5 Reasons Women Stay With Men Who Hurt Them

Cosmo lists some excuses ladies make for staying in a relationship that’s clearly doomed to fail, and tells you why it may be time to let go.
Lately, we’ve been hearing about high-profile married men making a major mess of their marital lives: Manny Pacquiao has the Krista controversy, James Yap has his supposed “friend” Mayen Austria, and Tiger Woods has his never-ending stream of mistresses. We shudder to think how many other men, regular men, have hurt their partners not just through infidelity, but through dependency, verbal abuse, domestic violence, and other misdeeds.

It is but natural for a coupled-up woman to turn a blind eye to such transgressions to sustain the relationship, but when is enough really enough? If you’ve been saying these lines for too long but see no improvement in your relationship, it may be time to let go.

1. “I’ll be the one to change him.”

Rita, 23, an executive assistant, already knew that Andre, 26, was a notorious playboy when they went steady. “I thought, nung naging kami, it was the end of his player days,” she says. “Ok naman during the first three months. But when someone told me that he was seeing not just one, but two of his ex-girlfriends, I was in denial. As far as I knew, iba ako.” It wasn’t until Andre himself broke up with her because he got an ex-girlfriend pregnant that Rita realized she had wasted her time. “We can only change ourselves,” stresses family therapist Malyn Cristobal. “In the end, it’s really the person who decides [to change].”

2. “My love will change him.”

“I thought if I loved him enough or if I did something, then he would realize that he needed to change,” says Pia, who had to put up with her boyfriend Nick’s constant lying. “So, I tried to give him everything...I’m the type naman na bigay lahat.” The problem doesn’t lie on whether you have loved him enough, but whether he wants to change or not. If he does not, there’s nothing you can do about it. It was only when Pia discovered on her own that Nick was < ahref="/love-lust/relationships/3-reasons-a-man-cheats/" mce_href="/love-lust/relationships/3-reasons-a-man-cheats/" target="_blank">seeing several other women that she realized that “the problem wasn’t mine.”

3. “He says he loves me, so he’ll change for me.”

People change for themselves, not for other people. The same is true in relationships. “He says that he has never loved anyone as much as he loves me,” confides Angela, 24, a call center agent, of her boyfriend and live-in partner Gino. That’s why she is patiently waiting for Gino, who’s in-between jobs and wholly depends on her financially, to “reform.” It’s a misconception that love can actually change or fix a person. “The person will change when he is ready to change,” says Cristobal.

4. “It will get better as time passes.”

Eunice, 26, a banker, was the battered wife of Paul, 29, for three years. “I kept hoping that the situation would get better with time...that Paul would mellow down,” she says now. “He never did.”

How many women have languished in bad, emotionally and physically damaging relationships with the mistaken notion that time will be the cure? It will get better with time--if a physically abusive partner makes an actual, concrete effort to change, such as getting professional help or marriage counseling.

5. “He needs me.”

Lissa, 25, a customer service officer, could not break off with Mark, 25, who has been on drugs during the two years they’ve been together. “I can’t leave him now,” Lissa says. “Baka tuluyang masira ‘yung buhay niya.” In the meantime, it’s her life that gets ruined every time Mark forces her to take drugs as well.

Often, a person remains in a bad relationship thinking that the other cannot function without her. Some women actually thrive in relationships where their partners are heavily dependent on them. As Cristobal points out, it’s an illusion people with very low self-esteem choose to believe in. “Either she gets out or tolerates it,” says Cristobal. “If you know there’s a problem, yet you allow it to happen, then you have a bigger problem.”

With additional reporting by Cheekie Albay
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