Recovery From Abusive Relationships. How Long Does It Take?

Recovery from abusive relationships

How long does it take?

Recovery from an abusive relationship.

How long does it take? When will this pain end?

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I get asked this a lot by followers of my Blog.


One woman wrote this recently – about recovering from her abusive ex:

I need some words/advice/links. I am one year with no contact, after 20 years of severe covert abuse. I don’t miss him. However, I still feel lost or unsure of where I am going or what I want for my future.

I had a ‘fake future’ promise. Of course this is gone. But, I’m wondering when did you start to feel really good about your life again? Happy and Carefree? Or, maybe even, when did you feel ready to date again?

I love so much that you all engage with me and ask for my advice. I love it even more that Unbeatable has grown into the community, in which you all help each other.


Another one of my followers responded to her in this way:

Good for you … getting through that first year! 💜 It’s the toughest. Give yourself lots of credit and love. Twenty years of abuse takes some time for healing.

I now have 20+ years of working on my stuff … but only in the past 8 years have I genuinely accepted that many of the problems were not ‘them’ but rather me! Once I got that straight, I was able to focus on my own contributions to all of my relationships’ dysfunctions. That’s when my growth was exponential. I stopped looking at their stuff, and only worked on mine. I am feeling that I have finally conquered things that were holding me back from living the life I desired. I live in gratitude 💜

My greatest time of healing/growth was when I spent 3 years completely alone … dealing with a broken heart, cancer, and financial collapse. I had to finally sit still and face myself. The loneliest, most sad time of my life, and yet that’s where I was able to grow and heal. I cried and angered out years and years of abuse and hurts. The wounds were finally able to heal 💜. And yes it took those awful lonely years to do so.

Therapy is also a MUST! It is the single most important contributor to getting me where I am today. I tried therapists, stopped and started until I finally found gold. My therapist has amazingly walked me through some dark valleys in “weekly” sessions for the past “10 years” … Yes, that’s a lot of therapy!

I am now happily single (but hoping 😉), much healed and in love with my family and myself. (Bonus … when we heal, so do our family relationships). It took/takes a lot of work, resolve and discipline, yet the rewards are worth it all.

Grab for everything you can to get help and find wisdom on your journey. Books, blogs, support groups, spirituality, therapy, self care … everything helps. As you immerse yourself, you will look forward to each revelation as it appears. You will embrace the difficult stuff, knowing it brings release and freedom. I wish you the best. Your efforts will see their rewards. 🌻


I couldn’t have put this better myself. It is great advice. (Thank you both for allowing me to share this).


Recovery from abusive relationships

Recovery from abusive relationships takes time. Healing is a journey. Years of trauma are not something you get over overnight.

Leaving an abusive relationship is one of the toughest things I’ve ever done.

Taking that first step out of denial was the hardest one to take.

When you’ve experienced manipulation like gaslighting. Subjected you to psychological abuse and coercive control.

When they’ve isolated you from family and friends. There is a lot to recover from.

Accepting you are even in an abusive relationship can be hard. Admitting to yourself you need help is harder.

So, if you have done this and taken those first steps try not to be too hard on yourself.

You should feel proud of the strength and courage you have found within you to leave.

Don’t underestimate the toll years and years of emotional and / or physical abuse takes. How much time and work you need to do to heal.

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Vivian McGrath
Vivian McGrath is a TV Exec Producer making documentaries for US/UK and Australian television networks. She’s a survivor of domestic violence, motivational speaker, author, and empowerment coach. She helps women ready to recover from abusive relationships fall back in love with themselves and never settle for anything less than they deserve ever again. If that sounds like you then join her VIP The Power Within You program here:
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