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7 Bad Reasons to Stay in a Bad Marriage

While it’s true nobody said marriage was easy, only folks in a bad marriage can truly understand that marriage shouldn’t have to be so hard.

Despite the best of intentions and promises of forever, sometimes a marriage just doesn’t work out.

No matter the reason for the deterioration of a relationship, staying in a toxic marriage for the sake of staying married will eventually take a very serious personal toll.

Take a look at the 7 most common reasons people stay in bad marriages and why staying isn’t such a great idea – after the jump.


  • Fear 1 of 7
    Fear
    Leaving a marriage to start a new beginning can be scary for a lot of reasons. Whether it's fear of being alone, starting over, or no longer having someone to blame, fear is damaging to your spirit. According to psychotherapist Mel Schwartz, "When you stay married out of fear, the emotional paralysis that pervades further poisons the relationship. Staying together out of resignation due to fear results in an enigmatic dilemma. Such people won't consider divorce, and yet they are convinced that their marriage won't improve, so they don't work on the relationship." Schwartz goes on to say, "Fear should not be a factor in your choice. Ultimately, the question is how much happiness you deserve in your life. It is not selfish to deserve happiness."
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • The kids 2 of 7
    The kids
    Every parent in an unhappy marriage has stayed longer than they should have for this very reason. If your marriage is to become your children's definition of love, stop and ask yourself what your children are learning from your marital example. Psychotherapist Mel Schwartz suggests, "To forgo your own contentment becomes a model of unhealthy self-sacrifice for your children who will likely suffer in their own self-esteem by having parents who betrayed their own fulfillment."
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Money 3 of 7
    Money
    Remember that every decision in life comes with a price. While the idea of trading an accustomed lifestyle for financial uncertainty can be daunting, a comfortable lifestyle can't make you happy. Even though the price of freedom can take an emotional toll, the reward of a brighter tomorrow is priceless.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • You made a vow 4 of 7
    You made a vow
    You meant your marriage vows when you made them, only now to face the insufferable guilt of needing out of an unhealthy situation. Susan Pease Gadoua, author of Contemplating Divorce, A Step-by-Step Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go suggests that while marriage is a powerful commitment, "Seasons change. Tides change. Relationships change. People change. Life situations change. Everything changes. That is life. That is what is supposed to happen," Gadoua then goes on to say, "The trick in any relationship is to change and grow on your path while allowing your partner to change and grow on his or her path." While the task is easier said than done, denying personal change is unreasonable. If you or your partner's personal journey has created an insurmountable divide in your marriage, perhaps it's time to reevaluate your place in it.
  • Guilt 5 of 7
    Guilt
    If you're in an unhappy marriage, chances are good that guilt has kept you there for quite some time. Allowing guilt to guide your personal happiness or tone of your home is an exercise in futility. As difficult as the transition will undoubtedly be, the people you love will ultimately reap the reward of a happier and more peaceful you.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • The hassle 6 of 7
    The hassle
    Divorce may be a royal pain in the ass, but complacency never once brought about a change for the better.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • The stigma of divorce 7 of 7
    The stigma of divorce
    Even the unhappiest marriage cringes at that thought of becoming yet another divorce statistic, however, if you both tried to salvage what cannot be repaired, it's time to make the decision that will grant you personal peace.
    Image credit: Shutterstock

Did you stay in a bad marriage too long?

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