When Should You Leave An Abusive Relationship?

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That should be an easy answer, right? Most would say as soon as it happens. Most people who say this, have never been in an abusive relationship. It’s easier said than done. I know I was once in an abusive relationship.

My ex-husband abused me for five years before I could get the courage to leave. My marriage started off right, or so I thought. When the abuse started, I made excuses about what was happening. I felt what was happening was my fault. I would often tell myself I would try to do better next time. Anyone who has ever been in abusive relationship knows next time can be in two minutes or two days.

We had children, and I didn’t know how to leave. Sounds strange, just pack the bags and go, but when you’ve lied to so many people about how “wonderful” things are it’s hard having to face them and explain the real truth.

My abuse was both physical and verbal. My ex-husband would never do anything in front of the kids,  but always when they were at school or asleep. As they got older, I know my oldest daughter sensed things were wrong between us.

I began to think about her growing up, and realizing that if I stayed, she would believe that the way I was treated was normal. That scared me to death. I packed my bags and got the courage to call my parents and tell them the truth. I left that day. That was nine years ago.

Today, I don’t know if I’m stronger for what happened to me, but I do know  I’m smarter now. My advice for anyone in an abusive relationship is not to let it escalate. Seek help where ever you can. Yes, you should leave when the first sign of abuse starts. Most importantly, don’t let the abuser blame you for what happened.


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