Divorcing An Emotionally
Abusive Husband
- Do's And Don'ts

Divorcing an emotionally abusive husband is probably the most difficult thing you will ever do. You are going to need help, and lots of it! And that's the first problem. You have been trained, first of all, not to talk to others about him. Secondly, you have been led to believe that if there are any problems, you are the cause of them and you should be able to sort them out on your own.

Both of these learned patterns have to be changed. Notice that I said 'learned' behaviors. You learnt to think and act this way in order to basically survive in the marriage with your abusive husband and you can learn to undo them. The trick is to overcome this learning as quickly as possible. Even if you feel like you are betraying your husband in talking to others about him, do it! And I don't mean tell all and sundry about him, I mean your close family and friends, people you can trust.

You will obviously need a lawyer, too. If you can find one who actually understands mind control, psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists, they are worth their weight in gold!

Get professional help, too, from someone who understands abuse and who can help you, firstly, to undo the effects of the abuse and, secondly, to help you navigate the divorce itself. Understanding the tactics of the manipulator helps you to stay out of the emotional turmoil you can be sure they are going to cause for you.

So let's have a closer look at some of the do's and don'ts when you are divorcing an emotionally abusive husband...


Divorcing an emotionally abusive husband - some ideas

You have been trying to negotiate with him for years and it hasn't worked. That's why you are leaving! And this is not going to change. You know he doesn't keep his word. He says one things and does another. He flat out lies to your face. He has no sense of responsibility or obligation to stick to his word. None of this is going to change. In fact, you can expect him to ramp all this up. He is losing control of you. But remember that he lives to control you. He is going to try everything to regain control.

What does that look like? It means getting one over on you, getting more from you than you get from him, making sure that you don't have what you want, emotionally destroying you, keeping himself in your head so that you are still preoccupied with him. This is what he basically wants. So stop trying to negotiate with him. As soon as possible you want to put your lawyer and his lawyer between him and you. That way you don't have to deal directly with him.

A second important aspect of this idea is that you should not be doing him favors or treating him nicely expecting that he will return the favor or treat you leniently. Anything helpful you do for him is seen by him as a weakness. He will simply take it and never pay it back, as he has been doing for the whole time you were with him.

When reading emails from him (or from your lawyer) read them one line at a time. By this I mean that you read one line and then stop. What is he saying? Are there lies in what he says? Inaccuracies? Is he pushing your buttons? When you have analysed this sentence, then read the next. Stop and analyze that. And so on. In this way, you get to deal with what he has written bit by bit. It's often better than reading the whole thing in one go because that is usually overwhelming. It puts you on an emotional rollercoaster. It has been written to upset you and cause chaos in your head. So, easier to deal with in smaller manageable chunks.

If you have access to bank accounts, take as much money as you can. Take more than you are comfortable with. The worst that can happen is that you have to give some of it back to him. However, this is preferable to trying to get money out of him. And I say to take more than you are comfortable with because you have been programmed not to go against him. This pattern has to be broken, too, and the sooner the better. After all, you are going to need money and he is not going to make it easy for you.

If you do have to have contact with him, firstly, do it in writing. That way you have records. Secondly, when writing to him keep in mind that these messages or emails may be used in court. Thirdly, give him the bare minimum of information necessary. The barest of bare minimums. So, basically, do not get into discussions with him about what you think, how you feel, the past or anything like that. Do not give him information about you. Information control is one of the pillars of mind control and the more information he has about you, the easier it is for him to manipulate you. So starve him of information.

If that means shutting down your social media for a while, do it. You can be guaranteed that he is tracking you wherever he can because he needs information about you to continue the control. You can always restart your accounts later, or even set up a new one that he has no knowledge of in the meantime.

Do take away what you want of your possessions as soon as you can. As with the money, the worst that can happen is that you have to give it back. But trying to get it back from him, when he knows you really want it, is going to be like getting blood out of a stone. It would just be another way for him to have some control over you. So take all the stuff you want first.

Photographs, paperwork, recordings and so on, grab them all. Everything. Again, if you have to give him some papers, you can send him copies. Trying to gather bank statements, past records, certificates takes a lot of time. A lot of time! Take everything and copy them. Then make a second backup and store it somewhere safe separate from the first copy.

Get professional help. I know, I said this already. But it bears repeating... so get professional help. But it's very important that it's someone who understands mind control and psychological abuse.


Divorcing an emotionally abusive husband - fundamentals

Get help and get sleep.

I cannot over emphasize these two things.

In reverse order, it is absolutely exhausting dealing with an abusive husband, as you know. Learning about what was done to you and undoing it is every bit as tiring. Going through a divorce at the same time may be the hardest thing you ever do. Getting rest and sleep is one of the most useful things you can do for yourself. If you are tired, you will get overwhelmed more easily, it's more difficult to make decisions and it is easier for him to upset you.

Get sleep when you can. If you can nap in the afternoon, do it. If you have the opportunity to sit and rest for 10 minutes, take it. I know this is very difficult because you have been programmed to be doing things all the time and you may even feel guilty or that you are wasting your time if you are not actively doing something. This is a pattern you also have to break and you may as well start now. So start resting more often.

Get help whenever you can. Again, you have been trained to believe that you should be able to do everything on your own. This was put in place by your abusive husband for his benefit, obviously, and you have to break this pattern, too. If people offer to help in any way, get used to taking them up on the offer. (Of course, this does not apply to your ex husband. He does not help you without there being a lot of strings attached.)

Start asking for help, too. When your family members realize what has been going on in your relationship, they will typically be willing to help in any way. Let them cook the occasional meal for you, help you to clean around the house every now and then, or even look after the kids for an hour or two. Even if they come and sit with your kids while you sit in your car in the driveway, it's time you have for yourself where nobody is demanding anything of you.

Lean on your family and friends for a while. You may feel guilty because it feels selfish. Remember these are more ideas forced on you by him. They no longer apply. If you need to, you can let them know that you will pay them back later on and when the divorce is over, you can figure out how to repay the favors.


Divorcing an emotionally abusive husband - learn

In order to get through all this, you have to learn. You must learn about mind control, manipulation, psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists.

What was done to you? Why was it done? How was it done? What effect did the techniques of coercive control have on you personally? How specifically was he controlling your thoughts, decision making, emotions and behaviors?

Until you have clear answers to these questions, you can't expect to fully recover. And whatever happens in the legal system, the most useful thing for you is to understand how he got into your head so that you can get him out of your head.


Divorcing an emotionally abusive husband - more reading

Read more about what actually happens in an abusive relationship, the stages of an abusive relationship, how your personality is changed in a toxic relationship, how an abusive husband makes you dependent on him and recovering from an abusive relationship.

Like this page?


Would you like to talk to someone about your situation?

If you think you are or have been in a cult or a destructive relationship, or a friend or family member might be in a cult and you want to talk to someone, send me a message on the Contact page and we can arrange to talk. All communication will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Available now!

54 tips image
54 Practical Tips For Dealing With Psychopaths and Narcissists

You have the theory but how do you actually apply it? This book spells it out...

Find out more

Mind Control Manual

mind control manual s

Vital concepts about mind control, cults
and psychopaths

Do you think that you might be in an abusive relationship? Are you realizing that the group you are in may be a cult?

This manual will give you a different perspective!

What Is Narcissism?

what is narcissism small

A practical guide to protecting yourself

Do you think you are being taken advantage of emotionally, physically, sexually or financially in your relationship? Do you want to leave but you can't seem to get away?

Learn how to break free, and why you need to!

Tips for dealing with psychopaths and narcissists

Fortnightly newsletter with practical tips and ideas
Learn more...
'7 Vital Do's and Don'ts of Decision Making' when you subscribe!