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 angelheart3
Joined: 2/3/2007
Msg: 251
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?Page 11 of 13    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
A person who allows themself to be abused, who stays when they could leave, they get a whole lot of attention from friends and family and organizations geared to help those who really need the help to get away from someone who might harm them or worse


Darn, I wish someone would have told my family and friends they were supposed to be giving me all of this attention. Of course, back in the day when I finally did get out of the
first one, there weren't organizations that I ever heard of unless they were hiding in the haystack with the needle.


I'm not talking about the kind of abuse where leaving might get you killed, that has to be handled in a very different way, I'm talking about enabling the abuser and staying beyond any sane reason.


As subjective an assumption as I have ever encountered. ALL abuse has the potential to get one killed. No - it doesn't have to be handled in a different way just because the person outside looking in doesn't believe there is a risk of getting killed if the victim attempts to leave. Actually it is precisely that assumption that significantly created barriers to my leaving and not going back in the first place. As for enabling? Even those not at risk of being killed in an overt way enable in varying degrees. Theoretically speaking, it's an inherent vulnerability that attracts abusers to their victims in the first place.


When someone is being abused and tells me, but I love him/her, I know they stay because they want to, no one is forcing them.


No, in your opinion no one is forcing them. There are many ways to force someone to stay in an abusive relationship and the most effective modus operandi is with the tiniest member of the human body - the tongue.

Here's some reasons why people stay in abusive relationships - key word people, as abuse is not gender specific:

1. FEAR: the rapidity of paradigm shifts within the very cycle of abuse in and of itself fosters fear that the victim is losing his/her mind.

2. FEAR: of not being believed, fostered by the illusion that the abuser creates very well outside of the home that he is normal and it is the victim who has "problems".

3. FEAR: of death if the victim leaves. Even if the threats are only issued verbally absent physical violence, i.e. "if you ever leave me, I'll kill myself", "You're my woman and no one else will ever have you so don't even think about leaving me", etc, etc.

4. TRAPPED: by financial worries.

5. TRAPPED: between love for the abuser which is fostered during the honeymoon phase of the cycle and hating the behaviors of the abuser towards the victim that far beyond the scope of overt abuse are covert aggression.

6. TRAPPED: by embarrassment and shame, fostered by the very people in a position to help that horribly judge the victim absent any clue at all about what is really going on behind closed doors as the victim is so fearful and lost, they more often than not can't find their only reality connect that abuse in fact occurring - even in the absence of physical violence.

7. BELIEFS: fostered and nurtured initially in childhood, that marriage is forever. That couples should be able to work through their problems privately, only in the abusive relationship it is not possible.

8. BELIEFS: that they in some way invited the very abuse they are experiencing, fostered by their abuser and validated further by the misguided notion that they are there because they must want to be there.

9. BELIEFS: that by changing their behaviors, they can diminish or eliminate the behaviors of their abuser, fostered by the abuser as well as family, friends and even so far as the church - depending on how much the victim is capable of disclosing. Yes, key word is capable.

10.BELIEFS: that love is synonymous with need. Just as it was taught to be that to the abusers, the victims were also taught the same.

11. CO-DEPENDANCY: both partners. Beneath the fear factor, is the belief that the victim cannot function independent of the abuser. Fostered by the abuser, initiated IMO by personal boundary violations beginning in childhood, yet fostered by the abuser as well as subjective judgments by outsiders who have minimal or no experience with the cycle of abuse. This is the "hook" that keeps victims going back. When they do leave and the reality hits that they no longer have the person they have become emotionally dependent upon, more often than not they simply panic and go back.

12. ENABLING: rescuer syndrome to name one such behavior. Again, roots go to the very first relationship a human ever experiences - that with one's parents. Both partners enable each other. The intent is NOT to seek attention, but IS to validate one's own sense of self-worth. Neither victim or abuser entered the relationship with a sense of self-worth.

13. CONFUSION: the very cycle of abuse by it's very nature is confusing between the three phases. It leads to a reality disconnect that is very disabling to the victim. Male or female victim.

14. BREACH OF TRUST: promises made, promises broken - over and over again.

15: DIMINISHED ABILITY TO TRUST ONE'S OWN PERCEPTIONS AS BEING VALID: again, the impact of the cycle.

...and the list is endless. To varying degrees, the above list applies in all abusive relationships. The very weaknesses and lack of self-identity is what attracts the partners to each other in the first place. It's familiar to them both - they can relate to each other as it's a "language" they both understand and "speak" well. Neither having learned the language of "healthy" because they were not taught that language.

The worst thing anyone can do when a victim reaches out is to judge them on the body of whatever words they reach out with. Listen to what is not being said, more than the words that are spoken.

The first best thing anyone can do when a victim reaches out is to listen without judgment.

As for the victim accountability in abusive relationships, the wrong time for it is when they are in the relationship. They can't hear it because it's comparable to what they hear from their partner all the time - what is wrong with them. To them, it feels like more of the same they are currently living. All it accomplishes is to validate what the abuser is already telling the victim persistently - that it's her (or his) fault.

While they certainly after exiting the relationship need to own their portion of accountability, timing is everything.

 Straight Christian Lady
Joined: 6/14/2007
Msg: 252
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/27/2008 7:17:22 AM
I wrote:
she has no idea how to behave without punishment. She may thus return to the abuser because at least she knows what to expect.
It's a horrible, insidious cycle, and it's not the woman's fault for being scared and feeling stuck. Her partner may be a public charmer, causing those around to wonder how she can be such a shrew.
angelheart3 wrote:
The very weaknesses and lack of self-identity is what attracts the partners to each other in the first place. It's familiar to them both - they can relate to each other as it's a "language" they both understand and "speak" well. Neither having learned the language of "healthy" because they were not taught that language.

Thanks, angelheart3. That greatly expounds on the point I tried to make.
daynadaze,
I realize it looks from the outside like the abused partner should be willing to make the choice to take better self-care, but what is virtually impossible to explain is the sense of futility. You hear "but I love him", and are disgusted and, thus, no longer wanting to care. What needs to be understood is that the abusee's claim of loving the abuser comes from the beliefs angelheart3 listed.
They are all devastating, and all right on the mark.

I don't know if you yourself have ever experienced this kind of relationship, so I can appreciate how confounding is. It's not the same as watching someone else go through it, since all you see is what you don't know why anybody would 'allow'.
It's a rather exclusive 'club' that only its members truly understand.
 ikiera
Joined: 5/4/2008
Msg: 253
view profile
History
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/27/2008 7:38:05 AM

Angelheart wrote:
...and the list is endless.


I just wanted to thank you so much Angelheart for all of the informative posts that you have input into these threads on abuse. It has been a source of validation for me and has served a very good purpose in my life as well, as I am sure other people who have been following and contributing! Thank you!
 angelheart3
Joined: 2/3/2007
Msg: 254
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/27/2008 7:57:33 AM
the sense of futility.


Spot on.

It's like dancing as fast as you can to music that plays faster than you can dance. The faster you dance, the faster the music plays. The harder you try to make the music slow down, the more it has the opposite effect.

The harder you try to leave, the more stuck you become. The more you try to reach out for help in the only way you can at the time, the more doors slam in your face.

The more you try to control your emotional reactivity, the more swallowed up you become in your emotions, which only makes you less credible when you begin to reach out. Abusers are very adept at sustaining their "public" face of stability, even when it's observably recognized that the abuser has a few "problems". Only his (or in the case of female abusers - her) problems are perceived to be causative by the partner.

The worst element of abusive relationships is the verbal, emotional and mental aspects of abuse. At least with physical violence, whether it is towards objects or person, there's visual validation that the abuse has and is occurring. Not with the covert abuses. Can't touch those, can't see those as the marks are invisible. Can't even prove them to anyone else's understanding unless they have been there. We sound like we're complaining when we begin to reach out, but we're not complaining at all. We're simply crying out for help in the only way we can.

The deeper the pain, the greater our rage. Only we're not as skilled as our abusers at controlling our anger to the outside world. Compounded by the autonomic response of fight or flight when we know we are in danger.

Those of us that do get out successfully and don't go back were blessed enough to have someone notice that we were drowning who chose to throw us a rope to grab hold of, rather than assume we could swim if we really wanted to. We can't swim, as we are functionally paralyzed at that time.

MSG. 253 Thank you. It's been a very long journey and a seemingly lifetime of study for me to learn how to break the cycle that began in my own core family. I fell in the slow learner category, compounded by traumatic brain injury sustained courtesy of the first ex who was later diagnosed as paranoid personality disordered. Heck of a way to begin adulthood, only to have life interrupted while still fighting with every fiber of my being to protect my daughter from her own father.
 good guy75
Joined: 3/25/2008
Msg: 255
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/27/2008 9:32:43 AM
somebody really hurt you now your damaged goods.you stayed thats not love then you take it out on men like me.the burning bed you are just as responacible as the man .remember you let it happen.
 angelheart3
Joined: 2/3/2007
Msg: 256
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/27/2008 10:27:31 AM

somebody really hurt you now your damaged goods.you stayed thats not love then you take it out on men like me.the burning bed you are just as responacible as the man .remember you let it happen.


Really? According to whose definition of "damaged goods"? Yours? If that post was directed at my last post, you do not have the power nor permission to define the substance of my character or anyone else's but your own.

Sounds like someone is a bit "stuck" on the pity pot and it isn't me! Project as much as you so choose, in the end you defeat yourself.

Sorry, babe - I DO know my worth. Thank you so much for illustrating, for the benefit of the thread, classic projection of blame which is a self-serving behavior at best and a classic modus operandi to defer accountability and ownership for one's own unacceptable behaviors onto someone else.

P.S. It is a bit delusional to even suggest that you have the ability to know how any individual behaves in a relationship that you don't know, will never know in this lifetime and have never even met let alone had a relationship with. Who did you say is "damaged goods"? "Physician - heal thyself."
 llynass
Joined: 4/20/2008
Msg: 257
view profile
History
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/28/2008 5:48:38 PM
To Angelheart3: BRAVO!
 sunnie12
Joined: 10/18/2007
Msg: 258
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/28/2008 7:14:14 PM
It's called battered women's syndrome. My mother was mentally, physically, and emotionally abused for seventeen years. She had five small children, yet stayed untill she ended up in a mental hospital. She is in her eighties now, and I've asked her many times why she stayed...Her answer is always the same...I don't know.
In the beginning women tell themselves, it will get better. He makes promises he will never do it again, and she wants to believe him. As the years go by, her self esteem, and spirit are broken. She begans to feel worthless, and frightened she can't make it on her own...especially, if there are children involved. For some unknown reason, women began to believe they deserve the abuse. That things would get better if she only did things the right way, and are to overwrought to realize no matter what they do, it isn't going to change things. My step-father came so close to killing mom so many times, I honestly don't know how she survived... I believe she stayed out of fear he would kill her, and he convinced her no one else would want her, but him... I think she believed him.
For anyone out there who is in an abusive relationship...whether it's physical, or verbal..please get help. There are women's shelters..abuse hotlines..and many other agencies who will help you. Please take advantage of those facilities... It's not just your life that matters, but the lives of your innocent children. One can't even imagine how damaging this type of relationship can be to your children..and, they will be impacted for years to come...

God Bless..
Sunnie
 sunnie12
Joined: 10/18/2007
Msg: 259
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/28/2008 8:21:42 PM
Don't make a judgement call on abusive relationships, if you've never been in one. You have no idea what you're talking about, my friend.
 missdix
Joined: 3/30/2008
Msg: 260
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/28/2008 8:38:54 PM
Sunnie, you are so right, and a lot of women can't even seem to recognize that they are being abused. For a woman to be physically abused, they are first emotinally and mentally abused and think that they are the cause of everything. Dixie
 Straight Christian Lady
Joined: 6/14/2007
Msg: 261
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/29/2008 12:33:21 PM
This is addressed to those who sincerely believe they would never let themselves stay in an abusive relationship:
1 - You see yourself as intelligent enough to recognize a potentially dangerous situation before it's too late, and that you will be able to make the right choices to protect yourself and your kids.

2 - You are confident you would never choose an abusive partner, but if you failed at first to notice the signs, you sure as heck would high-tail it outa there once that partner started acting unacceptably.

3 - You would not stay once the relationship got awful.

... etc.

Let me deal with these myths once and for all:
1 - People from all walks of life, all income brackets and education levels are potential abuse targets. It has nothing to do with being smarter, richer or better-schooled. It has to do more with the way an abuser plays on emotions and vulnerabilities. No abuser is immediately obvious, or the behaviour would not be allowed to continue. If you're thinking 'no, I would not let myself be mistreated', you're going on an assumption that you would have the strength to suddenly escape a bad scene. This also assumes the 'bad scene' is an abrupt shift from the one you prefer; as if the abuse suddenly happens instead of being an eventual development within a relationship. Because of this belief that the 'bad scene' would be a definitely noticeable change, that's why you imagine you could see it and get away .. which leads to #2:

2 - Nobody would deliberately choose an abusive partner, just as nobody would consciously join a cult. If the signs are not visible in a potential abuser, it's because the overall charm is so hypnotic that it's nearly impossible to put a finger on it: the charmer disarms everyone, not just the unwitting partner. It's not the fault of the partner that this potential was not immediately spotted. It IS the fault of the abuser for being two-faced and manipulative. It's that manipulation that makes a woman second-guess herself, and think she's judgmental & horrible for accusing her man of doing such terrible things. The woman thinks she must be losing it, so she stuffs it down and tries harder to make everything okay. NOTE: by the time this has developed, the woman who began so confident and sure of herself has now become a nervous wreck, so she feels unable to do anything right.

3 - It's almost impossible, without powerful intervention, for the abused woman to accurately assess her situation. Once it has gotten awful enough for her to realize she has to get out, she has been browbeaten so much that it may be years before she can build herself up again .. and that's IF she has outside supportive people who don't judge and don't give up on her no matter how stubborn and in denial she is.
----------------------------
Incidentally, denial is a prerequisite to the choice of staying in an abusive relationship, and the funny thing about denial is that it's like being asleep or insane.
One can't say "I'm asleep" or "I'm insane", because they would have to be awake and sane to recognize it, therefore cancelling it out.
Denial is also what causes well-meant friends & relatives to get disgusted and stop trying to help.
 angelheart3
Joined: 2/3/2007
Msg: 262
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/29/2008 1:01:06 PM

Incidentally, denial is a prerequisite to the choice of staying in an abusive relationship, and the funny thing about denial is that it's like being asleep or insane.
One can't say "I'm asleep" or "I'm insane", because they would have to be awake and sane to recognize it, therefore cancelling it out.
Denial is also what causes well-meant friends & relatives to get disgusted and stop trying to help.


Very well stated!
 horneschwoggle
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 263
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/29/2008 4:27:22 PM
Growing up seeing my mother going through one abusive husband after another, I've come to a conclusion - lack of personal self-worth.
If any woman thinks she's only good for is a bunch of abusive drunk **stards, that's who she'll always be with forever.
...and she'll never be comfortable with a decent guy and be in self doubt throughout the relationship, which will prematurely end.
Any woman that thinks she deserves better will always get the guy that respects her.
 Straight Christian Lady
Joined: 6/14/2007
Msg: 264
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/29/2008 7:15:19 PM

Any woman that thinks she deserves better will always get the guy that respects her.
You're absolutely correct here about this whole comment, but I have one question: how do you suppose the woman will be able to start believing she deserves better?
Even if she could see herself objectively, the negative messages constantly bombarding her like ticker-tape are systematically paralyzing.
Without external intervention, and/or an unexpected break from the abusive cycle (during which, you're right: she will feel compelled to seek out the treatment to which she is sadly accustomed), can you come up with a sure-fire way that this tortured soul can finally pull free from the despair and shambles of her life?

People are mighty quick to tell her she should do this, do that, etc .. but apart from the lectures, what do they want to do to help her with practical means? Cost of living alone, transportation, childcare, etc .. accompaniment to legal outlets, and the list goes on.

I'm not meaning to seem over-critical, horneschwoggle, because what you've said is true. It's just that I couldn't help reading it as a little bit preachy at the woman's inability to believe she's worth more.
 StrangerInTheHouse
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 265
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/29/2008 7:22:37 PM
I think that some people validate themselves by their service to a significant other, which is great as long as the "other" feels the same way. By the way, this "other" can be a husband, lover or even offspring...
But when one senses they have all the power in a relationship, they tend to abuse it. This can be women OR men.
 curveyone
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 266
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/29/2008 9:13:52 PM
is *shat* a word??
 Bluesman2008
Joined: 4/2/2008
Msg: 267
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/31/2008 3:27:05 AM
Yes. It's the past tense of, uh, the other word
 ickle_kimie
Joined: 5/22/2008
Msg: 268
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/31/2008 4:21:26 AM
They stay because they feel they cant do any better...(normally due to psychological abuse from the man putting her down etc...)
And i hate hearing that phrase
"because i love him"
Its MENTAL!
how could you possibly love someone who beats you?!
It happened to my sister, and that was it.end of.
and she had had two kids with him.
I would never forgive a guy who hit me, as they cant possibly love you to do something so horrible!
 angelheart3
Joined: 2/3/2007
Msg: 269
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/31/2008 5:26:45 AM

"because i love him"
Its MENTAL!
how could you possibly love someone who beats you?!

My theory is that it isn't the abuser they love, but more the illusion that was created at the onset of the relationship that they love more than they love themselves.
 jani1
Joined: 4/12/2007
Msg: 270
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/31/2008 5:40:20 AM
It's an addiction to drama. Emotional programming. And co-dependency.
 kgrl08
Joined: 2/13/2008
Msg: 271
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/31/2008 2:35:26 PM
I have to say I stayed in my relationship far too long,when I knew better,knew that I didnt deserve to be treated that way,the verbal and mental abuse was horrendous! But at same time I was financially trapped,had no friends or family that would help,so I stayed longer than I should have and at the cost of my emotional well being,I so wanted to hold onto something familiar,when everything else in my life I was losing! Until youve been where I and others have been,do not judge...
 InstantKarma620
Joined: 1/11/2008
Msg: 272
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 5/31/2008 4:10:27 PM
Well this is something I know a little about. Not because I was ever abusive to anyone I was in a relationship with but my mother who was married to my abusive father for over 40 years.

Abusive men are masters at manipulating their significant others. From day one they stratagize to keep the woman at bay. From controlling all the money......to impregnating her......to keeping her from getting an education.....to verbally and/or physically abusing her to the point where she lost all her self esteem and hope. He'll do whatever he has to do to keep her in his world of hell. Three main reasons why women stay is; Financial, children and FEAR! I couldn't tell you how many times my father told my mother he would take her kids and never see them again. Money? He gave her barely enough to buy the essentials. Even after the children are old enough to leave home things don't change much. by that time the woman is so beaten down she becomes numb to it all.

In the end my mother (with help and support of her children) finally divorced my father at 72 years old. The change in her was amazing. She got that hop back n her step and felt 3o years younger. Something she never thought she could get herself to do she finally did and wondered where she got the strength from. Early on in the divorce process I could see her struggling with the idea. It was very painful and difficult for her. As time went on though I saw her getting stronger and stronger. It was amazing to watch. It took my mother over 40 years to rid herself of the tyrant she married but now she's finally happy.

It's difficult to advice a woman who's being abused. All I can say is to find that strength from somwhere and get out! He doesn't love you if he's abusing you. And don't fall for those crocodile tears and phony apologies. That's just part of the manipulation process.

Good luck you you all!
 joolsy1205
Joined: 3/5/2007
Msg: 273
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 6/7/2008 10:14:47 PM
kittenshere41... ok you was in an abusive relationship for 6 yrs .im 5o was in a violent abusive ,marriage 4 26 yrs ....age dosent come into anything being stronger dosent come into anything .....men are victims of domestic violence to. so please support all who are going through domestic violence ...and please doint laugh at others misfortune because they are a different sex ,u like me no how it feels ...and i doint care what you say i left because i was in fear of my life and the life of my children ....
 Manducati
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 274
view profile
History
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 6/18/2008 1:46:09 PM
Women respond favorably when made to feel insecure. It is illogical, irrational, counter-intuitive and one of the great mysteries of the Cosmos. One would think that if a person treats another well, that the other would appreciate and reciprocate in kind. This is not the case with women. They easily tire and lose interest in men who do not challenge them mentally and emotionally. It is like a cat playing with a piece of string. If the string is dangled and withdrawn, the cat will be endlessly fascinated. Should the cat catch the string, he will will tire of it very quickly.

Yes there are some guys who are decent and good, but deliberately mistreat women. They've learned through experience that Nice Guys Finish Last is a stereotype because it's true.
 missdix
Joined: 3/30/2008
Msg: 275
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 6/18/2008 4:30:48 PM
My exhusband was emotionally and verbally abusive but I could not recognize for what it was. He is really a nice person, to other people. His second wife and I discussed this several years back and we agreed that he is best friend most people can have but a terrible husband. Other people do not see this because the damage is done at home. I was never screamed at, cussed at, called names (that you could really put your finger on) or hit. It didn't start all at once, it was a subtle thing that evolved over the years as my self esteem and self confidence declined. Even after people started noticing things that happened and pointing them out to me, I refused to believe it was abuse and would defend him and make excuses for him and take all blame for everything wrong upon myself. He laid the blame for everything wrong in his life, our children's life, be it finances, school grades, everything right down to weeds in the garden and many other things that are too silly to mention. I took it all upon my shoulders, stayed loaded with guilt for years even after we had divorced, until one day a co-worker of mine told me of a couple and how this man treated his wife and the things that he had said to her. I remarked that that was abusive and she said "that man and woman was you and Ron". I had to open my eyes and see that everything wrong in his life is not of my doing. I stayed in an abusive relationship because I did not know that I was in one and thought I deserved all of the things said and done to me.
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