Why Women Stay in Toxic Relationships

Are you stuck in a relationship that no longer makes you happy? You complain about how your man treats you but still stay in that relationship? He turns violent and you leave vowing never to return but then you start missing him and feeling miserable about it? The moment he apologises and promises to never do it again you go back running? You are more afraid of being alone and happy than dating and miserable? Then you are in a co-dependent relationship.

According to a study by Mental Health America, co-dependency is a learned behaviour passed down from one generation to another. It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects the individual’s ability to have a healthy and mutually satisfying relationship.

Why do women stay in such toxic relationships?

1. Denial
A woman will look for every excuse to not leave her man. Sometimes love or the idea of being in love blinds women.  If her girls are advising her against that relationship, she will cut contact with them and say her man is not as bad as they claim. She will go to any extreme to defend him to her parents, colleagues and even friends. She will always make up excuses for him with every new low in their relationship. “He hit me because I made him angry”, she will say. “He cheated because I wasn’t in my best action last night” or simply “he was rude to me because he was having a bad day.” With denial comes making excuses as long as a woman is in denial, she will never walk out of that toxic relationship.

2. Better the devil you know
Yes, women actually stay in toxic relationships because the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. A friend actually confessed she would rather stay in a miserable relationship because she had been with this man for over 6 years and she knew him inside out. Think you know how angry he can get? He has embarrassed you in public and you think it can’t get worse than that? You better buckle up if you aren’t ready to alight because toxic relationships don’t get better, forget the devil you know, it is always a downhill trend afterwards. If he is violent he will hit you harder the next time. If he comes home at 12am and expects no questions next he will come at 6am.

3. Family Background
A woman will stay in a bad relationship because of her relationship with her parents. For example, a girl who has grown up in an abusive household will find herself attracted to a man with similar traits like her perpetrator. Her father was violent, she marries a violent husband. Background issues if not dealt with affect how we deal with our future relationships.

4. Hopelessness
Sometimes women stay in toxic relationships because of hopelessness. She will often say that she cannot do without this man. What will her children eat? How will she pay rent especially if she is a housewife? WIll she find another man to marry her, yet she already has four children. These are some of the questions that women in such relationships are afraid of dealing with. Given a choice between hustling alone and getting easy access to food and the good life, she would rather stick around.

5. Worthless goods syndrome
According to Dr. Gladys Mwiti a psychologist, a woman will stay in a bad relationship because she may sometimes suffer from the worthless goods syndrome. She will think that she is not good enough to deserve anyone better. She has been treated so badly in that relationship, she actually starts to believe that is how the ideal relationship should be. The toxic levels will affect her esteem and she will think she deserves such a man because after all she is not so worthy.