Abuse comes in many shapes and sizes; the emotional, physical or the spiritual kind. Whatever it comes wrapped in will be just as impacting. When coaching women to let go of their ex relationships I see all sorts of behavior that their ex exhibits and in some cases it is “abusive”. However, the most abuse I see is actually the self-abuse that my ladies inflict on themselves, when they live in this sort of relationship.
Abusing self while living in this sort of relationship comes hand in hand. I am a big believer that your outer reflects your inner world, which means that how you let someone treat you usually reflects how you treat you.
Reasons for staying
I understand that leaving an abusive relationship is challenging as you may
a) feel that you deserve the experience you are living, b) you tell yourself that you will be the one to change him as he needs you, c) too scared to leave as you are frightened of his threats and what he will do to you and/or your children (if you have them) if you were to.
Whatever the reason is for staying, there are just as many reasons for leaving and escaping, which (if you are in an abusive relationship) you will have told yourself a thousand times.
So how do you escape from an abusive relationship? In this article I lay out the steps that will help you to get moving on and out of there.
1) Overcome your fear and guilt of leaving
In the first instance it is really important to overcome your fear of leaving. Fear will paralyze you and keep you stuck. The most prominent feeling that most of clients feel is fear, followed by guilt as a close second. Fear keeps them captive as their belief is that they cannot escape without their abuser lashing out. The belief that keeps them captive is usually that their “abuser” needs them. Which of course is not the case.
How do you overcome the fear and the guilt?
Lets tackle fear first. Be mindful of the scenarios that are playing in your head as to what you perceive would be the worst outcome imaginable. It hasn’t happened yet even though you are being threatened. Write down a list of benefits to the worst thing can happen. By doing this you will start to balance out your perception about your future to see that even the worst situation can be a gift.
Guilt is just another way of saying, “I will hurt the person if I do what feels right for me.” This of course is not true. There are always two sides to the story. Leaving your aggressor may ruffle his feathers and may well leave him feeling that he is not able to function without you - however it is his responsibility to find his own happiness and fortune – NOT yours.
To find out how you can overcome your fear and guilt download your *FREE* chapters of my new book Goodbye Mr Ex - A Woman's Guide To Moving On.