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Why some people cant walk away from unhealthy Relationships?

(76 Posts)
Takealeafoutofyourownbook Sun 15-Jan-17 16:40:09

Ok, so including myself, I want to know why some people CAN'T FIND THE STRENGTH to walk away from an unhealthy relationship?

Stay and it's torture, the thought of leaving the person is torture. Can't win!

Why can some people just leave and others not?

MidMay Sun 15-Jan-17 16:42:49

My DM stayed in her unhealthy relationships til someone better came along hmm. The reason I value financial independence.

mrsBeverleygoldberg Sun 15-Jan-17 16:48:26

Because your self esteem is so low you don't think you can manage life without them. You feel you deserve to be abused as you are such an unlovable and disgusting person. You feel ashamed of yourself and know you don't deserve better but are terrified of other people finding out.
I've had lots of therapy so I don't think like this anymore and my dh is lovely. But in my early 20s, a different story...

c3pu Sun 15-Jan-17 16:57:51

If you can find the answer please explain it to my kids mum, then maybe she can start having the children again hmm

Takealeafoutofyourownbook Sun 15-Jan-17 17:24:16

Inside I can see myself screaming, as if my outer body is a barrier for someone else inside.

I wish I could walk away from this miserable, abusing man but I just can't. Then comes the disgust in myself for not thinking better of myself. I'm a laughing stock to myself and thought I was stronger than this.

jeaux90 Sun 15-Jan-17 17:30:42

Mrsbev makes a very good point.

I was with an abusive narc. Didn't realise he was until he had me in a corner then he revealed himself. It then took me a year to leave. My dd was 1 and I was living in the Gulf so a very difficult situation.

But I did leave. I had planned to leave as soon as he showed me who he was. It took me time to get my ducks in a row.

But never ever did I think I couldn't leave. I deserved more. I think it's because my self confidence and self esteem has always been very good.

So, believe me and others who have left when I say you can do it. Being a single parent and juggling all that comes with it is so much easier than being with an abuser. Why? Because you are free. Free to make your own choices. It's your life. Don't let someone else live it for you.

Ask yourself what is holding you back and make a plan to address your own objections

RebelRogue Sun 15-Jan-17 17:43:30

A very short answer? Better the devil you know..

mrsBeverleygoldberg Sun 15-Jan-17 17:50:17

The fact that you've recognised that it doesn't feel right is a very healthy start. Go to therapy and you will realise you deserve better. You are worthy of respect and kindness. Really, I'm not saying this to be nice, I mean it. flowers

noego Sun 15-Jan-17 18:04:11

An abused person tries so hard to gain the love of the abuser that they cannot go leave. Some how they believe , perhaps sub consciously that the abuser will change. The abuser will also say and do things to give the abused hope. This however never occurs. The only way to end being abused is to walk away and keep walking. No matter how difficult or hard. Just keep walking. Believe it will work out for the best in the end and keep the faith. It's difficult, its hard, but the end result is worth it.

Emmerdalefan Sun 15-Jan-17 18:08:04


WalkingDownTheRoad Sun 15-Jan-17 18:26:11

I didn't consciously believe it was abuse because he'd done such a number on me. I knew deep down things weren't right but I blamed myself.
I believed that the abuse was explained/excused by his mental health problems. I believed him saying he'd kill himself/never see the DC/take the DC away from me (depending on his mood), if we split.
He made it clear it would be impossible to split without massive emotional damage to the DC. It was like leaving was an un-scalable 20ft wall covered in spikes. In my head it was just impossible.

I don't believe I would ever have left if he hadn't been arrested and bailed to another town. I will forever be grateful to the police, and subsequently the justice system who granted orders keeping him away.

If I was ever in that situation again (which I am working to educate myself so that I will never be), I would call the police at the first violent incident. Coercive control is also illegal now. Seeking help from local Domestic Abuse agencies will help you to fully recognise what you're dealing with and will help you to find the strength and the practical means to leave. Seek outside help. Really.

Angleshades Sun 15-Jan-17 18:30:01

Before I ended my relationship with a narc I was pretty much on a knife edge deciding which way it should go. I was addicted to the amazing highs the relationship brought me when we were having a good time. This side of it made me want to stay with him and work out any problems we had.

But then there was the bad side where I knew that pretty much everything that came out of his mouth was a lie. So many red flags waving and I knew that if I didn't leave soon that I'd get in way over my head and it would be harder to leave later on.

It was really hard to walk away. And some days I still look back and think 'what a shame as sometimes it was so good'. But deep down I know I did the right thing. The relationship with him was pure fantasy and I would have come crashing to earth with a bump had I have stayed. Thank goodness I walked away.

I think a lot of women are emotionally stuck in these abusive relationships. They think they love these men, but they don't realise that it's not love, it's pure addiction, and addiction is really tough to kick.

marzipanmaggie Sun 15-Jan-17 18:30:55

OP I felt like you for about two years. I knew deep down that my marriage was foundering and I knew it was beyond saving. For a long period of time the end of my marriage was my greatest fear -- then I moved into a period of knowing it had to end but being physically incapable of acting.
And then I more or less woke up one day and knew I was ready. I was surprised, when the time came, at how decisive I was. I'm not going to say it was easy because it wasn't and I went through a pretty awful six months. But there will come a point where you will just know and the momentum will be there to force you to do it.
I don't know what your circumstances are and I don't want to trivialise this by saying "just do it" -- I know it's not that simple and you should take all the help you can get. But don't be too hard on yourself for finding it hard, and know that you will get to a point where you are ready.

HerOtherHalf Sun 15-Jan-17 18:36:15

Change can be frightening and it takes confidence to face it. Abuse destroys confidence, or rather one of the primary tactics of the abuser is to dismantle their victim's self-confidence. I hope you find the inner strength to do what you know is best for you.

MichaelSheensNextDW Sun 15-Jan-17 18:49:00

Learning from the family of origin the wrongness of habitually working hard to try to please emotionally abusive, manipulative people rather than being taught to walk away quickly and protect yourself from poor treatment.

AhYerWill Sun 15-Jan-17 19:06:40

Because some people don't know it's an unhealthy relationship. If you grew up in a house where people screamed at each other late into the night, and threw pans of boiling water and knives, this is is what you accept as normal. You believe this is part and parcel of the 'hard work' involved in a relationship, so when it happens to you, it takes a long time to accept that this isn't normal and that you should leave.

Takealeafoutofyourownbook Sun 15-Jan-17 20:35:26

Thank you so much for all your responses.
I feel less alone knowing that a lot of you have been in the same position as myself.
My abuser is currently just starting his councilling (sorry if misspelt).
When I first started to notice the behavior I sat him down and explained it was abusive.
He agreed, I then explained I wouldn't be continuing the relationship if he didn't get help. He has faced all his fears (his abusive childhood) and gone through with councilling. Whilst he is under help I am still suffering, he is still moody and very negative. He went on anti depressants which he didn't want to but he knew he had to as the tows where becoming to much for us.
I also feel at the same time that he has done and said to much to hurt me, to much water under the bridge so to speak.
I don't know, I'm confused sad it's hard

Takealeafoutofyourownbook Sun 15-Jan-17 20:36:41

Rows sorry*

blackbeardsghost Sun 15-Jan-17 21:57:08

I read your thread and what you have said really resonated with me. my situation is only very slightly different, My DH also has MH issues, rough childhood (born to a mother who didn't want him, never knowing who his father was, raised by his grandparents till they died. his mother died a few years ago....we were in NY on holiday-just before Xmas and he got an email from the consulate in Cambodia where she was living asking if he was her son and informing him that she had died and had been cremated. I have been with my husband for 23 years and have never met her and she never met our children!) The elephant in the room in our relationship is sex.......I've just discovered things about him that I don't want to/can't do. it has broken me so why can't I leave????? I really thought I was a strong person obvs just a weak ass person sad

Tootickyandsnufkin Sun 15-Jan-17 22:22:29

OP it took me a long time from the first time i thought about leaving until I did.

I think there were 2 sides for me. Confusion about the relationship and fear of divorce.

I had lost all sense of perspective, I couldn't tell whether behaviour was ok or not, whether things were my fault. Did i push him, was I disrespectful, in the end I thought I'd lost my mind and was imagining things. Then at some point I couldn't figure it all out but I knew I wasn't happy and needed to leave. I didn't work it all out before leaving, still haven't.

It's difficult to imagine life without the person you have shared it with a long time. By the time I got psychiatric help I knew I wanted to go but i was terrified of doing it. We worked a lot on "normalising" relationship breakdown. People do survive. I know how scary it is but the world is full of separated families and single parents getting by.

Previous posters are right. You lose your confidence and self esteem in a bad relationship.

You talk about too much water under the bridge. My counsellor said some things are too big to forgive, sometimes it's too much. It's ok to stop trying. Sometimes we think we need permission to call it a day. You don't OP. You are allowed and deserve to be happy.

Sounds like he is getting lots of help. But what about you? Do you have any support, anyone who knows how you feel and how things are?

Tootickyandsnufkin Sun 15-Jan-17 22:24:25

blackbeardsghost I'm sure you are not weak. It's not easy flowers

Parsley1234 Sun 15-Jan-17 22:36:09

My old therapist used to say I have high tolerance for bad bahaviour and I think that's true what other people walk away from I can't because I feel I've failed or I feal abandoned my fear of abandonment is acute. I've just left my bf of 6 years we grew together a lot and we really got on but he didn't want to marry let alone live together. I'm going back into therapy this week to unravel these horrible feelings of being not good enough, lonely, alone, sad, I hope I get a good outcome but I do miss my bf and the pseudo security I FELT I had

blackbeardsghost Sun 15-Jan-17 22:41:23

thank you Tooticky but really i'm a pathetic fool. My confliction with leaving vs staying has sucked the life out of me so I don't know which way is up anymore.

Isetan Mon 16-Jan-17 05:26:59

You can walk away but you're choosing not to. Whatever it is about your past and or personality that keeps you making the wrong choice to stay needs to be challenged but just like not leaving, not challenging your choice, is also a choice.

You've surrendered your power it wasn't taken, the good news is, you can take it back at any time.

kath1987 Mon 16-Jan-17 08:27:52

Totally in agreement with Angleshades
I have just left (3days ago) a controlling relationship and I'm still romanticising about all the good points when the bad totally outweigh them. I'm terrified of being on my own, I'm terrified of change. I know me and my children are better off away from it all though. Arrest thing I've ever done and if I didn't have the support I do I would probably still be suffering in silence

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