Why Strong Women Stay In Bad Relationships

Why Strong Women Stay in Bad Relationships

2. Often, you may also value the positive characteristics of your partner more than you value the negative ones. 

For example, if your partner is generous but not thoughtful, you might come to value generosity more than thoughtfulness over the course of your relationship (Fletcher et al., 200). 

When making decisions about relationships, we often rely on emotions rather than logic. So, a woman who relies on logic and intuition in most of her life, which I have explained before is not an emotional thing, often does well in her life. But that same woman will rely on emotion when it comes to her relationships, and that causes her to stay in an unhealthy relationship.

Kissin (et al, 2011) also explains that you can have very negative thoughts about a partner and still have very positive feelings for your partner. This cognitive dissonance creates stress, but not enough for you to leave the relationship. It does keep you in a constant state of unhappiness, though.

3. You aren’t ready to change your story- the way you view yourself or the way others view you. 

This is a form of denial- or maybe a calculated decision.

4. You have a hard time changing your life or breaking up your family.

5. The worst one in my opinion is that you may think you deserve this. 

You have created a story for yourself that doesn’t include being loved in a real way for who you are.

Read 16 Things To Remember When Dating A Strong Woman

These are the reasons why strong women stay in bad relationships. Now what?

What’s a strong woman to do?

First, you don’t have to leave the relationship, even though all the reasons I gave you above are the wrong ones for staying. What I do believe is that you have to be WILLING to leave the relationship in order for it to change, which can be just as scary. If you aren’t willing to leave, there is no motivation on your partner’s part to change and he likely won’t.

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Why Strong Women Stay In Bad Relationships

Stop waiting on him to change. It’s not going to happen without you changing first. Accept that you are in an unhealthy relationship. I didn’t say resign yourself to unhappiness. Call the relationship what it is and accept it. Denying it gets you nowhere

Tell the truth to your partner. If you don’t, you are part of the problem. You are enabling all of his behavior and you are codependent in the toxicity of the relationship. You may feel that telling him that you didn’t bring him to a work party because you are embarrassed about how he treats you when you drink, will increase the toxicity in the relationship, but it won’t. Telling him that you forgot about it or that spouses weren’t invited actually puts stress on you.

Read 6 Reasons Why Strong Women Keep Attracting The Wrong Guys

Lies create a physical and emotional burden. Think about it.  A lie detector only knows you are lying by the stress it creates in your body. Although he will likely get angry, you will be speaking the truth. This gives you freedom, reduces your stress long-term, even if it increases it at the moment.  The truth starts to create space for change in your relationship.

Tell him, no more! Let him know clearly that the relationship will end if he continues XYZ. Period. That’s it. That is the hardest part and don’t take that step until you are ready to follow through. An empty threat is the worst thing for your relationship and your self-esteem.

But when you are ready, you may find that he is willing to change. If not, you will still be okay. I call this the win/win. Either the relationship ends and you are free to live a healthier life, or your relationship improves and you are free to be yourself in the relationship and have what you deserve. Either way, it’s a win. When you can get yourself in that frame of mind, you are on your way to a healthy place.

You deserve to be treated well, you deserve to be loved and if you aren’t getting that from your partner, you deserve to leave. Reach out if you need some help. Keep listening to this podcast for more help on strengthening yourself in your relationships, including that sometimes difficult one with yourself. 


Written By: Dr. Zoe Shaw
Originally Appeared On: Drzoeshaw.com
Republished with permission
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Why Strong Women Stay In Bad Relationships
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Why Strong Women Stay In Bad Relationships
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Dr. Zoe Shaw

Dr. Zoe Shaw is a licensed psychotherapist and experienced relationship expert who loves doling out spot- on advice with an empathic voice. She received her education at UCLA (BA in clinical psychology) and Pepperdine University (Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology). Her passion is helping women in difficult relationships, including that sometimes difficult one with themselves. Visit her website for more relationship help www.drzoeshaw.com.View Author posts