Sometimes we make up excuses so that we can put off making difficult decisions.
This is often the case in unhealthy, unhappy relationships. One person knows that their partner causes them hurt and upset, but they can’t handle the idea of breaking up. They are scared of making such a big change to their lifestyles, so instead of leaving they justify and rationalize their partner’s behaviour.
However, staying in a bad relationship is unfair on both you and your partner. Here are 10 of the most common excuses we tell ourselves when we are in bad relationships.
1. “If I put even more effort into this relationship, it will get better.” It can be difficult to leave someone who you once made happy. It can feel like with just a little more effort, you can improve the relationship and get back to the honeymoon period. However, if the current you isn’t enough, do you really want to pretend to be someone else?
Respect yourself and don’t let yourself become a doormat for your partner. The main priority is to do what is best for you – will you be happy if you have to put in even more effort than you already are?
2. “But my partner needs me.” If a relationship is unhappy and strained but your partner still feels like they ‘need’ you, they may have unhealthy dependency issues.
Often people in negative relationships prioritize their partner’s feelings above their own, which means their own happiness comes in at second place. It is also worth noting that toxic people and sociopaths often make people feel like they ‘need’ them, but they can quickly replace them when they choose to finally leave.
3. “I’ve invested too much time into this relationship to leave.” Maybe you two have been together since you were 15, and you have both invested a lot of time into the relationship. Remember that you’ve learned a lot in this time; not just how to make each other happy, but also how to hurt and upset each other.
If someone regularly upsets you, it doesn’t matter how long they have known you – they no longer have your best interests at heart.
4. “I’d rather be with them than be single.” Some of us are so used to being in a relationship that we will put up with terrible behaviour to avoid being single. Often people in unhealthy relationships associate being single with being lonely and unhappy – and they don’t realize that that is exactly how they feel.
Being single may seem scary, but you get to put yourself first again – and that is an exciting prospect.
5. “Despite everything, I really love them.” Despite all of the horrible things your partner has said and done to you, you still love them. You can’t help this – no-one can choose to just fall out of love with someone. However, it is important to be realistic about who they are as a person. Maybe you loved who they were once, but if you met them for the first time today, would you fall in love with them again?
6. “It is normal to have conflict in a relationship.” Conflict is a normal part of healthy relationships, but only if it is handled well and resolved. Name-calling and playing blame games isn’t healthy conflict – it is cruel and intentionally hurtful, and it indicates feelings of bitterness rather than love.
7. “We share a home together.” Since you and your partner moved in together you have noticed that the relationship is getting worse. It may not be linked to the fact that you live together, but now you are worried about ending the relationship as you share a home.
If you can relate to this, speak to your landlord about the situation. Maybe one partner can move out and the rent will be reduced, or maybe one partner will sleep in the share room. It may be a difficult and painful time – but remember that your relationship is already painful and difficult.
8. “I hate the idea of hurting them.” No-one wants to hurt someone’s feelings – especially someone who you love (or loved.) However, it is more hurtful for you to stay with someone who is unhappy in the relationship. You are doing your partner and yourself a favour by leaving – the initial hurt will fade and you will both be happier.
9. “A big event is coming up – I can’t break up with them until afterwards.” Many people use excuses like birthdays and Christmas as a reason to put off ending a relationship. However it is likely that your partner would prefer to know your true feelings, rather than being strung along.
10. “What if the next relationship is just as bad?” There are lots of different types of people in the world – your next relationship could be worse than this one, or you could meet your soulmate. If you live your life worrying about the worst case scenarios, you will hold yourself back. Take chances and you will find happiness. Good luck!