Abusive Relationships: Why It’s Hard To Leave
Leaving Abusive Relationships
Summing up a situation or analyzing someone’s behavior was my grandmother’s specialty.
She was a master at reducing a life lesson into a short sentence that told you everything you needed to know. I remember sitting with my aunt at grandma’s kitchen table. Grandma stood over us kneading bread dough as my aunt cried. Her marriage was falling apart. Her husband was a “drunk” and “kicked her around”.
“Why do I stay, why do I stay”?
Slamming and pounding the dough with her fists’ grandma said, “They cut you, then they give you the band aid”
Her truth silenced my aunt and left me thinking I had the wisest grandma in the world.
No. She Did Not Say That…Yeah She Did
” We will continue to show the world what real life is “
In an instagram Janey Palmer, the wife of t Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice defended her husband after he punched her in the face and knocked her unconscious. She was furious with the media for releasing the now-infamous TMZ video showing exactly what went down. She is standing by her man. A Victim justifies and supports her abuser. Why on earth would she do that?
Victims: Why Do They Stay?
It’s hard to make sense of anyone staying in a relationship in which someone maintaining that they loved you would hurt you emotionally or physically. There are no clear-cut reasons or answers but influential factors, some personality and other situational that go into a victim’s decision, not to leave the relationship.
Psychologist Lenore Walker describes a three-stage cycle of violence to explain the pattern of abuse.
The Cycle of Abuse
- The Tension Stage: The victim senses the abuser is under pressure. He’s either stress by work or home. In order not to set off an explosion she carefully watches what she says and does.
- The Violence Stage: The abuse occurs; either physical, emotional or sexual.
- The Honeymoon Stage: The abuser’s behavior changes in some way. He will ignore the behavior, or blame the victim for his behavior. Some abusers fear the victim will leave and try to make up by buying gifts, doing chores, going to church, or promise to attend counseling. This stage is never a real “honeymoon”As this cycle repeats the violence usually becomes more frequent and severe. As if that weren’t bad enough, the more times the cycle is completed, the less time it takes to complete.
Learned helplessness is a psychological condition causing you to feel powerless to change your circumstances for the better. Feelings of low self-esteem and depression are associated with learned helplessness. You exist in a fog of apathy nothing is good nothing bad, it’s just kind of what it is.
Learned helplessness is a coping mechanism victims use to survive living with abuse. You learn to remain passive and compliant, since any effort to fight back ends in more abuse. You feel you’ fear everything especially the unknown. So you stay.
These are just two of many psychological factors that cause someone to stay in abusive relationships. The good thing is support centers and support groups all know these theories, they don’t lecture or judge …they get it. And they can help whether you decide to stay or go.
Here’s a tip:
You’ll never have to worry about ending abusive relationships if you don’t begin.
Have a banner day!