How do I get out of abusive relationship?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am in a relationship that is abusive. It is mainly verbally and metally abusive but sometimes it is physically abusive too. I know that the obvious anwser is to get out of the relationship, and I want to, and I have also tried to but do not know what to do. I feel like I can not talk to anyone about it, I am very close to my mom (we live in different states but talk almost everyday), and also have a couple of close friends. Only one of my friends has any idea of what is going on, and even then not the full picture, but I am so embarrised and feel that I cannot talk about it. I was not raised to deal with what I am, and I even used to work at an agency that dealt with domestic violence offenders. I guess it comes down to me not knowing exactly what I can do. He threatens me when I try to kick him out; I pay the full amount of rent and bills but he says that since I pay in money orders that I cannot prove that and cannot kick him out. Sometimes we get along, but when we don’t which is more and more lately it is awfull. I do stand up for myself, I don’t just take it, but I think that I probably just make it worse. I guess my question is that I just do not know what exactly to do. Any advice would be greatly appriciated. Thank you.

A: Since you once worked with an agency that helped victims of domestic violence, you already know that you are not alone. You already know that it is very difficult for a woman to extract herself from an abusive relationship. Fear is a powerful glue. You have been smart to keep your close relationship with your mother and your friends. You do need their support. Please let them love you and help you. Telling them what is going on is your first step in breaking the isolation of domestic violence.

Also, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or go to their website at www.ndvh.org. They provide support, information, and referral to local domestic violence programs. If you think your computer or phone is monitored by your abuser, take care of yourself and use a computer at your local libary or a phone he can’t access.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 May 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). How do I get out of abusive relationship?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/05/27/how-do-i-get-out-of-abusive-relationship/