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Dealing with Bad Break Ups

Breaking up is always tough, but if you’re worried about how your partner will react it can be even scarier. If your partner is controlling, jealous or has been violent in the past then you might be in an abusive relationship. If you’ve decided to break up with someone and you’re concerned about how they might react, your safety is the most important thing to think about before you do it.

What is an Abusive Relationship?

Violence in relationships is not limited to physical violence (hitting, kicking, pushing or threatening to hurt you), it can also be:

  • emotional (calling you names, putting you down)
  • social (stopping you from seeing your friends and family)
  • sexual (making you participate in sexual activity without your consent)
  • financial (taking control of your money)

If your partner threatens to hurt you, or commit suicide, if you leave then they are being abusive. This is not ok, everyone has the right to make their own decisions about being in, or not in, a relationship. If your partner is threatening this kind of behaviour your safety should come first, try to do some planning before you actually break up with them. Check out Love: the good, the bad and the ugly’s guide to breaking up with someone who is controlling or violent.

Check out our post on relationship violence to find out more about the warning signs of abusive relationships. If you think you or someone you know might be in an abusive relationship you can call 1800RESPECT or Kids Helpline for confidential counselling and advice.

Breaking Up

The first thing you should do before breaking up is to create a safety plan in case your partner gets violent or aggressive. Try these tips to stay safe from Love: the good, the bad and the ugly. Try to think about where you could go, or who you could call if things go bad.

If you want to break up with them face to face, do it in a public place like a cafe or shopping centre – that way if they start to get angry there will be other people around to help you. Have someone you trust come with you and wait nearby until it’s over. Take your phone with you so you can call someone you trust, or the police, if things get violent. If you are really worried or scared about how they might react do it over the phone, in an email or text – your safety comes first, don’t worry about being polite. If you live together arrange to go and stay with a friend or family, you might want someone you trust to come over and help you pack.

It’s a good idea to tell whoever you live with, your family or housemates, that you are breaking up with your partner and that you’re worried about how they might react. That way if your ex shows up at your house they know to tell them to go away. If your ex does show up at your house, don’t answer the door – get someone else to tell them to leave or if you’re home alone just wait until they go away. Trust your gut instinct, if you feel afraid or unsafe then do whatever you can to get out of the situation.

For more ways to stay safe during a break up have a look at Love is Respect and Love: the good, the bad and the ugly.

If you or someone you are with is ever in immediate danger call the police on 000. If you want to talk to someone to help you get through it you can call 1800RESPECT or Kids Helpline and talk to one of their counsellors, it’s free and confidential.

Look after Yourself

Break ups are always pretty hard, even if you’re the one who does the dumping. You might feel pretty awful for a while afterwards, but  its normal to go through a roller coaster of emotions after a break up. If you ex tries to contact you or is harassing you with lots of calls and texts remember you don’t have to reply, you don’t owe them anything.

Give yourself time and space to get over it. Talk to someone you trust about it, likes friends, family, a teacher or school counsellor. This can make you feel a whole lot better. If you’re not sure who to talk to try calling Headspace or Kids Helpline for free and confidential counselling.

Take the time to do things that you enjoy, like seeing a movie with friends, baking cookies or having a relaxing bath. Check out our post on dealing with a break up for more tips on taking care of yourself or check out our self care Pintrest board.

If you or someone you are with is ever in immediate danger call the police on 000. If you think you or someone you know might be in an abusive relationship you can call 1800RESPECT or Kids Helpline for confidential counselling and advice.

Click here for a list of Support Services.