Have you ever had a friend who was obviously in a broken or dysfunctional relationship? Ever wondered why they stayed with a person they obviously needed to get away from? Relationships are difficult even in the best of times. They involve huge investments in time, money and emotions. Walking away from a long-term relationship can be excruciatingly painful to go through. The longer the relationship has been in existence, the harder it will be to leave and extricate yourself. Your emotions, finances and family are perhaps inextricably intertwined with the other person. So even when you leave, you will still have to see them in order to sort out joint finances or to visit with your kids.
Why It’s Hard to Walk Away From A Broken Relationship
Investment of Time
We have limited time here in our lives, as no one lives forever. When we commit to long-term relationships, we invest a lot of time into them. Building them together and maintaining them is time intensive – time we will never get back if the relationship fails. Also, if we leave or fail to stop our partner from leaving, we will be sacrificing time with our kids, time we spent building or upgrading our home so that it was just the way we liked it, and time working extra hours to make up for the loss in income or the burden of maintaining separate households.
You Still Care For Them
You may find it hard to walk away because you still have very strong feelings for them. The relationship may not be working, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still love them. These strong feelings may make it very difficult to leave long after you have realized intellectually that the relationship just isn’t working or that your partner isn’t a good fit for you.
You may own a home and likely a couple of cars together, not to mention phone plans and other bills we take for granted every month. You may also have joint bank accounts or joint investments together. If you split up these, they will all have to be sorted out and can be incredibly difficult and time consuming to separate. Your partner may also not have an income if they gave up their career or education in order to start a family, which means that when you split, they will have to get a job and it may not pay very much. If you both are working, you may have to pay for childcare now which can be enormously expensive. The legal paperwork to split up can get hideously expensive if you are living on a tight budget already. Some people may just decide it is cheaper to stay together than to incur the increased cost of splitting up.
If you have kids and you love them, it can be extremely difficult to give up time with them. The thought of only seeing them every other weekend or not being able to spend holidays with them might be enough reason for people to stay where they are rather than leave a broken relationship. You may not want to leave your kid alone with your spouse if the reason you are leaving is because they are mentally or emotionally unstable. Child custody battles can drain you emotionally and ruin you financially. There is a very good reason so many couples stay together until the kids move out of the house or graduate high school.
Breakups can lead to awkward conversations with friends and family. If you are in a high profile and public position at work, you might even be exposed to news coverage about your relationship troubles. It might be very important to you how others perceive you, even if it is just your friends and family or people you work or attend church with. You may share friends with your partner, and if the relationship tanks, you might lose friendships over it. Or, perhaps you are just a proud and private person and don’t want to invite the humiliation of admitting your relationship is broken. Instead, you maintain the facade that everything is fine and working properly to the outside world, even though you and your partner have long since split apart in all but the paperwork.
There are many reasons to stay in or leave a bad relationship. Only you can make that choice. No one else can make it for you. You have to decide what is ultimately best for you and your family. Every situation is unique and there is no universal fix that will magically make everything better. Leaving a broken relationship is a hard choice, but it is a choice only you can decide.