Any domestic abuse that occurs in a relationship is about power and control. Abusers terrorize and intimidate their targets they also confuse and devalue you as a person. They use the relationship for their own purpose.
Don’t make excuses for their bad behaviour. Post-separation abuse is a continuation of the power and control dynamic that was present in the relationship.
Abuse Can Get Ramped Up
At the termination of a relationship, the abuse can get ramped up as they realise that they are losing power and control over their target. They can become angry and enraged as they hate losing control and power over their primary target.
Post-separation the abuser can seek to punish, hurt or regain control and get revenge.
At The End Of Your Relationship
They want to win at all costs it is all about them it is “what I want, what I need” with no empathy or compassion for their Victim or Target. It’s “I want to get what I want, I don’t care about you” this is what you will hear and see at the end of your relationship.
Imagine being the victim that has spent 5-10 or 20 years in a relationship, to then realize that the person that they fell in love with has been the person that trapped them, making them dependent upon them, sabotaging their income earning opportunities, robbed them of their financial security, emotional well-being and even their sense of self and confidence.
Emotional Spiral – Mixed Emotions
And you the victim did not understand the emotional and psychological and even sexual abuse you suffered during the relationship. The impact and the awakening is like a tidal wave of mixed emotions.
Grief, shame, guilt, anger, fear, insecurity, humiliation, despair, doubt, depression, worry, blame, dread, apathy, trauma. You may even be asking yourself “Who am I?”
Then as you slowly come to terms with all the negative emotions and grief when you find a space for calm optimism and hopefulness when you can see a way forward when you begin to feel happier and regain some of your self-confidence you start taking baby steps forward.
Then the abuser who left you, who moved on quickly, who found the “Happy Ever After” returns to the scene of the crime, to again assert their power, to again pull you backwards. As if they have invisible shackles with chains attached that they can yank and pull and put the victim back into the descending spiral that they have just climbed out of.
They have used the relationship for their own purpose let’s take a look at six ways an abuser seeks to control a victim from afar post-separation.
6 Ways A Victim Is Controlled Post Separation
- They will want to keep you close even if it is them that discards you. You will hear something like, “we can remain friends if you want to remain friends”. Even if they have been verbally abusive towards you, even if they have betrayed you, been disrespectful, or actually caused you harm emotionally psychologically and even financially.
- They can threaten and intimidate you. Threaten to ruin you, accuse you of things that they are doing themselves. In desperation of trying to keep control over you, they can become enraged, and one day they are verbally aggressive and shouting in your face. The next day they may be emotionally insecure, like a child, they may be calm and be asking you to give them a hug.
- Stalking. Driving by your place of work, waiting for you. Visit your home uninvited. If they are unable to stalk you in person they will surveil your social media, they may set up fake accounts.
- Use the legal system and courts. You will find that court statements will not be factual they will fabricate events and situations and they will omit the real facts, even when you have proof. They will use the justice system to initiate conflict, financial abuse can happen post-separation when promised payments are not made, and they want to fight over possessions, the home, and even the children or pets.
- Money and finances. You might have started out as financially independent in the relationship. Eventually, you can become wholly dependent on your spouse or partner. Or you become the sole breadwinner. In divorce, they can hide the marital assets, and during a relationship they control the finances you may be given an allowance. If you try to earn independently you can be sabotaged, or you may be coerced into taking out loans or spending on items that you don’t need, running up debts in your name if your spouse or partner has a poor credit record themselves.
- Threatened Violence. A perpetrator and abuser can put you in a place of fear, scare you intimidate you, and threaten your future security if you do not do is they want or behave as they expect. They might even threaten that they could kill you, If I wanted to get rid of you I could feed you to the pigs. Or If I can’t have you nobody will. An abuser can punish and seek revenge to leave you emotionally psychologically and financially devastated.
If you know this information in advance you can prepare yourself. Divorcing and separation from an abusive spouse are never usually easy. They might not hurt you physically but they can still ruin you financially, emotionally, mentally, and verbally, and drag you to court for all sorts of reasons.
Some things that may help you.
Make a statement to the Police, for information only. Tell them you want to put it on record but you do not wish to start and legal conflict or make an official complaint. Find and use a good solicitor who is knowledgeable on domestic violence and emotional abuse, and get help to make the statement.
Keep accurate records of any conversations, dates, times, and places. If you are having any discussions ask your spouse or partner if the meeting can be recorded. Then you have a copy of everything that is discussed. If there is any anger or rage it is on record. It is evidence. Practice “Grey Rock” which means avoiding showing emotions, reacting or getting triggered by anything that is said.
Keep emails, and text messages, and save them to a cloud drive like Google Drive or Dropbox.
Written messages can also contain their threats. Or the projections and lies. If possible go no contact, keep contact to a minimum or only use a solicitor or an application to communicate.
Prepare for any backlash and stay safe at all times.
Current Laws And Support Systems Fail Women
Post-separation abuse is a serious issue that affects countless women, and current laws often do little to help. My book discusses the realities of this type of abuse and the urgent need for legal reform. Conflict during divorce or separation is often perceived as both parties arguing. The reality is that is very often one party who is the antagoniser, using the legal system as an abuse by proxy.
Get a copy of my book here.
Telling my story – Author Loren Keeling
Find it on Amazon and Digital ebook Stores
“Post Separation Abuse, Betrayal & Abandonment, What Type Of Man?”