Dating, Domestic Violence: Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate
Not ready to leave? Neither was I
He had hit me on the head back in 1996 because I answered his telephone while visiting for almost a week at his apartment. I was shocked, so much in fact that someone within me didn't get up and walk out the door. She just stared at him. Later, I thought I heard myself say, "Why did you do that?"
We don't realize what we get ourselves into until its too late. We don't question why we are in a relationship with an abusive mate until he blows up on us. We stay because its more inconvenient to leave than to save our lives. We reason that things will get better when oftentimes they don't.
To date, our country is in a recession and I can't help but wonder how many women are being their partners punching back because its simply not the right time to leave for them.
You may not be ready to go like I was, but at some point events will get bad enough that you will have to go. Some may have time to pack, while others will be glad to get out the house with shoes on their feet. An abusive situation became so bad for me that the police were called by neighbors and that's how we broke up. The ambulance took me to the hospital and my sister and her boyfriend met me there. He was in jail long enough for me to come back with family to pack up my stuff.
If you are ready to leave your abusive mate, never make an announcement that you will be leaving him. Plan for a peaceful exit when he isn't home. Always have a witness if need be. Tell the police if you suspect he will kill you. The police will escort you from the residence if you must leave and fear he or neighbors may tell him you are leaving.
Abusive men are like terrorists they make threats. They may actually do something, so with that said always use your common sense, think things through, and never leave your children behind (if you have any.)
For more information about all kinds of abuse not covered here, see the links following this page.
I also wrote a book with the same name as this page, Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate on Amazon.
Why do they stay?
The abused woman or man stays in a relationship for a variety of reasons from sexual to material. The longer they stay in an abusive situation, the more susceptible they are to doing any and everything their abuser requests of them. When approached by family and friends with questions like, "Why do you stay? Why put up with that behavior?" the abused woman or man will defend the abuser. "Well sometimes I tend to say something he doesn't like." They will reason that what the abuser says and does is right even when it's not. If you, as a relative or friend, becomes critical of anything that the abuser says or does, the abused woman or man will turn on you. They will find fault with you, "What about your relationship with...Don't tell me anything about my relationship--what do you know?" In some situations, the abused turns into an abuser, yelling, name-calling and doing other things to hurt you. Basically, treating you like he or she has been treated by his or her angry partner. Without mental and/or physical help, the abused woman or man is no different than a person with a mental handicap, they are confused, incapable of thinking on one's own, and (what some will say,) "out of their mind."
So why does the abused woman or man stay with a name-calling, manipulative, selfish, and downright angry person? Besides the obvious reasons as stated previously, they are distracted. That's right, simply put, distracted! The abused woman or man stays because they are distracted by the sweet words, thoughtful gifts, family support, vacations, children, and other nice things that the abuser says and does to get his victim to stay. " I will change baby...I'm sorry," he tells his girlfriend with the swollen eye. So he buys a nice ring and promises marriage and help from his side of the family. "I love you and I will do anything for the children, you have my word," she promises her man she left with a bloody nose over how infrequent he takes out the trash. So out comes a bag of toys for the children and money to buy them whatever else they need. "Your family don't care about you, I'm here for you!" So without notice, the abuser's side of the family steps up to the plate and watches the children for you, offers to help you monetarily, and does other nice things because he initiates it not necessarily, because they want to do it. "We need to go to church. I want to do better by you and the family," the abuser says. Although the church visits are inconsistent and short-term, the angry man or woman wins you over with the appearance of religious folk, talk of expectations from Jesus, and the Bible.
The manipulator knows how to create the ideal situation to distract one from his or her schemes. You can attract a bee with honey and the manipulator will do just that, but anger him or her and like a bee, he or she will sting you! When words like "I'm sorry. I will make it up to you" continue being said every time the abuser becomes violent, the victim is further brainwashed into believing that staying with his or her partner is the right thing to do.
The victim holds on to the abuser's words and reasons that, "It must be me, I'm the problem. If I hadn't said this...If I hadn't done that...he wouldn't get so angry." Yet, the truth is that no matter what you do, this angry man or woman will never be completely satisfied. They are just like the victims, abused too except their abusive experiences happened long ago and they never recovered. The abused is teaching the abused. The abuser has learned from the best of them how to hurt others, how to apologize and how to enforce the philosophy of forgiving and forgetting. The abuser knows how to lie, cover up, and blame. "You are the reason why I can't...if you would just...I need you to..." it's always what you ought to do. The abuser rarely holds his or her self accountable! It doesn't matter what the abuser says, actions always speak louder than words.
Without a plan to end this toxic relationship, like a gerbil, the abused will keep running on the wheel in his or her cage never being allowed to go free. The victim must take back his or her control over self and that only comes with a made up mind to leave.