How Do Smart Women End Up with Abusive Men?

How Do Smart Women End Up with Abusive Men? I was asked this question countless times as my I found myself stuck in an abusive relationship that began to spiral even more out of control. He didn’t seem abusive in the beginning, but the longer we were together, the more his abusive behavior began to seep in. It started off with frigidity and verbal abuse but soon became evident that the man I was dating was very spiteful and would go for the jugular in the most minor of disagreements. Even after all these warning signs, I still didn’t believe anyone when they told me that one day it would escalate to physical violence. I will never forget that day, the day I almost became a statistic— another homicide victim resulting from domestic abuse.

Certain family members would continuously asked me why someone like myself, a person with a seemingly high IQ, would allow themselves to be treated this way? How could a smart person end up in this situation? Every time I was asked this question, I cringed. The inference that I was stupid or ignorant because of my poor relationship choices did not help make my already out-of-control situation any better.

Anyone who is familiar with the dynamics of an abusive relationship knows that falling prey to one has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence or even their socio-economic status; rather their vulnerability.

Vulnerability leaves a person wide open to falling prey to an abuser. When I fell prey to my abuser, I was at a very mentally and emotionally weakened state because of all things I’d been through. In addition, I had just been dumped by a guy after confiding in him that I’d been raped. I had never felt lower. This vulnerability allowed for easy manipulation and I was inevitably sucked into a relationship by a man who made himself out to be my Knight in Shining Armor. In retrospect, there were many things I could’ve done differently to prevent this situation.

Four Tips and Warning Signs to Help You Avoid an Abusive Relationship

1. When You Are Vulnerable, Dating Is a Bad Idea Period. In war, soldiers must fortify their base before carrying out any other tasks. You too must “fortify your base” if you are feeling vulnerable. Until you have secured your base and found healthy emotional ground, it is not a good idea to date.

2. Always Follow Your Gut Feeling With the aforementioned man, I had a hunch that his kind gestures in the beginning were just an act and that he might really be a psychopath. At the time, I thought this was such a ridiculous assumption that I blew it off. He had done nothing up to that point in time to prove my hunch correct; little did I know that one day I would be shocked by the accuracy of my gut instinct.

3. Don’t Be Vulnerable I cannot stress enough that you should not bother to date if you are vulnerable. A lot of people will ignore this suggestion because when you are vulnerable you often become needy and want to find another person whom you can depend on. Very bad idea.

4. Depend on Yourself The only person you can truly depend on is yourself. You must cultivate this self-assurance and independence to avoid falling prey to abusive relationships in the future. No one else can save you. If you end up in one of these rescue types of relationships, where a white knight proclaims to take all your tears away, brace yourself. Often when we allow these types of people in our lives, we give away our power without ever realizing it.

Falling prey to an abuser has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence. Do not let anyone make you feel stupid for ending up in an abusive situation. Vulnerability and self-esteem issues that often stem from childhood are common reasons people fall into these relationships. Even after leaving an abusive relationship, until you are able to understand more about your own weaknesses and fortify your base, you might still fall prey to abusers. Counseling is one indispensable tool that can help you build your self-worth and cultivate ways to avoid falling prey to abusive relationships and unhealthy friendships in your future.

If you or someone you know is trapped in an abusive relationship and needs help, you can call The National Domestic Violence Hotline. It is open 24-hours a day.

12 Comments

Filed under Domestic Violence, relationships, Sexual Assault

12 Responses to How Do Smart Women End Up with Abusive Men?

  1. Amen, sister. I was in an abusive relationship for 6 long years. I stayed with him because he helped me get over my vulnerability stemming from childhood emotional abuse, and I’m sure it was that vulnerability he was drawn to in the first place. This very belief – that smart, strong women don’t get in abusive relationships – was part of what kept me from leaving, as I was too ashamed to admit to anyone what was going on!! Very good advice here – thanks for writing about it.

    • You’re welcome and glad you got out! And you brought up a great point- the fact that we cover up the abuse so everyone on the outside thinks we’re in a regular relationship because we’re too embarrassed for them to see the truth of things….HRH

  2. This was a very insightful post and you gave some great suggestions. Thanks for sharing!

  3. in any romantic relationship without abuse it is often hard to leave. it’s the second law of thermodynamics; entropy! even when both parties are unhappy it take a lot of energy to summon up the will to end the thing and leave. it just becomes easier to let it go on and live with the situation you are in as opposed to the unknown. i speak here from experience. the loneliest time i ever experienced was when i was near but not yet at the end in a non abusive but unhappy and unhealthy relationship. people who say otherwise either were never committed in the relationship to begin with or know of not of where they speak. keep on keeping it real HR !

  4. Paul- entropy- law of thermodynamics- excellent analogy! Thanks for sharing your experience too! HRH

  5. Melissa

    This is a really good blog Haley. It made me realize how it isn’t my fault that my last 2 boyfriends were abusive to me. I’m only 19 and I cried many times when my previous boyfriend emotionally or even tried to physically abuse me. I even thought it was my fault because of how they treated me. I like your blog because it will help teenage girls like me to know if they are dating an abuser.

    • Hayley Rose

      Hey Melissa, Thank-you, and I am glad you found this article helpful. It’s definitely not your fault, and if you’d like to talk to a counselor about it (and find out a little more about the dynamics and what is actually going on when you are trapped in the ‘cycle of abuse’) I would call the National Domestic Violence Hotline- it’s free and open 24 hours 1−800−799−7233

  6. livin

    good advice thank you. i just don’t understand why a nice person like me always attracts these losers. helpful tips. thank you.

  7. Amanda

    Goodness Hayley, i just came across this post and it is almost like a mirror image of my own situation. In Nove 2012, after 2.5 years of tolerating a mans abuse i finally cut all ties. I got into a relationship with this man, 4 weeks after i split with my husband. Everything thought i was managing the split fantastically but i was broken, hurt and very vulnerable. I met this man, who was like a ‘knight in shining armour’. he was big, strong, muscular, protective and wanted to take all my worries away. he showered me with gifts, 5 star holidays, fancy clothes..i couldnt believe my luck. However soon the cracks started to show in the relationship. everytime i wanted to go out, he would start and argument with me and if i did go out, i would be accused on cheating on my return. any attempt to spend time with my family and friends was seen by him as a rejection. He wanted to ‘own me’. Everytime i got mad at his behaviour, he would use personal information against me and he was so cruel with his words. He still brought the gifts but his generousity was thrown back in my face at the slightest provocation and sometimes he would destroy the things he brought me…i am an intelligent, strong, attractive woman, with a great career, so i never thought that i could be the victim of domestic abuse. The relationship was either fantastic ir horrendous and had nothing in between…After 1.5 years he asked me to marry him…i had major doubts, but still said yes….why? because i loved him, when he was nice, he made me feel secure loved and valued and i kept trying to get the relationship back to what it was in the beginning. i cannot believe that i was that stupid. i rented out my house on a six month lease and moved in with him, three weeks before the wedding was due. at this point, this got far worse. it was a battle to get out of the house atall, i avoided almost every subject except ‘our love’ because anything else had the potential to make him mad. He controlled what we spent the money on and wanted me to transfer my wages into his bank account. i barely spoke or saw my friends or family so that he didnt get upset (afterall we were getting married, so i wanted to please him). one night a week before the wedding, i mentioned that a friend from work wanted to host a pre-wedding girls dinner. In his eyes this was a ‘hen night’ and he went mad at me, he called me every name under the sun, spat full on in my face and pushed me against a door so hard that i had a massive bruise for three weeks. he stormed out of the house. i left him that night and never went back. Since then he has continued to plague me with emails and phone texts, begging me to go back to him, telling me that no one will ever love me like he does…in my more vulnerable moments, i have actually considered it and at those times, its mostly the thought of what my friends and family would say that has kept me away…i still find it very hard. i have been on two dates since and both times i have spent most of the evening scared of what my ex would do if he were to walk into the bar. i think your right hayley, i have to get stronger myself before i can date again but it is so hard to do because i keep thinking that if i could find a loving man, i would feel better about life again. its really hard to move on : (

    • Hayley Rose

      Thanks for stopping by Amanda and sharing your story. Stay strong and stop by anytime- abusers get the bets of us and it has no bearing on our intelligence only our vulnerabilities. You ex certainly caught you at a very vulnerable time- between relationships or after getting dumped is a crucial time for abusers to pick up their victims. They can “smell the blood,” so to say.

  8. reena

    I am in love with a guy whom i met on net…?
    Dear ,i am under so much of depression .plz room,, we like i really want to get out of this stuff now.I new a guy whom i met in yahoo chat to talk to each other but as frinds only…then after few months he told me he wants to see me on cam..and i agreed ,after seeing me on cam,,,he started looking at me like i was an alien or a beast…he then started ignoring me,,started shouting at me ,,,and stopped replying to my messages..Wenever after dat he saw me online he usually signs out.then he stopped chatting with me for 7 months.After 7 months ,one day he saw me online and messaged me so i replied to him after 3 days…Then we started to chat again.But this time i saw a new person in him who didn’t care, having no feelings ever for me…then after his come back we shared our phone number..BUT,he didn’t called me.I called him…so after his comeback ,in two months he proposed me ,and i said yes to him.When i was so ill during those days when he proposed me he never cares by asking ‘how i am”?.I called him again by asking ,how he is and he hardly responds to my phone call.I loved him so much ,may be much more than my life.Then on one day while chatting i saw his msgs n webcam chat with other girl when he had started ignoring me.After seeing those msgs i asked for break up, but he cried like a kid on phnoe and said to me, dont leave me…Then i was willing to stay in thy realtionship again with him..With time he never cares , he was so busy with other girls on webcam n while asking abut this ,he said they r just frndz..As time goes on i caught him so many times with different girls..Then after 3 m,onths of relationship on phn n on net ,we both finally broke. but we r frnds again n wenever he saw me online he opens his cam n msgs me ..im busy with other girls baby.And wen we broke up ,he told me we both belongs to different relgions,,our marriage is not possible ,wen i said same thing to him, he dat time said , thr iz no religion other than humanity.During broke up he said ,i dont have a girlfriend and i am not dat kinda guy who cries for a girl and wat wud u think ,those girls i used to chat on cam or on phn i never used to met them in real..so is u.He is enjoying his new real date with his facebook frnd who belongs to thy same relgion n locality.He never said to me dat i am his girlfrnd ,never ever.Then wat i,a piece of ****. i blew many proposals forb him ,waited wen he left ,and he did thid thing to me.I had tole him once ,i he ever wants to break up n finds other girl,,tell me directly,,and he said no way.and now we NOT gud frnds ,he used to put his id on invisible mode and i used to put my id on buzy mode.I loved him ,datz y ppl get cheated.he has my pics in his cell n he has not deleted them yet.wat was dat,wat kinda love is this…FOR me it was a nightmare and for him i was a headache who used to call her 3 times and sometimes even 22 times a day ,and he hardly calls back.Hardly picks up my pphn ,hardly replied to my sms BUT I LOVED HIM ,may b love him still. Wenever he cheated me ,n then wenever I called him ,I used to cry a lot over phone ,he used to said comeon lets talk then u might start crying??? I love d him n gave me this inreturn??………………..I LOVE HIM so much and he cheated me in return……. is thr any way to get him back…becoz i love him and my mind stopped thinking about any thing else…he matters to me…….he knw my each n every problem .He knows i can’t live without him.

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