Learning why you get stuck in unhealthy relationships will help you move one step closer to freedom, peace, and joy. These reasons women feel trapped in bad or unhappy relationships will help you see yourself – and your partner – in a different light.
Sometimes you can be painfully aware of all the signs he doesn’t love you, yet still be unable to leave. Maybe you hope things will change even though you feel used in your relationship. You believe him when he says he’ll try harder, or deep down you think you’re the one who needs to change. There are a variety of specific reasons women get and stay stuck in unhealthy relationships; in this article, I share the general reasons. Once you recognize the general reason that applies to your relationship, then you’ll be in a better position to move forward in your life.
Be kind and gentle with yourself. You aren’t stupid, you’re just stuck! You aren’t doomed to stay in an unhappy, unhealthy relationship for the rest of your life. You’re on the right track, and you’re making progress. It takes time to let go of someone you love – especially if it’s your first or most meaningful relationship.
Take a deep breath, and know that you are loved. You were created for a reason. You are here for a purpose. You are valuable, lovable, and important. This relationship may not be your best life right now, but it can change…and so can you.
6 Reasons You’re Stuck in a Relationship
While you’re reading through these reasons women stay in unhealthy relationships, ask yourself which ones apply to you. Don’t just scroll through and jump off to the next article! Take time to THINK, to evaluate your personality, life, and choices.
Also, remember that being stuck in an unhealthy relationship doesn’t mean that a breakup or divorce is the answer. Getting unstuck might involve rebuilding your relationship, getting healthier together, and reconnecting as a couple.
It takes time and effort to get emotionally and spiritually healthy, but it’s worth it. So, give yourself time to think through these reasons women get and stay stuck in relationships. If you have a trusted best friend or even a mentor, talk to her about your personality and life. And listen to what she says…because she may help you get one step closer to a healthier, happier life.
1. You have a hard time dealing with difficult events
One of the most biggest reasons women get stuck in unhealthy relationships is because they don’t want to deal with post breakup depression and heartache. Breaking up – or even just making healthy changes in your relationship – is difficult. Change isn’t easy, is it? We avoid change at all costs! So, it’s often simply easier to stay stuck in an unhealthy relationship than to actually make a decision and follow through.
Also, if you tend to avoid making decisions on your own – and if you’re dependent on other people – then you’ll find yourself stuck longer. If you tend to avoid painful situations and realizations, withdraw from working through difficult relationship problems, or avoid painful discussions, then you’ll feel trapped in your relationship.
How well do you know yourself? The sooner you’re willing to recognize your habits and patterns, the easier it’ll be to see the reasons you’re stuck in an unhealthy relationship.
2. You’re overly dependent on your boyfriend or husband
Unhealthy relationships are sometimes characterized by co-dependency or neediness. So, if your boyfriend or husband is central to your life – or to your sense of self – then you’ll have trouble finding the strength you need to make changes in your relationship. You feel trapped because you really are stuck in an unhealthy relationship! Even more specifically: if your whole identity is centered on being a wife or girlfriend, then you’re overly dependent on your relationship. You expect it to give you what you should be getting from healthier sources. Like God.
On the other hand, if you love your boyfriend or husband as part of your life – and you have a full, vibrant sense of self and life outside of your relationship – then you’ll be able to recognize your unhealthy relationship for what it is. And then, you can make changes.
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3. You don’t have healthy emotional support
One of the biggest reasons women get and stay stuck in unhealthy relationships is because they don’t have healthy people in their lives. I grew up with a single mom and no dad; I had no idea what a healthy marriage looked like. So, I found myself stuck in a pattern of unhealthy attachments. If I had healthy emotional and social support, I would’ve been able to recognize unhealthy patterns and not get stuck.
Do you have healthy friends, family, coworkers, neighbors? If you’re not spending time with people who love and support you – who want you to be your best possible healthy self – then you’ll stay stuck in an unhealthy relationship. You won’t have the motivation or support you need to leave or make changes.
4. You haven’t learned how to build a healthy relationship
This reason women feel hurt and stuck in a relationship is related to the last one, but it takes it a step further. One of the best ways to build healthy relationships is to see them in action. How do you see relationships in action? By surrounding yourself with emotionally and spiritually healthy couples.
What has your past taught you about building a good friendship, solid partnership, or healthy marriage? If your parents had an unhealthy relationship, you may be more likely to find yourself stuck in your own unhealthy relationship. We repeat what we learn, and we learn what we see. Take time to think about your friendships and relationships. Were they healthy or unhealthy? If they were unhealthy, how did you respond? Did you find ways to make them healthy, or did you let things continue?
5. You’re hiding from your true feelings
Martha Beck once said that we “know things that we don’t want to know.”
It sounds confusing at first, but we’re really good at fooling ourselves! For example, one of the reasons you’re stuck in an unhealthy relationship might be that you’re scared of losing your boyfriend or husband. What if you never find love again? What if you’re alone forever? What if you can’t handle life as a single woman?
Here are two steps towards healing an unhealthy relationship: 1) Figure out what makes your relationship “unhealthy.” Is your boyfriend emotionally detached? Maybe your husband works all the time. 2) Think about what would happen if you actually did something different to change your relationship. Don’t just keep talking to your partner about how stuck you feel. That didn’t work in the past, and it won’t work now.
7. You’re stuck in other unhealthy relationships or problems
We can only deal with so much at one time! f you’re dealing with financial difficulties, health problems, or other personal issues, then you simply don’t have the emotional energy to figure out how to get unstuck in this relationship.
What else is going on in your life? Does it need all your attention right now, or is it time to take care of that problem once and for all? If you’re stuck in more than one unhealthy relationship or area of your life, then you’ll be too overwhelmed to actually start getting healthy.
How do you feel after reading these signs women get stuck in unhealthy relationships? I welcome your comments below. Feel free to share how you’re doing, and what you wish your relationship was like.
If you’re wondering about the future of your relationship, read 5 Signs You Should Give Up Hope in Your Relationship.
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.