women who keep going back to abusers???

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SomewhereOutThere, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I am curious, in general, not in any personal way or about anyone in particular. I am really not asking about married people who live with Abuser, who abuser has estranged from all family and friends and one who has children with him/her even, and doesn't have a job. I get that as sad as it is.

    I have read many books about domestic violence in marriages or with people who share kids and I heard their sad voices.

    What I have no clarity about is why many women (and men) who have family, friends and a job and who don't share children don't leave an abuser. Some of our difficult kids are like this, especially the girls, although there is the opposite as well. I don't believe it has fiddly to do with upbringing, even if they saw abuse, because many people decide "that will never be me." And many from good families find these abusers and won't leave them, sometimes giving up loving relationships to stay. Some are highly intelligent. They know. But they keep going back.

    And, of course, the end result can be death. Yes, I watch investigative discovery, a fraction of how much I once did, but each preventable murder true story makes me very sad and ask why? So many times the family begged usually a her (But not always) to leave...that the loved one would help.

    Beside low self esteem, which so many people have, what would be a reason for this to happen? It puzzles me. In my dating career, I had a few losers but none were abusive. My first husband was verbally and financially abusive and I stopped loving him and eventually left. My life was never in danger...he was very strange and his verbal vomit finally is why I filed for divorce.

    Any thoughts on why anyone, without living with someone and without children, would keep going back to a bad man? Or woman?

    Why do so many women attracted to "bad boyz?" I never was so I don't understand first hand. My first husband was mean to me, but I knew it wouldn't go well and I needed to leave home. Maybe that is one explanation. But if he would have been a threat to me legally or physically, I would have left.

    Well, I had a long day doing finishing touches before Christmas then watched a true crime story about a young woman who did just this and was killed and all her family could do was cry and say she had it all and wasted it for him.

    So if you had the interest and staying power to read all this, and even care, I would love feedback..

    Have a great holiday to all!!!
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I am not a Dr Phil fan but I will give him credit for this. He once said the mind seeks its comfort zone even if it is negative. If that is what a persons comfort zone is they will continue to fall back into that pattern of negativity and codependency.

    This is why abused people need long term intensive therapy.

    Much like you I don’t tend to take much of that nonese in a relationship. I did a lot of intensive therapy. I demanded to go when I was 13. My mother didn’t like it but she took me. Who knows why I did seek help and therapy and pulled myself away from the loop of alcoholism, drug abuse, and unhealthy codependent relationships but I did.

    And my son is right back there. Genes I guess. This was the biggest hurdle I had to get over. If I didn’t I would still be enabling him.

    Codependent abused people enable their abuser by returning to the negative dynamic and believing falsely that it will change. As much and some can’t detach from their addicts. Some can not detach from their abusers. It is very sad indeed.

    My sister was in a very abusive relationship and when she finally left her husband with her 2 kids in tow. She came back to my parents house. Her X showed up with a Gun and was threatening to kill her and then himself. I was petrified. I was only around 8 or 9. 3 of my sisters and 2 of my brothers have broken relationships. They never healed and went on to improve their selections and second partners were as bad or the same as the first spouse. That makes me shake my head!
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    People develop patterns of behavior and they stay with them. I think some people just live for the constant drama. They want that rush, that adrenaline and they cannot live without it. If they don't have the bad boy yelling and screaming and hitting, they don't know how to cope. Some grew up with it, some saw it in other places and liked it.

    I have an aunt who married 9 times. 2 were to the same guy. We actually liked one of the guys she married twice. She isn't a blood relations, but she is my mom's best friend and I saw more of her than my other aunts. She would marry a guy, fix him up by supporting him while he got more education, cleaning up his look and generally convincing him he could get a better job. Then she convinced herself that she was not good enough for him and she would end up divorcing him. I always thought it was a crazy cycle. It took a lot of therapy to figure out why she didn't think she deserved any better and then to convince herself that she did deserve better.

    So much of our society convinces our little girls that their worth is in their looks, in how pretty they are. I never gave a spit how pretty my daughter was. Yes, looking nice is a good thing, but it isn't nearly as important as society makes it seem. Jess grew up with a strong dislike of being called pretty. Even as a toddler she would tell you that was a bad compliment. She was a "strong smart girl". Anyone could be pretty, that was genetics. You had to work to be strong and smart. We used the phrase "Strong Smart Girl" when we praised her for things because I felt it was far more in line with the values that would empower her and take her where she would want to go in this world.

    If all you tell your little girls that you value is if they are pretty, then they will always know you don't care even one little bit about what they think or feel. I saw this happen with several friends of mine growing up. Each of them ended up in seriously dysfunctional early relationships. We chose "Strong Smart Girl" to hopefully tell our daughter that we valued much more than her looks. Of course we also told her she looked nice when she did. We were not ogres and we didn't want her to have a complex.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Thank you both very much for your insight.

    Perhaps this is not relevant, but I was very abused as a kid by my mom and my parents did fight, but maybe because I usually saw the fights as started by my mom, I was not attracted to bad boys. I saw my mom as the bad guy, not my dad, and I sure didnt want her in a male form lol!

    But drama was something I understood until I also got into therapy and realized it wasn't normal or good and learned to dislike it in a partner. Or in friends. As I grew older my life became surrounded by nice people. The exceptions were my sister, the little she spoke to me and sometimes my dad would erupt. But not the others I knew.

    Perhaps being forced out of a high drama, not nice dysfunctional family helped me. I did, interestingly, put up with drama and hurt until recently with my sister because I loved her so much, but I realize now I can't make her low drama. She is not young, but seems to go for high drama friends and men, but then she was surrounded by my high drama family very tightly most of her life and did not go for therapy until her 50s. My brother is low drama and amazing as a person. With all the drama around him, he rebuffed it. Always.

    Therapy matters. A lot.

    So sis will likely never give up this dramatic man or ever truly romantically love a nice man. It is sad.

    I get it a little now, but don't understand preferring what you are used to if it is abusive. But there seems to be something to that.

    Susie, I love your "strong, smart" girl thing! Jumper is very strong and in emotional intelligence very smart. That is the perfect thing to tell a daughter. I never ever made a fuss out of how one looks.

    Like you, beautiful features never impressed me, in myself or others. Beauty fades. Who you are never fades.

    Thanks again and have a good night.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Interesting thoughts.

    From my point of view - I was always the ugly duckling, but smart. I wasn't told I was pretty, but a big deal was made of how smart I was and I never felt I was living up to it. I also went to a private school but my parents were firmly middle-class, so there was that whole rich kid thing. I wanted to fit in, to be pretty. So... When I became a teen, I gravitated toward anyone who thought I was pretty. I didn't have the greatest self-esteem.

    Fast-forward a few years, and married to ex... He paid attention to me, to begin with. And then he didn't. I tried everything I knew to get his attention... And then finally left when someone else paid attention. That was NOT EASY. I didn't want to fail, to disappoint.

    Then Bill. He and I have had some rough times. Some of what he did was abusive. He did not realize - and will still fall back into patterns if I allow it to happen. However, he was willing to work on himself, which many abusers are not. Still - I felt alone, trapped, could not talk about my feelings because I was afraid to disappoint.

    Now... If I hadn't stayed through it... And found a way to make it work (and let's be honest this is an anomaly)... I would not have Rose. I wouldn't be with a wonderful, but HUMAN, guy.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Annie, a Rose is a Rose is a Rose and sounds like in the end Everything's Coming Up Roses for you and Bill. You sound like you are very much in love.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I also don't understand preferring the abuser. I dated a guy who raised a hand to hit me once. I was frying meat for dinner. That meat hit the wall and I raised the frying pan to hit him back. He put his hand down. Fast. I then told him my momma's immortal words on this subject, "You gotta sleep sometime." We understood each other after that. And broke up not long after.

    I married a man I knew wouldn't ever hit me or my kids. He has a hard time getting the cat off of his lap if the cat doesn't want to get up. (It is funny to watch - hubby gets all flustered!)

    SWOT, Nichole certainly seems like a very strong, smart girl, all grown up. I have thought about making that into a blog. I may work on that with Jess. I think girls in this world need that.

    Annie, I am glad you were able to work with Bill and find ways to change your patterns to healthy ones. That is so important, especially with Rose in the house. I was really surprised some years back to learn that the DV centers offer classes to men to learn not to abuse. More men than you think are willing to at least try to learn. I think it takes a real man to admit he needs to change and then actually learn and make that change. And a strong, smart woman to motivate him and teach him how to make that change.
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  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Thanks Susie. I married a man who would never hurt me. We have had few fights in 24 years and he is nice to me. I had an abusive, chaotic childhood but I apparently got over it when I married him, long ago.

    I am the only sibling in my family of origin who has had a loving long-term relationship.

    I love your blog idea. Do it!
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  9. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Difficult Child daughter is pregnant again by a different loser. He has 4 children with 3 other women and doesn’t support any of them. Predictably, they are now broken up.

    Anyhow, she is now Facebook friends with baby day #1. He doesn’t support or have anything to do with grandson, who we have permanent guardianship of. When gs was first born, he reported her and us to DCFS (child protective services) lying that we were abusing Gs. He came to our house threatening to break windows if Difficult Child daughter didn’t let him take gs. Wife and Difficult Child daughter got restraining orders.

    Difficult Child daughter decided she would go to his mom’s house to see him. They got in argument. He got friends of his to lie and say she threw a brick at him and she was charged with domestic violence, she pled no contest, had to pay fine and go to dv class for a year (and pay for class).

    He shows up at her work at a supermarket and yells about seeing “his son.” The judge at the permanent guardianship hearing told him what he had to do to get visitation, but he hasn’t done anything.

    So this guy is her new Facebook friend. I just don’t get it.

    As a side note, we have told her we will not be supporting or raising any more children of hers. We’ve been going to therapy and wife is on board with this. Difficult Child daughter says she’s looking into adoption. I don’t believe anything she says so there’s no telling if it’s true or not. I don’t know what she’s going to do, but I know what I’m not doing.
  10. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Oh Done Dad

    I am so happy you and your wife are firm in your boudaries.

    We couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried.

    The children getting in the crosshairs Of these crazy lives of irresponsible people is heart breaking. I cross all my digits every night as I pray a child doesn’t get thrown into the mix with our son.

    Your GS is blessed to have you. I will keep hope that Difficult Child goes through with plans for adoption with the new baby.
  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    You are smart, donedad. If she thought you were willing to take in every grandchild she would have no motivation to stop having them.
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I think this is a good idea in theory but a lot of people would be surprised, no, shocked to find out how many WOMEN abuse... Men, children, other women... Does not matter. But if a man reports abuse, he's laughed at, told to "man up", and of course if he defends himself (and if he doesn't) he's arrested and labeled the abuser. Not always, of course. But quite a lot.

    This doesn't make light of the fact that many men do abuse women. I don't know that I could have lived with myself if Bill had actually hit Rose, Pat or Belle. Me, maybe. As I said, I felt I had no one to talk to about any of the issues - and at one point, I very much WAS frightened. But I went back. And things changed. They usually do not.
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    At our domestic abuse center they will counsel anyone who was abused, either gender. But men don't come probably for fear of ridicule. And there are quarters for women to stay long term but not men
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Donedad, well done in going to therapy with the wife and in telling daughter that you won't raise any more of her kids. Who knows how many she would drop off on your doorstep otherwise!

    As for DV centers, our must be very different. They counsel men and women who have been abused, men and women who have done the abusing, and kids who have been abused. They came up with a program for a parent abused by her son. I found it very helpful Then I ran into my counselor in public. After I said Hi (they won't acknowledge you first, ever), she told me that they had several other parents come in for help after being abused by their kids. The DV center thought I was the only one, but wrote up what helped me just in case.

    Maybe having the university here helps keep our DV center a bit more flexible in their thinking? I don't know. But it astounds me to hear that ANY DV center would EVER make fun of a victim!! It also horrifies and saddens me.
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  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We have a place here called the Artemis Center. They won't even allow their address to be publicized for fear that men might find them. They are also very famous for helping women make up stories to help the men be jailed... Bill had called to request a records release to the kids' counselor and they would not even speak to him. I called later to ask the same thing and the woman tried to urge me to come in for counseling, because if I was married to a man I was obviously being abused. It was a nightmare. We had to subpoena them.
  16. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    My hubby was abused on several occasions by his ex-wife.

    She actually knocked him out with a frying pan once.

    He never reported it, because she told him that if he called the police she would tell them he hit her first and he would be the one going to jail. He knew that was very likely to happen.

    He had been to jail on a couple of occasions in his younger days for fighting (with other men), and he is a very tall, broad, and muscular person, so he knew he would have little chance of being thought of as a victim.

    A DV case would hurt his business and probably ruin him financially.

    For many men, the risks of reporting are too great.
  17. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Annie and Alloe

    Wow that is sad that there is such reverse prejudice out there. May one can suffer st the hands of an abuser male or female.
  18. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    I am sitting alone, crying in the back bedroom.

    We had another blowout. She once again became abusive. She screamed at me, swore at me, pointed her finger in my face and said the ugliest words she has ever said to date.

    I am an intelligent woman, yet I do not leave. Even now I have not left.

    We had a very nice vacation. It should be goodbye. I do not know if it is yet.

    I have not had the courage to read this thread because it describes my situation. I am not willing to leave yet. God knows why.
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry BBU, I wish we could wrap our collective arms around you now.....

    ....sometimes we have to have it all "percolate" within for awhile to come to such a big decision. 'There is love involved which often keeps us off in foggy territory as we sort thru all of our emotions and thoughts. Just be where you are. You'll know when/if it's time to go and when that's clear you'll act.....or not.....complicated human relationships.....sigh.....hang in there.....be kind to yourself....
  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    B&B, I stayed with a very verbally and financially abusive man for 17 years. It is hArd to leave. You just went through a lot. Nobody here will judge you for anything you do or don't do. You are kind and supportive and a good wife and need time to think. Like us all!!! Nobody just leaves. It can take years, as I know. This thread is about going back over and over again, not your situation.

    Love and hugs.
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