Psychology Explains Why People Feel Stuck in a Relationship

Psychology Explains Why People Feel Stuck in a Relationship

feel stuck in a relationshipLifestyle

There are many reasons that people feel stuck in a relationship. When anything other than being romantically attached is keeping you from leaving, you are likely feeling stuck. It’s unfortunate when a relationship reaches this point, but it can happen over time.

Feeling stuck is when you no longer have romantic feelings for your partner, but you stay anyway. Whatever your reason may be, from loyalty to something else, it causes a feeling of being stuck in a relationship.

It may be hard to understand why you or someone else stays when the romantic attachment is gone. Never the less, it happens often. Even the reason that feeling stuck happens in relationships is hard to figure out.

While it may be hard to accept or pinpoint the reason for feeling stuck, there are now answers. Psychologists have figured out why people feel stuck in a relationship, helping you to understand, too.


Why People Feel Stuck in a Relationship

stuck in a relationshipThrough a study of both married and unmarried couples, researchers began to identify why people feel stuck. It was quickly discovered that many of the participants described feeling stuck in their relationship.

From that discovery, the researchers decided to study how and why certain things keep a couple together. They began by defining what it means to be stuck and determined that at least one of three instances would occur. These instances include:

-feeling like you shouldn’t have stayed in the relationship for this long

-taking a long time to end the relationship, even after you have decided to

-feeling uncertain about being with that person

The feelings mentioned above likely won’t be there at the beginning of the relationship. Usually, the relationship starts great, and both people are happy.

As the relationship continues positively, you will form a deeper connection, sense of loyalty, and entanglements. Then, once the happiness and positivity fade, this all leads to feeling stuck in a relationship. With all of the obstacles that will have to be overcome, it may seem impossible or hard to leave it behind.

By continuing the relationship instead of facing the obstacles, you are only making the situation worse. It allows more and more constraints to occur, causing you to feel even more stuck than before.

What Causes Partners to Stay

Here are some reasons people stay together.

1 – Financial Instability

When a couple pays bills together and buys things for the home together, finances are easier to manage. So, when you do the math and realizes how much more income will go to bills when only one person contributes, it causes some anxiety about leaving.

It causes a complete lifestyle change, and some people can’t afford to make it alone. This financial problem can prevent them from leaving when they become unhappy.

If the person feeling stuck is the one who makes more money, they may worry about their partner. They may realize that the other person would struggle financially if they left. This often stems from feeling obligated to take care of their partner or from a sense of loyalty.

2 – Children

Having children with someone is a leading reason that people stay in a relationship. Uprooting the children or disrupting their lives is a serious concern for most parents. Plus, parents want a stable home for their children and don’t want them to experience being in a divorced family.

Another reason children play a role in couples staying together is because of co-parenting. Even if you leave someone, when you have children together, that person will still be involved in your life. Plus, this would mean you probably have to share parenting time, giving up precious time with the children.

3 – Loyalty or Obligation

A huge reason that couples stay together even when the romance has faded is out of loyalty. They may also feel they are obligated to stay for financial or other reasons. The longer a couple has been together, the more likely this scenario will occur when the romance fades.

4 – They Got Serious Without Thinking It Through

Sometimes, when a relationship seems perfect in the beginning, couples move too quickly. They begin forming bonds and connections too early in the relationship that is not easy to undo. Instead of staying together for a while and thinking about taking big steps, they act on impulse.

This could mean moving in together early in the relationship or having a baby before truly knowing one another. It could also mean getting married quickly and beginning the married life before they were ready.

Once the excitement and perfection of the new relationship fades, however, feelings can change. This is unfortunate in these instances because it can be hard to get out of a lease or separate possessions. Even more serious is when a baby is involved because it requires co-parenting and continued connection.

Oftentimes, when things moved too quickly, one partner will feel like they have sacrificed their dreams. They likely had to give something up to live the life they have with their partner. This can cause them to feel stuck once they have realized what has happened.

5 – Nostalgia

All relationships had happy times at some point, and this could be a reason someone stays. When times get hard, people will look back on all the good times and reminisce about the way they felt.

Sometimes you may even have good times again, making you rethink the way you feel. Just as quickly as the happy feeling returned, however, you will likely return to the feeling of being stuck.


stuck in a relationship6 – They are Too Comfortable

Comfort in a relationship is important. If you have grown comfortable with someone, it could be hard to leave. Even when the romantic aspect of the relationship is gone, comfort often overshadows it.

7 – They Think There are too Many Obstacles to Overcome

Sometimes, it isn’t simply one or two obstacles preventing someone from leaving. They may have many things to overcome, making it seem impossible to get out of the relationship.

How to Become Un-Stuck

As easy as it is to start feeling like you are stuck in a relationship, there are a few ways to get rid of this feeling. If you feel like you are stuck, you have to take action in some way.

1 – Make a List and Rank All the Important Things in Your Life

When you do this, you will be forcing yourself to think of what is most important. If there are things high on the list that you can’t do while in your current relationship, it will be an eye-opener for you.

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