When you love someone for a long time it can be hard to let go despite knowing that your relationship has become unhealthy and harmful. But to protect your mental health and inner peace sometimes you need to let go of an unhealthy relationship. but in front of you It’s important to understand all the reasons why it’s hard for you to leave a bad relationship.
Have you ever looked back on a previous relationship and wondered “what was I thinking?” It might be surprising to look back and realize how unhealthy a relationship was and wonder how you’ve endured it for so long. That’s why it’s 20/20 in hindsight.
Maybe you are not in an unhealthy relationship yourself but you wonder why a friend or family member is in a relationship that clearly makes them unhappy. Similar to a smudged windshield it’s hard to see what’s in front of you until you’ve wiped away the goo leave.
It’s usually not a lack of awareness that gets people into unhealthy relationships. Deep down there is a voice calling their attention urging them to face the truth but it is buried because of underlying fear.
If you’re having trouble getting out of an unhealthy relationship consider whether any of the following reasons are at work.
1. You are afraid of being alone and think that being with anyone is better than being alone.
For many people fear of loneliness and low self-worth are powerful motivators for them to stay in a relationship beyond the due date.
However when you are in a relationship with someone who is incompatible with you you often feel lonely because you are not loved and cared for in a way that matches your needs.
2. The relationship is activating an attachment wound so letting go feels like a major threat to you and feels impossible (even if it isn’t).
Adults raised by inconsistent caregivers or whose emotional needs were not met at key stages of development are more likely to be attracted to partners with similar qualities simply because it feels so familiar—as if they were “forever” Like knowing this person.
If you learned early on to associate love with high levels of conflict fluctuations or inconsistencies a part of you may be subconsciously holding out hope that maybe things will be different this time around.
So giving up on this type of relationship can be a threat to your attachment system as it forces you to let go of this fantasy that can create a lot of resistance and anxiety.
People with an anxious attachment style may have more difficulty breaking out of unhealthy relationships.
3. You have invested a lot of time and energy in the relationship and are afraid to start over.
The sunk cost fallacy is the phenomenon in which someone hesitates to give up on something they’ve started because they’ve spent a lot of time and energy even though it’s in their best interest to change direction.
If you’ve spent a lot of time and energy in an unhealthy relationship and part of you is struggling to get over it out of fear the sunk cost fallacy may be at play in your struggle to get out of an unhealthy relationship. restart.
4. You have hope for your partner’s potential not the person in front of you.
Holding out hope that the person you’re dating will change can be disappointing but it can also affect your ability to see red flags ahead.
When you hold out hope that your partner will change it’s akin to being really hungry and continuing to eat crumbs in the hope that they will lead to the whole meal – causing you to end up hungry and unsatisfied.
It can be helpful to take a “what you see is what you get” approach when dating someone new and you may be pleasantly surprised when you learn more about the person not the other way around.