Why Do Successful Women Stay In Abusive Relationships?

Before you judge these women, understand first why they choose to stay in abusive relationships.

You may know a beautiful woman who seems to have gotten her life together successfully, except she harbours a dark secret of how her boyfriend abuses her when no one is looking.

Abuse doesn’t only come in the form of physical, but also emotional.

Why are such successful women still staying with their abusive boyfriends when they deserve better?

Source: tripoweryoga

1. They think they are being good girlfriends by staying.

Since every relationship needs patience and love, they think that it’s the duty of a good girlfriend to accept their boyfriends for both their bad and good points, you know, staying with him through thick and thin.

To give up on their relationship is an indication they failed in being a good girlfriend, and many would rather give an abusive relationship their best shot so that even if it fails, they know they tried their best and they cannot be blamed.

What I think: 

Every girlfriend needs a good boyfriend; relationships shouldn’t be one sided. If he loves you, you will be able to feel it without psycho-ing yourself that he does. 

And if you feel a burden on your heart and every day is fearful living in hell, ditch him because it will not get better tomorrow.

2. They get blamed for many boliao things by their boyfriends, so they would really rather not go through a big breakup and be blamed for yet another thing i.e. being a bad girlfriend, a quitter etc.

Abusive boyfriends don’t take personal responsibility for their own behaviour.

These guys can blame their shortcomings and failures on everyone else, and their loyal girlfriends are easy scapegoat targets.

So when a day goes badly, even if it’s not the girlfriend’s fault, the boyfriend will find some way to take it out on her, coz she’s such a convenient punching bag.

She is so weary after surviving wave after wave of being punched that she just has no more strength to face the tsunami of breaking up and dealing with an even angrier ex-boyfriend alone.

What I think: 

You’re not alone. Find someone else who supports and believes you to help you get past the breakup stage. And do not meet him alone after you break up. 

I know it’s difficult to verbalise and explain all the complicatedness and emotional turmoil to another person for fear of being judged, you don’t have to explain yourself all the way. 

Just find a family member or friend who trusts you even if you can’t immediately tell them all the shit he put you through.

3. They feel they owe their boyfriends something in the past that makes them indebted to these abusers and it would be ungrateful to ditch their boyfriends.

Some women knew their boyfriends while on the way to becoming the successes they are today, and they are too conscious and scared of being labeled “ungrateful” and slutty by other people if they dump their abusive boyfriends.

They worry people will think that their heads have gotten too big (become yayapayaya) and they cannot be trusted anymore because they didn’t want the boyfriend who has “loyally supported” them in becoming successful (although I would say these women have achieved success in spite of having to deal with these boyfriends and their shit).

What I think: 

What you think of yourself, your life and your happiness is more important than what other people think about you, because why should you have to live through hell just to preserve your perfect image in other people’s eyes? 

4.They fear their boyfriends will spread (or blackmail them with) rumours, lies and even worse, sacred secrets about them if they break up.

Every abusive boyfriend has a lever (or a few) against his girlfriend that he can wield as a weapon in the event she wants to break up with him.

It can be as simple as spilling some nasty secrets he knows about her, perhaps some nude shots, or even badmouthing her to their friends, family etc.

He knows that she will be too cowardly to want to address such painful issues and keeps these levers close by, reminding her of what havoc he can wreck on her life should she choose to split from him.

What I think:

Preparation is key. If he is so calculative and goes to this extent of planning, you should also be prepared of what he can do to do, and how you plan to deal with it.

So if he chooses to do these shit to you, you won’t be surprised and scared because you already anticipated it and have a plan.

It really helps to have support, a person to back you up and vouch for you. 

This also means you have to overcome your bad habit of bearing the burden alone, and find people who can help you break free from this asshole.

5. These women hate disappointing people because their self-esteem has already been ripped to shreds by their abusive boyfriends.

Perhaps they fear their family members will be upset if they knew her relationship isn’t as great and didn’t work out, or they hate the thought of disappointing his family and friends that she couldn’t be the girlfriend he wanted.

She worries that people will think: If she can be successful in other areas in life, why can’t she have a successful relationship with him too? Is there something wrong with her? Will breaking up make my whole world and the reputation I slogged hard to build up crumble overnight?

What I think:

If something doesn’t work, pretending it does will not solve your problems.

Your personal relationship is separate from your professional life, your studies, your worth as a person.

If people mix up, then it’s their problem, you shouldn’t live your life based on making others happy.

Be selfish and pursue your own happiness because you are not a slave to anyone.

I hope that if you’re reading this and you know someone who’s going through a tough time in an abusive relationship, go talk to her, “hold space” for her to be comfortable with you and be herself, and let her know you support her. Don’t judge, just listen.

If you’re in a abusive relationship, quickly take time off to be by yourself and figure out what you want and how you’ll get there. Find your support circle and embark on your one way journey (don’t take him back) to emotional freedom!

If you’re an abuser, shame on you. Your life sucks because you don’t take personal responsibility for your actions and decisions and you haven’t changed to be a better person. What if the roles were reversed and you are the abused? Go reflect and repent.

To end off, here are a couple of quotes that I found useful:

“It is better to be single for the right reason, than to be attached for the wrong one.”

“Marry the person you can’t live without, not the person you can live with.”


Also published on Medium.