Sample Essay on Relationships

What if you believed marriages should last forever? Would you stay no matter what? What if you didn’t want to leave your home and belongings? As many as 4 million women are abused nationwide (Mujer), and a lot of these women stay no matter what the cost. I was one of them. But, the interesting thing is that now, one year later; I can’t even begin to figure out the reasons I stayed. I consider myself a strong, independent person; I can’t understand why I allowed myself to go through the most emotionally damaging experience in my life. I chose the question “Why do women stay in abusive relationships?” for my research because I want to try and understand the reasons I stayed, as well as why so many other women stay.

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First, I wanted to understand exactly what abuse was, so I went to AskPat.com and searched for “What is abuse?” I found a website that broke abuse into 4 categories: emotional, psychological, sexual, and physical. Then it gave instances for each. Some of these include: (1) emotional- ridiculing, a partner’s beliefs, undermining a partner’s self-esteem, and insulting a partner deliberately; (2) psychological- obsessive jealousy and possessiveness, controlling a partner’s activities, and imposing isolation from friends, family, and outside associations; (3) sexual- forcing sex on a partner, forcing a partner to have unprotected sex, and using sexually degrading names; and (4) physical- abandoning a partner in a dangerous place, refusing to help a partner during illness, and pushing, slapping, hitting, pinching, spitting, choking, and etc (Ask Pat). The article explained that abuse could be any of these things and not just causing physical pain. This is what I was looking for because I wanted to show that abuse isn’t only physical. In fact, I think that in the end physical abuse probably leaves the least amount of pain and suffering.

The next article I found by typing “why women stay in abusive relationships”. There were many articles that came up, but few covered the real issue. One that I pulled up didn’t really divulge as to why women stay, but they gave some personality traits for abusers and partners of abusers. I thought that this could have something to do with why they stay because personality affects a lot of things. As I was reading, I thought, “I don’t know where these people get their information!” The personality traits named made it seem like only the weak and helpless with tragic childhoods get involved with abusive men. I was in that situation myself, and none of these traits was one I possessed. Not one. Some of the traits named are: intense need for love and affection, a background involving abuse, codependent personality disorder, clinical depression, and ACOA (adult children of alcoholics/addicts) issues (H., Will). Now, I’m sure that there are women in abusive relationships who have these traits; but there are also women, like I, who come from a functional two-parent household, no drugs or alcohol issues, plenty of love and attention as a child, and a good self-esteem (before the abuse). This article seems to be classifying abused women into weak, helpless people. It seems the author is not writing from experience or research, but only writing things he believes to be true, and are very much not.

After reading the last article I became frustrated with the way that people stereotype others, and I really want to find something that gives a well-researched opinion about the reasons women stay. I know now that personality may have something to do with the reasons some women stay, but it doesn’t cover even the majority of women in abusive relationships. The next website was a link from the previous one and I decided to check it out. The article begins by explaining that women don’t stay in abusive relationships because they like it, or because they are weak and helpless, and that these are just myths. The article then states, “many women in abusive relationships aren’t weak, as many would think, but are strong capable women who are weakened by the abuse” (Mujer). It also states that “it is often the stronger women who stay the longest because they are determined not to give up, convinced they can fix the relationship” (Mujer). I thought this was an interesting twist because you would think a stronger woman would leave, but this article made me think about the fact that their strength now becomes their greatest weakness. The article then goes on to list 23 typical reasons why women stay. Some of them are: “she feels the good times outweigh the bad”, “she blames herself”, “she denies or minimizes the abuse”, and “he promises to get help and change” (Mujer). This article gives many good reasons why women stay, but I didn’t feel that it was as well researched as I hoped. I need an article that explores the process or cycle women go through when they experience abuse, and the psychological effects that probably play a part in why women stay.

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