How to Stay Away From an Emotional Abuser

Abusive relationships are incredibly intense experiences where all parties involved feel powerful emotions that can be confusing and can override rational thought. While a victim of abuse in a relationship might be overwhelmingly afraid of their partner then, they can also be overwhelmingly in love with them, and can feel lost or worthless without them as a result of years of having their self confidence erased. For this reason, leaving an abusive partner can be incredibly difficult, even though the victims know it is what’s best for them, and it can almost become a form of psychological addiction and dependence. If you are or have been the victim of abuse in a relationship then, how can you make sure you stay strong and keep yourself away from them when so many of your emotions are telling you to take them back. Remaining strong then and staying away from your abusive partner is very important for your safety and health, at least until they can get help to improve their behaviour and preferably permanently.

The first thing you’ll need in order to do this is outside help and support which can give you the strength and reassurance you need to stay apart and stop yourself running back into the firing line. This will be particularly important if you lived with the abusive partner as you will need somewhere else to live, and this will normally mean parents, siblings or close friends. If your partner was physically abusive and dangerous this can also be a good idea as a way to protect yourself from them as they’ll be unlikely to harass you if you have witnesses and other people who can protect you (in such scenarios you would do well to have a big man around the house who can help protect you physically and act as a deterrent – most people who abuse women are cowards so this should work easily).

Even if you didn’t live with the abusive partner it can still be a good idea to ask if you can stay with friends or family for a while for these reasons. At the same time, being surrounded by people who love you can help you emotionally and show you that you don’t need to be with that person to feel happy and wanted. In most abusive relationships the abusive partner will do all they can to damage the self esteem of the victim and so that will also need to be repaired to give the victim back their sense of ‘self’.

To make things easier you should also cut off all contact with the abusive partner once you have moved out and taken care of all your belongings and finances. This means deleting them from Facebook (and blocking them and requesting everyone else to do the same), deleting their number from your phone, changing your home phone if necessary and destroying any post etc you might get from them. All of these provide ways for them to get in contact with you and ways for you to get in contact with them if you have a weak moment. You can expect a scorned abusive partner to become incredibly desperate once you have called things off and resort to threatening messages, or messages begging for forgiveness. A lot of this is again a method to try and win back control; even if you don’t call them back or believe their lies, they still get satisfaction from the concern that such a message causes. Alternatively they might have such an inflated ego as to believe that they can get you back with apologies, and if you are as confused as they may have been able to make you then this may also be true. By eliminating any possible form of contact you can not only prevent this from happening, but also give yourself a form of closure, which will enable you to move on and forget about your abusive partner – without this they will always be controlling you in a way.

Obviously in some cases the situation may be more severe and you may be at danger if your partner is violent or highly volatile. In these instances you should consider changing your address then and going ex directory, and probably in involving the police. If you can get a restraining order placed on your ex partner this can make staying away from them much easier – and far safer for you.

At the same time you need to work on repairing your damaged self esteem and faith in men. Abusive partners do a lot of damage to their victims psychologically and purposefully leave them feeling unable to cope without them. It’s important then to make sure you start going out again, seeing other people, dating, and remember how you used to be before you met them. If you feel lasting psychological damage has been done then consider getting counselling or therapy to help you through those difficult emotions.


  1. I found this article very helpful it's given me ideas that are good to know. Any help that a woman can get that's being emotionally or physically abused should be remembered because you never know when it might come in handy. Some people think this couldn't be me I'm too strong but you never know when that person that you have been with for so long starts to abuse you, you feel lost empty and it can break the strongest woman over a period of time. You think why is this person I love hurting me so much? Then when you try to leave you feel empty and think maybe it wasn't that bad. Right now at this moment I realized I am being abused and it stops now.

  2. I didn't see it as emotional abuse until a pattern emerged and a number of characteristics magnified in certain situations. Looking back, I remember many things that drove me almost mental, and I did things that were out of sorts just to pacify his emotions. The first warning sign came up when he said nasty things to a 10 year-old and when I confronted him, he couldn't reason why. Whenever we had a row it always seem to begin with his anger and insecurity and I was suppose to reassure him all the time. Increasingly I was to be blamed for our conflicts. I snapped when he used my painful past to justify a certain logic about trust, and since then I couldn't bring myself to speak to him. Even when he begged for forgiveness and asked to speak to me, my heart will not budge. I do miss him sometimes but when I think about the times he said those nasty words, I cringe. I hope I can be strong and move on. I don't think I want to be in a relationship for a long long time. I feel happy being alone and spend time with my friends and family.

  3. Feeling sad and inexplicably drawn back to him this week. It was his birthday Monday. I am completely no contact. His favorite number keeps showing up in my life like a beacon. Like the bat signal. I'm glad I found this article as it reminds me to go to my support for the strength I need to stay away.

  4. Very good advice

  5. I am gay and I am watching my best friend in an abusive controlling relationship. Full disclosure we were friends with benefits and I ended up falling in love with him. I wanted to be more than friends and he knew that. But when I was working for almost a year in another city about 2 hours away he started dating this guy. The guy is charming and likeable but I didn’t like them dating, I chalked it up to me being jealous.

    My gut was right. My friend started telling me about emotionally abusive behavior pretty much from the start. The guy will take things said in confidence about fears and self-doubt and use it against my friend in fights. It has even become physical; my friend has a bruised or broken rib. The guy called the police and lied saying my friend pulled a gun on him. The guy has called his family and told them lies, accuses my friend of cheating with any other male friend or client. (Ironically he likes me, and trusts my friend with me. And he knows our history).

    There is lots of drama and craziness but suffice it to say there has been at least 8 or 9 breakups and makes ups. The guy posts nasty untrue stuff on Facebook feed when broken up… And still my friend goes back! After telling me he is done for good this time.

    This so frustrating. Because it’s not just me who tells him to end it, it other friends, family, counsellors and even himself. As the article said it’s like an addiction. I looked to myself for the reason he didn’t want to date me, but I see now it’s his messed up view of a relationship being about control and chaos. He has never had a healthy relationship. This really became clear to me when I said you know he doesn’t love you he wants to control you. My friend said, “I would let him control me if he would just be truthful with me.” This will go on for years. His last boyfriend was over 10 years of something similar according to his brother and sister-in-law. Yeah we know each other’s families, he knows my kids. Our families like each of us respectively.

    He wanted to keep me as his best friend because he would not f*** that up by adding his warped expectations of a relationship to the mix.

    I was going to drop my friend and move on. However I have done research and the recipient of the abuse needs support and goes back and average of 7 times. I don’t want to abandon him, because his family doesn’t support him being gay. I am the only support he has. I listen when they break up. And encourage him to see things for himself. I don’t tell him what to do. I can only wait for him to finally make the decision for himself.

    I no longer hold illusions of him dating me. He needs a best friend more than a boyfriend. And I have started dating another guy, and he seems to appreciate what I offer and is not looking to be controlled.

    So for this who are watching a loved one or a friend go through a domestic violence situation. Be there for support when they need it and try not to be judgemental. The victim knows that they are in a bad situation. But remember as a friend or family member you have to take care of yourself, you are not responsible for another person’s poor decisions. It took me a while to learn that.

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Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki is a full time writer who spends most of his time in the coffee shops of London. Adam has a BSc in psychology and is an amateur bodybuilder with a couple of competition wins to his name. His other interests are self improvement, general health, transhumanism and brain training. As well as writing for websites and magazines, he also runs his own sites and has published several books and apps on these topics.

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