Anonymous asks:

I am going to leave my boyfriend, as I get verbal and mental abuse. I am slowly moving into a studio flat and he knows I don't love him anymore. What should I say as a way of preparing him for when I leave? How do I tell him that I have found somewhere to live? Thank you.

Sex and relationship expert Jessica Leoni said: ”Well done - you are doing exactly the right thing and I congratulate you on taking decisive action and walking out on what is clearly a destructive relationship. It takes real bravery to walk out and get set up in a new home - not least because of all the extra financial costs. 

Agony Aunts on Female First

Agony Aunts on Female First

How you deal with your partner going forwards really depends on just how menacing his abuse really is. I am thankful that you don’t mention that he is physically abusive. If that was the case, I would suggest you get out immediately - even staying with a friend temporarily if need be before moving into your new studio. There is nothing in your letter to suggest that he is beating you, so we are just dealing with a case of psychological abuse. In a way, this is almost as dangerous and can cause deep-seated problems that take years to heal - far more than physical scars. The biggest step anyone suffering verbal and mental abuse can make is recognising that they are a victim and move on. You have done the hard bit - now we just need to deal with the moving out process.

A lot depends on how quickly you can gain access to this studio. You say that you are ‘slowly’ moving into the new flat. By that, I take it that you have full access to the flat and there is nothing to stop you moving there full-time now. If that is the case, I would do it now. You say you don’t love your partner any more, so what is keeping you together?  I suspect that you are a loyal and loving partner and you feel guilty about abandoning him. Don’t. This is just another one of the mind games he plays with you which have kept you in an abusive relationship for too long. Tell him the truth: you are fed up with his games and you need to forge a new life away from him. Then pack your bags and go.

If the situation with the flat is more complicated and you cannot move there full-time, I would have exactly the same conversation with your partner - explaining that the relationship is over and you don’t want to see him when you move to the studio. Then I would either go and stay with a friend or sleep on the sofa at your place until you can move into the flat on your own. You need to do everything you can to speed up the permanent move to the studio because no good will come from staying any longer in this abusive relationship.

Jessica is a relationship expert for the dating site 

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