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Dear Wendy

Advice getting out of abusive relationship

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  • #1097225 Reply
    Sam
    Guest

    I have been in a relationship for 11 years. We have plans to get married in 3 months. Due to some other complications in the relationship, I have become aware of the unhealthy aspects of the relationship and the abusive I have dealt with over the years.

    I am still contemplating on if I truly think she can change. We have had many conversations of my needs and I see some of them being met, but not all of them. But because I am a very selfless person, and I still do care and love my significant other deeply, I have been finding it very difficult to rip the bandaid off.

    We have had 2 instances where we sit and discuss a separation because I bring it up, but they have ended with us talking things out (I do recognize through some manipulation). It leads me to feeling hopeful for the future and happy to stay with her. It’s been so difficult for me because I know the only way to truly get out of the abuse is to leave, but I have so much trouble with it.

    Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!

    #1097234 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    Well she hasn’t changed in 11 years, why would she change now?

    If this is physical abuse, get out. It won’t get better. It only escalates. If this is emotional or mental abuse, it is harder to rationalize it but ultimately you have to determine whether or not you want to be in a relationship where you are not treated well, you are manipulated and you are unhappy.

    An ultimatum (change or I leave) is pointless. She can change for a little bit, you stay and then she goes right back to however she is now. Stop wishing she were different. This is who she is. Can you stay with who she is right now?

    If you leave, you have to leave with no intention of coming back. You can’t make her do anything and you can’t control her. You can only control your own actions.

    #1097238 Reply
    ron
    Guest

    The number one thing is this: you shouldn’t get married unless/until these issues are fixed and some time has passed so that you can tell it is a permanent fix and the present state of your relationship is good enough that you feel you can happily live like that long term with no further change. Marriage will not fix things. It will only make things worse by limiting your immediate options and making you feel trapped.

    Also, don’t be caught up in the ‘I’ve got 11 years invested in her’ trap. That’s a sunk cost. Better 11 years than 20.

    #1097239 Reply
    Prognosti-gator
    Participant

    “where we sit and discuss a separation because I bring it up”

    Stop treating it like a negotiation.
    It takes TWO people to decide to be IN a relationship. But, it only takes ONE to decide to NOT be in one.

    Stop viewing it as a “what could she offer to make me stay” and view it as too late for change. If she’d wanted to change, she would have by now (11 years!) Don’t go into it like you’re going to EACH give a little. You want out. That’s not negotiable. If you need to negotiate how to handle shared properties, etc. then fine – but don’t treat the relationship status itself like that’s even a question.

    #1097246 Reply
    FYI
    Guest

    With a question like this, it would be useful to have examples of the behavior. “complications” could mean anything? With no information, we have no way of offering anything but abstract theories.

    #1097249 Reply
    TigerPaw357
    Participant

    There is a lot of good advice here, I just hope you listen – I learned that “how it starts is likely how it finishes” – Why enter a relationship that does not bring out the best in you?

    #1097251 Reply
    Hazel
    Participant

    There’s abuse, you have repeatedly tried to get out and been coerced into staying, and you are three months off marriage? At the very least put all marriage plans on hold. This relationship in no way needs to be cemented right now. Given that there is abuse I’d say never, but if you are still in doubt get couples therapy or something– if you think there may be something worth saving– but it isn’t in any way rational to bind yourself to someone you perceive as your abuser.

    #1097307 Reply
    TigerPaw357
    Guest

    Great Advice @Hazel, after years of working within the prison system and watching adults who stayed in abusive platforms, – the “leaving and getting out” is the most difficult and dangerous part of ending these types of relationship.

    Also, after years of abuse, “some” women only respond with deadly violence if the Abuser engages another relationship – The spouse and/or mate reacts if they feel cheating on –

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