Why Women may Stay in Abusive Relationships

by Zoe Mendez for Woman to Woman    Bookmark and Share 

image, hubpages.com

I believe there are several factors that cause women to stay in abusive relationships, example FEAR, SEX, MONEY, STATUS PRIDE and SHAME. I don’t really embrace the fact that they stay because they can’t leave, that I suppose maybe worse case scenario. I believe that by the time they realize the man of their dreams is a monster they are in, way too deep, and don’t know how to get out. Get a life outside of your relationship what ever you do. Hold on to some part of your individuality, it is important for your future.     

One of the things I noticed about men who are abusive is this: the first thing they do is to totally isolate their partners from family and or friends, a slow process that if it goes unchecked, you won’t notice that you are alone and have no friends until you need help and there is no one there.     

The unfortunate things is that most of these guys are good looking or attractive men, with great jobs, great personality etc, the type of guy that any woman may give an arm and a leg to be with. Whenever you are out in public, the same man that treats his woman like trash when no one is looking, treats her like a Queen when out in the public’s eye. So anyone looking in sees a perfect relationship, but to the woman, at home, he is a monster.     

I have witnessed this first hand. I met and became friends with someone who was dating a much older man. She eventually confided in me that she was very unhappy he was abusive and cruel. Based on some of the things she shared, my conclusion was that the man was ‘sick’. I could not believe that one human being could treat another in some of the sadistic ways she described.     

Prior to her sharing her secrets with me, I met him on a few occasions and I never liked him, his aura was dark and evil. I visited their home once and he was the perfect host, and gentleman, making sure everyone’s needs was catered to. I am probably the only one that he never won over. Even before she confided in me, something about him chilled my spine. When no one was there, she suffered but yet she stayed. I asked her why she was staying with him. When I listened to her, in her mind she was with a nice “big man”, he held a good position on his job, had so-called “nice big 3 bedroom house” (little did she know it was just an average house in a middle-class neighborhood), drove a “nice ride”, had money, (of which she couldn’t spend any). Every day I would let her know how much better she deserved. He dictated down to whether or not she could shave her private parts.     

She stayed with him for a year, and one Christmastime she told him she was going to visit her children. She got away and never looked back, leaving so much of her personal possessions behind, just so he did not become suspicious of her not returning. One of the things she feared the most was the fact that he was a licensed firearm holder and he had threatened to kill her. I eventually found out that she came from a very poor family, had only a basic primary education, though she had a skill that made her a reasonable amount of money. In her mind being with someone that appeared to have some status and class, meant the world to her. It pushed her up a couple notches—above her friends, therefore she endured the abuse so that she can look good in the eyes of those who were looking on.     

Another reason I believe woman stay in abusive relationships is because they get hooked on the sex. Many women unfortunately equate good, fantastic sex with love. You may not feel wanted outside of the bedroom but behind closed doors, the same man makes you feel like you are on top of the world and somewhere in the mind, there is that level of confidence or comfort that convinces that it is love.     

Abusive men are weak.  They convince you that they love you and that they would change because they cry, plead, beg you to stay. After that, sex is used as the icing on the cake. The ones who have the money to burn would dish it out on jewelry, other expensive gifts etc., to make their point.     

Shame and pride I believe is the ultimate reason out of all, it doesn’t matter what the scenario is. I was with a man who was exhibiting the signs of being abusive very early in our relationship. He never raised his hand at me but the signs were slowly raising its ugly head. I learnt that abuse was not just a physical thing, verbal abuse was just as dangerous and damaging. I am not sure which is worse but I don’t even want to find out! I am convinced that this guy I was once with even orchestrated down to my pregnancy. It was his way of trying to keep me under his thumb. I was independent. I had a job that caused me to travel too much for his liking so this was a major conflict for us, well mostly him because I refused to give up what I did, my job was my passion and I truly love my career. So within the first 6 months of our relationship, I discovered I was pregnant. It should have been a happy moment for me but I was devastated. I had a tough decision to make. Prior to me becoming aware of the pregnancy, I knew I did not want to stay with him. I didn’t even like the country. I decided to stay…for a while. I already had a 12 year old and really wanted a shot of having a real family for my children.     

I spent a lot of time praying, asking God for his guidance. Luckily for me I had some really good, sensible Pastorship. And I learnt very early that a woman should never stay in an abusive relationship praying to God for deliverance. “If you didn’t want to end up in a body bag, get out” was what I heard. Don’t waste time fasting and praying for God to change him and give him a heart, praying from a distance is the smartest thing to do. Unfortunately some churches are still very religious, which is to the psychological, mental and physical detriment of many individuals. We have to be smart. Love is not supposed to hurt.     

My partner and I had an argument that we/I never recovered from. Within a month of me moving in with him, I knew I was not in a good place. I consciously decided that there was no way I was going to submit myself and my children to that kind of environment. I grew up with a father who, to date, I still believe has some serious issues.  Growing up, my environment was very negative and discouraging. I did not want any part of that in my adult life. So it was easy for me to choose, because I was clear about what I didn’t want.     

The first time my then boyfriend flung the remote control into the wall in the middle of the night was my final warning. I was overwhelmed with the thought of me being next. The very next day, after he left for work, I called my friend to get me; my things were already packed as I was getting ready for a business trip. I was five months pregnant. I decided in my mind that I didn’t care who think what at that time. I was not the first or last woman who was in that position. I put aside what ever shame and pride that lingered and did what was best for me. I left his house and the country and I never saw him again, since 7 years ago. In a way, I am happy that his pride got the better of him, so there was no drama.     

I know I could not have done it on my own strength. Being grounded spiritually played a major role for me. I prayed and I trusted God’s guidance. He was truly my friend in time of trouble. He was the extra footprints in the sand. Praying and praising kept my mind until the time was right. I never prayed for my ex to change, a mistake many women make. Instead, I just wanted to be safe and prayed for the wisdom to find a way out! Like God kept Daniel in the Lion’s den, He kept me. I truly believe that. In the mist of my storm I got peace. My friends were also very supportive.     

Even though my partner was really sweet in the beginning, there was something that didn’t sit well. I was sensing something that was ‘off’ but I could not put my finger on what it was at the time. It is something that should never be ignored; it may play an important part in saving your life and or your sanity.     

As women, we have an embedded inner guidance in us that, if we tune in and listen more attentively, can save us from so much you cannot fathom. Remember while advise from family and friends may be okay, they don’t live with you or in you, so it is important to trust what you feel and sense.     

I believe it is also important to set boundaries from very early in your relationships. If there is a characteristic in the person that makes you uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to bring it out in the open, don’t ignore it. Don’t let your fear of offending the other person keep you bound. Be conscious that it is not what you are saying that is important, it is the way you are saying it that is. I think if you verbally note a trait out aloud, it can also save you from getting into an unwanted situation. Remember abusive men are cowards; they strive best when they have the upper hand or a ‘hand on you’. Chances are, if they are aware that you are onto them very early, they may flee.     

Sometimes it is not easy to spot a man who is abusive, especially when you are not looking. When you are with someone who dictates down to what you should and should not wear, it is not really cute, it’s the beginning of control. If he throws a fit because you talk to someone, it is not just him being jealous or loving you, it’s a reflection of his possessiveness and insecurity issues. If he tracts you down like a dog, and you constantly have to give account for your time and recall every detail of your day, don’t feel it is because he cares, it’s his trust issues that is raising its ugly head. I need to be clear that there is nothing wrong with any of the aforementioned, I am sure you will become sensitive and aware of when it becomes too much and over the top.     

Don’t allow superficiality to cloud your judgment.  A lot of times the signs are in your face, but you brush it off and ignore it. Be wise, be smart, pray, ask for guidance, open your eyes so you can see the person that is really before you. Honor what you feel at all times and above all respect and be true to yourself.     

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6 thoughts on “Why Women may Stay in Abusive Relationships

  1. Pingback: Why Women may Stay in Abusive Relationships « Woman To Woman (real … : : TroubledRelationships.org.

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