If you are in fear for your safety, you must call 911 or The Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

The biggest hurdle you face is yourself. You are making excuses for your partner, you are afraid of how you will support yourself, and you might think that the devil you know is better than the one you don’t.

There is no reason for abuse, emotional or physical. Period. You may not recognize it as abuse, but any toxic, addicted, stressful relationship is abusive. Protect yourself, remove yourself, and heal yourself. You must get away then stay away from your abuser so that you can recover and have a chance for a happy and satisfying relationship.

You always have options, and there are people out there who will help you get away and stay away. Family, friends, and community groups are available to take you in or direct you to help.

You are already alone now in your toxic relationship with your abusive partner, so your fear of being alone for the rest of your life will most certainly come true if you stay. Leave instead so that you can be available to a person who will be a true loving partner.

Leaving is hard. Making the decision to leave is hard. It takes courage and commitment. Your partner will make it difficult for you.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Next: How power and control define toxic relationships

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