Reasons Why We Stay In Bad Relationships
I have never given a reading or a counseling session where a relationship has been rocky for a length of time that this comment was not made: “I should have left sooner but…” There are so many phases of a relationship coming to an end that it is impossible to choose which one would have been the right one.
You see you have made a mistake and then immediately make plans to cut and run or recognize things are going nowhere but still have some hope things will turn around to at least work on it. Most people choose the latter.
As a general rule, we know when we’re done. A constant depression coupled with no communication, no joy, no laughter, no physical contact, no love. But despite the telltale signs, many of us continue to stay in bad relationships that have clearly run their course.
Having been in failed relationships myself, there really is never a good answer to when just how it will happen. The one thing without fail in a relationship that has gone south is if you are not pro-active about it, connected spiritually and asking for the signs of what you should do, the universe ends up making the decision for you.
Why we can’t leave
With no judgement on the reasons we stay when we should go, here are the 5 most common explanations why we usually postpone leaving bad relationships.
- You Get Comfortable With The Drama. Bad relationships can be habit forming: it may not be good, but you at least know what to expect. These familiar patterns bring a kind of comfort and can induce an almost paralyzing inertia. Coupled with a fear of change, this can potentially lead to many years of unhappiness. It’s important to understand that ‘familiar’ does not mean ‘good’. Try and look beyond what you have to what could be and find the strength to make a change. Imagine the relationship you want and don’t give up until you’ve got it.
- The Practicalities. For many, the everyday practicalities of day-to-day living get in the way of making the choice to end a relationship. It could be financial, thinking you can’t make it on your own or not able to handle all the responsibilities. It’s important to know that for every problem, there is SOME kind of solution. Sometimes it means taking baby steps to get to a new place but it will ultimately be better for everyone.
- Staying For The Children. This is one of the most complex reasons why people in bad relationships stay together. It’s also perhaps the most pressing reason to make every effort to work as hard on it as possible before giving up if your relationship is not abusive or horribly dysfunctional. It’s neither good for you or your children to be exposed to the worst type of human behavior. There is always help from some source to get you safe.
- Who Else Would Want Me? Low self-esteem is also a huge hurdle to overcome when it comes to getting out of a bad relationship as it’s actually being in the relationship that’s has caused you to feel bad about yourself in the first place. There are no quick fixes to improving your self-image but if you are with someone who makes you feel worse about being you, being on your own may not be such a horrible choice for a new life makeover.
- Fear of Being Alone. This is the BIGGY! When we re-examine our definition of being alone, usually you will realize that your partner is just taking up space and you are alone anyway. When you really stop to think about it, what’s so horrible about spending some quality time with the one person you know will agree with you? If you are terrified of the thought of being alone, start giving yourself some of that alone time by taking a night class, going to a movie or eating out by yourself. Try it on for size. What it will do is give you an opportunity to really get to know and understand yourself and discover what it is you need and want from a relationship next time around.
Susan Z’s Verdict
There are no easy answers when a relationship is failing or has reached its shelf life but what is the most important factor is to not let go of seeing the possibility of a different future for you without all the strife and unhappiness. You can make it happen! If you start with baby steps and ask the universe to bring to you the people and opportunities for you to be released from your unhappiness, just that alone will start an energetic movement that will bring about change for the better.
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Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine.