Am I stupid for staying?
You know you’re not being treated right, but you don’t want to leave. Is that stupid or weak?
My friends think I am stupid for staying with him.
They think I deserve everything I get because I put up with his temper tantrums, put-downs and aggression. But I still love him – am I stupid for staying with him?
Loving someone who has treated you badly doesn’t make you stupid or crazy. There’s nothing wrong with you for still loving them, even if you don’t like the way you’ve been treated. You don’t have to justify your feelings to anyone – except yourself.
An abuser is usually not mean, nasty, violent or controlling all of the time – at times they may be genuinely caring, and fun to be around. So you might love those parts of them, and the way they can make you feel.
What’s important is that you focus on yourself, your own feelings and how to stay safe. What’s best for you? What are your reasons for staying? Think about the good and the bad things, and weigh them up.
Don’t feel ashamed or think that they way they’ve acted is your fault. You’re not the one who has been abusive – they are. No one deserves abuse.
Don’t ignore any danger signs that this person could hurt you. Whether you decide to stay or leave, make yourself as safe as possible.
Talking to a counsellor can help. A counsellor won’t judge you or think you are stupid. They are there to understand how you feel, and to work out what you can do to make life better for you.