If your relationship was in trouble before the pandemic, it could be at a breaking point by now. Here is how to assess your current pandemic relationship and decide if it is time to burst your quarantine bubble and focus on you.
If you notice the following warning signs, experts say it is time to leave the situation before someone gets hurt, or worse.
- Violence: It has escalated past emotional and verbal abuse to something physical. This can be a push, a threat, an air punch, destruction of property, a bite or poke, wrestling, mocking, moving, or acting in a threatening way. This can include blocking you from moving or leaving or keeping you confined. This can be directed towards your belongings, pets or children.
- Escalation: The violent behavior is increasing and or escalating.
- Explosive Outburst: You witness explosive anger. Usually, they say they blacked out, saw red and don’t remember anything.
- Neet to control and/or punish: An increase in their need to control or punish you, usually related to your finances, your phone calls, texts, friends, family, movements.
If you experience these four danger signs, it is time to leave the situation immediately. If you are dating, it is time to stay away for good. However, if you live together you have to plan and move carefully because it is best you keep your plans secret, especially plans for where you will be relocating.
Click through for 10 tips on how to best move on with your life:
- Get a therapist. Alert them of your plan. Due to COVID it may need to be virtual.
- If you are ready to leave, get a restraining order for protection.
- Do as much research as possible on domestic violence shelters or organizations. Many are still working through the pandemic.
- Get a gun license, a gun and learn how to work it well.
- Get your support team together. All of these people will help you remove your belongings when the coast is clear. They are also the shoulders you will lean on when things get hard.
- Wait for a time when you know your abusive partner will be gone for a long time or bring a police escort to remove your things.
- Get your escape houses and permanent house arrangements together. I recommend you make your escape house a domestic abuse shelter. You will be open to tons of resources, services, and counseling to help you get on your feet and they offer a protected environment. However, if you opt to stay with a friend, make sure it is someone your abusive partner does not know well and can’t find their location(s) to track you.
- During your planning, make sure you have access to important documents like birth certificates, social security cards, health insurance, passports and access to your bank account. Remember which accounts you share so you can’t be tracked by your purchases.
- After you are safely away from the abuser, never go back. Change your phone numbers and email addresses. Take your name off any utilities or bills you shared. Seek out resources and information.
- Remain in therapy. Keep a journal, heal and be safe.