Abusive relationships can be physically, emotionally and mentally destructive. Physical abusive relationships can leave not only visual injuries but can also leave deep emotional and mental scars. While verbally abusive relationships don’t leave physical scars, they can leave deep emotional and mental scars. They can both destroy self-esteem and cause deep depression. Both are usually ways to control you. Why don’t they just leave? That’s often easier said than done and if you have never been in an abusive relationship, it may be hard for outsiders to understand.
Physically Abusive Relationships
A misconception is that only men are physical abusers, but women can also be the abuser. The relationship starts out great, your partner is very attentive and seems like the perfect fit for you. The abuse may not surface in the beginning, then it might just be a slap or grabbing your arm. It’s not long before it escalates to more violent behavior. It’s always your fault, if you did things better, did it their way, was a better cook and the excuses go on, but in reality it’s no fault of yours, just their own anger. Before you know it, you are making excuses for the bruises, black eyes and sometimes even broken bones.
Often there are threats, if you leave me I’ll kill myself, or I’ll kill you. While some of these threats are just scare tactics, you can never be sure because you know the extent of their angry outbursts and the level of pain they can inflict. You try to leave but they stop you. If you are successful in getting away, they find you and bring you back.
You soon learn you are living a vicious circle. First the abuse, then the apology, swearing it will never happen again, then it happens again. Every day is like walking on eggshells because you never know what will trigger the next abusive beating. You feel trapped and as your self-esteem is slowly beaten out of you, you begin to feel helpless.
Verbally Abusive Relationships
It starts with an offhanded remark about your physical appearance, they act like they are just joking. Soon they are constantly belittling you about your weight, your hair, how you dress or you are lucky to have them because no one else would want you. Whatever they can do to make you feel bad about yourself and make themselves look better. Just as in the physical abuse situation, they take your self-esteem and make you feel rejected, helpless and even worthless.
Why Don’t You Leave
As I stated above, if you’ve never been an abusive relationship, you may not understand why they stay. While the most often used excuse is because I love them, it usually boils down to they are afraid to leave.
Because most abusers will keep their victims isolated from friends and family, it may be hard to make contact with someone to get help. If you don’t have a job or other income, especially if you have children, you worry how you’ll be able to support yourself and the children. You feel like they are constantly watching and you are too scared to tell anyone because of the abuse that will follow if you are found out. It’s even harder if you have no close family or friends in the area to help you.
Just call the police, I’m sure you’ve heard that many times before. Sounds like an easy solution but it’s not always that simple. First, even if they are arrested, they usually get out on bail or probation. No matter where you try to hide, they’ll find you and the beatings will be worse. An order of protection only helps if you are able to use it, but if they want to hurt you, nothing is going to stop them. This is the mentality they’ve beaten into you and it’s hard to think there might really be a way out.
There really is help out there for you, both women and men that need to remove themselves from abusive relationships. I’ve listed a few below and hope you’ll use them to help you get out of the situation and make a better quality of life for yourself.
Help for abusive relationships
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
Find help in your state
Find help internationally
Help if someone you know is a victim of abuse
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Want to read more articles like this, I also write for another site, Psychic Scoop.