Why Do I Keep Going Back to My Abuser? - Premier Counseling
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Why Do I Keep Going Back to My Abuser?

By Kristy Burton LPC, AADC, NCC, TA

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, people will return to their abusers seven times on average. Let that sink in. If you’re feeling frustrated with yourself for returning to an abusive relationship, give yourself grace. Your desire to change and find safety speaks volumes about your resilience. Whatever reasons you have for returning to your abuser are valid, but your desire to leave is also valid. If you have a loved one who has repeatedly returned to an abuser, give them the support and patience they need. The emotional connections and attachments formed, even in difficult relationships, can be hard to break. In this blog, we’re going to talk about some of the common reasons people give for returning to their abuser. We also hope anyone who is living in domestic violence knows there are resources and support systems in place to help them leave. If you need help, the Central Arkansas Group Counseling team is here for you.


The fear an abuser may hurt you, a child, or other loved one if you leave can make people feel trapped in abusive relationships. In many cases, these fears are founded, which makes it even more difficult to leave for good. Your safety is essential, and there’s no shame in taking steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. It is dangerous to leave an abusive relationship, but there are support networks that can help you find a way to safely leave the situation.

In addition to fear for safety, people leaving an abusive relationship may also feel afraid of what their future holds. When we enter relationships, we wrap our hopes and dreams for the future up in our partnership. When that partnership ends, even if it’s abusive, that future we planned and hoped for ends too. This can be difficult to accept.

Believing the Abuser

People don’t find themselves in abusive relationships because they see a person clearly. Abusers are good at manipulating their partners. They will apologize, they will promise to change, they will convince their partners that they didn’t do anything wrong to begin with or it wasn’t that bad. They have many tricks to convince their partners to come back. This doesn’t make you weak. You love them and want to believe what they tell you. They are the problem.


One of the easiest ways abusers have of convincing their partners to stay is to make them believe the abuse is their fault. Abusers make their partners believe that, if they hadn’t done this, had done that, looked a certain way, remembered a forgotten detail, etc., the abuse wouldn’t have happened. This convinces the partner that they have control in the situation. If they’re willing to change, the abuse will end. This is a very effective tactic.

Do You Want to Build Your Support System & Leave for Good?

These are just a few of the top reasons why people return their abuser, and you likely have your own list of reasons you go back. They’re all valid, but if you’re ready to leave once and for all, the Central Arkansas Group Counseling team would love to be part of you support system. Get in touch with us today. We can offer therapy support as well as helping you connect with local domestic violence resources, so you can leave safely.

Photo by Sammie Chaffin on Unsplash