Why Do They Stay? The Reasons People Say They Stay In Unhappy Relationships
When two people are in love and happy, staying in a marriage or relationship for eternity may not seem long enough. But what about when they are unhappy and no longer in love? Many people stay in unhappy, and unhealthy relationships, but why?
It is no secret that people stay in unhappy relationships for many different reasons. Some people feel trapped and try to plot their escape, while others seek counseling or spiritual guidance to make the relationship bearable. Many children grow up in homes with parents who do not love each, and because of this they vow that they will never settle for such a relationship, and then life happens and cycles get repeated.
The older we get, the more people we know who are divorced, planning to leave their relationship, or are miserable but have their reasons for staying. After discussions with people in my life, and research on this topic, I found some answers as to why people stay in unhappy relationships.
Why She Stays In An Unhappy Relationship
For The Children
Ideally, children are raised in a healthy, two parent home, but for many reasons the two parent home is becoming less and less of the norm. Being a single parent, and raising children on your own is hard. The thought of it is scary, so some women stay in a relationship with someone they are unhappy with because they believe it is ultimately what is best for the children and themselves.
Depending on where you live, everything is expensive. A woman may be miserable in a relationship, but if she is a stay at home mom, or a full time student who relies on her partner for financial support, she may stay. She may have no income of her own, little job experience, or large gaps in her employment history.
There are still many people who believe marriage is forever, regardless of how unhappy they are, and do not consider divorce an option. A woman may also feel like a failure if her marriage doesn’t work, and possibly face negative consequences from her religious community if she divorces.
Fear Of Going It Alone
Some women are not independent and believe they need a man to be with them and take care of them. Their fear of being alone, or the thought of not being able to find someone else makes them feel extremely vulnerable.
Being on your own, especially after having a partner to rely on for years, can be frightening for some.
Why He Stays
For The Children
Men will stay in an unhappy relationship for the children out of fear that if they break up or divorce they will lose access to their children. Times are changing , but historically when a couple divorced, the woman gained full physical custody of the children.
There is also the cost of child support that plays a role in him staying.
Cheaper To Keep Her
I honestly hate this saying, but I do get the real financial meaning behind it. Many of us know men who have had a seemingly good life, and a nice home, but then got a divorce. The wife had custody of the children and stayed in the family home, while he moved into a small apartment since that was all he could afford after paying spousal and child support.
Doesn’t Want To Start Over
Some men will stay in an unhappy relationship out of sheer laziness. I have heard men say they didn’t like their spouse and didn’t want to be married to them anymore, but they also didn’t want to have to do the dating thing, or get back out there on the single scene.
Men also have said they didn’t want the hassle of getting a divorce and splitting everything up.
There is no one way to find happiness again or turn around a bad relationship. Everyone in an unhappy relationship has their own reasons for staying, and for leaving. When children are involved, a lot extra care is needed. The reality is that your children will recognize your unhappiness, and they will be affected whether you choose to stay or leave.
What are your thoughts on staying in an unhappy relationship? Would you stay? Have you stayed? What would make you stay in an unhappy relationship? Please share your thoughts and experience!
“Divorce isn’t such a tragedy. A tragedy’s staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce.” ― Jennifer Weiner