Break the cycle!
Maybe it’s happened to you or a friend, but chances are we’ve all had an experience with a bad relationship. But what makes some of us able to cut the cord while others stay on way too long in relationships that clearly aren’t making them happy?
Women give a bad relationship a second chance for many reasons, and one of these might simply be low self-esteem. “In dysfunctional relationships, a person tends to have an underlying insecurity of wondering if she is deserving of love,” says Neo Eng Chuan, principal psychologist at Caperspring.
Joel Yang, psychologist and founder of Mind What Matters, says: “They feel that if they are consistent in their behaviour, and if they continually try to be a good wife to their husband, things will get better.”
The fear of losing years, effort and money when ditching a relationship is another major factor why some women give their men a second chance, adds Eng Chuan. “No one wants to be accused of not being a good wife, and to hear statements like ‘You can help me, but you are not willing’,” he says. And perhaps the most compelling reason why these women stay is the idea of “learned helplessness” – where no change happens despite them voicing their desire for certain things to be fixed. Maybe their husbands make excuses, promise to put in more effort (then promptly forget about it), or just ignore their wives’ unhappiness. “These women end up feeling that whatever they say does not matter because they have already told their partner that their behaviour is not okay – but no real change happens,” points out Joel. The result of that is a resigned acceptance that this less-than-ideal situation is their fate in life.
But you don’t have to doom yourself to a lifelong unhappy relationship. Yes, leaving a relationship, no matter how bad, is always going to hurt. But like pulling a plaster off a wound, it’s a pain you have to endure in order to heal. Here are 3 ways you can break the cycle.