Have you ever been in an abusive relationship before? Or do you know anyone who has been in one? When we hear about someone in an abusive or an unhealthy relationship, our first question is always this – “Why don’t you break it off? Why are you staying?” And if you’re someone who has never been in such a relationship (*touch wood*), I’d never want you to be in one ever. It always seems easy to throw up the deuces and move on with your life. But here’s what I’m trying to convey in this very wordy article – it’s never that easy to “just leave”. Trust me!
Saying “NO” to an abusive relationship and getting out of it can be hard for many reasons. So here’s what I did: I spoke to a couple of women who had unfortunately been through hardships in their relationship. They spoke about how they still chose to cling on to it for a while when they could have said a “NO” and chosen a better life for themselves. And that’s how I understood why they chose to stay; I’ve put down a few real stories from real women, on why they chose to stay in unhealthy relationships. Let’s read together.
1. “I Stayed Because I Didn’t Want To Be Seen As A Failure”
Here’s what Sneha, whose goal in life was to always be an obedient daughter to her parents, and now an obedient wife to her husband, told me:
“I thrive on making my people proud. It’s like an accomplishment for me. I thought that if I worked harder to keep him satisfied, forgave him a little more, it would all work out in the end. You know, just like how the rest of the things in my life have worked out ever since I was a kid. But, it took me a while to realize that I was continuing to fail in a phase of my life which was never really meant to be successful.”
Do I even have to explain anything here? She wanted to stay because she believed that it would work out anyway. She lived for her parents’ happiness and continued the same pattern, even after her marriage, by living for her husband. But, oh dear women! Don’t we have a life of our own? If there are any of you who are answering a “no,” please carve a purpose in life for yourself. A purpose that doesn’t fade because of any relationship or any other human.
2. “I Stayed Because I Was Supposed To”
Here’s what Anjali, a beautiful mother of two, tried to explain to me.
“I had to stay back with my husband because of my two children. I thought they’d miss a father’s love, support, and care. Yes, he used to abuse me, especially more when he came home drunk. But, I took it all for my children. One fine day, I chose to leave, finally! If you want to know why, again, the answer is my children. I realized that by staying with him I was teaching my children, my sons to disrespect women.”
I was so proud of Anjali’s decision. Although she didn’t do it for her, she did it for her world, her children. Nothing can beat the pain or the suffering that a mother willingly goes through for her children. Nor can anyone dare to fight a mother who stands up for her children’s well-being.
3. “I Stayed Because I Was Afraid”
This is what Rani, a 22-year-old, bubbly girl turning into a stronger, independent woman told me:
“The main reason why I wanted to stay back was that I was afraid. Afraid of the future, of being left alone and I thought I’d never find anyone else. I stayed because he made me feel like I wasn’t worthy of being anyone’s partner. He made it seem like he was doing me a favor by putting up with me. A part of me wanted to break free, whereas, another part of me only spoke of self-doubt. Because of him, I’d convinced myself that this was what I deserved. This was the best that life could give me. But then things changed when he went to the USA to do his masters and I was in India alone. That’s when I began to socialize and soon realized how wrong I used to think about myself.”
“I broke up with him. I fell in love again, with an amazing man who loves me more than I had ever loved myself. We even plan on getting married soon.”
It’s extremely important to nurture the self-confidence in you, and it is even more crucial to love yourself first before you love anyone else. Thank God that Rani soon understood that she was an amazing person and she didn’t need anyone to prove that to her.
So, these were some stories that I thought were important to share with you all. We can never really understand what’s going on in the other person’s life, but we can always try to understand why they chose to make the decisions that they have made. A lot of reasons like children, the fear of ending up alone, the society, financial security, etc, make it difficult for most women out there to get out of unhealthy, unhappy, and abusive relationships.
Have you ever been through such a phase in life? What do you suggest that a woman should do at that time? Do let us know in the comments below.