Your Future Is Our Focus
Michael P. McGuire

Why people are afraid to leave an unsafe marriage

Domestic violence is a serious issue in the United States, and many people fail to understand the scope of the problem. Many families get torn apart because one spouse may be unable to manage negative emotions in a healthy manner and instead takes their feelings out on their loved ones.

Domestic violence can affect someone’s career, their physical well-being, and their mental health. It can even have a negative impact on the social development of children in the family. Many people who endure domestic violence continue living with a partner who they know is violent or inappropriate.

Why are so many people afraid to leave an unhealthy or abusive marriage?

They worry things will get worse when they leave

Statistically, the most dangerous time for someone experiencing physical violence from an intimate partner is when they leave the relationship and the two years following that. That is when the abusive partner is most likely to kill the person attempting to leave. Many people, fearing an escalation of violence against themselves or their children, may stay in a dangerous situation for years.

They don’t have the resources to leave

Often, physical and emotional abuse goes hand-in-hand with financial abuse. Whether your partner refuses to let you work or has complete control over the household financial accounts, you may feel like there are no options for you to move out and start living independently.

They have engaged in reactive violence

Not everyone who experiences domestic violence reacts the same way. Some might fight back, even if they did not initiate the dispute and know they can’t “win.” They may worry that reactions to their partner’s behavior will make it impossible for them to get a domestic violence restraining order or custody over their children.

Staying in an abusive relationship means putting yourself and any children in the household at continued risk on a daily basis. Although it takes planning and bravery to leave an abusive partner, those that do are often grateful that they made the decision to move on from an unhealthy marriage. Getting legal support will help you make use of the tools available to you, like domestic violence restraining orders, while also planning for the safest possible exit from your marriage.