Why Do We Stay in Unhealthy Relationships?
I get candid about being in an unhealthy dynamic that led me into losing myself.
Hi everyone! Today I want to share something that has been on my heart and on my mind. Have you ever been in a relationship or a certain dynamic with someone that you know it’s not good for you? Whether you’re friends with benefits, dating, married, or whatever falls under the category “it’s complicated,” you notice the red flags, but you’re still willing to stay. Why is that?
For a while I stayed in a dynamic (it wasn’t a relationship) that hurt me more than it made me happy. Somehow I believed the lie that being in an unhealthy dynamic was better than being alone. It's not.
He and I cared for each other, but we wanted different things. He told me from the start that he wasn’t looking for anything serious. Deep down, I didn’t see myself with him either, but I kind of wanted the illusion of being in a relationship. I knew that giving without getting much in return and treating what we had as something it wasn’t would hurt me. Still, I was willing to play the part in a fantasy that didn’t exist. Little did I realize that I would betray myself, my morals, values, wants, and feelings along the way for someone who didn’t see me the way that I wanted to be seen. I couldn’t expect something that I wasn’t promised, though. Regardless, I stayed longer than I thought I would, suppressing my feelings and putting his happiness, desires, and well-being over mine. I might’ve tried playing God in helping him find his way even though that wasn’t my job or place. Still, I had hope, but that hope blinded be into losing myself and no other betrayal has hurt more than my own.
Even though I’m getting back on track, I confess that is still hard to shake off the memory of our brief goodbye where he was able to walk away without looking back and I couldn’t. Not only did I not get the closure that I needed and deserved, but I also felt insignificant. However, with every hardship one goes through, many lessons come along with them. This life experience has a few. One of them is that nobody can complete you or fill any void you may have inside. That comes from within, by learning how to love and respect yourself even if that means feeling lonely, lost, or confused in the process. If you can't love yourself right, you won't be able to love others.
Now, this is part of my story and I'm sure yours might be different. So, if you've been through this or know someone who has, I ask you, why do we stay in unhealthy relationships? If we have the power to leave, why don’t we?
Is it because we get used to being with them? Do we fear starting over again and risking not finding someone else? Is it because we feel lonely? Is it because of love? If so, is that an equivalent of happiness? Is it because we lost ourselves and struggle to find our way back to make better decisions for our lives? Could it be that we believe we can change a person and suddenly things will be different? Do we ignore the negative aspects of the relationship by highlighting and holding on to the good moments because somehow they make all the rest worth it?
Sometimes we avoid asking and answering these questions truthfully, but we need to in order to make good choices. They might cause us temporary pain, but will reward us in the long run. It’s not easy, but it’s a risk we have to be willing to make for our happiness and well-being. You might not be fine today or tomorrow. You might not be fine in a few weeks or even a few months, but I promise you, you will be fine and you will thrive. We will. Why?
Because you are a gem. You’re stronger than you think and you deserve what you want and are willing to give. You’re worthy of love and happiness. Only you have the power to change your story, so don’t compromise your happiness and well-being for those unworthy of you. Instead, love yourself and don't settle for less than what you deserve. Find your light and don’t let anyone dim it. Find your voice and let no one silence it. Find your solid ground and let people stumble when they try to shake it. Lastly, find the beat that will make you dance to the rhythm of the life you create with your head held high and your heart strong.
May your week be as amazing as you are! Until next Monday, friends!