The Best And Worst Ways To End An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

It is incredibly painful to realize that the relationship you once thought was all sunshine and roses is showing signs of turning into an emotionally abusive nightmare. Even if there's no physical abuse (yet), if you're being put down, controlled, pressured, and blamed for everything, make no mistake, you're a victim of abuse. And don't feel like this makes you weak or stupid for having allowed it to happen. Even a woman as badass as J. Lo can find herself in an abusive relationship, as she revealed in her memoir True Love (via Break the Cycle).

Be strong — the hardest part is actually figuring out that you're being abused. Once you do understand, however, that everything is not your fault and that you don't deserve to be treated badly, there's only one logical step you can take next, and that step is, of course, right out the door.

That being said, the process of breaking things off with any partner is seldom easy. Add in the factor of your partner's emotional abuse, and... complications. Potentially very dangerous ones. Yes, you should leave, and as soon as possible, too. But before you go, you should carefully consider all of the dos and don'ts that come when you leave an emotionally abusive relationship.

Be sure you're prepared when ending an emotionally abusive relationship

No dithering, no trial separations, no "should I stay or should I go." You should go, and you should go now. But first, you need to be prepared. Where will you live? Do you have anyone who can help? Now might be a good time to start trying to reconnect with any friends or family members with whom you've lost touch (quite possibly because this is exactly what your abuser intended, in order to increase your dependence on them). Don't forget about your physical or monetary assets — do you and your abuser have a joint bank account? What about other jointly-owned property? If anything of real value is at stake, and/or the finances are complicated, you might need the services of a lawyer to straighten things out once you've left, but make sure you've secured enough money to cover your immediate expenses by putting it somewhere that only you, and not your abuser, can access.

Once you're ready to go, you need to make it quick. No teary goodbyes — in fact, it may be best just to leave a note or send a text once you're gone. Rude? Don't even think about that. Your safety is what's most important here.

Don't leave the door open on an emotionally abusive relationship

While you might feel bad about breaking things off abruptly with your abuser, understand that there is no way you can ever stay friends. You should never give your abuser the impression that there's even a chance of this, much less of getting back together. An abusive person has already betrayed your trust numerous times and will consider any invitation to stay connected as a license to further the abuse. In fact, once you've dared to "defy" the abuser by instigating a breakup, this person may escalate to physical violence.

HealthCentral indicates that stalking may even be a possibility, so it's best not to reveal your post-breakup location, if at all possible. You may also need to go to such lengths as changing your phone number, email address and online passwords, perhaps even deleting your social media profiles altogether (needless to say, you should definitely unfriend, unfollow, and block the abuser ASAP).

Do whatever you have to do to stay safe, and do not feel guilty. The guilty party is your abuser, and they long ago lost any right to your company. Only somebody as kind, loving, and altogether wonderful as you are deserves the precious gift of your time and attention. Until this person comes along, you're better off on your own than with anyone who's going to mistreat you.