Advocate February 2020
Toxic Relationships and Why We Stay For so many women out there, “Groundhog Day” can feel like more than a movie. But, while Bill Murray faced reliving just one cold day in THE REAL ‘GROUNDHOG DAY’
February again and again, these women are trapped in broken relationships that never get better or move forward. As bad as this repetitive dilemma can be, what worries most people in this situation is something not explored in the 1993 rom-com at all: the day after Groundhog Day. It’s a question that many who’ve never been in a toxic or abusive relationship ask: “Why do so many people stay with a partner who’s wronged them?” Depending on the situation, a range of factors can make leaving such a situation feel difficult or impossible. But nearly across the board, women facing this challenge express concern about what comes after they leave. After all, for as difficult a crumbling marriage can be to keep up, at least day-to-day life is predictable. We see this in the movie itself when Murray’s character finally accepts he’s going to relive the same day again and again and begins to make himself at home in his strange new life. But, while the protagonist of “Groundhog Day” was free to do anything, like learn French and master ice sculpting, most wives don’t have such luxury. Between work and family obligations, the stress of the toxic relationship can eat up any remaining time they may have otherwise had to themselves. Even without these pressures, Murray still ultimately wanted to break the cycle — imagine if he’d been trapped with a neglectful, antagonistic, or narcissistic partner. Most people do want out of a failing marriage, but getting out requires a lot of effort and heartache to step into an uncertain future. It’s a scary process, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Just as Murray is helped by Andie MacDowell to find the way out of his unending day, an outside perspective can lend the support you need to get out of your own rut. Our firm strives to be this kind of helping hand.
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Part of our responsibility here at the Florida Women’s Law Group is to assure you of the stability and hope on the other side of divorce. The best part of my job is watching women break the cycle they’ve been trapped in and go on to take their lives back into their own hands. What they share is a steadfast determination to remain committed to their happiness, no matter the challenges along the way. Of course, I had an example of this attitude well before I’d entered law school. My mother was always good at recognizing when a relationship wasn’t working. She wouldn’t simply give up on relationships at the first sign of trouble, but when she found herself sinking into those repetitive patterns of unhappiness, she had the courage to call things off. I’ll never forget her explaining to me when I was just a teenager, “I do believe in love. I do believe in trying again.” She never became bitter, never closed her heart off to the world. To some, that’s a valid choice to make — if you aren’t okay dating after divorce, that’s perfectly natural. But in a broader sense, having the courage to hold on to hope for a brighter future, whatever that looks like to you, can give you the strength to break the cycle you find yourself in.
4312 Pablo Professional Ct. Jacksonville, FL 32224
Here’s to making your own happily ever after,
FloridaWomensLawGroup.com -Heather Qu ick
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