How to Move Out Without Your Husband Finding Out


Sometimes it’s safer to move out of the house without your husband’s knowledge. These tips on moving out without him finding out are from a wife who left her husband.

How to Move Out Without Your Husband Finding Out

It’s My Life Now

Even if you can’t imagine moving out of your house, read It’s My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence. Authors by Meg Kennedy Dugan and Roger Hock offer practical guidance, emotional reassurance, and psychological awareness that survivors of relationship abuse and domestic violence need to heal and reclaim their lives after moving out.

Diane moved her and her kids out because her husband was unhealthy, abusive, and dangerous. “My kids learned who their mother is that day,” she says. “They know how loved they are. They know that I am a woman of action, not just of words.”

And here are a few tips for moving out without your husband’s knowledge, from a woman who has “been there, done that.”

Moving Out Secretly

Here, Diane describes how she got over her fears and left a marriage she knew should have been over long ago. If she can do it, so can you!

Stay focused on the future you want to create

“We are enjoying our freedom, says Diane. “Our ‘geared to income’ place is clean and spacious. Money is tight. I don’t work, so we’re on assistance. It’s worth it! The woman’s abuse center has been so good to us and they are willing to find us anything we need. The city gave us a start up fee to pay movers and hook ups. The Red Cross can also help with money or items.”

Be willing to make sacrifices when you move out – especially if you do it without your husband’s knowledge. You may not be moving to the most beautiful place in the world…but you’ll be safe and free.

Have faith in yourself – you CAN move out without his knowledge

“Women, don’t be alone, don’t be afraid and most of all, don’t give up on yourselves,” says Diane. “You are worth it. Your kids need one strong, loving parent. You can be that for them if you leave. You don’t need anyone or anything but a sound mind and good resources. I made my phone calls from my cell phone, which I have only had for a year. A counselor told me it was very important to have one and she was right. If you have to, make your calls from the library, the YMCA, the employment center.”

When you’re moving out without your husband finding out, it’s important to keep yourself safe. Don’t give him hints that you’re leaving, or he may threaten or sweet talk you into staying. Even if you feel like you’re all alone, remember Diane’s words: You don’t need anything or anyone to move out without him finding out – not even a cell phone!

Get help, support, and guidance

“From the Women’s Abuse Center you can get a counselor who can also help you. She should guide you to resources in your city. I didn’t like the first counselor I had so I changed agencies. I know it’s hard when you are in the pit of an abuser. What I am saying may sound unreachable for you, but I assure you it is possible!”



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If money is a problem for you (as it is for the majority of women who want to move out without their husband’s knowledge!), read How to Get Money to Leave Your Husband.

You also need to be humble and swallow your pride. I know how hard it is to ask for help, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary, asking for help means you have strength and courage – and you should be proud of that!

Outwit him – because you are smarter than he is

“How do you make sure he won’t find out that you’re moving out? Unfortunately, there are no guarantees,” says Diane. “First: I had a plan to continue even if he found out. I studied him enough to know exactly what I could use to reassure him. You probably know too if you think about it. I was going to make sure he knew there was no one else and I wasn’t seeking divorce. I just didn’t think I was good enough for him, so I wanted some time alone to work on myself for six months or so to give him a better wife. You have to outsmart him. You almost have to get into a state of reversing the roles, so you’re messing with his mind (not the other way around!).”

Don’t procrastinate – move out of your house as soon as possible

“Secondly, from the time you start the process to the time you leave, keep it simple and short. The longer you prolong the move, the more chance there is of him finding out.”

Also, if you put it off, you’ll increase the chances of losing the courage it takes to move out without him finding out. Read 10 Causes of Relationship Problems for help finding motivation to leave your husband.

Don’t panic. Stay calm. Take deep breaths

“Third and last; don’t panic,” says Diane. “Speak as little as possible. Twice my husband came home saying things like “What’s going on?”, and my heart raced but I said nothing. Then he explained his thoughts and they had nothing to do with my plans. Just breathe and go through the actions. You can deal with your feelings after, when you are in a safe environment.”

When you’re leaving your husband without his knowledge, you need to act as normally as possible. Don’t give him clues that you’re about to start a new life without him.

Create a new routine for yourself and your kids

leave without him knowing

“How to Move Out Without Your Husband Finding Out” image by Laurie

“My last suggestion is not to be quick about divorce. That can heat up an already explosive situation. Just find a new routine for you and your kids, see a counselor and find yourself.”

You have time to get a divorce…right now, you just need to get settled. And, finding yourself is wonderful advice — it’s so important to stay connected to who you are. Your husband has worked hard to disconnect you from yourself and your loved ones; it’s time to undue the dastardly work he did.

A few final thoughts from Diane

I have been lucky, he has not come after me. I had to see him at church four days later. I have good friends there who are supporting me because I said I was full of resentment and bitterness and I needed some time and space to improve myself. Generally, I have found that most people are not equipped to deal with abuse. It freaks them out and they avoid you after. In time, I will talk about it. Now is not the time. God bless and good luck!”

For the rest of Diane’s story, read her comments on 5 Stages Women Go Through Before Leaving a Man Who Abuses.

If you have any thoughts on moving out without your husband’s knowledge, please comment below. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it may help you to share you story.

May God bless you and keep you safe, happy, and healthy.


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27 thoughts on “How to Move Out Without Your Husband Finding Out

  • Anonymous

    I have 3 small children and I have been married for 15 years to my husband who beats me up frequently.
    My husband is very wealthy and is focused on getting as much property and money as he possibly can and he is not ashamed to use every means necessary to achieve these goals.
    My husband is that kind of a person that you could call a frenemy: You strongly believe that he or she is your friend but in reality he or she is a true enemy who is focused on taking away everything that you own or might have.
    But despite all his money and all his wealth, he is an extremely stingy, arrogant and hostile person that is not happy.
    I believe that, in the beginning, he wanted a relationship and a marriage with me because he thought that this would bring him even more wealth and money. So, in the beginning, I did not want to have anything to do with him. But he lured me in into a relationship that I did not want in the first place.
    My husband attacks me often and stamps me with his feet and fists. The last attack was so severe that he nearly broke my spine.
    I survived the attack but now I have to live with all the pain and physical disabilities. This affects my whole life. My professional life and my personal family life.
    How can anyone alone, take care of 3 small children when he or she has physical disabilities caused by domestic violence.
    So now I am looking for a way out and a way to change my life and that of the children. Because I believe that my children who are growing up in this environment will be the next in line to be beaten up. My husband cannot control his aggression towards me, nor against the children. I have disabilities but I stand alone.
    The police has made an official report of the violence but that is it. They are not intervening or doing more than just that, making a report of the situation. So, leaving is my only option if I want to save my life and that of my children.

  • Leslie Williams

    Im 50 and remarried an older man after my first husband who was abusive. Anyway 20 years later he is grumy and moody and my schizophrenic daughter and him have a rough time. Im tired and want to move out. Im done but I feel bad. If I dont go I dont want to be misrable 4ever.

  • T

    I’ve been in this abusive relationship for 7 years an it’s physical an mental abuse an I’m in the process as we speak packing my things I have left.. which isn’t much bcuz he has broken everything I own an me down.. so I’m leaving with my clothes an it’s scary ass he’ll.. I have told a few ppl in my family just in case .. but I would LOVE some resources bcuz my kids are all grown an just he an i stay in an apartment where he is from .. I want 2 move back home where I’m from the distance isn’t far like 45 mins.. but yea I told a male friend an he has
    gotten distance an i thought by telling him he would help me .. but hey nobody wants to help somebody else dramma. Help if u can ty..

  • rene

    He used to be a godly man.now he’s turned the kids against me…..he takes for my son not going to school.
    His mom said he could move in with her and my older son said he moved out cause of me.because I wind take abuse.verbal abuse.

  • Gertrude

    My ex often refused to work and I was sick of it. I had begged and pleaded with him. Of course I had the issue of alimony. Fortunately it was determined that he had the ability to earn an income and that I didn’t make enough to support the two of us. I made excuses not to leave. I had three cats and I didn’t drive. Finally I quit making excuses and did the moving. I rented an apartment. I secretly moved some of my stuff to the new apartment. We had eight bars of soap and I took four of them. I didn’t realize he would count them. He counted everything. When he asked about the missing bars he was very mean and I told him I didn’t know where they were. I moved out when he was at work. I don’t know if he had a job then. He faked going to work when he didn’t have a job. I hired a moving company and I threw stuff into boxes for four hours while waiting for the moving company to come. I could only do it while he was away. I also hired a cab to move my three cats because the moving company would not do it. The reason I snuck out was because I feared that he would beat me.

  • Anonymous

    How can I escape if I don’t want to move back in with my abusive, controlling mother & I have no one else? We have 3 children & my vehicle doesn’t even have my name on it. Also, he will not let me get a job. He’s not physically abusize so I cannot keep evidence.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Jg,

    I’m sorry I can’t offer emergency help or advice, especially when you’re desperate and trying to move out without your husband finding out. It sounds like you’re making a huge move in your life, and your abusive sister isn’t helping.

    And, it sounds like you’re taking huge steps towards making meaningful changes in your life! You are moving forward. You are saving yourself – and you will survive. It’ll be hard, but it will be worth it.

    You can do this.

    What’s happening now – did you find a place to stay, and a place to store your stuff?

    • Jg

      Thanks for your words of encouragement. I’m in a safe dv shelter. The back seat of my car is full of clothes and im still unsure of how to discard of the remaining junk legally and where to store items that im keeping at her home. I’m 40 miles away from her home and the little cash left im using for gas. The local dump cannot pick up bulk until February and she has sent a nasty email to me.

  • Jg

    I jumped out of one frying pan into another with living with my abusive sister. I got into a shelter but I’m stuck with what to do with my stuff. I have a friend who’d help store some things. I can bring one bag of clothes and one bag for my son. Please help. I’m stuck and can’t think right. Moving tonight and haven’t done anything

  • Laurie Post author

    anonymus, who can you talk to in person? Reach out. Tell someone how you feel and how scared you are. Trust that you will get the help you need — and that you have the strength and power you need to take the first step.

    Just one step is all you need to start with. And that is talking to someone you trust.

    Can you take that one first step?

  • anonymus

    oh my..i wish i could move out without my husband finding out….. 20 years hell is enough….. i’m so scared…. what is coming if i leave. i’m in deep depression and i just don’t wanna anymore…. i need strength….. i’m so helpless

    • Gertrude

      Can you sneak out when he is gone? I don’t have children. I had three cats and I don’t drive. I put a deposit down on an apartment and hired a moving company and moved my cats by cab. It was really really scary. I went against the advice of my pastor who reminded me that divorce is not part of Jesus’ plan. Still, I just couldn’t stay. I had a window of four hours to throw everything in boxes as fast as I could and then get stuff loaded on the moving van and get out. I had a lot of depression and a lot of fear and I felt very alone going through this. You can get out of your marriage.

    • Leslie Williams

      Your not helpless, you will be ok. Dont look back and there are lots of other women out there just like you. Im one of them trying to make my move. Im leslie

  • Laurie

    Yes, it can seem lonely and cold when it feels like there is no help for husbands who need support and guidance when they’re in violent or unhealthy relationships with abusive wives. My focus is on women who need support with in their marriages; my purpose is to encourage women to know who they are in Christ. Many of us tend to get our identity and self-concept from our husbands and relationships, and I really want to encourage women to get their identities from God.

    So that’s why I don’t write for men! I just can’t do it all. But, I have heard from several men who need help in their marriages because of unhealthy or abusive women. If I had unlimited resources and imagination, I could create a “HeBlossoms!” series of blogs 🙂

    Anyway, I searched the internet for “men in abusive relationships” and found several resources.

    Help for Abused Men: Escaping Domestic Violence by Women or Domestic Partners
    http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/help-for-abused-men.htm

    Invisible Victims: Men In Abusive Relationships
    http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2014/06/men-in-abusive-relationships/

    Help for Battered Men
    http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/help-for-battered-men

    Men Can Be Victims of Abuse, Too
    http://www.thehotline.org/2014/07/men-can-be-victims-of-abuse-too/

    I hope this helps. May you find the strength, courage, and resources you need to move forward in your life.

    In peace and passion,
    Laurie

  • Stephen Haiden

    I wish there was as much advice for men who are suffering in abusive relationships. I am in this position, desperately seeking a way out, but there are zero resources, groups, agencies, programs or sites to help men it seems. Makes this all the more challenging and that does make me sad, but I will survive and God willing make it out. What will it take, how long until society realizes this tremendous shortfall in basic human compassion.

  • Mary

    I am 52 and been with my abusive husband 25 years. I never knew anyone like this, I didn’t know what was happening. He has threatened to kill me so many times, and the kids if I tried to leave. His rage, threats, lies & manipulations are so extreme, I truly believe he will kill them rather than let me have them. He has always involved the kids in his lies, trying to pit them against me. He has a degree & friends in law enforcement, who he has lied to for years about me. They help him & disregard me when I ask them for help. Even when I called the Sheriff’s DVU, they talked to one of his friends there & I never heard from them again.

    There is only one Family Services organization in our city with a small shelter. Max occupancy is up to 26 women/kids, with average 33 person wait. They can stay 2 yrs. There is no help planning to leave, only leave right now – and if not, come back when you’re ready to leave. You must have insurance to speak to a counselor there, and they didn’t take mine – (cry, laugh in disbelief)! And there is one super secret DV support group, but you have to make an appt to meet with the lady who runs it (at her convenience at her office), and be approved to attend!?!? lol…cry.

    I called the local PD on him once, he played Jekyll & Hyde. The cop ate it up, took his side saying he loved me. Then the cop started hanging around asking me out!!! Still fuming about that 19 years later!

    He has kept us drowning in so much debt over the years, used my SS# to put stuff in both our names, and last year found out he has our son on 2 of his credit cards. So if I leave, and he starts late payments again (he thinks that if a payment is postmarked by the end of the grace period, it is on time) our sons credit will suffer too.

    I want to leave, but fear he will hurt the kids. My family is not close, and worse now because of him cussing them out to make them stay away. He is psychotically jealous, possessive, controlling and financially verbally emotionally & mentally abusive. Separating finances has proven very hard, as he goes thru everything of mine constantly. I have blocked my credit, but saving secret $ is tough.

    And I can’t take a secret loan from my retirement, because I have to get his signature notarized! I loath him! The thought of him touching me makes me angry and repulsed. But, I have conceded because if I don’t he turns his rage on the kids. I have cried thru ‘it’ and thrown up after.

    Sorry, I digress. I want to leave, I will leave, but have read so many stories of women being pushed to leave with no means to survive long term. Counsellors want me to take him for everything, but I just want to get away from him. I’m tired of fighting, I just want to cut as many strings as possible.

    There are some good ideas in the article, which I will try. I hope to be free one day soon!

    • Mary

      I’m sorry for what you’re going through, but if he is abusive you must leave. The sooner the better. The longer you stay the worse it will get. And, if like my case, he will involve the kids. The older the kids get, the more he will be able to manipulate them & you.

      I stayed because I didn’t know any better. I didn’t understand what he was doing. And I now regret it every day. Things would have been so much better if I had left when the kids were young. The longer you wait, the harder it is to leave and the more abuse your kids will see and endure.

      Please contact a victims advocate in your area to talk. Talk to your family and friends, they will find out eventually, so it may as well be from you on your terms. Good luck to you!

  • Nikki

    I have seen worst relationships but I have been with this man for 12 years and it’s been a roller coaster ride from hell. He never wanted to marry me he just wanted me to act like a wife. I allowed another human being to control my every move. He was controlling me but acted as if he wasn’t. I was a fool enough to let him. He was very mentally and emotionally abusive towards me. Every time I told me I was going some where it was a problem. As long as I had my five year old son with me he was fine but if I get two minutes alone he had a problem with it. It was always me. I distroyed the relationship according to him. He cheated on me with his ex and had a child that is 6 months younger than my son and he didn’t trust me ( ain’t that a blip) I went for every thing he gave. I was so dumb. I ended up meeting some one just by chance and he gave me all the attention that I wasn’t getting at home. I admit I should have just walked away from the relationship before pursuing another relationship but hey it happens. I was more concerned about my wants and needs. I had a friend a true friend. It was great. One night this fool decided to got through my cell phone and retrieved the guy’s number and started stalking him. He read a text from the guy telling me that he loved and appreciated me as a woman. He was worried because he has never said anything like that to me ever. So now I’m the bad guy. we live in the same house and we don’t even speak. It’s very uncomfortable. I can see myself leaving one day soon while he’s at work. I see it happening. I’m preparing myself mentally and financially. He’s a good guy for someone else not me.

    Me.

  • Sadie

    I have supported my husband for 3 years while he says he is disabled. I have paid two sets of bills, worked jobs I hated, taken care of all his monetary needs and health needs including the two dogs since 2011 with no help (not even a part time job). He is always scheming to find quick money and always loses his job over the past 13 years of our marriage. He owes thousands in back child support and blames the child support agency or the mother of the children for leaving him. He always wants money for cigarettes and marijuana – if I say no he goes into tirades about me being a nagging, crazy women with no sense of self worth and that I should know better since I am 61 years old. I walk on egg shells, try to keep the conversation at a non-threating tone but he always says I am yelling at him when he is yelling. I can never say anything when he is on his abusive tirades and if I ask to say something he says I never agree with what he says and if I do not say anything he gets made and says all I do is just stand there looking stupid but I am afraid to speak or not speak. I have been married twice and he said I am lucky to have a husband like him. I stopped being intimate with him after I found out he lied about some things and wanted a certain type of sexual relationship I was not comfortable with doing. He is a large man (not fat) and at his height and weight I do not stand a chance if he decides to get violent. He gets mad and throws things, punches and puts holes in the wall, kicks the dogs, yells and screams. Always saying it is me causing all the stress in the house and I need to get myself together. I started seeing a therapist and asked him to do the same and he told me I was totally crazy and why waste time seeing her – it would not do any good. He said he has issues to work through but is refusing therapy which is free for us through my employer. He said I think I am uppity and seeking more status. I told him 6 months ago I wanted to retire and move back closer to family to help when we have health problems. He wants me to keep working a few more years and promises to get a job in the next two months but I do not believe him. I left everything and went to a family member, afraid to go back. I wonder if I should since I feel bad leaving him with no money to buy food, pay rent, feed the dogs, etc. It hurts to stay there and it hurts as a Christian to know I left someone homeless. I have to think of my safety. How do I get over the thoughts of guilt that I am leaving him with no money but all our household goods – the guilt is eating me up even though he has not helped at all these past few years financially and just drains my emotions and bank account

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Creating a safety plan with a woman’s advocate is one of the best tips on how to move out without your husband finding you. Especially if your husband or boyfriend is abusive or violent!

    Every woman’s situation is different, which is why it’s crucial to protect yourself and go slowly. Don’t rush into anything! Be wise, be careful, and take care of yourself.

  • Sky

    It has been a month since the kids and I moved out. We moved out while he was at work. I saved money for what I thought would be on a vacation. Instead used it to flee from my abusive-drinking all the time husband.

    I am truly blessed to have the love, support and mental stability to carry on with the kids and work. My husband is still trying to lure us back into my dream home that turned into a nightmare (on Elm Street). I am staying strong, praying, talking to friends and family.

    Since we left I see him differently. Something has changed in me. I feel strong, and empowered, something he tried take from me. I feel like a real mother who loves and will protect her children at any cost! My apartment is filled with PEACE, HAPPINESS AND LAUGHTER!! Something my 6 bedroom 3 car garage HOUSE never had. I am still very cautious with him but I pray and give my fear to God.

    This article was great. I could relate to Diane, leave when he is away.

    • Hana

      Living in a peaceful loving marriage is what I always wanted in life, but for the past 17 years, it’s been nothing but stressful, living with someone who is narcissist. I married him at age 32, then we begin having children when I was 34. I gave birth to our 4th and final child at age 42. Husband is 8 1/2 years older than me and he somehow feels his age difference gives him the right to dictate how I should think, believe and speak. My husband has been married and divorced 4 other times. My husband claims every divorce was always their fault though. I could write a book on the cruel things he has said to me over the years. This year for Mother’s Day he did not give me a card, but that’s not the sad part really. Instead, he began complaining that morning by making the statement that I’ve ruined every holiday for him and then today he added this to the mix, “He said, he always dreads the holidays with me because I get so stressed.” I admited that indeed I do get somewhat stressed during the holidays but it’s only because there is usually a lot of extra things to do in order to prepare for the holidays, but at the end of the day, when everyone’s eating, laughing and opening gifts, it’s ALWAYS a joyous moment and so worth it. Watching you’re children open their gifts is so satisfying hearing their excitement and screams of happiness. My question is why is he bringing up that I get so stressed during the holidays, when it was Mother’s Day? I sent out Mother’s Day cards to both of our moms and there was no stress involved. It was easy. My husband has 3 older children with one of his 4 ex’s and two of them pretty much despise their dad for various reasons, then he has another daughter whom I ended up adopting when she was 13 after we got married, even she always said she would pick me over her father if we ever divorced because of his hateful and negative view on everything in life. I used to go to church until about 1 year ago when my spouse critizied me for going to church and said no one at that church liked him. He acted like he was mad that I was going to church and taking the kids. I miss church and being around positive people. My husband complains nonstop about everything. My kids are even suggesting I leave their dad. I am 50 in a few months and my children are 15, 13, 10 and 6. Being single with 4 kids will be a challenge, but I feel peace is more important not only to myself, but most importantly, our children, than being critized only a daily basis. My husband is mad at the world and acts like everyone is out to get him. By the way, we too just moved into our dream home about a year ago and to be honest, I’d rather be happy and live in a one bedroom apartment than live here with him. He can have it! I want to wake up and be happy not miserable! By the way, I never expect gifts for the holidays. I’d rather have a card if not, I just want to be treated properly with repect. In 17 years of marriage, I have never not once missed giving my husband a fathers day card. For him to choose to attack me this year by not giving me a mother’s day card and instead yell at me for ruining his holidays is a slap in my face. I have went through so much making sure our family is happy, I am shell shocked over my husbands brutal and rude comments he has made to me repeatedly. I feel for anyone going through a crisis of contemplating divorce, it is no fun for sure. I guess my husband saying I ruin every holiday for him won’t have to worry about me ruining his holidays anymore because I won’t be here to ruin them. 🙂 I did all the cooking, planning, wrapping of the gifts, buying all the gifts for the kids/family members. We have 18 acres, a beautiful creek to look at and we sit high on a ridge surrounded by trees. It’s a beautiful home but I feel empty inside living a life of constant negativity and anger. God helped me to get up and get out!

  • Aleydis

    It’s been 5 weeks since I left home and the man that took a big part of my soul, yet gave me two children that are the most beautiful and sacred part of my life right now. I continue to educate myself on the abuse I lived through in order to best make choices that will allow me to move forward with both my kids and never return to the “home” that held me captive in every way possible. Yes, my self-esteem has hit rock-bottom, but I do my best to put aside the negative thoughts as I find ways to make my children’s lives a better through play and laughter. We moved 400 miles away, left my profession which I loved dearly and my dream home, but it is worth it as my babies are living a new life free of fear. I have a court hearing in two days and I will not lie in that I am shaky y super nervous, I don’t want to see him behind bars nor deported for he is the father of mi kiddos. I believe he is hurting as he knows nothing of us for this length of time and does not know our whereabouts. How can I feel compassion/ fear for him if he hurt me so much and had no mercy for me when he did drastic harm to him?? Why??

  • Laurie Post author

    Thanks for your comment, Peaches. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you make plans to move out without your husband finding out. Be safe, be careful, and try to surround yourself with people who love and support you.

    Stay in touch – let me know how things go!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Peaches

    This is such an informative article. I am leaving in 2 weeks and desperately needed this information. I will be seeing a counselor, but I cannot see her for about 2 weeks, as she is booked. I will be using this advice as a secretly prepare to move.