I have recently written about the reason we get involved in bad relationships, but once we realize that a relationship is not satisfactory, why do we stay? Psychological research can help explain our tendency to initiate and maintain relationships with partners that do not meet our needs. Although “bad” relationships include abusive relationships, the investigation below can help elucidate why we remain in low-quality relationships that are not affected by the abuse.
They’re afraid to be alone.
It is a natural part of the human condition to want to be in a relationship and have someone with whom to share life and experiences, and that is the goal in the lives of many of us. Unfortunately, this means that many of us will settle for “good enough” when it comes to finding the other half of our partner since we believe that dropping the bird in our hands means never finding someone to love. The possibility of being there again so that we can find the right person can be overwhelming, so we cling to what we have now, no matter how bad men they can be for us.
If you have a toxic relationship, you should know that there is always another person for you.
They don’t feel great about themselves.
Research has shown that one of the most common results of the toxic relationship is that they reduce the victim’s self-esteem. The constant barrage of abuse you experience with a toxic partner makes you feel unhappy, isolated and belittled. You may know that you are not being treated well, but begin to believe that you are not worthy of good love and that, even if you deserved it. Therefore, leaving toxic love requires that you focus on something that is important to you outside of yourself.
They have trouble breaking routines.
Patterns and routines play a very important role in our lives. Just think about your daily routines and how “outside” you feel when your employers break. For example, if you always have breakfast before going out the door and one day, you just can’t, you may not feel like you for the rest of the day.
Imagine this same feeling in a relationship. When a relationship is new, you are establishing patterns and routines with your partner, and those patterns and routines take root in our brains to the extent that breaking them may seem almost impossible. You may consider abandoning a toxic relationship at times, but you get caught when you try to imagine what Christmas would be like without your partner, or when you wonder who would go to the movies with you every Wednesday. Interestingly, even the cycle of rupture and reunion becomes a routine. You break and then, like a clock, eight weeks later, he looks for you.
They believe this connection is like no other.
Let me tell you that everyone feels the same about their current relationship. While the love you have for this man can be really strong, it is not the “supreme” love of the world.
In fact, if you can put aside your toxic love, you are more likely to find a much deeper connection that is real, wonderful and magical.