5 Reasons I Stayed in My Abusive Relationship and Why I Finally Left.

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I’ll admit it, I certainly stayed way longer than I should have. I probably should have turned on my heels at the 3rd month, the first time he lied. But I didn’t. I stuck around for almost 8 more years (ya I know, what a dummy). 8 more years of more lies, bullying, emotional and verbal abuse. 8 more years of second guessing, mistrust, walking on eggshells. Leaving an abusive relationship isn’t as easy as people think though.

Oh, what joy it all was.

In all honesty, I can’t say it was all that bad. I mean, I did stay for 8 years so there had to be some good in all that, no? Sure, there was some good. I didn’t want for anything, really. He had his very caring and loving moments.

He also had his fun and funny moments. We had some good times. There were trips and parties and other fun times.

But….I definitely should have left many times during the 8 years we were together. Many many times. So why didn’t I? Why did I stay for as long as I did?

Why I stayed in my relationship

I’m scared

I’ve been here so long now, with him taking care of me and telling me what to do and how to do it and when to do it, how will I ever manage on my own? Where will I go? How can I possibly leave him? Was being scared a good reason to stay? At the time it was for me. Though leaving an abusive relationship is hard to do, being scared of the alternative keeps us there….besides….

I can’t do this without him.

Being single makes me sad

Loneliness sucks. Dating is bull. I don’t want to have to go through that whole dating thing all over again. I can put up with all his crap just so as to not be alone again. He’s not all that bad is he? Besides…

I can’t do this without him.

How do I live alone?

I’ve never lived alone. Ever. I know that sounds ridiculous but honest to God. I’ve never lived alone and I really wasn’t sure if I knew how. The thought of it freaked me out. I don’t want to live alone. I don’t know how. We settle for abusive relationships because being alone sounds scary as heck and….Besides….

I can’t do this without him.

I don’t know how to do things.

For real. How do I plan a day or a weekend or cut veggies or set the table? Do I know how to plant a flower? Of course not. I don’t know how to do much of anything these days. The thought of having to learn how to do any of these things kinda makes me feel awkward. Besides….

I can’t do this without him.

I have nothing.

Not a single solitary thing. I have the clothes on my back and my crazy little canary (he’s dead now though RIP). I have no job, no money, no self esteem, no self worth, no self confidence. I got nothing. Not a single solitary thing. What  am I supposed to do and where the hell am I supposed to go? Besides…

I can’t do this without him.

…or, can I?

I gotta go

Can I? Can I just pack what little stuff I have and start a whole new life all by myself? Me and my bird and my low self worth? Can I pull up my big girl panties, hold my head high, and walk out the door with confidence?

Well, one day I snapped. It happened. I had had enough. The breaking point finally came. It didn’t matter anymore that I had nothing. It didn’t matter that I was scared out of my tree. It didn’t matter that I had no clue what I was doing.

All that mattered, at that exact moment, was that I was done. I was so done. It was just time to leave this abusive relationship no matter how hard it was going to be.

All that mattered was that regardless of how scared I was, my happiness was lost and it was time to get it back.

All that mattered was that regardless of the fact that I was just a shell of a woman with no clue what the future held, I was ready and willing to find out.

All that mattered was that it was time for me to find joy, happiness, love, peace and freedom.

Every ounce of me was screaming at me to *please leave*. Just go. Get out now. If not now, when? What are you waiting for? Get out. Girl it is time to leave this abusive relationship. Capiche?

…and I proceeded to write my *Dear John* letter.

…and I left

…and I found joy and peace and happiness and freedom and love, self love to be exact.

…and I haven’t looked back.

Are you staying longer than you should? Are reasons for staying the same as mine?

I sure miss my canary.

Peace and Love

Iva

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18 Comments

  • I totally get it Iva. It took me years but I finally did it. Made another mistake but learned from it. Now I am at peace and I have slain my demons.

    • Hey Kathy good on you for slaying demons. I still have a few to slay but I will. I think we will spend the rest of our lives making wee *mistakes*. That’s how we learn and grow. Thanx for your comment and glad you enjoyed the blog.

      much love
      iva

  • I’m in a similar situation, except he’s not my first and only man. At one time I knew how to live on my own. But since then, economy sucks, I’m now on disability, I have no car, I can’t qualify for my own apartment even, because u have to make 3 times the rent to get in. And on disability I don’t. Like u it’s been 8 years of my life, I’m now 54, I have been beaten down so depressed I no longer have friends or family, he has total control, and with no car he really has control. He’ll leave me here 12 hours a day alone, he does uber for a living so works when he wants, usually late afternoon into the mornings, sleeping all day. He promises me he’ll get on a day schedule, get up and work early so he can be home by 7 so we can have dinner, sex, life like normal 50 y/o people, but it never happens. As I’m writing this its 11:30 Monday morning, and he’s asleep. Again. He yells, blames, me for our lack of sex. I told him I’m not staying up till 2 am for someone who isn’t motivated to get up and get out at a reasonable time and come home to cook and eat dinner w me, just have sex. If that was so important then why wouldn’t he want to work day hours and actually have a normal life at night. So we fight. And fight. He isn’t making me happy so I’m not making him happy. I’m not making him happy(giving in) So he’s not. But I have no where to go, no money, no furniture, no family, no friends. What is the answer short of suicide.

    • Hi Shelley I’m sorry to hear of your situation. There is no quick fix to this and suicide is definitely not the answer. I recommend reaching out to a support group or trying to find things to do that bring you joy. Take some time to find out what makes Shelley happy and what she wants.
      I’m no therapist or life coach but I know you don’t have to stay stuck in this misery forever. I have faith in you and wish you the happiness you deserve.

      much love
      iva

  • Good for you to leave. Don’t be afraid. You can learn to live by yourself. Life is too short to suffer and depend on somebody. Every women should be independent. In my country, lots of women suffer like you but they cannot get out of their situation especially after they have children. They were locked in hell eternally.

  • Great prose from a strong woman. Thank you for sharing. Good luck on your journey. You are so worth it.

  • I totally get now and realise that I’m not alone in the world that I wasn’t the only one going through the same thing after 26yrs a breakdown and nearing another I finally got the courage up and told him to leave he has completely destroyed my self-esteem self respect self confidence and so much more I’m struggling each and every day but I look at my 9 year old son and think I’m glad I’m not putting you through what your siblings have gone through

    • Good for you Bronwyn!! So many of us stay. I hope your story and mine can inspire others to pack their shit and go!!!

      much love
      iva

  • I get it. I understand. I stayed for 18 years. Yes, 18 years! When one has finally had enough, they know it. I felt it so deeply, that I too didn’t care. It was time to find happiness for myself and my 4 children. I am now a stronger woman because of it. I feel very empowered, and have no tolerance for bad behavior anymore. I have a truly amazing man who treats my kids as his very own. I think of my story as a great success.

  • Thank you so much! This is my story right now too! Best wishes and nothing but happiness to you! Glad I am not alone! ❤️

    • Thank you for your comment Stacey and glad you enjoyed the blog. Hope for nothing but peace happiness and joy to you too!!

      much love
      iva

  • Iyes.Ive been a victim of this circumstances for 24 yrs.but now i am finally free withis kind of relationship. thank you for making this page..very inspirationa..God blessl

  • Been there, done that. First time marriage of 15 years to a narcissist Second time, 10 years lst r and following marriage and being widowed, I was involved in a long distance on and off relationship for 7 years with ANOTHER narcissist. Third time, 7 years after the end, seeing someone who told me they had loved me like they had never loved anyone else (we weren’t living together but he would spend nights and some weekends) to discover he was lying, lying, and cheating. Took me longer than I like to admit to admit to myself that he was NOT the man I thought he was. It’s been 4 years and I have finally stopped mourning the loss of the man I thought he was (but was just a figment or my imagination). First time I walked (actually drove away with nothing more than I could fit in the back of the car and $1000 I had squirreled away. Left my job, left my home, moved to another state and stayed with a friend for 1 month until I got a job. Second time, I had to get him out of the condo I had bought as a weekend home (he was renting it) and I diddle saddled because I was concerned about paying for 2 places, plus he owed me money. I finally decided I didn’t care. The money was not worth it, my mental health and stability were. Third time, I just didn’t want to believe I had fallen for another lying s.o.b., who could look me straight in the eye, seem sooo sincere, and be lying his ass off. Took me a couple of false starts, but the third time I gave him all of his clothes and told him I was done, and never let him know how often I looked back, with tears in my eyes, wondering what had happened to the wonderful man I thought I had fallen in love with. Gotta admit, I was 64 at the time and I really like my own company and not having to compromise about anything. I am very content by myself!

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