When many people hear that someone is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, their first question is, “Why don’t they leave?” If you’ve never been through an abusive relationship, this sort of response might seem logical. Just throw the deuces up and move on with your life – right? But here’s the thing – when it comes to relationship abuse, it’s never as easy as “just leaving.” We’re here to tell you why.
Leaving an abusive relationship is hard for many reasons. Here are 11 of the many reasons that someone in an unhealthy or toxic situation might stay with their partner.
When you think that unhealthy or abusive behaviors are normal, it’s hard to identify your relationship as abusive and therefore there’s no reason to seek help.
Oftentimes, people in emotionally abusive relationships may not understand that they are being abused because there’s no violence involved. Also, many will dismiss or downplay emotional abuse because they don’t think it’s as bad as physical abuse. It’s hard for those in abusive relationships to leave their partners after they’ve continuously been made to feel worthless and like there’s no better option for themselves.
Often when an abusive situation happens, it is followed by the abuser doing something nice or apologizing and promising that they will never do it again.
Many times, leaving an abusive relationship is not only emotionally difficult but can also be life-threatening.
People in abusive relationships often attempt to break up with their partner several times before the breakup sticks. On average, a person in an abusive relationship will attempt to leave 7 times before finally leaving for good.
Those in unhealthy or abusive relationships might stay with their partner or get back together after a break up because they feel pressure to not give up, forgive and forget or “ride it out.”
After a conflict, an abuser will turn the situation around and make their partner feel guilty or as though they are somehow at fault.
A lot of people in abusive relationships stay in them because they love their partner and think that things will change. Never stay in a relationship in which you count on someone to change their behavior for the better.
There is incredible pressure to be in a perfect relationship, and some cultures and social media only accentuate this pressure.
People in abusive relationships often feel embarrassed to admit that their partner is abusive for fear of being judged, blamed, marginalized, pitied, or looked down on.
Marriage, children, and shared finances are often huge reasons that people in abusive relationships stay in them.
There are lots of elements that influence a person’s decision to stay in an abusive relationship. And while seeking help to get out of these relationships is the most important thing, blaming someone in an abusive relationship is never okay. There is a big difference between judgment and responsibility. While someone might have used bad judgment by staying in an unhealthy or dangerous situation, it does not mean that they are responsible, or asking, for the abuse perpetrated against them.