Choosing to stay in an abusive relationship is a valid choice. Despite the horrors of an abusive relationship, sometimes abused people choose to stay with their abuser. Staying doesn’t mean you’ll be happy, but sometimes staying for now or forever seems like the only thing you can do.
Here are some possibilities of what can happen if you choose to stay with your abuser:
- She could begin to physically abuse you (this is a natural progression from verbal abuse and emotional abuse).
- He could physically abuse you to the point of traumatic brain injury, paralysis, or some other life-altering physical injury.
- He could escalate the abuse until he kills you.
- She could try new ways of abusing you (such as taking out credit in your name and destroying your credit or many other creative options).
- She could continue the present cycle indefinitely, never escalating but never stopping the behavior (likely to cause major depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, and other emotional problems).
- He could admit his problem and go get help for himself.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the last option is the MOST UNLIKELY. Abusers rarely seek help or treatment for their abusive behavior.
Your Abuser Benefits from Abusing You
Remember: your abuser benefits from abusing you. She gets her way and lives the life she wants to live while you do everything in your power to “make her happy” at the expense of yourself.
Think about it this way: What if you discovered that every time you picked your nose, someone gave you $100.00? No matter how distasteful you find picking your nose to be, would you do it when you wanted a Benjamin? I’d do it.
What if you discovered that every time you abused your spouse, you earned a prize? When your abuser abuses you, she earns a prize! The prizes include your cooperation, a feeling of importance, power over you, getting her way, et cetera.
How likely is she to change her behavior with those kinds of prizes to win?