We don’t stay because we are
I had someone ask me recently, “If it was so bad why did you stay?” And through the remainder of the conversation essentially told me I was stupid for staying. The thing is you don’t stay in an abusive relationship because you are dumb, you stay because you are scared, among other things
Scared you aren’t worth
scared of being hurt worse (in cases of being killed)
scared you are too stupid to be alone (not the same as actually being stupid btw)
and scared of so much more
My 2nd husband however also wants to know where I am and when I’ll be home. But uses that info to do things that make my life easier (like having supper delivered so I don’t have to cook)
If you want to look at a more serious action, one of my ex’s has hit me before. Yes, I’m a formerly battered woman. Now I met my 2nd husband in a Martial Arts Club…Think about that for a second. The first time I remember seeing him he was teaching the class to hit each other. Heck, he even worked with me to get me to hit him.
What consists of abuse is very contextual. And often those who are victims are well conditioned to not notice it long before it happens. Sometimes we are conditioned from birth by parents or relatives either through some form of abuse or neglect, and sometimes by a loved one later in life who instigates the abuse and by then we are not in a position to argue or stand up for ourselves.
But the big thing is that we are not staying in the relationship out of stupidity, we stay for many other reasons, sometimes we eve stay because we love them.