Overcoming the Fear of Leaving an Abusive Relationship
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If you are not someone who has ever experienced an abusive relationship in the past, it can be a difficult concept to wrap your head around. Why would someone choose to stay with a partner who mistreats them? Because of this misunderstanding, many people lack empathy and compassion for victims of domestic abuse. In reality, the issue of abusive relationships is very complicated and multi-faceted. There can be numerous reasons why a woman is unable to leave her situation. In most cases, her staying is not simply about whether she wants to or not. 

Many women turn to substance misuse to cope with the pain associated with their abuse. They may do this because they feel as if there is no other option for them. No matter how hopeless a situation may seem, there is always a way out. 

Understanding Why Women Stay in Abusive Relationships 

Women don't stay in abusive relationships because they are weak. Nor do they remain in them because they don't recognize that what they are experiencing is toxic and unhealthy. In many cases, they simply don't realize that there is a way out. Some of the most common factors that play a role in women staying in abusive relationships include: 

#1 Disordered Thinking: Many abusers make a point to get into their victim's heads and manipulate them in any way they can. In severe cases, this can even be referred to as brainwashing. This can involve convincing them to believe lies about themselves and their self-worth. They may try to convince them that they are unlovable, incapable of finding a better partner, or simply undeserving of love. While all of these things are completely untrue, the more that a victim hears them over time, the more likely they are to eventually come to believe them. 

#2 Family Expectations: Unfortunately, many women who experience abusive relationships in adulthood also experienced them growing up. In fact, abusive relationships may be all they know, and they may have never personally witnessed a healthy relationship before. This could cause them to develop the belief that healthy and safe relationships are not possible or that this type of relationship will never be possible for them. As a result, they may choose to continue down a destructive path without ever recognizing the destruction that is occurring. 

#3 Financial Obligations: Not everyone is in a position where they can easily move out on their own. They may be unemployed or dealing with debt. Or they could have a mental or physical disability that prevents them from being able to work. They may be a stay at home mother who is financially dependent on their abuser. All of these things can hold them back from getting away from their abuse. 

#4 Children: Many women choose to stay with their abuser for the sake of their children. They may feel that they are doing the right thing by ensuring their children don't lose their father. This can be especially prevalent in women who had divorced parents growing up. 

Taking the First Steps Toward Freedom 

The first step that a woman must take when making the decision to leave an abusive relationship occurs mentally. They must come to accept that they deserve better. They are deserving of love, care, and respect. It's also important that they realize that they don't have to continue to live this way. There is hope, and there is a way out. There are also many resources available that can help them through this process. 

It's normal to feel afraid of taking the big step of leaving an abusive relationship, especially if it's a relationship you've been in for a long time. Moving past this fear can help to focus on the possibility of a better future. By making the decision to leave, you'll be setting the foundation for a better, healthier life for yourself and your loved ones. You will have a stable living environment and won't have to dread the sound of your partner coming home. 

Therapy can be very useful in moving past the fear of leaving a toxic relationship. However, for women who are closely monitored by their abusive partners, this isn't always an option. Even searching for help online can be traced and may put the victim in greater danger. Thus, it may be better to utilize the United States domestic hotline number at 800.799.SAFE (7233). When an individual calls this number, they'll get the guidance they need to safely leave their abusive relationship. They can also receive information regarding finding a new safe living situation as well as a multitude of other useful resources. If you're in an abusive relationship, don't wait. Reach out for help today. 

To someone who hasn't experienced domestic violence before, it can be confusing as to why someone may stay in this type of relationship. Why continue to be with someone who doesn't treat you right? There are many factors that could play into this, including mental health problems, financial issues, or even fear. One of the best ways to overcome the fear of leaving this type of situation is to consider what the future could look like and how much better life could be. Many people who are victims of domestic violence turn to substance use as a way to cope. If this is your situation, our team at The Ho Tai Way can help. Call (714) 581-3974 today.