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, May 28 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

Karen Blanco
January, 22 2014 at 7:04 pm

Thank you!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 23 2018 at 7:49 pm

I cannot reiterate that sentiment enough . 'Thank you' seems ,in some ways, too little for me to say. This is Not to denigrate Karen - far from it. I thank You Karen, for your post. This is the first site (of many), which makes absolute sense to me. It takes the blame Off me for staying in an abusive relationship! Everything is starting to explore. Gaslighting, Yes; brainwashing, Yes. I'll continue to read,and post again, but meantime, may I applaud anyone who is in an abusive relationship,and trying to make sense of it. I've spent 16 years doing this and finally, there is enlightenment. Congratulations,and as Karen said - Thanks.

July, 23 2018 at 1:59 pm

I am in a relationship for 6.5 years and I have a 5 year old child and 2 sons from a previous marriage....I live with an abusive man who belittle me every chance he gets.i am never right no matter what....he controls me to the point of telling me what colour lipstick I should wear.He also tells me what to wear...I have finally come to the realisation that I want out,but we have a child together and his telling me he will never allow me to have custody of the child,because I came from an physical abusive marriage,he calls me names and we happy one day and sad the next I never know what will trigger him.He is a successful insurance manager and thinks everything is about money.....I pray for strength

October, 17 2018 at 1:12 pm

I’m there with you. My baby is 4-1/2 months old and I’m just realizing how emotionally/verbally abusive my husband is. I’m terrified to take the next step because I’m afraid he will try and take my baby. Ive been with him 18 years. I love him but now I think that’s just not enough. I never know what triggers him either. I can say the same exactly thing to him one day and he is fine and the other day he will fly off the handle. It’s just so inconsistent and not at all what I want for my baby. I don’t want her to grow up to think it’s ok to treat others this way or to have other treat her this way. I used to be a strong I dependent woman.

December, 13 2018 at 7:23 pm

I’ve heard many times Love comes when we are not looking for it, & this isn’t something I personally gave much thought to. But strength, confidence, happiness, courage , peace they all have a foundation or connection to Love, When I found Strength rather it found me & I just built on it no matter how easy or hard or everything was at some point in my day I would add more some days it was just a sprinkle that took all my effort (like 2day)& I did it for me bc strength was/is something I desperately needed/need . It started with a prayer but I realized that my brain also needed visuals/actions for a bigger impact. And I wld do tiny things every day or add something positive to better my over all well being & it’s been 3 years I am still with my partner IDK how much has changed w/him but bc I slowly stopped focusing so much on trying to fix, deal, or find the strength to live with him or without but the strength to be a better me it has grown from nothing to something. I still deal eset backs , issues , heartache but there is a solid piece of strength/courage/confidence that him nor anyone else can take away ever again & I know eventually I will have the life I deserve. And the best part is I started seeing how this tiny flake of strength (many things I was lacking) I prayed for 3 yrs ago grew so much that I noticed the difference in how others treated me & spoke with more respect, & I definitely see a shift in him. I suppose the biggest lesson for me was how can I save a sinking ship (did/do I want to) when I cld barley stay a float . It’s hard & the struggle can last for days but I hold on tightly to what I’ve gained & I still add something everyday to maintain,& work towards building myself, it seems selfish bc our kids need us, work, family, friends but You are allowed to be selfish Specially if your life depends on it ppl will talk but those who love you will understand & others doesn’t matter right now. I commented bc your words looked as if I were reading my own & I felt a sense of familiar sadness . I’m not good with emotions, or expressing myself clearly & I hope you find a bit of comfort & know that you will find a way or answer to happiness. Prayer and Read Read Read & READ to find inspiration & information that may to help you in any way . Reading books posts blogs & every how to on Pinterest helped me so much . Your post shifted my energy after a long day UGH ..... So thank you for sharing I have a tendency to think only a friend or activity is my only outlet to shift a bad day but you never know what may Read that will loosen the the tight grips of over whelming emotions of living with a toxic relationship.

December, 28 2018 at 4:15 am

I'm constantly told by an ever revolving door of supportive then non supportive friends and family that I'm weak, that I have zero self respect or understanding of how pathetic I look remaining in such a controlling, sickeningly abusive relationship. By chance reading this I feel hope I can eventually gather my strength and leave to never return. That now is a possibility.
During the abuse the most support,kindness,understanding and validation has always come from complete strangers,never someone close. That disturbs me more than the abuse.

December, 15 2018 at 4:38 pm

It seems like my boyfriend is up and down the alcohol he drinks beer every day that I've known him he has high blood pressure he's had a stroke ever since the stroke in his brain he's been different he has a temper worse than he did before he won't get back on his medication for his heart blood pressure. It seems like he's up and down he calls me so many bad babes I can't believe I have no car I have a dog I don't have a job because I don't have a car I don't know what to do I feel like a prostitute in feel like he's a pimp it when I work he takes the money's I hardly ever get money he used to be such a good guy what day is happy one day he said but it seems like he says he hates me to get out of his life and then he loves me the next day he's never really hippie physical the only physical might be a push you know or something like that but it's more emotionally verbally mentally bipolar of side of called at PTSD but what he does is making it worse I'm too I feel like I'm dead inside I've never dated anybody this bad to me he used to be a good person we've only been together a year and a half I don't have anywhere to go I have a dog I can't go to shelter in about going to a shelter because I want my life to be like it was I've never witnessed some of my life I'm thankful I have no kids. I don't know what to do but cry and pray but it seems like it's not working anymore and I know God loves me why am I being punished what is he what is he acts like this for I wish you could just get something to calm him down every day he drinks every day did he says it's for his stress why can't you just go to the doctor they get some help some type of tissue to call the police but I don't want to the car is it by Dave wassel and if I was to call the police they would probably take the car we stay at a hotel he tells me if I don't work I need to get out I work and he works sometimes we work when we can we do labor work that's not work everyday I'm trying to get a permanent job he's on disability bad ways to die but I'll keep trying to get it I don't know what to do I'm so abused mentally I feel like I'm dying what do I do if there's nowhere to go I have no family

January, 12 2019 at 1:35 pm

Jolene, I am in a similar situation. I did leave to heal from major surgery and he threatened to move to the town I was living in, take my son away...etc so I felt I was left with no choice but to return and I feel sick about it. Everyhing I say and do is wrong. In his eyes, he does everything and I do nothing other than sit on my ass and care for our newborn. He has anger management issues but blows them off like they are just him having a bad day. Bullshit. He is very OCD and so everything has to be a certain way or he starts in on the belittling and the digging.

April, 1 2019 at 1:33 am

Sarah, my husband is the same. Major OCD. Major anger issues. It's very hard. It is like an everyday thing. I want to leave but I am scared to rock the boat

December, 12 2018 at 3:15 pm

I just read your encouragement to Karen I believe. I was finally discarded by a female of 27 years of which 2 years we were married grade school teacher if you can believe that. It's been 3 months and absolute no contact all blocked as well. I want to share this with you and anyone else. After weeks of sharing with God I was totally list in life and that I knew I would not make it unless he gave me strength to go on and that I knew for certain I did not at all understand my life of 27 years etc. One day while I was sitting and spaced out should I say I was for certain out of no where to get up and search personality disorders. Well guess what the second one was an absolute lightning rod hit. Absolutely I was abused by a high intense toxic NARCISSIST. I wss the perfect fuel candidate broken down and off the squirrel cage action. All used up and tired. Trana ond and I was worked down to a weak codependent and the beat went on. No human being should be allowed to treat anyone in this manner. I have successfully managed my life long depression but... now I am seeing a psychologist and after total clarity dismayed to put it lightly and trying to pick up some pieces. I feel being able to be a part of a group session healing from the NARC would be beneficial and I could actually see and listen to others like myself. There are for certain no NARC recovery sessions in the state of Indiana. Thank you for listening my best to everyone please.

March, 21 2019 at 2:03 am

i been with my abuser for 13 year with an 18 and 8 year old im trying to stay away from him now ...he has went as far as turning my mother whom also abused me and let my step father abuse me ..we had just got on specking terms trying to fix things no one will talk to me hes turned evryone but my grandmaw away so i stay with her whom is also abusive but no where near as bad ...he is a narcissist socoicpath and no one thinks the things i say happen are true it is so hard he mad me believe i was going crazy i left once before and my dumb ass went back but this time it was worse ive lost everything including my mind i feel like i act like him like ive become him but not as bad and not to everyone just him and anyone that cause me a lier about him he would lie on facebook about me to get into other girls pants he is seeing my bestfriend now whom always knew what he was doing to me then all the sudden she turned on me calling me selfish and before that he was seeing my x bestfriend who slept with my x husben along with all my x boyfriends she even comeout and said years ago she was sorry for being a bad friend now she thinks im the worse person in the world everyone says im selfish and all about myself and now im starting to wonder if ive become him

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 10 2018 at 12:53 am

Thank you for this... I’m on the verge of leaving after 27 years yes 27 years of my life wrapped up in abuse. Not easy , no emotions left, planning stage trying to be very organized.. no where to go, no family, kids grown but he will harass them if they help me. Ready to go far away to stay safe. He will hurt me badly this time. Thank you for your info.

fiona jack
June, 25 2018 at 9:11 pm

I don't know why I have to be abused but I can't leave him.I love him unconditional,

July, 10 2018 at 12:42 am

You love him but he doesn’t love u. Don’t be naive. Get out, get over that thought. Someone who loves u won’t hurt u. #period.

August, 23 2018 at 3:28 pm

Your supposed to love your kids unconditionally not him, that is his parents job and looks like they failed.

September, 17 2018 at 5:09 pm

There is nothing to love about him. He is an empty soulless shell. Don’t let him turn you into one too.

November, 29 2018 at 3:32 pm

This was my situation, I thought I loved my wife unconditionally. I've left my abusive wife 2 times. In therapy I leaned the unconditional love is not love at all. It's an addiction to the abuse called a Trauma Bond. My brain feels so good when the abuse stops it feels like I love her so much for that brief kindness followed by a calm. The most painful part of leaving is when you stop lying to yourself and stop making excuses for their behavior. Took professional help for me to do that, 18 years of conditioning. If you're enduring abuse out love it may not be love you are feeling.

November, 30 2018 at 11:43 pm

Hi Chris: Thank you for sharing your story and explaining this. The trauma bond is so important, but I feel it isn't well known. You had such a beautiful way of describing what happened and I know that others will benefit from the way you explained what happened to you. -Kristen

December, 12 2018 at 3:26 pm

You are exactly so correct and kind to post this information. I lost 27 years to this nonsense abuse only been out and totally awake 3 months. Lots of wisdom in you post. Best wishes to all victims never again will i be fooled.

December, 12 2018 at 3:22 pm

Fiona you mean less than nothing to him
Narcs only view people as things that they place into different boxes for future fuel and use. NARC is a first cousin to a Psychopath in medical terms. I just spent and lost 37 years of my life now I'm gone and blocked its been 3 months. These people will suck a person dry without even looking back. Get help and get out

December, 29 2018 at 1:49 pm

This is me! I feel like one of those girls that not only is emotional abused by physically and when someone say why do you stay i say because i love him. My husband doesn't physically abuse me but at time i feel he might as well. sometimes i tell my self i wish it was physical cause my wounds would heal, that the non physical abuse hurts a million times more. So much if not all of the things this page has said is so true. every supportive word or reasons why or why i cant leave is all true but i want to leave i think about it so much but i cant maybe im not ready but i want to be ready. what i dont understand is that their is nothing anyone can say about me or my children of why i need to or have to leave that i dont out loud say to myself. i know all the reasons why i have to leave and i think i have a pretty good idea of why i stay but for the life of me and my children i cant leave. I have drawn divorce papers up and tried to use it against him to change but i lost as all other things i have tried he never chooses me. he actually signed them and drove with me to court house to officially file them and i found my self choking every word out in tears at the counter with the clerk as she processed them hoping that standing their with him would open his eyes, but we all know that will never happen! did all that to never follow through with it stupid me i know.
My point is i know right from wrong i know my main job is to protect my children and i deserve to be happy i know that he will never change, i know that it will only get worse maybe even physical or even worse, sometime i even sit and think that my kids are what keeps me from wanting the pain to stop so bad that suicide comes to mind just to stop the pain but i tell myself i would never leave my kids.i think that im a horrible broken person just to think about it. am i suicidal i want to say no because i love my kids to much to leave them alone, but am i ? l yeah i know what your thinking but "ill let my kids suffer instead" sometimes i feel like im the one that has something wrong with them, who am i kidding i know i do.
My point im trying to make is why cant i leave when i know all that i know and feel all that i feel and see all that see. I have been repeatedly lied to, cheated on and have had my home taken slept in my car one night cause i was homeless had to have my kids to stay at my mothers for 6 months while i struggled to find us a home and yes that tore my children apart and myself. i have lost my family that was always their but have now turned their backs. I have thought that my love was stronger than any drug he always chose over me. the stealing the he can never keep a job and so much more but to him its all my fault one way or another he turns it all on me. he has seen so many of my tears, and pleas that i know they are just a bother to him like hear we go again. i have been manipulated. Sometimes i even ask my self maybe i didnt really see or hear that, when he looks me in my face and denies what im confronting him about i could have the proof in my hands and he will still try to manipulate my black and white evidence, maybe it is really my fault he treats me this was actually i know it is my fault because i let him, why? just to go through it all again with him. I know my kids and self would be much happier and healthier living in some crappy little shack struggling to get by without the pain he causes, so why am i still here!

July, 29 2018 at 7:15 am

Hi I feel for you I Truly do and pray the best for you in your new life I am in the same situation as you, after 19 years of marriage (first) and I promised God i would never leave and he knows this so he takes advantage of that I think but I am ready to leave and see what a real life feels like, I was a foster child so no family, I don't have friends, well 1 but lives in New Mexico, I do have 3 kids but live to far away and I have Anxiety so afraid to drive in unfamiliar areas I have a business but would need a huge truck to pack up and leave plus no strength to lift all the boxes up and down 2 flights of stairs because of degenerate disk disease so I feel stuck, my business requires a computer so never learned how to fix things on it or how to set it up, there are cameras outside the house so he would know when I leave, luckily though he drives truck for a living but he can be home withing 8 hours and would have to find a place that accepts pets as he brought home a German Shepperd plus we already had a German Shepperd and I have a cat, I have a fear he will harm them if I leave them behind, He has called me every name in the book and says I am the way I am because of my F--- up life, I am a nut case a lunatic mental etc Oh and the big one I am a Fat F---ing Slob, I can rarely do anything right in his eyes. I think the first thing i need to do is start getting Organized my self, I was going to say how but because my husband knows computers very well he will most likely read this message so will try to figure out how to get to the History and delete this message, I wish there was somehow we could talk because I really need a friend who understands the hurt we all face

Sue reilly
July, 29 2018 at 2:37 pm

Hi Rose, you are not alone , I’m been marriage for 30 years and 15 years] go last he became a drug user and abuiser , I loss my 2 daughters respect and grand children all because I wasn’t aware what abuise was and when it started I just had an Annersyum operation , then many illness that followed I do have degenerate back disease ,to I just about can walk, 26 surgeries on my hands plastic joint keep breaking them. I’m stuck with absolutely no one , how do Ipack up and leave and get some where so I stay and let my self feel less than because I know it’s wrong. . I ended up with ptsd , no children and grandchildren you can’t imagine the pain and loneliness I feel on mother’s day holidays, I pray that I will die soon. This fate of living with mental and verbal abuise There are times I wish he would die , maybe prison is the answer . I do know how you feel not many people can understand why do you stay with a person you longer love , I just pray to die early yes we need friends who are in the same place we need comfort .

Sue reilly
February, 10 2019 at 5:05 pm

Nothing has changed holidays go by alone , sitting in a room no one talking, why don’t I leave where do I go , I have absolutely no one just one answer I’ve prayed and prayed to raise two daughter and their children to chastised because I didn’t know what abuise was or a person using drugs. It’s 30 yr and I get get rent money . I can’t to even look at him I need help because I’m sick for living like this and torturing my self over and over again what I’ve lost.. I wish we could help so many people understand the signs of abuiser and mental .abuise. Believe it or not many clinics for us maybe we should fund out why . I’ve paid my whole life gave my whole life to my family to be thrown away like trash all because I was ignorant to drugs and abuise.

Fionnaidh Halloran
October, 9 2018 at 8:05 am

Hi Rose, your story struck a chord with me as our circumstances are so similar. I also have DDD, 3 dogs and a parrot, he's threatened to Popeye (his and his brothers term for shoot) all of them at one stage. I still find it hard to accept i am being abused, more verbally than physically but he has hurt me in the past, plus threatens how easy he could in the future. I'm going to see my doctor this afternoon, i pray that i can actually get the words out this time and not use my health issues as the reason I'm there. We're in a 'quiet' time jyst now, but i'm so anxious cos all the little signs are there that he's ready to rare up! Constant sniping then trying to make it out that I'm the one angling for a fight. He's starting to intimate that I'm the abusive one and i hit him!! He's 15 1/2 stone and 5ft 10inches.
I wish you all the strength in the world in whatever you choose to do. I feel more empowered by reading other peoples stories, that I'm not alone. I've also started picturing myself in my own place, the powers of attraction, ?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 23 2018 at 9:26 pm

Im soo glad i found this page! I have no one or no friends to talk to anymore its good to not feel alone and not think im crazy. I have a question though i have money saved up to leave me bf and im currently looking. But i cant help but feel guilty for wanting to leave him but i know i cant stay. I feel stupid for feeling bad but i cant help it but i know i cant stay is this normal?

Fionnaidh Halloran
October, 9 2018 at 8:16 am

Hi Candace, i too have nowhere to go to. My parents are elderly, my dad is my mum's carer, so i cant put this on them. My daughter would be easily found too. I am saving money too, i have said out loud to myself, that i want out, i am no longer willing to be treated so badly anymore but the guilt IS horrendous(we're actually in a 'quiet' spell just now). I'm finding that by remembering what he's said or done strengthens my resolve that bit more, but im not saying its making the decision easy. I've found out through self reflection that i am a people pleaser. I like helping people, i don't like to rock the boat and will do any thing to avoid confronation.
Stay strong and try and find someone from your local womens aid/shelter who can give you concrete advice. The more information we have the stronger we become. Is è ar n-am anois (Scots Gaidhlig fir 'our time is now '

October, 16 2018 at 12:45 pm

I am also glad i found this website. Again last week was about the 40th time with the verbal abuse, being in a relationship for 13 years with my bf and i keep putting up w/his sh**. I too seem to feel "guilty" to leave him, probably because he keeps telling me we have been together *that long* and its crazy to just end a relationship for being together so long. I too know i can't stay, and i feel the same way. I am hoping soon, that i have the strength to just say * I am done* and not listen to his his words about how he is sorry for the umpteenth time, and how he will never call me names again. I know that will never change, and yes i am waiting for the next attack of verbal abuse, because he won't change. I just want to be the strong one and say * I am done * and really just tell him to leave and move out and move on. I pray to God every day about this, yet i am the one who needs to be the strong one and stick to my words.

November, 7 2018 at 8:31 am

Hi, I have been married to my husband for 14 years. Endless amounts of verbal abuse with a little bit of physical theown into the mix when I REALLY piss him off. I have 4 kids between ages 6-13, and 2 dogs. I went out with a friend last month and stayed out "too late", he had me by my throat up against the wall in our room. I took the kids and left that night. We came back the next morning to grab some of our belongings and had another major fight. He said if you leave I will kill myself. I said whatever (he's said that before), and continued going about my business. I went out to the garage to smoke a cigarette, and found him dangling from the rafters. He had hung himself with one of his belts! I started screaming, the kids witnessed it all. I got him cut down and he did survive. He had what looked like bad hickey marks around his neck. Scariest moment of my life. His family and I had an intervention with him. But he refuses to go to therapy or talk to a doctor about anything! The verbal abuse isn't as bad, but it's still there. I feel like a bystander in my own life just waiting for the moment it gets bad again. But where do I go? What do I do? I have ONE friend. I literally have no family aside from his. Mom, dad, grandparents, all deceased. I feel guilty for even thinking about leaving now, and I do love him, but what about me and my feelings.

December, 12 2018 at 3:31 pm

Perhaps you will read my posts I plac ed here today. You are only fooling yourself and have become codependent and you have a trans bond. This is reality I lost 27 years and she is a 5th grade teacher if you can believe that. Take care of YOU no one else will.

November, 29 2018 at 4:03 pm

Hi Candice,
Yes that is very normal. All abuse survivors know exactly what you describe. One way a abuser makes you stay is by making you feel guilty for wanting end the relationship. I've been been there. This my experience. The guilt you feel comes from grieving process, a process you may be suppressing. You're staying in a relationship that is already over for you. But because you don't leave, and there are other thing that make leaving hard you to leave. You feel like you're lying all the time.
In my case trauma bond. Fear of what she might do if I try to leave. Fear I might lose my kids. So much fear. Then on top of social constructs of marriage. Vows until death do us part. The abuse also keeps me there. The guilt leveled on me. "Why are you doing this to the kids". So much guilt leveled on me. The attacks at my confidence and the financial abuse. Make it really hard to leave. I did though. I left, my daughter just gave me the biggest hug. She never said a word. She didn't even tell her mom I had left. She knows. They've seen it so often. I'm out 4 day now. It's hard you will feel that guilt. But it's not about you bf, it's about you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 16 2019 at 2:44 am

Im in mexico because i followed my babies dad down here with our five year old son. I fell into his trap and feel like hes going to kill me so he can stay with our son.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 24 2019 at 1:41 pm

Very good to read

Sharon Blanchard
January, 27 2014 at 4:10 pm

If only I had known some of theses facts years ago, I would have been more prepared for today.Narcs are silent killers and get away with abuse and destroy lives.

February, 16 2014 at 11:40 am

I really needed to read this article. I'm so confused, because on one level I know what my husband does is abusive...but on another level I think I'm wrong and just expect unreasonable things from him.
To me, this is my first step - to try and regain a grasp of reality. Thank you.

February, 21 2014 at 9:30 am

What r the coping strategies for a woman in her golden years, not plsnning to divorce, other options, married to a narcissist controlling, angry,verbally abusive man for 25+years.he keeps me away from his children, had long vacations alone.
No love, caring or empathy for me, feel abonded despite me meeting all his needs and living him.

March, 4 2014 at 1:46 pm

Thank you for this blog. It will help me to help others going through abusive relationships. Many of them are so blinded by the abuse. They believe their spouse will eventually change. Again, thank you.

March, 4 2014 at 1:54 pm

Have you ever wondered why we have been in so many relationships to find that they did not work? We have spent countless years with this person trying to make it work. Have you ever wondered why we stayed in these relationships as long as we did? Have you ever wondered why we have attached ourselves to people who did not have our best interest at heart? Maybe we have become a “broken rib” and need healing from within and without as we share our journey from hurt, pain, guilt and remorse to wellness, forgiveness, happiness, joy and strength.

Jennifer Hernandez
March, 22 2014 at 1:00 am

Thank you so much for this information. For almost a year, I was taken into a place that was so unfamiliar. He only made me feel good before and during sex. More than ever, our fights and arguments has turned from bad to worse and very ugly. I refused to accept the negative adjectives he uses to describe me. The accusations he has made about my character are wrong. I can't believe that ihave fallen for someone so evil. I ccant believ that there are actually people like him on earth.. Thank you for giving me the courage to pack my bags and leave.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 18 2018 at 12:02 am

I am in the same boat. I need to leave but just haven’t. What made you finally leave and how did you do it?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 13 2018 at 7:48 pm

I am going through the same thing for 16 yrs now. I want to leave but I am scared. How did you do it?

Angela McLaurin
March, 25 2014 at 8:45 am

You can't believe in yourself because they have you convinced that you can't make it without them . you feel alone and scared for your life.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 10 2018 at 6:32 am

You're so right hun, my abuser does the same thing, I suffer with servere mental health and have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorders, anxiety, avoidant personality etc. Because I don't have any family he convinces me I will not survive without him, if I can survive his abuse for 13yrs. I'm sure I can live the rest of my life without him x

May, 17 2014 at 4:19 pm

I feel like this is the first time someone's really given me legit advice on my situation. I get so tired of hearing people say things like " just leave him, your better than that"... all that stuff. It never helps. Thank you for being the first person to understand my situation, just to read this article has helped in so many ways. Thank you for being real.

June, 5 2014 at 12:42 am

Thank you. The ideas that you have shared are very empowering.

June, 9 2014 at 8:47 pm

"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."
This is sooooooo true. I can't tell my partner anything about my past, desires, frustrations, bad days at work, anything. Anything I say can and will be used against me when she feels like it.
And, a source of frustration for me right now ...
And the bit about isolation is so true too. Whenever I see my family, there's a debt that's hard to pay. But I have decided to try to stay connected with family. I would add friends, but I really don't have any right now.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 26 2018 at 9:28 am

Hi. You can be my freind. My situation is like yours

evelyn brandt
July, 16 2014 at 2:26 pm

I feel I am to old to leave my husband and I do not know how to be alone.

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