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Abusive Relationships, Why stay?

I was watching the beginning of an Oprah show and this woman shot her husband of 16 yrs. She claims she was abused that long and did not leave because he was a police officer.
I suppose because I have a very loving husband I just cannot fathom why any woman would stay with a man that abused her? Even if you are afraid, even if you cannot go to the authorities, during those 16 yrs wasn't there one time where you could have just drove away with the kids and never turned back? One time when you could have called the police in a different area? Certainly most women should know cities have safe houses. There is no logical excuse I can see for putting up with abuse. Please ladies if you are reading this and are in an abusive relationship, please call a help line. Get yourself out of that situation. You deserve better! And so do your children.

Answer Question

Asked by SalemWitchChild at 10:34 PM on May. 14, 2009 in Relationships

Level 23 (15,594 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I also never understood why women would stay or go back until one day I was one of them.... it is complex and hard to understand.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:36 PM on May. 14, 2009

  • I'm not in one but I was for 3 years. The reason it took me so long is because he had me on lock down so bad that my family hated me, my friends wanted nothing to do with me and I felt I had nowhere to run. It was more of fear but when I knew I could safely leave, I left and regained MY life. Alot of women are scared that this person WILL find them and in alot of cases, they are found. As for her husband being a police officer, other police officers WILL believe a fellow police officer over a regular person. The system is screwed up. But you are absolutely right, anyone in that situation should call a help line. They can help set up a plan so that you can leave safely and give you a place to go.

    Answer by Marix3 at 10:39 PM on May. 14, 2009

  • In my case, there was some fear of being alone, but it wasn't the main reason. The problem was that everything happened so gradually. It's hard to draw a line when things are only slightly worse than the last time. By the time I realised that there was something wrong in the relationship, it was obvious that it was VERY wrong. At that point, it became very hard to admit that I had allowed him to do me so much harm. Only a worthless fool would get herself in such a mess! So for I while, I kept trying to convince myself that it wasn't so bad, while knowing all the time it was. Of course, I finally had to accept reality and do something about it. This was me. But now he's gone and l am trying really hard to understand why l allowed myself to be manipulated into thinking it was mostly my fault for his abusive behaviour. There won't be a next time, love had enough.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:41 PM on May. 14, 2009

  • look up the term trauma bonding and see if that helps you understand not to mention many women think that men control them out of love, familiarity from an abused childhood, fear of being chastised for leaving and not trying hard enough to make a marriage work, they are codependent, they think in the beginning it's not so bad *(but it is). Take your choice but don't judge until you have walked in our shoes. Some of us did get out but it wasn't easy. They drag us back (literally) then punish us for leaving. One police officer told my husband he could do what was needed to keep his woman (me) "in line" even though I was older than my x and far more educated. Statistics show some women leave up to 12 times before they can finally be rid of an abuser. Some get killed for leaving. It's not an easy thing to just walk away he won't let you take your children in most cases. I wouldn't go without mine. Would you?

    Answer by admckenzie at 10:43 PM on May. 14, 2009

  • It took me 5 years to finally get away.... its been 3 years since I got the restraining order and left with the kids. Its been two years since I last ran into him. I'm still scared that he will find me.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:43 PM on May. 14, 2009

  • i was in an abusive relationship before. I met him when I was 16, we started dating at 19, and got engaged at 23. so we knew each other for a very long time. once we started living together is when it all went downhill. he became very controlling. he didnt like any of my friends, he had lots of female friends who he emotionally flirted with, and they hated me because he always vented to them about our stupid fights. I had to take an hour train ride to college because he didnt want me to use his car, yet he just worked and his job was 1/2 a mile away, walking distance. he became physically abusive, and blamed it on his father for being abusive towards him as a child. he cried and I felt bad. soon i felt it was all my fault. I eventually left him. the cops and judge pretty much broke us up. I look back now asking "WTF was I thinking". I'm stronger and have a wonderful caring SO and we have a wonderful son

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:46 PM on May. 14, 2009

  • Please understand I am not trying to judge anyone. And your right I wouldn't leave without my child.
    What I don't get I suppose is that gradual incline of abuse. Did you excuse the first time you were slapped. Or the first time you were called a name? No matter how at fault you might have been for instigating a fight, its never ok for you or your husband to result to name calling, or physical abuse. The first time any man would say that to me, I'd be out the door.

    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 10:48 PM on May. 14, 2009

  • Women stay in abusive relationships for many reasons. They do not stay because they "want to be abused."

    A battered woman may believe:

    His violence is temporary.

    With loyalty and love, she can make him change.

    His promises that it will "never happen again".

    It's her responsibility to keep the family together.

    There will be more good times.

    She may tell herself: He's had a hard life.

    He needs me.

    All men are violent; it is to be expected.

    She may deny or minimize the violence.

    She may believe her abuser when he tells her that his abuse is "her fault."

    Many women do not want the relationship to end; they want the violence to end.

    Fear is a major factor.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:49 PM on May. 14, 2009

  • To those reading that are currently in an abusive relationship, Here is a helpline. Please know that there is help out there. And you are not alone. 1-888-7HELPLINE (1-888-743-5754)

    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 10:52 PM on May. 14, 2009

  • anon 1046 again! to answer you 1048 response... I guess I did "excuse" the first time. it was very scary and unexpected, but he "apologized" I felt we talked like adults and he told me a lot about his fathers abuse. I felt bad, felt it wasnt his fault he hit me, and perhaps talking it out it wouldnt happen again. I loved him, trusted him, and always considered him a really smart guy. then it happened again. I was too scared to leave. where would I go? I couldnt live without him! he was such a spiritual man in touch with nature! I'd never find someone like that again.... like I said previously, I look back now, and I feel like a fool for not leaving him. but I was young, starting my life as an adult. I lived on my own with him. I was almost done with college. I felt he was "the one".

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:57 PM on May. 14, 2009

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