If abusers are so unhappy with their partners, why don’t they leave?

Updated Nov 18, 2019

The abuser stays for a few reasons, based on their need for the target.

  • They generally can’t stand being alone, and are desperate for attention and acknowledgement.
  • They are practically dependent on the person whom they are abusing. This could be for money and basic adult-functioning (e.g. someone organised enough to pay the rent, etc).
  • They may be relying on their target for enabling of addictions.
  • They could be desperate for sex.
  • They are unhappy regardless of the specific partner. And need a blame-target for their unhappiness, to avoid taking responsibility.
  • They use the abuse as an emotional outlet, and to feel powerful. When they lack other outlets, or ways to feel control.
  • The current abuse target is the only one currently tolerating it, and the abuser doesn’t have a backup.
  • They fantasise that, the abuse will eventually “work”. With the target surrendering and becoming exactly who/what the abuser wants. This is the flip-side of the target’s fantasy that the abuser will eventually stop.

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