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Is It Okay To Divorce If I’m Not Sure It’s Abuse?

Is It Okay To Divorce If I’m Not Sure It’s Abuse?

Update: 2023-05-301


Have you found yourself wishing that your husband would just hit you so that you had "enough" justification to leave?

Many women in the BTR.ORG Community have asked: Is it okay to divorce if I'm not sure it's abuse?

Sarah McDugal is back on the BTR.ORG Podcast answering this question - and - short answer - definitive proof and physical violence are NOT necessary for women to seek safety. Women can trust themselves and move toward safety regardless of society's misogynistic standards. Read the full transcript below and listen to the BTR.ORG Podcast for more.

"I'm Not Sure If It's Abuse - Can I Still Leave?"

"You actually don't have to assess, 'Is it abuse?' Even if it's not abuse, you could still say, 'This isn't for me.'"

Anne Blythe, BTR.ORG Founder

Many women find themselves stuck in a space where they have difficulty defining their relationship as "abusive" because the abuser is covert, and careful to use gaslighting and other manipulative tactics to cause the victim to doubt herself.

And in a society where women have to defend their choices to separate in order to receive the support of family, friends, clergy, and community, many women want the clarity of knowing for sure if the relationship was actually abusive.

Anne's advice? Worry less about defining the relationship as abusive, and simply move toward safety. As you gain proximity from the abuser, you'll be able to see the relationship and the abuser more clearly - and more easily understand the abuse.

"Is It Abuse if My Husband Doesn't Know He's Doing It?"

Many women who are on their journeys to safety find difficulty letting go of the worry that their abuser is unaware or somehow not responsible for his abusive behavior.

Many abusers blame their abusiveness on:

* Childhood trauma

* Their parents

* Past girlfriends/wives

* Mental illness

* Alcohol addiction

Rather than taking responsibility for their actions and holding themselves accountable, abusers choose to assign the accountability to others. Many people experience childhood trauma, poor parenting, harmful relationships, mental illness, and alcoholism - and don't abuse others. 

As to the abuser not being aware? Sarah explains:

"It doesn't have to be identified as overtly intentional to be abuse."

Sarah McDugal, author

The abuser may not be calculating every abusive maneuver he takes - but your safety, rather than his level of intention, needs to be the priority.

BTR.ORG Is Here For You

At BTR.ORG, we understand how difficult it is to let go of the hope that he may change and move toward safety without definitive proof. Wherever you are in your healing journey, we are here for you. Attend a BTR.ORG Group Session today.

Full Transcript:

Anne (00:00 ):

Welcome to BTR.ORG. This is Anne. I have Sarah McDugal back on today's episode. We ended last week with her talking about how it would be great for men to be able to have a good relationship with their children. Of course, abusive men do not have that ability and later she's gonna go over all of the flags of abuse. You can go to her website, it's called Is This Abuse? And it's an awesome chart and it has tons of information, videos and stuff, to help you understand what is abuse. So Sarah's gonna talk about that today. We're gonna just jump right in with her talking about how it would be healthy for children and healthy men to be more involved with childcare.

Start With the Ideal Partnership as a Baseline








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Is It Okay To Divorce If I’m Not Sure It’s Abuse?

Is It Okay To Divorce If I’m Not Sure It’s Abuse?

Anne Blythe