Breaking free from an abusive relationship is not always easy. Here are suggestions

You may be staying because you need the relationship too much, feel dependent, guilty about leaving, or fearful.

You may be staying because you need the relationship too much, feel dependent, guilty about leaving, or fearful

What you need to know:

  • It is easy to fail to acknowledge the connection between the physical and the emotional, especially where there’s a cycle of abuse.
  • Do not use deficient means of coping with a breakup such as a rebound sex or heavy drinking.
  • Acknowledge your feelings and have your close family and friends walk with you through your emotional or physical healing.

The ideal is to fall in love with the right person, to be cherished, loved, and appreciated. However, you may find that every relationship you get into turns out the same way: abusive. And even though you know that you should leave, you find a reason to stay and make things better. According to psychologist Dr. Chris Hart, you may be staying because you need the relationship too much, feel dependent, guilty about leaving, or fearful. In addition, your series of abusive relationships may have numbed you such that you no longer see the emotional and physical pain and injury.

Your emotional and physical security

Your emotional and physical wellness and security must come first. According to psychologist Ken Munyua, it is only then that you will be cognizant of the need to break away. “It is easy to fail to acknowledge the connection between the physical and the emotional, especially where there’s a cycle of abuse. The victim can be manipulated to a point of blaming the abuse on themselves,” he says.

Past partners

Dr. Hart says that when you begin to break down the cycle, identify common attributes of your exes. For example, check if they are all married, whether they are batterers or bullies, or if they are all good-looking, spontaneous, and full of drama. “Always use your past failures as lessons to stop your next possible mistakes. For instance, do you know what the intentions of your past partners were for you? Were they genuinely interested in a stable union with you or were they just having a good time?” says Munyua.

Your childhood

According to Dr. Hart, you could be subconsciously choosing your abusive partners due to the emotional influences of your childhood. “As adults, we often seek out emotional situations like those we had in our childhood. If your parents fought, you’re more likely to go for someone you will fight with. If they put each other down, you will likely choose guys who make you feel small rather than those who uplift you. If you were neglected by your parents, you’ll subconsciously go for guys who’ll neglect you,” he says. Ensure that your child-parent relationship is not influencing your choice of abusive mates or your decision to stay with someone who abuses you.

Don’t makeup once abused

“Violent relationships get into a deceptive cycle. After an incident, your makeup and there’s lots of remorse and promises which make you think everything is going to be fine,” he says. Thereafter, the tension between you two will keep building and before long, another abusive incident will take place.

Moving forward

Overcoming abusive relationships is a process. Start by making a list of the most important items that you must have in a relationship. If you’re dating, clearly identify your core needs and pair them with your partner. Then ask yourself if your partner is the kind of man you ought to have if he cares about your wellness.

Prepare yourself to leave

Susan Gacheru, a family coach says you could start by preparing your finances or discuss with a lawyer who specialises in divorce matters where the relationship is a marriage and or involves mutual properties. “This should be a secret endeavor, where you look for new friends, new work station, more cash, and a secure place to live,” she notes.”

After leaving

It is likely that you will feel depressed. Do not use deficient means of coping with a breakup such as a rebound sex or heavy drinking. Acknowledge your feelings and have your close family and friends walk with you through your emotional or physical healing. “Deciding to feel some kindness towards your ex will help you move on. And when you’re ready, forgive them. If you don’t, you may never stop thinking about them, and may thereby remain held up in a world of anger and mental anguish,” he says.

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