Control and Abuse – Why Women Stay

sad woman

For many years I wondered why women stayed with the men who controlled and abused them, whether it was verbal, emotional or physical. For them to stay seemed completely foolish to me and I never understood. That is, until it happened to me.

It began on a cold, snowy morning about eleven years ago. I decided to leave a few minutes early for work in order to clean the snow off my car. As I stepped around the corner, I was surprised to see that my car’s windows had already been cleaned. I stopped and looked all around for the person who did it, so I could properly thank them. But, no one was in sight. Over the next two months of winter, the snow was cleaned off my car every morning and yet, I saw no one. Soon the weather cleared, the sun came out and the snow had all melted away.

One morning as I headed off to work, there was a middle eastern man with a muscular build and long dark hair cleaning his new motorcycle. Back then, I was a fan of motorcycles and guys with long hair. As I was unlocking the door of my car I turned to compliment his bike. We talked for a few minutes and I left for work.


It wasn’t until a few weeks later that we were properly introduced, due to a power outage in our apartment complex. For privacy purposes, I’ll call him John. That same evening he asked if I would like to join him the following night for a movie. I said yes. That was a mistake.

The evening started well and I was completely taken with him. He was very sweet. It was that night that I was informed that it was him who had been cleaning the snow off my car all winter. Of course, I was very flattered. But, it was also that night where I should have seen the first “red flag”, had I been paying attention. We became very close over the next few months. He surprised me all the time with different items of love and appreciation. Flowers, romance, home cooked dinners, just about everything to win me over. I truly believed that I had found an amazing catch.

sad woman 2

Once he had successfully won me over, the real John started coming out. After the first year of us being together, I was no longer allowed to have friends, male or female. My looks at men had to be quick glances. The men I’m referring to were unavoidable men such as cashiers, waiters, etc. My phone calls were monitored and timed, even those with my mother. All other calls were prohibited, unless I had an approved valid reason. Every trip I made to the grocery store had to be quick or he would have a list of accusations upon my return.

I had to go straight to work and straight home, with no detours unless he was informed of them beforehand. In fact, he would stay on the phone with me every morning and every afternoon during my entire commute back and forth to work, as well as my lunch hour. I was under constant surveillance. That is only the verbal and emotional side of his abuse. In no way is it the whole story, but some things are better left unsaid. For over two years this went on. My Mother was terrified for me and so was I.

Sweetest, yet meanest man.

So you may ask, why did I stay? He was one of the sweetest, yet meanest men I had ever known. He would have done anything for me and he did. Over and over again he won my love. Over and over again he hurt me. He tried to steal from me everything that ever mattered, everything and anything that took my focus off of him. He planned on us getting a house and getting married. To this day, I am certain I would not have survived it.

Finally, I had enough and called it off. He lost his mind, threatened me and tried to break into my house. The cops were called and they were able to get him to leave. The next day he was served with a restraining order, which became permanent a couple weeks later in court. Fortunately, that is where the story ended. Since the court hearing, I have not seen or heard from him since.

Why Do Women Stay?

Too often, women have much worse outcomes and people wonder, “Why did they stay?”. I hope that the people who ask that, will never find the answer to that question. Unfortunately, I did find out. But, I am grateful that now I understand more of why people stay. They are afraid and many times they are tricked and confused by the abuser’s drastic contrast of good and bad. So, they stay hoping that the good will one day outweigh the bad and sometimes they stay until it’s too late.


If you’re in one of these relationships, it’s not too late. You can get out. You can live again. You can have “you” back. There is a much better life out there and trust me you will not regret getting out. If you’re afraid, then there are resources to help you if you need them. Don’t be held a prisoner. Get out now. Live. Enjoy life.

{Confession: I deleted this post within hours of publishing it the first time out of fear of appearing “weak”. Since then, I’ve realized that it’s okay to be weak. It happens. The most important thing however, is to learn from it and to help others who may be in similar situations. After all, that is why I chose to write this post in the first place.}

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12 Responses to Control and Abuse – Why Women Stay

  1. There are the nice guys that are the love of your life that because of trials and ultimately the final straw the youngest baby is born with severe disabilities and they give in to their weakness namely alcoholism. It gets so bad the drugs and alcohol they become someone completely opposite of what they were and worse. We stayed because we didn’t completely feel our lives were threatened until the very final day. Then it was time. I miss the guy I married but I will never trust him again… I still love the father of my children but the trust has gone completely. Yet I could not have left sooner. I could not have done this alone with my kids as young as they were. But also he would have joint custody if we had not endured. My kids begged me to keep the from happening. If they were always with me we could escape together. If they were alone with him they were terrified. So we didn’t let it happen. We allowed the evidence to build up while we escaped when it got too bad. No one should be so high and mighty and judge someone for when they have had enough. The person usually knows. Be there for them as a stepping stone along the route and don’t pressure them… Just allow it to work out. Be their safety net… They will see the way out!


  2. mewhoami says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. As proven in your case, these situations are never black and white. There are many aspects involved that cause people to stay. You are right, in that no one should ever judge anyone. We should be understanding, loving and compassionate, and give them support along the way. As you said, they will find a way out, when it’s the right time.


  3. Lynda says:

    Sometimes we stay because we don’t know where else to go. Sometimes we get so tired, that when they get mad, we just give up and say, “Go ahead and kill me. I don’t care anymore.” Sometimes we get lucky and a good friend helps us to escape the madness. I had a good friend. She helped me to get out of danger.

    I am glad you reconsidered and re-posted your story. Too many stay and suffer when they don’t need to. I got lucky.

    Maybe your sharing will help someone.


  4. mewhoami says:

    Lynda, it is wonderful to hear that you were able to get out through the help of a friend. You’re right, sometimes we just don’t know where to go. Even though it’s a bad situation, we sometimes get comfortable in what we know. I’m glad I reposted it too. There’s a lot of people out there who need to know that there is a better life waiting for them.


  5. Ok tears! I am still there!


  6. Yes I posted then deleted many times worrying about things! You are brave!!


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