Advertising
Advertising

Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

Dating in today’s society is difficult. It’s like navigating a mine field. Once people finally find someone they can settle down with, they want that relationship to last. Even if it means settling when they feel unhappy in the relationship, have to tolerate discomfort in the relationship, and convincing themselves that the relationship will be better some day.

No one wants to be sad for sure. But why so many people choose to stay in an unhappy relationship even though they find it unfulfilling?

Think about life before anyone entering a relationship. They were going along, relatively happy, free and doing their own thing.

    Then they met and possibly fell in love with their partner. And things changed.

    Advertising

      It was great at first. They started to build their own box, forming a close bonding.

        But then things began to shift because of different reasons. People will endure sadness, depression and live a life that is unfulfilled because it’s convenient and they are afraid to leave their comfy and cozy little box.

          They will rationalize staying for a variety of reasons. Maybe they have kids together or have lots of shared memories. Maybe they have been together for many years and have invested a lot in building the box. They just don’t want to waste everything they’ve built.

            They may think that they can still make the relationship better. They look at everything in the box and though they see the massive room for improvement, they want to fix those issues. They believe that love is tough and it needs to be hard in order to work. Or, they feel that they just haven’t tried hard enough.

            Advertising

              Humans are creatures of habit. Once you find something that works and that makes you feel comfortable, you fight to keep it. For most people it’s just easier to stay. That’s the default. The box is safe and familiar.

                The Problem with the Box

                The problem with the box is that it blocks people from being aware of what happens inside and outside their relationship.

                  While some of the reasons such as having kids together are legitimate to stay in a relationship, people need to do a deeper assessment to determine the true reasons for wanting to stay.

                  If people only think about the effort spent on building this box, all the memories, emotions and things shared throughout the time and hate to let all of that go; they are sacrificing their opportunities to be happier. This is actually a sunk cost bias. It means when people have spent a lot of effort on something, they won’t stop investing in it even if it’s going wrong. They don’t want to waste the previous investment but this has blocked them from exploring and investing in better opportunities.

                  Advertising

                  Many have also misunderstood the term “hard work”. No one should work like a slave to make a relationship work. Engaging in the constant struggle only brings the worst out of both people. These struggles won’t make a relationship healthy and loving.

                  People might ask “but how’d you know if you never tried? Maybe when I try harder, things will be different.” No one would ever know the future. As humans, we’re hard-wired to want to know the unknowns. Anything that has not yet been completed will leave us wonder how it will become. It’s our nature to wonder, but everyone has the power not to be led by their curiosity when deciding what’s best for themselves. Besides, you would never know you wouldn’t be happier if you never got out of the unhappy relationship.

                  How to Get Out of the Box

                  The first and most important thing to do when contemplating ending the relationship is talk with your partner. Regardless how they feel and what you ultimately choose to do, your partner deserves to know upfront that you are happy and are contemplating ending the relationship. Having this type of crucial conversation is not fun or easy. But it is the right thing to do for both yourself and your partner. Honesty is always the best option in the end.

                  Press Pause

                  Sometimes, easing out of a relationship is easier than just ripping the band-aid off. So after initiating that difficult conversation, both of you may need to take a break from each other. It could be the best way to give you both space to breathe and really evaluate the relationship.

                  Taking a break is not a license to cheat. Nor is it an opportunity for you to see if there is someone out there better than what you have. The break is about self-reflection and self-evaluation. It’s a trip you have to take alone. If, per chance, you do find someone else during your time apart, break things off with your partner immediately. You always want to act with integrity.

                  Set a time limit for how long the break will last. Once the predetermined amount of time has passed, be sure to come together and discuss next steps. You never want to leave the relationship or your partner in limbo. You, the relationship and your partner need closure.

                  Advertising

                  Talk the Difficult Talk

                  When the break is over, gather again to talk about your thoughts about the relationship. If you have decided to end the relationship, don’t establish false expectations in any way. Be clear about your intentions and your desire to end the relationship amicably. Don’t make your partner think that if he or she changes something that the relationship will continue.

                  Don’t blame them for the relationship ending. Just let them know that you are unhappy in this relationship but not because of anything he or she has done. It isn’t a good fit. Be lovingly firm in your explanation.

                  Stay Because of Love, Not Fear

                  Deciding to end a relationship is never really easy— especially if you care for the other person.

                  If you want a genuinely happy, healthy and fulfilling relationship, you have to be willing to take some risks. Staying in a relationship out of fear, guilt or for any other reason except genuine and true affection for the other person is damaging to you, your partner and the relationship.

                  If you truly love your partner, have the courage to stay. If not, have the courage to leave.

                  More by this author

                  Anna Chui

                  Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

                  23 Books About Racism to Inspire You to Embrace Race and Do Good 50 Life Purpose Quotes to Give Meaning to Your Life How to Live Life to the Fullest How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It) 26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

                  Trending in Social Animal

                  1 How to Use the Law of Reciprocity for Effective Persuasion 2 What Will Happen When You Surround Yourself With Positive People? 3 How to Surround Yourself With Positive People 4 How to Create Social Goals to Make an Impact in the World 5 The Lifehack Show: Improving Social Skills with Dr. Daniel Wendler

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Last Updated on March 17, 2020

                  4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

                  4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

                  Are you bored at work right now?

                  Sitting at your desk, wishing you could be anywhere other than here, doing anything else…?

                  You’re not alone.

                  Even when you have a job you love, it’s easy to get bored. And if your job isn’t something you’re passionate about, it’s even easier for boredom to creep in.

                  Did you know it’s actually possible to make any job more interesting?

                  That’s right.

                  Whether it’s data entry or shelf stacking, even the most mind-numbing of jobs can be made more fun.

                  Advertising

                  Understanding the science behind boredom is the first step to beating it.

                  Read on to learn the truth about boredom, and what you can do to stop feeling bored at work for good.

                  VIDEO SUMMARY

                  I’m bored – as you’re watching the same film over and over again, even though it’s your favorite one

                  When you experience something new, your brain releases opioids – chemicals which make you feel good. [1]

                  It’s the feeling you might get when you taste a new food for the first time, watch a cool new film, or meet a new person.

                  However, the next time you have the same experience, the brain processes it in a different way, without releasing so many feel-good chemicals.

                  That’s why you won’t get the same thrill when you eat that delicious meal for the tenth time, rewatch that film again, or spend time with the same friend.

                  So, in a nutshell, we get bored when we aren’t having any new experiences.

                  Advertising

                  Now, new experiences don’t have to be huge life changes – they could be as simple as taking a different route to work, or picking a different sandwich shop for lunch.

                  We’re going to apply this theory to your boring job.

                  Keep reading find out how to make subtle changes to the way you work to defeat boredom and have more fun.

                  Your work can be much more interesting if you learn these little tricks.

                  Ready to learn how to stop feeling so bored at work?

                  We’ve listed some simple suggestions below – you can start implementing these right now.

                  Let’s do this.

                  Make routine tasks more interesting by adding something new

                  Sometimes one new element is all it takes to turn routine tasks from dull to interesting.

                  Advertising

                  Maybe there’s a long drive you have to make every single week. You get so bored, going the same old route to make the same old deliveries.

                  Why not make it a routine to create a playlist of new music each Sunday, to listen to on your boring drive during the week?

                  Just like that, something you dread can be turned into the highlight of your day.

                  For other routine tasks, you could try setting a timer and trying to beat your record, moving to a new location to complete the task, or trying out a new technique for getting the work done – you might even improve your productivity, too.

                  Combine repetitive tasks to get them out of the way

                  Certain tasks are difficult to make interesting, no matter how hard you try.

                  Get these yawn-inducing chores out of the way ASAP by combining them into one quick, focused batch.

                  For example, if you hate listening to meeting recordings, and dislike tidying your desk, do them both at the same time. You’ll halve the time you spend bored out of your mind, and can move onto more interesting tasks as soon as you’re done.

                  Advertising

                  Break large tasks into small pieces and plan breaks between them

                  Feeling overwhelmed can lead you to procrastinate and get bored. Try breaking up large tasks into lots of small pieces to keep things manageable and fun.

                  Try breaking up a 10,000 word report into 1000-word sections. Reward yourself at the end of each section, and you’ll get 10 mini mood boosts, instead of just one at the end.

                  You can also plan short breaks between each section, which will help to prevent boredom and keep you focused.

                  Give yourself regular rewards, it can be anything that makes you feel good

                  Make sure you reward yourself for achievements, even if they feel small.

                  Rewards could include:

                  • Eating your favourite snack.
                  • Taking a walk in a natural area.
                  • Spending a few minutes on a fun online game.
                  • Buying yourself a small treat.
                  • Visiting a new place.
                  • Spending time on a favourite hobby.

                  Your brain will come to associate work with fun rewards, and you’ll soon feel less bored and more motivated.

                  Boredom doesn’t have to be a fact of life.

                  Make your working life feel a thousand times more fun by following the simple tips above.

                  Reference

                  [1] Psychology Today: Why People Get Bored

                  Read Next