You have probably seen them – couples who bicker and fight all the time and seem deeply unhappy with one another. Maybe you even have a few such couples in your own life. You may have wondered what sort of glue is holding them together even when they should be fleeing. There are many answers to that common question.
#1. For the Children
This is perhaps the most common reason couples cite for staying together in the midst of unhappiness. They fear the children will be traumatized by the breakup or divorce, or that their spouse will use the kids against them.
The problem is that the kids often feel caught in the middle anyway, regardless of what the adults are doing. Children are very perceptive, and they can sense when the adults in their lives are not getting along.
#2. They Hate Confrontation
Confrontation does not come naturally for many people, and that fear of confrontation keeps many people trapped in loveless marriages. The husband who feels unhappy may fear making his wife cry. The unhappy wife may fear anger from her spouse. No matter what the underlying problem, fear of confrontation keeps many couples right where they are.
#3. They Get Comfortable
The relationship may not be happy, but at least it is familiar. It is easy for couples to get comfortable even when they know they deserve better. If that sounds like you, at least you are not alone.
#4. Money is Tight
Many experts were baffled by the drop in divorce rates that accompanied the Great Recession, but it is actually quite simple to understand. Running two separate households is much more costly than running one combined one, and many unhappy couples do in fact stay together to save money.
#5. Fear of the Unknown
You may not be happy, but at least you know where you stand and who you are coming home to. Taking a plunge into the great unknown is extremely scary, and many people stay just because they fear change. That may not be a good reason for staying in an unhappy relationship or marriage, but at least it is an honest one.
#6. The Family Would Be Disappointed
If your palms start sweating when you think about calling your parents, you have hit on a major reason why unhappy couples stay together. Many men and women are so worried about their families’ disapproval that they remain in their unhappy marriages and miss out on potentially better lives.
#7. The Church Would Be Disappointed
An angry God is even scarier than an overbearing and disapproving mother. If your church frowns on divorce, it is easy to remain where you are even when you know the best days are behind you.
#8. They Do Not Want to Give Up
When you walk away from a marriage or long-term relationship, you are admitting that you have failed. That is a bitter pill for many people to swallow, and there are people who simply do not want to admit defeat. That may not be the best reason for staying in an unhappy marriage, but it is one of the most common.
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