Why Unhappy Couples Stay Together

November 14, 2018  |  
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unhappy couples staying together

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It’s sad but you see it all the time: couples who are clearly unhappy together, but just won’t call it quits. Their friends see all the signs. I know a few couples who shock me with the way they speak to each other. You really wouldn’t know that these two people claim to love each other based on the way they talk to each other. In fact, you would think they hate each other. It’s such a shame because, you only get one romantic relationship in your life at a time (well, unless you’re polyamorous) so to settle for a bad one is a waste. Ideally, none of your relationships—from friendships to family ones—are combative. But at least you have plenty of friends and family members to go to when that one certain one is driving you nuts. You only get your one significant other. Shouldn’t it be a great one? You’d think so but, here are reasons unhappy couples stay together.

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They live together

Simply living together is a reason miserable couples stay together. They don’t want to deal with the hassle of packing boxes, breaking the lease, and finding a new place to live. Being content in one’s habitation is one reason unhappy pairs don’t split up.

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They have kids

This is, of course, no light matter. A lot of couples stay together because they don’t want to upset their children. But the reality is that living with parents who are together but clearly disdain one another is worse for children than having divorced parents is.

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They own a home

Owning a home together is the next level of the cohabitation issue. When you own property, nobody wants to give that up. There are mortgages involved. Perhaps the place has built equity. How will that be split up? People can get petty when it comes to property, and stay just because the house is valuable.

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One is financially reliant on the other

One partner has become financially reliant on the other. Perhaps that individual quit his or her job, with the understanding he or she would be supported forever. Now that person is out of practice with work and perhaps has lost contact with work contacts.

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They’ll just cheat

Unfortunately, some couples just decide—either openly or not—to cheat. That’s their way of “making it work.” But, of course, that’s like having two broken relationships rather than one whole one.

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They don’t believe happiness is real

Some people don’t actually know that there are couples who don’t fight all of the time. For whatever reason—perhaps their upbringing—some people believe that being unhappy in a relationship is normal.

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Their friends all settle

Maybe the couple is surrounded by people who settled. All of their friends settled for whomever they were with after college. They bought a house and had kids with someone who isn’t their soul mate. So, they all at least feel they have company in the other miserable couples.

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Pressure from their parents

There can be a lot of pressure from the parents to stay together. If a pair is married, getting a divorce might be considered a huge sin or an embarrassment in their family.

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They want stability

Sometimes, life is just so hectic that neither person wants to go through a huge change like a breakup or divorce right now. They want their relationship to be stable—even if it isn’t happy.

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They have low self-esteem

Low self-esteem can play a big role in people staying in the wrong relationship. They may feel that there are happy couples but, that type of relationship is for other people.

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They met too young

High school and college sweethearts are sweet…but they can also stunt each other’s growth. Some people stay together because they met young, and find comfort in a person they’ve known for a long time—even if that person keeps them from growing.

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Nobody is speaking up

If you have two people who don’t like to complain, are rather submissive, or are uncomfortable discussing feelings, they may stay together just because nobody is speaking up.

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Trying to “win”

Anger is a powerful thing and can keep two people together. It usually stems from a lack of self-love, but some people stay together because they enjoy making someone else feel bad.

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One is in a bad place

If one person has lost his job, lost a parent, or is going through something rough, the other can feel pressure to stay with him.

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They forget life is finite

Many people just forget the fact that life isn’t finite. They stay in relationships that don’t make them happy. They stay in careers that don’t make them happy. They forget that they only get one chance at this life thing.

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