Domestic Violence/Why do we stay?


My question isn't so much if I am in an abusive relationship or not. I can answer that one now. It has been six years since I divorced my ex and took our 1 year old son out of that situation. My search is more about finding clarity in it all. It has been six years, but I have only recently begun to deal with it all. Only recently did I admit to myself - It was abuse. I am now in therapy and trying to figure things out. He hit me and it became my fault. He threatened me and it was something I did wrong. He tried to kill us in the car and it was because I made him too mad. He choked me and I reasoned it away. He raped me and it just became my duty nothing I counted as wrong. When I describe what happened, it all sounds like another person. I was very strong growing up and even in the beginning of our relationship. I always thought I would be strong enough that these things could never happen to me. I thought I was smart enough not to get caught in something like this. He out smarted me. He over powered me. He hurt me and still I have a hard time admitting it Why do women buy in to their lies? Why could I not see around his smooth words and false accusations? Is love so blinding that we can endure such horrible things in its name? Why am I the only one left feeling ashamed of it all?

Hi S,

Thank you for writing and asking these very good questions. First of all, I am glad to hear that you are in therapy and working through these issues. It is not your fault that your ex behaved in this manner—he just believes he is entitled to treat you as such and cannot see the harm he has caused you and your son. His only concern is about himself and his needs--people as such usually NEVER change and they want and expect people to cater to their needs and wants.

Your question of why do women buy into their lies and the answer is because healthy people always give other people the benefit of the doubt and believe they will change if they know how much they have hurt or harmed you. When that doesn’t happen, then self-blame begins because of the constant blame and finger pointing. Once self-blame takes effect, your self-confidence starts to wane and the downhill spiral happens very quickly because you begin to really believe it is your fault.

The reason why you could not see around his smooth words and false accusations is because you really wanted to believe him. You enjoyed the good times and special moments and wanted them to continue but also want the abuse to stop. It is not until the negative aspects outweighed the positive ones before you could break away and start seeing the situation for what it is.

It is not so much of love being so blind but that you really liked the fun and enjoyable times—that was the attachment you were looking for in a relationship and became the bond that you didn’t want to let go. Unfortunately, the negative side of the relationship, the abuse, also became a bond that had to be broken in order for you to break away.

Feeling ashamed is usually feelings of failure or major disappointment in yourself. You believed in him and the relationship and gave it your best but felt overwhelmed with anger and sadness when it turned out so ugly and unbelievable leaving you with feelings of being ashamed.

Just remember, this is NOT your fault that he behaved in such manner. He is unable to accept any responsibility which leads him to blame you for his abusive behavior. Learning to put the blame where it needs to be and that is on him will help you start believing in yourself again.

Please keep asking questions as you go along and remember you deserve the very best in life and you have the power to make that happen.

Much peace to you,

Coach Cathy
Cathy Backlund, Life Coach, Specializing in Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence Relationships Education  

Domestic Violence

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Cathy Backlund, Life Coach in Abuse & Domestic Violence


Are you feeling confused, angry, scared or hurt? Are you being yelled at, hit, threaten or told what to do? Do you worry or fear the safety of yourself, your family or pets? These are all signs of an abusive relationship, and I can help you determine if you are in an unhealthy or dangerous situation. No one deserves to live a life filled with fear, pain and abuse, and I am here to help you find ways for a better life--everyone deserves to live a life without fear and abuse. Your questions will be answered with honesty and respect. Please ask questions today to help you find better ways to live a more loving and happier life for you and your family. Let me help you!


I am a Certified Life Coach Specializing in Abuse and Domestic Violence.

•SPARCC (Safe Place And Rape Crisis Center), Sarasota, FL •CAT (Sarasota Violence Prevention Community Action Team) •Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence •Guardian Ad Litem 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida

Please visit my webpage for more information and articles about abusive relationships and domestic violence at or www.DomesticViolence-Education.

•B.S. from Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA •Core Competency Course from the Shelter for Abused Women and Children, Naples, Fl •Life Coach Training from Changepoint Coaching & Consulting Association •Advanced Training from The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Pathology Education •Sexual Violence Core Training from Florida Council Against Sexual Violence •High Risk Domestic Violence Training by Lundy Bancroft and Sarasota Police Department, Fl •Court Assistance Training from SPARCC (Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center), Sarasota, FL •Principles of Prevention by The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) •Guardian Ad Litem 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida

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