5 Lies People Tell Themselves To Justify Staying In Bad Relationships

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It can be hard to leave a bad relationship. 

Sadly, I could make an incredibly long list of the dangerous lies people tell themselves to excuse staying in a relationship that’s bad for them. After all, that's the basis of the work I do. 

What I've found is that everyone wants to be in a relationship so much so that they will stay in one that’s bad for them, even if they're miserable.

And while it would seem that we would be wise enough to walk away, doing so is easier said than done because of the stories people tell themselves to justify staying.

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Here are 5 dangerous lies people tell themselves to stay in a bad relationship.

1. "If I just love them enough they will change."

When we love someone, we want to see the best in them. Even if our person causes us pain, we want to believe that they aren’t horrible people, that they are just damaged people who can be fixed.

And, more often than not, we set out to fix them so that we can save the relationship.

I have a client who was carrying on an affair with a married man and, while she loved him, it was making her miserable. Why? Because she saw how damaged he was and she wanted to help him.

She figured if she stayed, in spite of the fact that he was married, she could show him that her love could make him happy and that he would leave his wife to be with her.

So, she set out to do just that. He was an angry person and she worked with him to stay calm. He struggled in his career because of his insecurities and she encouraged him to have confidence in his abilities and bought him career books to inspire him to work smarter.

She told him he was a great lover, even though he really wasn’t, and she was always there for him.

And guess what? It didn’t work. Not only did he not leave his wife but he never changed, no matter how hard she tried to fix him.

But she loved him and wanted to be in the relationship so she didn’t give up and, as a result, she stayed in this bad one, ever hopeful but constantly let down.

The only way someone will change is if they want to. So, don’t kid yourself.

If the person in front of you is making you miserable, ask yourself if you can love this person forever, not the person you believe that they could be. And if you can’t, it’s time to move on.

2. "Things will go back to the way they were in the beginning."

The beginning of any relationship is wonderful.

We spend hours talking about things, connecting in a way that we believe that we have never connected before. We have sex every night, sometimes more than once. We walk around on clouds, believing that we have finally found the one.

But, as relationships settle in, those feelings change. Even in a good relationship, those intense feelings that were felt at the beginning fade, to be replaced by something that feels good but isn’t so intense.

When a relationship is one that isn’t good for us, those wonderful intense feelings can turn into something else, usually ones that cause pain.

I have a client who was in a relationship with someone who ignored her, took her for granted, and rarely even saw her there.

And, yet, in spite of the fact that this made her miserable and made her feel like a horrible person, she stayed. Why? Because he was so nice to her in the beginning and she believed that he could be nice to her again.

Unfortunately, this just wasn’t possible. For him, those intense feelings that he felt at the beginning were gone, replaced by contempt and disrespect. He had no desire to go back to the way things were in the beginning so he didn’t even try.

So, don’t kid yourself that things could possibly be the way they were in the beginning because they won’t ever be that way again.

RELATED: 30 Things People In Healthy Relationships Never, Ever Do

3. "If I just change, everything will be great!"

I can’t tell you how many people I coach believe that a toxic relationship is their fault. And the reason that they believe that is, more often than not, because their partner tells them this is so.

As a result, my clients are paralyzed, thinking that if they could change, if they could be prettier or smarter or more independent or more involved in their partner’s hobbies, things will be good again.

And so they set out to try to be all those things. They twist themselves into pretzels, trying to be what their person wants them to be, but not necessarily who they are.

Does this ever work? Do people turn into things that they are not and does their person love them again? The answer, I'm afraid, is no.

Unless you want to change for you, any change that you make will be inauthentic and your partner will know.

People who ask you to change are only using the way you are to make excuses for their behavior — they don’t really expect you to change. And, when you do, they only have more contempt.

So, unless you want to change for yourself, don’t even try to change. Changing won’t save your relationship — it might even make it worse.

4. "I will never love or be loved again."

We all want to be in a relationship — more than anything — and the fear that, if we walk away from this one, we will never love or be loved again. That this person is the last person for us and leaving them will doom us to a life alone.

I remember thinking this exact thing in high school — that if I broke up with my boyfriend I would never find another one. And, guess what? I did, just a few weeks later. I have had countless boyfriends since then.

Very few of my clients who find the strength to walk away from a relationship that's bad for them don’t find someone to love. It might take some time, and perhaps some self-reflection, but they do find someone.

For my client who was dating a married man, when she finally got the strength to leave him, the guy of her dreams came into her life.

She never would have found him if she hadn’t had the strength to leave.

So, don’t let the belief that you will never love or be loved again keep you in a relationship that is bad for you. If you can walk away from this one, someone who can love you better is out there, waiting.

RELATED: 3 Sad Reasons Men Stay In Toxic Relationships Way Longer Than Women

5. "This is all that I deserve."

Unfortunately, people who are in relationships that are bad for them often feel really bad about themselves.

Weeks, months, or years of being with someone who tears them down, ignores them, treats them with contempt, fools around on them, or belittles them, can cause even the strongest person to lose their self-esteem.

As a result, they believe that this toxic relationship is all that they deserve.

No one deserves to be mistreated in a relationship.

We're all human beings in the world who deserve to be happy and deserve to be loved and cared for.

Start spending time with people who love you, people who will remind you that you do deserve better, that you are worth a lot in this world.

If you can start seeing that you deserve better, you will find the strength to walk away from this relationship that's bad for you and find the person of your dreams.

It’s time to stop lying to yourself and start facing what those lies are doing to your happiness, push back on them, and walk away. Walk away towards a life full of love, self-respect, and honesty.

You can do this! I promise.

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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based, certified life and love coach who helps clients find (and keep) love. Email her at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com.