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Help- I need strength to leave my partner

Community Member
Hi, I need some help and support. I have been with my partner for 2.5 years and have lived with him for most of that time. I was single for a long time before I met him; was in an abusive marriage for 12 years. I am insecure and do not trust easily. But he was so loving and still is at times, I thought I’d found my perfect partner. After a few months I found out he had been communicating with past girlfriends and was on multiple dating websites. He’d even contacted a woman on one. He assured me he would wipe his past and we started counselling. My trust was broken. He was eager to buy property together and get married. I held off the marriage but bought land with him. We have been under a lot of stress due to work and trying to blend families successfully. He is reasonably nice to my kids but complains they do nothing to help out. We are back in counselling as he pushed me a few times and I called the police. It doesn’t seem to be helping. He blames me for all our problems; he has tried to contact his past girlfriends a few more times and has met with one of his ex-wives to discuss our relationship which I had asked him not to do. I often wonder if he is a narcissist. Reading about it I can see some traits in him. We have a few good days and it’s so loving and wonderful but then I’ll say something he doesn’t like and won’t speak to me for days. This happens all the time and has been our story. I have reached out to his third wife to get some insight on what I thought was true - he cheated on his wives and lied. He has the potential to be quite horrible when drinking so I asked him not to drink much and he did agree but in the last two months he has started to go out with work colleagues (mainly women) and drink. It’s hard to express what I’m feeling. Basically some times he treats me so wonderfully but he can’t sustain it. Then he blames me and doesn’t speak to me for days. He is very negative about things at times and mopes about. He always talks about himself and will often cut me off. My psychologist is of the thought he won’t change and I need to leave. There’s been so many times he has lied to me or contacted other women or not spoken to me for days. I’m so confused. In my gut I know I have to leave; I think he will become mean if he finds out my plan. I’m worried how I will move everything out in one day. I don’t have many people to help. I can’t pack beforehand as he’ll know. But then he is quite loving. I need help to stick to my plan to go.
38 Replies 38

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Gilmore,

What a brave post. Thank you so much for sharing a little about yourself. I feel you have been through so much...

You sound as though you’re feeling betrayed, self doubting, drained and lonely. Broken trust is very painful...finding out that how he has been talking to exes must have really hurt.

His behaviour sounds so confusing and very self focused too. Loving one minute then he does a 180, the next minute. I feel this must leave you with such little stability...

Also, I feel pushing you was (and is) definitely not okay. So I’m very glad you called the police. That shows a lot of courage..

Speaking of courage, I feel you’re very brave to make the difficult decision to walk away/leave him. I know it couldn’t have been an easy decision.

I don’t know your financial situation but I was wondering if you could possibly call removalists beforehand to help you with the move on the day. Make it faster and easier that way...I’ve heard that there are some removalists companies who offer free moving services to people who have experienced domestic violence so this is something you might like to look into as well.

Also, I would suggest looking up 1800 RESPECT online; they have a 24 helpline and they focus on helping anyone who has experienced or is at risk of family violence.

You might also find the Penda app helpful. It’s a free app that has info and referral services for legal and financial help plus personal safety assistance for women who have experienced domestic violence. It was developed by Women’s Legal Service Queensland. That said, only download it if you have secure access to your phone...

Once again, I feel you’re very courageous. Let us know how things go as we would like to continue supporting you...

Kind and caring thoughts,


Hi Pepper, thank you for reply. I am so confused I don’t know what a ‘normal loving’ relationship should look like but I don’t think I’m in one. I’m so sad but I know I have to leave. I have to try and act normal so he doesn’t suspect anything. I can’t believe I’ve put myself and my kids in this position.

Hi Gilmore,

It’s good to hear from you again. None of this is your fault. If we want to blame anyone, i believe that should fall on your partner...

I feel people like your partner play mind games with their hot-cold (loving/abusive) tendencies. It’s part of their way to confuse and control...

For now, maybe just focus on your safety and sticking it out with leaving. You can do this. I believe in you.

Come up with a plan...maybe use some of the services and apps I suggested above with the plan. As I said, you can do this...

We are here cheering you on.


Hi again,

I think you’re very brave. Leaving and planning to leave is hard. I have faith in you...you’re stronger than you know. Do this for yourself...you deserve better.


Hi Gilmore29,

I understand your predicament and I'm sorry. Theyre not always who we think they are. They show us love and then abuse, so I can understand the confusion. Pushing you, ignoring you, blaming you, cheating and other things, I'm assuming the trust has been broken and it's not OK.

I've packed up and left before. I did it when he was at work.

I'd listen to your gut. And I'd do what Pepper suggested and call the DV line. They were super helpful to me. Good luck.

Thank you. This is by far much harder than I thought it would be. Trying to coordinate everything in secret, maintaining the facade of wanting to be with him, and then being so confused by his loving behaviour. I have turned into a person I don’t like; checking up on him, looking through emails/texts etc... it is definitely behaviour he has repeated over the years. I’m so very sad and confused but I have already set the wheels in motion to move out. I guess I now just need to keep reassuring myself it is the right decision. I don’t think it is a healthy relationship.


I admire you for your courage. Things like this are never easy, we just hope that it will be worth it in the end. He does tick many boxes of a narcissist. Narcissistic relationships are very hurtful as they often invoilve people you love. This makes it hurt even more.

Call 1800RESPECT is a good start. Your psychologist will know your situation better then me here, and if he told you to leave then i can only encourage that. As you have bought property together, i hope it is as less messy as possible.

You told me he spoke to his 3rd wife. I am assuming that at best you are his 4th serious relationship. Sometimes it is good for us to step back and ask ourselves what went wrong previously? Has he learnt from past problems and made it better?

With regard to moving, you can do something like post it on airtasker or a similar site/app. There you can specify your exact requirements and i am sure you will find a team willing to help you.

Hope this helps and keep us posted

Hi Gilmore and a wave to all your caring supporters here (excellent posts!),

Yes, this would be so hard. It will probably be one of the most difficult (but bravest) things you’ll ever do. Leaving an abusive relationship is never easy...

I say do what you need to do to survive and do whatever you need to do to go ahead with your plan to leave. I don’t feel you’re “turning into” anything; you’re someone who has been hurt and left confused so many times who is, right now, trying to regain control of her own life again. Of course this whole thing is confusing, scary and unsettling.

Yes, keep reassuring yourself. You can do this. As you’ve said, you’ve already started so you just need to follow through. We will be here cheering you on...

Write as much as you like. Feel free to vent, express fears, ask questions, etc. We are all listening and empathising...

Supporting you in spirit and cheering you on.


Well said peppermintbach!

Just wanted to thank you also on your input to the forums here. If everyone in the world was like you, the world will be a much better place.

How you holding up Gilmore? How are things going for you? hope all is well...