How much can one tolerate?

I’m quite sure it isn’t just me, many of us — while we read those news or stories about women (not necessarily women, could be men or children etc) being abused by their partner for 10, 20 years, and still ‘decided’ to stay with the abuser, believing that one day they will change, — we would really wonder, what make them stay? why don’t they just leave? We would sometimes even call them silly, and they deserve it for treating themselves this way, for not leaving the abuser.

Recently there’s a woman who came to the clinic, it was supposed to be consulting on behalf of the husband, who is very bad-tempered, always agitated, had in the past kicked the children, broke their heads etc. And it wasn’t just the physical abuse, he called the wife and children names, restraint their finance, controlled what they dos and donts etc., he has also been abusing them verbally and mentally.

The woman is one that’s highly educated, she knew the patient in their uni, and they’d been in a relationship since. This man is of very highly sexual desire, so according to the woman, whenever they were out dating, there was always sex involved. One night when they were making out in a park, a group of five authorities came by. The then boyfriend walked them away to deal with them, and as he returned, he told the then girlfriend to go to a small deserted house nearby with the group of men, so that both of them wouldn’t be in trouble for what they did in the park. The girlfriend started to cry, non-stop, she said, “you mean you want me to be gang-raped by them to stay out of trouble? Is that what you mean?” She couldn’t stop crying, and at the end the authorities gave up and let them passed.

Still, she became his wife couple of years later, and remains his wife till today. In the past 30 years, she had been in hospital several times after being hit by him, there were countless times of fights and abuses, even the children were so scared of their father. The boys grew into aggressive men, the girls are in fear of men.

She still thinks the medication may help him and save his husband and their marriage, even when we keep telling her (initially we hinted her, but she couldn’t get it so we just had to be direct) that the medicine may control some aggression but it won’t change him from the inside, it’s not enough to do that, and it may not even be a pure mental disorder.

Sometimes I’d think it’s incredible as of how much one can tolerate. But of course I’m not in the situation so I wouldn’t know if I would be more incredible or ridiculous if I were in her shoes.

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