Why You Feel Trapped In Your Toxic Relationship (And How Abusive Partners Stop You From Leaving)

What traps people into the cycle of abuse?

Relationship Advice For Recognizing How Abusive Partners Trap Their Victims Into Not Leaving Jeffrey Wegrzyn via Unsplash

By Kylie Clark

Abusive relationships stink worse than stale bread and hurt more than a continuously stabbing knife. For those who have never been in one, *God Forbid*, you have no idea how lucky you are. 

The one statement that unanimously ushers in all of the lucky one's heads is: "why don’t you leave them?"

While it is an option, it’s not so easy for most people stuck in an abusive relationship to leave. Only a few gather the courage to escape their abusive partners.


RELATED: 15 Undeniable Warning Signs Your Relationship Is Abusive

These survivors might later stumble upon articles or books that provide them with the terms they can use in order to understand what actually was happening to them and only then can they describe their experience. Until then, they are still in a dilemma struggling to find the right words to explain what they have survived. 


Most of the time, though, the cases are not this simple. In most scenarios, the victims are not even aware that they are, or were, in an abusive relationship.

Abuse is not always physical. The major reason behind this unawareness is how society has conditioned us to believe that abuse is always physical.

In movies, we see the villains casually being violent to their partners, shouting at them aggressively and in some cases, even murdering them while being in a fit of rage. While this is a form of abuse, there is only a meagre percentage of abusive relationships that reach this stage. (Fortunately!)

Abusive relationships begin slowly – with occasional abusive and insulting comments. Often, these moments are brushed off by the victims. The reason for this is that abusers are exceptionally great pretenders. They lead the victim to believe that they are everything that they ever wanted in a romantic partner. 


Thus, the victims are blindfolded with the treacherous lie: abusers are great people who love them dearly. When the abuser starts to slip this mask off, the victims believe that this is a phase and will soon wear out. And if it doesn’t, they ignore it, considering the acts as a consummation of anger or a mood-drift. 

RELATED: 7 Heartbreaking Reasons Why People Don't Leave Abusive Relationships

To all the victims: It’s not your fault.

Abusive relationships trap us by leading us to believe that we are the reason for our partner’s anger. That is because we believe that one of our misdeeds is what led to the rage.

Thus, we stay back in the relationship to actually try and win back their affection. The abusers use this to their advantage. They mislead us into believing that we are the culprits, posing as the saviours who are trying to make things correct with their so-called harsh behaviour. 


Love - abuse – love — it’s not fun. Abusive relationships are like a rollercoaster — being showered by love, being abused, then again, being showered by love. This constant cycle transpires so fast that we are left with no time to analyze the situation.

Despite the constant stress, both physical and emotional, that we are put under due to this unholy cycle of abuse, we tend to stay in the relationship, because we fail to realize that what is happening to us is, in fact, damaging us. 

It is kind of like a drug. Our partners love us unconditionally until they decide to inflict different forms of abuse. We are compelled with the myth that it was our fault. Then, we feel the urge to please our partner so that things could go back to the way they were. It becomes like an addiction to please our abusers, so that things become normal once again.

Abusers damage our entire emotional well-being. Our feeling of self-worth becomes practically non-existent. Due to the constant abuse we go through and feeling like it is all our fault, we feel that we are incapable of being in a relationship.


During these moments, the abusive partner comes to our rescue and shows us some love, and in result, you become more attached to the demon.

This clouds our judgement and allows them to fully take advantage of our vulnerability without us doubting that they are doing something wrong to us even for a second. They create a persona of being our "saviour" in times when we are emotionally distressed because of the abuse the has been inflicted upon us.

RELATED: When He Consistently Does Any Of These 8 Things, He's Slowly Trapping You In A Toxic Relationship

There’s no excuse of abuse — not even past.

In many cases, we believe that our partners are damaged emotionally due to some traumatic events in their past and that is the reason for their abusive behaviour. Most victims are good people at heart.


Our innate desire to help others escape their struggles actually pulls us deeper into such relationships. We want to stay back and help our partners overcome their trauma. We want to heal them.

While all this time, they manipulate us into believing that the reason for their abusive behaviour is their troubled past and that they are actually great people.

Walk out of the darkness. You deserve more.


It is very important to recognize the signs of abuse in a relationship. Be aware of what constitutes love and how it is different from the way you or someone you know is being treated by their partner.

Escaping an abusive relationship is not easy, because of all the manipulation and fear, but with the help of our loved ones and our own strong will, we can definitely do so. And trust me, it might seem difficult initially, but once you walk that one step of courage — this will be the best decision of your life!

RELATED: 4 Brutal Reasons It's So Hard To Let Go Of Someone You Love, Even If They're Toxic

Kylie Clark is a writer who focuses on relationships, dating, and love. For more of her relationship content, visit her author profile on The Mind's Journal.