Should I stay in an abusive relationship?
Why do women stay in abusive relationships? 15 reasons why
Should You Ever Stay with an Abusive Partner? If you're wondering why women stay in abusive relationships, here are some shocking reasons why.
Why do women stay in abusive relationships? For whatever reason, abuse comes in many forms - physical, sexual, emotional, psychological. It also affects all genders. But statistically speaking, it is women who suffer most from it.
Almost a third of women in the US will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. On a typical day, more than 20,000 phone calls are made to abuse hotlines.
It affects so many people because it is easy to fall victim to abusive behavior. Once stuck in this cycle, it's difficult to walk. An abuser systematically destroys your mind, confidence, self-esteem, and opinions about yourself over a long period of time until you become suspicious of your own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.
After a while, they replace these personal traits with despair, heartbreak, disappointment, self-loathing, and doubt. They are easier to manipulate and feel like you have to stay with them because you are worthless to others.
Leaving an abusive relationship is harder than you think
I was in an emotionally abusive relationship several years ago. I stayed a lot longer than I should have. While he has never physically abused me, emotional abuse can be just as soul-damaging and difficult to break out because the bruises and scars are not visible.
He had classic abuser behavior: control, mood swings, viciously manipulative, intimidating, and bullying techniques. For years he took a back seat to my self-esteem and often told me that I could never leave him because no one would love someone like me. And I really believed him.
At some point I realized how toxic and consuming the relationship was, and so I left * after many failed breakups and attempts to break all bonds *. When I was in the relationship, his behavior became so normal that for years I thought that all problems were solely my fault. It took me over a year to even realize what I saw as abuse. It's a difficult mentality to get away from.
How do you recognize an abuser?
When you meet someone, it is important to spot red flags as soon as possible. Be wary of intrusive or controlling behavior. Always, always trust your gut feeling. An abuser tries to control every aspect of your life - the way you dress, where you work, who you hang out with, and where you go.
Their goal, subconsciously or not, is to destroy what makes you who you are and replace them with what they find appealing and easy to manipulate. There is no specific archetype of an abuser. Just because someone with a successful career and lots of friends seems caring or gentle-speaking doesn't mean they aren't potentially an abusive partner.
Many women are not believed when trying to try an abusive partner. There is still a misleading notion that being a good friend is a good friend. In reality, it is possible for someone to be well liked and respected among their friends, but violent, paranoid, or wildly aggressive behind closed doors.
It's also important to note that it doesn't have to be rigorous or physical - it is considered abuse. Abuse comes in a number of different packages. They don't have to put a finger on you to cause scarring or damage. Look out for gas lights, humiliation, excessive infidelity, finger pointing, hyper-criticism, inappropriate jealousy, extreme mood swings, and compulsive behavior.
If you find out that the person you're dating is actually offensive, don't try to argue with them or give them a second chance. Just go and carry on. You won't be able to change her because her behavior is so ingrained that you don't even get it.
Why do women stay in abusive relationships? 15 reasons why
Unfortunately, there is still a huge stigma attached to abuse. Too often a lot of blame still occurs. It is a difficult topic that is often tackled, and often many people ask, "Why do women stay in abusive relationships?"
If they have the opportunity to walk away clearly with an abusive partner, why not go? What would be the justification for sticking with you and knowing how badly you are being treated? In reality, the solution is not as simple as it seems.
# 1 You feel trapped. Why do women stay in abusive relationships? Well, a lot of women feel like they can't leave or have an obligation to stay. Sometimes it's for reasons like their partner blackmailing them emotionally by saying that if they leave they will commit suicide or that no one else will love them.
This psychological agony convinces her that it is better to stay and deal with her circumstances than to risk it and go.
# 2 They still want to believe that they are loved. You can still truly be confident that your abuser loves you. Or their partner just has a different way of showing love. The perpetrator alternates between showering with false devotion and affection and horrific abuse. It gets to the point where the abused believe that this is the love they deserve.
# 3 They fear for their lives. Abuse is not a joke. It often leaves women afraid to leave if their partner becomes violent. Every day three women are murdered by a current or former male partner. It's hard for an abused woman to leave without reaction.
# 4 You don't want a failed marriage. There are many women who simply cannot walk because they share children with or are married to the abuser. In this situation, they hate the idea of going through the painful, expensive divorce process. They also don't want their children to go through a breakup or, worse, leave them behind.
# 5 Maybe he'll change this time. After prolonged mental manipulation and so many failed attempts to leave, some women often hope that this time will be different.
They desperately cling to the hope that the man they love will come to their senses, that if he claims he can change, they will believe that he is lying.
# 6 yourself. Most abused people face persistent self-esteem destruction. They keep hearing that they are to blame for problems that arise in the relationship.
You often hear: "I'm only doing this because of what you said / wore." After a while, they brainwash you into such a way that they just assume you are wrong.
# 7 Relying on your partner completely. Some perpetrators manipulate their partner into addiction and dependence on them. Many abused women who do not have steady, full-time jobs rely solely on their partner to be the breadwinner in the house. Sometimes the perpetrator controls what money his partner is accessing, which makes it harder to leave him.
# 8 You feel pressured by others. The pressure to stay in a toxic relationship doesn't always come from the perpetrator. Sometimes it comes from friends and family.
Sometimes it is easier for people to typically dismiss abusive behavior when they are not in the relationship. They say things like, "He's probably not that bad," "He's never been awful to me," or "I'm sure he didn't mean it."
# 9 Afraid they won't be believed Many cases of abuse go unreported and are not punished because often when women come forward they are not believed. Unless you document evidence every day, there will be no evidence other than bruises or scars.
And when you are emotionally abused, there is seldom physical evidence to use. Unfortunately, it becomes a case of your word against your abuser.
# 10 You still love her . If you haven't been in an abusive relationship, still loving your abuser may seem crazy, but it's incredibly common. It's almost like Stockholm Syndrome where you feel like you are still seeing something in them that redeems all of the things that they are going through.
I was finally strong enough to leave an abusive relationship when I realized that love alone wasn't enough to keep us together.
# 11 They've already tried and failed. There are too many cases of women who count leaving their abuser only to be tracked down and beaten, threatened, or sweet-talked to come back. Leaving often has an impact, especially in physically abusive relationships, so many women don't try.
# 12 They don't realize they are being mistreated. Sometimes it is difficult to understand what abuse looks and feels like, especially with psychological or emotional abuse. It's easy to understand that their behavior is normal or that they are the trigger for their mood swings. It took me years to see and accept the signs that it was abuse, not just a flawed relationship.
# 13 You give too many second chances. When you are treated like a doormat, forgiveness easily starts to come to you. They feel that they should justify their partner's actions and explain their behavior.
They are used to their partner apologizing and promising that they are better. They leave them out because they love them and hope that they will change.
# 14 They have nowhere to go . In some situations, escaping a horrific or violent environment is incredibly difficult when you share a home or mortgage with the abuser. To get away with it completely, some are assuming anonymity and moving to a completely new place. Uprooting yourself from your hometown, renting a new apartment, and walking away from all of your friends and job is too much to endure. So they stay.
# 15 You are fooling yourself . After their self-esteem and confidence have been destroyed over and over again, they get used to reaching out to the one person who shows them "love". Soon they think that's all they deserve.
Either out of love or pressure, they stop and accept what they are told about where they are, believing that if they make an effort to be a good partner, they will eventually get better.
Why women stay in abusive relationships doesn't have a simple black and white answer. Abuse is such a complicated, multidimensional problem that it is not so easy to suggest that someone who is being abused should just leave. Instead, learn to support them and educate yourself so it doesn't happen to you.
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