Toxic Hope: Ever wonder why optimistic women with the brightest smiles and the biggest hearts always end up in unhealthy relationships? Although there may be many reasons for a relationship turning toxic, hope is the one reason why women can’t leave their toxic relationships.
The love trap
Being in love feels magical. There is something about love that makes us feel alive and gives our life meaning. We feel valued, cared for, and validated. It boosts our self-esteem and eliminates our insecurities. Being in a healthy relationship can make us feel a lot more positive and optimistic in life.
However, for some women, that optimism tends to stay strong even when the relationship becomes unhealthy and their partner turns toxic.
Addiction medicine specialist, Dr. Sheila Dunnells explains “Optimism is important in life! The same is true of relationships: One hopes that when things are dark, they too will get better. However, this is not a reason to remain in an abusive relationship.”
Dunnells adds “You do not let someone abuse you physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, monetarily or any other way and do nothing but hope that he/she will change. You get out of harm’s way.”
The curse of optimism
Optimistic women find it hard to believe that their once perfect love story has turned sour and desperately hold onto hope in their hearts. They blindly hope that things will get better. That their partner will change. That they will feel the same high they experienced at the beginning of the relationship.
And this false hope is what makes them work harder to maintain the relationship. To please their partners, to make them happy. It makes optimistic women desperate and insecure. As they start becoming exhausted from all the effort they put in to ‘fix the relationship, they realize that it’s time to let go and end the relationship.
Yet optimism makes it difficult for them to leave their toxic, and sometimes abusive, partners, leaving them trapped in the relationship.
Life coach and toxic relationship recovery specialist Sarah K Ramsey explains, “She doesn’t leave because she is optimistic. The toxic partner knows how to keep her trapped in her optimism.” Narcissistic, abusive, and manipulative partners often know that despite how poorly they treat their optimistic partners, they will always try to make things better.
She will believe that their toxic partner loves them and cares about them. The narcissistic partner knows that there’s too much hope in her heart and she will always overlook the real issues in the relationship and instead find faults in herself. She will always try to fix herself first so that he doesn’t become upset or angry with her. And she will always fail to realize how toxic her partner truly is.
Ramsey adds “The toxic person knows that she will hope for the best and, therefore, he can avoid giving her his best. The toxic person knows that when they finally say something nice or connect with her that she will say, “Ahhhh! Finally! The real version of you is back,” and forget the anger from the day before.”
Living a lie
Even though she might be aware of how hard she is trying to make things work, she will ignore her inner voice. She will waste the best years of her life on a person who enjoys being a toxic individual.
These otherwise confident and optimistic women will keep believing that love, hope, patience and a lot of effort will lead the way to the perfect relationship. The relationship they have always dreamt about, even if the person they love is toxic.