Joy & Pain: Reasons Why Women Stay In Abusive Relationships

February 18, 2012  |  
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For many of us, the question is simple: “why doesn’t she just leave?” But, surrounding that clear notion that abuse is bad, is a whole cloud of other emotions and twisted logic that makes it hard for women in abusive relationships to focus on the only thing they need to know: there is no excuse for abuse.

Here is some of that “logic”:

It didn’t start that way

Of course it didn’t. Do you think a woman would risk date #2 with a guy who laid hands on her or even showed any sort of aggression on date #1? Absolutely not, because she has no attachment to him at that point. Unfortunately, if a man has abusive tendencies, he is usually very good at hiding these until much later when he knows a woman is strongly attached to him. So, at that point, many women rationalize, “I know he’s not a monster—I know it because there was a time during this relationship when he was not abusive. We can get back to that time.” Nuh-uh. He has been waiting to get to this time—the time of abuse. This was no slip-up—no random occurrence that was triggered by something. It was a tendency that simply laid dormant in him for a while.

They don’t know it’s not normal

Believe it or not, some women just don’t know that abuse is not an inevitable part of any relationship. They assume that some level of abuse is going on in the relationships of all of their girlfriends, but that no one is talking about it. They tell themselves, “Abuse is inevitable. So I may as well take it from someone who I already have fallen in love with.”

They think they did something wrong

And you know what? Maybe they did. Maybe a woman purposely tried to make her man jealous. Maybe she straight up cheated on him. But you know what? There are millions of men who would never become abusive, even if they were cheated on right in front of their faces. Because abusive tendencies don’t come from the outside, they come from within. A man either has them, or he does not. But there is never an excuse to abuse. An emotionally stable man could take the worst treatment from a woman and keep his fists to himself. He would just dump her instead. Because that’s what healthy people do. They leave someone who does something wrong. They don’t hurt them.

They think hate=love

They only feel truly loved by someone who feels passionate enough about them to hate them at times. Some women have major insecurity problems and simple, healthy displays of love—like kind words, kind gestures and tranquility—bore them. They are incapable of feeling the passion from a man who is just nice. They can only see passion in aggression. So they only feel alive when dating an abusive man. That is an issue a woman must work on herself or she will walk out of one abusive relationship right into the next one.

The apologies are tremendous

Everybody likes a good make up session—maybe some passionate, deeply felt “I love you’s” once the storm has blown over. These make up sessions are amplified 100 times in abusive couples. They go from screaming and even hurting one another to desperately making out, crying, saying “baby I love you so much. I’m so sorry. I love you more than anyone has ever loved anyone.” See that last comment? These apologies can become addicting for some. They are intense—almost intense enough to make up for the abuse (not really of course, but to a fragile enough woman, they will do the trick).

They are equally as cruel

Don’t forget, women can be abusive too. In some relationships, both people are spewing venom at one another. If a woman is cursing at her boyfriend and throwing plates, she almost overshadows her boyfriend’s abusive tendencies. If both people are abusive, then within the relationship, neither one really feels abusive, because they just compare themselves to someone just like, well, themselves.

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