No matter how savvy you think you are when it comes to love, anyone can end up in an unhealthy relationship at any time. However, just because you’re in a toxic relationship doesn’t mean it’s your fault. There are plenty of reasons these types of connections creep up on us and then make us feel trapped. Here’s what could be going on.
- You didn’t have healthy relationship models as a child. If you grew up witnessing toxic relationships, it certainly isn’t your fault when you end up in one yourself. Perhaps your parents or guardians had a dysfunctional connection or you witnessed others in your extended family or friend group displaying patterns that were troubling or even abusive, that’s bound to have a long-lasting effect on you.
- Toxic partners can be extremely manipulative. It’s easy to say that when you’re in a toxic relationship, it’s your fault if you don’t just leave, but that’s totally unfair. If you’re with a partner who’s narcissistic, manipulative, or even abusive, it can be hard to simply say “enough is enough” and walk away. Maybe they apologize every time they realize you’re at your wit’s end or they gaslight you into thinking that everything that goes wrong is your fault. That’s not easy to overcome.
- You’re only human and want to be loved. Even when a relationship isn’t all fun and games, sometimes it still feels like it’s better than being alone. If your connection with your partner was once strong and you felt loved, you could still be chasing that feeling and holding onto how things used to be so that you don’t end up lonely and single. It’s hard to realize that there’s someone out there who will actually love you the way you deserve when you’re smack dab in the middle of a toxic relationship.
- You believe you can fix things if you work hard enough. Maybe you’re a perfectionist and believe that even if what’s wrong isn’t your fault, you can fix your toxic relationship if you try hard enough. You don’t want to just let things go, especially when you’ve invested so much time and energy into things. The longer you’ve been together, the more likely this is.
- You truly love them and don’t want to give up on them. If you’ve been in your toxic relationship for a while, chances are you really do love your partner deep down and still see the best in them. You don’t want to give up on them by walking away when they might come back to you one day in their best form. Sure, this is likely a bit delusional, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to move past.
- There are other factors keeping you there. This is perhaps the biggest reason it might not be your fault that you’re still in your toxic relationships. If you have children together, perhaps you don’t want to uproot their lives by ending things with your partner. Maybe your partner is the main breadwinner and you don’t have the financial independence to be able to walk away. It might be difficult, but there are ways to get out of a bad situation. Seek help if necessary.