New findings have surfaced as a result of research conducted by experts in the U.S. that shows that perhaps there is a very interesting (and selfless) reason that some people continue to stay in unhappy relationships. These are the kinds of relationships that make them miserable and that give them no sense of feeling or fulfillment.
These are the kinds of relationships that can practically suck the life and enthusiasm out of a human being. You see these kinds of people every day. You might be in close relations with someone of them. Heck, you might even happen to be one of these people. Haven’t you ever wondered why people stay in relationships that make them feel miserable?
Well, the research suggests that it’s actually a pretty selfless reason. It’s because most people would rather stay because they don’t want to compromise the feelings of their partners. And so, in the process, they end up compromising their own feelings instead. It’s an act of emotional martyrdom.
This study was carried out by experts from the University of Utah in partnership with Michigan’s Wayne State University as well as the University of Toronto.
The study was actually formed with the intention to test out the theory that people tend to make “stay or leave” decisions in a prosocial manner.
That means that they like to take into consideration the feelings of those around them before they actually come to a decision of their own. And in this context, that means making sure that a partner isn’t going to be devastated by the occurrence of a breakup.
The study was divided into two separate parts and in the initial phase, 1,348 participants who were in romantic relationships were tracked and observed over the course of 10 weeks. In the second phase of the study, they decided to observe 500 participants who were thinking about breakups in the relationships over a period of two months.
The findings were published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. And they showed that in both studies, the more reliant and dependent that participants believed their partners were, then the less likely they were actually going to carry out a breakup with them.
Samantha Joel was the lead author of the study and she claims that these findings have heavy implications in relationship dynamics and romantic psychology.
“When people perceived that the partner was highly committed to the relationship they were less likely to initiate a breakup,” says 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.”
There had also been previous research that indicated that there were other prominent factors that went into deciding whether a breakup would be carried out or not.
Factors such as the amount of emotion, time, and resources that had already been invested in a relationship were definitely taken into consideration.
All of these factors, of course, are based on pure selfish interests. Research has also proven that a lot of people tend to stay in unhappy relationships because they know that the alternatives might seem worse.
For instance, they might not think that they would be able to make it in the world alone or they might think that being with anyone else would be just as bad.
This is actually the first study that confirms that some decisions surrounding an unfulfilling romantic relationship may actually factor in altruistic factors and components. Some people can stay motivated to stay in relationships that they don’t like just because they don’t want to be an emotional burden to the partners who are causing them so much displeasure in the first place.
At the end of the day, you just have to decide where your priorities lie in life. But would you really want o just stick things out in a relationship that doesn’t bring you any joy or happiness?