Overview

Leaving an emotionally abusive relationship can be incredibly difficult, but it may be your only option: University of Washington researchers reported in 1998 that 93 percent of abusive partners continued their abuse over the long-term. Because an emotionally abusive partner can shake your self-confidence and leave you isolated and insecure, leaving can be hard. It is possible, though, to end an emotionally abusive relationship.

Step 1

Seek help from someone outside your relationship. If you don’t have a friend or family member to turn to, talk to your religious leader or a counselor.

Step 2

Plan your breakup so that you’re not alone with your partner in case his emotional abuse escalates to physical violence. If you live together, have your things moved out of your shared space a few hours before you communicate the information. Break up with your emotionally abusive partner in a public place, like a busy coffee shop. If you can’t meet your partner in public, break up over the phone or by email.

Step 3

Announce that you’re leaving the relationship clearly and concisely. Tell your partner that you’re leaving because he’s abusive if you want to, but know that you don’t have to give any reasons for your breakup. Don’t get drawn into a long conversation about your relationship or let your partner argue with you about leaving.

Step 4

Let friends, family and neighbors know about the breakup, especially if you think your partner might become violent.

Step 5

Avoid contact with your partner for at least a few months. If you need to, change your route to school or work, shop at different stores or even plan to move. Don’t answer the phone if he calls, and don’t agree to see him. Don’t let him in if he comes to your home, and if he won’t leave, call emergency services.

Step 6

See a counselor or therapist to help you recover from the emotional abuse and to help strengthen your resolve to stay out of the relationship.

Tips and Warnings

• Many emotionally abusive people are excellent manipulators, and when you leave them, they’ll try to convince you that you’re crazy or that they are willing to change. Don’t let yourself be manipulated into returning to a relationship you know is abusive.

• If your partner becomes physically abusive, get away from him and call emergency services. Avoid being alone or in an enclosed space with him.

Source: livestrong.com

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