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How can I recover from an abusive relationship?

23 Answers
Last Updated: 12/08/2020 at 4:42pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jessica McDaniel, LPC, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been practicing cognitive behavioral psychotherapy since 2007 with a diverse group of adult clients with various diagnoses, all races, and socioeconomic classes.

Top Rated Answers
December 24th, 2014 6:31pm
The decision to leave is not an easy one to make, but it might have been one of the most important decisions you've ever made. You're very courageous for having made it this far, but a high percentage of abusive relationships can drag on much longer than the first break-up. Don't let it happen. Learn to stay on course and begin the process of healing physically and emotionally to avoid slipping back into an abusive situation. Learn to help yourself. Congratulate yourself. You may still feel helpless and overwhelmed, but take a minute to feel pride that you are doing something about improving your life. The biggest step is over, and you freed yourself from the grips of an abusive relationship. You will be busy trying to figure out how to start your life on a different path and begin the process of emotional healing, but it's important to take a moment to appreciate your own strength. You did it. You're free. Treat yourself. Do some things that you enjoy, both little and big, to get the healing process started. Give yourself a break. Whether it's a hot bath, a TV binge, or a long vacation, it's important to allow yourself little extras and big rewards during this healing process. Especially indulge everything your abuser forbade for no good reason. You really can put your favorite music on and dance to it while you clean up, laugh at your favorite comedian, and enjoy eating the foods your abuser hated. Reclaim those small joys in life, one by one, for yourself. Avoid all contact with your abuser. Gaining emotional strength may be a long road, and your abuser will likely try to win you back. It's important to eliminate contact with this individual regardless of how charming or apologetic the actions and words seem to be. Allow yourself the opportunity to heal and pull yourself away from your abuser's manipulative spell completely. Well-meaning friends and family, possibly unaware of how bad your situation was, may try to convince you that you should stay with the abuser. Ignore this advice. You don't need to return to a physically or emotionally abusive relationship "for the kids" or because your partner "is going through something." Whatever you do to help the healing process move along, don't go back. It only gets worse. You only get one life, do not chance losing it because you think that person will change. Get plenty of sleep. The early signs of serious anxiety and stress-related depression are all made worse with poor diet, lack of exercise, and sleeplessness. These factors can start to cycle and spiral downward, making it very hard to start the healing process. You're likely exhausted and you need to get plenty of rest.[1] Sleep as late as it seems like you need to. Try and move your work schedule around some, if you can, to make sure you're getting enough sleep. See if anyone could switch shifts with you to go on to a later shift, so you don't need to get up. Better yet, consider taking some time off work and resting up, healing your body and your mind. Find a support group. Talking to and learning from other abuse sufferers can be an important step in your recovery. It's recommended that all survivors or domestic violence reach out and talk in a safe and accepting environment to help learn the skills to cope and to move on. To find a support group in your area, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224. It is natural for us to want companionship and love, especially during times of transition. Surround yourself with friends, animals, or new experiences, as opposed to responding to any offers that may be made by the abuser. Don't go back when you want companionship, find it elsewhere.
September 7th, 2015 11:00pm
First of all, I want to say that you are really strong, as you recognized that it was an abusive relationship. To recover for it I would suggest you to go on a psychological therapy, to find yourself again, as it must have changed you. I can understand you well, as this experience touched me too, and someone I know, but what I can tell you is to not give up. You will find the way out of this dark tunnel, I promise you.
November 29th, 2014 10:03pm
Abusive relationships, and what come of them, will seem to hover with you. I know. It feels like you cant escape. To find closure, I had to finally realize that it was not my fault. The abuse you have faced is never your fault.
December 20th, 2014 7:55pm
Forge relationships and friendships with people who respect you and you feel good around. Do things that make you feel confident and competent. Help yourself by helping someone else in an abusive relationship.
November 26th, 2014 7:21am
Time. Time is the only thing that will heal you. It takes time to grieve and grieve you will. Tomorrow is a new day though and tell yourself one more day.
November 27th, 2014 9:27pm
Know you aren't alone. People deal with this all the time and feel free to seek help if you are feeling uncomfortable or alone.
December 3rd, 2014 12:03am
It'll be difficult, and you'll need a lot of support from friends and family and possibly professional help, and with time you should start to recover.
December 18th, 2014 6:53pm
This is very hard to do and you should not do it alone. I would suggest speaking to family members or friends. If you cannot recover from that you should try counselling.
January 2nd, 2015 1:46am
Getting help and support from organisations who handle this kind of situation. If you are in abusive relationship, you can always call help-line people, whom works for abusive relationship, forced marriage and etc.
January 6th, 2015 9:33pm
Surround yourself with friends and family that you really trust and feel safe with. You need lots of support to get you through this.
April 1st, 2015 1:41am
By taking some time to take care of yourself. Talking about it to someone else may feel scary and intimidating but processing what happened and how you felt matters.
April 24th, 2015 8:24pm
Find time for yourself, time to really focus on yourself. Maybe do some things that you have always wanted to do, take a trip, go shopping. Do anything that reminds you of how great a person you are. I also would say to stay around positive people that love and support you.
April 25th, 2015 7:01pm
First you have to realize the fact that you are not to blame for the abuse. You should seek counseling to overcome this barrier. Next you should also realize that your next relationship will not be the same as your abusive one
August 4th, 2015 1:24am
Get as much help and support as you can. Stay as far away from your ex as possible. They may suddenly turn sweet and nice and make you miss them--don't fall for it! Expect to have a lot of conflicted, changing feelings for a while.
August 18th, 2015 6:08pm
Firstly, be patient! It takes time to heal, but time will heal all. The best thing i found was talking about it with my friends and family. At first i would become really anxious while talking about it, but then after a while, it became easy (or easier). I also found that sometimes i would obsess over the memories, playing and replaying moments in my head. When this happened, i found it helped to write down my experience as a story, putting it down on paper helped me get it out of my head, and allowed me to think about it in a constructive way. I hope this helps! Good luck :)
August 25th, 2015 7:24pm
Key thing is to be around people who build you up instead of tearing you down. There will be a lot of lies that have been pounded into you during that relationship.. so you will need to start uncovering them. And filling yourself with truths.
October 27th, 2015 3:23am
Acknowledge the abuse and seek counseling for trauma. Accept that you didn't deserve to be abused. Avoid abusive relationships in the future. Strive to empathize with and forgive your abusers while maintaining healthy boundaries.
March 15th, 2016 3:39am
You have to trust yourself and build up you confidents again and this time even more tough and have courage in any situations in your life.
August 1st, 2016 2:25am
The first thing you have to do is forgive yourself and know that non of it was your fault. Its good that you left the relationship because nobody deserves a abusive relationship.
November 7th, 2016 11:00am
First, you have to try to accept the fact with an open heart. Don't ignore the sadness. Accept it, then try to move on to live a better life.
November 22nd, 2016 12:56pm
Distance, Distance and Distance. Both litarely and mentally, learn from the situation and take away the lesson. And then when you're ready to get back out there, think back and be positive.
October 17th, 2017 2:47pm
I guess first you need to distant yourself from this person who is abusing you in this relationship. Second, you need time to feel the feeling that would come with leaving. The third wave is the most important wave. It can be the turning point for the better, a point that would make you continue the cycle of abuse relationships. Hence, it's important you list down what got you into this relationship, what made you stay and enabled the party to abuse you.
December 8th, 2020 4:42pm
You should immediately look for support. Counseling is a good place to start. Tell your friends/family what has happened or has been happening, even if you don't want to tell anyone, even if it's embarrassing or you feel like you will be a bother, tell the people near you. Remind yourself that you're in pain but you're certainly not broken. Even when you're not sure which way is up anymore, you have to know that there is a stronger version of you whom you're growing into. The path may not be clear but you are walking it. Have faith in the person you will become, the you who is has shed the weight of abuse and mistreatment, who has processed through the pain. Be kind and patient with yourself.