Sabrina loves to write about love, life, and everything in-between in a candid yet humorous approach.
You know how the story goes. Boy meets girl. Girl thinks boy is perfect and falls in love. Boy starts to hit girl. Girl refuses to see the truth and stays with boy. No one is happy in this story. Sadly, that is the reality that many women face in relationships today and it doesn't seem to be getting better. The hard facts are that every 9 seconds a woman in the United Stated is beaten or otherwise abused. It's naive to say that it won't happen to you or someone you know because the truth is that one out of three women are abused during their life. Yes, that means that if you have two friends with you right now, that is three people and one of you has been abused by a partner. The truth hits much closer to home then you might be comfortable with but it is what it is.
The stereotype of an abused woman is one who has bruises on her face and body. She tries and fails to cover these bruises with sunglasses or long sleeves, but those closest to her know that something is wrong. While that is how the majority of abused women are treated, some encounter another type of abuse that is invisible to the eye: emotional abuse. Emotional abuse doesn't leave bruises or scars on the skin, but it hurts the victim in a much more lasting and damaging way. Bruises and scars will disappear with time but the emotional scars that are left on women who are abused this way never really go away. These emotional scars make a woman question her self worth and damage her self esteem. They make her think that she is doing something wrong so therefore she deserves the abuse she is experiencing. You might not know that a woman is being emotionally abused because she has no signs to show except for her damaged and defeated spirit.
Men who are abusers all display the same basic signs. They are the ones in control of the relationship. Whatever they say goes or else. Abusers like to isolate their victims so if you have a female friend who used to have a large social circle that is likely to change once she begins a relationship with an abuser. An abuser wants to be the only person in his victim's life so it is easier to control her. If she has outside influences telling her that she has a way out she could take it and everything the abuser has done to control her will fail and he just can't have that happening. A male abuser is your typical dominant alpha male. He wants to be the center of attention in the relationship. He will do whatever it takes to prove that his needs matter the most and that's just how it's going to go. The male abuser will do whatever it takes, and that includes lying and saying anything to make you believe that what he is trying to do is right. A male abuser will hit and beat his victim and then turn it around and say it's her fault for making him mad! This man is a master manipulator and will do whatever it takes to gain control and keep control.
So the question begs to be asked: "why stay with a man who abuses you, physically or emotionally?" The answer may not be as simple as we think. Once a woman is deep into a long term relationship with an abusive man she doesn't see a way out. He has manipulated her into thinking that his abuse is a form of his love and that no one else will love her like he does. An abusive man treats a woman as his property and not as his equal or partner. So does why an abused woman chose to stay with her abuser? Well, I can't speak for all abused woman but I can speak for myself. I was unfortunate enough to date a guy who was emotionally abuse towards me when I was barely out of my teens. I was 17 and for three years I put up with someone who disrespected me and emotionally abused me and had the nerve to make it seem like it was my fault! The nerve of this guy right?! So what were my excuses for staying in this ugly relationship? Well I was young for one. I didn't really have a lot of experience with relationships and this was my first "real" one so to speak. Looking back, I now know there was nothing real about it. If I could say anything to my younger self it would be "run, and never look back from this guy because you deserve so much better."
I stayed in such a relationship because I felt I was in too deep to get out. Even though I was miserable I still feared leaving because that would be a change and I was afraid of change. I was made to believe I didn't deserve to be treated better, that this guy who was dating me was the best I could do. He made me believe that I was less than him, that he was smarter and better than me in every way. My friends and family tried to get through to me but I just wouldn't listen. It's like I was deaf and just wasn't hearing them. Looking back I wish I had listened to the people who cared about me more than I cared about myself at the time. They saw me being sad and crying a lot and they knew something was wrong but I chose to ignore everyone and be stubborn. Until I realized myself that it was time to go I wouldn't listen to anyone else's advice or words of wisdom. Luckily, I was able to get out before too much damage was done and move on with my life. Still, I'll never get back the years I wasted on someone who wasn't even worthy of a second of my time.
Although I regret the time I lost, I do appreciate the lessons I learned. I have also come to terms with the fact that while he was abusive, it's my fault for staying. In a way, he abused me and I let him so maybe to a degree it was my fault too. It is important to take responsibility for your actions but don't beat yourself up, everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. I have become very selective in the type of men I choose to date and I will never for a minute put up with any kind of abuse because I know I deserve so much better. If you are currently in an abusive relationship, it is not too late to get out. Seriously, as long as you're still alive there is a chance to get out of the relationship and move on. You don't have to stay with someone who treats you like property. A real man leaves you with good memories, an abuser leaves you with physical and emotional scars. Please know the difference. Whoever you are and whatever you have done in your life, you certainly don't deserve to be abused and whoever tells you different is a liar. Why put up with an abusive man when there are good and decent guys out there who will love you and treasure you like you deserve?
Sometimes the story is a little more complicated then boy hits girl such as when children are involved. Many women choose to stay in an abusive relationship because they think their children need a father. Well, an abuser can never be a good father. In fact, no father is better than an abusive father. For instance, it has been observed that sons who watch their fathers hit their mothers growing up were twice as likely to abuse their wives when they grew up. By keeping an abusive father around you're not doing your children any good, you are actually ruining their future chances of a successful relationship. The effects are just as damaging for girls. Little girls who watch their daddies hit their mommies are more likely to choose abusive men as partners later in life. Sometimes these girls make the choice without even realizing it, they just grow up with low self esteem because the main role model in their life was their mom who was beaten and abused by their father. Their mom couldn't teach them to value themselves or tell them they deserve better so they will go and date the first guy who comes along that gives them a compliment or looks their way because they are so desperate for the love they never received as a child. Talk about daddy issues.This is a never-ending cycle of abuse that needs to be broken at its roots.
Ladies, please don't believe the lies that abusers tell you. No, it wasn't just a one time thing that he hit you. If he did it once he'll do it again and continue doing it as long as he pleases. If he's doing it to you, he probably has done it to women before you and will continue doing it to women after you. Don't stay with him because you believe you can change him. Normal men are reluctant to change and abusers aren't close to being normal human beings so they are especially impossible to change. It's not your job to teach a man not to hit you. Seriously, a man should be many things but abusive is not one of them. If you see a man you're dating abusing animals that is another sign that you could be next. Abusers tend to start their cycle of abuse with small and weak creatures such as animals in order to display their control. Once that gets boring they move on to women who are more challenging to abuse. This is similar to serial killers; when they are young they kill animals, as they grow up they need a more challenging victim so they move on to women. Abuse towards any living thing is still abuse. Watch closely for signs if you suspect that your partner could be an abuser because he will definitely be displaying them.
The most difficult part of an abusive relationship is trying to get out. Even if your abuser makes you miserable, after awhile you become used to being miserable because you have simply forgotten what it's like to feel happy. You come to accept your circumstances as they are and feel helpless to challenge or change them. The hard truth is you have to change them or you might not be alive to tell your story. For example, in the United States alone, more than three women are murdered everyday by their partners. You should definitely get out while you still can because the statistics are against you. First and foremost remember that you deserve so much more than this kind of treatment. You're better and you will be treated better once you accept that and let go of who is hurting you. Yes, it might be the hardest thing you ever do when you get out of such a relationship but the freedom and sense of peace you will feel is incredible. It is more than worth it. If you are being abused tell your friends and family, the more people who know the better. Report it to the police. Have a safe place to go to where you can get your thoughts together when you leave. Get away from the abuser and don't ever let them back into your life.
Remember there is always a way out if you choose to take it. You don't need to stay in a relationship where you are not only disrespected but also abused and have physical or emotional scars to show for it. A good man may be hard to find but that doesn't mean you should stay with an abuser. I'd rather be alone than with someone I know I don't love and who obviously doesn't love me. Get out of the abusive relationship and never look back. You can choose to forgive your abuser if you want to, but don't ever let them back into your life. Once an abuser, always an abuser. Women are delicate and beautiful creatures who deserve to be adored and cared for, not abused by men who are weak and need to abuse in order to feel strong and in control. A real man would never abuse a woman no matter what she said or did. Real men are supposed to protect women, not hurt them. We tend to accept the love we think we deserve so please realize that you deserve better and start accepting better. A real man is loving and kind, an abuser is a monster, and you know what happens to monsters, they are locked up in cages where they belong.
Let This Go by: Five Finger Death Punch
© 2015 GreenEyes1607
GreenEyes1607 (author) from USA on December 04, 2015:
Thank you for your feedback. So many people think being abused has to produce outside evidence like bruises and scars when it's the internal invisible wounds that no one else can see. I thought it was time to draw attention to this topic.
Meredith McLarty from Sioux City, IA on November 02, 2015:
The real abuse is the internal wounds. The outter wounds are rarely even seen. You just put on a brave face thinking this guy is the best you'll ever do. It's believable to the outside world. You've even manipulated yourself to believe nothing is wrong. You friends reach out and smile bravely. You can't force yourself to love someone who thinks the control he has over you means "I love you." Fantastic article.