Why We Tolerate Abuse

We usually recoil from cruelty; but if we are tolerating abuse, we soon become confused or numb about what is happening. Abuse by strangers is most troubling, but abuse by those who might have loved us is devastating. If our parent, spouse, sibling, church leader, coach or teacher threatens or degrades us, steals our innocence, or assaults us, our reaction may be conflicted. Wanting so much to be loved, we tolerate abusive behavior, thinking we're being forgiving. We want to believe that eventually the abuse will stop because abusers often apologize or threaten us. Because no one wants important relationships to fail or their reputations to be tarnished, abuse is often denied, tolerated, or hidden. Worse yet, abuse continues because the victim believes she deserves cruel treatment. If victims don't report destructive behavior to professionals outside the relationship, abuse will continue. If our efforts to stop abuse fail, we have no obligation to continue the relationship.Pin It