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, June 16 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

Nae CC
July, 9 2016 at 8:41 pm

I am in an abusive marriage. My husband hits me repeatedl g and calls me names. He wants respect but i dont want to gice him any due to his behavior. I am falling out of love with him. Weve been married for 12 long drawn out years. Hes spit on me chased me through traffic cussed out my whole family stomped on me like a roach ...i mean numerous things. Why am i here? Because nobody wants him around in his own family due to his anger. He became homeless. He has plenty family with houses with extra rooms. No one wants him there. I see why. So after a few years of sleeping in the car i gave him i decided to try again and get in an apartment.....big mistake. He doesnt pay for anything! He snorts coke and thats the only time he is happy. After his high goes down he is the devil's imp. I hate him and i wish he were dead. I have so many thoughts of him being dead....and me being glad about it. I know its wrong and i beleive wholeheartedly in God. I pray about it and my evil thoughts but im so serious....death woulld become him...

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
July, 11 2016 at 11:23 am

It seems I've read your exact story before. But then, all abusive relationships are so similar it's difficult to keep them straight in my mind. You got the apartment so you can have him removed from it. Call the cops, get him out, request a restraining order and don't let him back in for anything.

July, 8 2016 at 11:57 am

I have been with a man for 4yrs, and i have lost both of my kids because of him . My son left a few months after we got married and he made promises to my daughter that he never kept, so she moved in with her dad. And the judge ordered that because of him she is not allowed at our home. He filed disability and quit his job as soon as i said i do. So i am the main one who supports the family. And now we are rasing 2 of his step grand children , they are both boys and show me no respect at all. He does not want me to spend any time with my kids or my mom or any of my family . If i do see them it is war when i get home. He drinks and takes a lot of pain meds and he states that he does that because of me . I never do anything right, he stays in touch with his ex wife quite a bit and i dont feel in my heart that it is fair to me . I feel so isolated, and alone. every one tells me i look so down and out . i feel i have lost who i am tottaly. I have left before and he always has a medical emergency and i feel quilty and go back . i have got to get away before i end up dead .

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
July, 11 2016 at 11:32 am

Yes, you do need to get away. If he calls you up with a medical emergency, tell him you're not a doctor or therapist and he needs to call one of them, not you. Besides, he's got his ex-wife to help him if he really needs "someone" there.

Not ready yet, but trying
July, 7 2016 at 4:04 am

This is written in a beautiful spirit, and as a result, is the most helpful thing that I've seen.

July, 7 2016 at 3:21 am

Hello Kellie Jo Holly,
I have a daughter who is in an mentally and emotional abusive marriage and I don't know how to help. She has a depression disorder and I'm really concerned about her. I would like to talk with someone and get some advice. I know that she has to get out of it on her own but, I would like some information. Could you email a number or email address that I can call or mail? thank you!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
July, 7 2016 at 1:57 pm

You can email me at verbalabusejournals [at] gmail [dot com]. Sorry about the cryptic email address, but I don't need any more spam and those spam bots pick up everything!

July, 3 2016 at 2:25 pm

I have been in an abusive relationship for 7 years, I have put up with this man for a long time.
He has always hit me, beat me, stomped on my face with his shoe on, made me literally almost drowned in my own blood coming from my mouth, made my nose bleed hundreds of times, broke my nose, and gave me multiple concussions and the list goes on. He's a meth addict and anything he can get his hands on. He's cheated on me multiple times I’m sure a lot more than I know of. he's been controlling from the beginning, at first it was just controlling what I wear but as the relationship got more serious he got more and more controlling.
Then after we had our 1st kid he started to hit me, then it just got worse, he always accused me of cheating 24/7, then I had 2 more kids by him. after our third kid came, I was in the hospital having my baby, he accused the doctors of trying to do sexual things to me, I was so embarrassed, he demanded us to get a woman doctor but there was none at the time, I was in so much pain I didn't care I just wanted the baby out. But I got called a whore for that.
That happened every time I had a baby. He actually beat me in the hospital a day after I had my baby, that was a very horrible experience. after that my baby was about 6 months old, in January 2016 he accused me of cheating again. He was up for 7 days off of meth, I was 4 months pregnant at the time, he beat me with a broom, threw glass at me, choked me until I saw stars, beat me into a concussion, then that night I called the cops when he wasn't looking which was hard. They took him to jail, I moved in with a friend with my 3 kids, we stayed there for a while, then I finally got into my own place, all of that was to leave him but I let him move in with me because I love him and he’s the father of my 3 kids and I’m pregnant with his 4th child.
But then again he beats me still, he of course promised it would never happen again but I know better.
My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in February 2016, so I’ve helped her, but he keeps me away from her when I want to just help her and spend time with her, and the kids wanted to see her, I didn't know how long she had. on June 6th 2016 my mother ended up in the hospital they said her lung collapsed and the cancer spread so fast she isn't going to make it out of the hospital. Me, him, my kids, my brother went up there to say goodbye, she was on the ventilator and we decided it would be best to take her off, so we did that.
He was waiting in the lobby because my mother hated him and always have because she knew what he does to me. after an hour he came in asking how much longer is this going to take, it was so disrespectful, he just left, he went home. so when my mother finally passed it was hard and I had no ride and 3 kids, I had to call a friend to drop us off at home. I was so hurt by that because my mother was dying.
Only a week or 2 after that another fight had happened. He was on meth accusing me of stuff again, I told myself ok here we go AGAIN. I was pissed I have been planning to leave for a while but I had no good way, I have no job, no, money, 3 kids because I will not leave them behind, he’s not a great father. I had a car but payments are due and he's the one with the full time job. Plus, I would have nowhere to go. That morning on June 14th which is my son's 1st birthday. We did not celebrate because he was busy beating me to death that day and night. I lost a lot of blood, suffered a concussion, needed stitches, half my hair was pulled out by him, blood was gushing from my face he kept me hostage, I ran out at one point running down the street yelling for help, my neighbors didn't care they were outside and never called the cops. Worst day of my life but then the best day, because when he finally went to sleep that night I called the cops on a non-active phone because he took my phone so I couldn't call the cops. He didn't know I had this one.
They came they arrested him, then I went to the hospital to get treated, the Hope House lady came to help me with the kids as I was getting treated. I got an immediate restraining order on him, his bond is 40k and they are not going to lower it, he has 4 charges 3 assault charges and 1 felonious restraint charge for keeping help hostage in the house. I went straight to the Hope House after that, I stayed there for 2 weeks, then his dad and wife asked me to stay with them, his whole family is on my side about the whole thing, they are even making me testify against him as one of the conditions for staying with them.
I hope to have a better life and get my stuff together for my kids. This is my story; I hope this helps someone. Please leave, that's the best for everyone. I have a go find me account for my situation, I’m still taking it day by day, some days I miss him and some days I’m like why did I stay. But I’m doing everything I have to do, I am not going back. The detective even told me he has other pending charges for stabbing a guy, and shooting a guy, he will be charged with attempted murder if he is found guilty. So I think every domestic violence case is worse than you think behind the scenes.
[Please contact Ashley by clicking on her name if you want to know the link to her gofundme account.]

July, 2 2016 at 6:19 pm

Ladies I too have and currently still in this type of relationship for 19 years with 3 kids and I never been hospitalized but endured the same as you all daily I'm not happy anyone of us is in this mess but it's empowering to know someone knows the struggle I'm planing to leave in the near future because now the rage in me is boiling and fear makes me sick as if I can't breathe when he starts..I pray and pray that I don't die or my kids don't die..I love you all for sharing we can do this we can leave and live happily please pray for me as I will y'all

July, 2 2016 at 4:09 pm

I don't know where to go, have no money and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Living in north america, my friends and family are in Europe. My husband is so angry about everything and every one. Nothing pleases him, and he constantly insults me, hurts me, or tells me just to hit the ground as soon as possible, so much he hates he. Just 2 days ago, I cutted the hedge in front of our house, OH BOY, when he came home from work, he kicked me, called me a f...bitch, stupid... Its his house, his property, and when he went on my throat to hurt my neck, I fought against him, kicked him too, and now he says that he lost his trust since I violated him. I cry every day, he blames me for every hurt, tells me to get lost, what f.... food i cooked is disgusting, that he has to support me, and the most hurting is that me want my death as soon as possible. I need to get out here, but I have no resources, no money and mostly no energy due to the chemo I have to take. And no, i don't want to tell anyone. Please tell me what should I do.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
July, 4 2016 at 10:54 am

Tell someone anonymously at (National Domestic Violence Hotline). They won't ask who you are; they won't send anyone to your house. Your life is in danger. You need to talk to someone, even if you don't know who they are and they don't know you.
If you happen to be taking a chemo treatment, you could open up to the nurse/doctor and receive some advice. They can't tell him or anyone else what you say unless it's suicidal or homicidal.

July, 1 2016 at 6:12 pm

I've been on a rollercoaster of verbal/emotional abuse then apologies the next day, for longer than I care to remember now, as I'm very embarrassed.
One thing my boyfriend constantly says is: I have to yell at you because you don't listen to me!!!
He puts me down, puts my co-workers down, mocks me, and anything I hold close/dear to me. I won't go into detail as my boyfriend of 4+ years is seeming to be textbook.

June, 29 2016 at 9:15 pm

I've been with my husband 15 year's. It went from physical abuse at the start to emotional and verbal attacks for past 8 years. My kids are now getting sworn at and he is aggressive towards them as the are sticking up for me. They are 14 and 9. Two lovely girls. Don't stay. It doesn't get better and when your kids get older they will endure the same bouts of anger as you. I'm leaving in 2 days, I have to for the kids. Its not easy but can you forgive yourself for bringing them into the world and not protecting them from hearing and seeing this behaviour? Do you want the cycle to continue in their lifes. With thier husbands. I do not. We all deserve so much better ladies. And so do our kids. No matter how much it kills me to leave, it also kills me to stay. Hopefully time really does heal. Protect your self and your kids. I'm moving into a 2 bed flat while he keeps our 3 bed semi. Who cares its mine and I'm safe. Be strong and good luck.

June, 28 2016 at 10:32 pm

Iv been in a relationship with the same man for a little over a year now. About 4 months into our relationship he started getting verbally abusive towards me calling me a whore, skank,and a slut. He started drinking very heavily and he ended up grabbing me by my throat and throwing me into the wall. He says he never remembers a thing because he "blacks out". Since that night physically hit me 4 more times. The 2nd time he chocked me on the couch as I was minding my own business folding clothes, the 3rd time he grabed me by my arm, threw me on the ground and hit me 5 times in my head. The 4th time he chases me all other the house and the yard. He slammed my knee in our truck door, punched me in my face and started choking me till I passed out for a few seconds, when I came to I got him off me and called the police. (He was drunk every time) I pressed charges. When court came he only got charged with negligent assault. He lost his job because of it and his ex wife now refuses to let him see his kids. He blames me every single day that it's my fault he's lost his job and can't see it kids. Yet I still went back to him! He tells me he can't live without me, I'm the only thing keeping him going in life yet still calls me a whore, a skank and a slut. Still accuses me for him losing his job and not seeing his kids. Just the other day he grabbed me by my throat and throws me to the floor to where I got a concussion from it. Why can't I just get away from it. He doesn't let me see my family, he calls me all the time asking me where I'm at or what am I doing.I need help. I don't know what to do anymore. I love him but I don't want to end up dead!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
June, 29 2016 at 1:44 pm

Yeah, you definitely need to go. You may love him, but he doesn't love you. Look at what he does, and ignore the words he says. Being drunk just allows a person to be MORE of who they are - it doesn't "bring out" the hatred, it reinforces what's already there.
Men who choke their partners are VERY likely to kill them. So, if you cannot find it in you to leave THIS MINUTE, visit and chat or call them. Here's a safety plan (scroll to bottom of page):

June, 28 2016 at 2:55 am

I've been in the same abusive relationship for almost 4 years now.. Things are just insane now.. Years ago he was my everything. Made me feel on top of the world.. Months go by and the pushing starts and the name calling starts. Then before you know it he's slapping me , busting my lips , blacking my eye shut , memories of blood pouring from my eye and only seeing out of my right eye.. I can remember the pain of the look in the mirror.. Now , I'm back again.. And dealing with the emotional abuse. And idk what's wrong with me
. I wanna escape.. But when I'm away from him.. I feel so lost. I'm so broken. Please help..

June, 26 2016 at 12:33 am

I've been in a relationship with a married man for almost 7yrs. I cheated on my live in boyfriend for 8yrs. He was hooked on pain pills and was a commercial diver. He got sick stayed in constant pain. He treated my kids good. Supported us very well. He could not longer work. By that time I was on disability for my back and neck.
When he found out about the affair he left me. I'm still with the married man. His wife knew. We were good friends. She had been sick for a very long time. She had cardiovascular disease. Well last year she was put on hospice. After about 4 months she asked me to sit and take care of her while he worked. She forgave both of us. I was really a horrible person to do that because she was a very loving and caring person.
After sitting with her for 6 months she passed away. Which was almost 3 months ago.
Anyways he promised me the whole time that when she passed we would have our life together. Well I messed up about 5yr ago. I had his name tattooed on my lower back. I ended up having sex with the guy that did my tattoo. Of course he found out. I was called a whore every day for 4yrs. It was thrown in my face EVERY TIME I LEFT THE HOUSE. He started harassing me every day. He would call me . If I went to the bathroom and left my phone in the kitchen, I was screwing someone. He would call like 27 times. I told him I can't even take a bath without being called. We lived 600 feet from each other so of course he watched who came to my house even at night. He would creep around my house all hours of the night.
Well since his wife is gone he now says he never promisedid me a thing. He want to be alone. He doesn't want a relationship. He has emotionally abused me and has put me down. I've cried every day. I'm staying with him but we're not in a relationship. I cook,clean,wash his uniformson for work. Everything. I feel so stupid for doing this. If go back to my house the crap will keep getting worse.
Last month he kept telling me if I didn't like something I could pack my clothes and go back home. I had enough. I reached my breaking point. I took 14 tramadol and 27 elevil. I told him what I did and he told me you better go home and get your son to call an ambulance cause I wasn't gonna die at his house. I told my son what I did. I tried to throw up but I couldn't. The muscles in my throat numbed my gag reflect. They called 911. The last thing I remember was seeing my son's friend that's with fire and rescue. On the way to the hospital, which is lik25 miles from my house is stopped breathing. 6 miles up the road in was air lifted to the hospital. I was seizing and was put on life support. I was in ICU for five days. After 3 days they took the breathing tube out. Well he showed up on the 4th day. I woke up and saw him standing there. The only thing he toldme was when I get home we had to talk. We did and I've been staying with him ever since. I've went home 3 times and came dynamic is perfect and I'm happy, the next he talks to me like a dog and humiliates me. I cry and cry. He says I'm trying to force myself on him and I'm too clingy. Really? For 6 years I was harassed day and night by this man and now he doesn't love me. We sleep in the same bed. Have sex. He doesn't kiss me or shows no emotions towards me.
He says that he doesn't have to answer to no one. Anything he does isn't none of my business. But EVERY THING I DO IS HIS.
I've wanted out so much but haven't gotten out yet.I have no idea why I stay. My kids can't stand him and tell me I'm stupid for being with him. I think soon enough I won't be able to take the abuse and wash my hands to him. I want to be happy. I will be one day. I have to believe Jesus is gonna give me a new beginning.

June, 24 2016 at 6:35 pm

So just yesterday was our 3 year wedding anniversary and I can't say it has gotten any better like I thought it would have I'm stupid for falling for his lies and the lies I tell myself d. I don't feel any love from him and yet the love I have for him is pouring out of me... I fell for him hard and fast and he knew it and used it to his benefit. Soon after we started dating we were what I thought was play fighting over my phone to him grabbing my work pants I was changing into and ripping them. Started out with choking me thinking he was funny and pulling my hair. I remember times we'd be laying in bed acting like he's getting over a fight we just had then he'll choke me struggling to breathe he finally let's go. One fight he wouldn't let me out of his room I said I was going to the restroom but ran toward the front door and he chased me pulling me back in the house by my hair.....things to that degree continued verbal and emotional abuse along with him always breaking up with me and then wanting me back. Fast fowars to 2015 my first bloody nose and lip it's so hard to even write that because not one person knows that swung his fist at me and made my nose aND lip bleed. Few weeks pass and he does it again... stomped kicked...then he literally broke his neck in a work accident and I never left his side worked full time and was his only care giver for a month before we moved back home for help. I did anything and everything for him why do I love him. Now today after work I have been yelled at and called names cussed at and degraded in font of people. I feel as if I love him so much I want to hang on to every moment I have with him because I know I'll never be good enough for him so he will leave me enventually. That's so sad. God give me strength & courage.

June, 21 2016 at 8:56 pm

I am married to a firefighter. He's a hero. How can I leave him? He's been on the news. He's been promoted. He's perfect. Everyone worships him. It's me, I"m the one whose a "cheating whore" a "waste of a woman" a "piece of shi&" a "failure" a "loser" and apparently nothing more than good for a "F&^k". Yep, that's the life I lead with my wonderful hero husband. A man who has used me for sex so many times while he's been drunk I lost count. A man who goes to work and saves lives and then comes home and destroys them. A man who watches porn and denies it. Cheated and denied it. Then, years later, when I finally snapped and had a one night stand, went crazy, almost killed me, smashed everything I owned and tore it to pieces, played the innocent victim. FU world. I've had it with this phony cra*. People are so stupid. They have no clue what people are really going through. Even when you tell them. They make excuses. He's suffering from pressure at his hero job. Everything will be fine. Yep. Tell that to me when he has me in another choke hold. Okay. Yeah, I'll play the role. After all, who do we go to? More delusional idiots who think all firefigthers are heroes? Please. We are prisoners. There is no escape. Only death. And if we are lucky we will survive being wives of abusive fire heroes.

Why me
June, 18 2016 at 3:12 pm

He has been to jail for abusing me before , he put me in jail with false accusations which was dismissed , I have been to counseling for DV , we have a 3 yr old together and I have a 15 yr old son , today he choked me throw me into the way , threaten my son , said I was going back to jail , I don't know what to do, I'm scared , unsure , don't want to talk because I don't want him to find this. Now what I have no where to go

June, 17 2016 at 8:08 am

I am(was) in an abusive relationship. The reason I say am AND was is because I don't know what we are anymore. The disrespect has gotten to a level of him treating me like I am nothing! I kicked him out 2 months ago BUT I continue to let him manipulate me! EVERY time he needs something from me, I'm available to him. That's the only time he contacts me. We have a child together and he doesn't even contact me about her. I feel so drained and used. I was never this person before him. I WAS a strong woman that would never tolerate such behavior. The few people that I have in my life(I don't have any family) that knew me before him can't believe that I put up with this. Sometimes I don't even know how I got sucked into this life. He regularly tells me how I make his life miserable.. He can't go on like this.. He's done with me.. Etc etc. Yet as soon as I'm useful to him, that temporarily changes. I am bitter, resentful, hurt, angry towards him so I can't treat him with respect either. So it's ALWAYS an argument when I try to express my feelings! His famous lines are "here we go again" "all you wanna do is fight" EVERY time I try to express my feelings. No matter how respectful I approach him. It ALWAYS gets turned around how its ALL my fault! I own up to my mistakes. I apologize. Sometimes when I know I'm not wrong. He NEVER owns up to anything he does. He'll hit me and say I provoked it, because I have my nerve to ask him a simple question about something that bothers me. I thought relationships were supposed to be open communication. I listen to him and his concerns. I feel so lost! I think about my situation and the advice I'd give a friend if they were in my shoes. I know all the right things to say and do but I find it so hard for me to do it!! I feel so beat down. I know my couple friends I confide in are probably tired of the back and forth. Makes me feel so lonely and stupid. I work. Pay my own bills(although I do struggle as a single mother) but I make it happen FOR MY KIDS!! I have daughters and don't want them to learn from my behavior of staying that this is okay. I don't want to go through this anymore. Our relationship recently is just based on sex. Then I'm left feeling like I'm just a prostitute after(without the money part) I'm disrespecting myself. I was never like this. I have men pursue me often. I'm a nice person to everyone else but him. Even when I am nice to him. NOTHING is ever good enough to him. EVER! He is slowly driving me to a nervous breakdown. But I am allowing it. I know. Its just so hard to let it go. I don't know why. I feel like something is seriously wrong with me. Like all the negative stuff he says is true. I've never posted to anything like this, but I was abused last night. Emotionally and physically. I feel so lost today. It's a horrible cycle. I can't function in my regular life. At work. With my kids. All due to the stress this "relationship" causes me. I don't rely on him for finances are anything so I don't know why I can't just stop!! I will ignore him for days....Be okay. Then I guess I feel lonely or feel he is with someone else and that bothers me(I don't know why) So I give in to him. Then the cycle continues on. I'm happy away from him. But the thought of him being happy away from me hurts so much. I've given so much to this man. I feel robbed. I know I can never get any of my time back. But it hurts knowing the person I gave my all to,turned into this. The red flags were always there. I was just blind I guess.

June, 14 2016 at 2:29 pm

I 19 & ive been in my abusive relationship for a year now ive wrote this or said this out of my thoughts before so it hurts & feels good to vent at the same time..ive been physically,mentally,& emotionally abused the whole time..i think ive developed a severe anxiety disorder because when he begins to get angry with me i lock up & the abuse gets worse because im incapable at the moment..i realized i needed to leave months a go after he drug me around outside his house in the dirt & rocks & ripped all my clothes then recorded me & threatened to put it on social media..then told me to leave & refused to return my clothes then would beat me again if i did what he ordered..i am on probation & he pays fees i stay cause i love him & need him financially..but i can never do anything right i am repeatedly reminded of how i cant do anything i am hurting so much i really want to leave but i dont want to go to prison this is goin to kill me

June, 14 2016 at 1:03 pm

My partner blames me, yells at me and now recently threatens to hit me if I don't start listening to him which I do. I have to keep the doors locked n stay inside the house all the time because he thinks men will come knocking on the door n try rape me if I answer the door. He said I can leave if I'm trying to make him mad and not listening. His exact words were " if you're trying to make me hit you by making me mad before you leave, just leave I'm not going down that road to go and hit you." He's so manipulative then suddenly gets nice when he wants to leave n says I'm sorry for flipping out I just needed to have a cigarette it's these cravings that make me snap. Then a couple hours later he will bring up every mistake I've made during our 3 years together. He non stop complains once he gets started and it's unpredictable when he's gonna start an argument. Last week he complained for 5 hours straight and we both had headaches. He just doesn't know when to quit and I'm having a hard time leaving because when I ask family n friends for a ride they say I have no gas, no money or no driver. I can't just up n leave with my baby who is 19 months because we live an hour away from my hometown. And it's embarrassing to cause a scene in this small town if I were to call the cops for help but yeah safety first n who gives what they think.

June, 14 2016 at 11:40 am

My boyfriend verbally and mentally abuses me I'm the one providing and have been for a long time since we have been together we Now have a son he's 9mos old and we live on our own since then he has been so mean to me and talks down to me expects me to do everything for him except one thing he takes me to work because I don't drive but he complains about that also idk what to do I love him but I'm so depressed anymore

June, 13 2016 at 4:38 am

Im in so much need to leave but don't find the way how, he mentality abuses me. I can't take it anymore, he always throw things in my face do that I don't work but stay at home mother/wife. Always have something negative to say to me & about me, threats me to hit me & says I'm lucky to be a woman. I honestly don't see a way out, I'm also scared he might try to take our child do that he had previosly threatened to do so. What can I do with this situation?? I don't want to hurt him nor want him to go to jail I just want to leave with my son & live my life.. I don't mind him spending time with our son when I do leave this relationship.. Help please!!!

June, 11 2016 at 6:24 pm

I don't know what to do or how to explain it. I am in a abusive relationship physically and verbally. We been together for 6 years we have 3 kids together under the age of 2. Im afraid to go because I love him and hate to see him with someone else that he may treat her better. Also he refuses to leave my apartment he won't allow us to break up. He tells me he will never marry me, that I'm too fat to have sex with because I gained weight after our kids. he sleeps on the sofa he won't even touch me he cheats on me he hits me calls me dumb, fat and ugly But yet I'm afraid to leave him and he won't leave either. I'm some times afraid he'll snap and kill me. I don't know what to do because one side of me loves him and want us to work and one side wants him gone I don't understand it. The police don't help the dismiss every case. And even tho he isn't on my lease they say I have to file a eviction notice on him because he been staying with me for over 6 montbs. Every time I put him out he say he's going to change or kill himself with his family so I always give him another chance.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
June, 13 2016 at 7:54 am

The only thing I can tell you that you don't already know is that when he finds someone else (and it won't take long), from the outside looking in it will APPEAR that he treats her better than he treated you. That perspective will be a lie.
Just as some people can't believe he would hurt you, you will see the side of him those other people see now. He'll still be nasty to you, but he will be prepping his new girlfriend for serious abuse, just as you've suffered. He'll tell her all kinds of horrid lies about you. He'll make himself appear to her as the "good guy" and you as the bitch.
That is what will happen. My ex had a fiance who came to me about 18 months into the relationship with stories about him that I knew to be true. He'd done the same to me. She left him, and within a few weeks, he found another woman. They're married now.
I'm no fool. I know what she's going through.
This change has to come from inside of you. When you do go to evict him (or get a restraining order - in NC it's called an ex parte order when you live together), tell the judge that he's threatened to kill himself and his family. Abusers often claim they will kill themselves if the victim leaves. Yours seems more devious than that. Perhaps he's been learning how to be a better abuser in his free time. The threat seems contrived.
However, take every threat seriously. Change your locks, keep your windows locked, and take extra care for your and your children's safety when you get him the hell out of there.
I know you'll leave. I also know you'll see him treat the next woman kindly because that's what he wants you to see.

June, 10 2016 at 2:25 pm

My husband has became extremely abusive since May of last year. We had been married 3 years at that time with very few problems except minor arguments and normal marital problems. One night he got drunk and anally raped and choked me after he slammed my head in the wall. There have been 10 or more occasions like this, one was recently and I'm almost 3 months pregnant. I thought I had an exit plan by finding a home far away but he ended up being here anyway due to the fact that I had no help to move. He won't leave and he won't stop drinking. I'm terrified, but I don't know how to get rid of him. I refuse to leave my new home bc I'm on the lease and he's not. What can I do to legally get rid of him?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
June, 13 2016 at 8:26 am

Get a restraining order (RO). In North Carolina, there's a RO called an "ex parte order" for people living together. Check with your local domestic violence support network. There's one in our county courthouse that helps with things like this.
Contact the NDVH at if you can't find anyone to help. Or even if you can find someone to help. The NDVH is a great support hotline.
Make sure you tell about the rapes and beatings in your restraining order. Hold nothing back. Pregnancy is often a trigger for MORE abuse, so if you haven't told him yet, don't.

June, 7 2016 at 4:47 am

I am trying to muster up the courage to leave my husband. Some days I don't find him abusive, but most days I do, and I have had many many people tell me that he is. I figured I am just used to it and don't see it.
I am scared out of my pants to leave for fear that he will hurt himself, but I am miserable. it is not a good environment for our daughter either who is 9 months old and starting to realize what is going on now. I cry for her inside every day.
I hope I can get out of this without a scratch. He has threatened to hurt himself and ruin me financially, with friends and family as well.
Please send me prayers

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
June, 8 2016 at 6:43 am

Patricia Evans gives some great examples of abuse that you may not be seeing right now. Here's a link to a page that explains them: Know These Types of Abuse And Save Your Sanity.
Also, the day will come where you just can't stay. In the meantime, fill out this safety plan: Safety Planning (scroll to bottom of page to download for free).
Threats are lies. And if he does come through on any of them, you can handle it as it comes. You can't prevent someone from following through with a threat. All you can do is plan for your safety and take each day as it comes.

June, 6 2016 at 10:16 am

Iam and have been in a domestic violence the first it happen he thur a cup of hot coffee the second time he spit in my face the third he thur me down the basement stairs the fourth time he tried to break my arm and he chocked me I has him arrested for dv I went down and got a restraing order him he then and went and got one on me he lied to the judge I have gotten a lawyer he the filed for a divorce he wont help me with the bills I only have a part time job gonna have to cash in my 401k tell we sell the house iam having a hard time understanding why a man would do that to the women he loved for 35 years is it me he hates or himself please give me a answer so I may move on in my life

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
June, 7 2016 at 4:08 am

Your comment isn't clear on whether you've experienced abuse for 35 years or if the abuse recently began. I guess it really doesn't matter though. You're doing the right thing in leaving him.
Anyway, if the abuse has been ongoing for 35 years, then it's your typical domestic violence situation. If the abuse began recently, then you have to look for what changed. Generally, abuse begins after a life event (such as marriage, engagement, pregnancy/baby, moving in together, etc.), the abuser feels as if you're stuck with him and can't leave. Abuse can also begin after a brain-changing event such as traumatic brain injury or stroke.
Your question, does he hate you or himself, isn't the right question. He probably doesn't hate either of you (but he doesn't love you or himself either). Abuse isn't about love and hate. It's about control. He wants to control you, and he chooses to try to control you through fear. That is the answer to any question concerning "WHY?" when it comes to abuse. Why? The abuser wants to control you. Period.

June, 4 2016 at 2:49 am

I need some help

June, 3 2016 at 7:14 pm

I am ready to go. But we're on the lease together and the landlord won't let me transfer over to my own place until its up. So I have to wait it out BC if I go else where he will leave and the lease will be broken anyway or he won't pay his part of the rent and we'll get evicted and I don't want to make a bad decision that will follow me around.
So 3 more months. It's soooo hard BC he's doing the silent treatment right now and it's draining me.
The good news is that I'm finally ready to go. I still have fear which is what kept me here but my faith is stronger now and I believe the Lord has a better path for me from the desires and thoughts He's been blessing me with. I trust Him completely and now know that I've been struggling in this emotionally, verbally, financially abusive relationship to numb the pain of any struggles I must deal with in my new journey.
I am so psyched that I have to keep reminding myself that I haven't left him yet! It feels like I've already packed up and left, but I have not and will not tell him until I'm out the door. I've known him well enough in this 5 year relationship to know that he will sabotage, fake kindness, and use my decision to leave against me in the future. He abuses the upper hand.

June, 3 2016 at 4:26 am

I asked my husband to leave last July, yet he is still in my life and do not know how to end it . after 15 years and three daughter's together i can honestly say i have been brainwashed. I feel guilty and depressed all the time! He comes to see our girls but asks them to go play or tidy there rooms so he can be alone with me. He trys to kiss me and touch me when i say no he gets angry and says horrible things so i do it to keep the peace. He has moved 5 mine away from my home and always drives past to see if i am in. He rings my work to make sure i am there, he always does it in "my best interest" most people think he is lovely. I just cant cope and do not know what to do! I taken a month on the sick but he came round more, i f i ask him to stay away he twist everything so everyone hates me, he even started to talk to other parents at the school saying how much he loves me i am his world, but i want my freedom and go out partying! Which is all lies but he is so good i struggle with whats real and whats not . what can i do????

C Yazzie
June, 2 2016 at 3:16 pm

I'm in an abusive relationship. More emotional than physical. A lot of insecurity& doubt between the both of us. I want to leave but half of me wants to stay. What to do? Help!

June, 2 2016 at 2:19 pm

I am 28 and have live in my boyfriends house with our 2 year old son. I don't make enough money to support my son and myself so I feel stuck. The verbal abuse had now escalated to physical abuse. I've been hit, punched, kicked, been thrown into things and had things thrown at me. I don't know how to get out!

May, 31 2016 at 3:49 am

I am currently in a abusive relationship. I lost most of my friends, my kids as my ex husband is afraid of kids getting hurt. Ended up in hospital 2 months ago because of concussion and broken lip after a fight. I nee to get out. I am supporting him financially and I am worried what will happen to him when I leave? I dont know what to do. I feel so alone.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
June, 2 2016 at 2:10 pm

Why would you worry about how he'll fare when you leave when he doesn't care how you fare while you stay? He'll figure it out. It sounds like you could end up dead.

May, 30 2016 at 7:19 pm

I haven't left. I keep telling myself I need to just go and be alone. But we have a small child. And I'd have no where to go. I keep telling him he can keep our son until I get mylife figured out but he just gets depressed and crus and makes me feel terrible. I suffer from depression and it just makes the whole situation.someone help me. What am I supposed to do. How am I supposed to just leave.

Kim B
May, 28 2016 at 12:51 pm

I am older (senior citizen) met a man that had been married for 33 plus years, and thought that with him having one marriage and keeping it intact for that long of period time that he may be a good potential boyfriend (future husband). Was I ever wrong? Yes. I now have found myself in a mentally abusive situation, and having been seeing him for 1 1/2 years with most of that living together, I find that even though I have been mentally abused, I still long to make up with him, even though I know that when we lived together each day was filled with a high level of mental abuse to me. I began to not even know myself anymore, not putting up any fight, but just waiting and hoping that it would pass, just to see it would be back in no time the same day..... I wonder about myself anymore, that I would rather settle for such an unhappy existence, than to get out when the getting is good. We just split up this week, and I am trying my best not to end up texting or calling him. This is why I am on this site, to educate myself to be strong to not do that. I am sad that I have reduced myself to wanting so little in life just to not move on.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
May, 30 2016 at 10:51 am

You're in good company here. Most people who leave abuse long to reunite - to make things right. It's because, in part, the abuser wants us to feel worthless. When the abuser isn't present, those worthless, beat-myself-up feelings don't go with them. When you feel like texting or calling him, get on the phone or chat with the volunteers at the NDVH - That will help keep you strong. In fact, replace his number on your phone with the NDVH's number.
I also used to text "the universe" instead of my ex. I think I used 1-800-800-8000. It was an unused/unanswered number. I sent all kinds of texts, prayers, hate mail to my abuser, and of course, the "I wish we could fix this" messages too. Point is - let those feelings and thoughts out somewhere. But not to him. He doesn't give a crap and if he were to listen it would be to use it against you in the future.
Hang in there. You aren't alone.

Jo Anna
May, 23 2016 at 3:39 pm

I have been in a relationship for 15 years, which started out fun, and has become my prison.
I don't even want to put out my real email or name, for I fear that I will be hurt.
Ladies/gentlemen, if you feel that you are getting trapped, you are. The walls are slowly being built around you, until one day, you realize that leaving may mean physical harm.
Get out. I don't know how anymore without being hurt.

Cassandra Lowe
May, 21 2016 at 3:08 pm

I've been married for my husband for 15 years. I think I must of been blind to the abuse. I do know after we married he would pinch my nipples.. I would tell him to stop, he would get mad at me. I use have my hair short, when I would get it cut he would say I look like a lesbein. Move to present time. He will start fights and say I'm not trying to fix our marriage and everything I say revolves around me. But he ignores me calls me and our daughters names. I know everything he does is abuse. But where do I start? How do I get the money. I'm so hurt and confused.

Rochelle Haverland
May, 21 2016 at 5:50 am

My husband and I have been married for over 10 years and he was verbal abusive then it went to him pushing me and breaking stuff around the house including punching holes in the walls. I would get them fixed and he punch more holes.
Well a week and a half ago I had to leave him he destroyed all of my antique lamps in this one room along with my jewelry being left on the floor. I do know how I will get back in the home and right now he is not working full time. I know I do not want to live that way anymore. I have been living in my car and at my office and they have a place I can take a shower. I could only take a few items with me so I am thinking God is teaching me how to do with a lot less in my life right now. Is there any hope for me.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
May, 23 2016 at 3:53 am

Learning to do with a lot less is one way you could look at the situation. But perhaps the lesson is how to stand up and figure out what you need to do to either get back into your house (without him there) or into a new place with what you've left at the house. Fortune favors the brave, and you're obviously a brave soul to live in your car. So finish this.

Morning Misty
May, 16 2016 at 2:46 pm

I just hope I can get out. It doesn't feel like I will ever make it. What's wrong with me? I feel nothing and am totally detached. I just kind of float around all the time and can't work up enough energy to make any real changes. At the same time I think about leaving all day long. Not sure what to do to get out of the fog.

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