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Some abused people feel they cannot leave their relationships because they are economically dependent on them.For instance, an abused stay-at-home mother may feel that she cannot leave her abusive relationship because if she did, she would have no way of providing for her children.
A first layer of the reasons for staying in an abusive relationship is practical, even if they are not always rational.If the cycle stopped here and stayed constant, most victims would find it very easy to leave and not endure abuse for long periods of time.However, shortly after the abusive event occurs, the abuser frequently expresses remorse or guilt and wants to apologize.Or for those with poor self-esteem, the rationalizations may be thoughts such as “I don't deserve any better” or “this is the best relationship I've had in my life.” Victims may have any number of low-self-esteem type beliefs that also keep them paralyzed and willing to accept something that is merely "good enough." They may believe that they will be alone forever if they go out on their own.They may believe that they are so damaged that they would only pick another abusive partner anyway so why not stay with this one?
This truth is frequently lost on both the abuser and the victim, however.