Five Ways To Stop The Overwhelm When Separating From An Abusive Ex


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You can very easily feel overwhelmed when dealing with divorce or separation and when you throw an abusive or controlling ex into the mix, the whole thing can leave you feeling overwhelmed, stressed, confused and exhausted.

1 Make sure you pace yourself

Living with an abusive/controlling person is exhausting – physically and emotionally - separating from them and finding the space to recover afterwards is exhausting too. Don’t try to do too much at once. Set yourself a goal to do at least one action a day if you can – send an email, make a call, do some research. If you do at least one action a day you can start to see some progress and a way out of your current situation and a way forwards.

2 Get other people to help you.

It’s much easier than trying to do it alone. Seek expert advice where you need it – on your legal options, on finances, on housing options, etc. You are not the expert in everything, so get help from those who are in the know. Get more than one opinion on your options too, then you can decide which advice best suits your specific situation.

3 Remind yourself frequently that things are changing

It won’t always be like this. You are taking back control and it WILL get better. Use my ‘Brave the Wave’ technique to let abusive words and criticisms, wash over you like a wave. Get ready for them and don’t react – just let them wash over you - take a deep breath, ignore them, walk away.

4 Do what helps you cope better

Getting out in the fresh air, doing some exercise, staying connected with your support network all helps you cope and get a bit of headspace from the pressure of everything. This is important to counteract the stress and make sure your ‘stress bucket’ doesn’t overflow.

5 Visualise your new life

Think about how much better things will be. It might be a bit tough now, but think about things you will be able to do in future, that you can’t do now. Will you be able to re-establish friendships, go out without having to make excuses? You will have the freedom to be a better parent, be able to control your own finances, have time to yourself to relax in your home without worrying about ‘walking on eggshells’… Keep focussed on the end goal!

Written by Caron KippingSpeaker, Divorce and Separation coach. 

I support people separating from abusive and controlling partners. it’s never an easy ride, but it is absolutely worth it in the end. For more information and details on how I can support you, please go to or read my book ‘Recognition to Recovery: How to leave your abusive ex behind you for good!’ available on Amazon bookstore.

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