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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Break Up With a Possessive Boyfriend

No one likes to be controlled, and when you have an overly possessive significant other it's hard to get the nerve up to call the relationship off. For your own health and safety's sake, here are some steps that will make it a bit easier, and keep you safe.


  1. Get Out- If you live with the person, then you need to find a time, a span of eight or so hours when he's at work or away, and pack your belongings and go to a safe place. For example, your parent's house, grandma's, your distant aunt's apartment or a women's shelter. You need to take yourself out of the location and get to a place where you know he won't be welcome.
  2. Break Up- You can do this a number of ways. You can call him, and do the break up over the phone; you can meet in a public area, like a coffee shop and call it off; or you can pack your things and write a note saying you're gone. You don't owe him any explanation if you're in physical danger - just get out, call it off, and don't stick around.
  3. Ask for Support- Let your family know that you fear for your safety because of your boyfriend, and request that they refrain from speaking to this person, or sharing information about your whereabouts with the ex. Get support from professionals such as the police, counselors, a doctor, a church person - anyone you feel is trustworthy and responsible. In some cases, you should go to the police first if you fear for your life.
  4. Take Your Children- If children are involved, take them with you. They deserve a better life away from abuse. However, in this instance you must be especially careful to ensure their safety. If you think a family member's residence won't be safe enough, seek help with a women's shelter or through the police rather than jeopardize your children's safety. Very possessive boyfriends/partners can try and use the children as a means of getting back at you, to the potential detriment of the children. Don't let them become a pawn in a game of one-sided revenge.


  • In a lot of possessive relationships, it may just start off with little things, but you always want to know the signs because, in many cases, a possessive relationship can become abusive.
    • If he has physically harmed you at any time, or is doing so, take pictures of the bruises if you want to pursue legal action against him

  • If your ex is persistent in coming over and trying to contact you once you've removed yourself from the situation, then file a restraining order against him.
  • Carry protection, it might be wise to carry a can of pepper-spray or invest in a stun-rod or stun-gun. Be extremely careful using violence against violence, however, as it can so easily be turned against you and can also turn into an escalating episode of extreme violence. You are better off leaving and seeking protection.
  • If the ex corners you and you have no way to protect yourself, or get away - yell "FIRE" as loudly as you can to get help. Too many people joke and/or don't respond to "Help" or "Rape".
  • Keep your cell phone handy in case you need to call the police. If you can use a panic button or alarm, press it.
  • If your ex is following you, go into the closest shop, or put yourself in a place that is well-lit, and well-populated. Ask the clerk to use the phone, or use your cell phone and call the police. Stay there until the police get there, then call someone you trust for a ride.
  • Seek counseling to help you through the transition of leaving a violent ex into becoming a liberated and fear-free you. The fear and the scars will dog you if you don't seek outlets for your emotional fears and your feelings. You may also walk back into a similar relationship if you don't learn to recognize the signs.


  • Get Out- Do not leave any clue as to where you are going if you fear him to be a threat to your physical well-being.
  • Break Up- Do not let yourself get talked into the relationship again. If the abuse is physical then they will tell you they're sorry and try all sorts of tricks to win you back - don't listen to them, say what you have to say and get out. If you return, the perpetrator is likely to recommence the violence; this is one time when a leopard rarely changes its spots.

Things You'll Need

  • Any legal documents--titles to cars, deed to house, bills, rental agreement, leases, established custody orders, birth certificates, social security cards,school records, personal protection orders...
  • Receipts for items you leave behind that is yours--if you are in a 'live-in' situation and you have receipts for furniture electronic and such, if you have proof the stuff is yours, you may be able to get it back later.
  • Family photos
  • Address book

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  • Medlineplus - numerous excellent links on how to deal with domestic violence

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