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Why We Stay in Bad Relationships so Long.....and how to stop doing this. POLL

Posted by on Feb. 20, 2011 at 11:59 PM
  • 13 Replies



Question: Poll: Do you agree with these lessons learned?


Yes, most or all of them.

Yes, some of them.

No, none of them.

Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 25

View Results


[T]he sagas of romance gone wrong call into question why we stay in bad relationships so long. Many posts were those of young love and all the misconceptions that entails. I thought I'd see how the Gawker breakup anecdotes stacked up against 40:20 Vision hindsight -- what 40-something women would tell 20-something women based on what they know now:

Like yourself more than you need someone to like you.

Breakup Story: "I kept thinking that if I stuck with it, he'd grow to like me."

40:20 Vision: "Don't waste time on men that aren't into you for real. A man should be in your dish -- digging you and loving you for who you are." -- 40-something, Los Angeles, Calif.

Jealousy is not a form of love, it's a form of control.

Breakup Story: "He became more jealous and possessive. He accused me of attempting to meet men at volunteer classes."

40:20 Vision: "Stay away from the jealous guys. When you're 20, you don't think it's controlling, you think it's loving. 'Oh they care about me. They don't want me to get hurt.' It seems flattering. No way. Stay away." -- 40-something, Cleveland, Ohio

You can't work out their problems if they're not willing to work on themselves.

Breakup Story: "I was confused by the whole situation, but I was starting to try to figure out whether I liked this guy enough to work out his problems."

40:20 Vision: "Don't date someone you think you are going to fix up. As much as we think that we can change other human beings, we just can't. Trust your heart. If something doesn't feel right it's not going to change. People say that all the time and it's an over-used phrase, but it's so true. You're not going to change anybody from who they are as a core. So you either got to be okay with the way it is exactly as it is now or move on. -- 40-something, Hermosa Beach, Calif.

Drama is not interesting. It's damaging. Drop the drama and make your own life interesting. Fear of being alone is not reason to stay in a bad relationship.

Breakup Story: "This guy was verbally abusive, but I was 19 and this was the longest relationship I'd been in. I really thought that if I couldn't make things work with him, I would be alone forever."

40:20 Vision: "Don't think that trauma-drama guy is the only person in the world. I had horrible relationships in my 20s. You're in. You're out. I was banging my head up against the wall. What was I thinking? This is the only person in the world? But now I'm older I can recognize a good relationship doesn't rely on drama for passion." -- 40-something, New York, N.Y.

Company should not breed misery. It's better to be alone with the potential to be happy than miserable in a relationship.

Breakup Story: "Things went to hell. I thought no one could possibly love me any better, and this was the best of all possible worlds. He made me cry almost every day."

40:20 Vision: "Too much time is when you wake up more days unhappy than happy." -- 40-something, Los Angeles, Calif.

Partying does not a partnership make.

Breakup Story: "There was a strong mutual physical attraction, and we had a lot of fun partying together. We were young enough to think this was a decent foundation for a long term relationship."

40:20 Vision: "It's easy to confuse good at partying together with good together. I thought it was love at first sight. We married. I graduated. Got a job. He was unemployed and partied all the time. He was not growing. We were not growing. I think that happens a lot in your 20s. It's all fun and games when you are partying when you are young, but it doesn't work long-term." -- 40-something, Los Angeles, Calif.

A strong self-esteem is a pre-requisite to dating. Don't let put-downs stick. It's not you, it's them.

Breakup Story: "He never appreciated me, did everything possible to destroy my self-esteem and treated me like dirt, generally."

40:20 Vision: "Don't date someone who puts you down. I was borderline anorexic because my boyfriend would tell me I was going to get fat or that I would never find anyone better than him. And you think maybe he's right. You get warped because you don't have the self-esteem yet. You are not established." (40-something, Cleveland, Ohio)

Don't confuse attraction with love.

Breakup Story: "I was young, and I thought that being in love and longing for someone were the same thing."

40:20 Vision: "Please don't marry the first person you think you love. I beg of you. When you have had experiences with different types of men and relationships, you can better differentiate between love and attention." -- 40-something, Detroit, Mich.

by on Feb. 20, 2011 at 11:59 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Ashley on Feb. 21, 2011 at 12:00 AM

I agree with them all.

by Emerald Member on Feb. 21, 2011 at 12:00 AM


by on Feb. 21, 2011 at 12:00 AM
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by Emerald Member on Feb. 21, 2011 at 12:04 AM

Feel free to add your own "lessons learned."

by on Feb. 21, 2011 at 12:04 AM


by on Feb. 21, 2011 at 12:05 AM
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by Gina on Feb. 21, 2011 at 12:05 AM

I agree with all of them. Great post. I stayed with an abusive a-hole from age 15-21 and I learned A LOT.

I learned how strong you have to be to leave someone like that and also how dangerous it can be. I had to live out of state for a few months. 

by Gina on Feb. 21, 2011 at 12:06 AM

Also, I've learned to never allow myself to be treated like that by anyone ever again. 

by on Feb. 21, 2011 at 12:08 AM


by Ruby Member on Feb. 21, 2011 at 12:14 AM

I agree with all but the last one. I don't think it's unrealistic to "get it right the first time" and marry the first person you love.

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