Ending relationships without using violence or abuse

Ending a relationship can be a traumatic experience for all people involved. It can also be a dangerous time when conflict may escalate. Sometimes the use of violence or abuse increases at the time of separation, as one partner takes out their anger and frustration on the other, or tries to use violence, threats or coercion to get the partner to stay.

If you feel unsafe, it is important to get help and develop a safety plan.

If you initiated the separation, it may come as a shock to the other person, despite whatever has been going on. You are ready to move on, but they may not be, and may need time and your patience as they adjust.

If your partner initiated the separation and you don’t want the relationship to end, you may be sad, depressed or angry. You can suggest counselling or family dispute resolution, but it may not change the situation. If you feel yourself getting angry, seek help. Threatening, abusive and violent behaviour will affect your children and may affect the sort of contact you have with them in the future. Talk to your friends and family or your GP, or a counsellor or a telephone helpline. Try to look after your health – eat well and get exercise.

Relationships Australia offers assistance to people who have experienced family violence and can advise users of violence on how to eliminate aggressive and violent behaviour and express their anger in constructive ways.

Lifeline                       131114

Mensline Australia      1300 789 978

1800 RESPECT         1800 737 732

Beyondblue                1300 22 4636

Police Emergency       000

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites

The views or opinions expressed in this information are general in nature and do not constitute professional advice. You may benefit from professional help to deal with individual and complex issues.