For those of you who are in a domestic violence relationship and are seeking help, the first piece of advice that you need to take is to be selfish. Whether the abuse is physical, verbal or mental, you have to start thinking about you. If children are involved then you have to think about you and your children. Is this the kind of life that you want to live? I know your answer is probably no. You may say that it’s only a phase, it only happened a few times, he can change, it was your fault and so forth, but you need to realize that you are never responsible for other people’s actions! No matter how much you provoke them or tempt them, you are not responsible for their actions. There is a possibility that things could get better and they could change, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay around and wait for that to happen. Your guys can be apart while the other works on them. I think it would be healthier for the both of you. Take a step back, evaluate the situation, see if the relationship is worth fighting for, see if you (they) are willing to change, find out what the issue truly is and fix it. Time to yourself or out of a relationship allows ample time to reevaluate yourself and the situation and find out what will make you happy.
Next, you need to make a plan to leave. For some, this isn’t easy. You may have become isolated from friends and family and feel that you have nowhere to run. You are wrong. Regardless, I would like to think that family would still be there for you even if you did push them away. If not, every state has shelters for the homeless and some specifically for battered women and children. If you go to the ones for battered women and children, you don’t have to worry about being found because it can be kept anonymous. Also, try to stash money away. I always say, whether male or female, you should always have your own money stored away somewhere so that if something was to happen (could be anything, not particularly this) and in case of an emergency, you have money to fall back on.Another thing you need to do is file a police report. The report is so that the incident and person is on file. If anything is to happen to you, there is at least one suspect they can turn to. You will have the option to press charges or not and get a personal protective order. If the order is violated and reported, that person can be taken to jail for violation.
After leaving, using your emergency stash, and filing a police report, you have to start rebuilding your life. Work hard on trying to get your own things, depending on no one. Getting help is ok, but you have to take control of your own life and not give anybody a reason to try and take control from you. Being independent doesn’t mean you have to refuse help, but instead refusing not to stand on your own two feet. Get a job, go to school, put your degree to use, move out of the state if you have to. Do what you feel you have to do to make things better for you and to make you happy. Domestic violence situations commonly just get worse and worse. I advise that you get out before it get to the point where you can't leave. Your are important and your life is valuable. Don't let anybody make you feel otherwise. Checkout this poem I was introduced to a while back. Maybe it will help you out. It's called "I Got Flowers Today" By Paulette Kelly http://graceofjesus.com/flowers.html
Now, if you’re in a relationship that has seemed to have just went south, no violence included, then it’s time for you to be selfish also. A lot of times, we get stuck in our ways or comfortable when we should be improving ourselves. It is true that some people grow apart. I feel that two things can be done in this case. You work on the differences between you guys and see if it’s worth salvaging, see if you guys still have those common interests and if your future goals have common interest. If this doesn’t work or you feel that you guys are beyond this, walk away! You need to worry about your own feelings, emotions and life. I stand firm on the belief that you cannot make anyone else happy if you are not happy. Ultimately, the relationship
will hit a horrible dead end to the point that you guys can’t even be friends anymore. You might not want to be friends with your ex, but you should still enjoy having the option. How do you get out of this? Talk, talk, talk! Communication is the key (or should I say a key), to a successful relationship. You need to have a face to face conversation about what you are feeling. Tell them, “hey, I’m not happy because (insert blank) and I think that it would be better if we ended this relationship.”
When I say be selfish and do what makes you happy, don’t take it the wrong way. If being with a specific person makes you happy, be with them. If providing for somebody, maintaining a nice household, washing the dog or anything else makes you happy, then do it. I am simply promoting that you keep your interest and emotions before anybody else’s because if you put theirs before yours then I feel that it is possible that you could end up unhappy and feeling like you’re stuck. It’s ok to be selfish when the end result is selfless. Learn to care about others when you care about yourself first.
***For those of you (or people you may know) who are victims of domestic violence, visit http://www.domesticviolence.org/ or call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for the hearing impaired.