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 23 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Zabaira Kauser
November, 6 2017 at 2:26 am

Just leave leave him you don't have anything to lose like I have you don,t any children with home so what's stopping you your not married to him. I am married to an abusive person whom name I'm not going mention but I'm only living with because of my family and stupid culture and I have a child with him

October, 14 2017 at 10:40 am

I'm 30 years old and I live with my boyfriend for about 7 years. His abuse started with breaking things, isolate me, blaming me for small things, getting easily angry, jealousy, and after that he started to abuse me physically every two weeks. He also has OCD, he gets angry if I touch anything he gets to be in contact with, like tv remote, or he accuse me that I touched his toilet paper, or dropped foudation on the floor, .. He gets so angry that he is telling me to leave everytime he thinks that I touched some of his stuff. He is emotionally unavailable most of the time and when I want to clarify something he is telling me to leave or to shut up. I tried to leave him twice, first time for two weeks and after that for a month, but I can't sleep without him, I get insomnia. Nights become nightmares and during the day I can't enjoy life bc I'm too tired. I tried going to counselling, didn't help me. I know I don't want a family with a guy like him, why can't I leave? I am financially independent (for about 4 years, before I was busy getting two bachelor's degree) I have a high payed job (even though he gets more money) and I am better looking than him. Last night we got into an argument and he punched me, I went to my apartment where I couldn't sleep. Right now I am staying just bc I want to get a good sleep at night. I will leave if I knew I could sleep at night!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Angela Zielinski
October, 15 2017 at 9:54 am

Hello there Chloe my name is Angela and I’ve lived how you’re living. I’m 46 And was married 12 years to an physically abusive man that went so far as to shooting my back car window while I was pregnant and in the drivers seat! Needless to say I divorced him and 3 years later married an emotional abusive man. If I had it to do over again I would’ve remained single with my children (3girls) and worked on myself before getting into another toxic relationship. I too can take care of myself and I choose sanity, safety (heart and physically) over all this need so that some of my life is spent in enjoyment and peace! I just want to express to you to seek help and choose life over dead ends and don’t waste anymore of your life on nonsense. There is someone genuine out there for all of us I believe!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 5 2017 at 8:52 pm

I completely understand your situation as I'm in a similar one myself. It's so difficult to put an end to a relationship when you're so reliant on the other person e.otionally. it sounds like you're very intelligent and probably never thought you'd end up in a situation like this. Thank you for sharing .

Melanie Schulz
October, 13 2017 at 8:54 pm

I have a similar situation to all that have posted here. I am 38 yrs old with a 1 yr old son. I've tried everything in my power to stop the violence, the abuse, but with each incidence it gets worse, mk ore violent, more physical. He has beat my head against a tile floor. Kicked and opened up my eyebrow, punched me in the the stomach, choked me out, threatened to kill me and himself and still I stay. He only gets like this when liquor is involved, which is why excuse it. I want better for our son, for myself but find myself making excuses for him. I'm scared o e day he'll hit me and that'll be the end. I dont want to break our family apart, but have to put our son 1st. Just need guidance. Thank you and God bless

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 18 2017 at 2:30 am

Can I start off by saying how sorry that I am for what you are going through but PLEASE hear my side. I grew up like your son in a abusive family. My dad thankfullynwas never abusive to me only my mom. I am 35 yrs old now and still live with the effects of my mom's decision to "stay" to keep her family. I suffer from PTSD, anxiety, and fear. The lasting effects of growing up in a abusive home are nightmarish. If you love your child, get out, and get out now. It does not get better because the abuser is just that, an abuser. Do you want your child witnessing you being abused? Do you know the kind of fear that puts on a child? I am now in a emotionally abusive relationship where I too make excuses for my husbands behavior. I married a man a lot like my dad because to me this kind of abuse is normal and not as bad to me as what I grew up in so I excuse it. I am now finally opening my eyes and making plans to leave him. Now that my children are older they are begging me to leave as I did the same thing as a child and resented my mom for not leaving for good. You and your son deserve better. After you leave please get some counseling where you can learn how to choose healthier relationships next time. We seem to be enablers and empathizers that attract narcissistic people, even sociopaths. I pray you see your value and your son's value and get out before it's too late! Prayers for God to give you strength!!!

Squeaky wheel
October, 11 2017 at 12:54 am

Im 34 years old, male, and just realized too late I was in an abusive business relationship. I have always done most all of the bidding and kept the finances in order and have been the one who makes the schedules, orders materials, did a lot of it pretty much. My partner only had to show up and work. I had made him a 50/50 partner 11 years ago and we have had over 25 employees come and go throughout the years. The main guys we always had were my best friends. I got them into the industry and then all came to work for me and my partner. My partner one by one ran them off. This past summer I was ready for a change, a local retail seasonal business that I take my son to from time to time, came up for sale, one that makes around 80k/100k profit per year. I decided I wanted to buy it, and have someone run it at 25k salary per year. my partner didn't have any funds, he blows every dollar he has on expensive things out of his league to make people think he's wealthier than he is. I had the money because I save a lot of money and don't spend it foolishly. I spent my life savings on a business and was very nervous about it. I confided in my partner all of my worries and concerns. He told me I was stupid for buying it and wouldn't be any good at it. Every time my phone rang he would get annoyed, make me feel as if I were doing something wrong. He would get angry and upset over me even saying the businesss name. I was scared to death and instead of being comforting, he scared me even more with telling me how the guy I bought it from was lying, (he didn't even know the guy!)he thought it was a horrible investment. By using intimidation, raising his voice, bullying... I got so depressed and had horrible buyers remorse I almost committed suicide. I had a loaded gun to my chest and my finger on the trigger. I had signed a 5 1/2 year lease and thought it was the end of the world. 3 days in I called the guy I had bought it from and begged him to find a replacement. I had messed up, he did find a replacement, it took 2 1/2 months for him to get approved. I had panic attacks so bad during this time, I told him I would give him the park for 1.00 with all monies in the bank and everything. I owned the business for 2 1/2 months, record profits back to back months, and I still gave it away for 1.00 with over 17k in the bank account. The entire time I owned it, it never dawned on me that The guy I hired was a perfect fit, and doing great, all I could focus on was that I had messed up and it was causing my partner distress. I sold it on August 7 2017, and wish I could go back and change the past. I wish I knew how to get away from him. There was an opportunity years ago, when I could have partnered with someone else making over 100k a year, but for some reason I chose to stay too. Now I'm literally depressed and he couldn't be happier. We don't speak at work, but he got what he wanted. How do I leave?

October, 10 2017 at 8:22 pm

I met my boyfriend when we were just 16. We've had a rollercoaster of a relationship since then. At first it was really good (majority of the time). It started out by just calling me names and we would fight every now and then but recently it has gotten really bad. He breaks my things when he's angry, throws large items in my direction, accuses me of cheating on him practically everyday, emotionally detaches and pinches me to the point of bruises and has yanked my hair when I wasn't "doing as told." I don't know how I got into this, never in a million years would I think I'd end up here. My father is probably rolling in his grave. I do everything for him and he appreciates none of it. There's so much more that I could list off here but I'm just sick of it. Yet it's still so hard to leave. I feel like I could really change him. And if I leave I don't know what he would do. I have been paying for everything he has to his name. I'm honestly afraid he will kill himself if I leave. It feels good to get some of this off of my chest but I believe I would feel 1000x lighter if I let him go. It's just so hard

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 11 2017 at 9:34 am

Hi Sandra,
Sorry to hear about what you're going through, and well done for reaching out for advice.
I have to ask, do you have anybody else you can confide in? While this website is great for support and discussion, someone in your position could really benefit from having someone onside who can offer practical help as well as emotional support. Family, friends and therapy were lifelines for me when I came out of an abusive relationship, and I don't think I could have done it on my own. Not everybody understood, and many of them were hurt that I'd pushed them away for so long, but they came through when I really needed them.
I know these kinds of relationships can be isolating, but if you can tell just one trusted friend or co-worker what you're going through, that would be a start.
You are right to say you'd be better off without him, but we all know it's not always that simple. if it were easy to just pack up and leave, domestic abuse wouldn't be so difficult to understand. It does sound to me like you're worried more about his wellbeing than your own, which is common for victims of abuse. We are made to feel like everything is our fault and we are diminished by the other persons wants and needs without even realizing it.
You are worth more than this, though, and you do need to leave him. Threatening to kill himself if you leave is emotional blackmail, but it's something we've all heard before. If you're worried he might try to take his own life, the best thing you can do is call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the details of which can be found on our hotlines and resources page. Aside from that, your only responsibility is to yourself. Good luck and stay strong.

October, 6 2017 at 7:01 am

I'm 20 years old in college and I've been with my fiance since I was 17, but he's gotten gradually worse. He has a lot of past issues with ptsd and abusive, druggie parents who one died young and made it worse. That being said it's not acceptable. I once tried to leave and he chocked me until I passed out before I reached the door, I feared for my life. He's bruised me enough times to miss school and work and avoid family on multiple occasions. But he has no family, not a lot of money, nowhere to go, no car and honestly can't live without me. I know if I left he'd kill himself and I don't want that, but recently I met someone who's been helping me slowly realize I don't want to live like this. My friend asked me "Do you want a good man forever or one night and a monster for 6?" I don't know how to end it or where he'd go, out accounts are not joint yet but we do co own things and live together, in a new town. I just need advice on how to get out, I'm afraid he has nothing to lose and might kill me before himself if I tried...

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 10 2017 at 8:46 am

Hi Luna,
Firstly, I feel it's important to point out the obvious -- that your life is in danger and you need help escaping this relationship. Although there may be reasons why one person cannot leave a certain type of abuse, when your life hangs in the balance there is no question. It sounds like the people you love are already trying to tell you this, so don't be afraid to lean on them for support, no matter how absent you've been in the past. Trust me, I know first-hand how complicated all this can be, but I also know how good life is on the other side of an abusive relationship.
Secondly, you cannot prevent him from committing suicide, no matter what you do. It sounds like he has some serious issues to resolve, but you are not the person to do that. The best thing to do if you truly care for him is to confide in a professional and let them know he is a suicide risk.
Please consult our hotlines and resources page for information on the Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Domestic Abuse Hotline. Good luck, you can do this!

Scared and confused
October, 4 2017 at 3:21 am

I am 27 years old. I have been with him since high school and we have 2 kids together;9 and 3 years of age. I used to believe he would not hit me again, that he was not controlling or I was wrong. We have been together for 11 years, and throughout the years, he have isolated me from my friends, and gets jealous of my work life so he tries to sabotage me at work. I would stand up for myself, he would hit me and beat me down until I felt helpless and like nothing. He goes through my phone records, my facebook, and finances to ensure i wasnt cheating on him. And if he had anything suspicions of me cheating, he would verbally or physically abuse me. It used to work, but now, i feel it is time for me to find a way out. The problem is, if i do. He will find me, and Im scared i will be attacked again. Im working on the finacial means to get out, i just need to know how i can get out without him legally taking my kids away from me.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 4 2017 at 10:05 pm

Hello Scared and Confused,
I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through. Please consider getting help, as it doesn't sound like either you or your children are safe with this man. I'm glad you can see that it's time to find a way out, and there are people who can help you deal with the logistics of leaving an abusive relationship and keep you safe.
The first thing to do is call the Domestic Violence Hotline on 800-799-7233 and ask for advice. The people there are trained and willing to help you. It's a good idea to confide in a trusted friend or family member so you have someone on side. Second, keep a record of any evidence of his abuse -- text messages, emails, hospital records and photos of any injuries -- in case of any legal action.
If you consider yourself or your children in danger, please don't hesitate to phone the police.
Stay strong. There is life on the other side of this for you. Good luck, and please keep using this site as a helpful resource, it really is a great community to belong to. x

September, 22 2017 at 11:58 pm

I m 21 and from last 2 years I have been abused physically I i m having my 7 months old daughter I use be beaten up by every alternate week when ever he thinks he has some problem in office he beats me in front of my daughter she use to cry he use to abuse me taunting is his everyday routine this all is in room but infringe of others he's a perfect flawless man everyone use to blame me as infront of all he's the man nd I m a lady with mood but that's not mood that's I wanted to tell everyone about him, in every fight he use to say leave my house nd I wanted to leave you.. I live in Pakistan where they don't have any right for a women, as family is concern they get afraid of divorce of there daughter they don't have any concern regarding daughter they just want that their should have husband they don't care how he behaves..

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 23 2017 at 1:16 am

Nd here shelters are not good they don't treat women's right, they said to do so but practically they don't I have a daughter as well from where to get her all stuff I m so much worried don't know what to do.. and the country I m from they all hate a divorcee nd her kids I have a lot to suffer from, I cannot step out from this stuff though I wanted to

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 25 2017 at 2:02 pm

Pray to God to help you with this situation. Pray without ceasing for God to intervene and to get you safely out of this situation!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 9 2017 at 8:17 pm

I pray everyday.. but what to do my situation is getting worse everyday..

Rather not say
September, 14 2017 at 8:09 am

Um.. Im 18 with a 8 month old daughter. Her father been abusing me physical for 2 years now.. I can't take getting beat anymore. Like he doesn't do every day, but more he emotionally and mentally abuses me everyday but physically is every couple months usually 5-7 months then he will beat the living shit out of me. Like my body and gut is telling if I take another beating I'll die or be very injured. The last time he did it was 5 months ago and I know its going to happen again soon.. I'm scared. For my life, I'm scares that next time he hits me in the head will be my last... I want to leave him, but I can't.. I can't bring myself too. But I don't want to die... Like my body physical is like 40 year old now form all the beatings. I need help... I don't know who to go to, I finally told my mom what he has done and his parents known the whole time because they would come and hide me and make sure I wouldnt call the cops or go to the doctors to make sure I'm okay.. I'm scared of being left alone with him. I don't want to get beat cause this time I will be injured to the pint something bad will happen. But he won't let me leave, he said if I do he will kill me or kill himself.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Rather not say
September, 14 2017 at 8:16 am

He also scares me for our daughter when we figg he breaks all her shit and screams and doesn't care g around I beg him to let get her away. But he won't let me, I want to leave him because I'm scared he will accidently hurt her one of these days. I need help leaving him.. Please help me... Idk what to do

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 17 2017 at 3:19 pm

There are shelters that will help you. You need to make a plan. Seriously find out your resources and start planning to leave. I wish I could help you as I am going through something similar. I'm in a safe place now but, he still tries to Manipulate me to go back. I'm 47 and hated my life with him. I loved him and were married. I will not be abused anymore. I'm happier now and dealing with the aftermath of an abusive marriage. You can do it and be a great example to your daughter not to ever put up with abuse ever in life. No one deserves to be hurt ever.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 20 2017 at 1:24 am

Dear Rather Not Say,
Well done for reaching out to others on this site. But I have to say in this instance, however brave you are for sharing your story, it's not enough to keep you safe. What you need is practical help to get you and your daughter out of immediate danger. Then you will need emotional guidance on how to cope with the after-effects of abuse and remain safe. There are tonnes of resources for this, and the HealthyPlace site is a wonderful resource.
Please call one of these helplines straight away.
Domestic Violence Hotline:
800-799-7233 (If you live in the US)
The National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (UK).
Both numbers should be manned 24 hours a day. If you live elsewhere, a quick Google search will point you towards an organization in your area. You can go to a friend's or ask your mum to contact them for you if you're worried about your partner finding out. But please get the help you need. If you consider yourself or your daughter in immediate danger, I strongly advise calling the police. They will deal with everything else and make sure you are safe, but please let them help you. If not only for yourself, for your child too. You will get through this.
Good luck and big hug, Emma x

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 16 2017 at 12:38 pm

Sweetheart leave one day when hes not go home or gone. Get u abd your baby out of there. Im 37 years old and I have been dealing w abuse since I could remember it started w my mother and continued down the line. Now my kids are almost all grown and i got myself into a relationship that's worse then it ever has been. Hes told me he kill me or himself to. I pray u will get out of that because by the time your my age you'll wish u did. Or one day your baby won't have a mother. Feel free to email me. Im here to talk, help and give advice. Your worth more then he is making u feel u are.. Xoxo

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 16 2017 at 7:02 pm

Dear rather not say. Reach for the word of God feed your spirit for strength. Slowly plan your escape. Never tell anyone about your plan not even family find one or two people you can truly trust who can safely help with the plan. Prepare to not be in the same state, allow money to be the reason you stay for a short time but most important prepare for losses but look forward to safety and piece of mind. Try not to involve your parents with the escape for their safety. Look to leave the state and be quiet. If you have too tell him you are going to jail because you got caught stealing and that your children were taken because of your crime. Look for the best way to keep everyone safe. But plan, plan to leave. If he wants to kill himself he needs help and needs to be on suicide watch but you cannot call for his help because he is dangerous.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 17 2017 at 3:09 pm

It will never change unless you get help for yourself and your child.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 25 2017 at 2:05 pm

Pray to God to give you the strength to get out. If you live in the states their are battered womens shelters 1800799safe. Get Out Now!

September, 7 2017 at 3:37 pm

I've been married for over 7 years now to a Disabled Army Veteran. He has an incurable condition and relies on pain meds to function. I've expressed my feelings about him abusing his medicine and trying to get him to cut back. When he's on his medicine he gets short tempered, foggy, forgetful, among other things. He thinks I take his medicine when he's sleeping. Accuses me of moving stuff. I have never been with anyone who's relied on narcotics. Sometimes I feel broken. I feel like I'm at my breaking point but I'm scared. I don't know what to do!! My family feels like he isolates me from friends and family (I don't hang out with anyone except my mom, and whoever I work with AT my job). Part of me feels like I have to stay but part of me wants to leave and get out!! I tried having a heart to heart with him, but it doesn't really go anywhere. Any advice or pointers or anything really would be appreciated.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 11 2017 at 12:44 am

Hello Anon,
Firstly, well done for reaching out with this post. It can be difficult to admit to being in a relationship like this, so you've conquered the first step to getting help. It's also difficult to define abuse from a partner, particularly as this sort of behavior tends to creep into a relationship over time. As you've said, it's not always as easy as broaching the subject with a significant other, and it sounds like your husband is struggling with his physical health and reliance on medication. His paranoia could be drug-induced, or it could be that his situation has left him feeling so out of control that he needs to feel like he has some control over something in his life: this something being you.
I suppose the question to ask is, do YOU feel he isolates you from others? Or has this occurred over time because of his dependence on you? One thing I know for sure is that severing your connections with others will only exasperate your feelings of being trapped by this situation, so its important to reach out when you can.
The first thing I would recommend is to contact a counsellor or therapist who is specially trained to deal with drug abuse and marriage problems. I think seeing someone on your own so you have the space and time to explore your own feelings would be sensible. Is there a trusted co-worker you can confide in about what's happening at home, or your mum perhaps? By confiding in others, you'll become less isolated and you will have somewhere to turn should his behavior worsen.
Lastly, if his behavior becomes nasty or abusive, or if he is violent towards you, please contact a domestic violence helpline for support.
Good luck!
Emma x

I'm tired
September, 6 2017 at 1:33 am

I have been dealing with verbal abuse forever, Im telling anyone to get out now it won't stop. We have 6 kids and now a grandson, he has cheated on me in the beginning meaning first 8 years , I've been with this disrespect for 32 years. I only see his family, he gets made when I see mine I have no friends only my kids and they are all grown and have life of their own. I'm telling all you young people trust me if they are doing this now GET OUT!!!! It won't stop they will never stop!im now at the point in my life wondering why I'm still here! I'm tired I just want to go to sleep and never wake up because my days are exactly the same day I and out,I'm basically living for him not for me. I'm 51 years old met him when I was 17 he was 24, ya it was great then I got pregnant at 18 married and from then on he controlled me every bit of me, he's like a vampire consumed all the joy out of me, now I'm miserable and want to be dead! Because I don't want to hear this do this or be this anymore! So please do me a favor make my life an example an live your for yourself not someone else's happiness, you be happy! If I saved at least one person making the same choice I made over the last 31 years I would feel a little better, as crazy as it sounds my life would of had some meaning if I saved you, just listen to me, leave now before you won't!and later become me?????

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 7 2017 at 8:21 am

It's been 4.5 years 3 babies for me. And I'm ready to GOOOOOO! But I've gained comfort in my lifestyle. This makes me extremely sad and insecure. I just want to leave already! But every time I try he says he's not going anywhere. Or assures that I don't walk out. And just like now I end up in a place of peace. And because I don't want to disturb it I say nothing and stay ? I even try suggesting to him to get another woman. Idc I just need to be MYSELF one day again

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 10 2017 at 7:58 pm

i hope your alive! not for him.. for you xx

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 11 2017 at 12:10 am

Hello I'm Tired,
Thank you for your comment on this post. I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through. I understand better than most how living with an abuser can make you feel suicidal (you can read my story here), but let me tell you: if you can find a way to come out the other side of your experience and rediscover your independence, you will be glad you didn't act on these feelings. Please consider talking to someone about what you're going through. There are counselors and therapists who are specially trained to help victims of domestic abuse. Alternatively, you could contact one of the helplines on our Help and Resources page, particularly if you feel acutely suicidal. These are people who can help you when you don't know where else to turn.
Know that you are not alone in how you feel, and keep speaking out about your struggles and using this site for support. By connecting with others and uniting against abuse, you can lessen your abuser's control over you. Also, it's never too late to leave. It's never too late to break free from the shackles of abuse. I wish you all the best.
Emma x

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 16 2017 at 6:55 pm

You touched me. We share a lot in common. I met my partner at 17 he was 26 but lied about his age. He also never told me that he was married until I was 19 and 5 months pregnant. His family never mentioned it either. Now I'm 24. I feel like dying everyday. Trying to push my way through college as a Biology major , hoping to that I live long enough to graduate with my MD. I have no friends and none of my family will help me. They are tired of me not doing anything and they also are consumed with their own life. I want to kill myself so bad! I don't live for my daughter anymore. It is a struggle living. I'm so scared to go to help. It's a sin to commit suicide. If Jesus could take me and forgive me I would have been killed my self. That's what hurts the most. I feel trapped. I feel empty. I feel so mad at god...i feel so hopeless. I'm just a sitting duck. I no longer spend my time talking to god. It makes me sad, because I need someone tangible. My heart feels soaked in tears. If I kill myself there is no coming back from hell.i look for comfort in my abuser. He manipulates me by making me feel stupid and dramatic. He breaks my soul. He physical hurts me but the emotional abuse and mental is unbearable. I cry everyday. Why god! Why me! I was a good girl..i still am. I take care of our daughter by myself while he works and has his time to himself. My mom provides financially everything. I feel bad because I know she feels bad for me. I'm embarrassed. I have to fight and beg for his attention. Even when he calls me names or makes me feel worthless..its still attention. I left home to look for my dad at 17. He left me at 4 years old. That's when I found my partner. It was his eyes and raven black hair that reminded me of my dad. Suddenly he was good enough. I didn't need my dad. I want to be a mentor to young women and girls. I will finish school and travel the world as a medical doctor. God will help me. I really hope so. Because I am floating in thin air.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 16 2017 at 7:06 pm

I just left my abusive cheating partner. Quietly planned my escape a little at a time. Continued to play stupid during the planning and one day when he left I left right after him. I left three days ago. Praise God.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 19 2017 at 5:23 pm

I feel like your talking to me but I'm still not getting it?, I have been married 18 years I have four children age 15 and under. I got married when I was 18 years old and when we first got married something iffy happened which made me think that's odd why would he say that to me on our honeymoon he called me a whore. As it went on every fight got brushed under the table he would bring flowers and say sorry. I have been abused mentally,physically,financially,spiritually and financial. It took me to this point to wear he put me down so much that i was put in a dark deep isolated place where I thought everything would be better if I just died and I wanted to die. The next day I called the helpline this wasn't me this isn't what I do I am strong. I now see a therapist and I go to group meetings so I can figure things out. This is where I realized it was all abuse but I couldn't see it. Everyday I change my mind at least 30 times. I say I'm strong and then I say well maybe he will change this time, maybe I can't make it on my own financially. I hate the thinking I hate me changing my mind I'm such a fool. I need to leave and do better for me and my kids. My husband has ruined my credit .i hope the next I write I will be one of those women who got out.?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 28 2017 at 9:50 am

34 years here and locked in my grandsons bedroom watching him destory my clothes, jewelry and both flower and vegetable gardens. I am recently disabled recovering now from my second back surgery. Scoliosis caught up with me around 46. He has stolen my youth. He has only gotten worse as the years go by. I do not think he is capable . Mother's please do not allow your children to grow up thinking this abuse is normal. They will grow up to be abusers themselves.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Pauline Kelly
October, 3 2017 at 11:52 am

Hey! You are 51, he probably has made you feel old but you are actually in your prime!! It's far from too late for you! Think of the next 20-30yrs you have ahead of you, go for it xxx

September, 3 2017 at 2:18 pm

I too am in an emotionally abusive relationship and have managed to pluck up the courage to end the relationship. It is hell. He is now being wonderful again, asked me to marry him and is utterly charming but I know if I stay he will not change. I am torn, keep going back over my bad memories and reviewing them with rosy-tinted glasses. However I have to move on but watching him being the wounded animal is unimaginably painful but this girl is going to wear big shoulder pads and weather the storm - I will no longer be the under-dog!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 16 2017 at 7:12 pm

Hi Josephine, My situation was very similar to yours. When I decided I was leaving it was like he sensed it and became the charming husband that I dreamed of having. I was torn I loved him and wanted that charming man. But I was reminded by others that it would not last.
Well, I left and initially we exchanged text messages and I let him know I cared much for him and he said likewise to me the lovely messages when on for three days and than he stopped writing. It's the weekend so I guess he's out fishing. It hurts to know that his so called love lasted two days after I left he could really care less and he's showing it.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 20 2017 at 5:21 pm

I'm in a similar situation. The first time he drank and got verbally abusive I left but he begged me to come back. Eventually it got physical. I even got to a point where I called the police on him, but I felt guilty and he came with this story about how bad it is where he was staying so I let him stay with me again. I keep feeling like I can't leave because I constantly feel guilty or feel like I owe him for helping me out when my sister kicked me out. I'm 28 with no kids so I thought it would be easier to leave. I'm just so torn and I don't know how to ask him to leave without hurting his feelings.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 25 2017 at 2:28 pm

Missie, That charming man is a mask. The real him is a wolf cloaked in sheeps clothing. he is manipulating you. Its just an act that he is puttting on.. Trust me if he leaves he will be doing you a favor.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 25 2017 at 2:18 pm

Josephine, Just stick with it. From all the advice that I have gathered it is best to go NO CONTACT. Men like that are manipulators, users abusers and actors. Don t let him fool you. He is a WOLF in sheeps clothing. The only reason he is being sweet is so that he can get you back and it will be a whole lot worse.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 28 2017 at 9:58 am

My husband' resorts to his honeymoon stage everytime. But after 34 years of marriage I can see right through his facade, he is not that good of an actor.

September, 2 2017 at 9:09 pm

I have been in an abusive relationship for 37 years. It started gradually after the first few years with controlling behaviors, unpredictable anger and passive aggression. I wish I would have walked away the first time it happened but I was young and naive and I thought it was normal relationship problems. It slowly continued to escalate. After a healthy first 2 years, then a rough 3 year long distant relationship, we decided to move in together and that was the first time he hit me.. In my case, it was a slow insidious process, ie not every day or every week, but sporadic and unpredictable. I was walking out to leave and of course the cycle began of him apologizing and asking me to stay. I set the boundary of no more physical abuse. He improved and we were married and had 2 kids .and things seemed better... however he began to resort to severe emotional, psychological abuse thru manipulation, lying, cruelty, isolation, destroying all that I valued ( Photos, Holidays, memories, vacations) and control and extreme passive aggression that would last for days, then weeks, then months and half-years. He purposely destroyed anything I valued, purposely neglected my needs and purposely crossed boundaries...showing no respect. He pitted my son against my daughter starting at a young age; he purposely showed extreme favoritism to our son causing our daughter to become angry and hurt damaging her self esteem and at the same time creating an arrogant, callus, and abusive son. I walked out with my children many times only to have him apologize... and they cycle started again...never ending. I went to counseling. I counseled my kids to help them understand. Why did I stay? Naivety. to protect my children ( 50% custody- I could not protect them 100% of the time) and reason after reason but all reasons that were positive and good....but today I know I chose the wrong reason...why? because now he has taught my kids to be abusive ...toward each other and toward me... Because I tried so hard to protect them , they see me as "abusive" now and he is now treating them both with great love and compassion which he refused to show me for the past 15+ years... Now he is manipulating them against me after I literally devoted my life to protecting them the best I could and raising them to be as kind and compassionate and considerate as I could...I gave up my career, my life, my memories, my security, all for him to take it all in our last fight when he and my own daughter sided against me...I slapped him... only to have my own daughter call the police so he could press charges of domestic abuse against me... and sent me to jail...where I would be now if my cousin and siblings had not gotten me out...Now my entire lively hood is threatened and all my work and education and licenses may be taken away... how ironic... I never filed charges on him... because I was being kind... because I was being considerate of his future.... and look what that got me.. my past and future may be gone children ostracizing me; my siblings tired of all this.. I am still in limbo to see if he will drop the charges....even so, the DA may override if he does, I will have a record and lose my educational licenses that are the only way I can support myself... I share my story so that any young woman that is not being treated with kindness and respect, will RUN from that relationship to find a healthier one.... too late for me....not for you....

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 25 2017 at 2:25 pm

Its never to late to RUN... Get away from that horrible man. Give yourself a chance to have some peace for however long that is. Hes not worth it. Hes not your friend, hes an enemy.

Tammy Fuller
September, 2 2017 at 11:32 am

I'm in tears reading these threads .... how do we get rid of these men that are so distructuve but yet we love so much ?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 25 2017 at 2:32 pm

Men like that use brainwashing techniques to get you hooked and addicted to them without your even knowing it. The only way to get rid of them is to walk away and don't look back. He will destroy you without you even being aware of it at first until the damage is done and you are so hooked in that it is hard to get away and stay away. Join a Church, get counseling, go to a shelter whatever you have to do to get free. Trust me he will DESTROY you. Love yourself enough to cut him lose.

Tammy Fuller
September, 2 2017 at 11:29 am

I'm in a 3 year relationship with an alcoholic. He's great when he's sober but verbally abusive to me and my 15 year old daughter . She hasn't said one word to him in over a year and we live in the same house . I'm I want to be able to just say .. that's it and leave without looking back .... but we moved 3h away from my home town, I'm isolated . Last time I said I was leaving he burnt my stuff in the front yard. How do I find the strength to leave !!!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 25 2017 at 2:52 pm

Don't tell him what you are doing. Just quietly plan your escape. Then when he is gone one day have movers meet you at the house and hurrry RUN. He is destroying you and your daughter. It is very unhealthy. You will look back one day and wonder why you stayed so long.

August, 31 2017 at 11:27 am

i've been in a emotionally abusive relationship for about a year now & he's hurt me so many times. i've tried to kill my self twice because of what he's done & said to me. he yells at me almost everyday over the littlest things. he constantly gets in trouble at school while i'm with him & it comes back on me. (i'm only 16) he tells me to "shut the fuck up" and he constantly blames everything on me. i don't know why i can't leave. please help me

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 3 2017 at 3:27 am

Hello Destany
You are only 16 and already feel this empty. Imagine staying 10 more years? It doesn't get any easier! My darling girl once you leave you will fall in love another 10xs over. Life does not begin and end with ONE man. You are both WAY to young to be so serious. You have an entire life ahead of you. Please understand no man on this planet will ever take care of you & your happiness as much as YOU will. Please focus on a fantastic academic future, go to a good college, get that money. and along the way I promise you, you will meet a good man. I know it. do what you love in life and the love of your life will follow.

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