How to cope with an abusive partner?

Now that you have realized that you are in an abusive relationship beyond salvaging, what are you going to do? How will you get out of it? Will you be able to get out of it at all? What will you do after that?

“Irrational fear feeds on itself and grows. You must deny it.”
Dean Koontz, Brother Odd

Your immediate priority is to get out of the abusive relationship. And allow life to take its natural turn. Keep a green tree in your heart, for maybe a singing bird will come in one day.

  1. Be aware of the signs of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse functions to make you feel small and strip you of your self-worth. Acknowledge that you are in an abusive relationship.
  2. Know your rights.You have the right to be treated with respect within an equal relationship with your partner. You have the right to decide about your participation in the relationship if it no longer serves you. Do not let (a false belief of) love overpower the right to dignity.
  3. Realize that you cannot change your partner. It is not heroic to stay with a person that disrespects you. Making your partner understand or realize that he or she is hurting you is not your responsibility.
  4. Don’t retaliate. Abusers are excellent manipulators and may provoke you to the point of breaking, then blame you for everything. Don’t retaliate on any digs, insults, or threats. While it may be hard to hold back your own temper, remember that it’s a trap and you may be the one suffering the consequences. Try to control your impulses by walking away, taking deep breaths, or cutting the discussion off. You cannot have a logical discussion with a person with poor emotional intelligence.
  5. Reach out for support. Confide in friends and family and ask for their support. Tell them what is happening and that you would like help in leaving the situation. It is likely that they will be willing to help in any way they can. The abuser also feels threatened when his social reputation is challenged.
  6. Know when to say goodbye. Remember that it’s unlikely that your abuser will change. Sometimes letting go is the best therapy for your own sanity.
  7. Have a phone on you at all times. You may need to call for help, call the police, or deal with an emergency situation regarding your safety. Have a phone charged and ready at all times to ensure your safety.
  8. Put your safety first. Prioritize your and your child’s safety. Establish a safety plan and leave the scene and move to a secure location. Keep the police and stakeholders informed.
  9. Cut off contact. Once you have successfully escaped the relationship, don’t allow your partner into your life on any terms. He or she may try to sweet talk you, apologize, or say that things have changed. Remember that it’s more than likely that the behavior will start up again, even if your partner promises that it will never happen again. Allow yourself to heal on your own terms, without your partner.
  10. Get legal help.To break off all ties with the abuser you will need legal assistance. Be firm and clear on joint assets and monetary compensation if required for you or the child.
  11. Get on with life. Remind yourself that the abuse was not your fault. Nobody deserves to be abused in any capacity, and nothing you did made you deserve to be treated like that. Find ways to be happy. Life is beautiful and getting on with it is the best choice you can make.

Abusive partners can be detrimental not only to the other partner’s physical wellbeing but also damage and scar her psychologically. Children observe, are affected by and learn from an abusive parent. By, sticking around in an abusive relationship for the sake of children, you are in fact doing them more harm than good. Children don’t have the mental or emotional skills to cope with the pain and mixed messages they receive in an abusive household. They carry this confusion into their adult lives and find themselves choosing partners who repeat the twisted dynamics of their childhood experiences.

Suffering in it silently, expecting the abusive partner to change, is not a wise thing to do. Instead, take charge, and take a stand and reach out for help.

Also read:

Abusive relationship: Don’t do heroic. Don’t endure it.

How to identify an abusive partner?

Why do women stay in abusive relationships?

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