How to Get Over an Abusive Relationship

It is not easy to move past the pain of an abusive relationship 1. Abuse at the hands of a loved can leave you feeling worthless, depressed and hopeless. However, you should not allow the bullying tactics of one person to taint the rest of your life. Your abuser may have tried to convince you that you are weak, but that isn't true. You had the strength to get out of your unhealthy relationship in spite of your partner's attempts to control you. With courage and determination, you can leave this chapter of your life behind.

End all contact with your abuser. Even after your relationship has ended, your abuser may try to reconcile with you. He might plead with you to give him another chance and promise that his behavior will change if you'll come back to him. However sincere he may appear to be, you need to remember that he is attempting to manipulate you. A partner with a pattern of abuse will eventually lose control and take his aggression out on you. Do not allow yourself to be pulled back into a relationship with someone who gives himself permission to hurt you. Do not take his calls, and block his emails. To move on, you need to make sure he is entirely out of your life.

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Reconnect with your family and friends. An abusive partner wants control. The more isolated you are from other people, the more dependent you will be on your abuser. It is important during this recovery stage that you have the support of people who love you. If you've tried to keep the nature of your relationship hidden from your family and friends, confide in them now. Surrounding yourself with caring, supportive people will give you a chance to express the feelings you felt compelled to hide or suppress during your relationship. You may feel embarrassed or ashamed, but telling the truth will help free you from the past.

Stay busy. Another control tactic of an abuser is to monopolize your time. You may have given up hobbies, interests or even your job in an effort to placate your partner. Begin again to involve yourself in activities that you find fulfilling and enjoyable. Be as determined and proactive about creating the life you want as you were about ending your unhealthy relationship in the first place. Not only will it help you to feel better, each moment you keep yourself engaged in meaningful work or play is a moment that will not be taken up by thoughts or memories of your former partner.

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Talk to a therapist. The demeaning comments, threatening behavior and unpredictable outbursts that characterize abuse can chip away at your self-esteem until you're left feeling worthless. A counselor or therapist can offer you valuable insight and empathy as you work toward healing your emotional wounds. He can also put you in touch with a support group, which will give you the opportunity to talk with people who have had your experience and share your goals of moving on.


Remember that abuse is not gender specific; men and women both can be either victims or abusers.