“I elected to stay”

Like-a-compass-needle If a man has taken to his fists to control you, you need to start planning an exit through the back door or any window of opportunity you can find. However if your relationship is emotionally abusive and there is no physical assault you may, for a variety of good reasons, elect to stay. If you elect to stay you will need to stay differently or you will become a bitter and broken women.

Here is an extract from a letter from a wife who elected to stay:

I have seen many women scurry away from an abusive marriage just to find themselves in hot water in the next one. I hope younger women will enter marriage with care and caution despite the fact that love is a feeling that tends to have caution thrown to the wind. Don’t rush at the opportunity to get married with relief and gratitude. On the  On the other hand leaving a marriage should be done with no less caution. A hasty exit is not the solution. It took me years to understand how ill I really was and unless you heal yourself, you have solved nothing by leaving.

I am glad I stayed married because I don’t believe I could have chosen well a second time.

  “If you don’t see your worth You’ll always choose people Who don’t see it either. When your self-esteem rises, your life follows”     Mandy Hale

I am much older now and I am glad he comes home every night. I am not saying the nights are easy. Often they aren’t. He shouts at me for giving him mushrooms at night – “Don’t you know I never eat mushrooms at night?” I didn’t know but I do know that he will never just push them aside and not eat them. Next week there will be something else he doesn’t eat at night! Next week I will again apologize for feeding him the wrong thing when the truth is that I care for him like he is a baby. The difference is that I simply know that it is like this and it no longer bothers me and I no longer engage in conversations about how I would know that if he ate them last week.

He apologized to me a few years ago. He had surgery and I slept next to his bedside all night in case he needed anything. In the morning he took me in his arms and apologized for the years of abuse. He didn’t use that word and to this day I am not even sure what he was apologizing for. It was meaningless to me. I don’t think he even knows what he did for all those years and what he still does. However I was as gracious as I could be but inside was a sad and bitter laugh.

Of course I look back at my life and there is some sadness about my marriage. He has never been my companion in any real sense. Sometimes he is just disinterested in me and often he is like a predator, watching and waiting for me to make a mistake so he can attack me. I have been hurt beyond words by his womanizing – but beyond words! Crossing the Rubicon however has allowed me to not get hooked by those things. In the support group we used to talk about those hooks and how to recognize and avoid them and I do. When he blames me for our son’s failures to recognize him I don’t try to engage with that conversation because I see ahead of time that it will be pointless.

At www.abuseendswhenyouloveyourself.com we will launch a study guide for women in abusive relationships that will assist you to understand the relationship. The study guide will give you skills and strategies to assist you in living in the relationship and most importantly to heal yourself from the inside out. Each student will have a private tutor and in essence you can receive the help you need in the privacy of your own home. The launch date is 11thNovember 2014.


I was married to not one abuser, not two, but three. I fled from South Africa and from an extremely violent and traumatic marriage to a very well-known Johannesburg personality and resolved to learn a lesson and be more careful next time. In America I met a man who, on the surface, was everything that my second husband was not. Until I owned her own contribution to the dance of abuse I was destined to repeat the pattern. My story exists as proof of this. I am driven to help abused women as I know all too well what it feels like to be misunderstood and ashamed of my inability to let go of a relationship that was killing me. “It’s like wanting to hug a shark – why on earth would anyone do that?” I understand because I have been there, emerged damaged and broken from there and then – heaven forbid – went back! I know what it feels like to yearn for the love of a man who pulled out your hair, spat in your face and tried to choke you. I know what it feels like to tell people you are back there and watch their faces and see them thinking, “then you deserve what you get!” By telling my story, I hope to lift the veil of shame off abuse and encourage women to do the same. Un-silencing the voice is where true healing begins.

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Posted in abuse, codependency, domestic violence, healing, relationships
One comment on ““I elected to stay”
  1. Philippa, thank you for the courage to share this.


    Liked by 1 person

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