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Question #172: How do I break up with the mean guy who scares me?

Edit/Update:  The LW contacted me to let me know that she left Jon the Asshole (Yay!) after he (predictably) physically assaulted her (Boo!). She’s doing ok and gives us all her love (which is returned. SO returned). I’m leaving this question up because she’s probably (sadly) not alone in having the question.

 

Hello Captain,

About a year ago I got into a relationship with this guy for privacy purposes we’ll call Jon. Jon was really great. He lived really far away. We visited back and forth. When he visited me the first time though he was super mean to all my friends and family.

I thought it was because he was far from home. I went to stay with him (where I am now) very, very far from home. For months he’s been nothing but verbally and emotional evil and mean to me. I was begging him to stop. He never did. Recently, about a month ago, I asked again. I was on that tipping point of “falling out of love” he yelled at me for “asking him to stop being mean.”

I became pretty numb to him, and am now. I started letting myself fall for a guy I casually flirt with online. Who lets just face it, would be closer if I went home and has way more in common/to say to me/is way more my type.

My ticket home isn’t for another month. Now that Jon can sense a problem he’s acting all nice and loving. I said a few times I would try and love him because he throws stuff around when I try to break up with him. How do I tell him I don’t want to try anymore? Should I wait til I go home?

And should I pursue something with casual (bordering on serious) flirting friend, if it feels right?

 – Really freaking scared

Dear Really Scared,

Aaaaah! This got caught in the spam filter and I could not answer it immediately!  Aaaaah! I am so sorry!

First, do you live with Jon? Does he have access to your living space? Can you get to a safe place that he doesn’t have access to? Call one of the hotline numbers from this post (and read all of the comments in that thread, there is tons of practical advice there for getting out of a scary situation) and make sure you are in a safe place as soon as possible.

Second, get yourself a copy of The Gift of Fear ASAP and read all of it (but don’t let him see).

Third (you can do this at the same time as Step 2, there is no required reading to dump someone’s ass) please break up with Jon, the guy who is “emotionally evil and mean” to you and your family and friends and who throws things. I think it’s smart to be at home with your family & friends (and far away from Jon) when you deliver the news – change your ticket if necessary to get there sooner.

Here’s a script:  “Jon, my feelings toward you have really changed, and we need to break up now. Thank you for understanding.” “I don’t think we should remain in contact right now, I will let you know if that changes, but for now I do not want to talk or write back and forth with you. Thank you for understanding.” Then you block his emails, IMs, texts, de-friend/block him on all social media, and never, ever speak to him again. DEFINITELY do not see him again, and tell your family/friends you are breaking up with him and don’t want to have any contact with him so that they have your back. Maybe have a good friend in the room with you when you write him the email or call him to be a witness to what he says and help you stay strong and/or stop you from getting steamrolled by him or sucked back in.

You don’t have to have airtight reasons or explain why to him or get him to “see” or “apologize for” his bad behavior. You don’t owe him a face-to-face conversation or a long discussion. Your feelings have changed, yes? Then that’s the truth. Disengage completely. Do not try to be friends with a mean guy who yells at you when you ask him to stop being mean and who throws things.

The fact that you are “scared” to break up with him makes my heart hurt for you. Get all the support of family and friends on your side, and dump that guy, get some counseling lined up. Today. I’m sorry I didn’t answer this the second it came in, and that I don’t have a time machine to get those weeks back where you were still with this dude.

Once you’ve dumped Jon, maybe you can think about your flirting friend?  If he is giving you some reason to hope for something better and to get out of the relationship with Jon, that’s good, but I suggest seeking some counseling and talking about your fears and the things that happened with Jon – how scared you were, how you didn’t know whether you could break up with him –  and give yourself some time to process everything that happened before you get seriously involved with someone else. If he’s a good guy he’ll respect that and move at your speed.

Let us know what happens.

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43 comments
  1. I have nothing useful to add in terms of advice, but I think it’s a good sign that your question is “How can I break up with this guy?” instead of “Should I break up with this guy?” You’ve won 95% of the battle right there. Good luck and be safe.

    • Yan said:

      Agreed. The LW starts out in a good place, mentally, to get out of this situation quickly.

  2. Rosie said:

    My instinct says if he throws things when you talk about breaking up, do the for real breakup over the phone at someone else’s house/a hostel/a shelter/somewhere anywhere AWAY. Do it now.

    • Natalie said:

      Can I second this majorly. If he becomes violent in similar situations where you are not as determined (I think people recognise this) I would be very worried about his reaction. If you cannot change your airline ticket due to financial issues, move out to a shelter (or alternative safe place) and then break it off.

    • wondering said:

      And if possible, do it from an unlisted number so that he can’t track you back that way.

  3. Marie said:

    The worst mistake I made when breaking up with a violent, hateful guy like that was override the feeling in my gut and my whole body. I knew he would try to do something, I knew he was capable of doing something, and I was afraid of him. But at the same time, I kept telling myself, “That’s ridiculous! Why are you so afraid? You’re being hysterical. He’s not *actually* going to do anything. People don’t *actually* do things like that, you know.” I can’t really explain *why* I told myself that — it just seemed too… terrifying? insane? not-of-this-world?… to admit that I had to take some steps to physically protect myself from somebody who was supposed to love me. It meant I’d have to let go entirely of the idea that there was a good person in there and he loved me “in his way” and maybe we’d made a few mistakes but that’s all normal right, and get fully behind the idea of “there is an abusive person here and he will hurt me if I make him angry.” That was too much for me, so even though my whole body was screaming to run away from him before I told him I was leaving, I tried to conduct the break-up the way I would with a normal, non-scary, reasonable person, even though he had never been any of those things. And it was a huge mistake, because he did get violent, and I just had to see my way through it. I wish now I’d listened to my body, instead of forcing it to stay put when it was just screaming for me to run.

    I am telling you this because if there is any part of your body that gets packed full of adrenaline when you’re around him, and you have to mentally “fix” yourself to stand there and interact with him like he’s not scary, trust it. Even though trusting it will mean a lot of scary things about him and your relationship, and might mean some complicated things about how and when you have to break up with him, trust it. You’ve got alarm bells for a reason — they don’t go off unless you need them.

    (On a side note, The Gift of Fear is all about trusting your gut, and it’s a great book 90% of the time, but… I recommend skipping his chapter on domestic violence. It’s crap, and full of stereotypical “you would have left if you didn’t want it, stupid!” kind of shit that pretty much goes against the very reasonable stuff he says everywhere else)

    • Rose said:

      Marie, about “The Gift of Fear” – that chapter really bothered me too. He says (words to the effect of) after the first time you’re hit, if you stay, you’re not a victim but a volunteer. He never discusses the very good reasons many people stay. The trusting your gut and how intuition is really a series of small observations was good, though.

      • JenniferP said:

        I obvs. need to re-read it and maybe stop recommending it in these situations? I was thinking more about the dating/stalking chapter and what a “firm” breakup looks like.

        • Rose said:

          I think the book is fantastic about firm breakups, and how total disengagement is the way to deal with persistent/stalking behaviour. When you recommend the book, Captain, I think it’s clear that those sections are what you’re talking about. A caveat about his chapter on abuse would be a good thing, though.

      • Allison said:

        I’m rereading The Gift of Fear right now, though I’ve just reached the domestic violence chapter. I remember being really bothered by it too, when I read it years ago, and I’m curious for how I’ll feel about it now. Reading the book this time, he is certainly understanding about the societal forces that cause women to ignore their gut feelings in many situations, but not necessarily… sympathetic, I guess?

        (Part of why I think he may have limited understanding of why women stay is that he grew up in an abusive home and may really be focusing on the collateral damage such relationships cause, since that’s the thing he knows firsthand.)

    • cyranothe2nd said:

      Yes. And, more generally, I felt like the book engaged in victim blaming a lot of the time. It was like, “Trust your gut. WHY DON’T YOU TRUST YOUR GUT???” but never really talks about the social stigma, scripts and other things at play that make women doubt themselves…

      (idk, maybe I should re-read it? That was just my take on it from years ago, when it was first published.)

      • I disagree, for the most part; I reread it a year or two ago and was really impressed by how well he discussed the “false fears” that come from social pressures, and how they interfere with the ability to spot the “gut fears” that mean you’re in danger. Obviously, YMMV, and I definitely am iffy on the DV chapter, but to me it didn’t feel victim-blamey so much as “you’ve been fed a pack of lies” blamey, if that makes sense.

        • Of course, my sense of this may come from how strongly it resonated with me, living with a really anxious and overprotective parent who made me scared of a lot of shit that is not any more dangerous than walking down the street.

        • Marie said:

          What bothered me the most about it was that he really *was* so awesome about the social pressure stuff the rest of the time, and then in the DV chapter, he popped out what seemed like the exact opposite to me.

          He had this section where a woman asked him how she would have known her partner was going to be abusive — he asked her to describe how they met, and she went on to describe a bunch of warning signs for abuse. He then concluded by saying, “Okay, so if he did all that, how could you *not* know he was going to be abusive?” and followed on by emphasizing that this is why he always tells everybody, “The first time you’re a victim, the second time you’re a volunteer.” It just amazed me, since the rest of the book, he addresses how all those “warning signs” are the same things that women are socialized to accept as normal and okay, despite all the danger bells clanging in our heads. But in the DV chapter, he seemed to suddenly lose all that sympathy and insight on how socialization makes this abuse possible, and instead said that you only get one chance to get over your socialization, and then you’re a volunteer.

          The privilege of it also galled me a lot. Like, okay, yeah, maybe some people *can* get out after the first time… but that requires a lot of resources that not everybody has. It seemed like in the rest of the book, he was 100% sympathetic and aware and understanding about there not being one solution for everybody, and you should trust your gut and do what’s best for *you*, because only you know what’s the smartest course of action, but in that chapter, he suddenly dropped all that out the window and was totally cool telling people they had to leave right away no matter what, and if they didn’t, they deserved what they got.

          It’s still a really great book outside of that chapter. I just chock it up to blind spots people have, for personal reasons, and/or things that are socially sanctioned so are easy to keep without challenge. I mean, deBecker is going to run into a lot of agreement with people when he says this shit about DV victims (I actually see the “second time you’re a volunteer” quote pop up a lot on terrible, misogynistic comments on every DV news story, so good job spreading that one around, deBecker). I know I have those blind spots, too — in my job, I can deal with most drug addicts and child abusers with a lot of compassion and understanding. Medical neglect, though, that makes me see red. That’s from family history, but if I didn’t check it, it would be really easy for me to start spouting off some really shitty prejudices that most people would agree with, even though I know (from education, training, and experience) that those prejudices aren’t realistic and are really problematic. It’s just my button. Armchair psychology-ing it here, but I always just assumed DV stuff was deBecker’s button, since on every other topic he was on top of his shit, but on that one, he dropped the ball so freakin’ hard that it was out of character.

          • JenniferP said:

            I think that chapter is coming straight from the heart of the 10 year old boy who grew up in an abusive household where the parents had the power to leave (compared to him) and should have done something about it – he’s like the commenter the other day who says “ALWAYS CALL POLICE” – taking personal stuff and trying to make it universal because he needed it to be true so bad when he was a child.

            I will use more caveats when I recommend it, for sure!

          • Marie said:

            @Jennifer P: Right, that’s what I figured when I re-read it — I’d forgotten about his personal chapter in the beginning, and then suddenly I was like, ohhhhhh, that’s why the DV victim anger. It’s a good lesson in the long-term effects of this kind of abuse — you take this obviously crazy smart guy with excellent insight, abuse him as a kid, and he ends up like a completely different person on this one topic.

            In the DV chapter, he also included an anecdote where a policeman was all blase about, “Here, you fill out this form, then when your husband kills you, I’ll put the form over here.” My feminist/survivor part was like, “BULLSHIT.” But being in social work, I got that on a worker sort of level. You can get really burned out seeing people who you know are killing themselves, are going to continue killing themselves, and you just have to figure out a way to accept that so it doesn’t destroy you. And sometimes you accept it by just shrugging and going, “Okay, so you know, you’re going to die. Now I have some work to do with people who aren’t trying to kill themselves, thanks.” I think that, when you have been personally affected or damaged by somebody else’s problems, you might reach that burned out point a fuck of a lot quicker.

  4. Gretchen said:

    LW, However you decide to break up with him, whether over the phone/email/text etc, I would recommend that when you first open the conversation (before CA’s script kicks in) say something along the lines of “there is something i have to say to you” or “I am going to tell you something”, I would not recommend using “we need to talk”, this will give his abusive pea brain the idea that he might have something to contribute to the conversation. He doesn’t. You are leaving and there is nothing this prick can say to change your mind, hurrah!

    Additionally however, I would have to agree with Rosie and Marie on this one. Do the break-up speech from a distance, not face to face. You don’t owe him anything, he does not deserve an in-person meeting for this, particularly as it seems that you are not safe with him in-person. Then block him on every medium of communication you have.

    I also agree with the captain about your new online flirt, it is awesome you have found someone you connect with, but please don’t rush into another relationship. Give yourself sometime to heal then take it slow. If he really is a nice guy, he will not only understand but also agree that you need some time.

    Good luck!

  5. Dorothy said:

    Personally, I think it would be better to break up with Jon when you’re safe and away from him. You’re on his playing field still. He has you to himself. Can you find a way to keep the status quo until you leave? One month sounds like such a long time when you’re in a situation like this. I truly wish you could change the ticket somehow so that you can leave ASAP. To be scared and walking on eggshells for a month – I’d be counting down the days to freedom.

    Since Jon throws things around when you try and break up with him, why put yourself in harm’s way when you don’t have family and friends near you? Your safety is of paramount importance. I feel for you.

    He’s not going to change for you, ever. He’s found a way for you to be his puppet by manipulating your feelings. The guy sounds very possessive. He’ll find another victim, unfortunately, unless he goes into therapy and can break the cycle. He’s already gotten you to come over to his place by acting mean to your friends and family. The automatic reaction from a caring woman would be that maybe she would see his relaxed, happier side if he’s in a place that’s comfortable and familiar to him. But now your support system is gone. These types of people are looking for someone to vent their frustrations out on. You become his captive audience. The Jekyll/Hyde personality is a clear indication of his instability.

    But you already know this and you want to leave him, and as someone else said, you’ve covered 99% of the battle.

    So get out of there as quickly and as safely as you can. Lie to him, whatever you have to do. And then be really, really happy that you’re away from him, and find a guy who has a personality that matches yours and who is genuinely good to you. And don’t ever get into that type of situation again.

    And please write back and let all of us know the steps you took to get out of that relationship and that you’re safe and sound!!!

  6. Alice said:

    I don’t really have any advice, but Letter Writer, I really hope you’ll get out of your relationship as soon and safe as possible.

  7. When I left my abuser, I didn’t say “we need to break up now”. I said “I am breaking up with you now.” Breaking up isn’t a negotiation; it’s unilateral. And needing to do something isn’t the same as actually doing it.

    Physically getting out doesn’t have to be complicated, but it can take a few days to set up. So the most important part is not leaving a paper (or online) trail. You need a landing place: a rented room somewhere, a friend or relative’s couch, or a shelter. You may have to decide which belongings are really important. (Mine were my cats, my computer, my bed and my meds, but I would have just taken the cats if I’d had to choose.) And you need a time when you know he won’t be there.

    • NessieMonster said:

      “Breaking up isn’t a negotiation; it’s unilateral.” Things I wish I’d known last year.

      Also, jedi hug to you, LW. I’m glad you got out and are doing ok now.

  8. duck-billed placelot said:

    Since it sounds like a portion of the month until your return flight has already passed, and just in case money is an issue (like it usually is), may I recommend calling your airline and asking about same day change fares or stand-by flights? Particularly if you leave before your flight day (which reminds me: leave before your flight day. Leave as soon as you have somewhere safe to go.). Same day flight changes can often be much cheaper, and sometimes stand-by changes are free. In any case, what you want to avoid is you finding a safe place to stay, going there, breaking up with him via phone/email/text/telegram, and then him showing up at the airport to yell at you/harass you/try to get you to leave with him/etc. Good luck, and I hope you have already found a safe place to be!

  9. You don’t have to have airtight reasons or explain why to him or get him to “see” or “apologize for” his bad behavior. You don’t owe him a face-to-face conversation or a long discussion. Your feelings have changed, yes? Then that’s the truth. Disengage completely. Do not try to be friends with a mean guy who yells at you when you ask him to stop being mean and who throws things.

    Amazingly good advice, as always here. Manipulators and abusers exploit people’s strong tendency to conform to social norms to–surprise! surprise!–manipulate and abuse their victims. Once someone has made it clear that they are a manipulator and/or abuser, you no longer owe them conformity to social norms–such as breaking up in person, or listening to “their side”.

  10. knufflebunny said:

    I have found that airline employees do have some leeway in how they charge fees. I found myself at an airport in europe trying to buy a same day ticket on a particular flight to meet my SIL who was flying home because her mother was in the last stages of terminal cancer. When I explained the situation, the employee was able to waive the 14-day requirement and get me a cheaper fare.

    If you present yourself at the ticket office (this doesn’t work well on the phone I have found), and explain your situation, you very well might be able to change your ticket with the minimum fee.

  11. BadSack said:

    LW it sounds like your head is very clear that what has been happening to you is abuse, and that you need to get out ASAP. A very sad fact is that women in an abusive situation are at the greatest risk when they are in the process of leaving an abusive relationship, or have just left. I understand that there may be some limitations about how soon you can physically leave the town/city that you are in, so you may have to bide your time, and spend some energy placating him, so you can make a clean and safe getaway. Since he has been to your family’s home, is it possible that you could stay with friends or relatives who do not live in that town or area for awhile after you return ? I think that it is essential that you tell your friends and family in no uncertain terms about the abuse that has happened, and that you never, ever want to see him or deal with him again.

    The best possible outcome is that you will be in another place, and that he will not follow you there, or attempt to pursue you, stalk you, etc. It is also super important to plug all the holes in social networking sites so that you will be harder to find/spy on, etc. or just shut your profiles down once you have gone, and do not re-establish new ones that are not private for some time after you have fled to safety. Abusers can be very smart and super manipulative to get the information they seek — which can mean that friends of your friends might be getting FB messages from a guy who sounds really nice who met you at a friend’s place, who has something that you left behind that day and wants to return it to you(or whatever genius excuse that is plausible, that gets people to let their guard down to be helpful) to get information about where you are.

    Re: the flirty online friend. Please, please, please don’t jump out of the frying pan into the fire right now. Mr.Flirty Pants will still be engaging with you (in the months after you have gotten to safety) if there is anything to this connection.

    You may be astonished by how exhausted and strange you feel once you have left the situation. Dealing with an abusive partner, and the constant vigilance, stress, placation is very,very draining. I think that it is very important that your head and your heart have a chance to sort themselves out before you start the romancing again.

    Also: I strongly suggest that you call a domestic violence hotline at the first safe opportunity, and get some information about local emergency shelters, etc.and make a safety plan NOW. If Jon finds about your intention to leave AND Mr.Online Flirty Pants you may be in a physically violent situation, although from your letter you do not mention whether this has ever escalated to physical battering. Abuse ALWAYS escalates, and emotional/verbal violence has also been an aspect of most relationships that become physically violent. Please put your safety first. If your spider sense is tingling, heed that and RUN.

  12. merlinfg said:

    Great advice from other people, I second breaking up from a distance.
    Try telling the airline that you need to change your ticket because you are in danger. They might be willing to wave change fees and get you out of there quickly.

    • This is an excellent idea. The people who answer the phone at airline call centers have a surprising amount of discretion to make things happen, and they are mostly very nice people who want to help.

  13. CoolNewAnonymousNickname said:

    I looked up this quote from Anne Katherine’s “Where to Draw the Line: Setting Healthy Boundaries” because I think it has some bearing on the situation at hand. “When you see someone violating a boundary that we all know is built into a situation, be warned. You are being clearly shown that they are willing to exploit others for their own gratification or gain. GET AWAY FROM THIS PERSON. Don’t make excuses for them. Don’t give them the supposed benefit of the doubt. Don’t minimize their behavior by thinking that perhaps they didn’t know what they were doing. Be assured that they realize it.”
    Apologies for the shouty caps-lock, but do get out of there, a.s.a.p. When he began violating the social and interpersonal contract with abusive behavior, he gave you the clear signal that all bets are off. But that saw cuts both ways—you now have no obligation whatsoever to ‘play nice’. Just play it safe and do whatever is necessary to get yourself out of this situation and then give yourself permission to take some time off from dating to clear your head, and do a little homework about red flags to watch out for next time. That’s not blaming– you did nothing wrong. The burden of abuse rests solely with the abuser, always has and always will. This is just a suggestion along the lines of ‘forewarned is forearmed’.

    In my case, I simply did not know what I was looking at when I was looking at it. I had not the tools nor the ability to make my head and my gut talk to each other when something felt wrong. You do, so just make your feet do the rest. Do check in and let us know how you are, keep safe, and make this as quick as you can.

  14. Iris said:

    I really hope everything works out for you LW. Just. Get out, as fast and as safe as possible. Have backup with you when you break up – whether it be a friend in the car outside who has a 10 minute limit before they check up on you, or a family member holding your hand on the phone or as you write that email, or however you choose to do it.

    Beyond that, I’m sorry I don’t have advice (I mean, I was lucky that I was getting out of my abusive relationship before I was scared of him, and I just really hope that your experiance is as painless as possible)

  15. People’s reactions to The Gift of Fear are all over the map. It’s not for everybody. I’m not sure what book is better, though. Anyone who didn’t like it – what book DO you recommend?

    • zweisatz said:

      I cannot recommend a book, only an “appropriate” (in my mind) reaction to this book: take the good parts and be aware of the bad parts ;)

      The “when you are not leaving it’s totally your fault” part is absolute bullshit. But other recommendations like listening to your gut, never react because it will show exactly how long it takes to make you answer etc. are good advice.

      To me, it would be important that less people recommend it unconditionally. Unfortunately, I don’t know a good substitute.

      • I don’t know of ANY book I’d recommend unconditionally, including The Prince and The Republic which I do indeed think everyone should read. I definitely wouldn’t recommend putting things in quotes that aren’t quotes, though. Sometimes it’s effective tongue-in-cheek snark, but sometimes it masks a misrepresentation of what’s actually in the original text.

        • zweisatz said:

          I don’t know how to write it better, I am glad though that you understood it’s not a quote.

    • Marie said:

      I haven’t really read a book that’s better on that particular topic. It really is an excellent book, except for that inexplicable hiccup. And I still recommend that book all over the place. I just drop in a caveat about that particular chapter no matter who I’m recommending it to (since I don’t want to see stereotypes about abuse victims continued in the general population), but I especially work the caveat if I’m recommending the book to somebody in an abusive relationship. I read that book after I’d already gotten out, and that chapter hit me cold and made me want to throw the book away, because for fuck’s sake, I’d already had enough of friends and pushy strangers telling me that I must’ve volunteered for it, I didn’t need this asshole telling me, too. If I’d read it while I was still in the bad morass of abuse, I might’ve just quit reading it and went back to my little cave of “I guess it’s my fault I didn’t see the warning signs, I deserve this.” So I tell people in abusive relationships to get the book, read the book, and skip that chapter until they feel strong enough to disagree with somebody who’s being an asshole to them.

    • White Rabbit said:

      I realize I’m a bit late to this conversation, but just in case anyone reads this post in the future…

      I would highly recommend Lundy Bancroft’s book, “Why Does He Do That?” In addition to being chock full of useful information, it offers absolutely zero victim-blaming. As a matter of fact, Lundy writes extensively about the reasons why women stay. I can’t do the book justice here, but the numerous glowing Amazon reviews are worth a read. He spent many years counseling men in a batterer’s intervention program, so his knowledge is extensive.

      When I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with the first signs of impending violence (including fist throwing and gun brandishing), I read a lot of relationship books that left me uncertain about how to proceed. As soon as I read this book, I was able to ascertain with clarity that I was, indeed, in an abusive relationship, and I quickly concluded that I needed to end the relationship.

  16. meh said:

    If you can’t change your flight at all, get there super duper early. So early that if he decides to show up you will be safely through screening and he can’t find you. You really don’t want a scene in the airport making you miss your flight.

  17. Marie said:

    Just saw the update! Good work getting out! Sorry you had to endure an attack — you didn’t deserve it, and that shit wasn’t your fault — and again, super super good work getting out.

    • Yes! Thank you, LW, for giving us an update! Lots of love to you!

      And Marie, I just wanted to say that I so appreciate all your comments in this thread — they will stay with me a long time and have given me real insight into abusive dynamics. Thank you.

      • Marie said:

        Oh, Sweet Machine, don’t think I’ve forgotten you from Shapely Prose. You were my favoritest!

  18. commanderlogic said:

    Just saw the update!

    LW, I’m SO GLAD you got out and SO SORRY that he assaulted you before you did. My thoughts and warm wishes are with you, and I hope you are safe and on the road to happiness. Jedi hugs, and thank you for sharing your story with us.

  19. Megan said:

    I just read this post and the update! I’m glad the LW got out!

    I think it’s really important to note: there are situations where talking isn’t going to work at all, and the best plan is to run away first, and break up later, and there is absolutely no shame in that. Most of the women I know who have broken off abusive relationships only stood their ground and officially said they were breaking up/divorcing once an order of protection was in place, or while standing next to the cops at their house, or over the phone from a confidential DV shelter.

    An abuser isn’t misunderstanding your signals. They just don’t care. Sending stronger, clearer signals is more likely to cause the abuser to escalate their behavior than it is to get them to back down and respect your feelings.

    Abuse is the type of relationship where it might be better to break up over the phone/over email/via post-it note/via notarized letter from attorney. Or, frankly, to just disappear yourself if that’s an option.

  20. Sheelzebub said:

    I’m so glad the LW got out of the nightmare relationship with Jon–I mean Mr. Abusive Douchecanoe.

    I’ll say this–the minute someone starts throwing shit around, punching walls, or doing anything violent at all, you don’t have to feel bad about just leaving and NEVER telling him/her that you’re dumping their ass. Your safety matters more than their feelings. Seriously. If you know you’re not safe/you know you want to GTFO, then GTFO and fuck their feelings. Anyone who’s capable of being violent in general around you is capable of being violent TO you and they should not be surprised to find your stuff and you gone if they pull that shit.

  21. Sheelzebub said:

    Also, LW, I am sorry to hear that Mr. Abusive Douchecanoe assaulted you. I hope you are okay and that you’re getting the support you need.

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