Why Do Women Stay In Abusive Relationships?
February 1, 2011|
In order to really analyze this question, first we really should define what an abusive relationship is. There are many types of abuse. Physical is obviously the easiest to see, while verbal is the easiest to hear. The hardest to spot is emotional. Regardless of the type, my definition of an abusive relationships one where someone is unhappy because they feel trapped or controlled.
Why Do Women Continue staying In An Abusive Relationship?
The most accepted reason is fear; fear of being alone, fear of the unknown. Another widely accepted reason is denial. Many of us truly think we can change someone. Or, help them to be a better person. Unfortunately, the answer is a lot more complicated. I spent most of my childhood and adult life embroiled in an emotionally abusive relationship – not with a man, but with a female relative. Recently, for my own sanity, I have backed away from this relationship.
In the ensuing months – ok years – I have had a lot of time to think about things. Why did I do this? Why did she say that? How can I fix it? Why do women continue staying in an abusive relationship that makes them unhappy? To reach a peaceful state of mind over this situation I had to admit to myself that the problem wasn’t something I could fix. The root of any abusive relationships an emotional issue on the part of the abuser; and no matter what you do or say you can’t make it better if they don’t want it to be. That was how I learned that at the heart of every abusive relationship is a confused individual with emotional issues that prevent them from moving forward to a healthy committed relationship.
If they are lucky enough they may find someone to love them. Some women stay in abusive relationships because they are patient and kind and will exhaust all avenues to fix things for the ones they love. They honestly see the good in the abuser and if they stick around long enough, they may even be able to identify the root issue and a potential way to solve it. The issue, however, is that the cure cannot and will not work if the abuser does not want it to. It is this realization, the moment when we realize that no matter what we do, we cannot make the person we love take that step, that we lose hope and find the strength to move on. It really doesn’t matter how or when it happens, just that as part of our self preservation, it eventually happens.