Whenever I met a woman who was going through abuse but chose to stay with her partner, I felt sorry for her. But I blamed her for not leaving him since it seemed like the only reasonable option.
Internally, I was judging her for obviously making the wrong choice instead of walking away. And even though I now realize how wrong I was, at the time, I couldn’t stop thinking differently.
It all changed the moment I became one of those women…
I now see it that many of us face the same scenario. We judge women who stay in abusive relationships because we don’t understand the reality of what they’re going through.
We can’t figure out everything they’re put through since we’ve never been in a situation like that. So, instead of trying to understand where they’re coming from, we judge them as we don’t know their story.
The same happened to me. I never understood women who went through abuse until I became one. That’s when my whole world turned upside down.
When I met my abusive partner, he actually seemed like a dream come true. I now realize that every sad love story begins this way, but still, there were no apparent red flags to warn me.
I slowly fell in love with him and as time passed, I dropped my guard more and more. Finally, I let him walk into my world completely, without limitations, and I admitted to him that I love him.
For the first time in my life, I was the one to say those words first. I was the one to have all of my cards on the table. I’d never done anything like that before.
Our ship was sailing smoothly and I started to think that this could end up being the best love story ever. He could be the one I’d been waiting for my whole life.
But suddenly, we stumbled upon an obstacle that made me question my reality.
First, he started name-calling me. All it took was me accidentally misplacing his wallet to unleash the insults.
I was called crazy and ignorant for not caring to put his things where they belong. He called me a lunatic and started to accuse me how I obviously never listened to him.
I stood staring at him in awe, trying to figure out what was going on. I’d never seen him so angry, especially not over something as trivial as putting his wallet in a different place from where he usually kept it.
While I watched him, surprised by all of the words coming out of his mouth, I tried to figure out if I was only dreaming this. Was this my reality? What was going on and why was he still yelling at me for no actual reason?
I guess that he understood what was going on in my mind, which made him stop the shouting. He then told me how sorry he was and how he had a terrible day at work.
He tried to apologize and I thought his words were sincere. So, the good partner I was, I gave him a hug and told him it was okay. I let him know that I understood how it felt to have a rough day.
I figured that scenarios wouldn’t happen ever again, but the truth is that they only progressed.
Insults turned into threats of harm. He started to control my behavior and at one point, he even tried to physically hit me. That’s when I realized what I was dealing with wasn’t as innocent as I thought.
But even though I knew his behavior wasn’t justifiable, my abusive partner always found a way to apologize to me and sway me. There was always some kind of excuse that truly made me believe he was sorry.
After all the regrets he shared with me, he always made sure to treat me the best way he could. He cooked me my favorite meals or bought me small gifts just to see me happy. He’d be kind and treat me better than usual.
Only later did I realize that this was all part of the process. It’s called the reconciliation stage and is used by your abusive partner to make you stay.
Well, since I didn’t want to admit to myself the reality I was facing, I never did anything to walk away from him. I tried to convince myself he was just having a hard time and it would all pass sooner or later.
I justified his behavior the best way I could because I didn’t want to tell myself that I ended up in an abusive relationship. The woman who couldn’t understand how someone could go through abuse without raising her voice ended up being just like that.
Honestly, it took me a long time to admit the truth to myself. I kept it all hidden from my own recognition for long. That is, until I couldn’t take it anymore.
At one point, my abusive partner was the reason I ended up in the ER. He was the reason I feared for my life for the first time ever.
That’s when I decided it was enough. Slowly but surely, I found a way out of my abusive relationship and accepted the fact that what I thought to be love was something completely different.
So, if you’re someone who judges other women for staying in their abusive relationships, then I must tell you that things aren’t always as simple as you see them. Often, there are a lot of things going on that make it impossible to see the truth that’s right in front of you.
It’s hard to admit to yourself that instead of being loved by your partner, you ended up being abused by him. It’s tough to realize that this isn’t the best you can get.
When you fall for a person who’s wearing a mask and then at one point, they decide to take it off, it takes a while to accept who they actually are. It’s impossible to replace all of the love you once felt for him with hate and resentment right away, as your brain is still unable to process what’s actually going on.
So, please stop judging others. Stop acting like you know what you’d do if you were in a similar situation.
Things aren’t always that easy. It unfortunately takes a lot of time to accept what you’re actually going through.
I never understood women who went through abuse until I became one of them – the hardest sentence I ever had to say, but also the one that taught me many lessons.