We already hear about it. Gossip from our friends, family, and in the news. Women who stick with some loser that uses and abuses them until one day it goes too far and authorities need to get involved.
People wonder why anyone in their right mind would let something like that happen to them. But it does happen time and time again. It happens in all demographics of women, regardless of social status, race, or what name they call God.
There are subgroups where it persists more than others, but that is another story for another time.
In this article, we delve into the reason why do women stay in abusive relationships. Why even self-respecting and intelligent women get involved in such a troublesome scenario.
Related Reading: Family Violence- Understanding the Game of Power and Control
Reasons women stay in abusive relationships.
It is easy to judge looking from outside the box. We are not here to judge women in abusive relationships; let’s put ourselves in their shoes.
The moment we understand the thought processes of women in such abusive relationships, we can be more understanding of their situation if we wish to help.
1. The value the sanctity of commitment – There are some women who believe in keeping their vows through hellfire and brimstone until death.
In all honesty, with all the rocky relationships, rampant divorce, and blatant infidelity, someone who sticks through their partner through thick and thin is an admirable trait.
Too much of a good thing is not always great. We know that there are women who stick with insecure losers. Losers who do what they can to break the self-esteem of their partner.
2. Hopeless romantic – There are still people, women mostly, who believe fairy tale endings. They convince themselves that their Prince Charming will make a miraculous change.
Every relationship has ups and downs; women in abusive relationships lie to themselves and justify their actions with love.
The couple creates a “you and me” versus the world scenario and live in a delusional world. It sounds romantic but, juvenile. The woman justifies their relationship or their man as “misunderstood” and defends against criticisms from the outside.
3. Maternal instinct – There is a little voice in every woman’s head that makes them want to pick up homeless kittens, cute puppies, and sore losers and take them home.
They want to nurture every “poor soul” that crosses their path and comfort them. These women cannot stop themselves and make it their life goal to take care of every unfortunate creature, including abusive men, who messed up their lives.
4. To protect their children – This is one of the most common reasons why do women stay in abusive relationships.
Unlike the other reasons where women that consistently lie to themselves believing everything is just a bump in the road on their long journey to happiness, these women know that their man is heartless.
They stay because they act as a shield to protect their children. They sacrifice themselves to prevent their partner from abusing the children instead. They sometimes think about leaving an abusive relationship but consider it will put their children in danger; they decide to stay.
They feel trapped and know how bad things are at home. They keep it a secret because their decisions might provoke the man to harm their kids.
5. Fear of retribution – A lot of abusers use verbal, emotional, and physical threats to prevent the woman from leaving. They traumatize the family and use fear as a weapon to keep them from defying his will.
The woman knows that their partner is dangerous. They fear that once the man loses control of the situation, they will take steps to prevent it. It could end up going too far.
This fear is justified. Most extreme cases of physical abuse happen when the illusion of control is lost, and the man feels that they need to “punish” the woman for her misbehavior.
6. Dependency and low-self esteem – Speaking of punishments, abusers consistently make the woman believe that everything is her fault. Some women end up believing such lies. The longer the relationship lasts, the more likely they are brainwashed into believing it.
It is very effective when the woman and her children depend on the man to pay the bills. They feel the moment the relationship is over; they won’t be able to feed themselves.
This is the primary reason why feminists fight for empowerment.
They are aware that a lot of women stick with their loser husbands because they do not have a choice. They (believe) are unable to go out in the world and make enough money for themselves and their children.
It’s a common reason why women stay in abusive relationships. They feel that it is a better choice than starving in the streets.
7. To keep appearances – It may sound like a petty reason, but this is also a common reason why women stay in abusive relationships.
They strongly consider what other people would say once they learn of their predicament. Women are raised with a cultural and religious upbringing that prevents them from leaving their partners.
Women who grew up in dominating patriarchal families frequently fall victim to this vicious circle of domestic violence.
They grew up with submissive mothers and have been taught to stick to their husbands because it is the “right thing to do” as a woman.
8. Abusive relationships are about control – The man wants to control their women and their entire lives. They break down their individuality and mold the woman into a submissive slave.
They do this for various reasons, but mostly to stroke their inflated ego and feed in their delusions that women are their property.
Such thinking may sound stupid to modern humans.
If you look deep in human history, all cultures and civilizations started this way. It is not a stretch that men look at women as objects and possessions.
Some religions and cultures still hold on to these traditional practices. There are even women who believe it themselves.
So why do women stay in abusive relationships?
There are plenty of reasons. All of them are complicated and cannot be solved by merely walking away. If you are looking to help, make sure you understand the entire picture and take it to the end. The dangers are real.
Related Reading: How to Heal from Emotional Abuse