Too frightened to leave an emotionally abusive husband?

15 Oct 2013

frogfromhellcroppedAn emotionally abusive husband will make your life a living hell.  You’ll come to dread a certain look on his face, the silence that means he’s incubating another outburst, the sound of his key in the front door. He’ll create an unsafe environment where you know the next attack could come at any moment. He’ll make you feel W-O-R-T-H-L-E-S-S, so that you end up believing it’s normal to be filled with fear and self-loathing. 

When you live with an emotionally abusive partner, you live in the crazy parallel universe known as The Abusive Kingdom. 

The time comes when you tell yourself you can stand it no longer. 

For most emotionally abused women that time comes months, years – even decades – before they finally have their Gloria Gaynor Moment, and tell him to “walk out that door”. 

Fear makes leaving an agonizingly slow process. 

An emotionally abusive partner knows how to use his tongue like a weapon. He knows how to terrify you into submission with his words. He knows exactly what works to keep you under his control. You’re awfully convenient for him, after all. 

He needs you to believe that leaving him would be more awful than staying with him is. 

That requires a LOT of hard work, on his part. 

What would it take for life without him to be worse than life with him? If waking up to him and his mood swings, his controlling behavior, and his vitriol, is vile, what would being without him have to be like, to be worse? 

What would really need to happen for your life to be worse than it already is in an emotionally abusive relationship? 



Would it take strangers to keep coming up to you, saying the vile things he habitually says.

(Reality check: how likely is that to happen?) 

Would it take him poisoning the minds of his children against you? 

(Reality check: he’ll probably have a damned good try anyway – if he hasn’t already – even if you stay.) 

Would it mean damaging the children through family break-up? 

(Reality check: the children are already being damaged by living in the toxic environment of his making.) 

Would it mean losing face by admitting to The World that Things are not as they seem. 

(Reality check: that World isn’t making you feel happy and secure. The people in that World who love you will be there to support you, and the rest, well… Isn’t it time you surrounded yourself with people who care about you, rather than fair-weather friends who take so much more than they give?) 

Would it mean having to struggle financially? 

(Reality check: money’s great, no doubt about it. But if you’ve been living in a situation where ongoing emotional abuse is the price you pay for the money you have, no amount of money is worth that. His ‘blood money’ will never buy you you safety, freedom, or love.) 

Would it mean him hurling vile accusations and insults at you? 

(Reality check: what’s the difference? He’ll say vile things if you stay, and he’ll say vile things to you if you go. The only difference is that the vile things he says to you, as part of the process of leaving, are the price of your ticket to freedom. When you’ve paid that price, once, you’re done; whereas if you stay….) 

I spent years and years too frightened to leave. For me, the shift came when I woke up and looked at what would happen if I stayed. That took SCARY to a whole new level. 

I realized that if I stayed, I could look forward to: 

  • never-ending private – and public – humilation
  • never feeling safe from attack
  • never being free to truly connect with people because of my ghastly fear that ‘if people knew what I was really like’ they’d despise me as much as my emotionally abusive husband did
  • never knowing what I was capable of achieving in my own right
  • becoming estranged from the person who mattered most to me in the world – my daughter – because the day would come when she could no longer tolerate the trauma of living in a war zone
  • lasting damage to my mental – and possibly, also, physical – health
  • drowning in my own sense of shame
  • never feeling good enough to be a full member of the human race
  • always feeling tired, drained, empty, fearful, and inadequate 

When you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, leaving looks like the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do. 

It really is NOT. 

Staying is, actually, much harder. Staying is a torture where a minute of misery can feel like an hour, an hour can feel like a day, a day can feel like a lifetime and, a lifetime slides by leaving you looking back and wondering: 

What happened to my life? Where did it go? 

Leaving is generally the much, much better option. But it’s especially hard to do, if you’re stuck in the kind of mind-set I was in; the emotionally abused woman’s mind-set. That mind’set is the best place to start your personal transformation.  It’s almost impossible to take massive action until you clear the fear you feel.  Fortunately, clearing that fear can be much easier than you think, once you know how.

Are you ready to  let go of the fear mind-set and Stop Thinking Like An Emotionally Abused Woman?


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

Leave a comment

The 5 Simple Steps to Healing from Narcissistic Abuse

Over the next 5 days, I'll send you some lessons and tips that I've found have really helped women to heal from narcissistic abuse.  Starting with the basics.

Connect with me on Instagram

Want daily reassurance and inspiration? Sign up to my Instagram account. @dr_anniephd