To help raise awareness about domestic violence, I wanted to give some insight about why I stayed in an abusive relationship, so hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of the mental state of a loved one who might be experiencing some form of domestic/intimate partner abuse.
It’s not always as easy as “just leave”. I understand how frustrating it can be to witness someone going through this and not leave the relationship. Trust me, it’s painful for those who are in the relationship too!
In my case, all the important people in my life who were healthy emotional anchors for me were suddenly gone, and this terrible relationship was all I thought I had left, so I began to over-identify as this guy’s girlfriend. It just became my whole world. Part of my thought process was “I don’t have anything else, so if I give this up I’ll have nothing. I’d rather settle for the abuse I DO know than the loneliness I DON’T.”
So just remember, there are layers to this thing. Try to remain supportive, keep your loved one in prayer, and most of all — be available. You may be one of the only people who shows them the kind of love and understanding that helps them feel safe enough to leave.