If you’re in destructive relationship you can be the very last person to notice and admit that your relationship is far from healthy. You may be so oblivious to the state of your relationships that the genuine concerns of friends and family could be interpreted as bothersome intrusions or envy.

When others observe our relationship, they probably wonder why it keeps surviving, sometimes even longer than some healthy relationships.


Before going into the relationship, we may have seen the signs and ignored it; maybe we didn’t see any signs at all. Whatever is was, what is sure is that destructive relationships are much more complex than people would think; victims of abusive relationships did not merely make a stupid choice which they have had to live with. People stay in destructive relationships for a number of reasons which may include the following:

·      Just as a broken clock can be correct twice in a day, destructive relationships are not always depressingly dark. There are days when everything seems pretty normal. When everything is going smoothly, people in unhappy relationships postpone re-analysing their relationship. They also put on hold the need to make the necessary decisions about breaking up or seeking help.


·      We choose our partners for a variety of reasons. Sometimes our choices are based on satisfying a particular void left by the conditions of our upbringing. A man may date a woman who passes very acidic comments about him, probably because that’s the kind of woman he is used to; his sisters and his mother had consistently exuded negativity. Similarly, statistics show that abused women often end up in abusive relationships. People in destructive relationships may have emotional needs that keep them tied to the very person who makes them miserable. Are you one such person? Why do you stay?

·      I have heard folks say ‘He makes me so angry but I can’t live without him.’ There are people who obey the mantra of ‘the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know’ to the letter. Are you the kind who would rather stay with a no-good partner than step outside your comfort zones and find someone better? If you would consider the possibility that the devil they know is the worst of all devils, may be you would give yourself the chance to meet an actual angel who would respect you.

·      Destructive relationships are not always characterized by violence; any relationship that brings out the worst in you is destructive. What if you aren’t in love to begin with? What if you are just taken in by your partner because they are the only ones who understand your demons and even share those demons with you? A destructive relationship festers your excesses, and while it may give you temporary joy to find someone who understands your excesses, in the long run you both will head for an inevitable crash.

Author is Dede Williams