21 People Who Left Their Abusive Relationship Share The Powerful Lesson In Self-Love They’ve Learned


Abuse can be so devastating, but it doesn’t have to destroy you. You can (and will) find the strength to overcome. MentalHelp.Net surveyed 571 people on their abusive relationships, how they found the strength to leave, and what they learned in breaking free. These are some of their powerful, painful, and incredibly honest responses on self-love and healing.


“I have lived the ensuing years as a proud and strong single woman. No desire to ever turn my life – and my body – over to another man. I make my own decisions and I can face the consequences of those decisions without worrying about my physical safety.”


“I am strong and capable of taking care of myself and I did nothing wrong.”


“I learned that even though I may want to justify behaviors and think things can change, I need to be real, recognize patterns/behaviors and listen to my head and heart. If it isn’t right naturally or with a little effort, it isn’t going to work. I now know I deserve to be treated with respect and will not tolerate anything less.”


“Now I just really listen to myself and respect my own needs and desires.”


“I learned that his issues were his own and had nothing to do with me. He would have done the same thing to any other woman he felt he could not control.”


“I have a sense of inner strength, and I rely on spirituality. I have principles and I stay to true to myself. I’m able to speak up for myself. And for many years now I’ve been in a loving and healthy relationship.”


“I am a human being of worth, and I am not the little weak nothing he made me out to be.”


“YOU ARE ENOUGH. You are worthy. You deserve to be loved and respected. You deserve to be treated with consideration and care. Your feelings are valid. YOU ARE THE SANE ONE HERE! The way you are being treated is WRONG. No matter what mistakes you have made, no matter what flaws you have, you DO NOT DESERVE to be belittled, humiliated, threatened, controlled, or manipulated in any way. Abusive relationships put our mind in a fog where we can’t even be sure of how we perceive our own reality, or how we see ourselves. YOU ARE ENOUGH and YOU DESERVE BETTER.”


“Never sacrifice your own personal growth at the expense of waiting for someone else to change.”


“Some things are too broken to fix. Move on.”


“Emotional manipulation is in my opinion more difficult to deal with than a blow to the head. You hold onto hope that things can change ‘if only my partner will see.’ I’ve been trapped in this mindset for three years, excusing behavior that few would excuse, for the sake of hope. Love conquers all. That sort of thing. The hard truth that I have recently come to accept is that love cannot conquer all when only one person is picking up the sword. If you stand apart day in and day out, then you are apart. Best to walk out of the insidious situation.”


“Stay strong, know the warning signs in people and love yourself regardless of anything anyone else ever says.”


“Please seek help and get out. As the victim, we become trapped and we lie to convince ourselves that they will change. The truth is is that not all things have a changeable path.”


“It’s really hard to mentally separate the reality that you have in your head and the reality of the situation that you’re in. People will try to show you, but you wont understand. It will start out subtle, and then it will come in waves with how wrong the situation that you’re in actually is, and from there it’s about finding the courage and the ways to get out.”


“Look for the bright spots in life, and don’t just give up on the people you love unless they prove that they are unlovable.”


“Know that you are worth it and that you need to drop the losers and be true to yourself.”


“You need to weigh how much it helps you vs how much it hurts you. Someone should cooperate with you and encourage growth. They should not keep you from your true potential as a lover. If so, get out of it. If they won’t change on their own or even recognize what they’re doing, you need to focus on you.”


“Emotional abuse is destructive. Some people think abuse is only physical, but emotional abuse can affect for someone for a lifetime. People need to try to maintain a social circle and not let others force them to be alone, because when you’re fully alone, you may not be able to see (or let yourself believe) you are being abused.”


“Sometimes being in an abusive relationship is lonelier than being alone. You have to love yourself enough to know that you are worth more than that and that you will do better as soon as you stand up for yourself and demand more from a partner. So in other words, never settle.”


“Once you get out the unhealthy relations, you must give yourself time to heal and reconnect with yourself before dating. If you do not give yourself time to heal, you will not be able to love, trust, and respect the next person to come along.”


“So many people in the world have the potential to love you, not just one person who can’t treat you with respect.”