Abusive Relationships - would you stay or go?

Discussion in 'Women's Issues' started by killerb, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. killerb

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    Hello all: I have a female friend who has been married for almost 20 years...her husband has been physically & emotionally abusive off & on throughout the marriage...just recently he has become more violent...

    she knows that she needs to leave and really wants her freedom, but so far she hasn't done it...I've never understood how people could remain in relationships like this so maybe you all have some insight.

    my question is, if you were in (or HAVE BEEN) in an abusive relationship, what would it take to convince you to leave?
     
  2. Jovial

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  3. nudeyorker

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    I don't have a web site address to direct you or your friend to. Fear, guilt (children) money and security. And at long last love or the memory of what it once was is a compelling reason for many people to stay and try to revive the dreams of broken promises and what the future might bring. Everyone knows the right time and place when they have to pick up their bags and walk. Best to be a friend and be there when you need her. If she needs a safe haven if it is a chance to talk or a place to spend the night. There are advocate rights groups in most major cities that can help when she is ready to make a change.
    Best of luck to her...thank you for being a friend. Be a real friend when she need it the most.
     
  4. B_cigarbabe

    B_cigarbabe New Member

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    It's usually because you may not have the means to just go out and get an apartment if you can find one. That usually takes weeks. In my experience. If there are children involved what will happen to them? Their schools,clothes,friends all these must be considered.
    I suspect the woman would want to have it done with as little upset as possible to the kids. Does she have the funds put away or have access to money from the joint {if any} accounts.
    You would be thinking about is this asshole going to retaliate against you if he ever finds you or the kids?
    There is much more involved than just simply "picking up and leaving".
    Best wishes to your friend and do try to be there when she needs you.
    Good Luck,
    cigarbabe:saevil:
     
  5. killerb

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    thanks everyone for your responses, especially NY & CB - very thoughtful!

    my friend does have options: she makes good money (even though he controls the bank accounts) & could lean on her family for support when needed...for example, she could stay with her parents for a while if necessary...

    so far I've done nothing but be there to listen & encourage her that if bad came to worse & the marriage ended, she has the inner strength to make sure that she & her kids are ok...
     
  6. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    As a former battered spouse (yes, it happens to males, too) I think I can speak for some. I convinced myself over our 18-year marriage that my wife was mentally unstable and needed my support and love to help her find a breakthrough.

    Trouble is, I was the only one trying to find one.

    It has been almost 20 years since our divorce and, alas, her life has not changed except for the fact that she doesn't have anybody around to abuse anymore.
     
  7. 8060

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    Several years ago, I met a man that was extremely flattering and generous and charming. I hung out with him for a while and eventually starting dating him. We had a lot of fun in the beginning (before we were a couple). After that "floating commitment", he was screening my mail, listening to phone calls, etc. and all of those flattery-like, charming, generosities went right out the window. I sat back to see if things would return to the way they were. They did not. I got a telephone call from a friend that I've known at least 19 years. This guy stared me in my mouth so that I just put my call on speaker, just to appease him. After my call was over (that he listened to), I was all kind of 'whores' and 'useless pieces of whatever.' I was too good to him to be spoken to like that. He was crazy and didn't show me the crazy until 7 months in. After that night, I put some distance in between us. 3 weeks went by and it seemed cool. We're kickin' it one night and a mutual friend stopped by and after he left, that shit started again. He started in on me with that verbal shit, then he grabbed me while I tried to leave the apartment. I was held hostage for like 9 hours. He couldn't take the fact that I associated with other people. I saw it written over his whole body that he would do me harm rather than to let me go. My roommate came home from work and that's how I got out of there. I just sat there for hours just...waiting for something. Anything that would keep me from killing him. He would've killed me. That's how I felt.

    So, for me, it took a little verbal abuse and the first strike at that physicality when he grabbed me by my arm and threw me back in the apartment. That's when I knew that the shit has hit the fan and it's time to bounce. This is the most that I've discussed that episode in years. All I can suggest is that you and your friend muster every ounce of strength that you can come up on and GET HER AND WHATEVER SHE WANTS TO TAKE WITH HER AND GET OUT.

    Worse case scenario,

    * * * * * * * * * * *
     
  8. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    I was abused for 6 years before I left. I wish I was with him every day of my life. He abused me in every way possible. Therapy was the only thing that helped. I was able to get away and have been able to stay away since then. Stockholm syndrome and learned helplessness is what I still suffer from. I learned to love the abuse, I craved it, I still do and look for people to replace those needs. Abuse alters your thinking patterns and there is always a false hope that things will return to how they were, but they never do.

    I wish her all the luck in getting away from him.
     
  9. 8060

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    :hug::hug::hug::hug::hug::hug:

    Please don't look to fill a void like that, Kink. Everyone deserves so much better than that.
     
  10. killerb

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    wow...I'm glad you were able to get out of it & move on...it takes guts to share what you've shared...thank you

    I'm glad you were able to get away safely...the world NEEDS its 8060! :cool:

    you are very brave to share this...and I'm glad you were able to get help for yourself...:smile:
     
  11. honeydew

    honeydew New Member

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    I was in a marriage for twenty years and for the most part he is a good man. He became verbally/emotionally abusive after about seven years in. Probably not as bad as mentioned on here. I came to the point when he tried to talk to our daughter as if she was stupid(his favortite thing) I knew I had to leave. I had come to the point of either killing him or leaving. Since I had a child I left to protect her.
    The one thing I would help your friend to do is get her bank account away from his control, quietly if possible.Start a new account and have most of her money go to it instaed of the old account. Have her put together a budget for her new start , perhaps you keep it with you so he does not find it. Get a good divorce lawyer to help start the seperation process. Start moving the car she has into her name, whatever she wants to keep, seperate on paper , sooner the better. She needs to decide if she can keep the house or not. If not, dump it and its note on him and settle for something else in the seperation/divorce. Make sure she keeps someone by her or an easy to contact person, in case he gets violent. More or less let her see she can do this. Most people feel overwhelmed and decide to "ride it out" because that is easier. Continue to be her friend and good luck.
     
  12. D_Duane Pipe

    D_Duane Pipe New Member

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    I'd say keep on encouraging her to leave, b/c in all honesty, that's not a marriage. He ended it when when he started abusing her. She needs to leave. Best of luck in your efforts, I don't envy you.
     
  13. 8060

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    honeydew, I love your plan of escape to be as light as possible about the situation as you can be:biggrin1:. It's very sound and very doable. All this woman needs is some support; someone in her corner. As I read your words, I could see it, she her getting out and what it took and all the emotion that's just DRAINED FROM YOU from being in a situation like that. Then to be able to get out and be okay from something so wrong:frown1::confused: is almost unbelieveable but we all know that it is so possible.

    Then as you recapped your journey, you said the one thing I didn't say which was

    Why does one even have to imagine another human being that they are supposed to be in a relationship with, that's loving and sharing, kids, memories and such, have to worry about that person doing them bodily harm, breaking their spirit, belittling them, etc.? If that person happens to take you there--to the point of killing them; to the point where it's either you or them? The odds might be better to possibly wind up in prison for murder rather than six feet under yourself.
     
  14. rickygNOLA

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    baby, i'm from down here in So. Lousisiana, and i can tell you right now, my frying skillet would bare the imprint of his GD face.

    and i'd frame it on the wall.
     
  15. Marlboro woman

    Marlboro woman New Member

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    Luckily this has never happened to me, I am humbled by the responses of those to whom it has happened.
     
  16. D_Tamerton Taintpussie

    D_Tamerton Taintpussie Account Disabled

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    It is something that is incredibly difficult to explain to someone that is not in it. I am a very strong and strong-willed person, and when I was younger I was involved with some cases dealing with abuse against women. It was absolutely beyond me as to how they could stay.

    About 4 years ago I got involved with someone. He also hid his violent streak until about a year and a half into the relationship. He was a very big, well-built guy and I am a petite women. He initially raised his fist to me, but I could see that he really wanted to kill me. I put him to terms to either go to therapy or I would leave. He went for a while and seemed a bit better.

    I now know I should have left then and there. Things just deteriorated, and the verbal and emotional abuse escalated too. It is such an insidious thing. Eventually, it affects how you operate. You worry constantly and are always on alert. You just lose yourself completely. We eventually broke up and then tried to reconcile. The violence was also escalating, but I just could not seem to be able to let go. I started to document it in case he killed me. I even went back to him after he broke some of my fingers. It makes no sense whatsoever. I still loved him and thought that we could fix him somehow. I now believe that he suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder (as much as I hate labels) - and sites on this helped me understand my own inexplicable part in the whole thing.

    I am single now (he eventually left me), and I have never been happier. It took time to detox from the whole poisonous encounter. But I am so vigilant now - if someone is even slightly emotionally violent or I can sense some sort of unsettled anger, I run a mile in the opposite direction.

    I really feel for your friend. I cannot imagine how much harder it must be if there are kids involved. The fact is, it will take time to heal and adjust, but if she leaves him, she will eventually find herself again.

    Please let us know how this pans out.

    Tiger
     
  17. killerb

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    wow...I am freakin BLOWN AWAY by some of your experiences...

    I hate that any of you (and anyone else) had to endure this abuse at the hands of someone who claimed to love you...

    the one good thing about my friend's situation is that she has me and another male friend in her corner...he really wants to beat the crap out of the husband, but he realizes that it would only make matters worse...he's also been trying to help her hatch an escape plan & told her that the first step is to establish a bank account of her own...she is the primary breadwinner & she can definitely make it on her own...she just has to believe that she can...

    Tiger: something you said REALLY made an impact..."The violence was also escalating, but I just could not seem to be able to let go. I started to document it in case he killed me." :eek:

    This is something that is a distinct possibility, but I don't think my friend has even considered...who knows how far he'll go the next time? He recently attacked her right in front of their 5 yr old daughter...
     
  18. B_ScaredLittleBoy

    B_ScaredLittleBoy New Member

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    I find this sort of thing hard to understand but I am led to believe that the abusers in these sorts of relationships frequently tell the abused that they are worthless, or won't find anyone better etc. Which causes or contributes to low self esteem which reinforces the negativity.

    I would not stand for physical abuse and I don't know why any woman would. Also this is just my own personal opinion but most if not all abusive guys are not "big" guys. Maybe that is reason for their rage and lack of respect for women, I don't know.

    Low self esteem is the main reason women stay with 'bad' men though. It's the reason I am "too nice" for a certain someone. And that "maybe if I treated her badly" (her words) then we would be together.

    As for the situation you mentioned killer:

    Obviously she needs to leave him. That may be hard though and I think first you would need to build up her confidence and self esteem. Getting the police involved might be a good step. If she can document the attacks too maybe with a dictaphone or cameras. Or has she got somewhere else she can stay like her mother's or with a friend?

    Somewhere he doesn't know. The best option would be to leave the house and not tell him, maybe change the locks and just never go back there. Don't answer the phone to him/change the number/get a new phone. Also when doing this close the bank account and make a new one, maybe at a different bank. Basically get away and cut him out of her life.

    If your friend is unsure, tell her to phone you or talk to you whenever she feels like she 'needs' to talk to him. But the first and biggest step is to just leave, swiftly and without warning.
     
  19. Runco

    Runco New Member

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    Well most of us wouldn't stand for an abusive relationship but walking away isn't always easy or the most obvious thing to do, particularly if someone doesn't know they are being abused. I don't know if people always choose to stay in an abusive relationship. The problem is most of the time the abuse is insidious. I would not say I have been in an abusive relationship but I came close to being in a relationship with a controlling man on more than one occasion. It starts out in the smallest of ways. One of mine suggested I change my lipstick to one he liked better on me. That's a small thing in those heady, early days of a relationship and I was happy to do it because of course I wanted to be even more appealing to him. Then he "suggested" I wear longer skirts. Again, I thought nothing of it. Then he wanted me to do up all the buttons on my shirt. Then he demanded I stop wearing lipstick. Then he didn't like this friend. Then that friend. And so on it went. Three months in, bare faced and dressed like a frump, I realised what was going on and bailed. The man was trying to control me. Worse, I found out after the fact that he was married! He never told me. I found out when I bumped into him walking down the road with his two kids and very pregnant wife. Of course for her sake I kept my mouth shut but if looks could kill he would be dead now. Worse, he tried to hook up with me again after I found out! :wtf2: After that I was very careful who I hooked up with.

    While I have never had the threat of physical violence in any of my relationships, I have witnessed such abuses in a couple of my sister's relationships. Why do men abuse? Sometimes it's about power. Sometimes they are weak. Sometimes it's behavior they have learned at the knee of their own parent. But in some cases, it's due to fear. Some men are frightened that they are not good enough for the women in their lives. So they do everything they can to cow her and break her self-esteem; his 'logic' tells him that this will make her less likely to leave him. Actions he might take include severing her networks - family, friends, confidantes, even work colleagues - so that she is completely isolated. Then wearing her down, first verbally (appearance, intellect, verbal abuse), then physically (actual violence or threat of violence). It starts out innocuously and gradually escalates and sometimes by the time a woman realises what is going on, she has feelings for a guy, she may have kids with him and she is conflicted about leaving. Leaving isn't always as easy as getting out of Dodge because, as stated, sometimes you don't even know you are being abused until it's too late and having dependent kids makes people fearful.

    As for women not leaving, sometimes it's low self-esteem but mostly it's fear and a lack of self-belief that she can make it on her own. You have to remember, a lot of the time these women have been deliberately isolated from their support networks and conditioned to feel like they cannot do anything without their abuser by their side. They feel all alone and as though no one will understand what they have been through. They also frequently feel that they have been abused due to something THEY have done. So they deserve it in some way. Their attitude can be "better the devil you know" than going out to face the unknown. Because yes, they are being abused and their lives are not what they thought it would be but they are alive, they have a roof over their heads and they are being fed. I am not saying it makes sense but this is what goes on, particularly when there are kids involved.

    I agree this woman needs to leave but she needs to prepare first. If there are any women's refuges where she lives, she should get in touch. They will help her with a lot of the practical stuff before she leaves and they will give her a place to stay when she leaves. They will also help her with the legalities (severing financial ties so that she is not lumbered with his debts, getting restraining orders, instigating divorce and fighting for alimony if need be). Killerb, I think the best thing that you can do for her is help her to see that her life could be so much better living away from this man. Something will push her to leave him. Eventually.
     
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