5 Reasons You Might Be Holding On To A Toxic Relationship — Even Though You're Ready To Leave

Photo: getty
solemn man and woman outside in jackets
Heartbreak

Holding on to a toxic relationship, instead of letting go, is often the norm.

The strength that it takes to walk away from any relationship, much less a toxic one, is huge and the fear of the pain that we might feel even worse.

If you want to find the strength to stop holding on to a toxic relationship, it’s important to understand why you're still holding on.

What is motivating you to not let go and walk away from something that's only making you miserable? Especially when part of you is ready to leave? 

Can you push back against these reasons so that you can truly move on?

RELATED: Beware! 6 Toxic Relationship Behaviors Most Couples Think Are Normal

Here are 5 reasons you might be holding on to a toxic relationship.

1. You fear being alone.

It's the human condition to want to be in a pair and have someone to share one’s life and experiences with. That's the goal. 

Unfortunately, you're willing to settle for ‘good enough’ when it comes to finding the other half of your twosome. You believe that, if you let go of the bird in hand, you will never find another person to love.

The prospect of putting yourself out there again so you can find that person is overwhelmingly daunting. So, you hold on to the one you have now, no matter how bad they are for you

Let me tell you, from decades of personal and professional experience, there's always another person out there for you. You might not find them right away but you will never find them if you stay in the relationship that you're in.

There's a person out there for you, a person who will be your perfect half and will make you whole.

2. You have low self-esteem.

Many people in toxic relationships have very low self-esteem. They just don’t believe that they are worthy of good love and, if they do, they have no idea how to go out and find it.

Unfortunately, a result of toxic relationships is a lowered self-esteem. You're unhappy, isolated from your friends, and belittled for any perceived shortcomings. You know, deep down, that you're not treated well.

And if you don’t feel good about yourself, you attract partners who don't feel good about you either.

For me, part of letting go of my toxic love was focusing on my business. I was able to redirect the pain of letting go of the relationship into something that made me feel really good about myself.

And feeling good about myself allowed me to let him go and find someone who sees just how awesome I am.

3. You're used to patterns and habits.

Patterns play a big role in your life. Think about your daily routines and patterns and how off you feel those days that your routines are broken.

For example, if you always have breakfast before you head out the door and, one day, you just can’t, you just don’t feel yourself for the rest of the day.

Now imagine this in a relationship.

When a relationship is new and good, you establish patterns and routines with your partner. And those patterns and routines become entrenched in your life. Breaking them can be nearly impossible.

Do you imagine what Christmas would be like without your partner? Or wonder who you would go to the movies with on Wednesdays?

Those are the patterns that keep you with your toxic loves. You don’t want to let go of them, can’t conceive of life without them, and that keeps you trapped.

Interestingly, even breaking up and getting back together is a routine.

With my toxic relationship, I would break up with him and then, like clockwork, 8 weeks later he would reach out to me and before I knew it I was back where I started. I can’t tell you how many times that happened.

I've since learned that if you can get past that 8-week mark, you can break a pattern. And I can promise you that you will find someone else to go to the movies with on Wednesdays. I did.

RELATED: 10 Huge Things You Need To Know About Leaving A Toxic Relationship

4. You blame yourself.

One of the most insidious things about toxic love is that, after a while, you start blaming yourself for everything that's going wrong.

I have a client whose husband had a relationship with one of their employees. For three years, my client has asked her husband to fire that woman and, for three years, he promised to and hasn’t. She is beside herself and rightly so.

The thing is, her husband has done a remarkable job making her feel like their issues are her fault. He says that if she could just let this go, they could be happy.

He told her she has no compassion for this other woman’s children — what would they do if their mother had no income? Because of his accusations, she truly questions her mental health some days.

Do you blame yourself for why your relationship is toxic? Do you believe that if you could just have been a little bit nicer or paid more attention to him or had sex with him when he wanted you to, that everything would be just fine?

If the answer is "yes", stop. Your person is making your life difficult and, while you might play a role in the situation, it’s not ;all your fault.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

5. You believe that you're soulmates.

Do you believe that the relationship that you share with your person is like none other?

That the intense passion and connection that you share can not compare with anyone else’s relationship and that letting it go would be such a waste?

Let me tell you: everyone feels that way about their relationship!

I hate to burst your bubble but, while the love you have for this person might be strong, it’s not the ultimate love in the world. Letting go of it will not be the end of love for you.

As a matter of fact, if you can let go of your toxic love, then you're way more likely to find a connection that's real, wonderful, and magical.

I did.

Holding on to a toxic relationship often happens because we fear the pain that we will feel if we let go.

But letting go of toxic love is very important for a happy life. Can you imagine spending the rest of your life living with someone who makes your life miserable more often than they make you happy?

Could you ever be happy if the rest of your life is the same as your life today?

I know that, for me, finally getting out of my toxic relationship gave me the time, strength, and focus to build my business and my self-esteem. It made me understand that I could break patterns and not only survive but thrive.

I learned that I was OK being alone and that while to me our love was special, really there is other, better love in this world.

So, what are you waiting for? Letting go of a toxic love is something that you can start doing right now!

RELATED: When He Consistently Does Any Of These 8 Things, He's Slowly Trapping You In A Toxic Relationship

Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based, certified life and love coach. Let her help you find, and keep, love in this crazy world in which we live. Email her at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and get started!

This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.