Ending an abusive relationship can be the most challenging thing in your life. Today you will learn how to do it in a smart and safe way.
“I know what it feels like to be a victim of domestic violence.” – Kate Brown
In some cases, it is possible to break the abusive relationship informing the partner about your decision. In this case, follow the steps described below. However, be aware that in case of severe danger for you and your children, you do not have to inform him about your decision at all.
So what can you do in a less serious case, but safely?
1. Consider In Advance What Support You Might Need
It is critical after the informing him about your decision. Contact with your friends and counsellor or coach. Be ready to call them before the event. You should also think of the place where you stay before finding new accommodation. This might be women’s refuge or a trusted friend, unknown to the abuser.
2. Think Through In Advance What You’re Going To Say Or Write
Talk it over with a wise and trusted friend. Think also which form of informing him you will choose. In case of a very severe abuse, a controlling person, don’t inform him at all; he will realize that when you are gone.
3. Prepare For Possible Scenarios And His Potential Reactions
Your friends will help you brainstorm those. Be aware that he will be trying to get you back, to force you for coming back. Never listen to this temptation. You have to be prepared for his aggression and desperation, and stay calm, sticking to your decision.
4. Arrange a Time And Place Where You Inform Him About Your Decision
You can also just leave, especially when you feel being in danger. Do it at the time he is not present as confrontation can be very painful and he may win it, forcing you to abandon your decision of breakup. You can leave him a short note in the house, but it is better to leave him uninformed.
“When is my relationship safe enough to talk to him about a breakup?” Yes, I know this question. So before I show you how to break up in less serious cases, remember: You can still try to break up with him verbally if you are still able to discuss problems with him and he listens to your opinion, at least sometimes, when there is no physical violence or you are not dependent on him, e.g. Financially. In other cases, use the procedure described in my last post. So here is what you have to do:
Be prepared and arrange the right time for presenting your decision, as well as find help in advance. Take care to be uninterrupted – no phone call, watching TV or talking to other people at the same time. You and he have to be focused on the conversation.
5. Give Him a Notice
However, it cannot be longer than a few hours, that you want to discuss something important. In this way, he will be more focused on the conversation and his attention will be fully alert. But it works when you have not tried to break up with him before, as otherwise he may expect your message and ignore the conversation or prepare how to defeat your decision.
6. Accept His Anger
Be prepared that he may shout, cry, argue or run away. Never get caught to that, feeling sorry for him or being afraid of him. This stage is inevitable and you have to hold that on.
7. Be Prepared To Listen To His Distress
There’s nothing else you can do at that particular time. However, all depends on your relationship, if you are still able to communicate with him in a non-abusive way and that you can be sure he will not manipulate you with guilt, fear of even use emotional blackmail.
8. Avoid Arguing During the Conversation
This is the last thing that you want in so important moment. Accept his emotions, but stick to your decision and stay calm. In this way, you have a bigger chance to achieve your goal in the least stormy way.
9. Focus On Your role In the Abusive Relationship, Not His
This will only lead to further pleas and arguments. When you focus on him, you will instantly start to doubt in your decision and may even start to change it, which is the worst option. Remember that even if he has contributed much to the relationship, you have done it too and abuse cannot be tolerated – if cannot be fixed because of his attitude.
Before you consider ending your abusive relationship in any way, be prepared and plan it well in advance. In this way, you will do it in an effective way, saving yourself unnecessary pain and hassle. Good luck.