It has been debated time and again, why someone would go back to an abusive relationship over and over again. We are always judging those people and talking about them behind their back, “why would she go back after being beaten like that?” No one ever gets why a person would choose to be humiliated and disrespected time and again.
It is bad enough they deal with being maltreated in their relationships, adding a non-supportive friend to the list is just cruel. It is okay not to understand the decisions someone in this situation makes and even with your counsel against going back they still do (don’t throw your hands and give up on them). Every person has a limit to how much crap they can take and if someone has not reached their limit, you cannot make them just give up on their beliefs and leave everything behind.
Being a supportive friend and confidant is everything you have to be. Let that person know that you care about them and support any choice they decide to make. Being alone in a situation is the worst feeling, having someone to walk through such things with makes the load lighter. The support you give represents love, this person gets to realize that what is happening to them is not in any way their fault and that they are loved and cared for.
It’s so sad to listen to the reasons the victims of abuse give right? (Heart-breaking even), still, you shouldn’t burst their bubble. There are lots of ways to be there for a friend and to show them you care. There isn’t so much you can do, but these few things will show your friend the love you have for her;
Comfort and Solace
Your friend needs to feel and know that he/she can confide in you without being judged, blamed or even offended. Having someone who listens to everything they are going through and not being negative will make the healing process easier for them. The best support is to give them is solace and comfort.
Sometimes you get so hurt when your friend calls you over the phone crying and you start yelling and telling them to pack up and leave (never do that, ever). I have said before that everyone has their limit of what they can take and if your friend has not reached his/her limit, do not tell them what to do. Dictating to your friend will only push her further away and you will not be able to help in any way. Always try to be composed and understanding towards her.
The first question you get when you see this is, “what does respect have to do with abuse?” Well, I will tell you what. When victims of any sort of abuse speak out, they are afraid of being disrespected or even ridiculed. This means you have to be extra careful when your friend is talking about their situation and do not be disrespectful even to their partner.
Get your friend to talk about everything they are feeling and how it affects them. This will ensure your friend is not facing her abuse alone and that if there are any dangers they will discuss them with you. Talking about it will reduce the pressure on them.
Your Friend Has Options
Let your friend know they have options. One of the biggest reasons people stick in abusive relationships is because they think they do not have options (or they cannot survive without their partner). If your friend is open to it, let them know all the options they have and that they can do it on their own.
Self-respect and Self-worth
Help your friend in getting her self-respect back and remind they are worth much more. Self-esteem issues might be the reason your friend is still coming back to an abusive relationship. Ensure your friend knows how much you and other people love her and that even if she were to leave her relationship, it will be an act of self-respect.
Leaving an abusive relationship is not as easy as waking up and packing up. It takes courage and a lot of love and support from loved ones. Condemning and blaming can only give depression to your friend. Being there for your friend is all they need to get through this. Exiting the relationship is such a personal decision and should not be imposed on your friend. Let your friend know that they have someone to count on in you and that is more than enough support.