Social Question

casheroo's avatar

Why would someone want to stay in a relationship when the other person does not love them?

Asked by casheroo (18106points) October 2nd, 2011

I don’t get it. Why would a person want to be with someone that doesn’t love them. That does not want to/is not willing to try, or get marriage counseling? Someone who has made it perfectly clear that there is no hope?
Is it fear of starting over? Fear of being alone? Just being an asshole? I’d love some insight

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40 Answers

chyna's avatar

Maybe it’s the chance, the glimmer of hope that the person will once again love them. If there is a divorce, there is less chance (in that person’s eyes) that there can be a reconciliation.

emeraldisles's avatar

I think that some people just can’t be alone. They can’t bear the idea of being on their own , by themselves and having to in a way start their lives over. They’re desperate.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think fear has a lot to do with it.

Moonya's avatar

Money can be a very powerful motive to. I know someone who stays with her husband just because he provides the income. She puts up with all kinds of stuff. He never is pleased with what she does in the household, he is so jealous that he fights over a video she watches on het pc because he thinks she is cheating with a webcam they don’t really own, she has no say what so ever over anything,... And when you ask her why she puts up with al that she responds: I have no diploma, no good looks and no work. I have to stay with him because he provides the income.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’ve known several women who stay with men who don’t love them the way they’d like and it had to do with the men providing well for their kids, not wanting to disrupt the kids’s lives and chance depressed kids. They had the fear they’d be judged selfish by their families and mutual friends for wanting more for themselves than their children’s welfare.

The men took advantage of this and even would exploit the power difference by belittling the women for being naive, selfish, at fault for the rift due to things like not wanting to work, wanting more children than the men did, letting their looks go, all kinds of hurtful things.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Usually when the other person tells them “I love you.” when they don’t and they make up excuses to talk you out of your own knowing it.

Sorry, my mind reading skills are broken. Magic 8 ball says “Ask again later”

spykenij's avatar

What I’d like to know is, how do you deal with it when it’s out of the blue and there was absolutely no warning? The person just stuck their head in the sand and wanted out and just jumped head-first into a decision that they weren’t even sure of AND is sending you mixed signals. I want to stay with my recent ex, even though she really hurt me this time and I don’t think she could redeem herself from this one. I don’t intend to hold it over her or throw it in her face, unless provoked to do so and even then, I would probably talk to someone 1st and just let it go. She said I’m a rollercoaster ride of drama. I didn’t cause the drama with my parents. My mom and step-father have the problem and since we could not see eye to eye and they just attacked me and her, it hurt us both and I recently disowned them…and NOW SHE WANTS OUT?!?! I’m so hurt, but I know that if we came back together, we would be better than ever before because getting rid of the bulk of our problems would fix all the issues she’s ever made me aware of. How can she hold it against me that I got sick and was in and out of the ER because no one would listen or try to help me? I had to go to The Cleveland Clinic for a diagnosis of Central Sensitization. Something I cannot control and something no one who saw me ever heard of until I found the doctor that fixed the major problem. Hell, I actively sought help constantly, bouncing from hospital to hospital and had 4 surgeries to rectify (gallbladder was taken out, exploritory surgery, removal of endometriosis and finally a partial hysterectomy, not including 3 IV’s to the jugular, endoscopy, colonscopy that I woke up during and was in great pain and an NG tube placed for 13 hours that I barfed all around). There’s a whole lot more. I tried neurofeedback, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, chakra alignment… Am I nuts or is she wrong?

Meego's avatar

I think it depends on a lot of different things. Most notably I do feel the same about my friends relationship but I’m on the outside looking in and respectfully what is good for me is most certainly not the same for my friend. If it’s your own relationship your questioning I’d suspect it has something to do with dependancy.

spykenij's avatar

@Meego Dependancy? How about true love and meaning everything you’ve said to the person with deeply rooted feelings of commitment, love and partnership?

JLeslie's avatar

So many reasons. Sometimes the pain of the breakup is too much, or seems to much to bear. The loss of that person no longer being in your life.

creative1's avatar

They care about the person and have fears they aren’t able to find another person they will like as much or more. They are happy to settle for what they have rather for the unknown and risk of being alone

SuperMouse's avatar

@chyna hits the nail on the head as far I am concerned. As long as they are still together there is still a chance.

Coloma's avatar

To stay in a loveless relationship is self abusive.
Yes, I’d say fear, dependency, codependency, more fear, fear of change, fear of being alone, inertia, denial, financial fear….yep, people that stay in these situations have a lot of issues to work out for themselves.

Every persons breaking point is different, and some just keep moving up the bar.


GabrielsLamb's avatar

@Coloma Or children… That was my reason. Albeit a completely stupid one because they were miserable when we were together, because we were, and they are much happier now.

Coloma's avatar


Oh for sure…my reason too, once upon a time. haha

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@Coloma I have horrible, HORRIBLE guilt about what they were sometimes witness to while I was at my worst when we were together… The last few years were really bad.

Luckily I am okay now, and they don’t have to see that me very much at all, if at all anymore. I can’t tell you the sorrow and the anger I had inside being TOLD everyday, sometimes 10 times a day that I was “loved” and knowing it meant absolutely nothing more than words to him. It was just misery and I’m glad he had the good sense to split.

I just wish he was more a man, owned up to his own garbage like I always had, and did it the right way instead of sneaking, and cheating and then just walking out with no discussion, no preperation and no planning.

The way he left, how cruel and just shitty it was done, really pushed me over an already steep cliff, and I lost my damn mind. Imagine having everything you knew, and fought over, and dealt with, proven true like in a day… No warning. *I’m leaving bye! and then not even a few weeks later, “Oh yeah, by the way, I am actually with her.” It was lovely… Nervous breakdown city!

Coloma's avatar

I called my nervous breakdown, my nervous breakthrough! lol
Hey, everyone has to have one nervous breakthrough to wake the F—K upl ;-D

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@Coloma Don’t I know it… and because he left and was happy… I can’t tell you how bad of a mistake it was for me to date right out the gate just to say I could.

I made the BIGGEST MISTAKE with the guy I picked it’s rediculous! THEN… nervous breakdown. *He put his foot to my back and pushed as I was falling… Nice guy!

It was a long time coming and it was a doozy! Thanks for understanding… It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. And I think you’re pretty freakin cool so… Maybe there’s hope for me too?

Meego's avatar

@spykenij Well if I’m on the right track then according to the question it most certainly is one sided.

Also according to the question “Why would a person want to be with someone that doesn’t love them. That does not want to/is not willing to try, or get marriage counseling? Someone who has made it perfectly clear that there is no hope?”

I would assume if all this has been made clear to the person “in love” then the in love person has dependancy is not a loving relationship if the other half of the relationship makes that clear.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@Meego I tried, I begged, I asked, his answer was eternally ever and always the same “I gotta work.” I’m sorry, but I think we were more important. But it actually translates to… “I really don’t want to be told I am wrong, I really don’t want to fix this, and I really don’t care.”

Getting help means having to change… I was ABSOLUTELY willing to do that… Hell, I was a damn mess, it is also extremely frustrating to know that you’re a mess and not be able to help yourself out of a rut, because the other person isn’t poractive or interested in changing either… It exacerbated everything. I would have thrown myself at the mercy of anything for a solution and some love and some peace of mind and a bit of security.

Meego's avatar

That which breaks you down builds you up and makes you grow into a better person.

I was in a horrible relationship once. When the break up happened I thought I was going to die. I realised after I found true love with similar needs what the hell the difference was and how I really didn’t know anything at all. But I learned how to find someone that valued me for who I was and when you find that, that is a part of true love

creative1's avatar

@Meego Some people just aren’t that confident in themselves and think that they won’t ever find someone again. Its really sad that some feel they need to hold on to something that clearly isn’t working rather than to find something that will be a perfect fit for fear of ending up alone.

Meego's avatar

@creative1 yes it’s true. Actually my true love passed away. I also realise now I was fulfilled and I am ok to be alone. I also thought I wouldn’t find “the one” but when your not looking they fall at your feet. That’s what happened to me.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@Meego *Firstly, I am sorry for your loss…

But, you’re a lucky lady to have found that TWICE in a lifetime… Sometimes I get afraid that this successive string of guys that just want to use what isn’t really left in the first place will never end. It’s messed up how they know just what you need to hear these days, like it is being read from a book… It’s creepy how so many guys can fake it so well, and have no concept or interest in providing it in truth. It is scary out there and it’s really hard after being in a committed situation for almost a decade to just get thrown to sharks again having no idea what to do, how to behave or what I even wanted or expected. It’s tricky.

Hopefully I might have an ending like yours… That might be nice? But I doubt it at this point.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@creative1 I don’t think I have ever held on to something bad for that particular reason. I think far too much to fall into that kind of pathetique poor me trap… I have reasons always, good ones… Hope, belief, the fear *in the sence of respect, that maybe it’s me, and I might be wrong or paranoid and to give someone a chance. I don’t think I have ever once stayed in a situation I knew was bad for a fear of being “alone” because I have always spent most of my time alone even while in committed relationships so it isn’t really an issue. There was ALWAYS a viable rational reason.

creative1's avatar

@GabrielsLamb Alot of people you see in those situations can’t go from one relationship without having another waiting in the wings… they can’t not have SO in their life. I personally would prefer to be alone than to be in something that isn’t right but I had a friend whom was like that, whenever she wasn’t happy with a boyfriend she began looking for a new one while still dating to old. She would never let go of the relationship unless she was with someone and never was without a boyfriend from the time she began dating, which is hard for me to fathom.

Meego's avatar

@GabrielsLamb I think that’s what I mean by dependant, not really a fear to be alone but more needy I think, that could be why there was ‘always a reason’ as you put it.

I still think if you really want to be happy you need to have similar goals relationships are 2 sided streets, They work better when your morales and goals are similar so you can build a foundation.

JLeslie's avatar

When I broke up with my long term boyfriend in college I was devasted, barely able to function. People, including the shrink I wound up seeing asked me if I was afraid no one else would want to be with me, or told me I will find someone else. I did not worry at all that I would be alone, or that no one else would want to be with me. My freakedoutedness had nothing to do with my confidence about finding someone else. Although, I am sure for some people that is the case.

If my husband wanted to leave me I would feel awful, and the disruption and adjustment in my life would be huge. Besides missing him, I really don’t want to have to deal with that sort of change.

I think it usually has to do with feelings of rejection, and grieving. Grieving what once was, and what you expected your future to be.

Conversation about people holding on in bad circumstances, well, sometimes the relationship does not seem that bad to the party having a hard time letting go. Many times one of the people in the couple feels a little shocked the other person actually wants to and is leaving.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@creative1 I had been in a committed relationship since I was 17 years old (Not one, but one steady long term after another up until 3 years ago). I happen to LIKE being with someone. I am used to it, I appreciate taking care of a man, I like that comraderie and the sharing and growing, and playing and being goofy and then building something solid from it together.

I’m probably older, and come from a different mindset than the girls today have and although I absolutely do not want to be “Taken care of.” meaning stay at home anything because I worked really hard to get my degree and I would like to use it and become successful on my own, but it is still, for me, always nice to have someone to come home to.

Do I need that? Nope…
Do I depend upon that to be happy? Nope
But do I want it… Yes absolutely I do.

and not just with anyone because there were PLENTY of men that have asked, and wanted that, and It was I who turned THEM down. I believe that you absolutely cannot pick who you love, and I kind of stay until it is just a known fact that it is a bad idea and it’s time to stop trying. But it is seldom ever for a lack of trying on my part. I have a high tolerance to go the distance to in the very least try to make something work if it means something to me. I’m in love with someone that I know I can’t have… Nothing I can do about it. Am I on the prowl? nope… No dating sites, no calling any ex’s, no looking at all. But I want to find someone deffinately!

I want to believe, I love making things work, I LIKE relationships… But certainly not any old anything… that’s not me, not even close!

Meego's avatar


~love is easily fooled and is definitely a hard thing to judge…that’s for sure~

King_Pariah's avatar

For some it’s called dependent personality disorder

spykenij's avatar

Disagree. I call it ripping your heart from your chest and consuming it in front of you. Sometimes people don’t show their true colors until they snap and they will almost always snap. Take everything with a grain of salt. I have been on my own and happy before and I can do it again, but I CHOOSE to be with someone to share my life with and I want that to last until we pass. It does happen, but who knows if people will be stable enough to actually do it.

boxer3's avatar

nostaligic memories of things one were,
or maybe that one strand of hope of things that could be
if x y and z happened…

disheartening none the less.

perspicacious's avatar

Maybe it’s not breaking a vow. Why is it so important to you? Is it you?

Meego's avatar

@spykenij You have a right to be upset. For all intense purposes the relationship you are describing was not entered into faithfully by another person. Of course you feel betrayed. You ordered high quality merchandise and got fooled by the knockoff. Look at it as a learning experience as a blessing in disguise. Next time you will have the tools you learned. Don’t let your guard down.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Maybe they never loved their partner either.

Ellis1919's avatar

-they don’t want to be alone
-they don’t want to start over
-they don’t want to let go because they still love the other person, even if the other person doesn’t love them
-lack of self identity

The list could go on. There are so many reasons why people stay together.

Ellis1919's avatar

@spykenij Maybe it wasn’t out of the blue but you just didn’t see it coming?

Coloma's avatar


I have to agree. Rarely are we truly fooled by another, we simply deny what we don’t wish to allow into our conscious awareness because that would mean we HAVE to wake up and take the right actions that correspond to reality.

Bottom line….most people have to get hit with multiple bricks to crack open their hard headed egos enough to admit a little light into the dark chamber. lol

spykenij's avatar

No, no…her own family doesn’t know what the hell is going on with her and said she was acting out of character. There was no warning. The day I was coming home, she was at her neice’s house and her whole family and even she said she was excited for me to come home because she missed me and I got home in pieces and she left me to fall after I finally did the one thing she kept telling me to do. She was fine. No one saw this coming. Maybe her co-workers did, but I doubt that too. She shuts down and withdraws without any notice and without giving reason. She just will not talk about anything. I really didn’t think she was a knock off. I should have went with my red flags in the beginning, but even my therapist back then said I was just being jumpy because of what happened to me in my last relationship. I feel like I am sad and then angry for letting this happen. If I would have seen it, I would have done something about it. I am very empathetic and can read people well, but now I cannot read her at all anymore. We still think about the same things at the same time. As I stood up to go feed the cats, she texted and asked if she could feed her kiddies. They are our kiddies. I will always be their daddy. Even she said that and now they are HER kids. WTH-F?

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