Healing From An Emotional Abusive Spouse


5 Powerful Self-Care Practices That Can Save Your Life After Emotional Abuse

Healing From An Emotional Abusive Spouse
Alexandru Zdrobău

When survivors of emotional abuse leave the toxic relationship, the journey to healing is just beginning.

 Victims of psychological violence are ly to still be reeling from the symptoms of trauma, including but not limited to: reoccurring flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, dissociation, depression and pervasive feelings of low self-worth.

They may even have urges to check up on or reconnect with their abuser due to the intense trauma bonds that developed during the abuse cycle.

Along with support from a trauma-informed counselor, ongoing practices of self-care to supplement therapy are powerful ways to begin tending to the mind, body and spirit after abuse.

While not every healing modality will work for every survivor, experimenting with these practices and finding the ones that suit your journey can be extremely beneficial. The following practices can potentially save your life on the journey to recovery:

1. Meditation

When we’ve been traumatized, the areas of our brain related to executive functioning, learning, memory, planning, emotion regulation and focus become disrupted (Shin et. al 2006).

Meditation has been scientifically proven to benefit some of the same areas of the brain that trauma affects – such as the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala and the hippocampus (Lazar, 2005; Creswell, 2015; Schulte, 2015).

Meditation places survivors back in the driver’s seat of their own psyche. It enables the survivor to reclaim their reality, heal their brain and act from a place of empowerment rather than their trauma

A daily meditation practice helps to strengthen neural pathways in positive ways, increases grey matter density in areas of the brain related to emotion regulation and mitigates our automatic reactions to the fight or flight response which tends to go haywire after trauma (Lazar et.

al, 2005; Hölzel et. al, 2011). Meditation also enables you to become more mindful of your emotions in general and aware of your cravings to break No Contact with your abuser.

This allows you the space to consider alternatives before acting impulsively on your urges to go back to your toxic relationship.

2. Yoga

If the effects of trauma live in the body, it makes sense that an activity that combines both mindfulness and physical activity can help to restore balance and bring empowerment.

Yoga has been proven by research to help ease depression and anxiety; it has also been shown to improve body image, expand emotion regulation skills, increase resilience, bolster self-esteem for high-risk populations and improve symptoms of PTSD in domestic violence victims (Clark et. al, 2014; Van der Kolk, 2015; Epstein, 2017).

Yoga allows survivors of abuse to counter the powerlessness of the trauma that is stored in the body by reengaging in powerful movement

According to researcher Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk, yoga provides self-mastery that helps traumatized populations regain ownership over their own bodies. It allows trauma survivors to rebuild a sense of safety in their bodies that trauma often robs them of. It can help to curb disassociation by reconnecting us with our bodily sensations.

 “I’d say the majority of the people we treat at the trauma center and in my practice {have} cut off relationships to their bodies. They may not feel what’s happening in their bodies. They may not register what goes on with them.

And so what became very clear is that we needed to help people for them to feel safe feeling the sensations in their bodies… yoga turned out to be a very wonderful method for traumatized people…something that engages your body in a very mindful and purposeful way — with a lot of attention to breathing in particular — resets some critical brain areas that get very disturbed by trauma.” Bessel Van der Kolk, Restoring the Body: Yoga, EMDR and Treating Trauma

3. Reality check anchoring

Survivors of emotional abuse are ly to have been gaslighted to believe that the abuse  they endured wasn’t real. It’s important that they begin to “anchor” themselves back into the reality of the abuse rather than re-idealizing the relationship they just left.

This is extremely helpful for when survivors begin to question the reality of the abuse, or when they struggle with mixed emotions towards their abusers, who periodically showed affection towards them to keep them in the abuse cycle.

Many victims of abuse still have positive associations with their abusers due to techniques love bombing and intermittent reinforcement; others associate them with survival, especially if the abuse threatened their sense of emotional or physical safety.

Anchoring creates a habit of reconnecting with the reality the abuser sought to erode. It validates the survivor and reduces cognitive dissonance about who the abuser truly is

Survivors are particularly vulnerable after they leave their abusers; their abusers often try to manipulate them into coming back and revert back to their sweet, false persona in doing so.

That’s why it’s necessary to not only block texts and phone calls from your abuser but remove any connection with them and enablers on social media. This removes temptation and information about them altogether from your healing journey.

It gives you a clean slate to reconnect to what truly happened and how you felt – rather than the ways in which the abuser will try to distort the situation post-breakup.

To begin anchoring yourself, keep a list of at least ten of the most major abusive incidents that occurred in your relationship with the narcissistic abuser or at the very least, ten ways in which you felt degraded. This will come in handy when you’re tempted to reach out to them, to look them up on social media or respond to their attempts to ensnare you back into the abuse cycle.

It is best to work with a trauma-informed counselor to create this list so you can address any triggers that may arise when anchoring yourself back to the reality of the abuse. If you have abusive incidents you find massively triggering, it may be best to choose incidents that are not as triggering until you find healthy ways of managing your emotions.

Even making general statements such as, “My abuser disrespected me on a daily basis” or “I was made to feel small every time I succeeded” can be helpful to remember when you’re tempted to rationalize, minimize or deny the impact of the abuse. While it can be jarring to redirect your focus to the abusive aspects of the relationship, it helps to reduce cognitive dissonance about your abuser. Reducing this cognitive dissonance is fundamental to your commitment to recovery.

4. Self-soothing and inner child work

Although you were traumatized by your abuser, there may have been other traumas that were brought to the surface due to the abusive relationship.

You could have a wounded inner child that also needs to be soothed by your adult self when you’re feeling particularly emotional.

Your unmet needs in childhood were ly compounded by this experience, so self-compassion is needed during this time.

Survivors struggle with toxic shame and self-blame when they’ve been abused. Even though they know logically that the abuse was not their fault, the abuse itself has the power to bring up old wounds that were never healed.

It can speak to a larger pattern of never feeling quite good enough. Changing the course of your negative self-talk is vital when you’re healing, because it tackles old narratives that were ly cemented due to the new trauma.

Being gentle with yourself is essential after abuse. Sometimes, the most powerful form of compassion is self-compassion

When these ancient, deep-seated emotions come up, soothe yourself as if you were speaking to someone you genuinely love and want the best for.

Write down some positive affirmations you can say whenever you are grieving, such as, “I am worthy of true love and respect,” or “I have a right to all of my feelings. I deserve peace.

” This will train you over time to exhibit sensitivity and understanding towards yourself that will curb self-judgment and self-blame that abuse survivors are prone to. This self-compassion will extend to maintaining No Contact as well.

Remember, when you are judging or blaming yourself, you’re more ly to engage in self-sabotage because you don’t feel worthy of peace, stability and joy. When you accept and show compassion towards yourself, you remind yourself that you are worthy of your own care and kindness.

5. Exercise

A daily exercise regimen can save your life after abuse. Whether it be running on the treadmill, going to dance cardio classes or going for long walks in nature (which has also been proven to have its own health benefits), commit to a practice that you really enjoy.

If you’re lacking motivation, start small. For example, commit to thirty minutes of walking each day rather than an hour.

Exercise releases endorphins and lowers cortisol levels, potentially replacing the biochemical addiction we develop with our abusers with a healthier outlet (Harvard Health, 2013).

Exercise allows you to embody your increasing resilience and strength after leaving your abuser. It battles the biochemical addiction your body developed to the chaos of the abuse

This addiction is formed through chemicals dopamine, cortisol, adrenaline and serotonin which exacerbate the bond with our abusers through the highs and lows of the abuse cycle (Carnell, 2012). Exercise can also begin to counter the physical side effects of the abuse such as weight gain, premature aging, sleep problems and illness caused by an immune system overwhelmed by trauma.

There is a victorious and empowering life ahead of you after emotional abuse. You can survive and thrive – but you must be committed to your self-care in the process.


This article has been adapted and originally appeared on Psych Central as These 5 Self-Care Practices Can Save Your Life After Emotional Abuse. 

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Источник: //thoughtcatalog.com/shahida-arabi/2017/11/5-powerful-ways-to-rise-again-after-emotional-abuse/

PTSD From Domestic Violence, Emotional Abuse, Childhood Abuse

Healing From An Emotional Abusive Spouse

PTSD from domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence (IPV), is particularly damaging.

Both physical abuse and emotional abuse at the hand of an intimate partner have a serious effect on the way the abused person thinks, feels, and interacts with the world (Effects of Domestic Violence, Abuse on Women and Children).

PTSD can result from any type of trauma, but for unique reasons, PTSD from domestic violence, physical or emotional abuse, can be a pervasive, long-term struggle (PTSD Treatments: PTSD Therapy, PTSD Medications Can Help).

  • Rather than occurring as a single traumatic event, domestic violence and emotional abuse tend to be chronic, repeated over time. Chronic exposure to the trauma of intimate partner violence leads to chronic (often years-long) PTSD; the effects of both the abuse and PTSD are never allowed to diminish.
  • Because the perpetrator of the violence and abuse is someone who is supposed to be nurturing, safe, and trustworthy, domestic abuse is particularly damaging to someone’s psyche, and the resulting feelings of abandonment and betrayal are entwined with the other symptoms of PTSD.
  • Domestic violence is part of someone’s daily life; there’s no break; therefore, the effects of PTSD are intensified.

Domestic Violence, Emotional Abuse, and PTSD

Both men and women can be victims of an abusive relationship, and both can develop PTSD. Women, though, are far more ly to suffer intimate partner abuse. The National Center for PTSD (2015) reports that approximately 27 percent of women and 10 percent of men say that they have been harmed by intimate partner violence.

Domestic violence is traumatic. It is often about power and control; one partner continuously exerts power over the other and takes away her sense of control over herself and her life. Physical or emotional abuse at the hand of an intimate partner can cause PTSD (Babbel, 2011; Powell & Smith, 2011).

Emotional abuse can be as damaging as physical abuse, and intimate partner violence doesn’t have to be life-threatening in order to cause PTSD (Hughes & Jones, 2000). Specific types of domestic abuse that can lead to PTSD include:

PTSD: Effects of Domestic Violence and Emotional Abuse

Trauma from domestic violence impacts someone’s entire being: mind, body, spirit, and sense of self and others. PTSD that develops because of intimate partner violence chips away at physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. These long-lasting effects of PTSD are common in someone living through abuse:

  • Intrusive thoughts and images
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares and other sleep problems
  • Anxiety and/or emotional numbing
  • Heightened arousal (such as jumpiness and feeling tense, on alert)
  • Avoidance of triggers
  • Dissociative symptoms
  • Difficulties with other relationships
  • Shame, guilt, worthlessness
  • Depression
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Substance use

These can all be part of PTSD, the body and mind’s reaction to extreme trauma such as the trauma of domestic violence and emotional abuse (Living With PTSD Can Be A Nightmare).

PTSD From Childhood Abuse

Child abuse has profound effects, effects that last well into adulthood and can involve PTSD. Child abuse can cause PTSD to develop while the abuse is occurring; PTSD symptoms of avoidance and dissociation are particularly common in abused children (Kronenberger & Meyer, 2001).

Childhood abuse, especially child sexual abuse, increases the lihood of PTSD in adulthood. Childhood abuse is physically and emotionally damaging, and it disrupts the healthy development of the child. This can make someone vulnerable to future abusive relationships and further exacerbate PTSD (PTSD in Children: Symptoms, Causes, Effects, Treatments).

While childhood abuse doesn’t guarantee that someone will experience PTSD in adulthood and/or become involved in a relationship of domestic violence, someone who experienced childhood abuse is at greater risk for these things.

PTSD and Domestic Violence, Emotional Abuse Are Not Your Fault

No one deserves abuse, and no one does anything to cause their abuse.

Self-blame is a common thought/feeling resulting from intimate partner abuse. This can lead to another common feeling: guilt and shame. Self-blame, guilt, and shame all prevent healing from abuse and PTSD.

Think of PTSD from domestic violence and emotional abuse as a call to action.

Noticing the effects PTSD has on you and knowing that they are not personal weaknesses but instead natural responses to trauma and abuse are important early steps in regaining the sense of control that you deserve.

Draw on social support networks (before you're thinking of leaving the violent and/or emotionally abusive relationship and after), let people help you get professional help, and take back yourself and your life (Coping with PTSD is Easier with These Coping Skills).

article references

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2016, February 3). PTSD From Domestic Violence, Emotional Abuse, Childhood Abuse, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 17 from //www.healthyplace.com/ptsd-and-stress-disorders/ptsd/ptsd-from-domestic-violence-emotional-abuse-childhood-abuse

Источник: //www.healthyplace.com/ptsd-and-stress-disorders/ptsd/ptsd-from-domestic-violence-emotional-abuse-childhood-abuse

7 Steps to Recover From Emotional Abuse

Healing From An Emotional Abusive Spouse

Last Updated on June 3, 2019

You finally did it.

You ended it.

You left your abuser after years of manipulation, verbal assaults, control, and unkindness.

You had the courage to say, “Enough is enough,” and make the excruciating decision to say goodbye to this person you once loved, maybe even still love in spite of everything.

Part of you feels exhilarated. You are free — free from walking on eggshells, feeling anxious in your own home, spending night after night wondering what you should do.

Your life is now your own.

But another part of you, maybe even the bigger part, feels devastated. All of your hopes and dreams about this relationship have crumbled to dust. Nothing is ever going to change with this person, and you know it.

Your psyche, your self-esteem, and even your sense of who you are have been shattered by the person who was supposed to love and cherish you the most.

Maybe you beat yourself up over how you could have fallen for this manipulator in the first place. Why didn't you see it? How could you have stayed so long?

Maybe your heart aches from missing him or her, remembering the good times you had together — good memories that suddenly monopolize your thoughts now that you've decided to end things.

There are so many emotions, thoughts, and memories swirling around in your head that you don't know what is real, what is true, and what is right for you.

Healing From Emotional Abuse

Whatever triggered you to finally leave your abuser, you knew on some rational level that things between you and your partner were very wrong.

You knew that no matter how smart, attractive, and charming this person could be, there was another side of him or her that was completely unacceptable and harmful.

  • People who love you don't constantly call you names and yell at you.
  • People who love you don't try to control your every thought and action.
  • People who love you don't try to make you think you're crazy.
  • People who love you don't do the hurtful things your partner did on a daily basis.

Even though you're the relationship, you are still left holding the bag of unresolved feelings, fears, mindsets, and even mental illnesses.

How can you sort through all of the baggage to come out on the other side as a healthy, whole, confident person ready to find real and intimate love again?

Let's first look at some of the ways your emotionally abusive relationship might have impacted you.

You feel numb and hopeless.

Because you've spent so many years protecting your emotions, you may have cut yourself off from them.

You just can't feel anything. Even though you know you have reason to feel happy and liberated, you just can't muster up any emotion.

It seems you are an observer of life right now rather than a participant.

If you do feel something, it's just a sense of hopelessness and despair. Your relationship is over, and it feels there is nothing more for you.

You feel  damaged goods, especially if your abuser consistently disparaged and criticized you.

You need lots of reinforcement and approval.

After years of feeling not good enough, you still have a sense that you don't measure up. You try to make up for this low self-esteem by being a people pleaser or over-achiever.

You long for the acceptance, love, and approval that you never got in your love relationship, and you seek it with the other people in your life, often blurring your own boundaries and ignoring your needs.

You just don't have the confidence to stand on your own two feet, without your abuser, and say, “I myself. I am good just the way I am.” It's hard for you to be compassionate and patient with yourself.

You feel deeply resentful and sometimes uncontrollably angry.

You're mad at your abuser, and you're mad at yourself. How could he or she have done this to you after all of the time, energy, and love you put into the relationship?

Why couldn't your partner just step up and change?

You also question how you could have done this to yourself. Allowing yourself to be treated this way feels deeply shameful. You just can't believe you didn't see what was happening earlier on.

You might also feel angry at your parents who may have been emotional abusers themselves and set the stage for you to be attracted to this type of partner.

Why didn't they protect you and care for you in a way that helped you make better choices as an adult?

Or you could feel resentment toward family and friends who didn't see what was happening and come to your rescue.

You've lost your identity.

You knew yourself before you got involved with your abuser.

Maybe you were a strong, happy, capable person. But now you don't even recognize the person looking back at you in the mirror.

Years of emotional abuse have stripped away your sense of self. You are left with the unattractive shell of a person your partner defined for you with his or her ugly words and insults.

If your partner told you how to think, what to believe, and how to feel, you're at a loss. You no longer have a puppeteer managing these for you. So how do you recreate a new you or find your old self again?

You feel anxious and depressed.

The emotional abuse has taken its toll on your mental health.

While you were in the midst of the abusive relationship, somehow you were able to hold it together for your own survival and for your kids.

But now you are out, and your walls are coming down. All of the emotional energy you spent trying to manage the relationship has drained you, and you simply can no longer cope.

Maybe you continue to feel on high alert and anxious, which could be a symptom of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It feels you've just left a war zone, with all of the bad memories and fears doing battle in your psyche.

Or you might have sunk into a dark place where you want to pull the covers over your head and cry all day. The emotional pain you've been stuffing down for years is finally seeping out in the form of depression and unbearable sadness.

You've lost your trust and fear falling in love again (or you date too quickly).

Right now, the idea of getting involved with someone again makes you run away screaming. How can you trust anyone when you thought you knew your partner, but you were so wrong?

If your partner was manipulative and constantly tried to make you question your own judgment, you wonder if all people are capable of these toxic behaviors.

You wonder how you'll ever be able to tell a healthy, mature love partner from another toxic manipulator. Rather than take a chance, you'd rather just step the game.

Or it's possible you jump in too quickly, desperate to find someone who treats you with love, kindness, and respect — only to be attracted to same abusive type of person.

There's no question that your emotionally abusive relationship has taken a toll on you, but you don't have to suffer with the after-effects of emotional abuse forever.

You can heal from emotional abuse and move on to become a self-assured, happy person who knows how to choose a better, kinder, more mature partner next time.

How to Overcome Emotional Abuse and Heal

Here are 7 positive, practical action steps you can take to accelerate the healing from emotional abuse:

1. Listen to your head, not your heart.

As you know, it is possible to love someone and know they are bad for you at the same time.

Your heart might be telling you how you should give him one more chance. Your heart might trigger memories of all of the good times you had with her. Your heart might compel you to pick up the phone and see how your ex is doing because you miss him so much.

All of those feelings are powerful and compelling. You've spent years with this person, and it really hurts to be separated from them. Some nights you can hardly bear it. He or she is a drug, and you need another hit.

But the rational part of you knows without a doubt that you did the right thing. You need to be away from this abusive person who has done so much damage to you.

If you go back to this person, you'll never have a chance for real love with someone else.

Your daily mantra should be this: “Listen to my head, not my heart.”

On days when your heart is breaking, phone a friend for an intervention, and have them remind you of all the reasons you left.

2. Allow yourself to go through the stages.

Ending a relationship is almost experiencing a death. You must go through the stages of grief and emotions in order to heal.

If you are feeling emotionally frozen right now, that's okay. Just be with that for a while. You can't force yourself to feel, and eventually, your feelings will return.

If you feel hopeless, remind yourself that you have a reason for feeling this way because your abuser left you vulnerable. At the same time, you can remind yourself that healing will happen and that you do have things to look forward to even if you don't believe it right now.

Keep a journal to write down your feelings. But also write down your hopes and dreams, what you want for your life moving forward, and your ideas on how you can begin again.

Even if you can't act on these things right away, they will stoke the tiny sparks of hope within you.

3. Work out your anger in constructive ways.

It is perfectly normal to feel anger and resentment about the experiences you just survived. It's normal to want to lash out at your abuser and to feel angry at yourself.

But funnel that anger in a productive way so that you don't add more angst to your life by making a knee-jerk decision ( keying your ex's car for example).

Write about your feelings in your journal. Punch your pillow. Start running or take up another aerobic exercise that helps you work off the rage.

If you can't manage the anger, and you see you're taking it out on your kids, friends, or family, then go meet with a psychotherapist who can help you vent your feelings without harming yourself or others.

4. Do something to build your self-esteem.

Your self-esteem has taken a huge hit, and it may feel impossible to yourself again or believe you are a worthy person.

You can work on rebuilding your self-esteem by taking action and accomplishing small goals. Maybe you decide to declutter your house, take an art class, or volunteer somewhere.

Perhaps you go out and get a job (if you've been staying at home with your abuser), or you learn how to meditate, which has so many mental and physical benefits.

You don't have to take on a huge goal, but do something that will give you a small sense of triumph and hope.

Be sure to reconnect with friends and family and start socializing with them again. You need a support system and people who make you feel loved and happy.

5. Reexamine your values, opinions, and beliefs.

If your abuser stole your identity by demanding you acquiesce to his or her views, then you'll need to revisit all of your values, opinions, and beliefs to make them your own.

Ask yourself . . .

  • What are your core values?
  • What is your philosophy about money, raising the kids, where you live, etc.?
  • What are your spiritual or religious beliefs?
  • What are your political opinions?
  • What movies or TV shows do you ?
  • Who do you want to socialize with?
  • Where do you to eat?

Look at any area of your life where your abuser made all of the decisions, and come up with your own point of view or preferences.

Try to enjoy the freedom of redefining what you want for your life and how you want to live it.

6. Treat anxiety and depression quickly.

If you recognize the symptoms of these mental health issues in yourself, take action quickly before you sink further into despair.

Anxiety, PTSD, and depression are all highly treatable, but often when you feel so bad, you don't have the energy to pick up the phone and call a doctor or psychologist.

But do it anyway, or ask a friend to help you find someone. The longer you let it go, the worse you will feel. You can't treat these illnesses on your own, and you don't want to put your life on hold for any longer than you have to.

7. Heal, learn, and grow before dating.

You have suffered a tremendous blow to your psyche and self-esteem by living through an emotionally abusive relationship.

Most people who come this kind of relationship aren't ready to jump back in the saddle with a new relationship right away.

You don't want to find yourself in the same abusive situation or possibly get involved with the right person when you are emotionally unavailable and grieving.

Before you look for love again, make sure you love and yourself. Make sure you know what a healthy relationship looks and how you can spot an emotional abuser who might initially be charming and kind.

Examine your own behaviors and reactions in your previous relationship to see where you might need to grow and change.

As much as you want to find the right person, you also want to BE the right person so the relationship is healthy and balanced.

Acknowledge and congratulate yourself for having the courage and strength to end a bad relationship with a toxic person. But remember that you have some work to do and healing to endure.

Allow yourself plenty of time to deal with all of the leftover baggage so that you can move on with life and hopefully find love again.

Источник: //liveboldandbloom.com/04/emotional-abuse/healing-from-emotional-abuse

5 Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Healing From An Emotional Abusive Spouse

Are you stuck in one of these stages of leaving an abusive relationship? Here’s why it takes time to leave a man who is abusing you, and how you can get help. I also share some interesting research from Michigan State University about on how reading the book and watching the movie Fifty Shades of Grey affects women.

Leaving an Abusive Relationship

These five stages of abuse are research from the University of Illinois. It’s important to remember it’s never a woman’s fault if she stays in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship.

If you’re being abused, leaving is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.

No matter how much you know about how to leave an abusive relationship, leaving a man who abuses, criticizes, or hurts you is never easy.

Learning about the stages of leaving an abusive relationship may help you make difficult decisions in your life. It may help to learn about the specific stages that some women go through before leaving an abusive man, so you can see your situation more clearly. If you aren’t sure if your boyfriend or husband is verbally abusing you, read 5 Signs of Verbally Abusive Relationships.

Women tend to move back and forth between stages before they actually leave a man who is abusing them. Knowing what the stages are can help you prepare you to end a relationship that is abusive and unhealthy.

Here’s what Tina Turner says about leaving an abusive relationship:

“Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.”

Tina Turner was abused by her husband for 16 years, until she finally realized she had a CHOICE! She was not powerless or helpless — and either are you.

5 Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Letting go of a man you love, even when you’re in an abusive relationship, may be one of the hardest things you’ll do. One of the most important things is to learn why you’re staying with him — what’s holding you back.

At the end of this article, I’ll share books that can help with leaving an abusive relationship and starting over. You are NOT powerless or helps. You do have a choice!

First, here’s what research shows about the stages of abuse and how to leave an abusive relationship.

According to a University of Illinois journal article, abused woman go through a five-step process of leaving abusive relationships. Below are the fives stages, based doctoral candidate Lyndal Khaw’s dissertation work at the U of I.

Stages 1 and 2: starting not to care for him anymore

“In the first two stages, women begin to disconnect emotionally from their relationships,” said Khaw. You hear them say things , ‘I started not to care for him anymore’.”

If you’re in this stage, you might start feeling less and less connected to your boyfriend or husband.

You may feel you can live without him, that you don’t need him to survive, and that you are worth being treated a valuable, lovable woman.

You might start seeing your husband or boyfriend with different eyes, and you might start disconnecting in ways that surprise you. This is the first and second stage of leaving an abusive relationship.

Stage 3: noticing the effects of abusive relationships

In this stage of leaving an abusive relationship, women go through a collection of episodes of abuse. They start to notice the effects on their children.

“Women make preparations to leave, such as finding a place to stay or secretly saving up money,” she said. “This stage is important for women as they switch from thinking about leaving an abusive relationship to actually doing something about it.”

Leaving a man who is abusing you isn’t easy. It takes strength and courage to decide to leave, because you’re not only struggling with the reasons breaking up is hard to do…you may also be dealing with self-esteem and self-image issues. Women in abusive relationships don’t always have high self-esteem or self-confidence, and this makes leaving a relationship more difficult.

I wrote How to Let Go of Someone You Love to help women leave relationships that aren’t healthy or good. It’s my first and most bestselling ebook; I interviewed counselors and relationship experts about how to move on after losing a loved one.

One of the reasons it’s so difficult to leave a man who isn’t good for you is because you love him. Losing love is painful. If you can learn how to let go, you’ll decrease the chances of going back to an abusive relationship.

Stage 4: going back to the relationship

“Then, at Stage 4, when women take action, we see a lot of what we call ‘back and forthing’ because when women leave, the emotions often come back,” said Jennifer Hardesty, a U of I assistant professor of human and community development. “They need clarity. They want to be physically and emotionally connected again.”

You love him. You want to hold on to what you had, which makes leaving a relationship difficult. And, your husband or boyfriend may be telling you that he loves you, he’ll change, and he won’t hurt you again. Many women go back to their partners after leaving an abusive relationship. Sometimes it takes several attempts to break up before it actually “takes.”

Stage 5: actually leaving an abusive relationship

Being gone for six months or more marks the last stage on how to leave abusive relationships. “But even then they may have boundary ambiguity if their ex-spouse won’t let them go,” say the researchers. “With continued contact through court-ordered child visitation, the potential for ongoing abuse remains, as does continued confusion over the abuser’s role in the woman’s life.”

Leaving an abusive relationship is much more complex than just deciding to change, and it involves more than you prioritizing your safety. Hardesty says, “Other actors are involved. The abuser makes decisions that affect a woman’s movement through the stages. And children can be a powerful influence in motivating a woman to get a relationship and in pulling her back in.”

As you might know from personal experience, there are many factors that make leaving an abusive relationship difficult. The most important thing is to reach out for help. Find support. You’re being brave and courageous by searching for tips on how to leave a relationship when you’re being abused! Now, it’s time to take the next step and learn where you can go.

Help Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Are you in love with a man who is abusing you?Visit the Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233. Start gathering information about how to deal with his anger and outbursts, and how to protect yourself.

“Don’t wait until everything is just right,” says Mark Victor Hansen, author of the Chicken Soup series, including Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul: Your Personal, Portable Support Group with Stories of Healing, Hope, Love and Resilience.

“It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. Get started now.

With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.

Do you want to understand your partner? Read Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft.

“One of the prevalent features of life with an angry or controlling partner is that he frequently tells you what you should think and tries to get you to doubt or devalue your own perceptions and beliefs,” writes Lundy in Why Does He Do That? “I don’t want to re-create that unhealthy dynamic. So the most important thing to remember as you read this book is to listen carefully to what I am saying, but always to think for yourself.”

The Emotionally Abused Woman: Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself by Beverly Engel is another good book to help you leave an abusive relationship. Emotional abuse is often hard to detect and accept; it helps to have an objective perspective about what it is and how to deal with it.

You might also want to read How to Move Out Without Your Husband Finding Out. This is a very important article for women who are considering leaving an abusive relationship. It’s written by a woman who left her abuser, who wants to help other women get free.

If you want to talk about your experience with living with or leaving a man who is abusive, please share below. I welcome your comments, big and little! Writing about your relationship can give you clarity and insight.

Do you need help with these stages of leaving an abusive relationship? Start by calling the  domestic violence helpline – I listed the number and website above.

If you aren’t sure if you’re in an abusive relationship, read 5 Signs of an Abusive Boyfriend.


Источник: //www.theadventurouswriter.com/quipstipsrelationships/leaving-an-abusive-relationship-stages-women-go-through/

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