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why do victims of domestic violence return to their abusers

Broken hearted girl, thank you for sharing that. I felt like that is me in a nutshell. I was with is man for 6 years before we got married. I thought he was perfect and I was the lucky one. After we got married everything seemed to go down hill. Drinking was more frequent, he quit his jobs after I became a nurse and then physical abuse followed. I was in a state of shock and frozen. I didnt call the police not even sure why, I still feel disappointed in myself for not. After the first time he promised to never do it again. But we all know that is never true but I believed him and we even went to counseling. However, the drinking did play a major role in everything and the 2nd incident of abuse occurred where this time he chocked me Luckily let me go before I passed out. I filed for divorce shortly after. He tried to kill himself after I left which some how made me feel extremely guilty, ( fucking crazy I know). After a year of living separately he showed me he was going back to school, quit drinking, and had his life together. I thought maybe if I gave him another chance things would be different. We took it slow went on dates and I saw the man I meant in the beginning. We later decided to move in together, with a list of boundaries, no drinking etc.


BIG MISTAKE. What on earth was I thinking!!! I havent a clue. A foolish heart I suppose. Within the first month he was sneaking around drinks after I would go to bed thinking I didnt notice. At first I confronted him in an mature way but that didnt work. It got to the point were I did call the cops cause He started destroying the apt. And I got scared. Eventually he sought help and treatment but moved out. He still keeps in contact, but my feeling for him are no longer the same, I feel like he killed me inside, I lost myself somewhere and I dont where to find me. I been trying to go no contact, but it only ever works for like a week. He thinks now cause he doesnt;t drink that I should be there for him I just dont get it. I feel numb. There was a point before he moved out where I felt the switch of feeling turn right off. I stop caring, yet I feel trapped in not being able to let go. I know I dont want this in my life. Easier said than done to just get rid of someone. I am seeing a therapist whose bring my actions back to my childhood. I just dont know what I am afraid of, I am a strong successful women going now for my Masters for NP degree, financially stable, an apt by the beach, a nice car, and a dog that loves me unconditionally.


The only thing Im lacking is a stronger support system but I am trying to reach out anyway I can. I have to move forward. I cant let this man ruin me constantly manipulating, gaslighting the situatuion. I need to start seeing through all the bullshit. My dreams even have me getting ready to say this is over for good. Please pray that I make this a reality. I shouldnt feel stuck/ trapped I should just do what I have to do for me and stop this vicious cycle.
Its easy for someone whos never been in a relationship with an abusive partner to say, If anyone ever abused me, Id leave and never look back. Its the logical response and one we all hope we would implement. But when faced with the actual, real-life scenario of being in a relationship with an abusive partner, a partner we may genuinely love, on whom we depend financially or with whom we share a home or children, the decision to leave and never return is often easier said than done. Not only is it hard to live through such a scenario, its also difficult to be an outsider, watching a loved one go back even once to a person who abuses them. So, what can we do when someone we know makes the decision to return to an abuser? Alexis Moore, author, domestic violence survivor and founder of, a risk management consulting firm that helps domestic abuse survivors, says, for starters, the last thing a support person should do is pass judgment.


Think about it: Does this person really want to be with an abusive partner? Spoiler alert, the answer is no, says Moore. Theres an underlying reason they return. They may be financially dependent on the person and unable to find a job, or they may need a place to live. They could be a victim of stalking or psychological abuse and afraid for their safety if they dont return. If you want to be truly supportive, says Moore, First, find out what they may be facing, then encourage them to try to overcome them. Moore, who escaped from an abusive partner in 2004, says when she returned to her abuser, she faced harsh judgment from her closest friends. But, she understands why. None of us want to enable homicide, she says. She encourages support persons to think about what they say before they say it. If youre going to pass judgment, are you really trying to save that persons life, or are you just trying to spout your mouth off? What survivors dont need, says Moore, is someone else telling them what to do, since their abuser is already doing so.


As a support person, You need to be the encourager, she says. Ask, Have you called an advocate? Or say, Maybe I can accompany you to go report this to law enforcement. You dont need to speak for them, just go with them. Her other suggestion is to look at what tools you have and how they can help a survivor. If you have a business, are you willing to hire that friend? On the other hand, know what tools you dont have. Its not your place to tell them what to do if you havent been through it. You wouldnt try to perform surgery if you werent a doctor, so dont try to be a police officer. Finally, know that leaving is never an easy, or quick, process. Theres so much going on, not only with their emotions, but with the realities they face when trying to leave their partner. Painting [leaving their partner] as a rose-colored picture that as soon as they leave, their life is going to be better just isnt realistic. It has to be up to them to leave. They need to have a plan to remain safe from their abuser, and they may need your support and help. More Resources: If youre a friend or family member of someone going through abuse, these for support persons may be helpful to add to your reading list.

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