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Why Do People Stay In Abusive Relationships

Abusive Relationships

Why Do People Stay In Abusive Relationships?

Welcome to Chapter One of  

Why Do People Stay In Abusive Relationships

Previously: Shark Control, Power and Control

Chapter One

Why Do People Stay In Abusive Relationships?

When one is swimming in Shark infested water, they may frantically try to swim away. This can seem impossible as they are thrashed by waves and dragged by the undercurrents. In addition to this, the victim may have been swimming so long that they are struggling to stay afloat and cannot see any way to survive. Likewise when suffering abuse one often feels there is no way out.

Abusive Relationships

A victim of abuse may be so busy coping with the constant waves of violence they are unable to think clearly to make the decision to leave the relationship.

Leaving abusive relationships is never easy. In fact it has to be one of the most difficult things I have done in my life time. Leaving is a process which takes time, no matter what anyone else says or thinks. It is only if and when one is ready that they will be able to leave.

This chapter will look into the reasons why people so often choose to remain in abusive relationships and struggle to leave when they are suffering so much violence, physically or emotionally.

As I struggled to decide whether or not to leave my abusive partner, I made a list of reasons to leave and reasons to stay. As time went by the list grew shorter and shorter. Hope was fading and I began to challenge the messages I had internalised whilst living with my shark.

As I went through the list over and over, I was able to realise that many of my reasons for staying were based on irrational, false and unrealistic beliefs. It took several months until I found the strength to leave. I braved the waters and had the courage to make the most important decision of my life and leave.

As I went through the list over and over, I was able to realise that many of my reasons for staying were based on irrational, false and unrealistic beliefs. It took several months until I found the strength to leave. I braved the waters and had the courage to make the most important decision of my life and leave.

The following are genuine reasons, fears and thoughts which can result in men and women choosing to stay in abusive relationships. Some may or may not apply as each and every relationship is different.

You still love your partner.
You don’t want to break your marriage vows.

You believe if you do what your partner wants, he/she will treat you better.

You want to keep trying until you have done all you can do.

The good times outweigh the bad.

Your partner is getting help through counselling and you hope he/she will change

You believe this is just a bad patch in your relationship. He/she has promised to change their behaviour.

Leaving is against your religious or cultural beliefs. You have put so much into the relationship you are not prepared to walk out right now.

You feel too weak or too unwell to leave. You are financially secure with your partner

You need your partner and can’t make it through life on your own.

You feel ashamed, embarrassed and worry what others will think.

You believe you are the only one who can help your partner change.

You don’t want to lose the friends you both share.
You feel you are taking the kids away from their father.

You believe no one will believe the abuse and you will be blamed.

You don’t have any support or anywhere to go. You don’t believe you’ll cope being alone.
You don’t want to fight for your children in court

You don’t feel safe leaving your partner

You worry you will end up have a mental breakdown?

You don’t want to be a single parent.

You believe your partner needs you and you don’t want to abandon them.

You worry your partner will commit suicide if you leave.

You worry you will always be single and never find love again?

You fear that you don’t have the strength to stay away and that you might come back.

You’ve previously tried to leave and came back.

As you read the previous thoughts, fears and reasons, people often stay in abusive relationships you may have recognised a few which apply to your own situation, the relationship of a family member or friend.

If you are unsure of what to do or are not prepared or ready to leave your relationship at this point, I would suggest the attempting the exercises in the next chapter. These may help you to see clearly, to work out what is best for you at this time and understand why you are choosing to stay, which after all is a choice which is entirely up to you.

Next:  The Inspiration Edit Leaving Abuse Worksheet

Angela x

 Abusive Relationships

2 Comments

  1. I have had to leave the love of my life after 16 years. He was like two different people. One loving, almost childlike, deep in my soul, sharing our love of the sea, nature and travel, and the other; cold, cruel, heartless-one who turned his back on me and criticised, belittled and demeaned.
    Your words ring true on every level. i just think of every person who is prisoner in such a relationship and feel they will die if they leave the one they love so truly.
    Three years on and my husband is still prolonging the divorce, finally offering a tiny pay-off from his 1 million fortune. He has left me beaten and broken and £15,000 in debt. And now he shows his true colours by treating me like I am nothing, that I never meant anything.
    I hope to help others in the future, to face leaving someone like this. It is a death but they are still alive. But life can go on and freedom from abuse is our right.

    1. I understand completely. It is so so hard and the most difficult thing to do but when leaving needs to be done for your sanity and safety and happiness then it takes courage and strength. Thanks for your comments. Well done for being strong.

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