Why People Stay in Abusive Relationships & How to Break the Cycle


Statistics show 1 in 3 women will be abused in a relationship. However, the statistics might actually be higher due to the fact that many women never report the abuse. This abuse can take on a number of forms, such as physical, mental or verbal abuse, just to name a few. And, of course, there are all forms of disrespectful and dishonoring behaviors that can take place between couples.

Although many women are consciously aware they are being abused in one way or the other, they make a choice to stay in the relationship anyhow. They may have been asked by friends and family why they stay in the relationship, yet they can’t seem to explain it fully. There are particular reasons that may cross their minds though, and many hold on to them to keep from taking that important step to get out of the unhealthy situation. Reasons can run the gamut of the following -

  • Love – Although you experience times of abuse you still love your partner, as he/she can be very loving towards you at other times.
  • Fear – Perhaps you have been threatened by your partner. They may have said they would hurt or kill you, or harm someone you care about if you leave.
  • Blaming yourself – Perhaps your partner blames you for his/her behavior. Or maybe you blame yourself, thinking you have done something to deserve this reaction.
  • Not wanting to be alone – You may feel fear at the thought of being without your partner.
  • Financial dependence – You may count on your partner’s income for your financial needs.
  • Shame or embarrassment – You may be afraid to admit what you are going through in case people think less of you.
  • Children – Many women stay in abusive relationships because they are hesitant to uproot the children.
  • Drug and alcohol dependencies – To help mask the painful feelings that result from the abuse, many people choose to turn to drugs and alcohol, which further clouds their thinking.

Many other reasons may be added to this list, such as lack of support from family and friends, a belief that no one else will ever love you, you are not good enough or deserving of a better relationship, fear of being homeless, feeling overwhelmed or depressed, or hopelessness in general.

Breaking this abusive and painful cycle can be a difficult experience, but it is doable. There is the possibility of the cycle being generations long. From parent to child again and again, this cycle can become firmly imprinted in family dynamics or be linked to a genetic predisposition. A new lease on life is available if you are open to the opportunities and willing to clear the patterns within yourself that subconsciously led you into the abusive relationship. Hindsight and a reality check about the relationship paired with a supportive network and some outside assistance will begin to break the cycle once and for all.

Be realistic about the dynamics of this problem. Pay attention to your personal actions and those of the people around you. It can be beneficial to know the dynamics of the issues to help you break the cycle. Your needs – those being met, as well as those that aren’t, should be considered. Taking responsibility for your own feelings and choices in life is a great place to start making changes for the best.

A complete revamp of your life may be required in order to break the cycle. This includes getting back to the basics of adequate self-care. Be aware of the food you eat, how and when you exercise as well as the people you surround yourself with. Find new activities to change your routine, allowing yourself to be exposed to different kinds of experiences. New hobbies, joining a new group or making new and different friendships could possibly give you the confidence needed to make this change in your life. Getting outside help and forming a support system is highly recommended.

© Deborah A. Lindholm

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? You can, but you must include the following resource information in its entirety: Deborah and Michael Lindholm are co-owners of Serenity Matters, LLC. They are dedicated to empowering clients and students with the Serenity Vibration Healing® tools. If  you’re ready to awaken your inner power and surge forward in your life, get your FREE tips at www.serenitymatters.com

Categories : Relationships

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