Seven Reasons Why People Stay In Toxic Relationships

A toxic relationship is a dysfunctional relationship, which is full of disharmony, bad behaviour & arguments. A very common type of toxic relationship is where one person doesn’t behave well and the other one accepts the bad behaviour. Toxic relationships are not the sole responsibility of one person as both parties are responsible for creating and continuing the relationship.


  • Are you in a toxic relationship?
  • Do you know anyone else who is in a toxic relationship?
  • Do you ever wonder why people continue with relationships like these, when it’s obvious that they could do better?


But why do people (both men and women) allow relationship patterns that they don’t want?

The people that we have relationships with when we are adults are often a reflection of our self-esteem and what we have learned from our relationships with others during childhood. When people find themselves in toxic relationships, it is often because of a number of reasons:

Please note: From now on I am going to try and explain why women accept toxic relationships as I primarily help women in my coaching practice. However, the reasons below can also be used to explain why men accept toxic relationships too.


1) Self-esteem problems are probably the main reason. Self-esteem issues lead women to:

  • Believe that they are lucky to have this man so do anything to please him, including staying in relationships that don’t make them happy
  • Fear losing him as they aren’t good enough for him and therefore don’t rock the boat
  • Choose men who are not the best as it makes the women feel better about themselves because they are with people who aren’t as good as them. The problem is that people who aren’t cool may not treat you well, which in turn can lower your self-esteem even more


2) They witnessed bad relationships when they were younger (i.e. their parents) and think that this type of relationship is normal. Many people feel more comfortable with dysfunction than function simply because it is more familiar to them. this is why it is important that you seek a good, healthy relationship with someone is you have children as they will learn about relationships from you


3)    They have what is known as “broken choosers”. This means that their ability to choose good people to have relationships with is flawed. They choose people and/or are attracted to people who are not good for them due to what they learned about relationships when they were younger or because they had a dysfunctional relationship with someone in their childhood and they are trying to resolve the unfinished business/drama by choosing a partner who is similar to that person in childhood


4) They have an unconscious desire to avoid commitment – Some people have been hurt in the past and want to avoid a close relationship in the future so pick people who they know won’t make a commitment


5) They don’t meet many men, so are unsure when the next one will come their way so they stay with this man for now. But a warning ladies, months can easily turn to years if you don’t make decisions


6) They have had bad relationships in the past and this is what they are used to. They don’t believe that other men could give them the relationship that they want so they keep repeating the phrase “its better the devil you know”. What they don’t notice here is that they are referring to their partner as a devil. Whether you know them or not they are still a devil i.e. someone who can harm you


7) They don’t know the importance of having boundaries and standards. Some people believe that having standards and boundaries will result in them losing partners. Some women believe that having someone is better than no one and as a result see it as a major loss if any man leaves them. However, the reality is that most men prefer to be with women who know their worth and won’t tolerate bad behaviour. However, there is one type of person who likes people who have no boundaries or standards, and they are called users. These are not people who you should fear losing. You should fear attracting them in the first place!


This information is not meant to depress you, so hopefully it hasn’t done that. It should be used to identify reasons why you may have tolerated a toxic relationship in the past so that you can concentrate on healing yourself so that you can have a brighter future


Have you recognised yourself in this article? Are you in an unhappy relationship right now but don’t know why you stay? Do you want to get out of an unhappy relationship but you don’t know where to start? Do you need some support in understanding your relationship and want effective suggestions to help you to move on from it? Do you want suggestions on how you can rebuild your self esteem and establish boundaries so that you don’t choose a toxic relationship again?


Until next time – Take care

Emma xxx


Maybe a “brain pick” session with me will help you?

If you are interested in a session, either see my services page or contact me at for additional information. I hope this blog has helped

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by Emma Staddon on February 13, 2017 · 0 comments

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