How to Escape an Abusive Relationship

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After many months or even years of praying, you finally met your knight in shining armor. He is everything you have desired from Mr. Right. After a few months of your blissful romance, things start changing somehow. He is constantly under stress and in a bad mood. It seems like all you do is argue. He becomes humiliating, intimidating, and impatient with you. These could be the signs of a toxic abusive relationship. It may be hard to believe at first and many women remain in denial, but it is important to recognize when you are in an abusive relationship and deal with it before its too late.

In case you find yourself in this situation, what does a woman of God do? Praying about it is the obvious first step. In addition to prayer you may want to:

– Seek help from the elders in the church. Talk to the female pastor or female elders to obtain advise. If possible, get the man involved as well.

– Conduct spiritual warfare. Just like Christ prayed out evil spirits, you can also rebuke and pray away any abusive spirits. Make sure you don’t say or do this in front of the abusive person – it can make him very angry and complicate things. He doesn’t have to be present when make you these declaration for the spiritual warfare to be effective.

– If the abuse does not stop, maybe its time to consider ways to get out of the relationship. You don’t have to wait until the abuse become physical or life threatening.

We have found that in the Christian circles, this matter is often confused with the whole subject of submission. When the Bible talks about a wife submitting to a husband in Ephesians 5, it makes it clear that just like Christ laid his life down for the church, the husband must love his wife. This means a loving husband is a prerequisite for a submissive wife and that rules out any abuse because love is not abusive.

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The following are nine useful steps from on how to escape an abusive relationship.

1. Become aware that the relationship is abusive. Has your relationship been ruining your life? Has your partner been hurting you or making you feel awful on a regular basis? The first step in handling an abusive relationship is to clearly accept that the relationship is a bad, toxic, painful thing and that you must do something to change this immediately.

2. Recognize that abuse can come in many forms. If you are the target of physical violence from your partner, you are in an abusive relationship – period. However, abuse can take many other forms. Mental abuse can include humiliation, controlling behavior, threats, intimidation, and degradation. If your partner continually makes you feel worthless, pathetic, or terrible, you are probably in an abusive situation. If you are afraid to do certain things because of a spoken or unspoken threat of physical violence or some other form of revenge or punishment, you are probably in an abusive relationship, even if your partner has never actually raised a hand against you.

Recognize that it is also possible for sexual abuse (even in the form of rape or molestation) to occur within a relationship. Your partner should respect your boundaries and you should feel like you can safely express your boundaries. Just because you’ve done something with them before doesn’t mean they’re entitled to expect it whenever they want, nor should being in a relationship for a certain length of time mean that sex is “required”. Respect your own boundaries, and get away from anyone who can’t respect them too.

3. Remember that it’s not your fault. You are not responsible for the actions of your partner, whatever s/he may say. You don’t “deserve” to be abused and you couldn’t have done anything to keep your partner from becoming abusive.

4. Recognize that abusers typically don’t change. If you are in a relationship that is starting to become abusive, it is not likely that your partner will be able to change their character to resolve the problem. Abuse isn’t caused by the victim doing something “wrong,” it’s caused by the abuser. The thought and behavior patterns that lead the abuser to commit abuse are caused by deep-seated emotional and psychological problems – not your actions. Unfortunately, without professional help, these issues are unlikely to resolve themselves.

5. Assess your situation. Has your partner made threats to try to scare you out of leaving? Do they have financial control over you? Blackmail? If a relationship has progressed to serious abuse, leaving can be very difficult. A relationship where the abuse is only beginning can be difficult to leave, especially if you are still in love with him or her.

6. Prepare to leave. Depending on how involved the relationship is, you may need to make preparations for your departure. If you have only begun the relationship, you may be able to simply walk away, but abusive marriages can be much more complicated. Make sure you have the following items so that you aren’t forced to come back to the site of the abuse:

* Money

* Numbers of local abuse hotlines and/or shelters

* Any prescription medications

* Legal identification

* Clothing and some toiletries

7. Make plans. If you live with the abuser, suddenly starting a new routine that involves staying away from him or her can be more challenging. Arrange the following for yourself and/or your children:

* A place to stay

* Contact info for a lawyer

* Transportation away

* A safe window to leave.

8. Confide in your loved ones. Once you’ve left, spend a lot of time talking with people you trust and enjoy. Immediately after you end a relationship, you may feel the urge to forgive your partner and get back together with him or her. Your partner may apologize and say he or she will never abuse you again. You may feel pity for your partner. However, it is important at this stage to stick to your decision. A person who abused you before will likely abuse you again. Therefore, despite the urge to get back, stay stern. Involve yourself in plenty of relaxing activities with friends or family members you trust. You may, for instance, join a dance class or a meet up group near your area. Whatever you do, talk to your friends a lot. They will be able to comfort and advise you in this difficult time.

9. Move on. In the long run, you will eventually find a healthy relationship where you are respected. After you come out of an abusive relationship, you may feel that you will never find the correct partner. Don’t fall prey to this self-sabotaging thought pattern. Given plenty of time, you will eventually find someone who is just right for you and who respects you. In the long run, you will be very glad you left the abusive relationship.

Marriages and relationships can be tough at times. You may go through a rough season every now and then. We don’t advocate that you be overly sensitive and eager to find fault. But when blatant verbal assault, mental and emotional abuse become a norm, it’s time for a change.  Physical abuse is never acceptable no matter what the circumstance. You are a princess of the Most High. You do not have to subject yourself to any form of abuse. That is certainly not God’s plan for you. You are precious to Him, He bought you with a Price. And no one should diminish that. And neither should you allow it!


How to Escape an Abusive Relationship

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