Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.
According to family systems theory, any “system” of which people are part wants to maintain homeostasis. Change is threatening, even change for the better, because it means individual members of the comfortable existing system will also have to change, and change is scary. This explains why, when there is abuse, family members and friends and churches try so hard to push back against the victim’s cry for help–if they help her, the system itself will have to adjust to the new reality, and it will be VERY difficult for the others in that system to make that adjustment.