Have you ever known someone in an obviously broken or dysfunctional relationship? Ever wondered why they stayed with this person despite all the negatives? 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 cause deep emotional pain.
The longer the relationship, the harder it becomes to leave it behind. 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 sort out finances or visit with your kids.
Plus, people stay in toxic relationships for other reasons, such as familiarity or lack of options. They may hesitate to leave because that would mean starting over from scratch. So, they remain in the relationship even though they no longer feel happy or fulfilled.
It isn’t easy watching someone you love and care about waste away in a broken relationship. But, your friend/family member may think that leaving will cause them even greater pain and distress.
Five Reasons Why Someone People Stay in a Broken Relationship
1 – Investment of Time
We have limited time here on Earth, as no one lives forever. When we commit to long-term relationships, we invest a lot of time into the – time we will never get back if the relationship fails. Also, if we leave or our partner calls it quits, other responsibilities can become burdensome when left to one person. We have to shuttle kids back and forth, work longer hours to make up for lost income, and take on household chores alone. Also, time spent building or upgrading our homes seems like a waste if the family doesn’t stay together.
2 – You Still Care For Them
You may find it hard to walk away because you still have very strong feelings for them. Even though the relationship no longer works, that doesn’t mean the love just disappears. These strong feelings may encourage you to stay, even if you’ve realized your partner isn’t good for you.
3 – Financial Concerns
You may own a home and cars together, not to mention phone plans and other bills we take for granted every month. In addition, you may have joint bank accounts or joint investments together. Splitting these finances may require a time-consuming, complicated process that involves lawyers, banks, and other institutions.
Your partner may also not have an income if they gave up their career or education in order to start a family. This means that they will have to restart their career if you split, which may require going back to school. On the other hand, perhaps both of you have full-time careers. Breaking up could mean paying for childcare, which adds an enormous monthly expense for most families. The legal paperwork to split up can get hideously expensive if you already have a tight budget. After mulling over all these expenses, some people may just decide they can’t afford to split up.
Some studies reveal that people might feel motivated to remain in unfulfilling relationships for their partner’s sake. For instance, if a partner perceives their other half as heavily dependent on the relationship, their chances of initiating a breakup decrease.
4 – Kids
If you have kids, you probably don’t like the idea of sacrificing any time with them. The thought of only seeing them every other weekend or missing holidays with them might keep you in a broken relationship. Also, if your spouse isn’t mentally or emotionally stable, you may feel apprehensive about leaving them alone with your child. In addition, child custody battles can drain you emotionally and ruin you financially.
Staying together for the kids explains why so many couples only split up after they have an empty nest. Of course, some couples get divorced when their children are young, but some tough it out for the kids’ sake.
5 – Public Perception
Breakups can lead to awkward conversations with friends and family. For instance, if you have a high profile and public position at work, the media might cover your relationship troubles, exposing your private life to thousands. Even if you aren’t in the public eye, you might consider the perception of your friends, family, or coworkers. You may share friends with your partner, and if the relationship tanks, you might lose friendships over it.
Or, maybe you keep your personal life to yourself and don’t want to risk the humiliation of admitting your failed relationship. Instead, you maintain the facade of a happy relationship to the world, even though you and your partner only remain together legally.