Why Is It So Hard For You To Leave Your Abusive Relationship?

For someone who has never been in an abusive relationship, understanding why someone can be in one is hard. The first questions would be, “Why don’t they leave?” Easier to wonder than to actually do it. Getting rid of someone, especially your “partner” is not as easy as it sounds.

The difference between toxic and abusive

According to Jaskirath Kaur, Community Engagement Officer from Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), she says, “The most important thing to remember is that a toxic relationship doesn’t mean it’s abusive but an abusive relationship is toxic.”

Not only that there’s an imbalance power between couples. She added, “In an abusive relationship, you are submissive and the abuse has power over you. However, in a toxic relationship, there might be a power balance between individuals.”

Why is leaving so hard? 

1. Super low self-esteem 

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Being in an abusive relationship, it can somehow destroy one’s self-esteem, making them feel impossible to leave. Especially for people in an emotional abuse relationship, they might not realise they’re actually being abused. It can be hard for them to leave their partners after they’ve continuously been made to feel worthless.

2. Lack of cash for survival

Sometimes, people in abusive relationships find it hard to leave because they depend on their partners for monetary. This especially happens in marriages, where the spouse is responsible for the household income.

3. The cycle of abuse 

Source: WAO

This is where the abuser makes up for abusive situations by doing something nice or apologising and promising that they’ll never do it again. Jaskirath tells that most of the time, people stay in an abusive relationship because they’re stuck in the cycle of abuse but adds, “Just because they didn’t hit the person then, they won’t do it in the future.”

4. It can be very, very dangerous to leave 

To a point of life-threatening!  There are times when the abuser will threaten their partners with threats that could potentially harm either themselves or their partners. For example, threatening to kill their spouse if they ever leave.

5. Commitments and children 

It’s hard to just drop everything and go especially if you share commitments like finances and if you have children involved. In cases like this, they’re most likely to stay because there’s just too much at stake.

If you’re in an abusive relationship and you’re seeking help, contact WAO Hotline at +603 7956 3488 or SMS/WhatsApp TINA at +6018 988 8058.

Find out if you’re in a toxic/abusive relationship by watching Pillow Talk ft. WAO Community Engagement Officer, Kirath.