Days ago, the news media reported that Megan Fox (actress) and Machine Gun Kelly (musician) appeared tense. However, only a few days later, a source tells the media, “They’re officially back on after going through a rocky patch in their relationship.”
The source continued, “The last several months have been challenging for them, but they went away together to do a little healing, and now it’s working, and they feel more connected than ever.” In other words, a mini-vacation in Hawaii helped them heal all their issues and close every emotional wound. Really?
Then, you have Khloe Kardashian (social media influencer), who has been humiliated time and time again by Tristan Thompson, a basketball player, and her baby daddy. And he hasn’t done so in private because, well, nothing in the Kardashian world is ever done discreetly.
Yet, a day or so ago, the news media reported that Khloe is back with Tristan… again. Other women have broken up with their guys, who haven’t humiliated them in public, for much less (we’re looking at you, T-Swift), so we can’t understand why Khloe keeps coming back for more.
Okay, we’re not here to place blame or cast judgment on anyone. But then again, we are because we’re wondering if it’s just us who can’t fathom being in a relationship after being emotionally abused, physically abused, or experiencing any other type of toxic behavior.
We’re not saying that Megan or Khloe have suffered abuse in any of these manners; we’re simply going by what we see in the media, and we all know you have to take whatever the media says with a grain of salt.
Most women have been mistreated by at least one or two of their boyfriends at some point, but the difference is that we’re mistreated behind closed doors, which doesn’t make it any better, but it does keep the scrutiny of the public eye off us. If you’re in public, wouldn’t you do all you can to maintain your self-respect and dignity?
That question got us thinking—what is it about toxic relationships that some women can’t seem to move on from? So, after some research, here are a few reasons why leaving an unhealthy relationship is so challenging for quite a few women. (Again, no judgment.)
7 Reasons Why It’s So Difficult to Walk Out of a Toxic Relationship
Parting ways with an individual you once deeply cared about is never simple. But when it comes to leaving a toxic relationship, it can be even more challenging. That’s because, apart from the usual depression associated with breaking up, other circumstances are going on, including baggage issues from the past and self-esteem matters.
It’s typical to struggle with deciding whether or not to walk out on any relationship, especially one that’s unhealthy. You should consider many factors when ending it, and sometimes that becomes overwhelming.
And then, when you add in toxic elements, leaving starts to feel damn near impossible. Eventually, it all adds up to create one big and confusing situation.
However, it isn’t. You don’t have to remain stuck in your current situation forever. Therapy can help, as it can help you recognize a toxic situation and assist you in learning methods to move on. Another helpful way is by speaking with loved ones. When you build up your self-esteem on your own, you can also make a difference.
The key to breaking the cycle is identifying the self-belief holding you down and taking steps to challenge your core beliefs.
Start developing habits of self-love and expression. Make time for hobbies that bring happiness. Doing so can shift your limiting self-beliefs and empower you to go after a healthy relationship.
Are these reasons what keep Megan and Khloe from moving on? Only they know the answer for sure. But with this information in mind, here are some reasons why leaving a toxic relationship can be difficult.
1. You’re Attempting to Be Understanding
Sometimes, you believe you can fix your partner if you’re understanding. That’s simply not true. They claim they remain in the relationship because they accept the other person for who they are. While every relationship requires both partners to be understanding, when you’re in love with an unhealthy individual, it starts feeling like a part-time job.
Of course, we all crave someone to love us unconditionally, so at times, we force ourselves to do that for someone else even when we know it’s not the best thing for us. It’s essential to recognize when your relationship is no longer worth it. When you do, you’ll give yourself some compassion and the will to walk out.
2. Damaged Self-Esteem
When you leave an unhealthy relationship, it can require a healthy amount of self-love and self-esteem. If you lack one or both, you can find it difficult to move on. But, if you’ve been worn down or belittled by a toxic partner, leaving is challenging.
For this reason, a toxic partner will do all they can to lower your self-worth because they understand that having low self-esteem can play a significant role in remaining in an unhealthy situation. It causes a person to think no one else wants them, so they might as well stay put with their current partner.
Sometimes, the toxic partner even makes the other person believe they’re the reason the relationship is unhealthy in the first place and that the issues they’re having are all their fault. This can cause a person to see themselves as unworthy of a loving, healthy relationship, so they stay where they are.
3. Ways to Increase Your Self-Esteem
- Be kind to yourself: Being hard on yourself isn’t going to increase your self-esteem. Instead, learn to say positive things about yourself. Act as if you’re trying to cheer up a sad best friend and say some of the things to yourself that you would say to them (you’re a beautiful, caring person who has a heart of gold.)
- Recognize the positives: When someone compliments you, accept it wholeheartedly. Often, we quickly brush off someone’s praise because we find it difficult to accept it, especially when we don’t believe the compliments. If someone says something nice to you, learn to say “thank you” and appreciate their words.
- Write down a list of things you like about yourself: Can you draw? Do you sing? It could be a skill that you’ve recently learned. Whatever it is, write it down. Sometimes it helps to see it written on paper, so list all your great qualities and read them off, one by one, out loud. Do this regularly.
- Take care of yourself: Sometimes we don’t like ourselves because we don’t like how we look. If there’s something you want to change, change it. For example, start a diet and exercise program if you want to lose 10 lbs.
- Start moving and eating better. Have you always wanted to color your hair? Make an appointment and do it. We often feel like we’re in a rut and need change. Sometimes a new outfit or pair of shoes is all you need to adjust your attitude.
- Stop comparing yourself to others: Understand that regardless of how it appears on Instagram, no one on this earth has a perfect life. It can be challenging to look at someone else who has what we want and not feel bad. Social media doesn’t help, either. It’s okay to see something and want it, but use that desire to help achieve your goal rather than tear you down and make you feel bad about yourself.
- Set a new challenge: Stop focusing on what you don’t have and concentrate on what you do have. When people get bored, they look for things to complain about, so try volunteering for a cause you feel passionate about. This will keep your mind (and body) busy, so you don’t have time to fuss and complain. Another option is to learn something new. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but never dared to do? This is the perfect time. Sign up for online classes to get your Master’s Degree. You’ve wanted to start a book club since forever, so why not now? What about doing something you never thought of doing, like taking a cooking class or signing up for ballroom dancing?
4. You’re Waiting for It to Cycle around to Being Good Again
Because many unhealthy relationships begin on a good foot, often feeling like a perfect match made in heaven, it can make it even more shocking when things go sour.
You continue to tell yourself that ‘things will get better,’ so you grasp the hope that it will eventually be good again. But as it often happens with toxic partners, it’s unlikely that things will change. They are who they are, and if they haven’t changed after many heart-to-heart discussions, the situation won’t improve. Your best bet is to move on.
5. You So Badly Want to Fix Things
Toxic relationships require tons of work to keep them alive. And it can be difficult to let go of that role, as well as the desire to have your partner change.
Sadly, you genuinely believe that if you love them and give them enough chances to alter their behavior, they’ll stop doing the unhealthy things that are killing your relationship.
But does it honestly look like things will get better? When are you finally going to declare enough is enough and part ways?
Once you move on, it’ll be easier to see more things in life can give meaning apart from attempting to fix a relationship.
6. You’ve Invested a lot of Time and Energy
Unfortunately for some, whether or not you remain in a toxic relationship has a lot to do with how much you have invested in the relationship. Just because you’ve been together for some time doesn’t mean you should stick it out in a toxic relationship. Understandably, you feel like you’ve put your all into it, but you should never remain in a bad relationship because you’ve invested time and energy.
That’s even more reason to cut it off and pronto! Sadly, the more time you spend in an unhealthy relationship, the harder it is to let go. So, if this is the only reason you’re sticking around, it’s worth considering what you truly want.
7. The Thought of Being Alone Scares You
A toxic relationship can feel like everything to you because of how it impacts your self-esteem, as well as the energy needed to keep it going. Because you think this way, moving on is even more challenging.
Some people view having an unhealthy relationship as better than not having one at all. They’d prefer to be miserable with someone who treats them poorly than alone. As you work on improving your self-worth and self-esteem, this anxiety can start to fade.
8. You Grew Up in a Toxic Environment
When you feel like it’s challenging to move on from a difficult relationship, it could be because you’ve become accustomed to drama in your life. People who have dealt with chaos all their lives feel a sense of calm amid disarray, especially if it has some similarities to their childhood and the toxic relationship between them and their parents.
Since it’s pretty easy to repeat unhealthy habits learned as a child, therapy may be a viable option to deal with such situations. Doing so may help you create healthier, non-toxic patterns in your life.
It may not be easy to leave a toxic relationship because of low self-esteem, but you can work on yourself and learn how to spot the unhealthy beliefs holding you down. Visit a spiritual counselor or a professional therapist to help increase your self-worth. Doing so can help you move on and find someone who gives you the happiness you deserve.
Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know is currently experiencing domestic abuse, call 9-1-1 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or you can visit thehotline.org.