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Domestic Violence / Physical Abuse Verses Infidelity / Cheating - Is Either Worse?


Domestic Abuse Vrs Infidelity

It may be described as illogical to compare the two as these can be viewed as being equally destructive and traumatic to the victim and any others involved (children etc). Regardless, many individuals find either to be more of a breaking point. Some may live for years dealing with or tolerating one of the two and run at the appearance of the other.
Many are forced to live with both of these daily in the same relationship. A sad reality worth facing is that the two "evils" are not only very similar with regard to their consequences, but are also commonly closely related or found living in unison.

Domestic Violence / Physical Abuse

Abuse takes all shapes and forms with physical and emotional being most common in relationships. Evidently these two are also often closely related or linked. Emotional abuse and manipulation is often what keeps you in a physically abusive relationship - whether it be through emotional blackmail, fear or empty promises.

Physical abuse can be defined as hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc it also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use or sex. This definition as well as additional information on abuse can be found on the Department of Justice website (and numerous other places online)

Infidelity / Cheating

Infidelity, cheating and affairs can be grouped together. It would include broken promises of ramaining faithful to one person.

Please note that infidelity or cheating can also take the form of emotional affairs which some may consider just as bad. In light of this discussion a focus will be on infidelity surrounding most importantly having a physical sexual encounter with someone else or numerous other people.


Why stay in a physically abusive relationship?

People stay in abusive relationships way longer than they should. In all honesty, at the first SIGN of a potentially abusive relationship one should flee! But the truth is, this seldom happens. We find reasons (or some would say excuses) to stay.

  • We stay because we love him.
  • We stay because we hope and sometimes believe he will change.
  • We stay because we feel pity for him - he's apologized and seems pathetic and in need of us.
  • We stay because he convinces us that we are at least partially to blame - manipulation.
  • We stay because he threatens to hurt himself if we leave - emotional blackmail / emotional abuse at its best.
  • We stay because he threatens to hurt us if we leave - fear.
  • We stay because we long for the ideal family and don't want to tear our child / children away from their father.
  • We stay because we are financially unstable and see no other place to go.
  • We stay because we've been isolated from our family and have no one else to turn to - no support structure

There are a million things that keep us in abusive relationships when we have every reason to leave. At times it may even feel like an addiction.

It's extremely hard. It's like being imprisoned BUT you are the only one who has the power to free yourself.

Physical Abuse - The Extremities and Risks

Staying in a physically abusive relationship is extremely dangerous. There are numerous risks with the main and most obvious likely to be severe injury or even worse - death.

It is obvious that your partner has no fear or remorse in inflicting physical pain on you. Usually this only gets worse as the relationship progresses and somewhat easier for your partner because it becomes like second nature to him.

A further thought is that when looking at your partner during a fit of rage or anger, you can often tell that he isn't in his right frame of mind. Sometimes it may even seem like he blacked out, "snapped" or completely lost it. This is often also at times used as a justification or excuse for being abusive towards you - "I don't know what happened - I just snapped. I’m sorry", or "I wasn't myself. I would never hurt you. I'm sorry, etc.” On the contrary, instead of being a reason to stay this should be more of a reason to leave! This increases your chance of "accidental" death even more. Who's to say what could happen the next time he 'just snaps', 'isn't himself', or loses his cool?

In a heated argument or fight it only takes a slight lapse in estimation or a reaction in anger to have you hit your head in the wrong place, a shot to be fired or a stab wound in a fatal part of your body and your life could be lost.

Don't be another statistic.


Why stay with a cheating partner?

People stay with unfaithful partners for numerous reasons. It isn't advisable and sometimes we know that and yet it often seems so easy to forgive and try again.

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Reasons for staying in a relationship flooded with constant infidelity are often:

  • We stay because we love him.
  • We stay because we hope and sometimes believe he will change.
  • We stay because we feel pity for him - he's apologized and seems pathetic and in need of us.
  • We stay because he convinces us that we are at least partially to blame -manipulation.
  • We stay because he threatens to hurt himself if we leave - emotional blackmail / emotional abuse at its best
  • We stay because we long for the ideal family and don't want to tear our child / children away from their father.
  • We stay because we are financially unstable and see no other place to go.

As you can see, the reasons are practically the same as those for staying in a domestic violent relationship!

Infidelity and Cheating - The Extremities and Risks

One of the biggest risks of staying in a relationship where your partner is not remaining faithful to you is also death - maybe less obvious or to less extremities as with physical violence but death nonetheless.

When you sleep with someone, you are sleeping with everyone else they've slept with too - this opens you up to numerous diseases and illnesses many which we know can ultimately be fatal and / or lifelong. If you have a child / children you are opening them up to these diseases too whether you are aware of the fact that you have contracted a disease or not.

If you are breastfeeding and have HIV, without taking the proper precautions or being treated and having your child treated; you are putting your baby’s health at risk. If you are pregnant, without treatment and the necessary precautions you can pass this on to your child!
If you have children there are numerous other ways that HIV could be spread to them unknowingly (open wounds etc.).

Infidelity is dangerous not only for your health but your children’s too!


Physical abuse and Infidelity - a comparison

There are numerous similarities between Domestic Violence and Infidelity highlighting the fact that they are both dangerous forms of abuse

Domestic Violence / Physical AbuseInfidelity / Cheating

Usually accompanied by verbal abuse

Usually accompanied by deceit and lies

You are often manipulated into thinking you are to blame

You are often manipulated into thinking you are to blame

Your self-esteem is often shattered due to verbal abuse and physical scars

Your self-esteem is often shattered due to having your spouse choose to be with someone other than you

This relationship has the potential to end in death at the hand of your spouse

This relationship has the potential to end in death due to sexually transmitted diseases and illnesses



In conclusion:

Many have differing opinions on the situation but I feel that the best can be summed up as follows:

"We live on a planet with over (7 Billion people) on it! Odds are there are more than a few people who would make an ideal mate for each and every one of us. It would be a shame for anyone to believe that the scenario of being physically abused or cheated on is the best that they can do. There are better options!"
- dashingscorpio

Yes you do deserve better. No one should have to struggle through a life of domestic violence or infidelity.

The Solution - Get out

Speaking from experience, I know that it is hard. I know that you feel trapped. I know that you struggle to make the best decision taking everything into consideration but bare this in mind:

  • He doesn't love you if he is physically or emotionally hurting you, cheating on you or putting you and / or your children’s health at risk.
  • Chances of him changing are basically next to none - is it really worth risking death?
  • You cannot feel pity for someone who doesn't feel pity for what he is doing to you!
  • You are not to blame - period!
  • Don't let him emotionally blackmail you into staying. He will not hurt himself if you leave. If he does, he was going to do it anyway - IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
  • You can be protected while leaving - you don't need to fear him hurting you when you do.
  • Watching you being physically abused or having them become victims too, as well as having their health put at risk through infidelity is worse for your children than being raised by a single, loving parent. There is no such thing as the "ideal family". In this day and age, children can be raised by a single parent and turn out even better adults than those raised by two parents.
  • There is always somewhere to go - there are domestic abuse and woman / child shelters worldwide. There are people who can help you get back on your feet especially if you have no family members or friends to turn to.

Top 3 tips for escaping / leaving a toxic (potentially deadly) relationship.

  1. Find motivation:
    Think about your children and / or your own safety and health. Ponder on that and keep thinking about all that could go wrong should you stay. Every time you have doubts or feel like you don't have the strength to leave think about this and it will motivate you. Also focus your attention and thoughts on God or a higher power you believe in.
  2. Get support:
    Make contact with friends or family members who care for you. Even if you've had your differences in the past if there is truly love between you they will support you and bridges will be mended.
    If you cannot obtain support from anyone you know personally, contact a support line for abused women and children and they will point you in the right direction as well as provide the necessary support. There are numerous ones like these worldwide and available free of charge - you need only "GOOGLE" one in your country and area.
  3. Most importantly be safe:
    If you fear for your safety when leaving, and just to be cautious regardless; DON'T LET HIM SEE YOU LEAVE.

    Leave while he is at work, at the gym or out anywhere. Pack up important items in order to avoid wasting time potentially risking a surprise return home.
    Make contact with the police for a police escort if necessary.

Important: DON'T LEAVE YOUR CHILD OR CHILDREN BEHIND. Some partners can be extremely spiteful and may hurt those you care about the most in order to get to you.

Take your children, important items and leave in the quickest possible time after he's left home.


Odinseye55 on March 14, 2017:

Dashing: When I came home from the navy in 1985. I had hopes for a family. A few days off every once in a while which I did not get in the submarine service. I had spent 956 days under water in 3 and a half years The rest in sequestered schools and refites.

When I came home to my UAW position my contract said I came back with 9 years seniority from my military leave, With turnover and retirements as well as a plant expansion while I was gone I came back with my man 4652 from the bottom out of 7543 people, I came back to a mentally ill wife, a state assigned guardianship on her, A father and his friends that had wanted me to reenlist instead of coming back. and a wife that took their side, told me within three days of my return home I had to get along with what everyone wanted and not use my rights under the contract, Then in two years she would allow a family and a normal life as long as I proved I could see to other peoples needs showing I deserved a marriage. I was so mad that day I told my mother on the way out if my father and his friends continued to get in my way. I knew who put this in her drugged brain. That one day I would arrange they did not ever get in my affairs again. After 32 years my wife thinks I abused her when I came home from rehab and the thing she had seen for the last year out of three I was relearning to use my hands and walk after MRSA destroyed my Backbone and caused the nerve cord to be partially severed and crushed. I came home and that prissy cloths horse she was seeing thought it would be very funny if he swept the pathetic loser of 31 years cane and put him face down on the living room floor he had provided his wife, HE left by ambulance while the officers that showed up for my wife's call cuffed me and put me in a straight jacket and a couple of days in the cool off room in the regional mental health center. She said the beating I gave him and fracturing his scull with my thrown cane was equating to abuse because she had to watch me hurt people over the last 12 years in taking what few rights I had.

Two weeks latter the center sent me home by taxi after my wife and father suggested they shove me out the front door and let me figure out that I just was not that important to the scheme of things in society. I needed to scream in the wind and walk the 20 miles home in -40 degree weather and build the character that I needed to have as a cripple. I had only sweats. no cane, no feeling in legs and the center found a clause in my insurance providing transportation.

My wife was not expecting me to walk through the door a half hour later. She was getting ready to go out to an invitation only dinner with my mother father and his best friend. I was not in the living room three minutes and she's telling me I was not invited and it was to late to cancel when I said good it had been 31 years since I had gone out any place, Where were we going, I certainly was not letting her go any where on the arm of my fathers friend. She offered me a 100 of the money I had provided along with everything she was wearing begging me as she bawled crocadial tears to meet them any where I wanted in four hours so we could have the talk we should have had when I came home in 1985 and we could talk through what I could be allowed in baby steps I lost it and she ended up sitting looking at the phone when my mother went to talk to her in her dressing gown, everything she had been wearing was scattered in shreds all over the living room and I was not going to let her tell me no and what I was going to be allowed one more time after 31 years married, I even handed her the phone and told her to call 911 for marital sexual misconduct.

I still feel that men are pushed around in our society by women and their manipulations. I stopped being a victim that night, First when my fathers friend would not leave and tried to force his way past me He ended up face first in the drive, I missed where I was throwing him at. My arriving fathers windshield, The drop was over 8 feet from over the rail on my deck.

Since the day I told my father he was not dictating a vacation I decided I was going on with my wife, I did not care if I was invited or not, if I was paying for her cruise I was going myself and not loaning his dimwit friend the price of a berth as my wife was going to do.

My father got drunk and showed up at my hotel room the night before we were going to board yelling that I had to come out and learn my place and get my come up ins. When he swung that ball bat was the final straw when I uppercut him hard enough to break his neck fulfilling the warning I gave my mother 30 years before.

I have been under court orders making me work holidays and vacations for years until MRSA set into my spine. Now I will not let even the courts dictate I have to be their slave any longer.

Jade Monique Taylor Hiralal (author) from Johannesburg - South Africa on October 06, 2016:


Thanks a lot for taking the time to post that.

Your advice is so perfect and on point. Always is. Wish I could carry you around in my pocket lol :)

"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." - Jim Rohn

So true!

dashingscorpio from Chicago on December 09, 2015:

Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.

Each of us is entitled to have our own "boundaries" and "deal breakers".

I've learned over the years that there is no such thing as an "universal deal breaker". Whatever scenario you and I can come up with there is someone who is living under those circumstances who has no plans to leave! (This includes cheating, physical/mental abuse, drug addiction, and crime..)

Ultimately I believe people stay because they don't want to leave!

"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." - Jim Rohn

The excuse of loving him is really saying they love him more than they love themselves! They're also teaching any children they have that this is what a "normal relationship" looks like.

The reality is a lot of people HATE starting over!

This goes for a lot of things. There are people who hate their jobs but aren't sending resumes to other companies. If one endures pain long enough they eventually develop a tolerance for it.

As for "emotional cheating" while it can be painful it is not on the same level of infidelity. No one ever got a STD, HIV, or conceived a child from emotional cheating. It still may lead to a breakup/divorce but the physical risk simply aren't on the same level.

Oftentimes people stay because they don't like the other options available to them. It really has nothing to do with the other person. If they really (felt) they could do better they would do better!

For some reason they believe this is the (best) that they can do!

I've even heard the adage: "It's better to stay with the devil you know..." Another common saying is: "They're all the same." and last but not least: "When I said (I do) I meant it!"

They don't realize human beings make mistakes!

In fact when it comes to love and relationships most of us (fail our way) to success. If this were not true we would all be married to our high school sweethearts.

If someone doesn't share your same values or want the same things for the relationship the accept the fact you're with the WRONG person.

There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships: We either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have. Accept them as (is) or move on. The choice is up to us!

"Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

- Oscar Wilde

If someone is mistreating you they don't think you're "special'.

The world may not owe you anything but you owe yourself the world!

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