We’ve all been in relationships that we knew weren’t good for us. We’ve dated people out of fear of being alone, out of a need to feel loved, or just because we didn’t have anything else better to do. We might have felt like we were in love, but quickly realized that that person wasn’t who we were meant to spend our lives with.
Love doesn’t excuse bad behavior, and yet all too often we put up with abuse, stress, and frustration in the name of love. Leaving these kinds of relationships can be extremely difficult, but it is necessary in order for you to create healthy relationship habits in the long run.
People stay in bad and unhealthy relationships for many reasons. Some of these reasons include:
- Abuse has become normal. If you’ve grown up with less than ideal relationship examples or have a history of relationship abuse, these situations can feel normal. Because you know what to expect, you keep seeking out these partners, whether consciously or unconsciously. You might not be able to see that your relationship is unhealthy, because that has become normal.
- Low self-esteem. Individuals with low self-esteem cling to anyone who will give them attention. These kinds of relationships are characterized by blame, mistreatment, and guilt.
- A person might have a difficult time leaving an unhealthy relationship because they are pregnant or have children together. There is a lot of pressure to keep a family together for the sake of a child, even if that relationship isn’t healthy for the parents.
- Fear of change. A person might continue to be in a bad relationship because they are afraid to be single again. Dating can be daunting, and you might not want to put yourself out there again after a relationship has gone sour.
- They’ve settled. We accept the love we think we deserve, and too often we settle for a person who is just ok for us. Many of us would rather settle for a relationship than risk being alone, even at the expense of our own happiness.
- Their partner is good enough. We often think that our partner is good enough for us, rather than strive to wait for someone who is truly meant to be with us. We might fall into the trap of thinking that no one else will love us as much as they do, or that we won’t find someone who will be as tolerant of our faults as they are.
Remember that you, your happiness, and your health are important. Know what you need and if your partner isn’t giving you that, build the confidence and the strength you need in order to walk away from that partnership. You deserve a relationship that is respectful, loving, and equal.
All relationships have their challenges, but abuse isn’t acceptable no matter what the circumstances. If your partner is emotionally, verbally, or physically abusive, contact local organizations that can help you get out of that situation safely. We can’t change our partners no matter how much we love them- we can only do what is best for ourselves to be happy, healthy, and loved for who we are.
Hold out for the loving relationship you deserve.