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Why did I stay

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I am really beating myself up for staying on my relationship for almost 3 years after I knew the abuse wasn't going to stop. He said and did horrible things to me. Why did I not love myself enough to leave? Why did I not think I deserved better?


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The logical part of you probably knew. But the emotional part hoped for something different. And we usually tend to go with our emotions over our logic. It's not your fault. You're far from being the only one.

Sassy the Wonderful Cat

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Sometimes we just don’t realize how bad we need change. I wish I had left my ex 3 to 5 Years before I did also. Hugs We all just hope things will change time passes and then we regret not leaving earlier but the thing is we finally did and that is all that matters. Hugs


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I know what u mean. It is very hard to understand and deal with when u look back and it is so easy to see things the way they really were. This is actually normal for us to feel this way. It is very upsetting I know. At least u didn't stay any longer than u did and u did leave.

I do think it is important to get therapy and deal with the issues that caused us to stay. Because many of us end up in more abuse again, even tho we swore we would never take that shit again. Unfortunately, it is very common. Best wishes


King of the Hedge
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I am really beating myself up for staying on my relationship for almost 3 years after I knew the abuse wasn't going to stop. He said and did horrible things to me. Why did I not love myself enough to leave? Why did I not think I deserved better?
Hello Brokengirl86 and welcome to the SF family.

I know it's easier said than done, but really don't beat yourself up over this. As the others have said, you aren't the first and certainly won't be the last, it's more common than people realise. If I'd recognised my self worth sooner then I wouldn't be in the position I am now. It's easy to look back with hindsight and begin to question our decisions, but not so much when we are in the moment. This can work both ways; quite often when people split up they look back and idealise the relationship and regret their decision to leave. This is why so many people, including myself, go back to toxic relationships only to realise why they weren't happy.

The good thing here is that you have seen the truth of it and will learn from this experience. Presumably you have no intention of ever going back, so that's a positive step. The past cannot be changed so try not to let it define your future. Learn and grow from it and move forwards toward a stronger you.

If it's available to you, counselling is a great way of dealing with codependency and attachment issues and PTSD, which can be a result of an unhealthy relationship. I would highly recommend TA (Transactional Analysis) therapy which has really helped me, along with my amazing psychotherapist. If it isn't available, then you can still research the techniques, which I do a lot as it allows me to see things a bit more clearly. If you're interested, I have some very good books I read that I could recommend.

I hope you find some peace from this, and know that we are all here for you with nothing but understanding, support, and compassion.



King of the Hedge
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I always embrace suggestions and don't mind looking into different ideas. What books would you recommend?

Well if it's more technical research and theories you prefer then I'd suggest "TA Today" by Ian Stewart. It's based around Eric Berne's theory of transactional analysis and one of the books my therapist uses and recommended to me. If you do read it I'm only too happy to talk about the context my therapist uses the techniques in. TA has been a big help in my understanding of my relationships and what happened in them. Three of the major theories I concentrate on are "the ego states", "the drama triangle", and "time structuring". They are all helpful with regards to all relationships in our lives, including friends, family and partners.

If you prefer something a little more down to earth and slightly satirical, but just as helpful, I'd recommend "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fu*k" by Mark Manson. It's basically a different take on the typical self help books that normally just try to teach us to look at the positives in life (bit like Monty Python!), but this one explains to embrace the negative as well. I know quite a few people that have read it and have all agreed that it was a lot more helpful than they were expecting from the title.

The others would be "Sane New World", "How to be Human", and "A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled" all by Ruby Wax. You may have heard of her, she was an actress/comedian from the 90s but now has an OBE for services to mental health. Her books aren't necessarily relevant to your post, but they are very interesting and insightful whilst being fun to read at the same time.

Hope these help.
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