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Why Your Friend Won’t Leave The Guy Hitting Her

Why Your Friend Won’t Leave The Guy Hitting Her


“He beats her up all the time! And she won’t leave! Does she have a death wish?!” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a concerned friend lament this way, I would be able to buy myself a fine cup of herbal mint tea, every morning, for three months straight.

You start by asking your friend nicely, to leave an abusive, unhealthy relationship, then you scream at her, then you stare at her disbelieving as she claims to love him still, then you drag her things out of the guy's house and then, the next morning, just before it crows, the cock chokes on his morning call as he watches your friend wobble back to her abusive boyfriend’s house.

Before you completely rule out your friend as a lost cause and burn the t-shirts you made in solidarity for her human rights , consider that this may not entirely be her fault.

It just might be da..da..dum…biology’s fault.

Could biology really be the reason your friend has refused to leave her twisted, abusive relationship?

As I prepared this post, I thought to myself,  “Being beat-up is so stressful.” The last time I got smacked might have been in primary (elementary) school. Primary four. Long brown cane. Right before break-time. My favorite teacher. Noisemakers list...just because the class captain was hating. Sigh. (Haters be hating, even in the 90's). Can you even believe I would make noise, guys? Really, me?

Anyway, being beaten up is stressful and could be classified as harmful to a person’s well-being.  During stressful events, humans respond with the famous "Fight or Flight" response; this involves seeing a heavy, hairy arm coming your way, preparing to slap your face, and you instinctively choose, either to duck and run or to brace yourself for a serious show-down. During this time, our heart rates increase, our breathing quickens, our pupils dilate, more blood is supplied to our muscles, our awareness intensifies, equipping us for this blessed self-preservation mode.

So which one do women choose? Fight or Flight? Apparently, most times, women pass on both and choose a third option!

A study shows that when exposed to stress, men are likely to respond with the aggressive "Fight or Flight" response (known as the “punch him back in the teeth or disappearing act” response),  while women respond with the “tend and befriend” response, (also known as the “hang-around-and-rationalize-this-ish-until-it-might-be-too-late” response). Researchers from Monash University, Australia, believe this might be due to a 'SRY' gene present in men but absent in women. The absence of this gene in women, is compensated by estrogen (the emotional hormone) and internal opiates. Opiates are painkillers. Our bodies actually have internal painkillers! Opiates also get rid of confusion, pain and cause a feeling of well-being!

I can’t even believe this!

So after he has had a fine swipe at her, emotionally terrorized, kicked, slapped and sometimes even raped her…a woman may choose to stay with such a person by making decisions based on her emotions (estrogen-sourced), hoping he will change while using her internal medicine cabinet (opiates) to assume a false sense of well-being.

Don’t blame your friend for being tardy in ditching her abusive partner. It’s the way we are wired. 

There it is! The crazy explanation! I must say, it’s the explanation but it doesn’t have to be the excuse!

To any woman in an abusive relationship: You are too valuable to be hit, emotionally blackmailed or verbally humiliated. You actually shouldn’t remember the last time you were beaten or insulted by your significant other, unless you are like me and was severely hurt because your fave teacher beat you for a crime you didn’t commit and you had a Hater class captain!

Imagine being with someone who is the exact opposite, a genuinely caring and non-violent person who honors and gives you all the love and respect you deserve. He, actually, is out there and might be holding his breath till you arrive!

So will the abusive man change?

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no, he won’t. (De ja Vu) The bad news is that he probably won’t change, the good news is that you don’t have to keep wondering if he will. Just fall out. Disappear. Duck. Run and kiss the crowing cock on his fence ,'Goodbye'.  We keep hoping things will get better with our wishes and crossed-fingers but according to Professor Angela Bahns, a Professor of Psychology at Wellesey College, Massachusetts...

though the idea that partners influence each other is central in relationships research, we have identified a large domain in which people show very little change— personality, attitudes and values, and a selection of socially-relevant behaviors

If he is a girl-boxer, then indeed, he may always be, because it's a manifestation of who he is at his core, it’s part of who he has chosen to be. If he does choose to change one day, let’s just say, you shouldn’t be there to find out.

P.s: Does science have an answer for everything? *rme* at my Ababio.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe a woman should hang around until her abusive partner changes? What are the best ways to communicate with a woman who won't leave an abusive relationship? I would love to hear your thoughts! Also please share, someone might need it!

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