Emotional and Physical abuse is rape of the spirit. The abuse is systematic and intentional meant to chip away at you day after day until it actually breaks you down as a person. It is meant to harm your self worth. This gives the abuser a sense of power and control. You stay because you want to believe that underneath all the hatefulness there really is a good person at heart. You make excuses for their horrible behavior, rationalizing he had such a bad childhood. If you show this person enough love then they will know how to give love in return. Telling yourself no one knows him like I do.
You come to his rescue over and over again hoping he will see your unconditional love, and you will finally see the good man that exist. The abuser knows this he counts on it, he preys on it. Most women who end up with abusive partners have already experienced repeated abuse in their childhoods. They are hoping their husband will rescue them from all these feelings of helplessness, and hopelessness. Unfortunately these patterns of abuse are repeated over and over and old childhood wounds are replayed time and time again.
You may have been drawn to him because of a feeling of familiarity. We tend to go with what we know even if what we know is not good. These patterns of abuse are very hard to break free from. Studies show children brought up in abusive homes are 15 times more likely to become victims of violence or sexual assault. There is an increased risk of harm to the child’s physical, emotional, and social development. When children are exposed to domestic violence in the home there is so much added emotional stress it can harm the child’s brain development and impair cognitive and sensory growth. At an early age the child’s brain is becoming hard wired for later physical and emotional functioning. Exposure to domestic violence threatens that development. If you come from an abusive household you are more likely to accept abusive behavior.
When Trauma is tied to a relationship a trauma bond can develop. Trauma bonding a term developed by Patrick Carnes happens when someone uses fear, sexual feelings, sexual physiology and excitement to entrap someone else. It is a result of continuing cycles of abuse where alternating reward and mistreatment form an emotional bond that is not easy to break. This bond is basically a compulsive relationship fostering specific patterns of compulsive behavior. This can become a life pattern.
Many women develop Stockholm Syndrome defending their abuser. Cognitive Dissonance sets in as people tend to seek consistency in their beliefs and perceptions. So what happens when one of our beliefs conflicts with another previously held belief? The term cognitive dissonance is used to describe the feelings of discomfort that result from holding two conflicting beliefs. When there is a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors, something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance.
Women stay for many reasons 1.) fear and isolation they become dependent on the abuser for their reality. 2.) financial they don’t believe they can make it on their own. 3.) they have children and don’t want their children to be without their father. 4.) they don’t want to break up the family. 5.) they are always hoping things will change and life will get better.
The only way to break free from the abuse is going no contact. You hate the abuse. You don’t understand why you put up with this horrible behavior. You know it’s wrong and you deserve better. It hurts to stay and it hurts to let go. You have become addicted to the chaos of the relationship. In the beginning you will have an intense desire to make contact. You must stay strong. As time goes on this desire will become less and less. It is possible to break these chains. The first step in recovery is to educate yourself.
For further reading on children and domestic violence. Behind Closed Doors. http://www.unicef.org/media/files/BehindClosedDoors.pdf
Blogs I Follow:
After Narcissistic Abuse by Ana:
Signs That You’ve Been Abused by a Narcissist | After Narcissistic Abuse
Let Me Reach You With Kim Saeed:
Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed | Surviving Narcissistic Abuse | No Contact | Narcissists and Lying | Narcissistic Husband | Love Bombing | Cognitive Dissonance