Six Reasons Why People Stay in Bad Relationships

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Six Reasons Why People Stay in Bad Relationships

A bad relationship has many phases. It can be a relationship that is sexually abusive, physically harmful, or emotionally manipulative. It might even be a combination of all three. The presence of any of these should be an indicator to either leave the relationship or seek help. However, some people remain in a bad relationship for different reasons. There are at least six reasons why people stay in bad relationships.

In a sexually abusive relationship, there is a disregard for one partner’s consent by the other partner. This disregard arises from the notion that people in a relationship owe each other sex or other forms of sexual behaviours. This sense of entitlement often leads to one partner overpowering the other and forcing them to engage in sexual activities, which is assault. A physically abusive relationship is one where one of the partners often hits and harms the other person.

An emotionally manipulative relationship is not as easy to recognize as the other two forms of abuse. Emotional manipulation is a subtle thing happening over a long period. Abusers use different techniques of emotional manipulation such as gaslighting, or passive-aggressiveness, to hurt their partners.

A common denominator in any toxic relationship is an unbalanced power equation. Only when one of the partners holds some sort of power over the other, there arises a scenario in which that power can be abused. Being the victim of a toxic relationship is a very traumatic experience, however, many people continue to be in one, for reasons stated below. These are the six reasons why people stay in bad relationships.

1. Low Self Esteem

Six Reasons Why People Stay in Bad Relationships


Our understanding of our self-worth often reflects in our selection of romantic partners, and with an extension, the kind of relationships we partake in. If one of the partners view themselves as not deserving of a healthy relationship – they will continue to be in a toxic relationship because they don’t think they deserve anything better.

3. Fear of Loneliness

Six Reasons Why People Stay in Bad Relationships


When people get too afraid of being lonely and on their own, they tend to choose to stay in a bad relationship, because the fear of being single outweighs the trauma they might be experiencing. However, it is imperative to understand that a healthy and comfortable relationship with oneself is a prerequisite to an emotionally fulfilling relationship with someone else.

3. Normalization of abuse in Popular Culture

The kind of media we ingest in the form of TV shows, songs, movies, and books heavily influence our understanding of what is acceptable behaviour in a social set-up and what isn’t. In such a scenario, when a large number of protagonists of such movies do things like stalking or consistently pursuing their love interests even after the other person says no, they end up normalizing such acts as acts committed out of love. As a result, the people staying in these relationships accept it as normal and do not break out of the relationship.

4. Growing up in an Abusive Household

Six Reasons Why People Stay in Bad Relationships


The kind of social set-up we grow up in, tend to define what we think of as “normal”. As a result, if someone has grown up seeing strifes in their parent’s marriage, they accept that as a part of any functional relationship. It takes dedicated efforts towards unlearning things we imbibe in our childhood to make sure we don’t stay stuck in a rut.

5. Resource Trade-Off

Resource trade-offs are when both parties in a relationship rely on the other because the other person brings something to the table that they can’t. For example, a husband who makes money, and a wife who works around the house and takes care of the kids (or vice versa) are dependent on each other to fulfil some sort of functions they themselves can’t. In this scenario, the wife might choose to stay with an abusive husband because he’s the breadwinner of the house or vice versa.

6. Staying because of others

Six Reasons Why People Stay in Bad Relationships


Married couples often end up not divorcing each other for the sake of their kids. People tend to stay in a toxic relationship because they think leaving will hurt others.

No matter the reason, staying in a toxic relationship is bad for your physical and psychological health. Inform others, talk about your experiences and ask for help from your friends, therapists, sexual assault lawyers, and others. A toxic relationship might leave long-lasting effects, the sooner you get out of it, the better off you are.

Feature photo: Pexels
Rebecca Siggers

Rebecca Siggers has been closely studying the travel industry trends from quite some time. Intrigued by the booming growth of this sector, she takes interest in penning down her views providing quality insight on current travel trends and also likes to write about food and beverages, particularly wine.

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