When you know that your partner is dependent on the relationship, you don't have the heart to put them through the pain of a breakup.
It's not that you didn't try hard enough, but despite making your best efforts over and over again, you feel like things are not the way they're supposed to be in the relationship. But even then, you still can't imagine walking away from your partner. And though you may not be aware of it, there is a reason behind for this and it has nothing to do with you.
It is likely that you choose to stay in the relationship for the sake of your partner. A study found on the American Psychological Association (APA PsycNET) concluded that when you make decisions, you tend to think of how it will impact others more than yourself. This means that you could be staying in an unhappy relationship because you are more concerned about your partner's feelings.
When you know that your partner is dependent on the relationship, you don't have the heart to put them through the pain of a breakup. You are ready to put yourself through an unfulfilling relationship because you're putting the feelings of your partner's ahead of yours.
Samantha Joel, lead author of the study said, "The more dependent people believed their partner was on the relationship, the less likely they were to initiate a breakup," according to Science Daily.
It could be that you are willing to put your priorities behind and think of your partner's wellbeing. You don't want to see people get hurt and you don't want to cause pain to someone you care about.
"When people perceived that the partner was highly committed to the relationship they were less likely to initiate a break up," said Joel. "This is true even for people who weren't really committed to the relationship themselves or who were personally unsatisfied with the relationship. Generally, we don't want to hurt our partners and we care about what they want."
Although keeping yourself in an unhappy relationship is out of the kindness that you have, it is not necessary for you to learn to live in an unfulfilling relationship. Over time, if negative feelings start brewing up inside you, it could fester and turn into something damaging. Try to have open conversations with your partner about what you're feeling. Together, you both might be able to find the cause of the problem and do something to change things. It may be hard at first, but you both might be able to come to a conclusion.
If you are considering the option of ending the relationship but not sure if it's the right thing to do, Sex therapist Kristie Overstreet suggested, "If you're trying to decide whether to stay in the relationship or leave it, write out the pros and cons of the decision. This forces you to use logic versus emotions and helps you identify things that you wouldn't have realized before," according to CNN.
She went on to say, "One of the most important questions you can ask yourself is if you have done everything you could do from your end to make it work. Make sure you have checked off all of the boxes on your list, which will help you come to your decision."
Sometimes, when you're stuck in an unhappy relationship, you are holding yourself back from attaining complete happiness. And in the process, you could also be holding your partner back. There might be some cases where a breakup would be better for both. Tammy Nelson, sex therapist said, "You may have been taught that this is what true love is -- a soul mate that is your other half -- but this is really codependency. If you don't have enough room to grow as a whole person in a relationship, you may not only be holding yourself back but your partner as well."
Admitting to yourself that you are in an unhappy relationship might be one of the toughest things to do. But that will finally let you and your partner have a healthy conversation about what you're going through. Either you will finally be able to change things and fill your relationship with the love and happiness you deserve, or you will be one step closer to getting more clarity on what needs to be done.