Have you ever wondered why people remain in bad relationships? There are reasons, and they’re complicated.
Relationships can be beautiful, offering happiness, friendship, and security. These relationships can keep you young and feeling your best. On the other hand, there are unions which are considered bad relationships.
These relationships can do the opposite of their counterparts. So, why do people remain in these partnerships?
Reasons to keep the fires burning
To be honest, most relationships that I’ve encountered have been bad ones. They either involved substance abuse or infidelity, among other issues that cannot be overlooked so easily. I am guilty of remaining in these bad relationships for many reasons. I do remember my first reason was the simple fear of not being able to support myself.
However, there are many other reasons why people stay in bad relationships, and like me, they sometimes stay in these unions for decades. Here are the reasons why.
1. Low self-esteem
One of the most common reasons why people stay in bad relationships is low self-esteem. Your self-image is what governs how you feel about yourself as a person, aside from anyone else in your life. If you have low self-worth, you will be afraid to stand up for yourself when you’re unhappy in a relationship, hence, you may remain in that relationship and not speak up.
You just don’t feel comfortable with the idea that your differences could cause you to be alone again. Confident people understand that being alone is much better than being in a bad relationship.
2. Financial dependence
Here’s the first reason why I stayed in a bad relationship – financial instability. When I was younger, I either didn’t make enough money to live alone or I couldn’t work for some reason. Either way, I depended a great deal, sometimes full-time, on my mate.
He knew this as well, and he felt liberated to treat me however he wanted to. I was afraid to leave the relationship because I didn’t think I could survive on my own. This is a basic reason why most women will not leave unhealthy situations…some men as well.
For some people, leaving a bad relationship means failure. If friends and family see the union as a positive thing, then you will be more prone to force happiness where there really is none.
When you realize the relationship has run its course, you may feel obligated to keep pushing life into the fading union, just so others can see what a “great” relationship you both have. Shame can be a powerful emotion that prevents you from moving forward….beware.
4. Shared investments
If you and your mate share a home or car, then breaking up will be the last thing you will want to do. Breakups are messy when it comes to property and shared investments, especially if you’re already married.
You will try everything in your power to keep the relationship going, even through all the red flags are there to prove otherwise. Keep in mind, no matter how many material objects you both own together, you will never be completely happy if you’re in a bad relationship.
5. Weighing options
Maybe your partner is lazy or inconsiderate, but yet he buys nice gifts and is faithful. Is this why you will not end the relationship even though you cannot stand inconsiderate people and those who will not get up and do things for themselves, right? Sometimes people weigh their options in relationships because they’ve been told that they cannot have a perfect mate.
Most of the time when people start to shift their priorities in this manner, they have someone else whispering in their ear about how other people have it worse. Have you heard that statement before? The truth is, no matter how good you have it if you’re not satisfied with the relationship then to you, it’s a bad relationship. Another word for this… “settling”.
Then there are those who enter into relationships with narcissists or other toxic individuals. When this happens, some people cannot leave due to manipulation. The toxic individual will convince you that everything going wrong in the relationship is your fault.
So, when you start to notice their many shortcomings, you will feel guilty for thinking about leaving. You will start taking responsibility for your partner’s negative actions. This is one of the worst reasons to remain in a bad relationship. It can also damage your mental health.
7. Doing it for the kids
If you have children with someone you no longer have feelings for, and you’re staying, then you’re staying for the kids. You can actually still love this person, but clearly see the negative impact that they have on your life. Your love and the children you share will keep you firmly rooted in an unhealthy union.
I know children are important, but you should never ever stay only for the children. Yes, divorce and breakups hurt children that are involved, but staying in a bad relationship with the other parent shows them that it’s alright to settle when you’re unhappy.
Children should be taught to make needed changes.
8. Inability to see the truth
Another reason why someone might stay in a bad relationship is that they may not understand what’s going on. If you’ve been raised in a dysfunctional household, then you might think what’s happening in your marriage is normal.
If your parents yelled at you all the time, and your mate yells at you, then you won’t even see the bad in your relationship. Likewise, if you were abused, an abusive relationship will seem normal….just like in your childhood home.
In rare circumstances, love will be the reason you stay. No matter how bad the relationship gets, you may still retain feelings for your partner. This is probably one of the hardest unions to break, and the most painful. I hate to tell you this, but love is not enough.
It’s not enough to degrade who you are and settle for less than what you deserve.
Change is not bad
Ending a relationship, especially if it’s one that’s lasted a decade or more, will seem almost impossible. There will come a time, however, that you will understand that it’s time to go. When you feel this pull, don’t ignore it. It’s best to start the process and move on in life.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re in a relationship, I hope it works out. But if you are in a bad relationship, I hope you have the strength to do what needs to be done. Sending my love.
By Sherrie H.