If you are reading this and your thoughts keep pulling you in one direction _ that something is truly wrong with your relationship beyond your understanding, then please keep reading.
Click here to read the signs of an abusive relationship.
No one wants to believe they are in an abusive relationship. No one wants to face this horrible pain. You might be in denial about the quality and state of your relationship.
I’m writing to you women (and of course male victims) this morning to tell you that you must work to face the truth, your life is at stake.
Here are somethings you might be telling yourself in order to stay in denial and hold out hope that your partner is not an abuser:
- You love him
- He is fine most of the time
- He only gets mad when I get upset with him
- He only gets physical when I yell at him
- We have a difficult relationship and it is both of our faults
- I need him
- I don’t want to loose our life together
- He can’t be an abuser … he doesn’t drink or look the part or is too smart or … fill in the blank
- If I were ….. fill in the blank … he wouldn’t abuse
- We need more therapy
- I need to follow the advice of my friends, pastor, family, my partner, self-help book, or … fill in the the blank
- He is my children’s father
- My children need him
- This is as good as it gets
I ask you to read through my blog and if you can relate to any of it, then you most likely are with an abuser. The hard truth is that you will need to get out of it. There is no way, or magic therapy that will change him or the abuse.
You can’t change yourself, your behavior, your choices or anything that will make him stop abusing you. He is not abusing you because of your choices no matter what he is telling you. He is abusing you because of his choices.
And a person, man or woman, who will abuse another is not a person who understands or wants to give love. And you deserve a shot at finding someone who will really love you and knows how.
Unfortunately, there are many, many people in this world who do not have the capability to love. Capability is different that ability. Ability means that one may acquire the skill with training. Capability means that they have the capacity to learn it. Abusers do not. For a variety of reasons within their own souls, abusers have shut down or never had the capability to love you or anyone.
You have found a person who will hurt you without blinking, even if he is telling you he is sorry. The next time he has a choice to abuse or not to, he will be more likely to abuse. He is addicted to the quick fix of abuse and there is no 12-step treatment for this addition.
You have to ask yourself if you can continue living with this, because the abuse won’t stop, ever.
You have to ask yourself if this is want you signed up for and if not, can you accept this union knowing that you are very vulnerable within this relationship.
If you are ready to face the truth that leaving is the only way out, then breath. It is going to be OK. Hard, but OK. And you can do this.
You need to focus your energies in getting out safely and setting up your future in the best way available to you.
First, if you are married, call an attorney, a good one who understands domestic abuse. Then call your domestic abuse crisis center, if your community has one. Tell your story to each and listen to their advice.
If you share the same home, secretly begin to collect things that can help you get out. Money, clothes, paperwork, documents, etc. Start to quietly create independence. Enroll in school. Buy a car. Get a job if you can.
Get documentation of the abuse if you can. Keep a diary, hidden of course. Tell a friend about the abuse. This is hard, but it will help you in the future. Tell your family.
Get into therapy and talk about the abuse.
Read a lot about abuse. It will help you understand what is happening and calm your fears that you are alone. You are not. And you are not crazy. Abuse is real, common, and devastating. You are a victim of something as if you were in a car accident or got ill.
Realize that your journey out will take effort, be bumpy and will take time. It is a process to emotional health after living in an abusive relationship, but you can do it and on the other side, it is so much better. And without a doubt, you need help. There are people who can help you. Once you start to tell what is happening, look for people who respond with love, understanding, a compassion. Stay away from those who ask you “why did you stay for so long?” or “maybe you should give it another try.”
If you have children with your abuser, then you must be very careful in what you say and do. And your first step of this process is to seek TRAINED domestic abuse counselors. Your crisis center is the most likely place to find proper help.
Most state courts do not understand domestic abuse and treat it as if it is the result of high conflict in the relationship and therefore, won’t want to take sides. Of course, that is wrong, but it is the way it is in court.
So you must find your inner peace and quiet your mothering instinct to protect your children at all costs. We have all said at one time or another “I would never let my children get hurt by….” Unfortunately, you will not have control over a lot of normal parenting responsibilities if your abuser decides to use the kids as a way to abuse you further.
Simply by filing a custody suit, your abuser has abused you again. The court will inadvertently begin to abuse you by taking matters into their own hands and require that all parenting decisions you make be weighed against laws and rules it imposes. This is unnatural to most mothers and hurtful and traumatic to all victims. But, you will need to accept this so you can find the path and strength to get you and your children through it.
The good news about the court is that it is predictable, unlike your abuser. So the quicker you learn about how family court works, the quicker you will see the pitfalls and avoid them. This is how you can really protect your children.
It is very unfair that you are now parenting with the court, lawyers, judges, parent coordinators, and so on, simply because your partner is an abuser. But, until the family laws change, this is the playing field.
Hang in there and keep moving forward. You are going to be OK and so are you children. I’m sorry for your tears and fears, but you deserve a real shot at a peaceful life. You deserve to live and to used a coined phrase, it gets better.
It really does.
You can recover from abuse, not without scars, but you can find peace and joy again. Please try to get there. You are worth it and you are special just the way you are. My prayers are with you.