasion but he would not let me so it had to come to the DVO and kick out order as they call it. It is a hard and long road but every day that goes bye makes me realise I made the right decision and my life will get back on track and I can learn to be happy again. I left on the 19th Dec 11, so it has nearly be 2 months but I am determined to stay strong and never go back to the misserable exsistance that I lived in for 12 years. My advice is to take the help available and make the right choices for you and your family and pray that maybe someday the other person will receive the help and healing that they too need. I also recommend using some spirtitual guideance to stay strong and have something new to focus on that is only going to help with your own healing.
    Sometimes what seems so scarry can be the best thing you will ever do for yourself and the others around you that also suffer in the events.
    I even now feel bad for what happened as he was told to leave with his personnell belongings and that was it and I am in the house with the kids, but I just have to keep reminding myself that he choose his own actions and behaviour and that I cannot control.
    Good luck :)

  136. Thanks for sharing your experiences with the stages both men and women go through before leaving an abusive relationship. While every situation is different, I think there are a few common themes.

    The most important commonality is that leaving an abusive relationship is a lot harder than you think.

    You don’t need to read books to get through these stages — if you can find an in-person support group for abused women, you’re halfway to healing!


  137. Steve says:

    I think men go through these same 5 stages or maybe I’m not a real man. I have been in an abusive relationship for 3 years. The first 2 years I didn’t understand what was going on. I’m starting to see I have to leave, but I’m worried about my daughter. She started calling her mother a “mean witch”. I honestly never taught her that, she associated from her children’s books. Her Mother blames me and has now taught our daughter to call me an “a**hole”. Her mother hits me when she gets really upset, I’m a tough guy with a high pain tolerance so I take it or block it. I would never hit her. I’m worried she may hit our child when I leave. I’ve tried to record her behavior, but as soon as the camera is rolling she acts like a different person. After reading this article I understand my toxic cycle of trying to leave. As soon as I’m back with her my self worth is torn to pieces. I wish there was more advice for men in my situation.

    • Taimi says:

      Hi, I am reaching out to you Steve because I care about anyone who is going through physical, mental, or sexual abuse, I have been through it myself, all 3 to be exact since the age of 2, currently am leaving my abusive situation of 3 years, enough is enough! If I don’t leave, this guy is going to kill me plain and simple!! Thank God I don’t have any young children, my son is grown up and out on his own. As for me I have been in 4 terrible abusive relationships in my life, the 1st was my son’s father, 2nd was a boyfriend, 3 was my husband, and this is the 4th a boyfriend who is a gang member, and hid the truth from me until 6 months passed by, and he was already living with me in my tiny studio apt. I tried to get him to move out, and that is when he became physically abusive to me, it started with yelling & cursing at me, then grabbing me really hard & threatening me, then pushing, shoving, and cuutting off my friends, and family members, then slapping, pushing me down, hitting my head against the walls, and threatening to kill my family members, now it has gone so far that it seems every few days he is trying to start arguements about why I called the police on him 4 times and had him arrested. He never see’s his wrong doing. All he see’s is me trying to put him in jail. I get all the blame, and he tells me that it’s all my fault. The last few times he hit me, I tried to fight back, he still over powered me, and I got hurt really bad. The police took my report, they were from The Rampart Division in Los Angeles, CA, I’m pretty sure most people know about that division of the LAPD ( and it’s not good)! They took his side, and he told them he is not a gang member, he said I was a liar, and said that I was exagerating. Those police officers told him what I said to them about him abusing me, but they added extra things I never said, so by the time he was let out of jail, he was that more angry at me. So the abuse has gotten worse and worse each time. Unfortunately yesterday he came home while I was asleep, hit me in my back and he screamed all kinds of obsenities at me, then started punching me while I was laying helplessly on my bed, I have torn ligaments in my left knee and cannot walk, my leg is in a stablizer, and I have to use crutches, I have previous injuries from getting hit by a car so my limitations are permanent making it hard to even get around my apt. So I really couldn’t do much to protect myself, he even jumped up on the bed with his shoes and pounced on me punching me numerous time on my head, and my legs, and really hurt me through the brace that is on my leg. I managed to grab my cellphone that was under my pillow, and dailed 911, but he slapped it out of my hands, but my soeaker phone button was on so the 911 operator heard everything, my screaming for help, and his threats, and cursing. They sent the police, but they arrive about 45 mins after he left, and the police station is only a block and a half up my street where I live. So he was not arrested, he got away. My advice to you and any other person who reads thOis, please leave and don’t look back, when you leave take your daughter with you if you feel she is not safe with her mother, go straight to the police station, file a police report immediately, then file a restraining at the court house, explain the whole situation and let them know you fear for your child safety, there are people at the courts to direct you to get the help you need, confide in family, and friends to help you. But don’t turn back, it will be the best thing you ever did for yourself. I have learned that abusers don’t change, it only gets worse, and yes they may make promises, and beg you not to leave, but after the so called honeymoon faze fizzles out like in a day or so, it’s back to the same or worse abuse. Don’t believe a word they say, it will not stop, and some of us won’t live to see another day!! So please find help, start by calling the domestic abuse hotline right away, they will help you no matter if you are a man or a woman, especially if a child is involved. God bless you, stay strong, fear and crying doesn’t mean you are not a real man Steve, men have feelings, just like women do. It doesn’t lessen who you are as a person. I wish you strength, and a positive outcome. As for me I hope to see another day, and I will walk out of his life, and move far away where I can be safe. I know God is watching over me….

  138. Hope says:

    I am responding to the ladies above. I am a nurse to. I have always been very strong. I was the one my friends looked up to. I have independent and have a 2 beautiful boys, beautiful house, and a great job. I am just getting out of an abusive relationship. I kept saying I was going to be single soon to all my friends. Yet, I never really done anything to get away. I am only out of it now only because he attacked 2wks ago and was arrested and part of his bond is to stay away. He called me from jail, I didn’t take the calls from him. He then text and called me as soon as he got out. I did not talk to him. The last contact was a few days ago. He called from a private number When I answered it was silence I kept saying hello finally he says in the most pitiful voice just want you to know I’m sorry. Before I thought I said you don’t know what I look like. Then there was a long silence and he said I love you…I quickly hung up, that was Sat. I went to my friends houses and kept busy. I talked about how I hated him, how I wanted him to suffer. This is his 3rd offense CDV this one is high and aggravated. Its been 2wks, I still have bruises. I have been so angry and afraid I havent barely cried. I would stand in front of the mirror and just think of how horrible I looked and how no man should do this and it was working! until… his sis called 2days ago at first I was furious at her. Then I broke I came home I was afraid again and crying heavily I was in a different state of mind. I apologized to her and we cried together. I have crying all day today and feel empty. I cant figure out why. When we were together I hated him most days. I felt like he was ruining my life. Why I am so worried about him now? Why do I wish I could see him yet i am glad I cant. Why is that the bruises are almost gone that it doesnt seem to be as horrible as it was before? I thought he was going to kill me. I had to run to my neighbors for help. Why is I think over and over in head where did it all go wrong?

    • Taimi says:

      Ms Hope, it is normal to feel the way you are feeling, but don’t let your abuser sway you to take him back, if you do it will only get worse. My boyfriend or should I say ex as of yesterday after he attacked me again!! When we first got together he said he would never put his hands on me, that he was ‘t like that, he say his mother raised him never to put his hands on women. So I trusted him. Eventually within 6 months of being with him, and letting him move in with me, to my horror he started having these spastic outbursts calling me ever curse word in the book, grabbing me hard, shoving and pushing me, I asked him to move out, and that is when all hell broke loose. He began threatening me, and physically abusing me, I had him arrested 3 times in the last 3 years. It has continued to get worse and worse, so I finally said to myself enough is enough!! i called the domestic violence hot line, and I am getting help to leave this situation, it’s a little harder when you don’t have little kids, because the shelters take families with small children first, I haven’t found a shelter that will take me in yet, so I’m forced to stay in my situation, he just attacked and beat me yesterday, I couldn’t really protect myself because I have an injury to my one of my knees, and I’m on crutches, I can’t run away from him, and he attacked me while I was asleep in bed. He has pulled knives on me, and threaten me and my families lives many times. I call the police but they seem to instigate more problems, they don’t seem to care about the woman, they take his side. If he gets arrested it’s only over night, and he’a back home even more angry with me. I am working on finding a place to stay out of the city we live in. I hope you stay strong for you and your boys. Don’t look back, just please call the Domestic Violence Hotline, get some counseling, they can help you see the way out. Don’t fall for those fake apologies, and crocodile tears, that is the same stradegy all abusers use to get back in with you. Abusers are good at knowing what to say, and when to say it. They know hiw to break down your defenses. Please don’t fall for it….good luck!

    • Karma says:

      Be strong and stay away. This guy could hurt you or disable you. How would you rovide?
      Remember that abusive men always try to return. Look out he may try to contact you. Even if its just a call hes trying to get you. Dont fall for it. Realize you are being abused.

      Leave him
      Take your emotional connection from him away
      Or else youll always want to go back.
      Heres a poem i wrote.

      You say you love me

      You say you love me
      But you black my eye
      You say u love me
      But let me cry
      You enjoy seeing me in pain
      You say you love me
      But ecstatic my hurt is your gain
      Why I give
      Only to be attacked
      Why I Give love freely
      Without receiving it back
      I left u in a heartbeat
      Cause u made me almost loose mine
      You won’t say sorry
      What a waist of time
      I called the police
      And ended up in the emergency line
      Bruses on my brain
      Where u caused pain
      You punched me with fists closed
      When we broke up it rained
      Two people can’t be together
      If they drive one another insane
      I trusted you more than a brother
      Now 4 my love I’ll have to find another
      I prayed to god that night
      We got in a fight
      Only he can restore my body and mind
      From a cycle of abuse
      u only looked at me like something to use
      You didn’t have a heart
      I thought u had
      Now I’m so mad
      But for the strength to walk away
      I had 2 pray
      Before I lay to rest in a casket
      For a soulless bastard

  139. Sheryl says:

    I suppose I”m stuck in one of the first few stages.Mine is verbal not physical.
    After 19yrs of begging, pleading, counseling etc I threw the towel in. I want out. I’m too permanently damaged by him to stay with him. I see no good in him or us and don’t want to.
    I started attending CoDA meetings (codependents anonymous) about a month ago and am working on me.
    However, when I actually tried to go he turned into a horribly monster. Told me he would do anything it took to keep his son. Not coming home to his son every evening was not something he would ever accept. Threatened to ruin me through his mouth on something bad I did years ago.

    Says he loves me, that regardless of the hundreds of times I tried showing him how he was hurting us, NOW he finally “gets it”. Says he can and will change and loves us and wants us. but if I decide not to give him another chance there will be heck to pay because he’s not going to lie down and take it.

    I’d want someone to be with me because they wanted to not because I threatened to blackmail or mentally hurt them. So now I’m stuck hoping one of these final stages comes soon.

  140. Angel says:

    Huh…. Im so confused. I love him. It wasnt always like this. It started after his mother died. he takes everything out on me. Idk. I love him so much. I just want to be with him. Sometimes he picks the fights just so he could hit me n tell me how sorry he is. I feel even more attached to him after he beats me . I guess cuz I’m out here without any family or friends. So all I have is him. Idk. I just wanna be with him. My first real love.

  141. Dear Tabatha,

    Thank you for sharing your experience here! I’m so glad to hear from you, and I admire you so much. You’re a survivor, you’re a strong woman, and you have what it takes to leave this abusive relationship once and for all.

    Leaving is a process, though. As you know, it can take a long time to detach from your husband. It IS confusing, especially when he knows exactly what buttons to push to make you go back to him.

    Sometimes knowing about the origin of the abuse – why he’s an abuser – isn’t enough to stop the behavior. Is he in counseling? That’s the best way to trust him – if he’s getting professional help.

    Have you learned about the abuse dynamic? I interviewed a counselor for an article about abusive relationships for BC Women’s Hospital, and she describe how abuse works.

    I wrote about it here:

    The Abuse Dynamic – Why Women Who Are Abused Can’t Walk Away

    Please feel free to write your thoughts here anytime you wish, no matter how disorganized or chaotic they seem to be! I don’t care if you don’t make sense :-) I just want you to have a safe place to express yourself.

    Blessings and prayers,

  142. Tabatha Baker says:

    Hi my name is Tabatha and I have been separated from my emotionally abusive husband for 14 months. I have read The Emotionally Abused Woman, that helped me so much. I just forget and need to refresh my memory. I have also started reading Emotional Blackmail- that book is informative as well. I haven’t yet read a book that gives exact examples of my particular situation but I’m sure like many woman it is complex and complicated. I have decided twice I need to file for divorce and each time I 2nd guessed myself. I am a strong woman in many ways…I work hard, I am a nurse, I have 3 children and my little sister lives with me so sometime its like 4 kids. I am not where I was in life at least but not yet where I want or need to be. I still struggle deeply with life issues regarding my marriage. It is like living in a fog. Little by little the fog clears, each day and sometime I go backwards. My husband and I went to individual counseling for several months…I feel his counselor was a bit nutty with all due respect I just clashed when I met with her on one occasion. We went to this marriage class at my church earlier this year and it was informative in the christian sense of marriage and yet I felt pressured by the instructor of that class…I feel pressure from my husband still. I really suffer from confusion a lot and I know that is a side effect of what emotional abuse does to a person but yet the mind is so complex and just living day to day I’ve found is the most difficult part of life. So many challenges and so much pain. I hope this email isn’t completely and utterly a mess as I feel my thoughts need to be better organized or written down sometime I feel that may help. My husband is still trying so hard to win me back. He has been giving me gifts and money and claiming to be changing for the better and has admitted to his abusive ways and realizes the reason of the abuse’s origin. His father is that way. My most recent challenge has been trying to see the light, again, I feel he has changed in many ways and has made improvements but yet it seems his personality is him, it annoys me, he annoys me…I resent him and its for valid reasons but I feel so lost right now. After talking with him on the phone for 3-5 minutes I am so tired, tired of hearing his voice- tired of listening to him talk and be positive about “us”. He knows how I feel and that I’m not in love with him, that I have many doubts about our marriage working out. I wish I had the money to file for divorce but I do not. I have axiety about it really…just typing about it now makes me anxious and tense…I feel scared that he will not be as nice and his true colors will prevail. Regardless of that I have played in my mind what he may do or say and I think I can handle that but I can’t tell him I want a divorce- I have to file first- then tell him. I’m just a mess in this area of my life and wanted to share with someone else. I will try to find those books you suggested too. Gaining more and more knowledge about the complex workings of an emotional abuser or manipulator and being involved with that person has helped me more that anything and these books I’ve read have been like tools of power but sometime they are hard to find. Thank you for your suggestions…I need to go write them down right now so I do not forget the titles and when I have some cash go to barnes and noble.

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