How NOT To End An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

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by Annie Kaszina on October 16, 2013

The time finally comes when you decide you have tn end an emotionally abusive relationship. You finally admit to yourself that your emotionally abusive partner is not going to turn into Prince Charming before the turn of the next millennium. So, regretfully, you make the decision that you’ll have to leave him. After all, he’s made you miserable for way too long. He’s alienated you from friends and family, he’s shattered your self-worth, he’s held you back in every possible way, and he’s roundly abused you more times than you care to mention.

In a word,  your emotionally abusive husband has shattered – almost – every illusion you ever had about him, and he’s behaved inexcusably badly towards you and, most probably, your children, also.

You’ve got more than enough grounds to end an emotionally abusive relationship, and consign your abusive partner to the scrapheap of history.

And yet, you’re still struggling.


Why women struggle to end an emotionally abusive relationship

Because, like every other emotionally abused woman,  you want a nice, clean, amicable break.

You want to part like civilized people.

If you could have a nice, sanitized break, it would be so much easier to put the difficult feelings behind you. You could put all that had happened in a neat little box, labelled “Past”, and glide forward. You’d be left knowing that you’ve come out a bad situation smelling of roses.


Better still, you’d know that you must be A Nice Person because, in the end, you and your emotionally abusive husband had finally seen eye to eye, and related to each other like reasonable people.

Is that really such a lot to ask?

Is it really a lot to ask a two year old NOT to have tantrums? Or an 8 week old puppy NOT to break house-training? Or a cat to curl up on the sofa amicably with a dear little mouse? Or a street brawler to discuss quietly with someone he feels is disrespecting him?

Do you see what I am saying?

When you ask for the wildly improbable, or creatures, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration.

That is exactly what you do with an abusive man when you decide you’d like a nice, clean, amicable break-up. Experience has shown you that this man doesn’t do ‘nice’, or ‘clean’ or ‘amicable’ – he plays nasty, and dirty, and rough.  And yet you fondly imagine that, on this occasion, he will rise to heights that are totally alien to his temperament. Because that would make you happy.

When has he EVER done anything to make you happy?

50 Shades of Destructive

You’re breaking up with an emotionally abusive man because he is 50 Shades of Destructive.  50 Shades of Hurtful.  50 Shades of Crazy-making.

Much as you might love him to dig very deep and find several shades of civilized, it isn’t going to happen. Yes, he might play ‘Noble, Loving Partner’ for a short time, in order to ward off the evil eventuality. Divorce, remember, doesn’t really work for him. It means he will lose out financially, and in terms of his immediate creature comforts.

When your emotionally abusive husband married you, he did so on the understanding that you’d put up with “Worse”. A lot of Worse. That’s what he expects from you.  How much evidence do you have that he wasn’t too bothered about the “Better” – as in “for better, for worse”.

An emotional abuser is someone whose hearing is very, very selective.

So when you say to him: “Dear one, as I see it our relationship has run its course.  We need to go our separate ways as amicably as possible”, what do you suppose happens?

He doesn’t listen.  

An emotionally abusive partner sets the agenda.  You never do.

Amicable doesn’t work.

The thing that you need to do is focus on what you want to achieve, rather than how – in an ideal world – you’d like to achieve it.  That means having a clear plan in mind, and working it.  This serves two useful purposes:

1)    He may even get the picture, and understand that you mean business

2)    It means you’ve given serious thought to how you deal with someone who, at best, is NOT to be trusted, and at worst, could turn homicidal; and you know exactly how you need to proceed.

You don’t leave an emotionally abusive man because you want to have a nice memory of how your relationship ended.  You leave because you’re dying inside, and know your only hope is to get away, and start over.  Please remember that, when you feel tempted to slip into Mrs Nice mode. “But I only want things to be pleasant between us”, is wish that’s guaranteed to cost you dear.




{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurie April 6, 2016 at 3:08 pm

I made a special effort to cut off my ex abuser, sadly, 7 years later, I find out he’s spot checking my life through my grown children. Just yesterday he texted me to whine about how he doesn’t think I notice how much he cares or is considerate of me. This is his ongoing complaint to justify abuse and revenge to see me hurting. At this point, I don’t care if he cares because I know he doesn’t nor ever has. I consider him a stalker. A very sick stalker. So I kept the text to our only business anymore, the house he and I co-own. I assured him I see that he hasn’t gotten mean to kick me and his sons out, or that I have thanked him for anything he’s done around here since the divorce. I told him to re-examine the evidence of his idea that i don’t notice. It would do me no good to bring up his abuse. How would this sick person know if I know anything? I don’t talk to him. So I’m trying to buy the house from him, but he’s already changed 3 agreements he’s made with me about the house. He keeps on going with changes, I guess because it buys him more time to be in my life, if even a bit. I wish he’d just quit suffering and leave the planet. Dear god, he’s tormenting my peace unjustly with his over involvement and fake concern about my business. Who knows why he’s obsessed? I am about to get remarried quietly and privately and no one knows. My Beau is just as anxious to get him outta my life.


Laurie April 6, 2016 at 3:13 pm

…..I guess my only solution is to not buy the house and get a new address. He did tear up the house just before the judge ordered him out. I ve been reminded of his care and consideration every day since. He was ordered to fix it, but my attorney told me men like him never do what they are ordered.


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