Skip to content

Why Optimistic Women Stay Trapped In Toxic Relationships

Why Optimistic Women Stay Trapped In Toxic Relationships_

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.

Read 5 Ways You Feel When In A Toxic Relationship

The curse of optimism

Why Optimistic Women Stay Trapped In Toxic Relationships

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.

Read 6 Reasons Why We Stay In Bad Relationships

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.

They will keep believing that they need to keep holding on to the toxic relationship a little bit longer. Unfortunately, that belief will last for years to come

Sarah Ramsey writes “Optimistic women don’t give up easily and stick it out when things are tough. They are self-motivated and willing to keep getting up even when life (or their relationship) knocks them down.” These women believe that life and relationships get better with time.

She adds “Optimistic women find the silver lining no matter how dark things get. They stay in unhealthy relationships despite being treated in ways that seem inconceivable to others.

Optimistic women & relationships

The fact is these women need to stop being optimistic and start being realistic. Too much optimism can in fact be detrimental to your relationship. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology revealed that being too optimistic in a relationship can lead to unrealistic expectations and ineffective coping skills for relationship problems.

The research showed that although optimism is seen as an asset and encourages helpful coping efforts in life and relationships, certain types of optimism “can be a liability, as expecting the best may prevent individuals from taking proactive steps when confronted with difficulties.” It adds that the “results suggest that whereas global forms of optimism may represent a relationship asset, specific forms of optimism can place couples at risk for marital deterioration.

To put it simply, when optimistic women fail to acknowledge the problems in their relationships and falsely believe that everything will be great, when in fact they are not, then it can easily create distance between partners. This can be especially true when one partner is more realistic than the other.

Although it doesn’t mean that you have to be a pessimist to enjoy a healthy relationship, it can be helpful if you are a bit more realistic and grounded.

Co-author of the 2013 study, psychologist Lisa Neff at the University of Texas, says “In my study, no one scored low enough to be considered pessimistic, and I would not expect that to be good for relationships. It is great to be optimistic, but keep it at a more realistic level.” And perhaps this is why optimistic women tend to find themselves in toxic relationships more than others.

Read The Reason Why The Girl Who Fixes People Often Ends Up In Toxic Relationships

Is being an optimist such a bad thing? 

The problem here is not with being an optimist. It’s about not being realistic enough and having inflated expectations.As a rosy picture of the future, optimism can allow you to remain blissfully ignorant of what’s actually going on around you. This can really cause problems,” writes marriage consultant, ADHD expert and author Melissa Orlov in a Psychology Today article.

Toxic relationships

Optimistic women have this inner belief that if they put in enough effort and change themselves, they will be able to make the unhealthy relationship better. As they try too hard to work on themselves, their toxic partners take advantage of this and make them believe that they are the problem in the relationship.

Thus these women start believing the lie that they are the ones who need to change. As she keeps trying desperately to work on herself, she will fail to realize that their toxic partner wants them to change so that the “the toxic person won’t have to change,” explains relationship expert Sarah K Ramsey. 

She adds “Her optimism blinds her to what is happening and the toxic partner’s mask, as well as their intermittent reward system, prevent her from seeing the truth: she is in a game that she doesn’t realize she is playing. A game in which her strengths are being used against her. A game in which optimism is actually a weakness.

Optimism bias in relationships

This unrealistic optimism is known as optimism bias. It is a cognitive bias that makes us believe that we have higher chances of being successful at something and lower chances of experiencing a misfortune than it is in reality.

We believe that our relationships will be perfect without any problems and that we will be happy in life. However, that seldom happens. Kendra Cherry, MS, author and educational consultant, says that “​optimism bias is essentially a mistaken belief that our chances of experiencing negative events are lower and our chances of experiencing positive events are higher than those of our peers.”

Why Optimistic Women Stay Trapped In Toxic Relationships

This psychological tendency makes us believe that everything will get better despite how problematic things might be right now. And this belief often leads to poor decisions like choosing to stay in a toxic relationship longer than you should, as we tend to overlook the threats and risks.

People hugely underestimate their chances of getting divorced, losing their job or being diagnosed with cancer; expect their children to be extraordinarily gifted; envision themselves achieving more than their peers; and overestimate their likely life span. The belief that the future will be much better than the past and present is known as the optimism bias,” explains academic Tali Sharot in a TIME article.

Read 16 Most Common and Weird Mind Tricks Your Brain Plays On You

Sharot believes that there are several reasons for us being more optimistic than we need to, whether in life or in relationships. She says “One is the issue of control. You tend to believe you have control over your life, and you tend to believe you have more control than you actually do.” 

However, being positive is not all bad as long as you are grounded and look at things the way they are.On the positive side of optimism bias, all things being equal, optimists live longer and are healthier. Because of this optimism they take action, they’re motivated,” says Sharot. This cognitive bias inspires us and protects us.

It motivates us to keep moving and take charge of our own happiness. But optimistic women also need to be realistic enough to know when to end a toxic relationship.

Sharot adds “We need to be aware of our bias in general and take precautions against it. Protect ourselves, knowing we have this bias towards positivity.”

Be optimistic enough to move on

The more we hold on to an unhealthy relationship and wait for it to get better, the more we are cheating ourselves on true happiness. We are holding ourselves from reaching our true potential and finding a truly healthy relationship. A relationship where we won’t have to try so hard to make it work. Where we don’t have to worry about making our partner happy. A relationship that will be effortless, loving, and caring. 

Why Optimistic Women Stay Trapped In Toxic Relationships

We need to be optimistic enough to realize that we deserve better. We need to be optimistic enough to know that when we leave a toxic relationship, we will find someone who will love us and accept us for who we are. Someone who won’t manipulate is to change. We need to be optimistic enough to realize that love and happiness is right around the corner. We only need to step out of the darkness and take a step forward. So do yourself a favor and leave.

Sarah K Ramsey concludes “Being optimistic, kind, forgiving, hopeful, and seeing the best in people are the building blocks for something beautiful. There are amazing people out there who will realize these amazing qualities are too precious to manipulate. And, too precious too lose.

Read 10 Unexpected Things That Happen When You’re Finally Free From A Toxic Relationship

Optimistic Women Stay Trapped In Unhealthy Relationships pin
Why Optimistic Women Stay Trapped In Toxic Relationships pin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nv-author-image

Theo Harrison

Hey there! I am just someone trying to find my way through life. I am a reader, writer, traveler, fighter, philosopher, artist and all around nice guy. I am outdoor person but heavily into technology, science, psychology, spiritualism, Buddhism, martial arts and horror films. I believe in positive action more than positive thinking.View Author posts

Up Next

Cookie Jarring, The Latest Dating Trend: 8 Signs You Are A Victim

Major Warning Signs Of Cookie Jarring

Modern dating is as it is so very tricky to navigate, with all sorts of toxic trends being there and all, like ghosting, breadcrumbing, pocketing, etc. Now there's another toxic dating trend that is, unfortunately, gaining a lot of popularity these days, known as cookie jarring.

Even though the term sounds a bit funny, the practice is really not. Being cookie jarred and dealing with cookie jarring is one of the most difficult and emotionally painful experiences there is. Before we dive deep into the signs of cookie jarring, it's important to know what does cookie jarring mean.

Related: Whe

Up Next

10 Ways To Overcome Childhood Trauma: Grow Beyond Your Childhood Trauma And Reclaim Your Life

Ways To Overcome Childhood Trauma

Do you want to break old patterns and release those past versions of yours? You might need to overcome childhood trauma first.

Our childhood is supposed to be the purest, most magical, and happiest time of our lives, and yet, for so many of us, childhood memories only bring pain, shame, anger, and confusion. For it was when we had, for the first time, experienced trauma.

At a time when we were new to this world, blissfully unaware of its complexities, and our formative brains still grappling with concepts of love, care, safety, and nurturance, we came to know what it feels to be unloved, uncared for, unsafe, and unnurtured.

Read:

Up Next

10 Examples Of Manipulation In Relationships

Examples Of Manipulation In Relationships

Your relationship is supposed to be your safe haven, a space where you will feel secure, safe, and happy. But when you are with a manipulative person, that's a distant and impossible dream. This post is all about how manipulators function and examples of manipulation in relationships.

The problem is, most of the time it is difficult to understand that you are being manipulated because this is someone you love and trust. Even thinking that they would use manipulative statements on you is unfathomable. But unfortunately, if you are indeed in a toxic relationship, you need to know and understand the things manipulators say and how manipulative language works.

This doesn't mean you are stupid or a bad person for doubting the person you love, it simply means that you treating yourself with love and respect. And no matter how much you may love someone,

Up Next

5 Signs You’re Clinging To Toxic Hope

Signs Youre Clinging To Toxic Hope

Toxic hope is part of what keeps us stuck in bad situations because these are the stories we tell ourselves or choose to believe that keep us from confronting what we usually know to be real and true deep down. Today, I’d like to discuss toxic hope and its relation to gaslighting. There’s an interesting connection there, and I’ll also leave you with five ways to tell if your hope is toxic because it isn’t always obvious. Let’s get started.

I have a lot of experience with toxic hope because I felt like I had layers of toxic hope when I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. There were a lot of things I clung to, but there was a disconnect deep down.

I knew there was a gap, and I clung to toxic hope, but I wouldn’t admit it to myself. So, what is the connection between toxic hope and gaslighting? True, malicious gaslighting is a complex issu

Up Next

11 Crazy-Making Behaviors Of A Covert Narcissist

Crazy Making Behaviors Of A Covert Narcissist

Someone commented on one of my videos a while back, saying that she learned about covert narcissism by literally Googling the term crazymaking behavior. That sounded like a perfect description of what it’s like to be with a covert narcissist.

That comment also made me incredibly grateful that there are so many resources available on this topic today that someone could Google crazy-making behavior and discover that they’re in a relationship with a covert narcissist.

I hope you’re ready to hear about the eleven crazy-making behaviors that are incredibly common with the covert narcissist because that’s exactly what we’re going to cover.

A disclaimer:

You’ll find many of these bizarre behaviors in other types of narcis