I just came out of an abusive relationship. I didn’t really think of it as actually abusive until I read this article and identified my situation in all of it.
I did know it wasn’t healthy. We have been together off and on for three years and I love him, but when things were bad, things were really bad. The final straw was that he cheated on me and is now trying to make me feel guilty for his actions. Like it’s somehow my fault or just the result of my flaws in the relationship.
We are still in communication. He texts me constantly and I’m conflicted because I still care about him. There’s things I feel I need him to know, but he either can’t understand or is refusing not to and I don’t think I can let it go until I get that closure from him.
Any help you can give me would be appreciated.
Hurting and Abused?
the article you sent me is a good one. the information is accurate and well organized. it is also written by professionals, which i am not; a point i really need to make clear to you and that i need you to understand before you read any further, because i’m going to first and foremost recommend you see a counselor. i will privately help you find one in your area, but i believe there are probably things you need to talk to someone about that are beyond me.
what i can help with is the break up and how to handle yourself now that the relationship is over. i’ve already written a couple of different break up blogs*, but i think i need to revamp some of what i’ve said to better suit the seriousness of your situation. here’s are some practical steps you can take to protect yourself until you can get sorted out.
1. come to terms with it being over – if the relationship truly fell in the category of abusive, you need to let it go. stop the back and forth. you will be unable to move on in any other way until you accept this and define that boundary for yourself. he has no say in whether it’s done. that is solely up to you. it only takes one person to cut it off and that’s going to have to be you.
2. block him from communication – he knows what buttons to push to get at you and he’s using all of them. the easiest way for that to stop is to cut off his access to you. block him from your phone. delete him from Facebook and set your privacy to kill. i understand that your feelings that still linger for him are telling you not to do this, but feelings lie to us all the time about what’s good for us.
3. do not seek out information about him – no more asking his friends where he is or stalking his Facebook page. the urge to do so can be overwhelming, but you’re going to have to fight it. he will find out you’re still checking on him and find a way to use that against you.
4. find your own closure – he won’t give that to you. even if he would, he can’t. that has to come from you. you make your own stops and starts. no one else should ever be given that kind of power over you. it takes your choices away from you. you are the only one telling yourself you “can’t” move on until you somehow get him to give you whatever it is you think you need. your “can’t” is really a “won’t” and you need to take responsibility for your own future. it’s empowering and freeing.
5. find a support group – surround yourself with people you trust to look out for what’s best for you even if you don’t like what they say. maybe especially if you don’t like what they say. friends who will say “no” for you when you feel too weak to do it yourself. you already know who they are, so let them lend their strength.
above all else, look for the hope of a new day. keep your eyes focused on what’s before you instead of what is behind and fight your way to freedom. a half step is still progress, so don’t feel discouraged when things move slow. any move forward is a win.
has anybody been through this and come out the other side? still heading to the other side? i’d like to hear your story.
any other encouragement or advice for our friend?
i would encourage anyone who thinks you might be in an emotionally abusive relationship to read the Psychology Today article with as much objectivity as you can muster. if you see yourself in even part of it, talk to someone you trust who is wise and objective.
*other break up stuff: