Deciding to leave an abusive marriage or relationship is never easy, and the decision to leave is very personal. Leaving abusive relationships can be downright dangerous, even life-threatening, especially during the first few months after leaving. The signs of abuse are all there, even if there are no visible bruises, wounds or scars from being physically abused. The mental and emotional turmoil experienced by victims of domestic violence may be unseen to those unaware of the pain abused husbands or wives have gone through.
But, the men and women who have been battered physically, mentally or emotionally abused and have had their self-esteem beaten down, feel the fear of leaving their abuser for many different reasons. Leaving an abusive husband or wife requires a plan of action, in order to safely and successfully leave the abusive partner or spouse. Statistics show that the chances the abuser will change, even with professional counseling, are slim to none. Men or women with an abusive personality do not change. A truly abusive person does not change, will not change, and victims must get out.
Beware of well-meaning family and friends who say you should stay in hopes of a better relationship in time, perhaps with professional help from counselors, therapists, clergy etc. Getting away from or leaving the abusive woman or man for good is necessary. Spousal abuse, in any of its forms, frequently becomes more severe over time, leading some abusive husbands or wives to maim or murder their spouse in cold blood.
The same is true in abusive relationships where the man and woman are not married, but have either recently started dating or are in a long-term relationship. Keep that in mind when talking to your children or teens about teenage abusive relationships between boyfriends and girlfriends. Abusive husbands and wives often feel trapped in abusive marriages by intimidation, threats of various kinds, financial control, and fear for the children living in homes where spousal abuse is prevalent.
Being afraid to leave an abusive wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend is especially true for victims whose self-esteem is low. Even though leaving abusive relationships is not simple or easy, it is important for abuse victims to remember that thousands upon thousands of men and women before you have not only left, survived and gotten a divorce, but became happier, healthier men and women as a result.
Emotional, physical, psychological, financial, mental or verbal abuse does not create or maintain happy, healthy marriages or long-term relationships. Angry, controlling, abusive behaviors and attitudes destroy marriages every day. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, or being beaten and battered by a violent abuser who claims to love their significant other, developing a safe exit strategy for leaving the abusive marriage is vital for your safety and well-being before leaving the relationship.
A healthy, happy marriage between a husband and wife should always be one that promotes and encourages love, respect, honor, friendship, communication, intimacy, commitment, fidelity, support, sharing common goals and dreams, and much more. Some of these qualities and personality characteristics are even included in traditional marriage vows marrying couples make to each other, right before saying “I do”.
Unfortunately, according to Susan Murphy-Milano’s new book How to Escape Abusive and Stalking Relationships, there are more than five million women and their children living in a violent relationship today, and this number is increasing as new technology from tracking devices on cell phones to computer technology allow an abusive person to track his or her victim’s every move.
It can be intimidating, scary, stressful and overwhelming to consider leaving a marriage where you have continuously been receiving the message that you are inferior, worthless, crazy, and otherwise incapable. Change is never easy; especially if you’ve been mentally and physically beaten down, and victims may not believe they have the strength and courage to leave. But they must leave. For good.
“Domestic violence and stalking related crimes are being dismissed in a flurry of shuffled divorce documents and court orders of protection. You cannot plead with an abuser and walk away from potentially life threatening situations if you are unable to learn the steps necessary to protect yourself”, says veteran violence safety expert Susan Murphy Milano in her Time’s Up guidebook.
Spousal abuse victims desperately need the tools, advice, help and support provided in Susan’s new book, as abused men and women face the debilitating problems in their marriages and take steps to regain control of their lives. Victims of abusive marriages, those considering leaving their abusive spouse and getting a divorce, or victims going through divorce proceedings now are able to provide valuable, documented information about their case to their divorce lawyer and court judges about the fears, dangers and personal experiences they have had at the hands of their abuser.
Abusive personality types are clever like a fox and master manipulators. “Snake in the grass” seems like a good description to me. This book doesn’t merely discuss when you should leave or why you should leave, it tells you HOW you should leave. Included are step-by-step instructions how to covertly and secretly make a plan, set-up a safe escape, deal with financial issues, and the paperwork.
Susan’s book teaches abuse victims the techniques and strategies required to remain ten steps ahead of the abuser while in process of leaving and after leaving, and before a threat against your life can be carried out against you or your children. Susan’s book is like the “Bible” for anyone in an abusive relationship. Susan takes your hand and walks you step-by-step through what you need to do to safely leave and survive, all in one piece.
If you have a friend or family member in an abusive relationship, her book is the best gift you can give them as a way of helping someone you know leave an abusive relationship. Susan’s book also serves as a reality check for an abusive husband or wife, rather than a defensive resource for an abusive person to use against their victims. The pages that call out the different types of abuse, and the profile of an abuser, are excellent reading for anyone in a domestic relationship.
With the Evidentiary Abuse affidavit provided in the book, victims are able to provide legal documentation and answers that describe:
- Threats made against your life or well being,
- Incidents of past abuse that a victim had endured
- Admissions of how a threat will be carried out against a victim once they announce they are leaving or filing for a divorce
- Where evidence or weapons would or could be located
- Portray visible injuries or marks
- Determine how to begin and continue through the complex maze a victim faces with police and prosecutors
- How to leave a Perpetrator
- How to collect evidence “on the fly”
- How to begin and continue on the road to safety using a virtual toolbox of techniques
- How family and friends can be crucial in this process
Susan’s book gives victims the strength, courage, determination and tools needed to get a divorce from an abusive husband or wife safely. Victims are taken from the State of being controlled to the “State of Being in Control”. The denial stops now. The reality of the abusive marriage or relationship is clear. You may be an abused husband or an abused wife. Or you may be dating or living with an abusive boyfriend or girlfriend. Love doesn’t hurt. Love doesn’t abuse. If you are being abused mentally, emotionally or physically, the time has come for the abuse to end so you can move on with your life free of abuse. Now.
Rev. Jennifer Burns Lewis says of Susan’s book, “There is nothing like this out there. The reason this book is so valuable is that it’s the first book to provide step-by step procedures and structure to protect everyone from dangerous and abusive relationships.” Susan Murphy-Milano is also the author of “Defending Our Lives, Getting Away From Domestic Violence and Staying Safe” and the “Moving Out, Moving On, When a Relationship Goes Wrong” workbook.