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Question: He cheated again- How do I get out??

Dear Lounge Advice,
I have written to you twice and did not listen to your advice...stupid me! Well I am back in the same old boat...he cheated again. What are the first steps to getting out? Please help!



Dear (Anonymous),

It's quite alright. Had I been in the same situation, I probably wouldn't have listened either. I completely understand.
You first need to set yourself up financially. If you have a joint account, set up a personal account for yourself. During any kind of divorce proceedings that may ensue, your assets can be frozen, but it's wise to go ahead and do this anyway, but keep your balance low, just enough to get by on, but not enough that it will hurt when it's frozen. If your paycheck is direct deposited, cancel that process immediately and opt to cash it instead. Having cash in this situation is one of your best bets. Not having direct deposit at the time of my split was about the only thing that got me through such a hard time. My name was not on the bank account because my husband did not allow me to access the money. If I would have had direct deposit, that money would have been dumping into his pockets with me left high and dry. Being able to cash my checks and use money that was not linked to an account was a saving grace.
So, if you can get cash, the more the merrier if you're serious about leaving.
Then, make a list of your most valuable things. I'm not talking about expensive 'things' necessarily. Rather, what holds intrinsic value to you that cannot be replaced if he decides to retaliate and hide/take/damage your valued items.
I walked out without a plan- only a suitcase of clothing that would get me through work until I could figure out what to do. I later returned with a police officer, trying to find my grandmother's wedding ring. He had removed everything of mine from the house, locked it up and refused to tell me where my possessions were.
I don't know if your husband would do something like this, but it's best to be on the safe side in this situation.
Take these valued items and entrust them to a friend or relative so you know they're safe.
If you have credit cards in your name, consider putting a freeze on them for now. Get a notarized letter to the credit card companies stating that the accounts are to be frozen until permission from BOTH account holders is given to reopen them. I still have a credit card on freeze to this day, but it can't be used by him to harm my credit. My name was only on it because he used my SS# to get it for himself, so no loss anyways.
After I left, my ex-husband ran up the cards with my name attached and 'forgot' to pay the bills, among other headaches in the credit department. Be very careful with this.
Remove any paperwork from the house regarding accounts that are solely in your name and to be safe, contact the companies to alert them of what is going on, and that any action on the accounts needs to be cleared with you first.
Get your essentials- clothing, necessities, whatever you need to get through.
Confide in a friend, preferably one whose address and contact info is unknown to your husband, so you can have a safe haven and perhaps a place to stay until you can figure out how to proceed.
DO NOT (and if you don't listen to anything else I say, listen to this) DO NOT DO NOT, get into any kind of argument with him before you secure these things. In the heat of the moment in situations such as yours, too many things can go wrong. You can accidentally let loose that you're leaving, giving him the opportunity to screw you royally before you have everything in place. Even if you don't let this information slip, he might catch on and hurt you anyway. Be calm, rational and methodical. Besides, there is nothing more to argue about anyways. That would be an act in futility. Look forward, not back.
Like I said, the only plan I had in place before I left was when I vowed that if he ever threw me around again and verbally abuse me, I was gone. I stuck to that. But I wish I had gone about it with more thought. I just happened to reach the breaking point earlier than expected.
When he wouldn't allow me to get dressed (I was butt naked), instead of arguing, I was a good girl, complied and went to bed as I was told. The next morning, I packed a suitcase, grabbed my pet and slipped out the door.
It wasn't ideal, but I made it after that. If I had decided to argue, I might not have gotten that far and probably would have been watching and waiting for me to wake up so I couldn't run. It was THE wisest decision I made. I placated him, made it seem that I was blowing the whole incident off and that I wasn't upset.
When you do leave, don't frequent your usual places. My ex knew where I set up my new bank account and followed me there twice, waiting for me in the parking lot. The last time I ever saw him, he tried to keep me from getting into my car, but I managed to get in and sped off in sheer panic. He followed on my tail and I called the police.
I haven't seen him since.
This is no longer about him. This is now about YOU. He took you out of the equation already anyway. Think of how you can protect yourself and be proactive. I don't want to see you do it the way I had to.
Don't let this happen to you.

Plan wisely and quickly, act on it, and keep constant vigilance thereafter. Don't give a thought to how this might affect him. He has had his chance.

If I think of anything else, I'll add some footnotes to this....

I also posted this anonymously in the forum under my account to seek additional for you. I'll keep it updated as I get more replies: See below

*First things first. Contact an attorney BEFORE leaving. Follow said attorney's advice.

And don't fight from a misguided sense of feeling that you need to get even. Done is done.

*Keep things civilized!

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