How to Find the Strength and Courage to Leave an Abusive Relationship

How to Find the Strength and Courage to Leave an Abusive Relationship how to find the strength and courage to leave an abusive relationship
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Leaving any kind of relationship especially an abusive one is not easy. All your thoughts and beliefs will be in support of staying and persevering in that relationship. You may want to raise your kids in a traditional family unit, your religious beliefs may be compelling to always submit to your partner, those people around you may be sharing with you their stories about how they worked things out even when it was on the brink, you have thoughts about how others will perceive you and more and more. If you’re in an abusive relationship, you’re also scared of standing up on your own because your inner strength has been eroded and you feel like a shell of what you were in the past.

You will also be hopeful that they will change their behaviors because of the investment you’ve made in the relationship which you don’t want to see it go up in smoke. So, all the odds are for you to stay in that relationship and make it work. Your partner may not be showing any whiff of willingness to change their behaviors and you feel so trapped. That’s why it needs courage and strength from you to really step up and beat those odds.

The relationship may be harming you but when you lack the courage and the strength to leave, you’ll find yourself stuck or trapped. Regardless of what the odds are, you can still find ways to build your courage and find the strength to leave. You deserve a better life, regardless of those beliefs you have, you are greater than all those beliefs. In this article, I am going to share practical tips that will help you find that strength to leave that abusive relationship for good.

This is not about how-to breakup with them (I made an article about this in the past, read here), but it’s more about finding that strength and courage to finally do it.

1. Learn to beat the Odds

The first thing that will help you find that courage is to study about toxic relationships, narcissism, emotional abuse and stories about other survivors of abuse. The thing is you may not even be aware of what you’re going through but if you really feel that the relationship is making you sicker and sicker, read about toxic relationships. I emphasize on Toxic Relationships and not just any kinds of relationships here or just books talking about love.

Let’s explore this, the odds and your mind want the relationship to work, and so there’s a higher chance you’ll read articles about making the relationship work instead of toxic relationships or leaving that bad relationship. The more you read about making it work, the more it will feed you with more hope that the relationship will work.

To gain courage to leave, we need to ‘destroy’ the hope that the relationship will work. So, focus on reading more about toxic relationships, narcissism and all those kinds of content on abuse. If you focus more on that you’ll understand that there are survivors who waited and waited but their health kept deteriorating and the relationship did not improve.

You will learn about how they left and thrived and that’s what will happen to you if you just find that inner strength to leave. You will also learn about their pain, and that pain will ignite the pain you’re already feeling deep inside because of being in that relationship. Some books I’d recommend are: –

Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself — Shahida Arabi

Psychopath Free (Expanded Edition): Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships with Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other Toxic People — Jackson MacKenzie

Whole Again: Healing Your Heart and Rediscovering Your True Self After Toxic Relationships and Emotional Abuse — Jackson MacKenzie

You Can Thrive After Narcissistic Abuse: The #1 System for Recovering from Toxic Relationships — Melanie Tonia Evans

Go with the books more because you can cover more ground and you will get more depth of what you’re going through. The thing about being in an abusive relationship is that you’re going through more (emotional pain) than what you’re even currently thinking you’re going through. This is because your inner belief system is already distorted and so you will ‘automatically’ rationalize some abusive ways and bad behavior from your partner.

With learning you’ll also understand that you’re not crazy for staying in the relationship and there are reasons beyond your cognitive understanding that keep you stuck in that abusive relationship. The more you understand those reasons, the more you can reassure yourself that one day you will do it. You will also get first hand information on how other survivors of abuse pulled it off and that in itself will build up your courage.

Another thing about learning especially if you’re a person of faith or your religious values are keeping you stuck in an abusive marriage is you can just do a brief exploration of your scriptures but now focusing on something like “verses against abusive relationships” or, “verses against oppression.” I am not a theologian but I understand that the mind will just latch onto ‘anything’ when it’s seeking self-preservation. The scriptures, even your priest will mostly want you to persevere in that relationship but you can still find a way to use some scriptures to build your courage to leave that relationship (oppressive relationship). (will do more research and write in future about spiritual manipulation).

2. Keep a Daily Journal on The Relationship

The other thing that will help you build courage is to keep a daily list of the things you don’t like, why you need to leave the relationship, and things you like about the relationship. Do not censor anything you are writing, just write about it and really pour all your anger onto it. Make sure you write everything which goes contrary to your own values or what you think a relationship is supposed to look like.

Write all the things they’ve done to you and what they’re still doing to you. To take it to the next level, you can also write about what you will be feeling (emotionally, financially, physically, spiritually, mentally) in says 5 years or even 10 years’ time if you stick to that relationship. It’s just about pushing you to your emotional threshold so that you can clearly see that nothing good will come with staying in that relationship. To stop you from getting lured into the constant cycle of abuse, remember to look at that list every morning or every evening so that your hopeful self will not start getting ideas about making the relationship to work again.

When you write about it, it’s giving you a constant affirmation on why you deserve better in life. You will also be able to see how genuinely unhappy you are in that relationship and that the way you’re being treated things will get worse for you. When you write, you’re able to see beyond the lies your mind keeps feeding you with.

3. Anger to Boost Your Courage

The other thing you can do is to reconnect to the anger you have towards your partner. Don’t you really feel angry at what they’ve put you through, the betrayal, the lies, empty promises, the manipulation and all those others things they’ve done to you?

You can use this constructive anger to neutralize the fear you have about leaving the relationship. You should get furious to the point you don’t ‘care’ anymore about what your parents or those close to you will say. You just throw your hands up and really use the anger as fuel to build the courage to leave the relationship.

Anger is not really a bad thing and it can be a great instigator of change in your life. To really reach the boiling point, use your anger side by side with the journal to really reconnect to the frustration you have towards them. You get angry to the point that you really, really want to show them that you still have what it takes to stand up for you. When you’re very angry, it will neutralize fear and uncertainty you have about the future.

4. Ignore all the bad Relationship Advice

The other thing which will help you build you courage is to ignore all those bad advice about keeping your relationship. You will get this from your friends or family who wants you to stick to that relationship. This can be something like, “Marriage is like that”, “We also went through those moments”, “At least they’re providing for the family unlike my partner.”

When everyone around you is in a bad relationship, it doesn’t mean that you also settle for less just like them. The fact that they persevered doesn’t mean you do the same. So, instead of listening to those advices, surround yourself with people who are supportive of you (not the relationship) and your general well-being. Some friends and family will offer those kinds of advice because that’s what they’re used to as well but because you want to find this strength, just keep away from them so that we can break free from these generational curses.

5. Get Professional Help

When you really want to do it but you don’t even know what steps to take or you lack inner strength to really do it, jump into the deep end and seek help to rebuild your inner strength. When you’re seeking help, focus on rebuilding your inner strength and understanding what you’re going through.

You should also work on this without looping in your abusive partner because they will of course discourage you which further keeps you stuck in denial. Do not go for couple’s therapy, go for therapy for you. Once you come to terms with what you’re going or why you’re stuck, you’ll easily find the best way forward.

Speaking with a professional will offer you assurance that you can thrive in life and they will validate what you’re going through. You will also be able to understand why you’re settling for less and what makes you vulnerable to abusive relationships.

“A bad relationship is like standing on broken glass, if you stay you will keep hurting. If you walk away, you will hurt but eventually, you will heal.” ― Autumn Kohler

An abusive relationship, a bad relationship or a narcissistic relationship or just a relationship which is eroding your identity and ruining your inner peace is not the best place for you to be. You may lack the inner strength to leave and start over but always work on tipping the scales in favor of your general well-being, which is you leaving the relationship.

It’s sad to come to the realization that the relationship you’ve spent most of your time nurturing and investing in may not turn out to what you wanted it to be but remember the you who still deserves happiness. It can be hard to get the motivation to do it because most of your circumstances (inner and outer) may be in favor of preserving the relationship but all you can do is keeping working on it.

Even if there’s no courage to do it, start small by just binging on those books, you never know what will come out of it. You deserve better life, even when there seems to be no light at the end of that tunnel.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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