Every single relationship has a level of toxicity, according to psychotherapist Ginnie Love Thompson. While it’s normal to have highs and lows in a relationship, it’s also wise to know when it’s time to let go. But oftentimes, leaving is easier said than done.
According to a study, the fear of being alone can make people stay in destructive relationships, for the simple reason that it’s “better” to have an imperfect partner than be single. Society can sometimes make people think being single or “alone” is a negative thing — but in reality, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
Studies also suggest that people who have low self-esteem have a tendency to stay in unhealthy relationships. After experiencing abuse and toxic behavior for so long, it can be easy for people to fall into the trap of believing that they’re at fault for their partner’s toxic behaviors. Low self-esteem may also make people question their own worth and what they bring to the relationship.
After an unpleasant situation or confrontation, an abuser will sometimes turn it around and make their partner feel guilty or like they are somehow at fault, even though they aren’t. This is commonly known as gaslighting.
This behavior often develops gradually, thus making it difficult for a person to realize it’s happening. Feeling anxiety, confusion, and the inability to trust yourself and your actions are all signs of gaslighting.
Many people who are in toxic relationships sometimes stick around because they love their partner and believe that things will improve someday or that the relationship can be salvaged. They may also assume that their partner’s unhealthy behavior is the result of difficult circumstances, or that they can somehow change the relationship by being a better partner themselves. But in reality, the behavior often only gets worse over time and people just get more and more damaged.
Another reason is rejection — they stay in an unhealthy relationship because they are scared of being rejected in the future, so they latch onto their current partner. People who are afraid of rejection can have a hard time expressing themselves, expressing their thoughts, and standing up for themselves.
It’s been years since then and I’m doing a lot better. I got some therapy, processed a bunch of stuff, and now I’m a lot happier. And I’m glad that I left when I did.” rainbowdeathcake / Reddit
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While leaving a toxic relationship is hard, your future self will thank you for it.” daytime_dreamer_ / Reddit
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Have you or anyone you know experienced any of these feelings? How did you cope with it?