Many people wonder why an abused woman would return to her abusive partner after leaving. According to therapists who treat such couples, reconciliation is quite common. Steve Stosny, the founder of CompassionPower, an anger and violence management program that treats individuals convicted of domestic abuse, discussed the phenomenon in an interview recently.
According to Stosny, victims of domestic abuse will leave their partner out of fear, anger, or retribution. But once those strong feelings start to fade, they feel guilt, shame, and anxiety – and those feelings can send them right back to their abusive partner. There is an emotional bond that is hard to break. Once the victim returns, there is often a honeymoon phase where the abuser apologizes and promises never to lose his temper again. But without therapy, the honeymoon doesn’t last.
Other professionals point to fear of change as a reason why a woman wouldn’t leave. A wealthy woman might not want to lose her lifestyle and for a poor woman, leaving might mean she has no way to support herself. In other cases, the man guilts the woman into staying by saying he will kill himself if she leaves.
All of the professionals agree that much counseling is needed for both parties to heal. They also agree that it is unusual for a couple with an abusive past to successfully reunite without falling back into abuse, but it can happen if the couple goes through intensive counseling. Find out more about why abused women go back to their abusers at Why some women go back to their abusers.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, please seek help immediately, and then contact our firm for expert, compassionate, legal counsel.