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Should You Tell Him You’re Leaving or Secretly Move Out?

When you’re moving out of a home you share with your partner, you can him you’re leaving or just disappear. Here are a few reasons to talk about it in advance, and a few reasons to keep your move on the “down low” until you’re out.

Should You Tell Him You’re Leaving or Secretly Move OutIn You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay says what we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe that everyone, myself included, is responsible for everything in our lives, the best and the worst. Every thought we think is creating our future. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings. The thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experiences.

If you’re confused about what you should do about your life and relationship, read this book. Learn how your thoughts are shaping your destiny. You have more power than you think! You need to reach out and find the courage and strength to make the right decisions in your life.

Are you worried you can’t live without him? Read After Breaking Up – How to Let Go of Someone You Love.

Here’s what one reader says: “I’ve packed and told him I’m going, taken most of my things to a family member’s house but Im struggling to find the strength to take that last step. Since I’ve said I’m leaving he has used my childhood against me, saying I grew up in a broken home so I think it’s okay to tear our family apart, blamed my postpartum depression, and basically is making me second guess myself. He apologizes and says he knows he’s hurt me and it will be different but in the same breath will say how it’s my fault. I’m trying so hard to be strong and go, but when you have spent 15 years learning to doubt yourself always it’s so easy for him to manipulate you. I’m afraid to take my son out his home and afraid of what will happen after.”

Her comment was on my article about stages of leaving an abusive relationship – and she articulates one of my biggest reasons NOT to tell your partner you’re leaving before you actually move out.

Should You Tell Him You’re Leaving or Secretly Move Out?

If you’re in an unhealthy relationship and you’re worried about your partner’s reaction to you leaving, then you shouldn’t tell him before you move you.

He probably won’t support your decision to move out

Leaving a man who blames you for his abuse is difficult, because at some level you think it’s your fault. This does quite the number on your self-esteem and self-image. It affects how confident you are in your ability to make a decision and stick with it.

If you’re leaving a man who wants you to stay, then don’t tell him you’re leaving.

If you’re leaving a man who abuses you, DO NOT tell him you’re leaving. Just get your things and leave. Or, leave your things – you can buy new stuff – and take your kids, your purse, your phone, and go.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

We need to learn how to take action despite the self-doubts, fears, and uncertainties we feel. In How to Overcome Your Fear of Living Alone, I discuss how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  It’s not easy to leave a relationship – whether we’re moving out because of abuse or boredom.

Everyone feels fear and self-doubt. I second guess myself most of the time because there are pros and cons to every decision, every life choice, every action! It’s not easy to make a huge life decision. Moving out of your home and leaving a guy you’ve been with for years is a tough choice.

But, you know it’s the RIGHT decision to move out. The challenge is actually getting your butt out of the house.

Reasons to tell him you’re leaving

  • You believe he’ll support or even help you
  • You’ve been talking about it for months or even years, and know he won’t try to stop you
  • You feel strong and confident
  • You have support from your family or friends (a physical presence, if you need it)
  • You have kids together, and they have a good relationship
  • You think he’ll come after you, to talk about your decision to move out

There are many reasons to tell a man you’re moving out of your home. My first choice would be to talk about it, instead of just moving out when he’s at work or out of time. Then your struggle will be How to Let Go of Someone You Love.

However, sometimes the best way to leave is to move your stuff out as quickly as possible!

Reasons not to tell him you’re moving out

  • You suspect he’ll hurt you physically or emotionally
  • You think he’ll try to convince you to stay
  • You think he may try to abduct or hurt your kids (or pets)
  • You said you’re moving out before, but changed your mind
  • Packing and leaving will be more emotionally wrenching with him there
secretly move out

Should You Tell Him You’re Leaving or Secretly Move Out?

The reader’s comment at the beginning of this article summarizes the main reason not to tell him you’re moving out. Some men will try to manipulate and control you, and even use your kids or pets as reasons for you to stay.

Sometimes it’s easier and safer to just move you out of your home without telling your partner, and talk about it later.

If you’re still not sure what to do, read How to Decide When to Leave a Relationship.

I welcome your thoughts on whether you should secretly move out, or tell him that you’re leaving. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it may help you to share what you’re experiencing. Writing can bring clarity and insight.

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8 thoughts on “Should You Tell Him You’re Leaving or Secretly Move Out?”

  1. When I worked at a women’s shelter, we advised women to create an “exit strategy” before moving out. It’s really important to talk to a counselor or advocate for women coping with domestic violence; they know what you need to take care of if you secretly move out. They know how to help you protect yourself.

    It must be so hard for you. I can’t imagine how you feel, or what your heart is going through. I pray that you find the right support, resources, friends and family you need to see you through this. I pray for wisdom and healing, hope and faith.

    Everything is going to be okay. Just keep moving forward, one step at a time. Little steps! And you will come through the other side. You’ll grieve, heal, and grow forward into a new season of life!

    With the love and hope of Jesus,

  2. My boyfriend and I have co-habited for two years and it has come to the point where I can no longer live with him. The petty things involve his sloppy living habits but the most recent incident happened just last night when I was away on vacation visiting my family when he called and told me he was assaulted by 6 guys who HE invited over and drank heavily with! My cat was home and, luckily, unharmed, but my boyfriend had to stay overnight at the hospital and have surgery for a fractured nose and cheekbone. He put my living situation in jeopardy as we will now most likely face eviction from our property management for something like this. My dad drove me back and helped me clean up my living room which was covered in blood. I am not planning on telling him I’m moving out because I have tried before and he just manipulates me into staying by making me believe he will change his reckless, thoughtless behavior. It never changes.

  3. I told my husband I was going to leave before but then didn’t go through with it. I stayed and things got worse. The last time I told him I was going, he told me “ if you can leave on a certain date, then you can leave right now.” Then is “get your crap and move out. You can only take what fits in your car and don’t come back.” He likes to threaten me about my job, my car, my sons that aren’t his and me having to pay him alimony.
    Fast forward 6 months and I’m fed up. I just looked at an apt and put a security deposit down. I sign a lease this Tuesday.
    I still haven’t told him because of these threats. Now however, I have to figure out how to get out and how to get all the utilities out of my name.
    It’s just a complicated mess.

  4. I’m trying to leave an emotionally abusive relationship with out telling him and my mom and sis are giving me crap abt it. They r saying its shady to do in a 7 yr relationship even though they know how deep the abuse was but are acting like its not a big deal now that I’m moving. They empathize with him that he’ll come home to a semi empty home (I’m not taking his stuff) instead of empathize with me that I will get hurt if I tell him. He’s out of control. From emotional torture to gaslighting he’s done it all. He has TRIED to beat me 3 different times but I fought back and nipped it in the bud. Recently he has started kicking me hard on the foot while he thinks I’m sleep, and they know this. I have had such a hard long struggle to leave this man and have been plagued with doubts and now they are about to undo all the hard work it took to get me out of here. I’m packing right now and because of them I wonder if I should call him now and tell him to be fair. Even if I know that he will not let me go if he knows. Ive tried to end it with him before and that went horribly… He played some pretty nasty tricks to keep me from the door. What to do??

  5. Exact same with me re: the vehicle. I cosigned, it was in his name. What happened? He took the car, abandoned me&our babies, destroyed my credit. True Story.

  6. So I lived with him for 2 years and his 2 roomates, he doesn’t want to ever habe it be us….I can’t afford a place to live cause they always take my money for food and whatever else. I can’t even buy shoes for work. But I love him. Him alone. He refuses that. So I am lost. I thought that’s how serious relationshipside work..no roomates?

  7. Hi Randa,

    If the car is in both names, then I don’t think you can just take it without his permission or signing it over to you. Legally, it sounds like it’s his.

    Have you called a legal aid society to ask what your rights are? That may be the best way to find out what legal claim you have on the car.

  8. How to make him finallly realize your tired and your leaving him because of alcohol…….i want to leave, we just got a new car in mines & his name i am the co buyer he cldnt have gotten it if i wldnt hv signed. Can he take the vehicle or what will and can happen?