Toxic marriages can be very dangerous, and sometimes, fatal. As a counsellor, I’ve had my fair share of toxic spouses entering my office in the hopes of trying to talk some sense into their passive partner. Though I try to stay as neutral as possible, it pains me to see these couples enter my office only to find that one of them had left the other.
But let’s face it, there will always be a toxic husband or spouse. Your fiancé may behave like a teddy bear, but certain conditions might turn him into a toxic and abusive husband.
A year ago, I had compiled cases of toxic marriages and those whose spouses, the victims, had left their partners. Needless to say, these people gathered the courage to pack up and leave and never turn back.
If your marriage becomes toxic and your husband suddenly becomes abusive, here are things you need to do to leave them behind COMPLETELY.
Travel the world and meet new people
Donna was one of the first clients who entered my office and sought help for her abusive husband. Undergoing two months of marriage counselling, Donna and her husband almost made a breakthrough until one night, her husband made the mistake of verbally abusing her again. This pushed her to the limit. At 3:00 in the morning, she grabbed what she could and packed it in her duffel bag, grabbed the keys to the car, and went home to her mother.
Six months later, she returned to my office and told me about her adventure. She travelled to another country and stayed there with her sister for almost half a year to recover and bounce back from the emotional trauma.
Travelling and meeting new people are two of the few things most spouses make after they leave their partners, and in Donna’s case, her trip gave her the chance to recover and rediscover herself. Rediscovering yourself is an act of leaving your spouse in itself because it allows you to focus your energy on trying to find what you’re capable of and what you need in a partner.
Always be with people you love
Recovery happens much faster if you’re surrounded by your loved ones. Why do you think hospitals allow visitors?
Being with people you love and who support you can give you the emotional foundation that you need for recovery. With Donna and the other women who left their abusive husbands, they were never truly alone as they surrounded themselves with family and friends.
Travel the world with them. Watch a movie with them. Do things together with them. You’d be surprised what togetherness can do to help you recover.
Faith keeps you strong
I encourage my clients to seek help from clergymen or from people coming from religious organizations, like a church.
Faith is an abstract concept that supports the very foundation of love and it is in finding this faith in God that will help you go through whatever struggles you have. But you don’t really need to find faith just when you’re about to leave an abusive husband. A marriage centred on faith can change the two people involved and thus, can help in strengthening the relationship.
Amy, like Donna, was a victim of abuse. Instead of going home to her parents, she sought help from her pastor. Amy was an atheist but through faith and prayer, she mustered the strength to leave her abusive husband and joined the organization as one of their counsellors for domestic abuse.
Most of the time, abuse is rooted in dominance and when a partner becomes submissive, the abusive one’s behaviour will change dramatically as they try to maintain their control over the submissive partner.
I’m not saying that physical altercation is the best answer, but as a victim of abuse, you need to stand your ground and fight back. When you fight back, you show strength and courage. It is this strength and courage that will not only help you defend yourself from abuse, but also prepare you for leaving your partner if things get out of hand.
The bottom line
At the first sign of abuse, seek help. When it’s an erratic episode, try to seek help from a counselor. If it becomes all too frequent, leave.