7 Heartbreaking Reasons Why People Stay In Abusive Relationships

Photo: Fabiana Ponzi / Shutterstock
woman in unhappy relationship

This article discusses domestic violence, how it affects people from all walks of life, and how to identify it. If any of this is triggering for you, or if you would like more information, please use the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800)799-7233, or visit The Hotline.

Being in an abusive relationship can be something that is really traumatizing to go through. Whether it's an emotionally abusive or a physically abusive one, abusers use love against their partners to manipulate them and control every aspect of their personality.

But why do people stay in abusive relationships?

RELATED: 9 Things Abusers Do — And Why You Should Leave As Soon As These Signs Of Abuse Appear

Sometimes, people truly don’t recognize they are in an abusive relationship. Other times, they are fully aware of the ramifications of their relationship, but due to the circumstances, it’s near impossible or even dangerous for them to leave. 

It’s not anyone’s place for them to judge the decisions of anyone who might be stuck in an unhealthy or abusive relationship — it’s not their fault, but it's important to recognize the signs.

7 Heartbreaking Reasons Why People Stay In Abusive Relationships

1. They feel like this is a normal part of every relationship.

If the actions within the relationship have been going on for a long time, or if this is the first serious relationship for someone, a person being abused may not know that what is happening to them can count as abuse.

If they don’t know any better, they may be more inclined to disregard warning signs or comments from loved ones and friends.

2. They feel ashamed or embarrassed.

It’s often difficult for someone to admit they’ve been abused.

They may feel they’ve done something wrong by becoming involved with an abusive partner. They may also worry that their friends and family will judge them for not leaving sooner.

3. They suffer from low self-esteem.

When in an abusive relationship, the abuser will target all of their partner's insecurities to make them reliant on them for validation.

It slowly becomes easy for them to believe the abuser's comments about their looks, and they can start to think they can’t get anything better than the relationship they’re currently in.

RELATED: How To Leave An Abusive Relationship: A Step-By-Step Plan For Fleeing Domestic Violence During Coronavirus

4. There could be cultural or religious reasons.

There can be a lot of cultural and religious reasons for not being able to leave an abusive relationship.

Cultures with very strict gender roles can make it a very dangerous situation if they try to leave. Some religions also don’t allow any divorces or separations, and this can cause a lot of issues if victims try to leave as well.

5. They feel stuck due to a lack of money or helpful resources.

Abusive relationships can sometimes see financial abuse. This is when the abuser has full control of their partner’s finances, making it impossible for them to have access to their own accounts or have their own cards.

It could be impossible for them to stash money for when they leave, making them feel like they will have nowhere to turn if they move out.

6. They fear leaving.

The most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when the partner decides to leave.

On average, a partner will try to leave an abusive relationship seven times before they leave for good. When deciding to leave, this can put the abuser in an emotionally unstable place, which can put the partner in danger as a result.

7. They love their abuser.

At the end of the day, they can be blinded by their love for their partner, so much so that they negate any warning signs about their relationship. They may have children with them and want to maintain their family.

Abusive people can often be charming, especially at the beginning of a relationship, and the victim may hope their partner will go back to being that person. They may only want the violence to stop, not for the relationship to end entirely.

RELATED: You Can Get PTSD From Staying In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Kayla Baptista is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture, and relationship topics.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!