Emotions to Expect After Leaving Your Abusive Relationship

April 1, 2012 Kellie Jo Holly

After leaving your abusive relationship it can be difficult to find your footing, but you will. After leaving your abusive relationship, you will feel better.

After leaving your abusive relationship, no one can predict your emotions exactly. But after some time of mentoring survivors, I've found many similarities between other survivors' emotional experiences and my own. Fear of the unknown is a factor in whether or not someone leaves their abuser. So I hope this post gives you a heads up about the emotions you might experience after leaving your abusive relationship.


Emotions After Leaving My Abusive Relationship

Fear and Obsession: As If He Was Still There

Leaving an abusive relationship didn't immediately change me or the way I went about my life. I was gone, but in my feelings and actions, I hadn't left him. I obsessed over my abuser and our marriage. I imagined conversations we might have the next time we met. I woke to his voice only to find he was not in the house. My heart raced around the time he would normally return home from work.

My old submissive routines remained. I continued to feared doing something wrong that he would discover. I cleaned the house, bought his favorite foods, and budgeted the money he sent me for four despite having only three of us in the house (our two boys and me). When he called, I was afraid not to answer. When he emailed, I emailed right back hoping I met his time schedule for responding.

In short, I continued to behave as if he would come home any second. I lived in chaos, attempting to attend to an abusive husband who no longer lived in my home.

New Realizations About Life

I Retrained My Brain

Between fear and obsession there was no place for peace. After leaving the abusive relationship, it took time to realize that I had a new life that could be peaceful. A life I chose; one that he couldn't choose for me. Soon after, I noticed how much time I spent waiting on his next move. I decided that I would no longer put off doing what I needed to do just in case he decided to contact me. This was not easy, and it didn't happen overnight.

I Set Rules for Myself

I trained myself to wait before answering or returning his calls and emails. I trained myself to recognize his familiar phrases as his -- not mine. I purposefully cut his words out of my vocabulary and, probably more importantly, out of my inner dialogue. I trained myself to exude confidence when I saw him. I trained myself to react calmly to his insults and manipulation.

The hardest part about retraining myself to not react to his antics was realizing how many of his opinions and actions I'd adopted as my own (Abuse: Personality Changes And Authenticity). Take for example his look of disgust when he saw the laundry basket sitting at the foot of the bed, clean clothes folded but not put away. When I saw that look, I hustled to get those clothes in their drawers.

So to retrain myself, I left a laundry basket on the bed for a full week. I lived out of that laundry basket. At the end of the week, the sky hadn't fallen and no one was seriously injured. I started to feel better about ignoring housework to focus on other, more important issues (like how to support myself after the divorce).

Real Change Came After Leaving My Abusive Relationship

Fear Turned Into Anxiety, a Less Harmful Emotion

Once I forced my ex-abuser out of my head (or at least forced him out of a good bit of it), I could concentrate on the important things. For one, deciding how to support myself was scary! I didn't have clue one as to where to begin. I didn't want to work my life away as someone's employee, but I began to realize that being an employee temporarily was the quickest way to an income. But I didn't know how to become an employee! Truly - I didn't.

I found a class at the Small Business Association and took it. I learned that I had skills and how to document them on a resume. I learned how to look for suitable work, and I followed the advice from the class. I got a job doing something I loved to do, and took it despite its drawbacks.

Feeling Empowered, I Detached Further But Felt a Bit Lonely

I started to keep him out of my plans. I didn't tell him what I was doing even when he asked. I didn't share my thoughts or feelings with him. I viewed him as our children's father, someone who shared their lives with me, but he was no longer invited to peer into the rest of my life.

I desperately missed having someone with whom to share my hopes and fears, but I knew that sharing with my ex would only end in him twisting my words into a knife to thrust into my back. I called my sister more often. I went out with an old friend. I met a man and we had lunch. In short, I iovercame the isolation habit I'd developed in the relationship and forced myself to find other outlets for my needs.

Finally! An Emotional Payoff

About 6 or 7 months after I'd left that abusive marriage, my ex showed up at my house at 10 o'clock one night. He looked sad, but wouldn't say why he was there. He wanted to come inside. I had detached myself enough to know that allowing him inside was the worst thing I could do. I told him that I had company, that it wasn't a good time to visit.

He left and peeled out of my driveway in a flash.

I felt good. I really did! I took a look around: I had a job, I had a house. I had enough income to feed myself, our boys, and my cats. I had friends and family who checked in on me and whom I called just for fun. I wasn't all the way healed, but I was a lot closer to it than I could have imagined half a year ago.

You can be happier, too. Be patient with yourself, but don't look back to your abuser for comfort. When you find yourself second-guessing your decision to leave, think about the crap you used to tolerate and ask yourself if you want your abuser's manipulative behaviors back in your life.

It's normal to want to retreat, but it's also normal to overcome abuse. You can do it.

*Both women and men could be abusers or victims, so please do not take my pronoun choices as an implication that one gender abuses and the other is victimized. This post is part of my story and my abuser was male.

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

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2012, April 1). Emotions to Expect After Leaving Your Abusive Relationship, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

Debra Roberts
August, 3 2016 at 8:38 am

I had an an awful time with two abusers who both abused me it was a mother and son team so this felt much worse than just the son it's a long time ago now but I still have visions about the abuse it really brings me down.

July, 19 2016 at 10:22 am

Thank you for writing this its is as if you have taken my thoughts my actions and feelings that I have experience over these last 6months and put them onto paper especially the retraining part that took me a while to get the strength to do but I'm proud of how far I've come and although the feeling of being alone is still here I know I'm not and with time my circle will grow the most upsetting part for me now is the realisation he never really loved me or our children I think that's what is hurting the most the guilt I feel for them is unbearable & even though I know we're better off without him it doesn't make it hurt any less thank you for sharing this it really does help

July, 12 2016 at 3:09 pm

I recently left.....well, called police and he was taken away. I'm feeling all of these things and we were only living together for 3 years. When I first walked in the house after giving a statement at the police station and being assured that he would not be let go that night, I felt a huge relief and a sense of safety that I didn't even know was missing from my life. Since that night, all of the anxieties have continued to pop up every time I commit a rage-worthy offense like leaving a fan on, or not turning it off at the right time of day. I get this sick feeling of worry and then I remember, he can't come here, and it fades. The coming and going of that feeling has made me realize that it didn't come and go was just there all the time. The restful sense of safety is the gift I have given myself by leaving. Despite all the chaos of moving, explaining to people what's been going on, facing the guilt over the fact that I exposed my son to his violence, worrying about court, packing and finding a place to live, I feel calm and I know I've done the right thing.
Now please please please can I summon the strength to stay away....because I WILL hate my future self if I go back to him....but weakness has already started creeping in and it scares the fuck out of me.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
July, 12 2016 at 8:36 pm

It may feel like weakness, but really it is just your brain wanting what's familiar. No matter how good you feel now that he's gone, your brain wants you somewhere familiar so it doesn't have to work so hard. Like you said, when he was there, the sick feeling was always there, too. In a weird way, your brain "misses" that sick feeling. It misses the emotion that used to fill its time.
You (and the rest of us who have left) go through that, and we feel it as a feeling of "missing him" when in reality, it's just your brain trying to get you somewhere familiar. Given time, your brain will rewire itself to accept the happiness and peace. And thank goodness, when that happens, you will be so relieved that your brain craves health instead of dysfunction.
Tell your brain to shut up and let you do the navigating for a while.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

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say it,
July, 7 2016 at 11:28 pm

You talk of being left money to budget for 4.
As a man we come to resent dependent women no matter what good mothers they are.
Are you sure this was not your initial problem?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
July, 11 2016 at 11:35 am

Yep. I'm sure. The problem was and always had been abuse. He wanted to control me. I'm sorry you, as a man, resent women who take care of your children. I'm sure you don't speak for all men.

July, 6 2016 at 4:01 pm

Thank you Kelly,
I have been on you site on and off for last 2 years, trying to find means and way to leave my abusive wife, what you described is what was going on in my life. I have finally left, now looking for a Job and a house to live, filed for divorce, and i will be going next week for the Judge to grant me the final divorce.
I am full time student. I have left everything for her. Include the only car we had. now I have to walk. Currently the school has has helped accommodation for this summer, end of July I have to look for place to live, have no money to pay for school, the little I get from my part-time job I have to give her to buy food or the children.
For fifteen years it was a heavy burden. As a man I cried silently, no one wanted to believe me. Now i feel such relief, I lived in fear of my wife, I started to lose myself.
Thank you

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
July, 7 2016 at 2:30 pm

I am so happy for you! I'm sure you know about financial aid for school. Your situation has changed. You may want to go talk to them - perhaps you qualify for money you didn't before. And the car! I know a bit about not having one of those. Sucks.
And despite the difficulties you face, you feel better facing those than living in abuse. Am I right? Congratulations on your freedom. Remember, freedom isn't free (as the military says). You'll have challenges. You can overcome them.

June, 15 2016 at 10:39 pm

Thank you so much for sharing.. Big encouragement for me. :)

June, 11 2016 at 3:53 pm

I'm so lost... I had an amazing career, completely independent, a social life, friends, gave my time volunteering for charity, hobbies, a tan... A guy I went to college with was temporarily staying with me after he lost his job. He always talked about this young guy he met and had a crush on. When I finally met his crush, we hit it off and became friends. In my 33 years, I've survived a lot of obstacles (addiction, prostitution, homelessness, jail) to achieve my 2 degrees and successful career. Not many people in my life knew or would even believe what I have been through. The crush "M" was living a similar story. He was a 22 yr old "gay for pay" with a horrible family background story so naturally I felt the need to help him. He started making romantic advances towards me even though I was adamant he would never be successful, I worked WAY to hard to be where I was and I only wanted to help him because I understood how much it meant for someone to understand. He was a master of manipulation like I have never seen. It was almost as if I woke up one day and he was now my live in boyfriend driving my car controlling my life. I couldn't tell my friends what was going on because they had no clue about my past so they would never comprehend my present. Then the unthinkable... I was pregnant for the guy I had just broken up with after dating for 9 months. I was always told I could never have children, not possible. I was 12 weeks along when I found out it was ectopic. 2 weeks later I was fired on my bday from my job that I loved. I can tell everyone it was because I missed so much work from the miscarriage but I knew it was because "M" manipulated me into putting off work changing me from a 60+ hour a week workaholic to an always late slacker... the depression from my loss was just the nail in the coffin. This was a gain for him because now he had full use of my car to go meet Johns and escort. A week later, he broke my nose and cheek bones giving me 2 horrible black eyes that lasted weeks. I left... came back. The next 5 months I became a hermit with no communication with anyone. I didn't even go outside. He mentally, verbally and physically abused me on every level you can think of. Destroyed my credit, savings, car, apartment and everything I owned. Violent outbursts, throwing things, holes in the walls, bruises on me, dislocated my shoulders, would hold me hostage in my closet and jump at me then laugh if I flinched. Cheated on me with men and women. I even once found a used condom in my car. I understood what he was going through, I told myself... addiction is evil, I told him... I can save you! OMG I was the biggest moron on the planet. Here I am 34, had everything and worked my butt off to get it and a 22 year old prostitute has me so beat down I now have nothing. How is the world did this happen?!? I was so strong, some said I was the strongest woman they had ever met and now I was this? So naturally I am to ashamed to ask for help. Then I lost what little I had left to a flood. My parents got involved. I told them just enough, they still don't know everything... how could I ever tell them? In just as big of a whirlwind as it started, I had left and moved home with them. I'm 4 weeks out and don't know what to do. My emotions are all over the place and I barely recognize myself. Did I actually love him? I cry hysterically because I miss him. He calls me hundreds of times a day... we video chat. If I don't answer or txt back he verbally abuses me like we haven't missed a beat. I block him, I unblock him. I was supposed to start a new job with my family but can't function. This is now causing problems with them and we've started arguing and fighting which we've never done before. I feel insane and dumb. I'm looking for answers or advice or something. All people talk about is helping someone get out... What's next? What do I tell my mom is the reason I'm screaming at her for no reason? I'm so used to locking myself in the bathroom for hours just to get peace, its the only place I'm semi comfortable. How do i explain that to my mom who's beating on the door wondering what I'm doing in there? How do I get up in the morning? How do I go to sleep at night? Why do I want to sacrifice myself again to help him when he calls? How did this happen in such a short period of time? I'm 34 and have no clue how to live...

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
June, 13 2016 at 7:59 am

It would be to your EXTREME benefit to stop contacting him at all. No chats, no calls, no texts, no social media, NOTHING. You're not functioning because he's still abusing you daily. Even if the day is a good one, he's setting you up for the fall the next.
Also, get to a domestic violence group where you can develop a support network of people who understand why you hide in the bathroom and such. Family is great, but they can't always understand the enormity of the situation. You "should" be better the second you leave him, right? No, it doesn't work that way.
Get into therapy if you can.
And if you're worried about people thinking you're weak, just think about how strong you had to be to take his abuse day in and day out without offing yourself. Abuse victims are NOT weak. They're the strongest people on the planet. Even so, abuse convinces us otherwise.

June, 5 2016 at 3:28 am

Wow...reading these comments has really opened my eyes! I just left my abuser one week ago. We have been married for 2 1/2 years but together for six years.
At first I thought he was absolutely perfect he was witty and smart and funny and very interesting. I honestly thought I had met my soulmate. Looking back, there were many "red flags"... I just didn't want to notice them. He was extremely moody, liked to control where I went and how I dressed (he would tell me I didn't dress sexy enough)... He was always asking me who I was talking to and who I was texting. Somehow I missed took all of that control as legitimate love. I've never had someone so interested in me before so it felt good for someone to care about me.
There were several instances while we were dating of his physical aggression with breaking objects and cursing me but I ignored them all. I rationalized and made excuses for every bad behavior and I forgave him every single time. His apologies were always very sincere and he would cry and beg and promise to be a good man. One time while we were dating he accidentally sent me a text intended for another girl. It was a text about plans for their date and it totally broke my heart. At first he tried to lie about it but then he admitted that he was on a dating website and was going on a date with this girl because of something that I had done or said the week before. A few days later he came crying to me and really poured his heart out telling me how much he loved me and how much he regretted everything and that he would never do anything like that again. Like an idiot I totally believed him and for gave everything and move forward like nothing ever happened.
When things were good between us they were really good so I try to just focus on that. We got married about 2 1/2 years ago and things started going downhill rather quickly. At first he just started with verbal jabs always threatening to leave me and my girls. He would get easily agitated and angry if the house wasn't clean when he got home from work or for very minor things like if we didn't set the toothbrushes on the counter the right way. Then other times he would come home and be the life of the party. He would talk about having family game night and going on big family vacations and spending all this amazing time together but then he would act angry and aggravated and lash out at us verbally for the smallest things. We never knew which man was going to walk through the door every day.
The physical aggression started about two years ago. He put his fist through his work laptop because it wouldn't respond properly...he also beat himself in the head with his own cell phone when I caught him talking on the phone with another woman. About a year ago we got a little puppy and the puppy got into the laundry and was playing with a few dirty socks and when he came home and found the dog he beat her so bad and then threw her in her kennel and then through the kennel out the back door all in front of my daughter and his daughter. It was horrible. After everyone of these instances he would tell me that the way I could help him is to come after them and give them a big hug and tell him everything was going to be OK like his mom used to do. Essentially he made it my responsibility to make sure there were no more violent outbursts in the house.
We all started walking around on eggshells and were afraid to say anything or do anything or go anywhere without his permission. I was accountable for every dime I spent but he was spending hundreds of dollars on guns and ammunition whenever he wanted to. He had a stockpile of weapons hidden in a couple of different safes in our house. I think the turning point for me was when he started going through my emails and texts and phone records and knowing where I was every day even when we weren't together. I think he had some kind of app on my phone that he was tracking me with . He was also logging into all of my credit card accounts to see what I was spending money on. He said he was doing it because he was convinced I was having an affair...which I wasn't.
In the past three months before I left he was keeping me up until all hours of the night begging and pleading and and ranting and calling me names. He would make me promise that I was not having an affair and that I was not leaving him over and over and over. He would also imitate how he was going to blow his own brains out if I ever left him. This image really scared me so I would promise every single time even though inside I knew I was going to leave.
Now of course he is very apologetic and is begging me and is telling me none of The violent behavior and verbal aggression is his fault he is because he has had a hyperactive thyroid condition and he is a victim of bad parenting from his mother and there are just many excuses he just keeps trying to use.
About a month ago he confronted me because he had been through my text messages between me and my sister that were not very nice about him and he threatened to post them all on social media. As I was calling my sister to let her know my phone went dead because he had suspended the service remotely from his phone. Then he came over and snatched the phone out of my hand and there's basically dared me to make a move towards him. In all of the situations I remain completely calm. I have lost count of the number of times he has lost control and called me names and been violent breaking things in the house.
I had to threaten calling the police on several occasions to get him out of my face. I know that my girls and I couldn't live like that anymore so I decided to leave. He has messaged me every day and is sending me pictures and notes and lyrics from songs we used to like. He keeps telling me that my love is fake because there's in his opinion there is no way a person could be in love and then all of a sudden change their mind like I have. He is very good at twisting the situation to make himself look like the victim. At this point I've decided I don't even care anymore. I know the truth and I guess that's all that matters. There is a part of me that feels really sorry for him and I wonder if his apologies are sincere. But then I remember all of the horrible things he said to me and all of the horrible things he's done specifically to the dog and some issues with the guns that of scared me and I know that I'm doing the right thing.

May, 26 2016 at 1:20 am

I have just got out of a abusive marriage, I'd been with him 7years I met him when I was 18, at first he was so nice we had a great year he was everything if wanted in a man, he was 12years older than me but that didnt bother me. After the first year he started changing started getting very possessive over me, as the years went on we had two gorgeous boys and I clung on to the fact that one day he will be the man I met the loving gentle fun guy! That day never came, he had never hit me before but three weeks ago he went through my phone and found some guys numbers who I work with, absolutely nothing in it. I came back from my mums to have him charging at me in the street kicking and punching me, I managed to get in the house but he got in he carried on headbutting and punching me, strangled me twice saying he was going to kill me this went on for 40mins before he was arrested! The worst part was our 5/3year old kids watched! Even that night after all this I kept thinking 'will he be alright in the cell' I kept crying after every time I saw something in the house of his, I keep looking at pictures of us together it's like a torture I can only describe it as a bereavement, everytime I went out I kept getting my phone out to tell him where I was and what I was doing, I'm feeling bad for wearing Some clothes that I was only allowed to wear with him. I still have days where I just sit and cry and have to remind myself that for 6 years he has mentally abused me and then nearly killed me, there is only so much a person can and should take, I'm just concentrating on me and the boys now I know we have a long road ahead but it will make us stronger for it!

May, 17 2016 at 8:51 am

Every relationship I've been in since I was 16 (now 26) has either been physically abusive or mentally abusive. At age 21 I fell in love with an amazing guy that let me do whatever I want, that had no rules for me, that we actually could go out and do something... The only problem was he wasn't ready to settle down. He broke up with me and 3 months later I was pregnant with his baby. He didn't want anything to do with me and it was devastating. Flash forward 2 years we tried working out relationship out and I couldn't get over the pain. I would be happy with him, but then think I could find something better because he wouldn't have left me if he was perfect. So I found a guy that was "perfect" to me and he ended being physically abusive and controlling. The worst decision in my life. 6 months of straight hell after being cheated on, beat, verbally abused and the last 3 of those months he wouldn't leave my house he said he was legally living there and I needed to get an eviction notice. Everyday I would tell him i want him and gone and he finally left. Again I tried making it work with the love of my life and yet again I had to find someone new because being in so many bad relationships I didn't know what was right from wrong. I found another man who I thought was "perfect relationship" and it was in the beginning till I went on a snow trip with friends, guys and girls, and he changed instantly to a jealous and insecure person. I had to prove myself I didn't cheat on him which I didn't. I had my own hotel room and the closest I was to a guy was at the blackjack tables. He never believed me. The week before I left on the snow trip I got pregnant (unplanned) and found out when I came back. While dealing with his jealous outburst I told him about the baby and he was the happiest I have ever seen him. He already had 2 kids with a previous ex and I felt like I made him happy. I moved in with him after having a huge stressful argument with my parents because they were not happy about the news, but ended up having a miscarriage. A whole year and a half I had to prove myself that I wasn't a cheater because anything that got him insecure whether it be me asking a waiter a question or me taking my eyes off the ground in the store he would verbally abuse me call me a hoe and then say it's me who gets him so mad and he says things he doesn't mean. I fell for it over and over again. I did everything for this man. I cooked, cleaned, took care of his kids, his family (since he supported his mom sisters brother and uncle and aunt... Under one house) I helped out a lot and felt no appreciation. He said I did things to throw in his face because he didn't do the things I did. But I did it to make him happy. I felt so unloved and yet still did everything for him even after he hit my car and motorcycle on purpose and damaged both of them. I still went back and I still tried to work things out because everything would be my fault. I put up with so much stuff through the drama with his Ex and kids, being controlled, blocking my best friend (girl), couldn't go to my friends funeral. He even made me stop riding my motorcycle because he said I did it for attention. He didn't even show up on my 3rd miscarriag when I spent days in and out of the hospital. His outburst got worse and worse he broke holes in walls... Damaged my property... Cut up the clothes I bought him... Throw away things we had together... He kicked me out over and over again and tell me to come back which I did. This went on a year and a half. He finally kept on saying he didn't want to be with me so I went out tried after not being out in a year and a half... keeping my mind off of him. I couldn't be away I begged for him back begged to be together. He blocked my number would hang up on me would call me names a bitch a slut a hoe Until he got sick of me calling private and he answered. We tried working it out last night and I got a text and I didn't show it to him who it was because I knew he would be mad. He flipped out and he said he hated me. He hated the kids we had together. My kids didn't mean anything to him. My 3 miscarriages were nothing. It hurt so bad and I knew I had to leave. I left but today I feel like it's me who has done everything wrong. It was me who messed up. That I'm worthless yet knowing the relationship was toxic. I still wanted it I wanted to know he wanted me. I wanted to know that he wanted my kids as much as I did. I just wanted him to love me the way I loved him because he was my world. We did everything together. Last night I felt good that it was over yet terrible because after all the things he told me a year and half that I've finally made him think that he was right all along about me, that I was disgusting, that I was a hoe, that I'm a cheater. I left but I still want him and it hurts. I've realized my mind knows what is wrong and that it was wrong but yet I'm still hurting and longing for him to just want me because that's all I have wanted in the beginning was to love me and show me it and want me... I'm lost. Alone. Afraid. I know it was bad but I can't get my heart to realize it.

Veronica C
April, 29 2016 at 5:58 pm

I was in an abusive relationship for 17yrs. I was 24 when we met now we are 41. He would cheat on me many times and when I would confront him about him he would blame me by saying that I was cheating on him. He would always know where and who I was with even when I was at work. He would stay on the phone with me my ride home and when I arrived he would ask me if I was driving backwards. He would have me double thinking everything I would do he would always tell me that " he does not know how I function everyday, I'm stupid and worthless."
I was pregnant 4 times and when I would tell him his answer was did you make the appointment. I was to scared to stand up to him so I would cry and make the appointment. One time I did try to fight for my child I told him that I was keeping it. He told me that if I keep it he will make me loose it and if I go threw it the child would be a bastered child. I thought about how his two children were raised and I did not want my child to be in this crazy life. He told me that I don't deserve to a child. I am the worst person he ever met.
As the years went on things just got worse. I was completely isolated from my family and friends. I had a nervous breakdown at work. I was not able to finish school because he started to say that I didn't have time for him.
when he became a Correction Officer OMG! they gave him a gun I was really walking on eggshell now. The cheating, controlling, verbal abuse got so much worse.
Its so much that I cant even finish typing everything because of the pain I cant believe someone can be like this.
I would leave him and he would wheel me back in, and with in days he would be right back to the same thing. His family (mother and sister) knew what was happening but they would just say that they cant get involved. These are people that all they did was walk around with a bible in there hands and preach door to door. He did not follow any religion.
I finally left him July 2014 but only stayed away for 8 months. I went back thinking he might of changed but NO,NO,NO. I just left again its hard I realize on how much I have lost myself. I find myself staying home almost like I'm afraid to be out in the world because without him I am nothing. I know its not true but that's how I feel. I'm really having a hard time I hope it gets better. I hate that I'm giving him so much power over me and he is not even around me. I hope things will get better I pray a lot and go to therapy, at least I know I'm not alone from the blogs that I have read.

April, 28 2016 at 1:35 pm

This is the first time I've been in a domestic abuse situation, so everything that happened was new and alien to me.
For me, Stage 1 of recognising the abuse was detaching, thinking "it's time to get out" and you suddenly feel a sense of power that you can take control of your life. You look forward to feeling safe. I'm a pretty independent person so 3 months of living with this guy, seeing what he was capable of, was enough of a red flag to get out. My former partner was also bipolar and smoking pot, 2 things which I felt contributed to the abuse. He'd be all sweet and kind one moment, then sway towards being abusive, then back to 'normal' again, and act like nothing was wrong. Each verbal abuse situation was usually aimed at my 6 yr old son and ended with him threatening to kick us out of his house. My former partner would also threaten physical violence. During the shouting and swearing, I was worried the neighbours would hear the commotion and police would be called, so I feared my son would be taken out of my custody. The effect it was having on my son was traumatic. So of course I made a practical choice to leave. Who wouldn't?
So I was in no way prepared for Stage 2, after moving out (while he was at work). In the days afterwards I started to feel sick to the stomach. Couldn't sleep or eat properly. Episodes of crying. The constant self-abuse of how the hell you ended up in this situation. I've struggled to identify why and I'd have to agree that depression, anxiety and PTSD are present even in a mild form.
An abuser has a very warped way of looking at things. They are often narcissistic people, controlling and manipulative. They blame you for everything.......and in a strange way that even I cannot comprehend, you start to believe their behaviour was your fault. So begins the process of detaching from this theory.
I know my son and I will make it; we are just taking things one day at a time.
We are in a safe location, I made sure I covered all tracks so he won't find us. I haven't heard from him, the note I left stated to him not try to contact me. But will he eventually come looking for us? Only time will tell, and by the depth of the controlling person he is.

April, 27 2016 at 10:35 am

Reading these comments has been an eye opener. I have just left an emotional & verbally abusive relationship a week ago (9 months together, 4 of which was living together) for good practical reasons. He was mostly verbally & mentally abusive towards my 6 year old son. But I'm feeling anxious & fearful....not for him to try to contact me but as to why we copped the abuse & keep getting intruding thoughts that I could have done something differently to curb it. The thing is, I know that's not true. I'm usually a strong independent type & I'm mystified as to why I'm feeling this way. I'm mourning the end of a relationship, yes, & know I made the right decision. Hate feeling this way.

April, 25 2016 at 4:10 pm

I read this article to maybe get some help for myself..
I was in a horrible relationship when I was 16. It's been 6 years since then and I have been with a very lovely guy for the past 3 years.
I just keep thinking about my ex and how much he hurt me. Physically and mentally. I still have nightmares about what he did to me and I can't talk to my boyfriend now because he will just say get over it, it was 6 years ago.
I don't want to bring up the past with family and friends more because I don't want to remind them what I went through. Councilling didn't help. I still have scars on my body from when he hurt me and they are there everyday to remind me.
I find myself saying sorry less to my boyfriend, i don't flinch anymore either.. but how do I stop thinking about my ex. Some days I can't get out of bed.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
April, 27 2016 at 10:45 am

I think you should talk to a doctor and a therapist. Abuse can cause depression, anxiety and PTSD. I'm no doctor, but it sounds like you suffer from PTSD and probably depression. You should also go to domestic violence group meetings. It doesn't matter that you left the abuser - you can still go.
Part of me wonders if your current boyfriend isn't a bit like your ex. Watch for red flags and similarities between the two. If your boyfriend won't talk to you about what you see (as he doesn't want to talk about your past trauma), then you may be in for heartache with this one, too.
Call the NDVH ( and speak with them. Again, it doesn't matter that you've left the abuser. You can just call and say, "I left the abuse, but I still feel ... "
None of this is your fault. The people who don't want to hear about the past or tell you to get over it should not be in your support system. They're unwilling to help you get better. You need people who want to see you well.

April, 13 2016 at 8:46 am

I just had to report my ex to the cops as he wont leave me alone. Its the start of harrassment proceedings and an injunction. Weirdly though, the moment i did this I have started to mourn the relationship again. I don't really get it .... its freaked me out. i see him for what he is but Im missing him again now ... and feeling really upset again. I wouldn't go back now but I dont understand my upset.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
April, 14 2016 at 5:41 am

Don't freak out - mourning ANYTHING or ANYONE takes time. You can go back and forth between mourning and feeling fine for awhile - even when you KNOW you're done with the relationship.
You mentioned reporting your ex recently because he wouldn't leave you alone. Was he like that during the relationship - maybe during the honeymoon period or after a blow-up? Maybe there's some other time he pursued you in that way that wasn't creepy at the time (but is in hindsight). It is possible this recent behavior triggered your emotions - took you back to all the times you took HIM back.
Write out a list of all the characteristics you WANT in a partner. Write only in positive terms. For example, instead of "Someone who doesn't yell at me," write "Someone who handles his anger appropriately." Make the list, and when you get upset or confused, pull it out and see if anything that you WANT matches what you HAD with your ex. Chances are, the ex won't fit very well into what you want.
Again, don't freak out. It's going to be okay. Your emotions are natural.

April, 9 2016 at 3:00 pm

Posting as a male who was assaulted by my ex. Was in a 4 year relationship . Was definitely unexpected when she hit me over the head with an object twice, slapped and kicked me numerous times. She just snapped. She was the sweetest, kindest woman in the world until that event. I just remember at the time asking "why?" After 4 years you could hurt me like this. Throughout the relationship, she always compared our relationship with her friends. For example, when I bought her a customized cake, flowers and planned afternoon tea, she responded by saying "So and so planned a trip to NY for his partner's birthday." It was impossible to please her.
Some background: A couple years back there was a sudden death of a family member and ever since then she hasn't been the same and refused to seek the necessary counselling. I think what triggered all her repressed anger was that I did not attend her birthday because we had already been arguing and had made promises I didn't keep. She has apologized and finally signed up for counselling, but I still can't be certain she'll change not will she feel content with my attempts to make her happy. I miss her a lot, but I don't know if we can work things out.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
April, 10 2016 at 7:51 am

Do what your gut tells you to do. If she's been violent once, it's likely to happen again. It doesn't matter "why" - the question is "how much can I stand without losing my mental health, too?"
You first, Mr. You can't protect her from herself.

April, 6 2016 at 6:51 am

I found this page trying to find information about what happens after leaving a traumatizing environment such as an abusive relationship. This time of year is usually difficult for me and I often find myself feeling compelled to seek support and understanding of some of my experiences.
I left my abusive boyfriend of 3 years in 2010 and once I was on my own and safe (relatively), my anxiety skyrocketed. I became almost completely unable to care for myself. Luckily I had a couple of great friends and a police officer that took it upon themselves to check in on me regularly (one of which I ended up marrying a couple years later actually).
Since leaving my ex, I've spent some time working with young homeless women, generally from traumatic/abusive pasts, as a live-in residential coordinator at a group home. Something I've noticed is that in nearly every case, upon entering a safe and stable environment, anxiety and/or depression initially increases dramatically. For some it settles down again and for others it doesn't. It took me 3 years to begin feeling myself again and now, 6 years later, I'm still struggling with the after effects but it was the first 6 - 8 months after leaving my ex that were the worst. I remember reading somewhere that this is actually fairly common but I don't understand it and I was wondering if you or your readers could provide any insight?
I really don't feel I'm in a safe enough headspace right now to read the other comments so I apologize if this is already discussed.
Thank you for taking the time to read my comment (and reply, if you do).

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
April, 6 2016 at 7:04 am

I've done no research on that topic, but I have a theory. I believe that when I was in my abusive marriage, I suppressed so many feelings to "keep him happy" or stable or simply not yelling or hurting me, that when I felt safer, those feelings came out in tidal waves.
Without the abuse in my life, I had to go through all the fears that I suppressed during the marriage. It was brutal. This period makes one doubt if she should have left at all. In reality, suppressing those feelings is so much easier than feeling them or admitting to yourself that "I was abused" and "WTF was I doing?" Self-blame, lack of confidence, humiliation, shame, ... none of those feelings are deserved, but I felt them just the same.
If you haven't read "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker, I suggest you do. The main idea is that fear is a rational reaction to terrifying events (such as abuse), but the abuser, by repeating the abuse - escalating the abuse - dumbs down our fear response.
For example, in the beginning of my marriage, I was not afraid of him. I didn't like what he said, but I wasn't afraid. Then the temper tantrums started. I told myself not to be afraid because this was my husband. Then he held my face 2 inches from a burning hot stove. I packed my bags to leave, but he talked me back into the relationship. The result was that he could do far less-damaging acts of violence and I wasn't afraid. I'd been through worse. My fear response was "dumbed down."
When we SHOULD be afraid, we are not. Holding fear inside causes PTSD, anxiety, depression,... a mess of mental illnesses that make it tougher to get it all together and leave.
Anyway, that's my opinion. Read that book - I think it could help you help your clients understand what's happening to them. And if they understand their feelings are normal, they're less likely to believe "I need him! I love him!" I'm sure you know all about that, too.
Thank you for fighting the good fight.

March, 18 2016 at 2:28 pm

Well people,
Following a relationship of 16 years to my 2nd husband I finally left him for good.
It has now been 9 months since I last had a conversation with him.
I had left him previously 4 years ago for a few months...but we very quickly got back together via dirty tactics and stupidity on my part.
He is an alcoholic and emotionally and verbally abusive verging on the physical. Since October 13 he wrote letters promising that he would "show" me that he could change his ways over the next 7weeks!! This didn't happen in any way, shape or form. He had been dallying with other females, one being his ex wife...I found texts between them. His behaviour finally excalated in April 14 ..he was drunk and chased me naked around the house til the wee hours...that was enough, or so I thought. I told him....thats the end. Yes, he asked for forgiveness and another chance and he would seek counselling and see the doctor.
I could go on forever but I'm sure you all know how it will end up. The home was my home with my 2 sons pre him and I had to leave that home...he now has it and I have been re housed ...directly across the road from him. He tool no interest in the home ever ams chose to spend his free time doing as he pleased. I have lost everything, he has lost nothing ....except me! His words "the best thing that ever happened to him".! He threw it away, threw me away and threw what should have been a beautiful life away. However, I found something which I did long ago and returned to it which he hated of course...singing. I used my pain to write songs and hid myself away from him even though we remained in the same house. I did not retort to his tactics and he slowly got worse in his drunken actions til I eventually called the police, who arrested him and took him away. That was the most peaceful 3 weeks for a long time and I wanted to take back my home then. Alas, he was allowed back home and I stayed one night, with my 18yr old son and we left the very next day. He has chased me, abused me in shops, miscalled me , told lies about me and yet declares his "love" for me. I will not look back. I have been to dark places over the past while, had no money whatsoever and have been building a house from scratch again. I have my music and though he scorned, I am about to release my first album. Take note, yes you will be lonely, yes you will be sad and yes it will be very hard, but please find something to grab onto which you love and can take you away to a happier place even for a moment. Find a chink of light and hold onto it. If I can get through this then anyone can. I have an interdict placed on him and because he is a bullying coward he will not dare break that ...although if he had enough drink in him I think he may contemplate it. I am not a young strong girl...i am a 47 year old, and a good hearted person who would help anyone....there lies my problem. This has taught me to change my attitude totally and I have lost a few friends in the process...we live in a small place and I have not socialised as such for a very long time. I have grown safe to say and am now feeling a sense of peace instead of the fear and resentment, sadness or anger. I am liking looking out for me now. My boys have seen a lot and been told horrible things...but, he didn't count on me videoing him in action. Please do this if you can. It does help. You can do it people and I am happy to be able to say I am through the dark side. He has had other women and yes that hurt terribly but they will end up like me. I am stronger and I have to thank him for that part...and that's all. So, sorry its so long but I really wanted to pass some positive onto others. Good luck all and onwards and upwards. Have faith in YOURSELF...there is always a way forward. Love, light and much happiness for our futures and show our children how to treat someone they truly love ❤ thank you for reading and I hope it inspires even one person

March, 15 2016 at 5:35 am

I'm not sure he still need me over 34yrs we married the way he abused me emotional, physical even feel mad he treated me I never feel to be in love with him anymore I'm worried about my children only not him now, where do I start to be distance to him.

March, 10 2016 at 1:55 am

I really needed this. Today I told my abuser that I am done. I'll be moving once I file the divorce papers. It has been emotional and verbal abuse. I can't take it anymore. 9 years of this is affecting my health. I'm taking the kids and moving them to a healthier environment. I know it won't be easy but I know it will be worth it.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
March, 10 2016 at 9:29 am

Good for you, Denise! It won't be easy, but nothing worth it ever is. Hang in there, courageous woman.

March, 4 2016 at 1:58 pm

For Nicole,
I was married to an abuser for 20 years. I understand. Find a local Domestic Violence support group/place and they should have resources for you. Also, has some information on how to get assistance. You've done the hardest left!

March, 3 2016 at 9:14 pm

Mines a little different than everyone's else. I ran back to my abuser so many times that he finally left me because first he is convinced that I'm physco and more and second he found some other girl after 3 years of being together. I know I should be happy that he's gone and all but he still tries to wiggle his way back into my life here and there even though he has a new gf he claims to love. Which breaks my heart because he cheated on her with me but then said he regrets me and stayed with her. Idk what to do I feel so hopeless because I didn't even leave him he basically left me and I've dealt with 3 years of his extreme abuse. I'm so weak I want to run back but he doesn't even want me anymore but I obsess about him and worst of all I try so hard every time we were on and off to find someone else but no one even slightly interests me. It's almost like I was attracted to his abuse and that really scares me. Idk what to do and I feel so worthless because of it and I know he's never coming back and I'm worried I won't find love. Not even being cliche I'm being serious, idk if I'll find someone I love and what do I do about him? I hate seeing him happy with his gf thag he's already cheated on her with me.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
March, 7 2016 at 8:49 am

Cut off all contact with him. You don't need to see him, talk to him, text him, email him or communicate via Facebook. Obsessing is natural, but you've got to move your mind onto other things when you start thinking of him. It will be hard at first, but with time and NOT COMMUNICATING WITH HIM it will get easier.
Cut him off. More importantly, cut yourself off.

March, 2 2016 at 11:07 am

I was in relationship for five years and six months. I can say at start only thing I found weird was how fast he told me he was in love with me. After five months I was in love with him back and we had amazing times at the start he was such an amazing nice person who cared wanted the same things as me. Reflecting back I done all the sharing and that my friends was him gathering things to use against me. The relationship turned into emotional abuse, manipulate, control freak, sexual abuse and borer line physical. When we broke up I dumped him I had finally had enough! I did not cry for us splitting I cried because I was ashamed of myself for the things I done for him and things I allowed to be done to me a doormat! That's us nearly a year by time may comes. I have not been on dates ect. My friends say I am not moving on. However I feel like I'm building my self esteem back up which he destroyed. Any one else feel empty though I feel like I have nothing inside like a zombie. I hang out friends I am happy but only for that time then when I'm home I feel empty again. I also feel fear when I am out praying don't bump into him or that he contacts me I couldn't handle it! I am still friends his brother girlfriend we became very close as we were one day going to be sister in laws as we were serious and had discussed that one day we would and have kids. Just aswell I didn't kind of a saving grace. However he was carrot dangling me to stay. I wish I had never met him. They say we learn a lesson from relationships crap! Not any one on here deserved to be treated like this at all what's the lesson to me it's clear men are getting away with this shit. When I realised I was with an abuser I didn't leave even though I used to think why do these woman stay! Until it was me and boy I left them we would be back on. It became normal to have him scream at me then go to sleep like it was normal. I am still trying to heal I just feel empty and sick to my stomache that I allowed this to happen to me. I want karma to get him good!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
March, 2 2016 at 11:35 am

D, your statement that you can go out and feel fine but come home and the emptiness returns concerns me. You could be experiencing depression and/or PTSD from the abuse. Therapy would reveal a diagnosis and also help you get your self-esteem back sooner.
You sound like an intelligent young woman, and I would hate to see you stuck in this same feeling a year from now. If you get treatment fast, it's unlikely any depression or PTSD would plague you.
Karma will get him good, but you may not know it. Now you're on the "outside" and see only what he wants you to see. But then again, years from now you could hear something and know he got his. <3 It's a common wish.
Good for you for leaving and staying away. It is quite the process, isn't it? You've made the right decision. Congratulations.

February, 17 2016 at 3:04 am

I left my boyfriend in March of 2015 because sometimes I believe I was the most physically and emotionally abused woman in the world and that the wounds and scars he left behind will never heal. I was literally abused on every single level of abuse that you can imagine. My abuser was clever, manipulating, and always apologetic and able to cover his tracks. I am a sweet, sincere, caring 54 yr old woman who is college educated and owned my own cleaning company; this can happen to anyone. He has robbed me of so much, hurt my family and friends, and now I fear he is stalking me and is never going to leave me alone. Like I said earlier, he is clever and can appear charming and caring but the truth is, he is the devil I believe. I moved 250 miles away from him, back home to my support team and family that he successfully alienated from for 11 yrs but I fear I have not moved enough miles away from him. My emotional scars are so bad and so deep that often I don't have the will to move forward and its all I can do to hold my head above this drowning, emotional sink hole that I was pushed in to. Please help.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
February, 17 2016 at 7:06 am

Teresa, you can and will get better in time. You can still go to a domestic violence support group although you're (thankfully) not in an abusive relationship now. Also, make individual therapy a part of your support system; if that isn't possible, make a promise to yourself to call the NDVH weekly. Put it on your calendar, date and time. The NDVH website is
Also, see your family doctor and tell him/her about your depression. That's often the first step to prescription meds and psychiatrists.
Hang in there, Teresa. You've done a brave thing. Now just keep doing it. <3

February, 12 2016 at 7:31 pm

I love my man so much, but I feel like because of his past abusive relationship he takes his anger out on me by comparing me to his ex wife and I am not allowed to make mistakes then he threatens to leave our relationship because he can never allow a woman to miss treat him again, and I try my level best for him not see his ex when he sees me but it's like it's not working. What should I do to help him because I love this man with all of my heart.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
February, 15 2016 at 8:37 am

Love doesn't count in this situation. Talk to his ex-wife, in secret. Find out her side of the story. I'll bet she was not the abuser. I'll bet he was the abuser.
Next time he threatens to leave, let him go. I'll bet he'll be calling you within a day or two, trying to get back with you. That's your sign that he is the abuser. Let him leave. Or better yet, you leave; however, I don't sense you're ready to do that yet.
Keep reading about domestic violence and abuse. Educate yourself and then check the facts against his behavior. Either way, if he is abused or was the abuser, this relationship isn't healthy for you.

February, 9 2016 at 9:35 am

I just got out of an abusive relationship last Tuesday Feb 2. My boyfriend on and off for 15yrs was in a very aggressive mood that day I contacted him for emotional support as my mother was very ill..he had been there for his guy friends when they were broken down very recently so I didn't see the harm in just hearing from someone I thought cared for me "that it will be ok" "Im here for you" instead I got I gotta go explicit words basically don't call or text me again when he came home it became violent!!! I called the cops on him went to the ER I asked the cops 4x to file charges for me against him and take pictures of all my contusions..they just ignored ex is politically involved in the city we live in and is close with all the cops... so when I asked the nurse after my xrays to please have to officers come back again take my report an pictures I found MYSELF being arrested for domestic violence and assault...I never laid a hand on this man only to hug him to try and find out what in the world I did wrong and why he was so angry at me.... it's a week now never been arrested or in jail on top of being physically abused I am just completely beside myself...I'm seeking counseling from my family physician and took time off of work as I am so badly bruised and emotionally drained... I feel I really have no one as we had mutual friends and while I was in jail for 2 days he made me out like the worst person to walk the earth AND I STILL DO NOT KNOW WHY?? WHY DID THIS EVEN HAPPEN to begin with!!! Any support or advice would be so appreciated I'm beaten and broken down to almost nothing and do not want him to know!

February, 8 2016 at 7:23 am

It sucks for the person on the receiving end as it does eventually mentally do you in. I was in a relationship, never married thankfully with a controlling verbally and mentally abusive man. He cheated on me numerous times, hid things from me and was always getting drunk. Which led to even more violent outbursts. He broke many things in the house and on the house, threw whatever he could find and put holes in walls and doors. Thankfully the only physical thing he ever did to me was once hold me down by my arms and another time pull my hair. The last straw was when he had our child in tears as he was having a temper fit up to the point of being told I hate you dad. Way to young of a child to say such a thing to the parent. Then came the last proof of cheating and more damage to the house. He kept hanging around after he finally moved out, coming back to help with this or that ... biggest mistake ever. That's when I saw him pouring water into my gas tank in my car. Then when driving back to the house with him, he got hold of the steering wheel and tried to run us into a tree. Thankfully my senses told me to hold on tight and hit the brakes. It was like an eternity that was only 3 minutes long but that was the last time I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Found my strength to get a restraining order and it actually helped me heal. However, still to this day, if anyone raises their voice to me or gets smart and talks to me in a manner that resembles my past, the red flags fly and I shut down and usually I'm in tears within seconds. I wish I could be stronger but after so long, it feels as if I will never trust anyone again.

February, 4 2016 at 7:01 am

I feel a huge emptiness, unexpected sadness and fear after leaving a very abusive and toxic man. I have always been so dependent on him financially. I have to "think" positive and force myself to be independent. I will not return which I did before. I will remember how bad things were and look forward to the future. I am the creator of my life so much stronger than this week helpless imposter.

January, 31 2016 at 9:27 am

Unfortunately many people find themselves trapped in relationships with abusive and manipulative people and end up feeling used, drained, helpless and miserable. Those with a hidden agenda often appear charming at first and refuse to be accountable or resonsible for the damage they cause while pushing to gain power, control and assets at another person's expense. Bad relationships erode your trust and the closer you feel to the abuser or exploiter, the worse you feel about deception and hurtful behaviour. Honest open relationships with fair and healthy people are difficult to find when many people feel entitled to consider their needs and wants more important than those of others and treat relationships as ways to gain more than they give. Arguments are bound to happen but cheating, deceit and constant putdowns, demands or threats chip away at trust and intimacy.

January, 29 2016 at 11:16 am

I find myself feeling lost, dazed, confused, deep sadness, and alone. I keep questing myself why I would even entertain the idea of seeing my abuser. I have been with him for 6 years and today I have 14 days free of of him!! It's always the same pattern. He abuses me to the point of throwing me away like a paper cup and then he comes back to CLAIM he property by saying how sorry he is, he will change, it will never happen again, he loves me more then anything in the world, he can't make it without me.....or the crying and begging and pleading is what usually worked but not this time. I hated to see him hurt!! That is twisted. 4 night ago he came knocking and banging on every window and door of my apartment, he rang the bell over a 100 times, I was scared to move an inch and hid under my bed. ( he has pulled this one before but climbed a 6 ft fence to get to my door) I crawled on my tummy to my phone and called 911 after 30 minutes of praying he would go away and 30 minutes of hearing his voice...come'on
baby just open the door, i come in love and peace, I know your in there Tracy open the door!! The police came and hauled him away. I want to feel personal freedom, I want to feel good about the courage it took not to let him back in, I want to feel anything but all the horrible things he told me I was......I joined a support group for battered women that starts on Sunday. I have no friends. I need a network to survive after I already survived...does that make sense? Thank you for your comments and posts. I haven't slept but I know without a shadow of any doubt....he will abuse again and again and again. This is Factual and it's tragic because I loved him. Today I love me more and have a zero contact order one minute at a time...

A friend
January, 28 2016 at 6:17 am

Hello Nicole, your story really touched me as I have left my abuser only a few days ago and was in the same situation but not for anywhere nearly as long. I would love to be penpals with you if you want to leave a way to contact you? Please dont go back, after leaving the abuse only escalates, they do it in order to regain control and keep us from leaving again.
This process for me has been very very difficult, and painful, but I am never going to return to the hell I used to call a home.
The empty feeling, the anxiety, and all the emotional turmoil is really horrible currently.

January, 22 2016 at 12:57 am

After years of being very unhappy I finally left my partner of 10 1/2 years 3 days ago. It feels very surreal. I have been planning this in my head for so long that the reality feels quite bizarre. I am both exhilarated and petrified. When I first met him he was the man of my dreams. The "one". Witty, intelligent treated me like I was the only woman in the world for him. When I think back the signs were there at the beginning. Although he doesn't have full blown narcisstic personality disorder he certainly has enough traits to make an intimate relationship with him impossible. He had the irrational rages, the egocentric "the world revolves around me", challenging authority and rule breaking, would give me days of the cold shoulder until gave in, would never say sorry or take responsibilities. In the early stages he would ask me what did I want to do...we always ended up doing what he sons hated him, people said they felt sorry for me. I was sad, lonely, lost my self esteem and self confidence. I also gained 30 kg in weight. He was very good at putting up a good front. We went to marriage guidance counselling when I said I was unhappy and wanted to leave. He begged me for a second chance so we went to the counselling. He twisted everything and made it like he was the victim. Said he had tried so hard to please me but I wasn't grateful or appreciative of anything he did or said. I was to blame, not him. The counsellor bought it, hook, line and sinker. But I'm free now. Free to do what I want, free to do what I need, free to be happy..this time I won't be turning back.

January, 19 2016 at 7:16 pm

My story is a lot different. I met my emotionally and mentally abusive husband at 16 years old, high school sweethearts if you will. We married when I turned 21. I finally worked up the courage to leave. We had been married almost 20 years before I realized the abuse I had suffered since a sixteen year old girl. I finally worked up the courage to leave. I was terrified, stayed sick, when I decided it best to leave the small town we lived in and relocate with my brother to his new duty military station, six states away from the hell that I used to call home. I struggle with it still, not all day everyday, however I am still realizing a lot of his behaviors more once I was gone. I am dealing with that. My biggest problem is returning to the workforce. My husband was so controlling, manipulative, he alienated me from all of my family and friends. I could only be around who he chose. Well with that came my employment. Anytime I made a friend that would either text me at home or call me at home, it would infuriate my husband and I would be told, I would much rather you be a housewife, you will help more here than anywhere else. When I was a housewife, I had to account for every penny spent in the household, by putting all receipts in an envelope and going over everything with him at the end of the month. Then he said that I was spending "his" money wrecklessly,(which was not the case), and he took my checkbook as well as my debit card away. He started me on a weekly allowance, all the while calling me every name in the book, I would never be able to make it on my own without him, I would end up walking the streets for money, things that no one should say to anyone they love or care for, or even their worst enemy for that matter. I finally left as I said before, I do not want to go back to that, however I am at rock bottom as I have been six states away for a month now, applied for forty-nine different positions, that I was qualified for however with my gaps in employment I am overlooked. I guess what I am asking for is there anywhere mentally and emotionally broken women can receive any kind of help. I spend my days on google, however my situation nor should my resume read as I was a stay at home mom. We were not able to have children. If anyone has any advice or could point me in any direction I would so greatly appreciate it. I am afraid if I am not offered employment soon, I will be back in the same situation, miserable and things will probably be a lot worse than before. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!

Patricia Icard
January, 3 2016 at 1:39 pm

I am so sorry for all of you. I left an abusive relationship not physically abusive. I left in October my ex. called wanting me back I was worried about him sent the police to make sure he was okay. The police woman called me back to say that he's doing fine. When I left I remember him smiling and the cop who drove me out smiling. I wasn't smiling but then later he called to say how miserable he's been. I left because he was controlling, got jealous easily, had no respect for my feelings. This girl kept coming over she was after him I told him. He said he wasn't interested in her said she had an ugly butt and that he would never cheat on me with that but then said she was a nice person. If he did not want
someone in the house it made him uncomfortable they did not get in. This girl was always around everywhere we went, lied to me more than once. Told him one thing me another
my reputation in the neighborhood went doenhill. One night I slipped said something I
shouldn't I made a mistake. I was sorry and no got in trouble. This girl turned my friends
into my enemies I tried talking to her nothing.

December, 29 2015 at 12:21 pm

This website has been helpful for me. I have been in a relationship I think is abusive for three years and have just left him.
I can identify with pretty much all the articles on this website and comments particularly the article about brain washing. It started with controlling behaviour, him monitoring my phone, for example text messages people I have called and people in my contacts lists, emails etc. he made it clear male friends and colleagues were not acceptable.
Then came the threatening and nasty behaviour; if I went out with friends there were consequences, name calling and shouting in my face. Breaking things in the house and breaking parts of the house itself. The worst of all was the withholding of communication and affection.
I became deeply unhappy after he got physical with me one time, unprovoked.
Now I have left him and the pain is unbearable, worst is the panic, anxiety and panic attacks I think caused by fear of the unknown and having to face what has been left behind. I am hoping this doesn't last because I can't bear it. The pain in my chest and stomach and the empty feeling.

December, 5 2015 at 1:11 am

I left him because he belittled be all the time , u did that wrong this wrong it wasn't good .When I opened my mouth he said I act like the man but I was just defending myself, sometimes I think about him and miss him but I know he doesn't want to change his attitude he's not good for me so I've learned to move on for my sake ..

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