We have all been in one; a relationship we thought was healthy until we walked away. As humans we feel the need to justify our actions. AboutEducation.com explains the discomfort experienced between two conflicting beliefs is called cognitive dissonance. When we experience this contrast, we attempt to reason with ourselves and beliefs using a variety of methods, one being self justification. We try to reduce cognitive dissonance by justifying our actions or investment.
This is why so many women tend to justify a bad relationship. The more time invested, the greater the need is to convince ourselves our views and efforts were correct.
This act is part of our subconscious, and something you will experience the rest of your life however, at what point does it become unhealthy to ignore the feelings or actions you are trying to justify, and realize they need no justification at all?
As women we are innately caregivers. So much so that during the 1950s a condition known as the housewife’s syndrome became a diagnosis. Women were engrained to believe all they wanted in life was the white picket fence, four kids and a husband that walked through the door saying, “Honey, I’m home!” It wasn’t until laundry and vacuuming was no longer satisfying did women begin to question what it was they really wanted, and if it was okay to not feel guilty for wanting something other than just being a caregiver.
Yet here we are, 65 years later, and women are still experiencing some degree of the housewife’s syndrome, just at different levels.
So, what do you do when you find yourself in this predicament? Remember, warning signs and red flags come in all shapes and sizes, and if you feel uncomfortable with something don’t feel like you have to justify the fact you are not happy.
For example, controlling behavior. If your partner is attempting to distance you from your friends and family rather than expressing a desire to get to know them, this may be a behavior you don’t have to justify as being okay. Your partner should want to get to know the people who are important to you. Even if he finds he is not fond of one of your friends, he should still be cordial for the sake of your relationships.
Or if your partner doesn’t communicate with you, something that is detrimental to a healthy and thriving relationship. Communication is key, and if your partner is not willing to communicate, or seek help to find ways for the two of you to communicate more effectively, than have no guilt in saying this behavior is something you will not entertain.
If your partner makes you feel insecure in your relationship, or has no trust in you it’s time to reevaluate your relationship. Healthy relationships are built on trust, communication and support. If your partner seeks to make you feel insecure it could be for a number of reasons, none of which are healthy or helpful to you. Insecurities turn into an unhealthy personal image, low self-esteem, and constant fear. You end up putting in more effort than your partner, and the relationship no longer becomes a life the two of you are building together.
Women have become trailblazers, and each generation provides strong women who defy the odds constantly set before us. Never feel ashamed for having ambition and goals, and never feel you have to ignore red flags or justify unhealthy behavior from your spouse.