Why do women stay with men who abuse them? I know there is no one size fits all answer to this question. When I was a kid I was so confused by why my mom would stay with someone who hit her. Her parents would have let her move in with them. I realize now though she would have had to conform to their rules. She loved drinking and cigarettes more than anything in the world. She had no inclination to work to get those things and everything else would have just been too difficult. So she stayed with him. Even when I left home and she lost her two youngest children, she really was only concerned about getting money for alcohol. After I had custody of my brother and sister she had no way to get benefits and my father had lost his job. She went to all of her adult children and guilted us into giving her money. That was until we all figured out she was giving us each a story and the added up income was ridiculous. Especially considering I was raising her two children with no money from either of my parents. In fact when they passed away I believe they owed me about 50,000 dollars in back child support. Anyway back to abusive husband’s. After moving out of my parents’ home I had a soft spot for women leaving bad home situations. I can’t even remember how many. But out of all of them, only one stayed away from the abuser. Fast forward and I question the mindset of someone who hits their wife or spouse. Of course, it isn’t always a punch it can be pushing or slapping or an endless list of other physical assaults you can do to another human. And I guess I always assumed these types of things happened in the heat of the moment. I would say I would think alcohol would be involved. To my surprise though there are a ton of types of circumstances and thought behind this. I will say most men I know would not hit a woman, even if struck first. Right or wrong I believe that’s the overwhelming opinion. I have experienced a different situation though, a man I have gotten to know has expressed if a woman says certain names or phrases he would feel justified in striking a woman. I guess the reason this sounds so foreign to me is that I had assumed violence came up as a mistake. It was a situation that got out of hand and generally would be regretted later. In this scenario, though the man feels justified in hitting because for example he is called a name. As I think about it, it seems almost premeditated. I don’t know about how others would feel about that but I can be hard-headed. If I was told I couldn’t use a certain name in a fight, that would probably be the name in the heat of the moment I would use. Is there a word a person can say that deserves physical violence in return?
I can also now say that I have been through different types of abuse. I responded in ways I never expected. I shut down and withdrew into myself. I lost all motivation to do anything at all. I couldn’t leave because everything seemed so unsurmountable. Everything seemed hard. I didn’t want to put anyone out. Most of all I didn’t want to sleep on someone’s couch and struggle to get my own place. Most of those feelings came from the fact that I have a dog. No 9ne wants to host a dog. So I just stayed. I constantly question the validity of what’s right and wrong and even what happened and what didn’t. Finally, I had to come to terms with the fact that someone who has rules in their mind that when broken justify physical punishment really isn’t going to change. Ultimately I had to realize that even if he did, it wouldn’t matter because his feelings on physical assault are different then mine. Really I had to decide if I could even truly love someone who felt that way.
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