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The Inspiration Edit Leaving Abuse Worksheet
Welcome back to my Leaving abuse series.
Previously: Why Do People Stay In Abusive Relationships
Today I’m sharing a downloadable list from the previous chapter on reasons people struggle to leave abuse. This should help you work out the reasons why you stay or a loved one might choose to stay in an abusive relationship.
By going through the list and rationally looking for the truth, you may be able to do what I did and find the strength to keep yourself safe even when it’s so difficult and feels impossible to leave an abusive relationship.
Write down all the reasons you are staying in your abusive relationship. Use any of the above reasons that apply to you plus any more you can think of. Then individually assess and challenge each reason.
Ask yourself questions like, is this a realistic reason? Will that really happen to me? Is this the worst case scenario? What is likely to happen? Working through the list may be a process, it may need to be done many times and each time the reasons may change or become more or less important.
Write a list of the pros and cons of staying in your relationship. Be as honest as you can, look at different aspects of your life such as social, physical, emotional, spiritual wellbeing.
Consider financial factors, children and any other relevant factor. Once you have listed the pros and cons, assign a number from 1 to 10 to each pro and con. 1 being not important, 10 being very important. Add up the scores of the pros and cons to see the difference.
I will now give some examples of some fears and beliefs which may keep someone in an abusive relationship and demonstrate how to challenge these beliefs for the truth.
I am afraid of breaking my religious vows and commitments by leaving my marriage.
I am a devout Christian and made promises to god which I intended to keep when I married. I feared if I left my husband I would be breaking my commitment to him and to God. I was worried what my church friends will think and how God will view this.
I have done all I can do to keep my promises to God and my husband. I have not broken my commitment to god. I tried my best. The marriage commitments were broken when the abusive partner began using violence and abuse against me. God is a loving and understanding God. He would not want me to stay in an abusive marriage. He wants me to be happy. I can still follow my religion if I am divorced.
I can’t take the kids away from their father
My partner is the father of my child. It would be unfair if I left and took my daughter away from him. My child’s father wants to live with his daughter. I’m a bad person if I deprive my child from her own father.
Yes my partner is the father of my child. It is sad that he cannot be part of my daughter’s life and live with us anymore. However this is not my fault. It is his own actions which caused me to want to leave with my child. He has been abusive towards my child and me. I have to keep us both safe.
Even if he had not directed abuse to my child, the fact he abuses me in front of her, emotionally, physically and mentally means he has caused emotional harm to her. If I stayed she would grow up with huge emotional issues. She might even end up like him. I cannot allow my child to feel emotionally neglected, abused or experience fighting and arguing. I am doing what’s right by leaving and taking my child away from him.
My partner won’t be able to cope without me
My Partner relies on me for so much. How would he cope if I left him by himself? He needs me to help him fill out his forms and apply for his jobs. He relies on me to cook for him. What will he eat if I’m not there? How will he cope emotionally? He says he loves me and cannot bear to be without me. I’d feel terrible and hurt him so much leaving him right now. He doesn’t have any family nearby or anyone to turn to. He’d be all on his own.
Yes my partner relies on me for so many things, but he won’t die if I leave him. He will have to learn to do things for himself. He can go to cooking class or buy frozen meals. He can go to citizen’s advice to help with his forms. I might feel bad but his actions are the reason I have to go. I need to put myself first and my child. He can make friends for support, get counselling or even move back to his family. If I leave I am giving him the opportunity to grow and learn things for himself. I not abandoning him, I’m protecting myself and my child.
I don’t want to be a single parent. I’ll never find love again.
I don’t want to have to raise my child on my own. It will be so hard. I won’t have any help. I’ll have to do everything on my own, on a benefit with little money. If I move far away, I’ll not have any support. I won’t be able to go anywhere or do anything without my child. I won’t ever meet anyone else. My partner says no one else would ever love me. Who would? No one wants to go out with a single mother. No one would want to date a woman who has been abused. I’ll be on my own for the rest of my life.
Raising a child on my own will be very hard but I can do it. There are a lot of single parents who do a great job raising their kids. Yes I’ll have to go on a benefit until I get well, but then I’ll find a job to support me and my child.
Once I settle somewhere else, I can make new friends and get help with my child. I can use a child minder or babysitter to have some me time. There are blended families and many single parents do form relationships. I am loveable.
I will just have to take time on my own for a while first. Support will come. This is an opportunity to get strong and focus on me. Then when the time is right I might find someone and not be on my own.
Some reasons for staying in a relationship, such as losing friends, having to go to court, losing money, starting over and the fear of backlash are genuine worries and concerns when in an abusive relationship.
Unfortunately some of the consequences of leaving a partner are inevitable, stressful and difficult but one can get through this.
As unpleasant as life could be, court cases do end, new friends can be made and you can start over. Many people go through this. I certainly did and yes it was difficult, however I got through it.
Leaving an abusive relationship was well worth it when I finally came out of the water, no longer drowning and constantly being abused. I was able to regain my health, my life, my freedom and my happiness. After five years I found a loving non abusive man and am now happily married to a wonderful husband and step father to my child.