Home » Ask the Therapist » Abusive Boyfriend: Why Do I Struggle to Leave?

Abusive Boyfriend: Why Do I Struggle to Leave?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 4 years now. After a year of me commuting to see him (he lived 2 hrs away), we purchased a house together in his area and I began working from home. This is when I started to see issues. He would drink heavily every Friday & Saturday which wasn’t different from before but now he was showing his true colors. If he got angry or upset about something, he would take it out on me. He’s threatened to kill himself numerous times and has held loaded guns to his head while screaming at me. He’s even fired off a pistol into the ground right next to me while yelling. Another night, we both were drinking and went to bed late. I woke during the night and ran to the bathroom to vomit. He was angry that he had to come check on me and started to say nasty things. I began yelling at him asking what’s wrong with him and banged my hands onto his chest as I did that. Well, he hauled off and punched me in the fa
ce. I never reported this to the police. He’s called me pathetic, said he has no respect for me and many other nasty things. This past May, he put a gun to his head again and that was it for me. I moved back to my town with plans of either selling the home we purchased together or him refinancing to have me removed. He still wouldn’t let me go and I allowed it for some reason!!! We’ve been seeing each other every other weekend since July (again, I’m doing all the driving). He has been doing much better with not drinking but I have caught him lying about it because I can tell when he is. In November, he decided to get drunk again and we had another nasty fight. He apologized saying he would never do it again, that he does not like the person he becomes when he’s drinking and that I should be treated like a queen. So, I gave him yet another chance. This past weekend, I asked if he got beer jokingly and he responded that he did but only a six pack. SMH! He then proceeded to tell me that he wanted to reach out to friends he cut ties with and when I asked if that was a good idea because they like to party, he got enraged! Called me all kinds of nasty things and was extremely hurtful. I told him I cannot do this anymore, that I deserve better and that he really needs to seek help from all the pain he has from childhood. He says he’ll NEVER go to therapy and that I need help because my emotions are out of control. He’s says I’m throwing away 4 years all because of a little argument. Why do I have such a hard time leaving this horribly abusive relationship???? There’s way more but I cannot fit it all in.

Abusive Boyfriend: Why Do I Struggle to Leave?

Answered by on -


At this point in time, safety is paramount. At a later date, you’ll have plenty of time to analyze why you entered this relationship and why you struggle to leave it. First and foremost, you must secure your safety.

Research suggests that the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when leaving the abusive partner. The reason is power and control. An abuser may attempt to escalate their power in an effort to force their partner to stay. It’s important that you are aware of these dynamics.

I would strongly suggest contacting a crisis helpline or the police, if necessary. There are also domestic violence shelters that you could utilize. They will know how to help you. They are specifically trained to help people in circumstances such as yours.

Avoid going to your relatives’ homes for safety. It’s better to utilize the services of the shelter primarily because their locations are anonymous. Your partner likely knows where your relatives live. The fact that he has a gun and has put it to your head would suggest that he is volatile and dangerous. You don’t want to put your family in a position of having to be in danger.

Above all else, safety is your goal. You should also consider contacting a therapist. Attempt to acquire all the help you can. Stay safe and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Abusive Boyfriend: Why Do I Struggle to Leave?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2019). Abusive Boyfriend: Why Do I Struggle to Leave?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 10 Apr 2019 (Originally: 12 Apr 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 10 Apr 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.