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

January 22, 2014 Kellie Jo Holly

Leaving an abusive relationship usually can't be done the moment you figure out your partner abuses you. Leaving abuse takes planning and time, if you have it.

So many people beat themselves up over the question "Why can't I just leave?" You want the easy answer? You aren't ready to leave yet.


  • haven't been convinced that the abuse warrants you leaving, or
  • you lack financial resources, or
  • you're in business with your abuser, or
  • the kids are too small, or
  • the kids are almost out of school, or
  • the abuser needs you, or
  • fill in your reason here.

Notice I said fill in your reason here. These are not excuses. The reasons you stay may sound like excuses to someone else, but don't let anyone belittle your decision to stay. I really want to end that sentence with "to stay for now" but truth is that you may never leave. You could be 70 years old and wondering how your spouse is managing to exceed life expectancy, them being so miserable and nasty and all (lots of people are doing this right now).

I want you to be okay with choosing to stay, because making decisions is empowering. Staying is a choice you can make.

Leaving An Abusive Relationship Is Important

Irresponsible Advice

It would be very irresponsible of me if I don't say a few things at this point.

  • I want you to end your abusive relationship. Life is too short and precious to spend it with a person who hurts you.
  • If your abuser physically assaults you, I hope you leave right now. Verbal abuse escalates to physical assault and assault escalates to death. Additionally, you may not be the only one to die -your abuser could murder you and then your children and anyone else on the scene.

Point is that choosing to stay with an abuser will have very serious emotional and/or physical consequences. It is only a matter of time.

Leaving An Abusive Relationship Is Not Your Only Option

Honoring a person's choice to stay in an abusive relationship is a relatively new concept to domestic violence social workers and other domestic abuse helpers. You might find helpers who support you no matter what you decide to do. On the other hand, you might find helpers who decide there's nothing they can do for you if you do not leave the abuser. That hurts, I know, but just because they're the experts doesn't mean they always know the right thing to do.

Additionally, many of your closest friends and family members may distance themselves from you if you choose to stay. Often we tell ourselves that they're tired of listening to us complain when we won't do anything to change it. Remember though, the ones who love you need to keep themselves sane, too. If they're in the battle with you, they may not be strong enough to pull you out if you change your mind and leave the relationship.

Don't take it personally if people don't support your decision to stay, and please don't beat yourself up because you feel you can't leave. Let's just roll with this for a while and see what we can do for our mental well-being when we choose to stay.

Key Concepts to Accept About Your Abusive Relationship

You cannot make your abuser happy, therefore you cannot make them mad, either. You do not have magic powers that control your abuser's words or actions and no combination of your words or behaviors will result in an end to the abuse.

Most everything you do and say will be "wrong", and if you are right today, you'll probably be wrong tomorrow. So you may as well do exactly as YOU please at all times. Make your own decisions, act on your hunches. It doesn't matter what you do, the abuse will continue.

You are in a relationship that thrives on your honest disclosures about yourself. However, unlike healthy intimate relationships, your significant other uses your deepest secrets against you. You cannot trust your abuser with your heart, so keep your mouth shut about it.

There will be moments of joy and pleasure in your abusive relationship. Go ahead and enjoy the sex, the compliment, the joke, etc. But leave the joy in the moment. Don't assume that because s/he smiled a minute ago that the smile will be there when you look again. Humans need joy in their life, so grab all you can.

You need a safety plan. Period. Abusers are unpredictable and you never know when you're going to have to get away from them. Thinking through a safety plan during moments of peace will help you to think more swiftly and clearly during moments of danger.

Keep people on the outside of your relationship close. Isolation is the abuser's best friend. When you're isolated from others, you lose the most valuable lifeline an abused person can have - ideas from people other than the abuser. You increase the effects of abuse by only hearing your abuser's opinions, so stay connected to the world outside your home.

Educate yourself about domestic violence and abuse. Search words and phrases like verbal and emotional abuse, side effects of abuse, gaslighting, crazy-making and brainwashing. Learning a little bit each day about how your partner manipulates and controls you lessens their ability to do it.

Concepts to Accept About Yourself

You are human; a delightfully imperfect person who can do the very best you know how to do in this instant. Every instant.

You are lovable.

You deserve respect.

You can choose one thing today and another thing tomorrow.

You are powerful.

You can learn, grow and adapt.

You do not have to accept or absorb lies, even if the lie has a grain of truth to it (see Detaching from Verbal Abuse Hypnosis MP3).

You hold God's hand, even when you cannot feel it, but sometimes you must do something differently so He can help you in another way.

You decide who stays in your life.

You decide when leaving an abusive relationship is right for you.

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

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2014, January 22). Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Why Can’t I Just Leave?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 30 2018 at 3:09 pm

Get out I was in the same situation for 9 years call the police get a restraining order and you can move on

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alice Hendersona
March, 30 2018 at 5:22 pm

Danielle, I really know how you feel, our grandsons have been victims of a very sick narcissistic step father, so you need to call the police when he's not home, and please get child protective services involved too. He sounds severely narcissistic. But you are brave for just opening up about what you are going through.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 31 2018 at 6:07 pm

You can leave him. If he hits you call the cops. Get him arrested and there are so many things out there to help you. Sign up for medi cal, welfare anything that can get you through this. You have a child so the government will help you more. I was in abusive relationship for years. I had enough when my son was 6 years old and all the times I called the cops on him. The courts didnt give him a chance. He went to prison and i was able to get away from him. It gave me a chance to go to school and get a degree. My family was there to help me. Once he got out, he hit me again because i was dumb enough to believe he changed. So i called the cops amd that was the end of it. I realized i was worth it and he didny deserve me. Dont allow his misery to ruin two lives... yours and your daughter. This is a sign for you to escape now. Call the cops and dont protect or feel sorry for him. He doesn't deserve you and your daughter deserves a better role model. She will have emotional scars. Please find a way out. And only get temporary assistance for government. Grow from it and once you are on your feet then you wont need it anymore.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 31 2018 at 11:00 pm

Hi Danielle , I just read your post. I can relate to your story. I would love to chat with you and have someone to talk to help me threw.

March, 15 2018 at 7:39 am

I have experienced this in the past from lady who verbally abuse me, it took me some time to understand this because in my mind i thought its only the men that abuse women never knew it could be the other way around, thanks for sharing this for more people to know and understand where they are heading to in their relationships.

March, 11 2018 at 6:45 am

Hey I'm pregnant and I'm 23 years old I've been with this guy since April of 2017. Every since then i have been moving around place to place with him trying to get on our feet. But nothing ever works out. I have alot of mental disabilities. Everywhere we go we can't stay long enough. He does not want to keep his mouth shut in order to get on our feet. He has made it to where my family don't want nothing to do with me and especially him. He makes problems out of every little thing anyone ever says or does it could be who picks him up from work. It could be anything. He is always getting mad at me because I'm worried about losing my baby because he don't know how to keep his mouth shut and I tell him we got to get on our feet or i will lose my baby and that he needs to stop. He gets mad and says that I am saying everything is always his fault. And he will yell at me threaten to take my phone away or even not pay my fine because I got in trouble and now I have to go to court he says get my family to pay it and see what happens since everything is his fault and I just try to tell him it's best not to say anything it only makes things worse. He demands sex he says if I won't give it he will take it. He has pulled my hair grab my face etc. He has made me turn against my family. He says I can't make it with out him and sadly because I can't work I feel that way. At one point he threatened to take my baby away. He has messed up my mind to the point to where I can't even function right. I'm so emotional and I sometimes I feel suicidal because of the situation he puts us in. Nothing is ever his fault he never does anything wrong as he says it. He yells at me till I start crying won't stop and then afterwards a few minutes later he says come here you know I love you baby I wasn't getting a attitude with you. He used to control what I wear but since I started getting further in my pregnancy he stopped. We just got kicked out my cousins place now we going back to my mother's knowing how long that's going to last she is and alcoholic and raises hell all the time and it gets bad she has put her hands on me called me names and I feel so trapped I can't get out and even if I want to something happens in my head and it's like I can't leave him. He calls me bitch, whore, slut, and at times he says I'm just like my stupid family and I always take up for them even though i just try to get him to stop saying things because it's going to make our situation worse. And won't listen to me.he has gotten mad at me just for asking him a question when he's got his ear phones in. He says just because I tell him we need to make things work and save up his money as fast as he can to get a place to stay before anything else happens like getting kicked out. And also we don't have to worry no more and he gets mad and says all you do is using me for my money. And that's not it I'm concerned for my baby. I fear of losing my baby so much to where it is no end. He basically eliminated me from my whole family turned my family against me and me against my family.he says what he says goes. And he says all I care about is my baby and my court date. At times he can be really good to me and he blames it on my family if we get in and arguments he says it's always my family. He has broke my mental state to where I don't even know anymore. He is in a way forcing me to name my baby after him which is the third. It's like anything I want doesn't matter. It's always what he wants he doesn't trust me with not even his phone he says I'm always going through it. And he don't trust me with money. He has put me through the ringer. I don't know what to do or how much I can take. At one point I wanted to go get my self a mental evaluation he wouldn't let me. One of our fights got so bad I wanted to call the police he threatened to hurt me. He hit me in my head before. And then says he never hit me. There has been times where he is really good and sweet to me but then he gets really mean. He has blamed me for things happening. Blamed my family. I feel like I'm stuck. I'm having a war inside my head and it's not very fun. I just feel like giving up. He has basically made it to where I'm always confused I don't know who to trust and I'm always paranoid. He has made it to where I wouldn't know how to live with out him. He's made me feel so bad over everything.i just wish god would help me somehow. I pray everyday. I'm always depressed, scared, worried, paranoid, and my emotion I can't think of. I feel there's no way out.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Nicholas L Bankston
March, 19 2018 at 10:02 am

Your story sounds so close to mine .everything you said hit so close to home .so i will tell you what i did ..i ask him to go to the store for a pack of ? and when he gone i got on a bike and went to the neatest hospital. And told them everything how he grab me by my throat and how he pulled me down the hall by my hair he forced his self on me everything .they called the police. And i was taken to a woman shelter then the next day to a safe house..where i waited for a week til i finally got in touch with an old friend thing to do is speak out let people know what is going on..

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 20 2018 at 5:09 pm

You deserve so much better. You need to find a way to leave. It will be so hard, but so worth it. Sending love.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 23 2018 at 5:17 pm

Kimberly, I'm so sorry for everything you've been going through! Being pregnant is already so hard on us emotionally without all of the abuse and trauma on top of that. If he is treating you badly, and offering you no hope for a secure and stable future for your baby, I think you need to consider some other options. I understand things aren't good with your family right now, were they always this way or is this solely a result of his influence? As a soon to be mom I imagine you must be constantly weighing the options of what is best for your baby, separation from the father that has proved to be toxic and making it on your own as a single mom and child or sticking with him and hoping for a change to keep the family unit together. I have to tell you, I too was in a toxic marriage when pregnant and it was incredibly difficult for me, when my twins were born I filed for divorce when my babies were just a couple weeks old and it was the best thing I ever did for myself and my babies. I know my story isn't the same as yours and the outcome may not be either but I want you to know you don't have to feel hopeless without him. You could very well go on to have a happy life with a healthy happy home for yourself and your baby. I think you need to do whatever you feel is best for your child. Also, if you are considering harming yourself because of the level of toxicity in this relationship, you need to reach out for help. I will attach some links to a few articles and resources I think may help you in your search for the right path to take as well as some important numnbers in the case you are having suicidal thoughts. Please hang in there, I wish you the best of luck, reach out to us here at HealthyPlace anytime.
Toxic Relationships: Friend and Family Estrangement
Reasons to leave a verbally abusive relationship
Hotline Numbers and Resources

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 24 2018 at 12:44 am

Kimberly what city and state are you in? I’ll try to find you help

Sleeping with the enemy
March, 3 2018 at 1:54 am

Refreshing take on dire situation. I have been married for 20 years. Verbal and physical abuse were right out of the gate. I still had a voice somewhat, but then lost my job. The trouble escalated to a beating if I talk back. I still can't leave. I tried 3 months ago stayed away 8 weeks and did horribly! He threatened me the 2nd day I was back. I stayed with sick father and step mother. I felt like I was in a fish bowl for display. My step mother is very manipulative and used me and pitted dad against me so I came home. Now with no where to go I'll stay and deal and pray.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 20 2018 at 5:11 pm

Please don’t, you have to find another way. There must be help in your area, an agency or someone that can help you.

February, 18 2018 at 4:24 am

I'm am a victim of mental torture. I so much want to leave my relationship but I just can't. I feel that no one will believe me what I'm going through. I just don't know how to explain what hell I'm going through. My wife has it that way I can't even talk to my daughter, who thinks it's all in my head. I have read about gaslighting and it's exactly what is happening to me . I'm scared to leave, I will have nothing. I don't know what to do. I need help.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 19 2018 at 6:05 am

Hi Michael,
I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through -- and thank you for commenting. A lot of people who are abused fear that they won't be believed, and part of what makes psychological abuse so insidious is that the perpetrator has a way of making the victim feel that it's all in his/her head, as well as influencing those around them.
If you're sure you want to leave, could you start preparing an exit strategy? Saving a small amount of money on the side, for example, or arranging to stay with a friend for a while? These things can feel impossible at the time, but there might be ways (granted, less than ideal ways at first) you could make it happen if that's what you want. Speaking from experience, however awful it is to find yourself alone, living in a toxic relationship is far worse.
In the meantime, speaking to a licensed therapist will help you deal with what's going on and perhaps come up with ways you could respond to your wife to curb her abuse. A therapist may also be able to point you toward some other resources that could help you leave the relationship and help you deal with the fallout.
Good luck, and please know that it does get better.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Emotionally abused 2 yrs
February, 22 2018 at 6:18 am

I feel your pain!! I2M in an emotionally abusive relationship. Well, he actually left on Friday and typically R cycle is he leaves gets very mean says horrible things blames my son and I but then says he loves us so much and can't live without us and wants to come home. This is about the 9th time that this has happened. It is so hard to not just tell him to come back. It's so hard because I love him. But, at this point I have realized that the emotional abuse is affecting my teenage son and I and I need to just let him go. This pattern of abuse has gone on for way too long and I'm embarrassed that I have put up with it. But, people put up with things when they love somebody. When hes good hes so good he so caring loving. Empathetic, supportive, But when something sets him off boy he is the biggest you know what! He has recently smashed my son's gaming system that my son paid for with his own money, took his computer, took his cell phone, has smashed its at least 2 other cellphones. One of the scariest things I have experienced is he has held a gun to his head right in front of me a few times. He has also threatened suicide many times and told me that he has Taken pills and he will be gone soon. That is how I brought him back home last time, I went and picked him up. I hope that I can stay strong and not allow him to come home. We have been married for 3 years. Anyways, felt good to rant. I am sorry for anyone else who is going through similar experiences. Stay strong leave when you're ready.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 3 2018 at 8:28 am

I know how you feel, I have been there before. I left my husband on two weeks ago today and took our young son with us - from the sounds of it your daughter is older.
If you haven't done some of these things, I highly recommend doing them:
1. Call the National Abuse Hotline - they are trained and can help you talk through what you are going through. They can also help you get a plan together and figure out what action steps you need to take. They also can provide you with Resources for your area which can help you - shelters if you need it, legal, etc. They are wonderful.
2. Start Journaling - if you can't explain what is going on from memory, don't. Start writing it all down in a journal after it happens! Be discrete about it. The journal will ensure that you don't forget anything and you can see that you are not making it up, and you will have something to go on.
I didn't realize the abuse was happening to me until I started writing down my observations in a journal. Two days later I left because it was SO clear.
Now when I look at my husband as he is seeking counseling, I see a very weak man. He was so cruel so me and our son because he didn't want anyone to see how weak he really was. He had tricked me into believing it was my fault, and that I had to be "perfect," to have him act "good," when in reality, the only person who can "fix" him, is himself. It's not my responsibility. He must do the leg work.
I can say that finding a good church has been hard, but a wonderful resource for support. Not many, but a few people have offered out numbers to me and have been there for me. Be deliberate in your actions and go to places where you can be showered with love. You need to thaw out for a while and feel like a sensitive, loving, human being again.
I will be praying for you.

February, 16 2018 at 3:35 pm

I am in the process of leaving my narcissist of almost 4 years. He will not change, ever. I am not kidding myself anymore, I am getting out. It is very hard but doable.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 20 2018 at 5:13 pm

I hope you manage to leave and have the best life ever. You deserve it, sending love.

Nicole Hancock
February, 12 2018 at 8:56 pm

I've been in an emotionally abusive, on and off relationship with a straight up narcissist for two years already. I'm so drained, but I don't know what else to do. He keeps coming back too, and things seems better for a while and then....
It's just so hard to leave or stay away from him.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

McKenzie White
March, 19 2018 at 4:45 pm

Your story sounds so similar to mine. I have just left an emotionally abusive relationship because I felt like enough was enough. So many times I have broken up with him due to the way he would over react about the tiniest things and just explosively verbally abuse me bellowing names at me swearing at me, and then he would storm out of my house and take away all the things he’s bought me, because he liked to spite me and use it as a power tool, and then I would receive a call or text blaming me for his actions and then would not talk to me for days, punishing me so I’d be sat there heart broken wondering if he would ever contact me, and then when he did come back he would chuck digs at me, things about my life or something like that, and then I’d be upset again...and I’d tell myself that’s it I’m done I’m not doing this anymore, but then the sorry would come and the ‘o obviously don’t mean it you just p*ssed me off’ (blaming me again) but he’d say ‘I love you’ and I’d let him back in again, I read that the victim always finds a way of denying or minimising the issues as a way of coping with the stress. He would pick on me, and then when I would get upset he would say things like ‘you’re too sensitive, I’m only joking, can’t you take a joke’ he would make me feel bad for trying to talk about things that were bothering me and make me regret saying anything because I would just get this explosion of abuse and blame, even writing this is making me well up because I stuck around for this crap endlessly for 11 months. Always hoping that he would learn from the last time or make an effort to change, but if he lost the anger; the spiteful ness, the tantrums, the point scoring would remain, he has too many bad traits. I would feel sorry for him because he hasn’t exactly had the best upbringing or has a supportive loving family like mine which made me make allowances, but the abuse (the explosive rages of verbal abusive) went from occurring weekly to day in day out, I don’t know how any man who’s supposed to love you could bellow at you with such hatred and call you a f*cking Sl*t and take all my things away like I’m a child. Yeah he does always come back, but the peace would only last for about a day and it would all go off again. I was not ready before, the thought of being without him was unimaginable, I’m still not over it and probably won’t be for a long time, because it’s in that first week or that first month that you fall so deeply in love and then your already roped in. I broke up with him last Wednesday (5 days ago) because that morning he was leaving for work at 4am, he knocked some things over in the utility room under neath my mums room and all I said was ‘what are you doing I was getting the bike out slowly’ with a hint.. A HINT of frustration in my tone and there and then yet again he started swearing at me and calling me names and then demanded I go and fetch this watch he’d bought me and when I said no he came upstairs into my room started looking for it and threatened to make a scene and wake my family.. I had to call the police because he wouldn’t leave, and he still blamed me later on that day.. I can go into so many times he’s over reacted or started on me and then blamed me for his actions when I’ve literally done nothing, I’d be sat there in shock. Even now he is still writing me paragraphs of how much he loves me and it’s all his fault and he’s missing me, and he hopes I’ll find it in my heart to one day ‘let him show me how much I mean to him’ ... but I did find it in my heart, one too many times and I just have to think that ANYTHING is better than going through that emotional torture day in day out.. for who knows how long? I do not see a future with him, moving out, marrying.. I picture a messy divorce before I even think of a happy marriage.. I picture myself ringing my mum every day ‘hes Done this now he’s said this now’ I don’t wanna wake up in how ever many years with regret and depression because I stuck with this man. You minimise the issues and cling to the happy moments especially if you are a forgiving loving person, and that’s what the abuser feeds on, it is so hard it’s the hardest thing ever to leave someone when you’re madly still in love but honestly can you see a future, a happy one?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 20 2018 at 5:14 pm

I hope you find the strength to leave. I honestly believe if you do life will get better. Start putting a plan in place.

February, 11 2018 at 8:06 am

I have been living with my abusive partner for 8 years now. He calling me different names, scream at me, humiliated in public, treated as if I am a nanny, commpared to his exes and other woman. He says bad things about me to my kids , he never give credits to my good deeds, I am physically, mentally, verbally and financially abused. I tried to escape so many times but I always ended up returning home. I badly want to leave him and get out this abusive relatonship. I already told him that I dont want to be humiliated but doesnt listen. I dont want my kids to grow and see how I am treated.
I dont how to get out of this relationship!!!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 12 2018 at 6:58 pm

Wow I’ve never heard a similar story more then this one I’m in the same boat

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 13 2018 at 3:47 pm

Me too. But I’ve now told him I want a divorce. And guess what now he wants to listen. Now he wants to understand. Now he wants to show me love respect and honesty. It’s not the first time he shows his amazing side when I say enough is enough but it’s going to be the last. I feel terribly torn as I have been married for 21 years and we have 2 children but I will go mad if I stay with him any less beer and I know in two months time it will all be happening again. I’m done. And you will be when you have finally had enough.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

McKenzie White
March, 19 2018 at 4:53 pm

I can really relate to this, the guy I just split up with also shows his loving apologetic side when I say it’s over which I have done countless times, but all those times I wasn’t ready. Now I am ready and enough is enough and he is still trying but I am digging my heels in i do not want it for myself not anymore not now not ever

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 20 2018 at 5:15 pm

There is a way out, i’m routing for you!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Brandie Robinson
February, 16 2018 at 4:58 am

Is there a shelter near you? I know that sounds horrifying, but I too am in an abusive relationship. I've tried to leave, but always end up coming back or staying... But one of the times I left, I went to the local women's shelter. They have a lot of resources. They can help you get a protective order, find work, apply for help from the state..etc.
I know it's not the comfort of your home. But if you get the protective order, you can ask that he vacates your home so you and your kids can move back in.
Good luck to you and your kids. Just try to keep your head up, you and your kids deserve so much better than that! God bless!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 20 2018 at 5:16 pm

Brandie, I hope you manage to eventually leave. Good luck, you deserve so much better.

February, 8 2018 at 7:58 am

Reading this has helped me today. I just got through this morning on the car ride to work and daycare with being screamed at, in front of our 17 month old, for being upset last night when my fiance refused to help with anything, as usual. I admit I have resentment towards him because we both work full time, same job and company, but yet when we get home, all home and parent duty falls on me: cooking, cleaning, play time. He gets to spend an hour at least outside on the phone with family, smoking weed to wind down and then come in and relax. I give him the silent treatment and then the next day I'm punished with being screamed at for my behavior.
He calls me a stupid b****, dumb wh***, c***, that I "ain't s***" etc. in front of our son and if I ask him to stop saying those things in front of our son his tantrum gets worse and he purposely drops more f bombs in front of him. When we're not arguing, things are calm, he is a great father and sometimes he is nice to me. There are little moments of happiness that I guess I'll have to learn to just enjoy as I can until an opportunity comes where I'm financially and emotionally able to leave.
He swore up and down he was leaving for good this morning, as he usually does when he doesn't get his way. I guess I'll see what he does, as this article says I have no control over his actions anymore.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 20 2018 at 5:18 pm

Tired, you have control over your own actions though! And that means escaping and getting to live a new life without this abuse, please start seeking help.

February, 2 2018 at 10:15 pm

My bf s abusive. Not all of the time, but often. He blames EVERYTHING on me, and I end up believing everything is my fault. He got physical for the first time this past Christmas Eve. He choked me because I went and got groceries, after not being given money for over three weeks to get food. He said horrible things about me and my kids, as he always does when he gets mad and yet, here I am. He says I don't show him affection, and that I don't come onto him, but I'm afraid to get close to him anymore. Being distant keeps my heart safe. Tonight, he was threatening to end things, as he always does when he's broke and has no cigs or weed. When we get to that point, I want nothing more than to tell him I'm done. I have a few times and he manipulates me into staying by threatening to burn whatever I can't take in my hands when hes kicking me out, and by makijg me feel guilty for not trying hard enough to make this work. But at this point, even when I'm so ready to call it quits, I can't. I play the loving sweet funny GF, as I always do, because I'm afraid I will fail and my children will suffer. I came into this relationship with a savings, a vehicle, a whole house full of appliances and furniture and now, that's all gone. Ive had to sell my vehicles to his friends, I drained my savings to help pay the bills because he hates paying them and would get angry when I had to ask for money. My furniture and appliances are ruined because he's always had his friends living with us. He wont let me have one of the 6 vehicles we acquired while weve been together. He says I can't have anything I didnt pay for. Which at this point, isn't anything. He wont let me work, unless its with him and he hangs drywall. I'm 95 lbs and a single sheet weighs more than I do. I just can't win and if I leave I'll have nothing. I dont have family or friends I can stay with and the thought of starting from nothing with two kids relying on me keeps me stuck here in this he'll. I'm MISERABLE and legit hate my life, and this fear just holds me back. I hate being stuck here like this. If it wasnt for my kids, I would have legit killed myself by now, without a doubt.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 6 2018 at 5:22 pm

That's exactly what happens to me and I can't find a way out I have put up with a loveless person for over 43 years

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 20 2018 at 5:21 pm

Ashlee, i’m Sure starting again with nothing would be much better than putting up with what you are living with. Stuff is just stuff, think of your Christmas listens and your sanity, I truly believe that is worth more than stuff. If you look I am sure you can find charities etc to help you start again without him. Good luck.

January, 28 2018 at 10:57 pm

How do I get out.. a young mother with a year and a half daughter. I always told myself I wouldn’t let it get to this point but it has. I’m to depressed, and down to fight for myself anymore and I know that sounds terrible. I just want better for us and to cut off ties with him but that’ll be impossible cause it’s her dad.... any suggestions or words of encouragement would be great thanks.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 20 2018 at 5:24 pm

TJ, I’m not really sure what to say, but there are people out there who can help you. Google domestic violence and your area etc and you should find charities and people that can assist. Good luck!

January, 28 2018 at 9:28 pm

Married for 8years, 2 kids. Verbally abusive, controlling, gas-lighting, the whole kit, the whole time. He's finally realised how horrible he has been. Now, right at the time when I feel the strongest to leave, he's realised how horrible he has been and is working on his anger management. Early days (since Christmas) but why now. Now I feel terrible about not being in love with him anymore and even though I haven't technically left, I feel guilty about it. I can answer every one of my own questions - because the threat was REAL this time that he will lose us. But it doesn't stop me feeling like the bad person now, that I shouldn't leave. I feel physically sick about it. It would be so much easier if I hated him. Is it stupid to think that it would have been better if he hit me, then I could leave without the guilt? Gah!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 30 2018 at 12:53 pm

I am in the exact same situation. I have been married for over 14 years and have been verbally and emotionally abused for the entire marriage. At first it wasn't very often, but after kids it took a turn for the worse. He insisted on going to therapy. He realized what a jerk he has been and has been trying to change for the last three months. However, I am not sure this will be permanent or if he is just "running scared". I don't love him anymore. The wounds are too deep, but I feel like if I leave now, I will be the bad guy and will be blamed for the demise of the marriage. Even in counseling, I am beginning to get the "you need to take a leap of faith" and "what can you do to better the relationship?" I was told we are both victims of each other. I was furious. I really want to leave, but with two children, I am scared and want to just do the right thing for them and for myself. I feel your pain. I am right there with you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 20 2018 at 5:25 pm

Please don’t feel guilty, your happiness counts too!

January, 28 2018 at 2:33 am

Thank you so much this was really helpful. I've been living with an abusive wife for 10 years. I feel like I'm dying on the inside. She is feeding on my heart. I made many mistakes but I've never cheated, insulted or abused her. And now I realize that nothing i say or I do will change her I need to find my inner peace.
Thank you <3

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 20 2018 at 5:25 pm

Good luck and best wishes

January, 26 2018 at 9:53 pm

I've been leaving for 21 years I'm still scared not of being alone, or being broke or being scared, but I'm scared of taking him back. How can one person have so much power over me.

January, 26 2018 at 9:51 pm


January, 21 2018 at 12:17 pm

I just married my husband after an assult in June 2016. I feel scared and stuck. I have tried to leave but have no where to go. And money is non existent. I'm waiting for taxes from my job I lost in December because of his actions as my job. Once I get them I need to get out fast and get a place and job to substain my life. I'm scared I have been homeless and I will not go there again. That's why I'm still here. Just pray he doesn't talk me into staying and using my taxes to get caught up on bills in our home. I need to get out! Any thoughts? No children just me. 29 year old female.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 21 2018 at 12:20 pm

I'm sorry the assult has an upcoming court date January 30tg and the verbal and physical have both got worst. Just I can not leave or put him in jail. But I need out. I'm in Massachusetts and ideas?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 21 2018 at 12:21 pm

2017 we got married not 16

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 22 2018 at 4:24 am

Nikki, Hi, I'm so sorry for everything you're dealing with. Do you have any close friends or family members that you could reach out to? I think you're on the right track as far as planning a safe exit. The tax refund will certainly help you to have something until you're back on your feet. There are also resources available to women in your predicament. There are hotlines you can call and they will connect you with different programs or advocates that can tell you what they might be able to help you with, anywhere from housing to legal help, etc. I will leave the link to the hotlines here:… Thank you for reaching out, please continue to do so anytime! -Emily

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 20 2018 at 5:33 pm

Please google things like domestic violence and your area. I’m sure there are people to help you. Good luck

January, 20 2018 at 12:51 am

I need advice guys, I am in an abusive verbal relationship with my boyfriend. We already broke up and it was actually painful for me. I begged him to stay, down on my knees, but he kept insulting me, disrespecting every part of me as a woman. Thats the point in my life I decided just to stay away and move on. However, I have not yet fully moved on from him. I still love him. Until just today, he texted me again and told me to come back, told me how much he loves me. My feelings grew again. Im confused, im afraid. What shall I do? i just cant leave him. Please help me

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 21 2018 at 9:57 pm

Don 't go back.Cut all ties and give yourself time to mourn the end of the relationship.Do that or you will never forgive yourself as it can only get worse.Start working on loving yourself more then loving people who treat you that way.You will then attract people that respect you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 27 2018 at 3:40 pm

Do NOT go back to him. If you do not have a support system please call the national domestic violence hotline- 1800-799-7233.
Ask for help, tell them you need a support group if you have no one.
He is only playing games to satisfy his narcissism. Sending love, and encouragement to leave.

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