Hi Sugar,

First, don’t look back and judge yourself for taking him back, etc. This will decrease your self-esteem and make you feel less worthy of getting out of this situation. Guilt can dissipate our sense of empowerment and make us feel we don’t deserve to get out of a situation.

Women who haven’t been in an abusive situation may not understand how difficult it is to extricate yourself from these monsters. They catch you with beautiful words and promises. Then they ‘trap’ you by moving in, sharing bills and finances, or having children with you, so you feel you can’t escape easily.

Added to this, there is the traumatic bonding : they have somehow, by lessening your self-esteem, made you feel you can’t survive without them, or even without the abuse, in the case of some ladies, as the abuser has made them feel this is all they deserve or that this is the only option for them.

You are asking how you can be strong and get him out of your life for good: after living with an abuser for many years and making excuses for him so that, in the end, he nearly destroyed me, I would say that you need to keep reminding yourself everday that the ‘nice’ side of him is only a mask for the horrible cruelty and darkness than lies beneath.

This is the hardest thing for us women to face: that the man we loved and whose children we had is not who we hoped and dreamed that they were, that the ‘nice’ times were only our ‘reward’ for being submissive and a ‘good girl’ or manipulations to gain something from us, and that the real them- the angry, jealous, envious, selfish, cruel, out of control, sadistic or even psychopathic them- will always show itself. It has nowhere to go. Abusers don’t admit fault to themselves, so they are largely unwilling to do the heavy psychotherapy work needed to change ( and even if they engage in years of psychotherapy, it rarely works- in 00.1% of cases).

Even when he cries and pleads and ‘admits’ responsibility and claims deep-felt remorse, it is for show and it is not deep-felt.

Abusers don’t lose sleep at night over the pain they cause other people. If they were the kind of people who felt terrible about hurting other people, an had a healthy conscience, they wouldn’t be able to hurt someone like that in the first place, or the huge remorse they felt at doing it would prevent them from being able to do it again. They lose sleep at night over the consequences their actions will have for themselves. That they will have to move out, to go to prison, to lose the supply of a hardworking and attentive wife, or the status of a family which helps them to feel and appear normal to the outside world.

It is the bitterest pill to swallow to have to accept that we aren’t our abuser’s priority: they themselves are. They will always put themselves and their own needs, impulses, weaknesses and tactics first.

In continuing to be with them, we are continuing to be caught up in a huge labyrinth of dehumanising abuse, whose tendrils eventually begin to suffocate and effect our children and our extended family. The abuser doesn’t want to change: he wants his power and control to spread- he is just using the language of remorse to get you to believe his lies again.

Sugar, you and your beautiful children are worth so much more. Believe me, I have been where you are. I am not out of it completely yet, even though I have recently managed to divorce my abuser, but he ( who I believed to be my life ) does not feature as he did, and I never believed that could ever happen, as he had such control over me and my head and my emotions. But it truly has happened. I was told by a lady on this forum, when I posted a post similar to yours, that our abusers may not ever truly get out of our heads, but they become ‘small’ in our minds, and thT can be true for you, if you keep posting for support here, on Women’s Aid, and try to access local DV support, DV counselling and groups to help you. I. Tease in self -esteem end knowledge about abusers’ tactics.

Women’s Aid helpline can refer you to this support.

It will be a long haul, but you will come out the other side, as I have done xxxx

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