Good Reasons to End an Abusive Relationship Fast

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Many people end up in an abusive relationship before they realize what’s happening. In the beginning, major red flags are often overlooked and explained away logically. For example, lies can be considered misunderstandings and physical outbursts can be seen as a one-time thing. It’s easy to overlook small signs of abuse when you care about someone, but small things are usually indications of a much larger pattern.

It’s tempting to see the best in someone and want to wait to see if things smooth out, but that almost never happens. If you don’t end an abusive relationship early and fast, it’s only going to get worse. 

Here’s why you shouldn’t overlook seemingly small red flags and should walk away no matter what it takes.

You can’t force anyone to change

One of the misconceptions people have in relationships is that they can get the other person to change. Whether it’s getting someone to quit drinking alcohol, stop smoking, or go to counseling for anger, many people try so hard to make their partner change their habits. This almost always ends in disaster because nobody will change unless they want to.

The problem with trying to get someone to change abusive behaviors is that most abusers think they’re in the right. They don’t think they’re doing anything wrong and the idea of changing their behavior is perceived as a threat, which only makes them angrier. 

Very few people will seek help on their own. Usually, abusive people have to get into dire circumstances before they’ll change, like facing criminal charges and spending time in prison. Even then, there’s no guarantee.

Trying to change someone’s abusive behavior is a losing battle. You’re better off walking away as early as possible to avoid wasting your time and energy, and potentially putting your wellbeing in jeopardy.

Abusive people abuse the system to retaliate

Ending an abusive relationship early on when you start seeing the signs can help you avoid a long line of frivolous court battles where you might have to defend yourself against false accusations.

Whenever you hold an abusive person accountable for their actions and impact on others, they tend to get defensive and begin playing the victim role. This becomes a huge problem when they start filing lawsuits and trying to get protective orders against the person they’re abusing. 

If your abuser falsely gets a protective order against you, it can force you to move out of your own house if you’re sharing a rental and it can really turn your life upside down. However, if this happens to you, an attorney can help you get the protective order removed or prevent it from being put into place from the start.

It’s unfortunate, but judges often sympathize with female plaintiffs filing for protective orders against men even when the female is the abusive party. Male victims of abuse are often not taken seriously and people have a hard time believing a woman is the aggressor. If this applies to you, seek legal counsel.

People are generally on their best behavior early on in relationships

While it’s nice to give people the benefit of the doubt, abuse is abuse. Emotionally mature and healthy people simply do not display signs of abusive behavior. Small signs will inevitably turn into larger issues. People usually make an effort to show their best side when they first get into a relationship, so if you’re getting mixed signals, pay attention.

If you’re in a new relationship and the other person shows signs of being abusive, but they’re also extremely apologetic and thoughtful, it’s temping to allow the good traits to override the bad traits. They might be genuinely thoughtful and kind, and apologies are wonderful. However, it’s not okay for someone to dish out abuse just because they apologize. And thoughtfulness won’t erase abusive behavior.

Never accept apologies for abuse

When you notice red flags early on, no matter how thoughtful or apologetic the other person is, take a good, hard look at the situation and leave the relationship if they’re apologizing for being abusive. Abusive people won’t change until or unless they hit some kind of personal, major shift. That’s not your responsibility to facilitate; truthfully, you can’t make that happen for anyone.

Although it’s hard to leave an abusive relationship, the best thing to do is preserve your wellbeing by exiting as soon as you see those red flags. Don’t make excuses for their behavior and don’t accept apologies for abuse.

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