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How do you stop someone returning to a violent relationship,?

Updated on February 25, 2009

Fear, Phobias and Frozen Feet

Why do people stay in abusive relationships?  The answer to that is quite simple.  They stay because of FEAR.  Fear, because they might genuinely be scared of the other person and scared that they might get hurt or that their family might get hurt.  Fear, because they are scared of being alone and are afraid that no one else will want them.  Fear, because at least they know what they got and who knows, it might be worse with someone else.  Fear, because they have been so undermined, that they no longer trust their own judgement to make the right decision.  Fear, from escaping the relationship triangle where they've assumed the role of victim.  Fear, because they think children need both parents and they're too scared to go it alone as a single parent.  Fear of your partner stopping you from seeing yiour kids again.  Fear of the financial implications of ending the relationship.  Fear that your partner might not cope without you.  fear that your partner might find happiness with someone else and will change with someone else.  Fear of what other people will say and think of you.  Fear of admitting that you made a big mistake.  Fear of losing everything.  Fear is a big factor of why we stay in relationships we'd be better off getting out of.

Basically, that's why people stay in abusive and violent relationships, even when they get told over and over again by concerned friends and relatives that they must leave.  Sometimes, the thought of leaving and the struggles you might face in the future fills you with more fear than staying in the relationship does.  You can never force a person to leave a relationship.  They need to arrive at that point by themselves.  A few years ago, I wrote a book on this topic after I found myself ending yet another abusive relationship.  Why do I keep getting involved with people who use and abuse me, I asked myself.  I started doing some research, chatted to many people in chat rooms and on the internet, and ending up sharing my experiences and self-discoveries in a book.  After a series of bad relationships and friendships, coupled with a fight against breast cancer, I managed to escape from my black depression and overcome.  The book I wrote, Fear, Phobias and Frozen Feet, was very cathartic and healing for me personally.  Using my experiences to help others, gave me an inner strength I never believed possible.

So, if you have a friend or family member in this type of situation, don't pressure them to leave.  But, just let them know that you are there for them and that you support them, and that if they ever need a safe haven, they have you.  Putting pressure on them to leave might just make the situation worse.  They are the only ones who can work through their fears.  You can't do it for them, because then you become a rescuer and then you are also playing the game.  I hope this helps!  You can purchase my book as an ebook on or through my website,


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    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Shouldi, you seriously need to re-evaluate that relationship, it sounds a bit unsafe to me!

      Lonely, your post here sounds like my story and I can identify with you so much and what you're experiencing at the moment. The bottom line is that nobody needs to stay in a violent relationship. You also have to ask yourself why you keep getting into abusive relationships. I highly recommend you read my self help book Fear, Phobias and Frozen Feet which is available on Amazon. It deals with the recovery after ending an abusive relationship, as well as tips on how to break the cycle of bad relationships in your life.

    • profile image

      Lonely 7 years ago

      I married a man after having only known him for two years. He was verbally abusive and physically violent on one occasion before we married. I ignored the signs and thought he would change. I am in my early 40s and absolutely know better. I have been in several abusive relationships before, but not for a long time.

      My previous boyfriend was so gentle that I felt he was too boring and lacked drive (which he did).

      I really wanted this to be the one. But the violence escalated to an episode during which I called the police and he is now being charged with agravated assault.

      This puts lots ofpressure on our common friends. I have told people, at our local sportng club, that I have a violence restraining order against him. He is telling friends that I am exagerating and he minimises his violent behaviour.

      It is highly surprising and unsettling how many people believe him. We have friends that have spoken only to him and friends that have only spoken to me. Most are speaking to both and sitting in the middle.

      I find this very difficult and I want to meet some new friends.

      I also feel lonely... :-(

    • profile image

      shouldi 8 years ago

      when we met first, he said he was against it. Then when he slapped he said his dad used to slap his mother.

      I dont know how much he would change ..

      I am scared whether he would slap me again..

      I am scared whether he would change his words and values again..

      I feel like i dont know him anymore.

      Not having a good relationship with his mother pulls me further as she could directly affect my life too.

      I luv him but i cant seem to trust him. I ask him not to fight when he provokes to fight with me. Fight seems to be happening every other week now. How could i regain the trust when he fights all the time .. I am sick and tired of crying.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Shouldi, if he has not slapped you for 2 years and managed himself well, then maybe he has changed. Maybe you should give him a chance, which you have if you have stayed with him for another two years after the incident. However, it sounds as if the issue is with you and the fact that you no longer trust him. If after two years of good behaviour, he still hasn't regained your trust, I'd be asking why. Why do you still not trust him? Is he giving you reason not to trust him?

    • profile image

      shouldi 8 years ago

      i dont know what to do ? I love him and i do certainly hope he change .. He slapped me 2 years backkk ... But i cant get over the whole scenarioooooooo .. he has well managed himself after that issue but i dont know.. I HONESTLY .. My friends are tired of telling me not to be confused but i dont know what to say ..

      I love him but i dont trust him fully ... What should i doooooo

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Shouldi, my advice is to put on your running shoes and get the hell out of that relationship!

    • profile image

      shouldi 8 years ago

      I am in a relationship for the past 3 years. Very much my first Love too i have to admit. We started having issues by the 3 month we were going out. I took all that silly, I was brought up in western culture so i had the word F*** in my sentences whenever i got angry.

      The guy is an Indian, one day he slapped me due to i used the word. Since then i have this distance in my heart. We have been to the counsellors and all. But i can feel something is wrong.

      I do not have a good relationship with his mother. His always defenses his mother as well. My parents and his parents and speaking about marriage now and I dont know .. I have many questions in my head like would he slap me again though he promised he wouldnt. Would he be rude as always and then apologise as always. Would he change some day as he says?

      I am confused and on a rocky boat.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Hey Mardi, you are so right. We always blame ourselves, but most times it's nothing we have done wrong and it's good to remember that!

    • Mardi profile image

      Mardi Winder-Adams 8 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      Cindyvine, thanks for this. As people struggle with staying or leaving a violent or abusive intimate partner situation, they do need to have love and the knowledge they have a person or family to support their decision. Not enough women (and men) in DV situations seek help, largely because society provides only lip service and a lot of blame. As a former DV client advocate, most people I talked to believed that what they were doing was at the root of the abuse and not that it was a power and control issue on the part of the abuser. Once they understood they were never to blame, leaving and moving forward with their own lives became easier.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Shouldi, everybody can change, it's a choice we can make, but it's a choice we have to make. We can't force someone to change. They have to change themselves, they have to want that change. Otherwise, it will never happen!

    • profile image

      shouldi? 8 years ago

      At times people think that the person might change? Couldn't he / would he not? He might have promised that he would never do it again.. and never did again for another 1.5 years lord knows about the future ..

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 9 years ago

      GOOD HUB

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 9 years ago from Cape Town

      Thanks for your kind comments, Lindagoffigan. There are a frighteningly amount of people stuck in abusive relationships - both men and women. The tragedy is, we can notice the abuse, particularly verbal and emotional abuse, as an outsider. But, often the victim in the situation is not really aware of quite how bad their situation is, or is in extreme denial. Ostrich-in-the-sand syndrome. Think that's what we can call it.

    • lindagoffigan profile image

      lindagoffigan 9 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I   am honored to be the first to comment on such a relevant article such as domestic violence.  Your research and experience have proven poignant and time specific to today's battled women who stay in a relationship for the kids and remain the "heroic" victim while seeping in the turmoil of being undermined. 

      I am interested in publishing a book as well of another topic and have submitted an ebook to when they were in development.  Thank you for the reference and I shall visit them again for an update. 

      To have joined HubPages only three days ago, you have been able to tap into a prevailing subject that is sure to garnish internet traffic though you may have written for the relief of relationships that were not good. 

      As a Hubber for about 6 weeks now, I would like to welcome you and let you know that the community welcomes writers as yourself who touches the tough subjects that affects women.

      Keep writing.


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