Many times, a woman who is in an abusive or unhealthy relationship may not even realize that she is actually in one, at least not for a while. Family, friends and coworkers will probably realize it first. Denial that your partner is behaving this way can last a long time. Then something happens and you know that your relationship is not at all what you thought it actually was. You begin to feel the fear of being around him even when he is not there.
If you are a woman who is being abused verbally by hateful, mean or coercive words, are being physically beaten or hit, purposely kept financially broke so that you cannot go anywhere and are trapped at home and or sexually hurt, this behavior will only become worse over time. More and more power and control over most aspects of your life will make it so that this abuse will strengthen and escalate more often.
You may not be showing scars on the outside but there surely are ones on the inside. They come in the form of emotional pain such as helplessness and blaming yourself that decreases your self esteem rapidly into depression, low self worth and confusion. Being ashamed is a terrible feeling. You are not at fault for the horrible acts of another. It is your partner, not you.
How to Leave an Abusive or Unhealthy Relationship
When planning to leave an abusive or unhealthy relationship, planning the departure is the most single thing that you can do to make it successful. Make a list of everything that you will need to do to make the move as easily as possible for your children and you. These are really important things to do, especially if you are fearful.
- Document the abuse through pictures, phone recordings, videos, a daily diary and anything else you can think of.
- Save every penny you can get your hands on. Try to figure out the minimum amount needed for your children and you to be able to live on for a certain amount of time.
- Open a safety deposit box and begin putting all of these documents, other important papers and money in it. Update and add documents to your safety deposit box weekly. Make this a mandatory habit.
- Begin stock piling clothing at a friend’s or family member’s house. Protect yourself and your children as much as possible.
- Close old checking accounts and credit cards that your partner has access too. He will be less likely to be able to track you down.
- Get a P.O. box and have all bills sent to it.
- Change your cell number.
- Find a safe place to live. Research places that your children and you can stay. Have this issue settled before you leave. According to the MayoClinic.com, a woman’s shelter is a very safe place. Your abuser will not have access to it, especially if he is violent. If this is not an option, then stay with a family member or a friend that your partner is not very acquainted with and one that is a good distance away.
- Talk to someone. Visiting a therapist to help with all of these issues can increase your coping skills to where you can deal with your situation much better. If this is not possible, talk with a trusted friend or family member. At the very least, tell a friend that you are being abused. This is a good idea for safety measures, especially if the abuse is physically violent. You will feel so much stronger when you can verbally vent.
Abuse is a horrific behavior that no woman should have to endure. For the sake of your children and you, become proactive, plan your escape and get out into a safe environment where you can be live the life you deserve.