Why (adult) people who are being abused choose to stay in abusive relationships is another. Their early history consisted of receiving abuse themselves and/or seeing others abused (one parent abusing the other or their sibling, etc.).Neither of these questions have easy answers and even the strongest attempt to educate yourself as to why people might make these seemingly irrational choices will not lead to complete understanding. The first question, "Why do people abuse other people? As a consequence, abuse is the normal condition of life for these people.

For example, someone with anger management issues, a diagnosis of intermittent explosive disorder, or a drinking or drug problem may easily get out of control during arguments (e.g., because there is something wrong with their ability to inhibit themselves at the brain level) and verbally or physically strike out at their partners and dependents.

Still other people who abuse end up abusing because they have an empathy deficit, either because of some sort of brain damage, or because they were so abused themselves as children that their innate empathic abilities never developed properly.

Every relationship is different, but the things that unhealthy and abusive relationships have in common are issues of power and control.

Violent words and actions are tools an abusive partner uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner.

Think of any dictator that springs to mind and you will have the personification of this type of individual (Saddam Hussain seems to fit well and comes to mind easily).

The character of Tony Soprano from HBO's television series, "The Sopranos" is also a good example of this type.

Dating abuse is a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner.

While we define dating violence as a pattern, that doesn’t mean the first instance of abuse is not dating violence.

What makes Tony's character so interesting to watch is that he is aware of his tendency towards narcissistic sociopathy and struggles against it at times with varying rates of success.

Dating abuse (also known as dating violence, intimate partner violence, or relationship abuse) is a pattern of abusive behaviors -- usually a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time -- used to exert power and control over a dating partner.

Remember, the abuse is never your fault, and asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. Find healthy relationship and dating abuse handouts, resources, and more here.