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Why is it so hard to leave a relationship in which there is violence?

Violence in a relationship is not just a physical abuse. Very often it is only in the form of psychological harassment, which is no less dangerous (continuous threats, scandals, uncontrollable outbursts of anger, excessive jealousy and suspicion, attempted social isolation of the victim, and threats of murder or suicide in case of separation).

People who have never encountered such problems are in the majority of cases sure that there is nothing easier than resolving this issue: you just get up and leave your torturer. Indeed, this seems the most logical and obvious action.

But why is not that the case? Why do victims of domestic violence almost never manage to make this decisive step?

In many cases, the main (and sometimes the only) argument is purely economic – when a woman is placed in a situation of complete financial dependence, especially when the family has children.

Another reason is the fear of a violent aggression by the abuser and a challenge for physical exertion. Although this fear can be irrational, it is most likely to have a real basis.

There are also several very delicate psychological reasons why a woman remains with her abuser. One is shame. Strange as it sounds, women are often ashamed of being victims of domestic violence, and sometimes even blaming themselves for what is happening.

It is of no importance that men who are abusive are skilled manipulators who, in addition to keeping their victim in constant strain and fear, have succeeded in convincing them that it is precisely this reason for their outbursts of aggression.

Last but not least, the so-called cycles of violence always end with a “honeymoon”.

After another violent episode of violence, there is always a calm period, during which the man becomes especially loving, caring, and shows a sense of guilt for his actions. This period is accompanied by numerous promises that this will never again be repeated, as with any evidence of his dedicated love. Often he humbly points out that there is a problem that he needs her help. And then the victim seems to calm down, fear and anxiety relinquish the love and purely human concern, she sees things in much lighter colors and gradually forgets what happened, hoping it will really be “last”. It is quite difficult at this point to make a decision to leave their partner.

Unfortunately, cases of violence almost never remain single. They are sooner or later repeating, consuming … with increasing power.

© Elenka Smilenova 2018 – All Rights Reserved

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  1. I am quite often asked for advice on this, and it is never easy to overcome. Funnily enough, 25% out of 100% are men. That is, referring to such behavioral traits as you describe, perpetrators and victims can occur in women and men, in pre-marital or marital relationships. One of the most important things and always be the first in all of my suggestions to them, overcome your fear and anxiety! Afraid of anything!

  2. Thanks for this post. I know several women who have had abusive relationships. I think Elenka, some women want love so very much and have had abuse all of their lives since a child, that they often don’t know the difference between love and abuse.
    However, one of these was very afraid and ended up in Auckland hospital after that man beat her up. She was told if she did not leave him she would end up in a box. He nearly killed her.
    So she went to another town. Alcohol was a huge factor.
    Sad.
    I had quite a bit of abuse myself and I would say, I learned something about it.
    You never want it but because others are given power over others, they do it .
    I forgive but would never trust them again.
    The said people also abused others and the art is to make each one they abuse
    think that they are the only ones
    They are not.
    Too much violence occurs in New Zealand
    children are murdered by their own families. Im speaking of under 5.
    My own father was chucked out of a glass window when he was 5 years of age in the 1930s. White upper crust.
    So it happens in all levels and all walks of life in NZ.
    My Dad did the best he could in his circumstances he did not become bad. But it was hard for him.

    • I was one of those women 13 years ago. I left my homeland for that reason. My ex-husband is already an alcoholic. If I had done this, I do not know what would happen to me. In my country women are not as well protected as here in Spain. But emigration is difficult. Already there are grandchildren who enjoy my heart. And I’m happy with them. The life of a woman with an aggressive alcoholic is hell. And now I do not trust myself. I always leave a reservation.

  3. Women are the usual common victims but there are cases were men are too. They also get psychological abuse from there wives.

    It’s easy to say pack your things and go. But it’s not that easy to do it when you are in such a situation. One needs to have the courage to do so. And usually these courage comes from people support.

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