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Why do women stay? If there is a question that I hate, it is this one. A woman who is involved in an abusive relationship stays for many, many reasons.

No, she doesn’t like the abuse. In fact, she is probably madly, deeply in love with him and sees no other way to survive. The abuse cuts deep within her heart and her soul and causes a pain that just anyone cannot understand.

Perhaps there are kids involved, who, without this spouse, wouldn’t have a roof over their head or food in their stomach. She may not have any family, and perhaps he has scared away any real friend that she has in her life.

She may feel that the abuse is her fault, that she can save him from the path that he is on or even that she cannot do better. There are so many reasons why she stays.

There are many reasons why a woman stays in an abusive relationship. But, without a doubt, it isn’t because she likes the abuse she is receiving.

Telling her that she must like it or she would leave isn’t going to help her at all, and ridiculing her decision will leave her with nothing more than doubt in her mind.

When a woman leaves an abusive relationship it takes power, courage and determination to get up and leave.

A woman must swallow her pride and come to terms with the fact that life is never going to be the same. Keep in mind that you want this from a woman who is already deeply wounded.

So many people fail to realize that our heart is an organ just like the kidneys or the bladder. It hurts, and it is a hurt that a Bandage or a Tylenol just won’t fix.

It is easy to sit back and observe a situation, quickly chiming in on how you’d never stay in an abusive relationship, how you’d do this and how you would do that to any man who ever physically hurt you.

But what you don’t understand is the emotional triumph that comes when you are in an abusive relationship. An abuser has one purpose and that is to drain his abuse.

He wants her to feel hopeless, powerless and alone. How else will he gain control of her mind? It is usually a severely damaged woman who stays in such a relationship, combined with some of the scenarios listed above.

Rather than ask her why she stays, encourage her. Tell her how beautiful she is and how wonderful of a person she is. Inform her of what domestic violence is, and remind her that mental and verbal abuse is still abuse, even if there is no physical abuse involved.

Help her find a way to get out, to free her mind first, and free herself physically later. She needs you more than she ever has, and she needs you to be the love and support she so deeply craves.

Every woman has a story to tell. Do not judge her before you have read that story. She needs you more than she ever has before.