Ways & How

How to Get Out of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

How to Get Out of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

The following tips on how to get out of an emotionally abusive relationship are often difficult to propose and to pull off. Many men and women in abusive relationships have trouble getting out primarily because the abuse has programmed them to be dependent on their abusers for sustenance, affirmation or support. This is what makes the abuse so sick: The more the abuser succeeds in mistreating the victim, the more subdued and unable to think for himself or herself the latter becomes. Sometimes it takes another person to pull the victim out of the situation. On rare occasions, the victim finally realizes what is happening and seemingly awakens from a stupor. When this happens, the exit strategy has to be carefully planned and carried out so as to ensure a successful escape. Failure is seldom an option. The following tips may help.

  1. Seek help from a trusted friend, a family member, or a support network in your church or another group. This may be difficult as an abusive partner is usually very skilled at convincing the victim of his or her helplessness.

    Furthermore, the victim is usually the last person to recognize the abuse. Chances are that close friends and relatives have already shown concern. The victim feels misunderstood and maligned and withdraws from well-meaning people, thus becoming isolated and more dependent on the abuser. If this is true of you, learn to overcome the mind control that the abuser has forced onto you, and reach out to the people you used to trust.

  2. Be shrewd and prepared. Leaving any relationship is difficult, but an abusive one requires extra precautions. Start putting money away in a secret bank account or with a trusted friend; keep it out of the house in case you need to leave in a hurry and don’t have the time to retrieve your belongings. Secure important documents and records such as birth and insurance certificates, health and Social Security cards, financial records, property and vehicle titles, licenses and registrations. If photos and memorabilia are important to you, slowly stash them away in a safe place in small increments; do the same with clothing and valuable items. Always have a backup story should your partner notice missing items and start looking for them.

  3. Find a place to stay. The farther you can go, the better. Inform your confidante of this place and let him or her keep the key. Slowly transfer your belongings there over time so that, when you do leave, there will be a place ready for you. Get well acquainted with the neighborhood so that you know its ins and outs and don’t get lost if you should arrive there in the dark; if you’re being followed, you should also be able to lose the tail without revealing the exact location of your place.

  4. Hire a lawyer who’s experienced in cases like yours. You will probably be advised to record all incidents of abuse: date and time, what happened, your emotional state, names of witnesses (even children). Be diligent about keeping these records.

  5. When you do leave, it’s best to do so when your partner is not present. But if this is difficult and you feel you must leave right away, call someone about your plan. They could come and pick you up or meet you at a rendezvous: someone should know what’s going on and should be able to follow up on you.

Abusers succeed when, through manipulation, controlling tactics, and humiliation, they cow their victims into submission. But there is hope for victims, starting with these tips on how to get out of an emotionally abusive relationship.


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