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Question
Posted by: Friend | 2008/09/30

Why do they stay in abusive relationship

Hi

my friend is pregnant with her 2nd baby. he husband cheated on her whilst she was pregnant the first time and clearly she was devasted and I was there to support her. they went to couselling after baby was born.It turned out tduring this time hat the guy was still in contact with his mistress sending e-mail and sms etc. when confronted he claimed it was just innccent and they were just now just " friends"  n he wanted to stay in his marriage etc. He was asked to cut all contact with the mistress which he did.

my friend is always depressed and does not know how to forgive him and move on. She is financially dependent on him and more so now that she is pregnant.

she wants them to continue with the counselling and expects the husband as part of him showing that he really want his marriage to work and that he is sorry to take the initiative and book the counselling and suggest this or that. if she keeps quit nothing gets done and life continues as if everything is back to normal whilst she is still suffering inside.His attitude is that the affair is over and I apologised and work hard to support us so what is the problem.

now the friend is always looking to me for support, she is always depresed and sad. I honestly tried to be understanding being a good friend and have been supportive the best way that I can. but I am begining to loose respect for her. she says she cant leave him because she is financially dependent on him but I look at her and see how sad she is and how everyday her spirit is broken, I hate her for staying and allowing this man to do this to her.

How do I help her if she herself has given up? she always want to keep the peace and does not want to raise any issue with him becasuse he has a nasty temper. why do women stay in these abusive relationships? she is yound and inteligenct and can make it on her own . I am all for giving someone a 2nd chance but it should be mutually beneficial for both parties which is not hapening in this case.

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Our expert says:
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There is nothing whatever "innocebnt" about maintaining contact with one's mistress. Counselling is definitely indicated, and sheshouldn't wait for him to take the initiative, but grab it herself --- it is WITHiN the counselling that he needs to show his regret and his good faith towards their future. What she needs, you can encourage but you can't do it for her. At least she should see a personal counsellor, in the first instance, to work on what sounds like a very low self-esteem.

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