Why Do we Sometimes chose unhealthy Relationships To Healthy Ones?

Samantha Inests
Human Rights Fellow
Founder/Executive Director

We are all guilty of liking someone who we know isn’t good for us but the physical attraction can outweigh the reality check we get when the physical turns ugly. In our quest for finding the “right man” or our soul mate to share our lives with we run into quite a lot of impostors along the way. It’s not always easy to discern who is and who isn’t the right one but instead of jumping in with both feet and eyes closed, we should be asking the right questions and taking time that might be lost once you come to the realization that this should have never been, but by that time, it’s too late.

You should ask yourself do you want a man whose real or one that is fictional? Prince Charming, Knight in Shining Armor and Hero are all characters in a story book-not real men. Real men are flawed, imperfect and don’t always save the day, just as we as women have our own flaws and imperfections but how do we know which one of those flaws or imperfections that we see in men won’t turn into pain, regret and harm? It can be difficult because men can wear just as many masks as women can and to try and see behind it is a true challenge. I have seen a lot of my girlfriends go through really unhealthy relationships, some violent some more verbal and controlling than physical, but most will stay. Why? Because when we look at ourselves in the mirror we don’t see someone whose worthy of a healthy loving relationship with a person who is right for us and who will love us for who we are. Maybe it’s what happened in the past that is now rearing it’s ugly head into our present and future or a dysfunctional upbringing that caused us to believe that we should feel lucky any man would want us or watching our mothers get put down and beat down by the only image of what a man should be, shapes our future partners which leads to more unhealthy relationships with men.

Culturally speaking, many women are forced into marriages that often times than not turn extremely abusive and end up fatal. These women don’t have the choice of deciding what kind of relationship they want, they take what’s handed to them by their family. In the patriarchal system of their beliefs, women are seen as property that cannot make decisions for themselves and therefore are like children that need to be controlled by men. It’s a fair point to say that all of their relationships are unhealthy and may stay that way. For those of us who have the freedom to at least decide who we want to be with is a daunting task but can be overcome when we see ourselves as valuable. If we give into familial bondages that caused us to feel unworthy or societal pressures to look a certain way then we have lost our potential and will never thrive the way were were meant to.

The media’s mainstream harm of women through pornography or porn-like situations and images have made it extremely hard for women to appreciate themselves let alone find a man that will. This type of negative imagery can destroy the self-esteem and confidence that women desire to have more of and in turn causes them to be more critical of themselves and never want to strive for more or even think they deserve better. The man of their choosing will reflect that. If we focus not on the things that will hurt us but the things that will empower us, then we can move forward with a healthy attitude and attract healthy relationships while being able to spot the ones are harmful to us physically, mentally and emotionally. When we let go of what was done to us, our culture and our upbringing, we can begin to love and value ourselves while healing from past wounds. If we make this shift, everything else will fall into place as we continue to change our self perception and the right relationship will present itself.

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