Life and Love After Abuse: Amanda’s Story

amandas story

Life and Love After Abuse: Amanda’s Story

Last month, we took to Facebook to discuss life after an abusive relationship. We asked the community to share their own stories, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Survivors shared their uplifting experiences of finding love and starting over after abuse, and there was no shortage of support and encouraging messages for those struggling to heal.

Today we’re excited to publish Amanda’s story, which details her journey from a victim of domestic violence to an empowered new bride. We hope you are as inspired at her strength and hopeful spirit as we are. A very special thanks to Amanda for having the courage to share her experience with us.

In response to your Facebook post: I am one of those who found love after abuse.

I was married to a physically, emotionally and sexual abusive man for five years — I was choked, beaten, thrown into walls, raped and made to feel completely worthless. In March 2010, I incorporated my “safety plan” and left my husband.

From March 2010 through March 2011 (while my divorce was going on), I spent A LOT of time reading books on domestic violence, reading blogs of survivors, researching information on websites like yours and also working closely with a therapist. I just read and learned everything I could about domestic violence as I knew that I wanted to one day be in a healthy relationship and not stay trapped in the “cycle.” I wanted to become a healthy and happy domestic violence survivor.

In April 2011, I was asked out on a date by a man that I had known from a distance. I was terrified to trust again (yes, even if it was just a little date), but I knew from all of the research that I had done that he was a good and honest man. Our first dinner date turned into a picnic and hike which turned into several more weeks of dating which lead to us becoming “a couple.”

Being part of “a couple” — in a healthy relationship — was amazing and terrifying at the same. Amazing because I forgot how wonderful a healthy relationship was, but terrifying because I was afraid that (A) something in our relationship would cause him to “turn” and (B) I was afraid my ex would come after me or my boyfriend. However, through all of my healing and research, I knew that option “A” wasn’t going to happen. And thankfully, option “B” didn’t happen either.

Through this relationship, I learned what a real man was — real men treat you with complete respect. They are caring, gentle and kind. They love you for who you are — your likes, dislikes, goals and ideas. They will NEVER EVER hurt you physically, emotionally or sexually. And one of the most important things, especially for a domestic violence survivor, is that they are patient with you. I can’t tell you how many times I had to either stop doing something, leave a place or just needed to be comforted due to some “trigger” from my past. A real man will be there for you, he will help you heal by showing you what real love is.

Two years later, on March 30th, 2013, I got to marry this absolutely amazing man. I have a husband that I (once) never thought existed. My marriage is wonderful, it’s free of abuse, or fear. Our home is our a happy place, filled with love.

Finding love, or even being willing to trust someone, after being in an abusive relationship is extremely scary. I do believe that my key to “finding love” was allowing myself time to heal, to grieve and to learn as much as possible about abusive personalities and what healthy relationships consist of.

The photo here is from our recent wedding — yes, I’m a blissful bride. And I’m so thankful that I can say that I HAVE found love after abuse!

*Photo credit: Kristen Eson, Arden Photography

Comment section

19 replies
  1. First off, Amanda, thank you for being so brave as to share.
    Secondly, I wanted to cry because this is my story too. I thankfully, like you, met and married “The One” after therapy and learning about domestic violence. I spend a few years volunteering with other survivors and learned a lot. However, when it came time to date again I had a really hard time going anywhere and was really triggered. I actually worked with a Service Dog when my husband and I met. With his patience and sweet, gentle kindness I was able to heal from a lot of my trauma. In fact, he too was a survivor of domestic violence. i am now going on my second anniversary with him and so blessed. I thank God and my lucky stars for the life I am so blessed with now.

    1. Sarah,

      Thank you for voicing your survivor story to our blog readers. It is really encouraging to hear that you got out of your violent relationship and have now found a loving and kind husband. All the best to you.


    2. I wanted to thank Amanda for her story and Sarah for her response. It is great to hear stories from people who found love and had no problems. But I am like Sarah and was triggered by a lot things while dating and found it very difficult. It is a road I am still travelling. I had dated someone for a couple years who then told me it was too much for him. It is really nice to hear that others had a difficult dating experience too. I have hope that when I’m ready I will find love again.

      1. Kat,

        Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like this has been such a difficult situation. Moving forward after an abusive relationship is hard, and it sounds like you’ve taken a lot of courageous steps to heal. Know that there is no timeline to this process. There may be programs in your area that can help through this process by providing emotional support.

        If you would like to talk about strategies to heal or need help finding local support agencies, I encourage you to contact us, The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support and your call is completely anonymous and confidential.

        Until then,


  2. I would also like to thank Amanda that she has shared her story because it’s not easy to recall such panic moments. Violence and abuse affect women from all kinds of backgrounds every day and getting out of an abusive or violent relationship is not easy: very few have the courage to do so.
    Once you are broken, your confidence and self respect is shattered: believing some other person seems to be the most difficult decision you have to take.
    But you did this. Your story will inspire other women as well who are victims of domestic violence and abuse.

    Samreen M

  3. Hi. Thankbyou for your story it inspired me. I just got out of a physical, psychological and emotional relationship. Its been 3 months now. My ex wants me back and we still love each other. He wants to Marry me by e end of e year. I dont want to lose him again but I feel as if though I need time to heal. I also have 2 kids from e abuser. They r still babies but I feel like maybe it wont be fair to them if I do move on now. Problem is I dont want to lose this guy again. He is a good guy and I messed things up

    1. Nini,

      Thank you for reaching out to our blog community. It sounds like this is a really overwhelming situation and it is completely understandable to feel conflicted when trying to make your decision. You have every right to allow yourself the time to heal, we know that this process is not on a timeline. If you would like to talk these things through, you can always feel free to contact us, The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support. Your call is completely anonymous and confidential and I hope you are able to reach out to us.


  4. Thank you for sharing this. I’m having trouble now with emotional issues and anger from my past abusive relationship. I went to counseling last year and after 6 months I started to feel like myself again and met an amazing guy. I know he’s the one I want to be with and he’s so patient with me. I was very hesitant about dating and made him wait a while before I said yes. We now live together and have been discussing marriage in the future. Not many people know about my abusive relationship from before. So reading this really helps me know that it’ll be okay one day.

    1. Dear Ashley,

      Thank you for sharing your story with us! It so good to hear when a survivor of domestic violence is able to escape their abusive situation. I’m very glad to hear that you are safe and happy! That is such a big deal and makes all this work worth it!

      If you do ever need additional support, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1 800 799 7233.

      All the best,
      Hotline Advocate MC

  5. This story really touched me..I was in an abusive relationship during my 2 years of service in AmericCorps. He was emotionally abusive and physically as well. He was an alcoholic and just took money from me all the time. I started thinking I deserved it. I had to hide my bruises and lied to my family. I never spoke about it to my friends. Very few people knew. I became pregnant during my abuse and chose to not go through with it. That was the most pain ive ever felt in my heart. I had little money and felt trapped. I got offered a job and ended up declining it so i could get away and moved home to my mom’s house. I knew I would be safe. He showed up at my mom’s house..but the police came. I still have nightmares. A few months after I was ready to give up..but I ended up connecting with an old friend. He listened and treated me with respect. We talked for hours every day. 2 years after reconnecting we’re now engaged. I cannot thank him enough for his patience, encouragement and love. While he and my family are great support, I feel the need sometimes to have a therapist or counselor. I feel like I’m 80% back to myself, but I’m reaching for that other 20%. I’ve never talked about it to really try and move on. The images are just so vivid in my head.

    1. Sarah,

      I am so glad to hear that you are well and were able to safely end the abusive relationship. It takes a lot of strength to be able to leave an abusive relationship, and even more strength to move forward, as you have done. Moving forward is not easy, and it is a process of time and healing. I know that you feel 80% back to yourself, but that you also identified still having a 20% that you are reaching for. You also mentioned the desire to seek counseling to address some of the things you may still be going through after the abusive relationship. I want you to know that counseling support, along with other services are available for you and we can help you find those services in your area. If you are able to, please give us a call at our 24-7 hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are completely confidential and anonymous and have advocates here ready to support and help you. We are looking forward to hearing from you. Again it is so nice to hear that you found safety, support and love. Take care.

      Hotline Advocate MK

  6. I just wanted to say that I can relate to your story in so many ways. I was married to my ex husband he was abusive emotionally physically verbally and sexually. It was awful. I remember praying to God and telling him to please help me out of this situation and that someday I would find someone who would treat me better. That following week my ex and I got I to a fight. It started because I paid for our groceries with cash instead of my store credit card, so now we don’t have money for gas for our car. He couldn’t believe how stupid I was. From there it escalated and he threatened to throw me out of the car while driving. (With 2 screaming toddlers In the back seat) When we got home he beat me pretty bad so I knew I had to leave. I made my escape with my boys. Now 6 months later were divorced and I’m In a support group. I have my own apartment and a good job. I’m so sorry this is so long. But now my best friend older brother (he’s 2yrs older than me ) wants to date me and he knows my story. He’s been there for me for the past 6 months and he wants to get to know my boys. I like him a lot he’s so patient and sweet. But it’s so hard to trust and to let go. He understands which is awesome. I wish I wasn’t so scared. I wish I could just trust my self to trust him becuz this guy is not my ex he never will be. Why is this so scary.

    1. Hi Ash,

      Wow, thank you for sharing your story. You have so much strength and courage to be able to leave and start over. I’m so happy that you’re safe now and have started a life that is free of abuse. It’s wonderful that you have found someone who is kind and caring. Being abused by someone that you love and trust is the greatest betrayal and traumatic. Being cautious and taking your time with new relationships can be frustrating but it’s normal after an abusive relationship. It may sound corny, but being kind and patient with yourself helps. Sometimes when you try to push yourself before you’re ready, you wind up only getting frustrated and feeling like there’s something wrong. Six months is not a long time and you have done so much. That is a huge accomplishment!

      I understand that you want to feel safe. It sounds like you’re doing a lot of great things, but if you would like more suggestions or help, please give us a call. We’re always here to offer support and listen. If you would like to speak to an advocate, you can call 1-800-799-7233. We’re here 24/7 and completely confidential.

      Take care,
      Hotline Advocate VG

  7. I was in a very emotional n abusive relationship this man wanted me one day than was unsure the next. We could b having a good day together and he could still ruien it with his infidelity issues. We fought most and the abuse came out whenever I would catch him lying or cheating. His guilt would spark rage. After years of trying and breaking up and going back it became worse i feared for my life to a point i was not happy i was finally becoming tired. Well cps became involved and removed me n my son and i must say it was a blessing in disguise. I had to start taking counciling, parenting classes, and domestic violence classes. I was finally on the path to freedom. He still continued to look for me at his convince. It was not easy it was like i was addicted to him like he was my own dose of heroin I needed to feel n get high off of him . But i was grieving and it was okay to feel that way. I became strong with eachday that passed. I did try dating but it didn’t work i wasnt ready i needed to find myself again. I stoped dating and focused on myself and my son. One day i went out with some coworkers and this handsome guy greats me with a nice hello And we continue to talk and i enjoyed the rest of my evening with him. I was still struggling with my demons and was jyst not quite ready but this man showed me nothing but patience and heart. I distant myself for a few weeks until we ran into eachother again and this time i took him up on that date. It was the best decision i ever made. He has showen me a love like nun other and so very kind and respectable. We are now Looking for a home together and looking forward to a wonderful future together. I am so happy to have been able to find a love like this I never thought it was real i thought i was going to b alone. But im free nolonger afraid and im in love with someone who loves me back.

    1. Sasha,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience with our blog community! This story is an excellent example of resilience and how difficult it can be to bounce back after an abusive relationship. It sounds like you were really patient with yourself and this process and it’s great to hear how that helped you have the time to figure out what you wanted to do. I wish nothing but joy to you, your son and your new partner!

      Thanks again for sharing,

  8. Thank you for sharing your story! I left my abuser 6 months ago and having a hard time believing my life can go on. This story really encouraged me.

    1. Emma,

      Thank you so much sharing with our blog community. It sounds like you have taken some really HUGE steps and I am fine you can find encouragement from these posts. Know that there is no timeline with these complicated situations. That is why we, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, is always available to talk this through. Advocates are available 24/7 to brainstorm ways to continue focusing on you. Feel free to give us a call at 1800-799-7233.


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