Why do we continue to stay in unhealthy relationships when we know what’s in it for us is so much more negative than positive? Is something keeping us stuck in the relationship? Do we get hooked on the illusion of who we think our partner is, rather than accepting the reality of the situation?
Women, especially, are really good at lying to themselves and do so over and over again so we can cling to a fairytale illusion of our partner. The lies we tell ourselves and others begin to sound believable as we desperately try to convince everyone that we are happily in love. It becomes easier to deceive ourselves than to face the truth. We cling to romantic notions of what love “should” feel and look like, and ignore our intuition when reality doesn’t align with our fantasy.
We avoid the truth and continue living on autopilot
Friends and family members ask why we stay with “that guy” and it’s embarrassing to admit that we feel like we need a man—any man—to survive and feel comfortable in our own skin. It’s easier to just avoid the truth than to fess up and face our demons. So, we end up living on autopilot, unconscious to the reality of who our partner really is and how they really treat us. We make excuses for unacceptable behaviors, such as physical or emotional abuse, infidelity, addiction, and financial dependence.
We sugarcoat everything on the outside so that we can feel safe and secure on the inside. We keep ourselves busy with outside activities, we self-medicate with food, alcohol, shopping, and whatever else we need to avoid feeling the emptiness and disappointment deep within our core.
We ignore the warning signs that we are in an unhealthy relationship. We believe the old adage that love can conquer all. When our partner disappoints us—which they will—we get angry, but still, we stay.
Stuck in the rut of future-tripping
So many women compare themselves to their friends who are getting married spending all their time future-tripping about the man, the house, the children. They live in a fantasy future and forget to pay attention to the present to who they are picking as a partner.
What motivates you to rush into the biggest decisions of your life?
1. Are you looking for security and safety?
2. Is your fear keeping you stuck in the wrong relationship?
3. What would your life look like if you made a decision based on self-worth and self-esteem and a belief you deserve the very best life has to offer you?
4. What would your life look like if you waited just a little longer for the right partner?
Final take away
Really take a moment, slow it down, and check in as to what motivates you to push at life rather than letting it naturally flow. What stories are you creating? The truth is that you deserve to find a relationship that is the right fit for you and only you. Never mind what anyone else is doing with their life. Never mind what everyone else is telling you.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Sherry Gaba