I'm Leaving Abuse, I'm Leaving You: Letter to An Abusive Man

May 10, 2012 Kellie Jo Holly

I'm leaving abuse. I once wished my abuser would change, would love me. Try as I might, I couldn't change him. I finally realized I could only change myself.

Please, honey, give me this day, free of pain. Please take back your hateful words, hold my tearful face in your hand, and apologize for hurting me so deeply. I beg of you to hold back your brutish glances under knitted brows and instead, look into my soul shining beneath my tears and see, just one time, that who I am will not hurt you.

I'm Leaving Abuse Because You Think I'm a Monster

You tell me that I am unfaithful and that I plan to leave you, then insist that if I do leave then I am doomed to live a life with some schmuck couch potato who doesn't know how to take care of a woman.

You tell me I do not deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You say I squander your money and waste your time. You say you would rather be with your friends because they, at least, appreciate you for who you are. They, you say, do not want you to change.

And I believe you when you say you would leave me if it weren't for the children and the financial mess you believe I've created. It is true that my butt is big and my breasts slightly sag from feeding our babies. I do walk around with a sad face all of the time. It is true that I am not the woman you thought you married.

I'm Leaving Abuse Because I'll Never Be Your Ideal Woman

The woman you thought you married was your boyish ideal of a girl who delivered hugs and kisses and sex on demand. She cooked and cleaned for you, and sometimes she did those things with nothing on but a smile.

Your ideal woman carries both children on her hip as you cup a beer in your palm. She changes diapers, gets up alone with the babies each night, and wakes in the morning full of sunshine and life. She emulates your mother, adores your family, and wants to be just like you when she grows up.

Your ideal woman did not marry you. I did. And I think you hate me for taking her place.

I'm Leaving Abuse Because I Can't Make Any More Sacrifices

But you got a great deal anyway! I've made excuses for you when you couldn't get to work on time and encouraged you to keep going even when you doubted yourself. I've waited for your return from deployments and trips, sent you love-letters when I received none in return. I've kept your home safe and clean, raised our children to be both tender and tough, and budgeted our money so you could afford expensive grown-up toys and booze for yourself and your friends.

I put to the side my hopes and dreams in favor of helping you reach yours. I sacrificed my education and any work experience I could have gained if I hadn't stayed home to mother you and our babies. I have no 401(K), no pension plan, no nest egg of my own. Nothing we own has my name on it.

It's as if I do not exist outside of this home. Inside of this home, I feel the same - as if I do not exist. When I exert my opinion, you retaliate with anger and force. You verbally abuse me when we're alone together and make jokes at my expense when we're with your friends.

I'm Leaving Abuse Because I See the Truth

In my heart, I tell myself I love you. My words beg your forgiveness, plead for your love. But, in my mind, I am doubting that I can love such a callous, prideful and hurtful man.

Our children are getting older. Their personalities, different from yours, emerge. I see you squash their budding enthusiasm and thwart their plans when their ideas do not mirror your own. For the most part, you ignore them as if they are toys on a shelf to be taken down only when you need to make a good impression on your boss.

I'm starting to see that no matter how much I love you, I, like our children, am an object to satisfy your desire of being a family man, deserving of respect at work and within the community. I am a prop. My job is to be your ideal woman.

I am not ideal, nor could I ever be perfect. I am valuable, even if you don't think it's true.

Your life is pretend. You do not love anyone but yourself. You do not care about anything except how you appear to strangers. You uphold a strong image to the community, kneeling at the altar on Sundays.

Honey, look deeply into my eyes. Look past the tears. That spark you see? It is me.

Perhaps you should be afraid of me. I can cause your pretend world to crumble around you with only three words: "I'm leaving you." It is your fear of the world crumbling that compels you to confine me to this life of pain.

It is only my courage that can end this charade. It is time for me to go. Who I am hurts you, and I'm tired of sharing in your pain.

You can also find Kellie Jo Holly on her website at Verbal Abuse Journals, Google+, Facebook Page, Twitter and Amazon Authors.

*Both women and men could be abusers or victims. My pronoun choice is not meant to imply that one gender abuses and the other is victimized.

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2012, May 10). I'm Leaving Abuse, I'm Leaving You: Letter to An Abusive Man, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

October, 23 2018 at 10:32 pm

This is powerful because open my eyes of what if was dealing with I'm currently working on breaking all ties to get away from this person I'm relocating and restart my life.

December, 31 2017 at 12:15 pm

I know this is almost 2018 but i dont want to start this new year off this way. The abuse is verbal an had escalated into physical after we were married only 7 months ago. I've been drug off my bed by my hair an choked til I almost passed out. My arm was dislocated because I used it during another incident to cover my face an head from his punched not to mention it was black an blue. An he kept telling me it wasn't even red. How can he hurt me an then look at my bruised an pretend their invisible.. I don't know why he does this. But says before it happens I get really afraid an shaky almost like something is telling me he's gona hurt me. I've shared abuse stories with him from online sites an he gets mad at the abusers. He acts as if he can't see who he is. Their have been times the cops were called an he went to jail for simple domestic abuse only once. That was for slapping me and pulling a knife on me because I didnt have supper ready when he walked in the door. I think he hates me. 912 dispatcher recorded one conversation when I called them an he didn't know an he was fixing to hit me. They said they will keep it on file. What can I do i own my home an bought it before I met him but he won't leave an the cops said I can't make him because we're married. Help please with advice I'm from Mississippi

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 1 2018 at 11:06 pm

Hi Trene,
Thank you for your comment, I realize how hard it must be for you to speak out. It sounds as though you're in a very dangerous situation, so it's important to get the right advice and take steps to leave your situation. Please contact the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence on 1-800-898-3234 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) as soon as possible. They are trained experts who will be able to help you figure out the next moves to take to prioritize your safety. You can find a nearby shelter and download a personal safety plan by visiting the MCADV website here:
Good luck, and please know that a life free from the horrific abuse you're suffering is possible.

May, 2 2016 at 2:56 am

I am trying to figure out HOW to leave my abusive husband. He is abusive in every way as well as financial abuse. Very controlling etc... I don't work & stay at home with our 2 yr old son. We just moved to a new state (Texas) where I know absolutely NO ONE & he doesn't allow me to even go make friends so idk what to do I just know it's getting bad. Ant advice I would greatly appreciate! !!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
May, 2 2016 at 12:32 pm

I used to live in Wills Point, TX, so I know how vast Texas is and how far away from any helping agencies you may be. But don't give up. Call the NDVH ( to see if there's something local available to you. Sometimes they offer transportation so you could go while he's at work.
Also, look on "looking for a nanny" sites - not so you can find a nanny, but so you can find other mothers with a child your age. Playdates can break your isolation and can also occur while he's away. If you find the right person, you could divulge to her what's going on and enlist her help in some way. Check to see if there are preschool programs available to your son. If there are, enroll him. If you must, lie to your husband and say your doctor mentioned a developmental issue with your son that preschool would benefit.
Texas is full of churches, too. Maybe you could coerce your husband into attending on Sundays. Eventually, you may be able to get out and go to an evening service without him (volunteering and such). HOPEFULLY the pastor would be a good advisor and not an old-fashioned one who tells you to go home and submit. (Boo!)
Make sure you get a second set of car keys made and keep them secret and somewhere you can get to them.
There's more on this safety plan: Download it and fill it out. Keep all of your planning very secret. Don't talk to any of his friends he may bring over about it. Don't confide in their wives. Stay in contact with YOUR family above all and tell them the truth of what's happening.
But download that safety plan.

October, 12 2014 at 6:21 pm

This brought me tears. My life is about to start in such a verbal abused wife. I'm 24 weeks pregnant, and tiday I was just called "deputa". It's such a bad and it's such a bad word.

October, 29 2013 at 3:15 am

I am proud of you. My name is Renee and I have been a victim to verbal and physical abuse for now 10 years. I have a child by the victim which I have been using as an excuse not to leave the victim. I really want a better life for me and my child. I dont know where to start. Pls help me.

Mrs M Hart
October, 27 2013 at 4:18 am

iv been throu physical emotional mental abuse when i was in my teens till i was 23 from a man that controlled me took away myself concordance dignity values an respect for myself he was verbal then attacking doors walls with his fists then became me i wish i say the stepping stones to abuse but i was young an naive...I kept it away from family friends cause i became weak an ashamed of myself it hard to walk away from something that controls you with power even thou i could run a hide but i knew it wouldn't stop... i became good secret friend which became a close friend of mine an he built my strength back to stand up for myself i couldn't of done it alone. but became brave to tell my abuser to leave i gave him no choice an stood my ground he became weak an cryied begging me that he wanted to be with me and wouldnt do it again ...I walked away he never touched me ever again an im with my husband my secret friend my shine in armor an never looked bk ...Im me again be brave everyone who abused in anyway stand up let me help you.

April, 10 2013 at 4:50 am

I am so afraid , they verbal abuse is everyday. then it turns to making me feel like his words were my fault. He has threaten to hurt me.....

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Holly
April, 10 2013 at 11:15 am

Jill, you need to tell your friends and family what is going on. If you don't have friends or family, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline or chat with an online volunteer at You know his words are NOT your fault. They are his words, HIS responsibility. He uses his words to TRY to make you take responsibility for them - but you never ever have to take the blame for something HE does or says.
He is responsible for him. You are responsible for you. Get yourself to a safer place by telling someone who can help. Again, contact the NDVH if you know no one.

June, 24 2012 at 2:42 am

The more i read about abuse, the more i realise how extremely bad my situation was. i know i could write a book about it. I am free of him to a point but he is still trying to abuse me / control me.

May, 14 2012 at 10:35 pm

I'm in tears :(

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