Today I rejoiced!
"I have finally decided to end a 7 year relationship with a man that is abusive, verbally, physically and emotionally. I made the mistake of going back with him at least 5 times within those 7 years. . . "
This good woman after being put down in every imaginable way had the strength and the courage to leave and leave for good.
You might be saying to yourself why on earth did she stay for so long? My retort. Why do you eat what you eat, sleep the way you sleep and fold your arms the way you do. Yes, fold your arms.
Go ahead do it now. Which hand ends up on top? Your right or your left? Is there a right or a wrong way to fold your arms? No, there is just one way that you've done this for years and it feels comfortable.
Now fold them the opposite way. Feels rather awkward doesn't it?
The same is true for most everything in our lives. We do things out of routine and habit, much of it stemming from the way we were raised by our parents, church and social environment. This includes abuse. A large percentage of abused women grew up in abusive homes. So that's what feels “comfortable" to them even if logically it makes no sense at all.
There are two reasons that it is so essential that you move out if you are in an abusive relationship:
One, for your personal safety and well being"Now I am having another problem. He calls my number over and over and over, sometimes for 20 minutes straight. I do not pick up. Should I email him so he knows where I stand and the calls hopefully will stop?"
Second, for the safety and well being of your children, your children's children and their families
It's your mission to end the cycle!
No! Don't email him with your regular email address otherwise he will flood your inbox with nasty messages.
One thing we must realize is that the abuser thinks purely selfishly. He is out only to serve his own needs. He does not think logically like the rest of us. His heart has this huge big hole in it that he desperately tries to fill in all the wrong ways.
The only way to break the ties is to absolutely restrict all contact and prevent all access to you. In this dear woman's case I recommended she create a new email account strictly to email him if she had a need for closure, and then to immediately close the account or to absolutely never go back to use it.
Letting go and getting out of an abusive relationship takes an inordinate about of courage and that is but the half of it. The other equally important half is to debrief with a counselor or via self discovery program [ideally both] so as not to repeat the pattern.
Remember the smoker trying to give up smoking? Or the heart attack victim trying to give up fatty foods? When ever we are making such huge shifts in our lives we need to find healthy constructive substitutes so we don't back slide.
The same is true for the woman leaving an abusive relationship. It is essential that she understand how she got herself lured into such a relationship, and to learn to not only safe guard herself, but to find new ways of being to attract a healthy partner.
Starting a relationship off right may sound simple, however, for the woman reeling from an abusive situation she must relearn how to ride that bicycle so she doesn't crash and burn.
That reminds me of a story.
There was this athletic young woman who hadn't been on a bicycle in years. She accepted an invitation to go mountain biking with near disastrous results. Going down steep rough trails she continued to use primarily her front break sending her flying over the handle bars into the sage brush and on to rocks, over and over again. Being used to excelling at most sports she didn't stop to ask for help and didn't heed the advice of her friend, so she went home full of scrapes and bruises.For those just getting out of a bad relationship its time to take a look at what needs to be adjusted so that the next relationship can be the positive rewarding and happy experience it is meant to be.
It wasn't until several years later when she once again was coerced into going biking that she was ready to listen and change her braking behavior. This time she had a good experience and ended up becoming quite an adept mountain biker as everyone knew she could. All it took was changing a simple procedure of how to apply the brakes.
Margrit Harris, MSSW, international relationship expert, speaker and author is co-creator of "Get the Right Guy for the Real You" an online interactive course to position the single woman to attract and keep Mr. Right for life. http://www.gettherightguyfortherealyou.com