Emotional abuse is a very good reason to seek a divorce, and you must be careful of how you proceed during your filing to ensure your safety. While some emotional abusers may go quietly, many will not, often attempting to lure you back in. You may not face guaranteed immediate physical danger, but there's no guarantee the spouse won't suddenly turn to physical force in an attempt to keep you from leaving. When you file for divorce, make sure your attorney knows about the emotional abuse and works with you to keep you safe.
(Note: Both men and women can be emotionally abusive and abused, but for the sake of simplicity, the male pronoun is used for the spouse here.)
Have All Communication Go Through Your Lawyer
Any and all communication between you and your spouse should go through your lawyers. Not your family, not through informal meetings over coffee. Cut off direct communication with your spouse; check with your lawyer if you should block phone numbers and email addresses.
And speaking of blocking, block your spouse on social media and set all your accounts and posts to private.
Warn Your Workplace
If your spouse may contact your workplace to try to get to you, you need to set up some defenses there. You don't have to issue a proclamation to everyone, but take your supervisor aside, along with someone from HR if your HR department is good, and let them know that your spouse should not be let in and calls from him should be blocked. Ask what the office's procedure for dealing with people like this is. Can you work from home so that you're not at risk of him showing up at your desk? Can security escort him off the premises?
Shift Communication With Others to Those Who Are on Your Side
When you divorce, you may find some of your friends and family are not taking your situation as seriously as you'd like. Or, they may believe your spouse's claims that he can change and treat you better, so they try to convince you to talk to him. You'll also find others who are completely supportive of you and who help you keep your defenses up. Shift your time with people from those who don't support you to those you do. Minimize contact with the group that isn't taking you seriously (cut them off if possible). Emotional abuse is devastating and can make you doubt yourself so badly that the slightest pushback from others can make you feel horrible. You need to be with those who tell you that you're doing the right thing.
Your divorce attorney may have additional advice, such as filing a restraining order if your spouse continues to contact you even after you've told him to stop. When the divorce if final, you can move on.Share