Abuse in a relationship can come in various forms—verbal, mental and physical. And each and every one of them hurts a LOT! When people hear that someone is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, their first question is, "Why don't they leave?" If you've never been through an abusive relationship, this sort of response might seem natural and logical.
But here's the thing– hen it comes to relationship abuse, it's never as easy as "just leaving."
Getting out of an abusive relationship is hard, for reasons manifold. Here's a lowdown on why it's important to address this issue yourself or help your friends do the same.
1. You consider it normal because everyone around you seems to be going through it, or a situation similar to it. This is especially true of mental abuse. Society seems to normalise such behaviour, so you don't even realise something is wrong.
2. It destroys your self esteem, making it seem impossible to start afresh .
3. 'The make-up honeymoon phase'—this comes after every incident and almost makes the pain seem worthwhile , even though it isn't.
4. It is very hard to make the breakup stick. People in abusive relationships often attempt to break up with their partner several times. On an average, a person in an abusive relationship will attempt to leave 7 times before finally leaving for good.
5. You somehow feel it's your fault. After a conflict, an abuser will turn the situation around and make their partner feel guilty and convinced that they are somehow at fault—also known as gaslighting.
6. You believe, rather hope that one day things might change. That you might work things out and sort out the conflict and the other person will realise your worth somehow.
7. The social pressure to be in a relationship, coupled with the fear of being alone is enough to scare people into sticking it out.
8. You sometimes share a life together. It could be children, finances or even common friends that can make it seem impossible for you to leave.
9. You isolate yourself and distort your thoughts which in turn makes it difficult to look at the situation in a normal, rational manner.
10. Fear. Bodily harm, social embarrassment and pressure from family and friends all work to keep you entrapped in a situation you ideally should be leaving.