Have you ever observed a couple that seems not just out of love, but completely disconnected? You can sense the irritation, pain, discomfort, and continuous conflict between the two. It is easy to notice as an outsider of such a relationship that people are far from happy together. Yet finding yourself in one can get you stuck in there for a long time being confused by excuses, self-doubt, and habit. I have been stuck in bad relationships for years. If anyone reading this article is in that situation I would love to be a part of your motivation to set yourself free and onto the journey towards your true love. Or do you know someone who needs to figure out how to do that?
Self-doubt or happiness
Oh for how many years has my self-doubt been blocking my happiness. Hence, I present it as a choice between the two. When it comes to relationships, self-doubt is usually the number one reason why people stay where they do not belong.
In order to get out you need to start believing you can have, do, be, feel better in your love life. No matter the age, circumstances, whatever obstacles to that you have convinced yourself of—it is never worth being with a wrong person. And it always feels like your circumstances are so profound, unfixable, and unavoidable. This is the mind playing a trick on you, trying to keep you in a familiar territory, as exploration of new and better always feels scary to our ego. So it invents all the reasons to stay exactly where you are, with threatening thoughts that it is no better on the other side.
How do you recognize it is wrong?
Besides focusing on relationships that feel right, I can describe the feeling that you need to move on as this constant heaviness you carry in your guts, heart, or mind. If you listen closely you will hear “I do not belong here, I deserve so much better”. But the change-avoiding thoughts are too loud to recognize that message. It feels like something is bothering, eating you away, suffocating you daily, but you keep suppressing it.
In my last relationship I thought that that voice was self-doubt and insecurities. I could not see that the whole relationship was absurd. It was not just red flags in there, but the whole relationship was one big red flag. Being in a healthy relationship now I can tell that there should be no such feeling of constant doubt. The presence of it and whatever reasoning you provide are a red flag.
There can be moments when you don’t feel that doubt, but it usually comes back shortly. Those moments of good times are short, rare and you hold on to them, knowing that majority of the time it feels nothing like great. Let’s not forget how we so desperately seek for the good in bad relationships to justify why we are still in there (out of fear and self-doubt). So we paint every somewhat better experience or a moment in bright colors that are not even there. I feel like women are especially good at this skill. You heart is longing for love and connection (that you are depriving yourself of) so it desperately tries to model it from what is at hand.
If dependency is holding you hostage, find ways around it or believe in yourself capable of doing it on your own! We are always capable of much more than we can imagine. These relationships are designed to convince you otherwise. I see it as an invitation from the Universe to make an order of how great we want our love story to be. And if we settle for less, this is the order we are placing. If we demand the best and refuse the less, the Universe takes that order and begins to fulfil it. This is what happened to me.
Dependency on another person is an illusion, and it all comes from self-doubt. Some of it may feel very scary to break out of, such as your living conditions keeping you with each other. But please be brave, you can do it. Even if it will be tricky for the time being, just think of where you will end up after you go through that challenge.
It can also be guilt, sense of obligation, and habit. Habit is so often confused with love. Habit gets you to learn to tolerate each other. Tolerating is such a sad word. It is learning to continuously deal with something unpleasant to you and suppress your negative feelings about it. How great it is that more and more people realize these days that we are not born to tolerate, we are born to thrive.
Ask for help
I was helped to get out of my first terrible relationship. I was so drowned in fear, that I have convinced myself that there is nothing I can do. Now I look back at the reasons I was giving to why some actions of mine would not work as complete nonsense. But that is the fearful mind. The resentment was reaching whole new levels, so when someone offered a helping hand, I, finally, years later, received it and set myself free.
How I wish I wouldn’t have waited this long. But it is what it is. It took me this much time to believe in myself deserving the best. So don’t wait and don’t wait for someone to save you. Ask for help, and also ask for help with your fear and “coming back” to that relationship out of fear. Maybe you should move somewhere far away where you will not be able to come back to it. Time will pass, and your back and forth-s, coming back together, fighting, and struggling will look like such obvious nonsense and waste of time. Time you could have spent with someone who feels right, who feels right even when things go wrong. Just like with any addiction, a habit developed towards another person has to be cured with time, with a very hard initial withdrawal period. We can confuse developing a habit with developing feelings.
Find your strength, it is there
An unhealthy relationship drains you every day, it sinks you deeper and deeper into forgetting who you are, who you can be. You stop dreaming about how it can be different, about the best scenario and your best love story. Reconnect to that self. I am dedicating this article to my younger self, scared, confused, lost, and delusional. Hopeful, where she needed not be. Trusting and caring where it was not reciprocated. Labeling something as love just out of not knowing any better, and what love can really mean.
Disclaimer: of course you should not run from every trouble in the relationship. This article is not about that. But this disclaimer is actually the main trap. We tend to confuse being the bad guy, when we are actually the good guy, and too good guy for the bad situation we are in. Listen to your heart, listen to your dreams, listen to your idea of ideal love. It is there for a reason. It is there to guide you towards it. You need to get out of limitation first to step into abundance.
All in all, getting out of an unhappy relationship is about understanding that the Universe is just waiting for your first move, for you to affirm you deserve better. It is excited to gift you that. Place your order!
More from Anna: Five Things You Should Never Say To Keep Changing Your Life For The Better
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