‘Why don’t you just leave him?’ ‘She’s destroying your life, your self-esteem!’ These are only few of the sentences you may have heard or said to someone you love. It is very easy to suggest that someone leave the ‘love of their life’. But in actuality getting out of an abusive relationship is an almost impossible task. The victim keeps thinking they’ll give their partner another chance and then another, and the cycle of abuse continues.
You may wonder what is it that stops you or your loved one from walking out on your partner. Why is it so hard? Here is why leaving an abusive relationship is the hardest.
You Believe They Love You
This is something that most victims in an abusive relationships believe with all their hearts, that their partner truly loves them. It is a sham that they refuse to accept as fake. Thinking that you invested years into the relationship, made a home with the guy/girl only to find out that they were just using you is extremely traumatic. This is why victims continue to stick by imagination instead of facing reality.
You Feel You Can Change Them!
This is another thing that the victim believes that with time, effort and love, they will be able to change their abusive partner. It is like a spell cast by the abuser. Oftentimes it is done by manipulating, coercing and even loving words, where they play the part of someone who desperately needs the help of their partner. Most victims think that if they just love enough, are loyal enough or bend enough to the demands of their partner, things would change for the better. Sadly, bending means breaking.
You Fear the Judgment of Society
When years pass, the relationship comes to a point where leaving means being judged by others for not only being disloyal, but also for not loving or sacrificing as a partner. This fear of judgment does not allow the victim to let the people close to them know their suffering. They continue on, knowing half the people will not believe them and blame them for whatever has happened.
Leaving them can be Fatal!
Leaving an abusive relationship for women is exceptionally difficult; as in our society it could mean an acid attack or certain death. A restraining order simply does not exist in a Pakistani society and police are pretty immune to domestic issues. Women are afraid at even the idea of leaving because it’s not only their lives that are at risk, but the lives of their children, parents and siblings as well.
If you are in an abusive relationship or know someone who is, offer help as best as you can. Provide them the comfort and support they need and let them know that they are not alone. Try to get them out because living in an abusive relationship, be it mental abuse or physical can be the worst thing imaginable.