WHEN I first met my husband, I loved his strong character – he seemed so confident and assertive.  But over the nine years we’ve been married, he’s turned into an awful bully. 

I have to do everything the way he wants them done or he makes my life hell.

Read Also: Dear Bunmi, my aunty’s husband is too demanding

He’s very violent and bullies our two children from time to time.

I have a fairly well-paid job and I’m desperate to leave him, but I feel I may be trapped in my marriage forever. 

What if he harms me?

Jade, by e-mail.

Dear Jade,

The first step to getting out of an abusive relationship is realising you have to leave; so, well done! 

Now you’ve made the decision, you need to let your friends and family know you’ll need their support.

Bullies often isolate their victims, so the less alone you are, the more confident you’ll be.

 Gradually, start doing things on your own to find your independence – things you don’t need his approval for.

Then start standing up to him over little things. This will build your confidence and somewhat loosen his hold on you.

Lastly, you need to find somewhere to go when you’re about to leave. Waiting until you could find convenient rented accommodation will be postponing the evil day. 

When you’re ready to leave, simply pack your stuff and go.  You don’t need to tell him anything.

Once away from his domineering influence, you’ll start to recover and get your confidence back.

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