Why Can’t She Leave? 13 Heartbreaking Excuses Women Make to Justify Staying with a Toxic Partner


We’ve all heard the heartbreaking stories of women in toxic or abusive relationships, staying because of an endless list of excuses.

But why do they stay? Is it fear, love, or something else entirely?

Whatever the case may be, this article is going to unpack 13 common excuses that women make to justify remaining in a relationship with a partner who does not have their best interests at heart.

If you’re concerned for someone in your life or yourself, this article will provide insight into understanding these situations on an empathetic level.

We’ll also explore better paths to personal growth and freedom from a toxic situation.

So grab some coffee and get comfortable; let’s dive right into learning more about why she can’t seem to leave!

#1. Stigma or Shame

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While anyone would celebrate a friend leaving a toxic relationship, sometimes other people don’t see the issues.

They see a perfectly normal relationship.

So when the woman leaves, they may shame or question why she would leave such a good guy.

#2. Low Self-Esteem

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Low self-esteem can be a trap for anyone looking for love and commitment.

But for women, it can be especially binding.

When people don’t feel good about themselves, they may believe that they don’t deserve any better regarding relationships.

This thinking can lead women to remain in toxic or abusive relationships, even when they know they should leave.

Self-doubt and a belief that there’s nobody else out there can make a bad relationship seem like the best option when it’s anything but.

#3. Cultural or Religious Beliefs

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In some cultures and religions, women are expected to submit themselves to their husbands and prioritize their family over their personal happiness.

Consequently, these women feel trapped in toxic relationships but cannot leave due to fear of judgment and ostracization.

Furthermore, some religious beliefs suggest that divorce is a sin and encroaches on the sanctity of marriage.

These beliefs can add to the burden of a woman struggling to keep a relationship afloat, even if it is at the cost of her own mental and physical well-being.

#4. Isolation

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Isolation can be a powerful tool for emotional manipulation, and unfortunately, it’s something that many abusive partners use to maintain power and control over their victims.

Women in destructive relationships often experience isolation from friends and family, making it much harder to leave.

Leaving can seem impossible when you’re stuck in a situation where you don’t have anyone to turn to.

Even if you know you need to get out, the fear of being completely alone can paralyze you. For many women, the isolation of an abusive relationship is a significant reason they feel trapped and unable to leave.

#5. Minimizing The Severity of Abuse

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Abuse can be one of the most traumatic experiences one can face.

Unfortunately, women are more likely to become victims of domestic violence than men.

One of the reasons why women may stay in a toxic relationship is because they believe the abuse is not severe enough to warrant leaving.

They justify the abuser’s behavior and find ways to minimize the severity of their actions.

They may hope that their partner will change their behavior or feel they can manage the situation independently.

#6. Children

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For many women, keeping their children safe and happy is the top priority.

Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead them to stay in a relationship for the sake of their kids.

The fear of disrupting their children’s lives or exposing them to a broken home can be overwhelming.

It’s a hard decision, but sometimes a woman will stay in a bad relationship simply because she feels it’s the best choice for her children.

#7. Fear of Retaliation

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Women often stay in abusive or unhealthy relationships due to the fear of retaliation.

This fear can be compounded by shame, guilt, and a sense that their situation is somehow their fault.

Sadly, many women remain trapped in these situations for years or even decades, suffering in silence.

#8. Lack of Awareness of Alternatives

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It’s no secret that leaving a bad relationship can often be arduous and complex, but even more so when a woman feels like she has no other options.

When a lack of awareness about alternatives exists, a woman will often choose to stay in an unhealthy situation because she doesn’t think she will ever find another person to be in a relationship with.

#9. Emotional Attachment

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Emotional attachment can be a powerful pull, especially in romantic relationships.

It can be challenging for a woman to leave a relationship when a deep emotional bond has formed with her partner.

Often, women may feel as though their self-worth is tied to the success of their relationship, making it even more challenging to walk away.

They may also feel responsible for fixing the problems within the relationship or believe that their partner will change, especially if there have been moments of kindness or affection.

#10. Fear of Being Alone

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Facing life without a partner can be daunting, especially if someone has been in a long-term relationship.

This fear can stem from various reasons, including societal pressure to be in a relationship, fear of not finding someone else, and an attachment to one’s current partner despite their flaws.

As a result, women may try to rationalize staying with someone who mistreats them, putting up with emotional or physical abuse because they believe it’s better than being alone.

#11. Financial Dependence

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When a woman relies solely on her partner for income, it can create a sense of isolation and disempowerment.

She may feel like she has no other option but to stay with her partner despite abusive or controlling behaviors.

Financial dependence can also make it difficult for a woman to leave because she may struggle to support herself and her children without her partner’s financial support.

This can be particularly challenging when her partner uses financial means to control and manipulate her.

#12. Hope for Change

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One of the most profound reasons to stay in a relationship is often a sense of hope for change.

It’s understandable to believe that things can get better, that your partner will change, and that the love and happiness you desire can be restored.

Even when the signs of hope are faint, staying and trying to make things work can be a powerful motivator.

#13. Fear of Judgment

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Sometimes, the fear of being judged by others can hold a woman back from leaving a bad relationship.

Society’s expectations and the pressure to present a perfect image of oneself can be overwhelming, and this can lead to a woman feeling embarrassed or ashamed if her relationship is not meeting the perceived standards.

This self-doubt and fear of judgment can make it difficult for a woman to leave a bad relationship, even if it is detrimental to her mental and physical health.

The fear of facing criticism, ridicule, or scorn from others can be a heavy burden, often creating a sense of isolation and loneliness.

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