I (26F) have been with my boyfriend, Tom (29M) for four years. We had our ups and downs like normal couples do, but we worked through all of our issues. We bought our house a year ago, and it all came spiraling down the moment we got our keys.
He is a complete stranger to me. We started facing “real world” issues, and his true colors came flying out. He attacks my character, my feelings, refuses to compromise on anything, and then acts shocked when I don’t want to sleep with him. I keep a list in my phone of all of the things he says to me throughout the week as a solid reminder to not believe it when he says he loves me. I walk on eggshells every second of every day.
I have an interview with a better paying job and I’m touring an apartment this week. He has no idea.
I can’t shake feeling guilty. He can’t afford this house by himself. I don’t know when to tell him I’m leaving. I don’t know what the right timing is where I don’t have to live with him after telling him I want to leave. I don’t know what he will do, but I know I can’t keep living this way.
I’m completely terrified of this person and what he will do when I tell him; but I finally feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
So… if you are reading this, and you’ve left a toxic relationship, any advice for me? What was your story, and how do you feel about it looking back?
Don’t turn back now. It’ll be hard but it’ll be worth it. Don’t go back. Don’t trust him. Don’t be alone with him.
One year ago I left an abusive relationship of 12 years. I have a 5 year old daughter and at the time, not much money. I was absolutely terrified; I was constantly told that no one would want me, I was terrible, and I had no one. I believed most of that for 12 years. I went ahead and left anyway.
On the day that I left, my entire soul returned into my body. My eyes lit up again. I was able to smile and laugh in a way I hadn’t for years. Over this past year I have continued to find myself. I’ve just bought my own home for myself and my daughter. Life is unbelievably good now. I feel like I’m myself again and I am so excited for my future. Leaving was the single greatest decision I have ever made and I would do it over and over and over again.
Your partner sounds exactly like my ex. I promise you it does NOT get better. Your soul will continue to be destroyed if you stay how things are. Leaving will set you free.
It’s ok to be scared and concerned about what the future holds. But I promise you, you will be ok. Stand firm in your decision. Have all of your plans in place before you leave (I learned this the hard way – I tried to leave a few years ago without any plans and my ex partner threatened to kill himself and so I stayed for another 3 years). Draw on your friends and family for support.
It’s going to be hard and it’s going to be scary and you’re going to miss some aspects of the relationship. But you have to do this for you. I believe in you. You’ve got this.
Welcome to your new life ❤️
Just want to say proud of you for standing up for yourself.
Do not say a thing to him about leaving. Arrange to have all your things moved when he is at work- all and every last bit of it- in that one day.
Leave him a good long thorough letter explaining your side of things, your fears etc. Make sure to keep a copy of the letter. If the house is half yours you will want to let know how you want to deal with it. You could force the sale to get what’s owed to you. Protect your credit rating if the mortgage is in both your names. Get a lawyer if you have to do you don’t need to subject yourself to his abuse.
You are a victim of abuse, remember that.
I’d also say you were sorry there could not have been a more amicable split but that the way he was treating you made that impossible and forced you into doing things this way to protect yourself. You have been traumatized by him.
Do not ever let him know where you are living and block every singly avenue there is that might lead him to you. Change your name on social media and make everything super private, change where you bank if you have to. Block block block.
Don’t say anything until you’re gone. And you’ll want to talk to a lawyer about forcing a sale. You need to make sure you won’t be on the mortgage anymore and have any financial responsibility in addition to getting your share of the equity.
Don’t tell him you’re leaving until you’re ready to walk out the door, and have someone with you for your protection when you do tell him. Best of luck to you.
Don’t tell him verbally. Plan your move and then write him a letter with all your reasons and leave it on the table after you take your stuff.
Change your number and block him on all social media and never look back.
Stay safe out there
The most dangerous time is when you leave, so plan accordingly. Get your important papers out now and store them at a friends. Move out when he’s at work- and have friends with you. Beware of ring doorbells, cameras, etc. Once you are gone you can talk to him via email or phone. Stay safe x
If you are safe, get legal advice first before you do anything. If you aren’t safe, take everything of yours and get to safety. But get legal advice asap.
They’ll tell you the best way to proceed with the financial side, and you need to mention concerns for your safety to deal with this appropriately.
It may be harder to force a sale or to deal with the property if you have moved already.
Also, don’t give him warning in advance that youre going.
I once helped a coworker in a similar situation. She feared retribution and physical abuse, so she arranged with our VP to get an extended lunch for her and a team of coworkers (VP, my Manager, her supervisor, and me) to go to her place and move all her shit out while her BF was at work. When we were done she asked us to go.
She said she dropped the key off with the landlord and left a note explaining without any contact info. She didn’t tell most of us that that day was to be her last at that job because the BF knew she worked there, and he did show up at our office the next day (police were called to deal with him). Apparently she had been talking to our VP for a while and had a new job arranged via a buddy of his or something.
The VP was a buddy of mine and gave me some extra details after the fact. I guess she knew the VP through church and that’s how she got the job at the company, so when she started having trouble with her BF she came to him looking for help. I guess she had tried to make arrangements to leave a few times but something like guilt or fear would keep her with him. It was the guy giving her a black eye that light a fire under her ass.
If you can try to arrange something like this, or at the very least have at least one other person there when it all goes down so you have a witness to verify your side of the story. If you fear the guy could get violent you could request police supervision while you move your stuff out, or try to have some intimidating friends around to make him think twice.
Just want to say – you’re doing the right thing, and you will get through this. They never, ever change. I married one. Similarly, things got worse once we were married.
On the other side of divorce I can only say- I wish I’d got out earlier. Power to you girl, you are strong and you will have a great life beyond this.
Ps- Are you scared for your safety once you tell him/leave? If so, please reach out to domestic violence support services and make sure you have the help of a trusted friend/family. Don’t let him know where you’re moving to. (Remember even harassment through continued phone calls/showing up at your doorstep is something you do not have to put up with).
Best advice if you’re fearful of him… disappear from his radar entirely when you’re ready. The most dangerous time for women when leaving an abusive partner is when the woman tries to leave. Please be careful, OP. Wishing you luck and peace.
Research how to leave safely. Things like monitoring your credit and being informed if someone takes out a card in your name.
Changing your phone no. but keeping the old no. and messages for records just in case.
Don’t block so you can keep evidence of threats.
Prepare some friends that you are doing this in case he spreads lies that you are unwell or in need of mental help.
Cameras or security of some sort, a hot button on the phone set to record just in case.
Make sure nothing about you is listed online.
Tell anyone that knows you not to give out information about you, to always check with you first.
[how to leave a toxic relationship.](https://www.choosingtherapy.com/how-to-leave-a-toxic-relationship/)
I have helped people leave and have a family member be that toxic person. At no time did the person leaving doubt that was the right choice, even when the really nasty behaviour ramped up. A person who can support you is a must. It does take time to stop that walking on eggshells feeling, at least 2 years, with therapy to help seems to be average though it depends.
I also owned a house with someone and it got sold, that was all that happened, yes lawyers were involved to evenly split and I recommend that to anyone.
I planned on living in my car, it was so bad. I didn’t care. I just had to get away, before I lost my life. Bad enough that the police warned me not to go back. Best decision of my life, and one of the most terrifying. I had to go into hiding for months, and warn my friends and family not to meet up with him for any reason. I lost everything when I left, including 40 grand. But I rebuilt my life. It was absolutely worth it
I left an abusive marriage. My ex also couldn’t afford the place on his own. This isn’t your problem. He’ll figure it out.
Please don’t tell him until you are gone. Things will only get worse if you let him talk you into staying, and that’s best case. You are in a very vulnerable situation. I look back and see I was lucky to leave with my life.
If possible ask if you can work from home from your new apartment and don’t tell him where you’ve moved to. Stay away from places you usually go. My ex waited outside my regular grocery story to catch me. Do not underestimate the lengths people will go to in these situations.
You are not safe. And he has proven to be untrustworthy. So taking precautions is necessary.
Don’t let him know you are leaving. Secretly pack items and store them at a friend’s or in a storage unit. For your mail, get a kit from the post office to notify entities that mail items to you of the new address. DO NOT turn in a change of address at the post office as, for a nominal fee, they will provide your new address as it’s considered public information. Change your phone number. Get a new email address. Restrict access or deactivate social media for at least six months. Don’t provide your new information to mutual friends unless they promise not to share. Cut off communication with ALL of his friends. If you can get your car repainted a different color, do that.
On the day you move, do it while he is at work and have at least one person to help you. Use the trashbag school of moving strategy. If it won’t break, put it in a trash bag. Only pack breakables in boxes. You can use clothing or linens for packing materials. Leave all that you can afford to behind. And do this as quickly as possible.
He is going to be incandescent with rage. You need to investigate obtaining a restraining order.
I was lucky. My exe missed when he shot at me.
Only advice i have is your safety is your priority.
Don’t tell him you’re leaving. Like someone else said, get your stuff while he’s at work, write a letter and leave your lawyers number for him to contact. Block him everywhere, tell your friends and family (if they know him) that he’s abusive and that you fear he’ll do something to you and to not give him any information that could be useful to find you (this is important). Change your social media name so he’ll not stalk you with fake accounts. Perhaps you could change your number so he would not call you from other numbers. Change passwords on everything. Also, be careful with your phone, I don’t know if this could be the case but you could reset your phone in case there’s a tracking app or something hidden. Yes, it sounds really crazy but better be safe than sorry.
Don’t tell him to you have left and are safe. Text him and then block him. I highly suggest you visit a DV advocate or woman’s shelter to get further support and advice.
Keep going. Don’t fall for his attempts at love and offers of change. Don’t turn back! Keep us updated.
I want to add, if you two share any accounts (Amazon, etc.) be sure to change the login info (if it’s yours) or quit using it so that when you move and add your new address info he can’t use that to find your new place.
Not me but a friend in an almost identical situation who left his gf. Same scenario. They moved in together, got a dog, he was so excited to be moving forward and starting a life with her but as soon as they got the keys she turned into someone else as well as the little “annoyances” and “quirks” about her cranked up to 11 and turned into red flags.
1. She had known for weeks the job she had was ending. She had no plans for another and was scrambling. This woman is a full adult and should know that if you know or even suspect you’re losing a job (but ESPECIALLY if you know it has and end date) *you immediately start looking*. He ended up paying all their expenses for their 2nd too months there which he doesn’t exactly have to spare.
2. She started freaking out over EVERYTHING. There was a minor misunderstanding about some mail. And I mean *minor*. She blew up, caused a 2 day ordeal and even tried to get me into the middle of it.
3. She needed to know his every single move. If he went anywhere, did anything, he needed to tell her or he was Withholding Information From Her. Literally everything all the time. For example, he once stopped by his Mom’s after work to drop something off. For 10 minutes. It impacted NOTHING. Mom happened to mention it a few days later and this womanbaby flew off the handle because he was Withholding Information Again. WHAT INFORMATION???? She always accused him of “hiding” things.
I could go on. But you get the idea. She was codependent,
dependent, verbally abusive, controlling, distrustful for no reason, moody, lazy and irresponsible and it all got dragged into the light when they got their own place.
He left in secret too and honestly by that point he was so done it was more of a shrug and a “Well, she dug her own grave. She’s gonna have to learn to grow up and be self sufficient and FAST. Not my problem. I already did too much for her.”
He never even grieved because I think he’d already done that. By the time he left it was a formality.
You’re doing the right thing, don’t tell him anything, your safety is more important!
There’s lots of advice on here about how to handle the personal side of leaving, but I have to bring up the house. Is your name on the mortgage? If so, you need to talk to a lawyer about how to handle that situation. You can’t just walk away from a house that you legally own, either fully or in part. If your boyfriend just stops making the payments, your credit will be destroyed.
Don’t tell him in person if you feel unsafe or at least have someone there that he would be scared to start anything with like a dad or an older brother it sounds shitty but men like this are less likely to do anything towards you if they know another man is there ready to kick his ass at any moment. If you do the first option I would take the important “don’t want it broken “type stuff and have the cops escort you later to get the rest. Either way don’t let it slip until you get that key in your hand. Don’t tell him where you are/ don’t tell mutual friends where you are. Try to keep as much distance until everything cools down. It’s gonna be hard given the way to described your life rn but don’t fall back just bc it’s easier than moving forward.
Get your important papers out of the house discreetly. Birth certificate, SSN card, passport, etc. Store them at work or safety deposit box.
Open a post office box and get your mail forwarded there about two weeks before you move out. open a new bank account at a different bank/credit union to where you bank now.
Look at putting your utilities/cable, etc. in a family member’s name if possible. If that’s not possible, look at forming a corporation with a very generic name and put the utilities in its name.
The day you move out, pretend to go to work like normal. Come back when you know he is gone and pack up what you can. You may have to leave somethings behind. Do not go back for them.
Go dark on social media. When you come back on, fake name and random photo of some animal you don’t even like. Block him, his family, his friends, his friends of friends. He will try to find you this way.
What is your financial obligation in the house? Who is on the mortgage? That could be a real issue. Get out but make a plan for that.
You need to move out first and then tell him. If you tell him first the situation can escalate. Do not tell him where you are moving to either.
First bit of advice of don’t buy a house with someone you aren’t married to. Second is make sure you sell and get your percentage. Lastly, good on you for leaving.
It was the best thing for me, I’m so glad I did it. The relationship taught me a lot. I always look at my now partner and glad I don’t have to go through what I use to.
Time does heal
You have the confidence for what’s coming, he does not. He’ll figure it out pretty quick. Too bad you have to keep dealing with him because of the house, but that can sell quick if you want it to.
Girl stay strong and don’t turn back ! U got this ❤️
Get out & don’t look back. Do not feel bad about where that leaves him. You are not responsible for him. Change all passwords he has any chance of knowing or guessing. Get a separate bank account if you don’t already have one. Think about any mutual people in your life – cut them out or don’t give them personal info you don’t want him knowing. People go around gossiping and sharing info whether they mean to be malicious or not. Make sure social medias settings are private and be careful what you post.
You’ll need to talk to a lawyer about the house.
You don’t have to tell him anything right now, just pack your bare necessities and leave. And tell him why via text or a phonecall afterwards why. He either understands but most likely won’t. Good luck.
Don’t tell him.
Take a day off work and empty your stuff out into the new place. Leave the keys on the table with a brief note along the lines of ‘I don’t know how I’m going to manage without you but as from tonight I’m going to try. Don’t contact me.
Then tell all your friends and family to not tell him either.
Make sure you take EVERYTHING – all the important papers and close out any bank accounts held jointly of your funds. Change your phone number.
The only thing I can say is if you believe this is the right choice do it. However when do plan on leaving you need to split everything you have contributed equally, however only take what you have contributed. Do not take more than what you worked for just because the government says so. You being in a better job do not want to fall victim of this as well if he is on the other end of the spectrum.
Can you get the support of your family or really good friends?
It seems you’re afraid of his reaction.
I’m excited for you.
Nothing more to add except that you seem to fear his reaction. When you’re ready to leave, involve family and friends as much as possible. If it’s just you and him, it’s more complex, if your entourage is aware, he won’t have just you to fight if he reacts badly.
Congratulations and good luck. The transition might be difficult, but wonderful things are coming.
It’s the best decision you will make, stay strong and I’m proud of you. I feel a lot better after doing the same and I was in a similar situation.
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