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Confused While Leaving An Abusive Relationship

Question:

I am currently trying to get out of an abusive relationship. But I’m so confused by all of my feelings. Why is it that I feel like I’m doing the right thing, but yet I feel so heart broken, as well as guilty for breaking his heart?

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

It is normal to feel torn and of two minds in your current situation. No relationship is all bad, or you would never stay in it for a moment. There are good moments (days, weeks, etc.) in abusive relationships. It is just that when abuse does occur, it is very dangerous and damaging, physically and emotionally. So it is perfectly possible, (indeed it is normal) to feel two ways about an abusive relationship: 1) that you love and care about your partner and don’t want to hurt him or her, and 2) that you need to leave because you cannot tolerate the relationship when it gets abusive. Both of these statements can be true at the same time. So, you are doing the right thing by leaving an abusive relationship (meaning you are doing the thing that will promote your health and welfare, and the health and welfare of those who depend on you), but because you care about the person you are leaving, you are sad about that too. It’s normal, even though it’s confusing. You might benefit by talking with other people who have left abusive relationships, and who can relate to how you feel. You can often find support groups for battered women by contacting your local women’s shelter.

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Comments
  • Anonymous-1

    It is the hardest thing to do. I always said "If someone did this or that to me that would be it!" But when you are in that same situation it is totally different. It could be a very lovingly relationship, with an complete opposite very violent abusive situation. I have lived with someone for about five years that was to begin with a wonderful man. Beyond my dreams, romantic, caring, charismatic and nurturing. I felt like this is the man that will be taking care of me when I die. It totally changed in a split second and It was like a scene from the movie "the shining". After he was very remorseful, did not remember most of the episode and cried. I felt very confused. Had never encountered something like this before, and i felt sorry for him. He told me about all the abuse he endured as a child and I agreed to go to counseling and he agreed to take medication for his paranoid delusions. He is jealous, and I thought in the beginning that it was cute someone cared so much about me. But it was all a twisted power ego control thing when it came down to it. It is hard. I am there with you, thinking I'm never going to find anyone that loves me like he does. But it is an obsession, control and ugly kind of love. No one deserves to be treated like that. I was thinking he was going to take care of me when i die, but it might as well be he being the reason for it. Get out while you can. They never change. Change your attitude instead and surround yourself with mentally healthy people. Because you know you deserve to be treated good.

  • fm

    Whow, sounds like my current situation. I've been pulling out of my relationship for a few months now. Didn't want to hurt his feelings but now after two and 1/2 years, he says another girl loves him. He couldn't tell me to my face or even by himself over the phone. The girl and one of his guy friends were in the background talking about how much she loved my significant other and how she was wanting to marry him. Plus how soon could she move in with him.

    I understand that I am better off without him but for some reason I am truly struggling to let go of him completely or our friendship. I'm ashamed to say that for some reason I "allowed" him to get inside my mind with his comments, etc. over the course of the years and now I am the one reacting when I should be sitting back letting things go by.

    I've started attending Al-Anon to help with any co-dependent behaviors I have adopted but for some reason I allow my "triggers to be tripped" and things will only hurt me in the end because he is too psychologically smart for me. Not that I am dumb, because I am not but evidently I am holding onto someone for no good reason.

    I'm glad I came to this site and people here were brave enough to write online about their situations. Feeling a little better now and will just have to face the music of my own behaviors for reacting to his blatant lack of respect for me.

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