Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you have found yourself in one of those toxic relationships, it can be difficult to leave. And it happens to a lot of people.
You might not understand how this is happening…how could you be in love with someone who mistreats you and emotionally abuses you? Even the strongest and most resilient people go through the struggle of enduring a toxic relationship. Despite how you may feel, there’s nothing for you to be ashamed of, and you shouldn’t feel like you have let yourself down.
Isn’t it strange how it’s the destructive and even toxic relationships that are the hardest ones to let go of?
Here are 6 reasons why that may happen to you:
1. Some patterns are difficult to break.
Even if they are bad for you. All of us tend to have some bad vices, but luckily we know how to break those habits. Whether we do it or not usually depends on how badly we feel we need those vices in our life. Toxic relationships often make you feel like you can’t survive without the other person- it’s almost akin to comfortable chaos. You tolerate it because it is a habit that you know and can work around.
2. You probably believe things will improve.
After all, this isn’t the same person you fell in love with, and if they can change into this then surely they can change back. Wrong, it doesn’t work that way. If someone has made the choice to be hurtful and mean to their partner, then they are doing so willingly and nothing you do or say will change their mind. At least not overnight. You might still cling to the idea that this will all work out in the end if you give it enough time, but what you are really doing is wasting your precious moments with someone who doesn’t care about you at all.
3. Hope blinds you.
So does love. You let the things that aren’t there blind you from what is right in front of your face. They say they love you, and you hope they mean it. Their actions never match their words, however, and you continue to push it aside…for hope and love. During all of this, you are diminishing your worth. Learn to appreciate yourself and walk away from people who use you.
4. You think you made them what they are.
Sometimes that can backfire on you, so watch out. Despite how much effort you think you have put into this person, you do not own them. You think you have made a mark, and taught them valuable lessons, so you don’t want to just give up on the relationship and have someone else benefit from your hard work. Listen up, sometimes you have to be thankful for what you had, and walk away. Is it really worth hanging on to something like this?
5. The happy memories are always with you.
And they are hard to let go of. Sure, they weren’t always toxic and harmful, otherwise you wouldn’t have fallen in love with them. However you need to keep in mind that wasn’t the real them, and they are showing you their true colours now. You need to let those memories go because as nice as they were, it just wasn’t real. Clinging to a false sense of love will only hurt you more in the long run.
I know this is a touchy subject. But the truth is often unpleasant. When you stay together in a toxic relationship for the sake of the kids, your intentions might be good, but it rarely ends well. Usually, when two people stay in a toxic relationship, there is resentment, anger, dishonesty- and your child picks up on all of these things. Even if you think they don’t. As James Baldwin wrote, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
In the end, if you are trying to leave a toxic relationship but simply haven’t found the best way for you to do so, try putting one foot in front of the other.
Call a friend and ask for support, speak to a relationship counselor or someone with professional advice, and most importantly take things one day at a time. Do your best, but you must try. After all, your worth is greater than they realize and it’s time for you to show the world what you are made of.