What's stopping you from leaving?

WE all know when a relationship is toxic; with access to information at our fingertips, no longer do we need professional help to see the red flags. In fact, with more people coming out on social media to point out the signs, and to even tell how they got out and bounced back, and with so many more resources available to help than in time past, there's really no excuse for anyone to stay in a toxic relationship.

Yet the age-old issue is as prevalent today as it was in the years past, when women stayed because of the kids, for financial reasons, or for social status. What is stopping you from leaving?

We spoke to four women who participated in a recent forum on domestic violence at a St Catherine church, and they shared what's stopping them from leaving their toxic relationships.

Nordia, 40, mother of three:

He works more money than I do, even though I'm more qualified. I have to also leave work early to pick up the kids, so I don't even get time to commit to my career. Also, the kids are young, and I don't want them to think that moving from home to home is normal. My relationship isn't abusive in the physical sense, there's just a lot of narcissism and gaslighting and he has his woman out there. I know it's toxic, but I'd rather deal with our few issues, than be a struggling single mother.

Paulette, 50, mother of five:

He used to hit me but one time I fought back, and he stopped. He has no respect for me, and he got outside children, but being his wife gives me more privileges legally. We have a lot of assets together, and I have to think about the generational wealth for my children, over anything else. We live like roommates in the house, but I don't mind. I'm in my twilight years, and don't have time for the tomfoolery. I know that my financial future is secure, and my kids will be OK.

Kim, 38, mother of one:

I know that there is no better out there, and have dated enough men to know that it's best to stick with the evil that you know. So even though he is wild, he doesn't disrespect me, or abuse me. I know about the other women, but he has never brought any of them into my space. The one time one of them attempted to disrespect me, he put her in her place. Fairy tales will try to tell you stories that men can be one-burners, but that's not factual. You have to compromise on something to get what you want eventually.

Ophelia, 37, mom of three:

I'm a stay-at-home wife with no skills, so I know my place. I'm going back to school now to improve myself, and as soon as I get my degree, I plan to leave my abusive spouse. But until then, I have to bide my time and grin and bear being in a toxic space, because leaving now would not be smart. I couldn't afford to live on my own, or to be a single mother, so once I have situated myself with qualifications, I will be in a better position to negotiate my future.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?