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32 Responses

  1. OldBlonde OldBlonde says

    I have not divorced but my mother and all my friends who are divorced all concur. . . . . . . before you leave, get your financial ducks in a row.  This might mean creating your own bank accounts and building up the balances (with shared money), picking your perfect attorney, putting things in storage little by little that he won’t miss, researching places to live and getting a job (if that applies), getting credit cards in your name or out of your name.  These are just things that these gals have told me about.  If I can think of more then I ‘ll let you know.

    So many others here have personal experience that will be far more helpful than mine.

    All the best to you.  You deserve to be happy and feel appreciated.


    3 like

    • Generic Image SABRINA says


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      • llacey2001 llacey2001 says


        If all your financial ducks are in a row and you’re in the morgue or hospital the row of ducks won’t do you much good. You said he is abusive…IF this is physical abuse GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE NOW. I know, from working in a shelter, that almost every town/city has Women’s shelters. These are NOT over night homeless shelters. These are shelters in what looks like a home, well guarded, and very secret places that the law can and will hide you. One that I worked in was called ‘My Sisters Place’. I don’t know where you are so ASK.


        Financial security is great but personal security is worth a whole lot more…. PLEASE if this is physical or could get to physical forget the money and run! ! ! !


        5 like

    • Generic Image Gordie says

      I volunteer with a domestic abuse agency and I suggest you google “domestic violence/abuse”  in your county.  You will find many people to help you along the way.  You don’t have to do this alone.   You’ll receive emergency shelter should you need it, counseling and advice.  Please don’t hesitate – there is generally no fee for any services – they are there to help you.  You don’t have to accept any form of abuse, physical, mental or emotional. Please make that call and let me know if I can provide any information.

      2 like

    • Generic Image Rosemarie Gumpert says

      I am in the same situation as the other woman that was married 27 years, but I have been married 28 years, but I have been abused mentally and physically over the time of our marriage.  I want to get away but don’t have the financial resources to do that.  I am going to school online, but the college I am going to is in Arizona.  I am wanting to move there to finish the course I have started.  I have no family that can help or would even help me.  I do fear for my life.  Because one time in my life he had given me a headbutt.  It cracked my skull, but it seems to have healed.  I am needing to get out of this situation.  I am hoping, and praying that their is someone out there that can help me and my daughter.  He has been very verbally abusive to her also. I am scared for my life and hers.  I don’t know what he might or could do to me.  He is an alcoholic.  It scares me when he drinks to much, and it happens every night.  ANYONE PLEASE HELP ME TO MOVE TO ARIZONA.  I truly need a miracle to get out of this situation, so I can be happy.  I don’t know how long it has been since I was happy.  thank you all for listening.

      0 like

  2. Lynnette Lynnette says

    i agree w/Notabby.  This will also keep u busy and with a purpose.  Do u work?  R u financial secured?  There are a lot of things that you do not say that are important.

    2 like

  3. LilTigg LilTigg says

    There will be abuse centers in your area that can help you plan your escape. take their advice. I agree with Notabby you need to plan everything to ensure you are financially secure as well as safe before you leave. Also having other women at the center who have had the same experiences will be a great help to you.

    Good luck. Look after yourself.

    4 like

  4. Generic Image atk says

    Sabrina.  I left my husband of 18  years because try as I might, I could not stay in the marriage and stay sober.  I decided my sobriety was more important that being a Mrs.    I concur with the advice to get your financial affairs in order before you go out the door.  This I did not do, and it is the one regret I have in my life. 

    I can only tell you that my family did not support my decision to divorce, and thank God for my Alcoholics Anonymous associates, because they truly became my surrogate family.  I would spend as much time with them as I possibly could.  I don’t know where you live or what resources are available to you, but perhaps, even if you have /learned a hobby, you would find others who shared your interests, and physical proximity to others helps during this time, even without sharing, if you decide to keep things to yourself until you do find that “good friend”.  If you have a family physician, perhaps asking his/her advice is something to consider.  Doctors generally know of resources in the community that we ordinary lay folks are not generally aware of.


    I wish you all the best.  Yes, you really are alone in the marriage, if I understand you correctly.  Life can get better, believe me, I know.    Keep us posted, okay?

    3 like

  5. Generic Image SIZZELN says


    1 like

    • Generic Image grace says

      you are right this kind of men are very dangerous, if you fight with them the money they could be more dangerous, sorry and sad, you have to fight a life for the money, house, etc, they stop loving their couples, then get out and then you fight.

      1 like

  6. Generic Image Gordie says

    Sorry – this is one of my first posts and I responded to Notabby instead of Sabrina – my response was


    Gordie said to Notabby just now new! Edit for another 14minutes

    I volunteer with a domestic abuse agency and I suggest you google “domestic violence/abuse”  in your county.  You will find many people to help you along the way.  You don’t have to do this alone.   You’ll receive emergency shelter should you need it, counseling and advice.  Please don’t hesitate – there is generally no fee for any services – they are there to help you.  You don’t have to accept any form of abuse, physical, mental or emotional. Please make that call and let me know if I can provide any information

    1 like

  7. texasrose texasrose says

    Everyone who has posted is so right.  The financial ducks in a row is important — if it is possible.  Or, if the abuse is physical abuse, RUNYour kids are not a shield any more; there is no one there to hear you scream.  Or to hear you die. Go to a woman’s shelter — they protect identity and location so don’t advertise where they are, but 411 (information) can give you the number to an abuse hotline.  So can the phone book or the internet, but 411 is the fastest.  If the first operator doesn’t help you, call back.  You’ll find a woman who will. 

    Separating you from friends is part of an abuser’s strategy.  You are not alone once you leave and get to a shelter.  I admire your courage in posting this.  You are not alone in your experience!  It’s normal to feel some shame about what has happened.  It’s ok.  There’s nothing to be ashamed of.  There are plenty of women out there who have experienced what you are experiencing.  You’ll share with other women who have experienced what you have, and find that you are not alone.  There will be friends again. 

    If the abuse is mental and emotional, get out as soon as you can, anyway.  Notabby has some great advice.  Organize the stuff you want to take in with the pretext of spring cleaning.  He’ll probably change the locks when you go, and taking your name off the bank accounts and cards is standard, so expect it.  Buy a beautiful bedspread and tuck it in a closet, so you can look forward to using it on your own bed every time you look at it.  When you use your debit card, pull out some extra cash each time, and hide it.  A wise older woman once told me, “Every woman should have her own cash that no one else knows about, well hidden.”  And GO.  Just GO.  Life turns a new page, I promise.

    I keep getting the feeling it is physical, and he might sense what you’re doing.  If so, all the possessions don’t matter.  You’ll end up buying new stuff.  Throw some clothes in the car if you can, and just leave.  Or just leave to go to the store, call 411 to find a shelter, and don’t go back. 

    Take ten minutes.  Imagine how it will feel to be free of him. It will feel wonderful. Look in the mirror, tell your younger and current self you love them.  Tell yourself you have value.  You are strong to have survived.  Repeat an affirmation at least 20 times:  “I am brave, I am strong, I am free.  I am divorcing my husband.”  Not “I’m”.  I AM.  And leave

    There is a circle of abuse.  There is the “honeymoon period”, where he is all sweet and sorry and you may believe it will get better, or may just enjoy the relief.  There is the building period, when you know it is coming and may even start it to get it over with it.  Then there is the eruption.  He does whatever he does, and you respond however you respond.  Then there is the honeymoon period again.  After you’ve left, don’t fall for the promise of the honeymoon period.  Ignore the plea’s, the I’m sorry’s.  Save the anger for talking about it with other women, or take it out physically by walking or working out (if possible).  You know it doesn’t work to try to change him.  Statistically it gets worse for women who go back.  Don’t.

    It’s so hard to say more without knowing your physical and financial circumstances!  I do hope you keep in touch with all of us, and let us know you’re ok.  I’m sure I’m not alone at VN in worrying about you!

    5 like

    • Generic Image KayLani says

      OMG . . .  I can relate to just about every post here.  30 years of being called just about every worthless vile name known, etc. etc.  This post is the first I’ve read online that makes it perfectly clear what I need to do.  It has given me the tools to be successful.  I’m soon to retire and I have no intention of leaving all the financial stability with him – I worked my entire life and my inheritance is wrapped in there as well.  I now know how to, carefully, plan and network for my freedom.  Part of his problem, and to my benefit, is that I am a strong freeminded woman that never accepted it was entirely me – it takes two to tango.  Thanks for being here!  I will be careful and I will check back.

      4 like

    • Generic Image dicey1 says

      All I can say is you are “spot on”.  I saw this happen with my mother and thank God she finally got out.  Unfortunately she waited til I was grown and she almost lost everything…her life!  DO NOT WAIT!  GET OUT!  GET HELP!  My mom is doing great (30 years later) and she is a strong awesome woman!  God bless you hon!

      1 like

  8. JoanPrice JoanPrice says

    You’ve gotten great advice from many people here, and they all follow the same line of reasoning: your #1 action has to be to get help and get out. Now. Please!

    - Joan

    2 like

  9. Gyspy Gyspy says

    Pray without ceasing.  “God keep me safe, guide me and give me direction”.

    1 like

  10. Generic Image Jender says

    Make a plan. You’ve gotten lots of good advice. Write it down. Do one thing every day. If you get stuck, write VN. Grieve a little bit at a time — a trickle, not Nigrara Falls. You can step over a stream. You can’t step over Nigara Fall.s

    4 like

  11. Generic Image Sara M says

    The Salvation Army runs a few Women’s Shelters here. We do a drive for clothes & toys at Christmas for the shelter.  You can seek help from your local Women’s Shelter now.  If you don’t know where it is call the information number of your local hospital to get the number. The shelter will be able to help you with any questions & assess your situation. Do not think you are alone.  There are many great, caring people who will be able to help you. If you need to talk we are all here to listen. May your burdens be a little lighter today because you have set your feet on the path to happiness.  God bless, Sara

    3 like

  12. Generic Image gottadoit10 says

    hi Sabrina,

    I can relate to your dilemma..I left my husband after 28 years, I must say it took a badge of courage but somehow I got it.  I also had 2 children that were more or less grown..I love them to death but somehow they just didn’t understand.  My daughter has taken his side, he has remarried…..and she loves his wife….the reason I am telling you this is not to talk about me but to sort of support your need to leave under any circumstances.  Lots of people are divorced today and I will be the 1st to tell you it sucks…it’s lonely and all that goes with it….but I HAVE NEVER BEEN SORRY FOR LEAVING HIM…..TIME TO MOVE ON AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.. If you need help and positive reinforcement I would be more than happy to be there for you.  It is a life change but for the better….You will have the horror and negativity he belittles you with off your mind….You are worth much more…..His loss….this is a fantastic site so just let your hair down…there are lots of support systems for you…use them and you will make yourself proud….

    1 like

  13. Generic Image Raffila says

    Do not do anything to tip off your husband that you are thinking of leaving him. Be extremely careful about this. 

    If he is physically abusive, then your exit strategy may be different, but somehow if you’ve lasted 27 years, I think it’s more likely that he is cruel and verbally abusive rather than actually hitting you.

    You need a plan, a carefully thought-out, detailed plan.  Your first step is the divorce attorney who can advise you. If  a husband suspects his wife will leave him, he often hides as many of the assets as possible. You do not want this to happen.  Your money, your posessions, they are important to you.  Take your time, set deadline dates to accomplish each task.  Do not tell your children, yet. 

    I understand how you feel, i took care of my mentally ill husband, sheilded and protected him for nearly 25 years .. and I am losing my strength to keep going now that my children are grown.  Everyone thinks we’re such a darling couple, when in fact it’s far different.  I’ve never felt so alone in my life–trying to tell myself “it’s the illness speaking” when the words are so hurtful… well let’s just say I understand.

    Get the lawyer, get the ducks lined up as everyone as told you and do NOT let your husband have any idea what’s going on.  If he asks, be ready with an excuse, some physical ailment that is bothering you–side effect of meds.. whatever you can say that sounds reasonable for why you “just don’t feel like myself, lately, that’s all.”  Be prepared with some excuse you can live with.

    We are all thinking positive thoughts for you.





    3 like

    • Generic Image Raffila says

      One other thing that it’s important. Get out of the house to meet people. on your own.  Even if it’s something as simple as volunteering to help out at your local library. Make some new friends who know you without your husband in tow.  You must try to get some good friends who will support you later when you are alone..and give you something to do besides worrying and forcussing on these difficult days ahead.  In two years, you will look back and be amazed at how different and happy your life has become.  Focus on that!  Imagine it and believe it.

      4 like

  14. Generic Image cwk128 says

    I left my husband of 30 years, he was not physically abusive but emotionally abusive.  My youngest daughter was graduating from high school and I just could not bear the thoughts of being alone with him.  All the advice you have been given is correct, getting your financials in order and collecting copies of all accounts.  He will move/hide money when you leave.  Be prepared.  However, I have another point of concern.  Do find a good attorney (this was very hard for me because I didn’t have a lot of money for a retainer, but found a lawyer who carried me without pay, until the end).  But….even though I have a good attorney one thing I regret.  Every conversation you have with the attorney back it up with an email….have a printed doucment of the conversation.  Also, keep a log of everything that happens concerning the divorce, everything….keep a journal/notebook and document the date and what happened, even if its just receiving a letter in the mail, or a phone call, or the day you opened your new bank account.

    Also, before you leave write down all account numbers and blanaces of EVERYTHING….

    I wish you the best, it is a scary thing to do, but I am so glad that I finally got the nerve to do it.  It was the first thing that I did for myself in years.  I’ve been gone for 3 years and I have my life back.  There have been some hard things to deal with and I have given up a lot of things, but it has all been worth it!!!!  I just wish I had done it years ago.

    4 like

  15. Generic Image SIZZELN says

    To all the women who left the abuse, congratulations and  I am sooo happy for you! Pat yourself on the back, I know it was hard. You are worth it!! :-) HUGS P.S. Sabrina waiting for you dear, we want you safe. Please don’t tell people what you are planning, loose lips sink ships.

    3 like

    • Generic Image cwk128 says

      I agree, I told NO ONE about my plans.  It took me 2 months to get everything lined up and NO ONE knew until after I left.  I wish I had this group to talk to during the process because you are safe here, your plan will not be disclosed.  Best wishes to you, keep us posted….

      3 like

  16. MizNori MizNori says

    After being married for over 16 years with my husband and having three children from him, I decided to leave him due to his abusive personality.  It took me a while to realize I was not happy and the abusibe escalated worse as each years passed.  A good friend of mine advised to leave him and to be financial stable before I did.  I started my own bank account, etc.  When I filed for the separation, he was shocked!  It took five police cars to escort me out of the house just so I could pack what little I had and my three children.  They were all young at the time.  I was not about to leave them with the dumb ass.

    Anyway, long story short, it is the best thing that has ever happened to me!  Leaving him! It felt like the monkey was off my back.  Literally.  I survived it all amidst his stalking and almost trying  to kill me and the children.  Like I said, long story and at the time I never even let anyone in my family know about the abuse.  Only a few close friends who knew us to be the “perfect couple”.  Yeah right!  Now, the kids are grown up and I have remarried a wonderful man who does not believe the “abusing” me or the children.  There is a GOD!

    So a lesson learned for me and for those still out there trying to leave…JUST DO IT!  It will be worth it in the end.  You will have your sanity and self respect back and the ultimate; BEING HAPPY FOR YOURSELF!  God bless you.

    3 like

  17. AuthorTalia AuthorTalia says

    There are websites that help you organize your life. One is called DivorcePreparationForMoms.com  Most importantly, look how Elizabeth Edwards–while battling terminal cancer–decided to divorce her cheating husband.

    As for friends: Get yourself a support group of women who are going through the same. Most people–even those who have seemed to be good friends until recently–simply do not have the strength for the upheaval and emotional roller-coaster of divorce. 

    Most importantly, stop seeing yourself as a victim–of your abusive husband or betraying friends and start taking positive steps to rehabilitate yourself.

    Good luck!

    1 like

  18. Generic Image grace says

    I lived that situation many years ago, I left home with nothing, I was 39, no job, no money, no shelters, but my son and daughter, knock a door my parents, then they moved to texas, and I began working in therapy, I cried a lot, tears of deep pain, but I promised to myself, NO MORE , NO MORE. Big rule to leave, stop having sex, no mix messages, stop psychotic games, I cant live with you, but I cannot live without you. Then go to a lawyer with a male relative and tell the reason you are going to leave, danger to your life, put a restriction order and do not live alone. Ask God for the rigth  people in your life, PSYCOTHERAPY is the more important thing, then behave like an adult person, you are not a child anymore, you have duties, but ALSO YOU HAVE LEGAL RIGHTS, remember first is your life, write to us, you are not alone, behave in a position of power not as a victim, God bless you

    1 like

  19. Nancy Schimmel Nancy Schimmel says

    What great comments people have left here! Truly, finding other women who have gone/are going through the same thing will help you get through it too. I didn’t have an abusive husband, but I find that true with other problems.

    3 like

  20. Generic Image ar says

    Leave as soon as you can.  Making changes gets harder as you get older.

    3 like

    • Generic Image Rosalia says

      I fully agree with you that making changes gets harder as we get older,  I stayed in a bad marriage for more than thirty years and it was hard for me to leave, but finally when the decision came, I just walked out,

      3 like

  21. Generic Image Rosalia says

    Sabrina,  I left an abusive marriage of 31 years, I rented a depa and took some personal things, so that he did not notice my plans, to tell the truth I was scared of his reaction, when I thougjht everything was done I told him, I am leaving, he was really surprised but I did not give him time to do anything and I left, living behind all my belongings ( I mean the house, you know ). The first night I was alone I felt so relieved that there is no doubt one carries on with this kind of marriage just for fear.  I hope that  sharing my experience will help you.   I am sure that when you leave you will feel  free and relieved.  Good Luck

    3 like

    • JoanPrice JoanPrice says

      Such inspiring stories here! How wonderful that we can come together to support women in fear who are ready to make a change and connect with those who already have.

      2 like

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