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  • Steven Robinson
    Steven Robinson

    Top 10 Reasons for Being Stuck in Dysfunctional Relationships

    For a happier life, learn when to stay and when to leave relationships

    No one should stay in a dysfunctional relationship, regardless of the reasons. But how does one identify such a relationship, and why do people get stuck in them? Dysfunctional relationships often have some common characteristics, but without self-awareness and emotional support, it can be hard to recognize a dysfunctional relationship or realize that it is time to move on. Here are ten of the most common reasons why people can find themselves stuck in a dysfunctional relationship:

    1. Low Self Esteem: People with low self-esteem often strive to be in a relationship even if it means they are in a dysfunctional one. Because they lack strong relational skills and self-esteem, they will settle for a relationship without the necessary components to be emotionally healthy.

    2. Fear of the Unknown: Many people find themselves feeling comfortable in an unhealthy or toxic relationship because the unknown of leaving can be more frightening than sticking with what is familiar to them. Fear of the unknown can be an obstacle that keeps people trapped in a dysfunctional relationship.

    3. Lack of Educational Support: People who grow up in households where dysfunctional relationships are the norm, may not be armed with the tools and support needed to sustain a healthy and supportive relationship. Without knowledge of what a healthier relationship would look like, it can be hard to leave a dysfunctional one.

    4. Emotional Dependence: When two people become too interdependent, it can create an unhealthy bond that often leads to both parties becoming codependent in a dysfunctional relationship. If one person's emotional wellbeing is entirely dependent on another person, this could lead to staying in an unhealthy relationship through thick or thin.

    5. Financial Reasons: By far one of the most compelling reasons why many stay in a dysfunctional relationship is because of financial dependence. Especially in situations where one partner is providing all the financial income, it can be difficult to leave a broken relationship.

    6. Isolation: Loneliness is a key factor. Often times one person in a dysfunctional relationship will have been completely cut off from family, friends or any other source of emotional support, leaving them without the help necessary to leave.

    7. Addiction: Substance abuse and addiction can contribute to a dysfunctional relationship. As addiction spirals out of control, it can take over a person’s entire life, controlling familial, social and professional relationships. It can create an environment of manipulation and control, hindering a person’s ability and willingness to leave.

    8. Unresolved Trauma: Some childhood experiences set individuals up for being in dysfunctional or abusive relationships. If these traumatic experiences are left unresolved, it can manifest itself in adulthood and keep a person from seeking out a more balanced and supportive relationship.

    9. Belief This Is Normal: Unfortunately, people might remain in dysfunctional relationships because they think this is normalcy, who they are and deserve. Over time, they can become used to being treated poorly and have a false belief that they are unworthy of something better.

    10. Lack of Self-Awareness: Poor understanding of emotions, behaviors and the root of relationships can prevent people from seeing their role in the dynamic. Self-awareness and understanding of the situation is important in order to heal and develop healthier relationships.

    Finding a loving and healthy relationship involves having self-awareness, understanding the dynamics and knowing when to stay and when to leave. Even though it can be challenging to break free from a dysfunctional relationship, it is important to remember that investing in yourself and your goals is worth it.

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