Are you adding to the confusion a woman feels when she’s in a toxic relationship?
I understand the urgency when someone you love is in a relationship that is destructive. You find yourself thinking, “Why won’t she just leave him?” or, “Why can’t she see what’s going on?” But maybe these questions are not helping her or you.
Let me let you in on something very important. She cannot see things the way you see them. When she does see things clearly, it is all very confusing.
Think of it like this. Have you ever been in a house of mirrors at a carnival? You go with the intent of having fun. Every turn you take feels like the right one, the one that will lead you out. But no matter how hard you try, you keep running into dead ends that appeared to be the right way. You cannot rely on your sight to get you out of the maze. Your sight is deceiving and continuously makes you take the wrong turns. Eventually, you just have to take every turn you can knowing that one way will lead you out.
Now imagine that this maze does not actually have an exit. You spend hours or even days here. You’d begin by being hopeful with each turn thinking, “Maybe this will be the one that lets me out.” But when you find out it is just another dead end you begin to lose hope. When you expect that you’ll reach a dead end again and again it is less painful, less of a shock. And eventually, you wonder why you should even try.
This is her life. The life she lives every day. She is confused and scared. She doesn’t know where to go, or which way is the exit. Exhausted by every turn she takes, just to find out there is no way out.
So let’s stop adding to the confusion. I know you’re well-meaning and you just want her to be safe.
Here are some practical ways you can help her.