Why We Stay in Unhealthy Relationships- The Power of Self-Deception in Dating
“He will change”
“It will change”
“it will get better”,
“no relationship is perfect”…
Any of these sound familiar?
These are the lines we feed ourselves and come to believe, because our fear of being alone is stronger than our fear of settling for less than we deserve.
This fear of being alone is STRONG. So strong in fact, that you may not even have conscious awareness that you are being controlled by it. You can become really quite adept at convincing yourself that you should stay in a relationship well past the point of it serving you. Your friends and family may have tried to get you to see the light but you tell yourself stories of why they might be saying this. Perhaps you tell yourself ‘they are just jealous’ or maybe you think, ‘well they don’t really know him the way I do’ or possibly you focus your brain on the biggest lie of all- ‘he will change’.
Fear often leads us to overlook warning signs, justify our partner's actions, and persuade ourselves that things will get better. Have you ever noticed that you catch yourself leaving out certain things your boyfriend said or did when talking to your friends? Believing they would be concerned if they knew? Or perhaps you find yourself making excuses for him, like saying, "He's not usually like that" or "He's going through a tough time at work right now, that’s all.” Pay attention and observe - are you tensing up in your body when you say these things? Does your voice tone change? These are little telltale signs that you are not being honest with yourself. Our mind may be able to lie to us, but our body will not. You can only keep lying to yourself for so long though before something drastic happens, we get sick or our heart gets broken…
So why do we get stuck in these patterns? Why do we fall into this self-destructive way of choosing to be in a breadcrumb relationship where we know we are not getting our needs met but we are too afraid to leave? Why do we let the fear of being alone override our true desires for the kind of relationship we truly want?
Well to answer that- the next questions I would ask you are- 1. Do you feel worthy of getting all that you want? And 2. Does your mind even believe it’s possible? Because if the answer to either of these questions is no, you will never manifest in the relationship of your dreams.
Let's take the latter question first. If you do not believe it is possible to have your ideal relationship, of course, you will make excuses and settle for less. You will believe that a flawed relationship is the best that you can get and fall victim to the false tales that you have to settle, because ‘nothing is perfect’ and 'relationships are work’. These statements are beliefs that have been created to try and justify staying in unhealthy relationships. While it's true, that there is no perfect person, it is also true that there is a perfect person for you, and when you meet this person, their imperfections will probably be the things you love about them the most! Also, your relationship, can be perfect, in how it is suited to meet your needs and desires. When you find the right partner, your relationship will not feel like work. It will feel natural. It will have flow. You will not feel resistance or struggle. I understand that this kind of relationship sounds like a fairytale. But I have known enough couples now that have these relationships to know this particular fairytale is real.
A lot of you reading this article believe in manifestation. So, is it truly so hard to believe that you can manifest all sorts of other things in your life, but you can't manifest an ideal relationship? Once you start paying attention to couples who have this type of relationship, you will find more and more of them. Your reticular activating system in your brain will turn on and start to tune in to these couples, picking up on references to them, and/or meeting them. Also, the more you see them, the more you begin to believe and understand that, you too, can have this. It's similar to the story of Roger Bannister, the first man to break the four minute mile record to run it in under four minutes. Previous to him, doctors and scientists said it was literally impossible for man to run less than a four minute mile. He however, was determined to do it and kept envisioning himself crossing the finish line and seeing 3:59 on the board. He managed to do it. But that's not the miracle of the story, the miracle of the story is while nobody else had been able to break the 4-minute mark despite hundreds of years of effort, within a year of him doing it several other people also ran a mile in less than four minutes. Why did that suddenly happen? Because they had belief. The paradigm taught to them previously, that it was impossible to run a mile in under four minutes, was shattered when they saw another do it. Suddenly they knew they could be capable of it, and it became possible to them.
Once you start to hold a vision in your head for an easy, loving, deeply intimate relationship where you feel loved and adored and get needs are met, you will begin to attract people and situations into your life that bring you closer and closer to manifesting this relationship for yourself. And one day you will suddenly have it!
Now, let’s look at the other question I asked above - do you feel worthy of manifesting the relationship of your dreams? Because I can tell you that even if you start to see and recognize amazing couples that have the relationship you are looking for, but you do not feel worthy of having this yourself, you will never manifest it. You lack of feeling worthy will subconsciously sabotage you getting what you want because it will be a stronger vibrational signal in the background than your desire for true love. Like a magnet facing the wrong way, you will unknowingly repel healthy love.
Even if you believe on the outside, that you do feel worthy of love, if love is not coming to you, it is worth taking a deeper look at some of the underlying beliefs, buried deep down in your psyche. One of the most common pitfalls women fall into is believing that they must constantly strive to please others to be worthy of love. In essence, you may deceive yourself by being convinced that catering to someone else's needs is an act of selflessness that makes you feel good and that you believe makes the relationship you are in stronger. But in reality, this behavior often stems from a deep-seated belief that you need to earn love through sacrifices and compromises. Over time, a relationship built on your need to constantly please your partner is unsustainable for you and, frankly, may become untenable to him (for a variety of reasons including boredom, lack of respect for you, lack of a feeling of reciprocity and several more but that could be a whole other blog post!)
When you feel unconsciously unworthy of deep love, you can begin to engage in some significant unconscious self sabotage. The book, ”The Shadow Effect: Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self" is a transformative and thought-provoking publication written by Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford, and Marianne Williamson. It delves into the concept of the "shadow," which represents the unacknowledged, hidden aspects of the self that influence our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The book explores the premise that everyone possesses a shadow, comprised of repressed feelings, desires, and experiences, which often emerge as self-destructive patterns and behaviors. In the context of the book, the authors explore how individual shadows—those hidden, repressed aspects of one's psyche— can affect our lives. It emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and self-acceptance in the journey toward wholeness and self-realization. Additionally, it encourages readers to integrate their shadow aspects, transforming them from sources of fear and shame into catalysts for personal growth and empowerment. When you feel deep down unworthy of the loving relationship you consciously seek, you’re shadow self comes out and chooses the wrong men again and again. Your shadow side thinks it's protecting you in this way from receiving some thing it does not think you can handle. This is where EFT tapping can play a transformative role. By tapping on specific issues as they surface, we can gradually release the emotional charge associated with these shadow aspects. You can discover your shadow behavior by first tapping for clarity using a set up statement such as “Even though I don’t know why I keep finding myself in unhealthy relationships, I am open to finding out more about this”. Tapping often leads to new insight because once you calm your nervous system down with the acupressure stimulation, your frontal lobe has more blood flow to it, and therefore, you are able to access your executive functioning thoughts. The next step to using EFT to heal your shadow is once you observe an unhealthy pattern, keep a journal and write it down. Each identified pattern becomes a potential tapping target, a means to clear the way to your authentic self. Suddenly it becomes quite easy to let go of any romantic relationship that isn’t in alignment with the true you. You will find yourself unleveling what you want and expect from a partner, and you will feel confident that you can attract a great one in.
Shadow work can be done individually or in groups, like the ones I facilitate. Witnessing others' challenges can mirror your own and accelerates healing. As women, we thrive on connection, and tapping groups provide support and faster progress.
But either way, whether on your own or in a group, remember that the power to transform lies within you. Once you neutralize your fears and clear your attachment to the unhealthy relationship with tapping, you will stop trying to deceive yourself. Embrace your truth, and with each tap, you'll uncover the radiant goddess that has always resided within—worthy of love, adoration, and worship, simply for being yourself.