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Why do women stay with violent men?


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Old 2nd October 2003, 8:23 PM   #1
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Why do women stay with violent men?

I recently found out that a friendís ex used to hit her. The crazy fu*k would hit her just for talking to another guy or would sometimes hit guys for just looking at her and then would later beat her for it. She went out with this monster for 3 years and only left him after she found out heíd been cheating.

I canít understand why she would stay with him after he hit her the first time. How could you love someone that hurts you?

I guess it was like some kind of power trip for the sad f*ck beating her when she couldnít defend herself. Sometimes I question my faith in humanity (lost my faith in God a long time ago), are we evil by our very nature?
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Old 2nd October 2003, 8:40 PM   #2
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I can speak as a woman who has just left an abusive relationship, though as anyone here who's familiar with me by now knows, there was no physical violence to speak of directed at me. I have two babies with my soon-to-be ex husband, and that was as much my reason for staying with him as anything. However, I can also say that they were a big reason I left. Watching him have fits of violence wherein he'd punch a wall, or squeeze the baby a little too tight...all definite signs that it may have gotten out of hand.

Women stay with abusive men often because they do not know how to leave. It is undoubtedly extremely fortunate for your friend that she found her way out using the excuse that he cheated. There are many men and women alike who remain in horrific situation because as a victim of abuse, a person loses control of his or her life; to abuse someone is in essence robbing them of their humanity, as I am sure you saw with your friend.

My advice to you, rather than focus on how horrible things were for her is to be there for her as much as you possibly can. Reccommend she get into some counseling to help her deal with the trauma, and perhaps to help her to learn to trust people again. As much as you hate the monster she was with, do not talk to her about how horrific he is unless she asks you to. There's a good chance she may still be in a place where she will not be able to hear about what he did to her in terms of physical abuse.

My heart goes out to your friend, very much so. Continue to care and be there for her; it will make a tremendous difference in her healing.

Best of luck.
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Old 2nd October 2003, 9:08 PM   #3
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I had a violent partner briefly. What I learned through that experience was invaluable. His anger came from his own self-loathing; his stepmother had beaten him and his father was cold and disapproving. He drank to kill the pain and lost control when he drank. He was sincerely remorseful when sober. Alcohol is correlated with violence; apparently it can disable the self-control part of the brain.

The thing is that the violence seems surreal. It is so foreign to one's regular life that it's hard to believe it's happening. Not only that, but when it's over it feels dreamlike. You have to realize that many of these guys aren't angry all the time or violent all the time. This fellow was quite bright and funny and could be very loving - and when he behaved nicely, it was hard to believe that he could also be violent. Yes, a lot of women stay because they don't know how to leave and others stay because they fear what will happen, but I suspect a lot get to that point because they start out where I was - really having trouble believing that the Jekyll could also be Hyde.
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Old 2nd October 2003, 9:28 PM   #4
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also...

i think some women are attracted to violence, in a perverted way... masochistic overtones, i guess.

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Old 3rd October 2003, 1:30 AM   #5
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I think that's a myth.
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Old 3rd October 2003, 2:15 AM   #6
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It's much like any of the unhealthy behavioral patterns we exhibit in relationships....they usually stem from the "template" relationships we have with our parents and others during our younger years. The woman who has an alcoholic father....will likely seek addict partners. The man who is beaten by his father....will become abusive himself.

It emerges from two developmental concepts: re-creation and familiarity. We subconsciously want to re-create the dysfunctional environment of our past in order to somehow correct it...unfortunately this never works, leading to a pattern of continued dysfunctional relationships. We also also gravitate towards that which is familiar...the type of relationships we first learned from those around us. These imprints give us a mold that we believe is correct....and then attempt to fit our relationships to that mold.
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Old 3rd October 2003, 3:02 AM   #7
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These characterizations can hold true. Not the case in my case, though. I thought what I had were regular parents more or less. They had their issues, but there was no alcoholism or violence. Heck, I only ever remember my dad getting drunk once when I was very little. It made him sick so he rarely drank any liquor at all. Nope. In my case, anyway, it wasn't any sort of childhood thing to work out. Just really bad judgement.
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Old 3rd October 2003, 7:57 AM   #8
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Ryan couldn't be more right in my case, and I was married to my abuser for 14 years. My parents were alcoholics, and abused each other. My x-husbands father was also an abusive alcoholic. The reason I stayed is he had me convinced I was stupid, couldn't make it on my own....he used to say if I divorced him, he would leave me with nothing but cinder blocks to sit on. I finally got up the courage, got a lawyer, and the same day had him "removed" from my house by the Sheriffs Dept. I have done well for myself and my 2 girls, while he has lived place to place, where ever someone will take him in for a few days. He has no car, lost his license to DUI, and no place to call home. That's what I call Karma!
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Old 3rd October 2003, 10:00 AM   #9
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Poor self-esteem can certainly contribute. I know a man who, again, had neither alcoholism nor abuse in his background, but has learning disabilities and grew up feeling worthless because of the disapproval he got from everyone; peers and teachers included. He felt so worthless that he married the first person who accepted a proposal and then, when she became abusive, felt he wasn't worthy of better treatment. He stayed with her for six years. He finally left when she started talking about how to kill his parents so they could get money.
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Old 3rd October 2003, 6:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by moimeme
Poor self-esteem can certainly contribute. I know a man who, again, had neither alcoholism nor abuse in his background, but has learning disabilities and grew up feeling worthless because of the disapproval he got from everyone; peers and teachers included. He felt so worthless that he married the first person who accepted a proposal and then, when she became abusive, felt he wasn't worthy of better treatment. He stayed with her for six years. He finally left when she started talking about how to kill his parents so they could get money.
The guy I'm talking about is Muslim so he can't drink; like i said I think hitting her made him feel powerful or something . The thing that disturbs me is that I think she would still be with him if hadn't cheated on her.

I should add that she hasn't let this affect her. She is still a bubbly, cheerful and happy person . Any man would be lucky to have someone like her and how anyone could ever hurt her is beyond me.
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