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Why do some women continue to go back for more?

I've never understood why a woman continues to stay with an abusive man. Why do they call the police and then drop the charges because "she loves him"? I have never had a man raise his hand to me. All it would take is one time and he would be my man no more. Even if they have no other family to go to, there are battered womens shelters. Can someone explain why any one would just sit back and take this?

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Asked by Anonymous at 6:25 PM on Mar. 10, 2009 in Relationships

Answers (15)
  • I have never been in an abusive relationship, but i know some who have, and it is insecurity, and the fear that they won't find someone else, or will just be alone

    Answer by december911 at 6:28 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • I have never been abused nor would I ever go back and let it happen again. But a lot of women who are in that situation feel like its all they know. They feel like they deserve to be treated like that. A lot of the time the women are talked down to so much that they belive it. Its a vicious cycle.

    Answer by NAT24ROXY24 at 6:29 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • As someone who grew up with this....There are many reasons. I'll try to explain, but honestly if you never lived it, you won't ever truly understand it....When you start a relationship with an abuser, they are very charming and loving (who would keep dating a guy if he backhanded her on a first date?) They gradually start tearing you down on a mental level. Name calling, belittling, etc...B/c they built a loving foundation first, you either excuse the behavior or you start to think that there may be some truth to whats being said. Then they isolate you from friends and family, so no one can correct his way of treating you or make you feel good about yourself. Then he starts controlling you more and more. Since you have no one to turn too, and have no self-esteem, you gradually start accepting that this is your life and no one else would want you anyway. Then it can turn physical. But once where to turn. CONT

    Answer by ozarkgirl3 at 6:31 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • CONT...and take into account by now HE probably controls all the help for yourself there either... if you happened to have children, HE will use them against you. Telling you that he will keep them away from you or kill them. You start to accept the lifestyle even more. You start getting "used to" his modd swings and learn how not to set him off. After a while your body and mind become accustomed to this life. Your children grow up seeing this and they repeat the cycle.

    Its never as easy as someone thinks to leave.....

    Answer by ozarkgirl3 at 6:33 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • op here.
    Ozark, that is so sad. It sounds so hopeless. You would like to think they could get help but, if he is so controlling, he would know if she was trying to do that wouldn't he?

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:39 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • So I am definately with you on this one I would never let a man put a hand on me and live to tell about it... But with that said not all women are as fortunate as we, remember that abuse typically starts with verbal and a lack of self estem and then when all is hopeless the physical abuse starts. I think that the pressure and fear of the unknown is mentally worse then that of the quick beating. Also try to think back to the old days when you were a child and were spanked for doing something wrong, would it have crossed your mind to turn your parents in and press charges, no you took it and tryed to do better. I absolutely do not agree with domestic violence but I can sympathize with it's victims. Who would you be able to turn to without being judged or blamed or blown off. Alone is a scary place. Some of the battered women shelters are no better.

    Answer by Mommy3b1g at 6:42 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • One thing Ozark forgot on the kid issue. If you leave him he gets visitation with the kids that you are not around to watch out for them. So some stay to maintain their protection over the kids. Even if he does not abuse the kids only you, during their visits (since he is probably bitter at you for leaving) he will bad mouth you to them and cause mental anguish on the kids or worse. AND to complain about this to the courts gets you nowhere since their is no proof. He said she said.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:44 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • To the OP, if you really want to know, women who settle for less than they deserve (and NO ONE deserves abuse) often suffer for incredibly deep-seated self-esteem/self-worth issues. They have usually grown up surrounded by abuse and dysfunction and regardless of how educated, self sufficient, and even confident they may be in other aspects of thier lives they essentially seek out what they feel they deserve. There are shelters and most communities have some resources for women fleeing an abusive relationship but, going to a shelter especially when children are involved can be a frightening proposition.

    It is easy to say what one would do in that situation, or for some who have and left maybe is was easy; but for some woemn it's not they need our support and encouragement.


    Answer by BubbaLuva at 7:35 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • ozark basically told my story, but there's a little more. There's a strange security in the abuse. The fear of the unknown, such as leaving, is strong. You know what to expect in the abusive relationship. Do this, set him off. Do that, get treated nicely. There's none of that after you leave. It's sick, but it's a form of security.

    Answer by rhope4 at 7:49 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • I was beaten many many many times before I finally left. For me I just couldnt take it anymore the last straw was when he burst in on me in teh shower and started beating the tar out of me while I tried to get dressed adn get away I was thrown down a flight of stairs in an apartment building in 15* degree whether in a camisole and pajama shorts before I had had it. Why? I never thought I was good enough or deserved anything better. I convinced myself I deserved the beatings and that I couldnt live without a man. I think it takes a woman with very low self esteem to get in to one of these kinds of relationships because women who truly value themselves dont stick around for that crap. Ultimately it comes down to self esteem and how a woman views herself as to how she behaves with an abuser.

    Answer by humaniterian87 at 8:16 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

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