Why Do Girls stay in a bad relationship?

Asking the question why do girls go for jerks is pointless. Im asking why do girls stay after knowing they are "a-holes". Is it because he made you feel special at one point? Is it because you believe "this is as good as it gets"? Do keep yourself ignorant to how bad it really is? These are all rhetorical questions but I do want opinions on why do girls seem to more often then not stay in bad/abusive relationships

Why stay with someone who mistreats you. Whats the psychology in this?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I think it's everything you said. Many girls get with a guy and initially things are great. The guy is saying the girl is amazing, that she's wonderful, he takes her out, etc...

    However, once they have been together for a while the relationship may start to get boring or the guy reverts back to his usual self. So the good behaviour front is gone.

    I think people tend to stay in that situation because they saw how good things were and think it will go back to being that way. But unfortunately how things were was not how they naturally are. And the true self comes out.

    It can also be hard to leave a guy when there is an attachment. So much time has already been spent in the relationship, it seems wasteful to walk away.

    Those are just my theories.

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    • I agree with you, girls usually lack the ability to let go and guys usually have an easier time letting go but its common for them to regret it.

      There's even this joke that girls cry a lot in the first days after breaking up and guys are all happy, but after a while girls move on and guys get sad. It's like girls think more about the future than guys, so they have a harder time understanding that the future will be different than what they imagined and guys have a harder time making better long term decisions

    • Actually, I was reading a study about married couples. Over two third of divorces are filed by the wife. This gives an indication that women are more likely to let go of bad relationships, than remain in them.

What Girls Said 111

  • I've answered this a million times and i will again, it's just a temporary thing, don't take it personally when we say we are in a relationship with them because we never were... guys need to realize us girls are actually HUMAN too, we cry, we learn, we grow, just like guys do, so why is it just a shocker for females to learn and grow too?, if that is the mentality guys want us to have... consider us with an IQ of 0 lol.

    Nobody has high self-esteem or confidence at the start... nobody... especially not in our teen years or in our 20s, it takes years to build confidence, but we all need to learn what we do and don't want including us girls, don't condem us for our mistakes because guys make plenty of them too no matter what they are. You go for your fair share of "bad girls" too, why does everything has to be different for anyone who isn't male?

    We know as much about dating and people are guys do, plus you can't always tell... i know people want to have control constantly over their lives these days... but it's maddening seeing people so unrelaxed, lfie is about learning so let people learn from their own mistakes, don't be hurt over it, i don't understand how others could get hurt over something that never personally happened to them lol.

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  • They've been conditioned.
    It's how abusive relationships work, and you do see this same thing happen with men in abusive relationships.
    Some are afraid, others by now have come to believe no one could love them (because they are so horrible according to the abusive lover) EXCEPT the abuser. Oftentimes at the beginning of these relationships, the abuser will do their best to isolate the victim from their friends and family. Remember, these are very controlling relationships, and oftentimes abusers are slippery in their approaches initially. Not everyone is aware enough of the red flags to see they are dating an abuser, until wayyy too late. And by then... they've been conditioned.

    For a better explanation and more info, check out this link: www.loveisrespect.org/.../why-do-people-stay-in-abusive-relationships

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  • I stayed in an abusive relationship for years. At first I stayed because I didn't understand that I am a person of value who should be treated with love, compassion and dignity. I was used to being treated like an object because that's how I saw men treat girls and women while I was growing up. I didn't think my feelings mattered. Then later I stayed because my ex husband had a lot more power and money and social connections than I had, so I was fairly convinced he would be able to win a custody case and I would lose access to our kids. He was abusive to them and said he would cut them off from me and I knew if that happened I would not be able to protect them from abuse. Slowly over time, I was able to gather resources and gain connections and strength to leave, and I decided to have blind faith that I wouldn't lose the kids. It was touch and go for a while but we are fine and I am now happily married to a man who is very kind and loving.

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  • It depends on the reason for the abuse... I tolerate a lot more than the average person and probably more than I should... but I had a guy who was a major alcoholic who treated me like gold when he was sober. But drunk, he couldn't have been more different - very forceful with me. Grabbed my neck and stuff. It was a very stressful, complicated time because we got along like we had been best friends forever until he drank, and I'm not sure if he even knows all the stuff he did. But he's so sensitive and sweet in real life that I couldn't bear to tell him...

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  • I could try my hardest to explain but you would never understand unless you were in the situation yourself. It's easy to say "just leave" but obviously, if it was that easy, they would have already.

    It's something that can't be answered or explained, it can only be experienced.

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  • Nice doesn't have us thinking constantly about whether or not he likes us. Both sexes need something to obsess about in order to gain any interest.. Typically, for guys, its when girls hold out on sex. For girls, it happens to be the guys that flirt with them, but stay distant (have other priorities) and remain mysterious.

    For some girls it gets old, fast and she realizes she deserves a more balanced relagtionship. But if a girl is staying in an abusive relationshiip where he is treating her badly, she needs help.

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  • Gals like to bitch about the low points & negatives
    Gals like to have others feel sorry for them
    Gals don't want to advertise the bliss side of their guy and invite competition
    Then consider some gals as passengers in a speeding car... no place to jump out safely... but looking

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  • Abusive people tend to start off making you feel good but then wear you down over time. They do a huge number on your self esteem - they make you feel like no one else would want you, or they make you depend on them some way. They make you feel guilty about wanting to leave by painting themselves the victim..

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  • I think some girls stay in bad relationship because they have a fear of being alone. Like when you first get into a relationship with your so its all great for a while but then the things they used to do become boring and the relationship goes down the drain. I think a lot of people stay in bad relationships because they are familiar with there partner, and they don't' want to be left alone. They look at how good the relationship was before but not to what it has gotten to know. They try to ignore the bad side of the relationship and look at the good side. It won't be the same forever, time passes and people change and lose feelings for each other. Sometimes things aren't always what they seem. And when you are so attached to partner and you feel like you cannot live without them its hard to leave that relationship. Especially if you two had a lot of memories together or they were your first love, etc. Being alone is better than being in the wrong relationship.

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  • There is a lot of psychology that does go into analyzing someone who stays in a bad relationship. The first key point, I feel, is to understand what a bad relationship is. For each of us it could be something totally different. Then there is also the thought of staying with someone that feels familiar.

    I am afraid that there isn't an easy answer to this question even from someone who is in a bad relationship, I am not sure that they could provide answers that would be satisfactory for others.

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  • I stayed with my ex even though he became an a-hole for a lot of reasons. Firstly, he was amazing to me in the beginning. That slowly started to change (he wasn't horrible, but it certainly wasn't great) and when I noticed, I nicely said something about it and he said he was going through a hard time right now and that he'd get better. Then he would be an asshole one day and fantastic another. But I didn't want to break up with him when he was already going through a rough patch. On one of the good days I fell in love with him. And I convinced myself that things would get better and that I had already invested so much of myself into the relationship (time, energy, tied relationships, virginity etc .).
    Still, I was miserable and we both knew it and eventually he broke it off with some lame excuses. And it hurt like hell but I was SO relieved it was unreal.

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  • For different reasons than guys do.
    Guys stay in bad relationships because 'ad least they can still get sex, if nothing else... and they don't have to go out there and try to find some other girl who will give them a chance' and women stay in bad relationships for many other reasons - almost all other reasons you can imagine.

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  • My BF doesn't abuse me but he is on the controlling side. Growing up I was surrounded by divorce, abuse, and bad break ups. As a child I promised and told myself that this would never happened to me. I wouldn't give up like everyone else did. In my eyes I didn't want to become a failure. I wanted to be proud of myself for getting through the hard times. It really depends on your childhood I think. I don't want to be like the rest of my family that get divorces all the time. It's disgraceful. Once married, your are supossed to be together through good and bad. The way I look at it is that no one is perfect. He loves me like no one else ever has and I don't want to lose such a precious rarity. I guess I just have a hard time giving up. :)

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    • Yes, there is a difference between giving up too easily and, getting out of the relationship for legitimate reasons because they are treating you poorly...

  • They don't respect nice guys. People stay with people they respect.

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    • So girls are secretly great politicians? You respect factory, double crossing, and general doucheness?

  • After being with someone for a while you have a certain routine you go about each other and it becomes a habit. You'll be changing your everyday life and sometimes that's not easy to do from one day to another. Both parties get attached and emotionally involved it just seems like to much of a hassle, even if the guy/girl is a jerk. You'll still have love for that person and you'll be surprised how much a little bit of love will make a person act/take.

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  • Multiple different reasons. They may be scared of what they'd do if you decided to break up. They may be trying to hold onto the past when things were okay and they just don't want to give it up. Or, they might be so afraid of being lonely that they'll do anything to avoid it. It's sad, but it's painfully true.

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  • Because you're in love. When you're in love, it covers a multitude of sins. the fact is, neither men nor women think straight in relationships, and science supports that via the kinds of hormones released when you're in love, like dopamine. They aren't supposed to anyway, and science supports that, because everything is done according to biology- According to how men and women can carry the human species forward to make the next generation.

    So it's not so much psychology as it is biology in my opinion.

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  • I was with a jerk. For a long time. I cheated on my boyfriend with him. A long time boyfriend. My first love actually. I met this asshole guy who seemed nice, then we started dating and my ex came back who hurt me a lot and cheated but was really sweet and genuine but I cheated on the jerk guy with him. Jerk guy obviously got upset but then I started dating the ex again and realise I wanted them both. So I had them both. Jerk guy knew I was with both but ex didn't. Told him and he stayed. I moved and ex ended up ending things officially but I stayed in touch and visited the jerk. I fell in love. He was so sweet and caring but he was sleeping with other girls. My friends. Talking and sleeping with exes. Texting girls while I was in bed with him right after finishing sex. He just couldn't help himself but I stayed because my ex was never coming back. I loved him. I didn't want to be alone. I hadn't been alone in over a year so I couldn't let go. I was happy when we were together. When we would go out and do things. But I always knew that I wasn't the only one. But I was the only one he did these things with. I stayed because I felt it was better to have this than nothing at all. Than to be at home alone, devastated that you were the one that ended things with someone you love and care for so much. Plus he wanted me but wanted to fuck everything else that moved. I was weak. Lonely. Desperate for love and affection. Even though the decent guy I was with wanted to give me that but I wasn't in love any more. It was old. It was over. It was too repetitive. So I punished myself day after day. With someone who did not and never would love me back. But would fuck me and say sweet things because that's what I wanted and he wanted to keep me around for sex. Unfortunately we stay because of love and fear of loneliness.
    Today that jerk is now a really great guy. Engaged to a good friend of mine from school with a baby on the way. So happy for them. We just weren't meant to be.

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  • Sometimes men mentally damage woman so bad they lose themselves and they're dignity, but for the most part it differs with each person.

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  • "I guarantee you Satan's going to have no problems on this planet because all the women are gonna go "What a cute butt!" He's Satan! "You don't know him like I do." He's the prince of darkness! "I can change him.""
    ~Bill Hicks

    That sums it up nicely, I think.

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  • Well, if they are in a bad relationship and she has a child with this individual, she probably does not want the child to be without his/her father or go through the drama of the court system to get child support. There's also the possibility that she feels useless, since boys that act like this treat them like they are nothing, and does not see how anyone would want her. Fear of leaving him, you would be surprised how many of these boys follow these women and either hurt her more or try to kill her.
    I could go on, but it would take me an hour to write all the possibilities. It just really depends. Personally I hope to never get myself tangled with a boy who acts like this.

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  • They stay with them because at one point it was a great relationship, and once it goes bad they just sit and convince themselves that the guy is going to go back to how it was and that their relationship will go back to how it was. So in the meantime while they're waiting for something that's never going to happen to happen , they put up with the mistreatment.

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  • It's because we still love the guy. Loving him despite all his flaws, loving him despite him being an "a-hole". We think everything will be alright in the end, comforting ourselves, not knowing we are killing ourselves from the inside out. Girls are forgiving by nature (majority) we fall too hard, we fall too easily, we give in too easily. Also, because we're just, girls.

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  • bc we tend to think that they aren't doing anything bad even if we deep down know that we are lying to ourseves. i once was in a bad relationship i liked him so much that i would defend him and even tell myself that he was right for me even though my heart knew he was wrong.

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  • Things often start out really nice! Guys will make you feel like you're different from the ones he has played in the past and he will do this until you're convinced. When things go bad, you see it and realize it, but you don't accept it bc "there's no way he is still a player and he has changed" simply bc he treated you nicely in the beginning. We want the security of a relationship. We want the good stuff from the beginning. We get thinking that maybe he is just going through a rough time right now or he said he won't sleep with her again and I trust him. Eventually it just gets to be too much

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  • I was in a horrid relationship, guy was emotionally abusive, borderline psychotic in terms of his lack of ability to emphasize with other human beings. Let me tell you this, being a jerk does not get you a girl, at least not for the long term.

    From personal experience, girl who stay in bad relationship is because they are terrified of being single, aka alone. They don't know what to do with themselves otherwise. They need to learn how to love themselves first before they can be in a healthy relationship.

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  • It's hard for some people to leave those wjp they love, no matter how mistreated they are. I don't think it's always the best choice, but love is weird. My friend recently had a boyfriend who treated her like absolute crap but she stayed with him even though he'd obviously lost interest until he finally broke up with her. Even his friends agreed that he treated her like crap, it was really messed up. But I mean, if you love someone you've gotta let them go. So I wouldn't necessarily stay with them unless my affection for them was so deep that I couldn't, not until they left me.

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  • This is how a girl like me would see it:

    A girl who doesn't have self-respect and ultimately thinks this is what she deserves/this is as good as it gets for her and she doesn't realize that there is someone out there for her that is willing to do so much more and treat her with much more respect. Or she does realize that, but she only wants this asshole guy for some reason. Sometimes when a girl really cares about a guy, she is willing to accept however way he treats her just as long as he stays, if that makes sense. She relies on him for feeling happy.

    He's not always an asshole.. Sometimes he's sweet, sometimes he's not. And maybe he'll be better. He won't always be an asshole so I can stay with him until he's nice. I see the good and hold on to that basically

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    • To quote my earlier quote. "That's stupid." No human deserves to put up with an asshole. That's exactly why I try to avoid dating. No girl should have to deal with me being a jackass.

    • She wouldn't have to deal with you being a jack ass if you wouldn't act like one. You're reasoning for avoidance of dating isn't logical. Its simple, just don't be an ass

  • Unfortunately it's happened to me. All of your assumptions apply, I feel, not just to girls but also to guys. I grew up with two very difficult parents and learned that bad is normal, familiar, it formed me and my way of reacting here and now. Love and attachment got associated with bad stuff, so that's the ingrained blueprint, it's that simple. Not that simple getting it out of your system once older. Some people will break free from the pattern, for some it's too strong of a pull. It's sad when viewed from the outside and confusing when you've had a better upbringing yourself, I can imagine.

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  • Because he loved her once or treated her very gently and everu time she thinks about breaking up all the memories pop and shw misses the old him and loved the old him and moving on isn't this easy
    I'm with a jerk and I'm telling you this from personal experience :)

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  • More from Girls
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What Guys Said 17

  • For the same reasons that men do. They like having someone, they lack self-esteem, they're afraid they won't find anyone else, they hope they'll change... stuff like that.

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  • emotional attachment. It is hard work to build a relationship. The idea of starting over again can be pretty nauseating.

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  • Same reasons a guy might stay in a bad relationship. Denial, fear, dependency. There are plenty of possible explanations.

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  • I'm trusting you, to find the answer, for you, are an expert. (Kidding)...

    haha.. I know someone who does this too, ( without mentioning a name ) STORY TIME ! -hands out popcorn-
    ...
    This girl has been with a parasite for 3 years, all the guy does is do drugs, has no job, takes her money. I ask her why she keep staying with this trick.
    She says she doesn't know. She takes care of him, with her full-time job, comes home just to get abused. She's keeping a roof over his head. She's giving him money just so he can smoke. She does everything for this scum.

    Imagine, Three whole years of this? what are you girls thinking? ..
    I wanna know, Life is so unfair, why have some guy like this mistreat you all when you can have someone who won't take you for granted & cater to you.
    #MusiqSoulChild

    Seriously, drop an answer.
    This is like one of those questions Science can't prove. #WhatisLove

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  • Some girl love the drama in their life. Other look for exciting and interesting shit to mingle.

    You don't know the whole story, that guy could be providing thing nobody else does for her (the drama in this case :)

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  • They're idiotic and think they can change the guy they're with.

    It's completely moronic, you're suppose to be in a relationship with someone for who they are not what you can change them into. You should be accepting your partner for the good and bad because that's what makes them unique from every other human.

    These women are living in a fantasy (Thanks to the media and entertainment) bad boys are great in fiction but they're not making billions.

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    • I think its more complicated than that. In an abusive relationship the abuser breaks down the woman's confidence to the point that she thinks this is what she deserves and spends her life walking on egg shells. I've seen highly intelligent, accomplished women stuck in an abusive relationship. Because they don't believe they deserve better.

    • Well if they're affected by stockholm syndrome sure, but that only applies if they've been in the relationship for literally years and they have no idea what else they could get in a relationship or how better they could have it.

  • I've seen this happen to family and my own mother. Most of these women will stay because they have low self esteem and believe they're trapped. The men are manipulative and get women to believe they can't live without him. My mom still lives with an asshole who abused all of her AND his kids for years. These women are doomed if they don't wake up.

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  • I think it's a mixture of fear of being alone and fear of the oppressor (I. e their abusive partner).

    I for one will never understand why anyone would stay in such a relationship. It's obviously extremely hard when children are involved.

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  • You give so much of yourself to be with the boyfriend. Proving you are who you say you are. That when you want it to be over you have nothing left to give to anyone else. You just hope and pray that he will get it this time. At some point he does change or he will never change. You have to learn to see people for who they are not the fantasy of who you thought they would be.

    Heartbreak and Headboards... K. Michelle

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  • They, I think tend to feel they can do no better. They feel trapped, worthless or may feel that they couldn't possibly make it without this person. And until one learns their own self worth, they'll stick around in it as much as a guy would.

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  • Because those girls are unfamiliar with me...:D

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  • They love the bad guys way too much.

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  • I firmly believe that most girls do this because of childhood issues... abuse, father or lack of father stuff, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, etc.

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  • Most of the time they stay in those relationships do to sexual attraction. Those guys have some trait the woman is attracted to. Men and women are just animals, and can overlook horrible behavior for someone that really turns us on. We want to believe they are better people, so we convince ourselves they are better than they really are.

    A hot girl with an attitude problem is called a strong that isn't afraid to speak her mind. An ugly woman with the same attitude is just a bitch. Next time you watch a movie and see some tough bad ass woman on the screen, imagine a really ugly fat woman covered in warts saying the same thing. You might be surprised about how much respect you lose for the character.

    People overlook negative traits in people they find attractive all the time. This is why the only ugly people in movies are typically are bad guys, unless the movie is trying to make a point about not judging someone based on their looks.

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    • That's why I have 50 shades so much. The message it sends is that a) its ok to be misogynistic and controlling as long as you';re rich and good looking b) that a woman can change a man if she just loves him enough.

    • @Snoopy88 I agree. The media is really bad about that. I don't think it is the medias fault, as much as the media telling people what we already want to believe. Even Disney is full of stories about women changing men, and people falling in love based on attraction alone.

  • There are lots of men in bad relationships to. Mainly because its so much harder for us to get sex

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  • Some women stay in such relationship to get a family-based immigration.

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    • Look at it from an evolutionary perspective. The reason the female seeks out the more'powerful' male is because she instinctively knows he is the best chance of her and her offspring surviving. In modern times you see it too with women choosing men with money and power. I can't thank my father enough for always teaching me that I am an equal or even better than most men out there. I studied, I earned my own money and I was in a position to walk away when he cheated after 15 years. I value intelligence, a sense of humour and a good heart above anything else. But learning these things take time I guess.

    • From an evolutionary perspective the male chimp is more likely to break its babies head by hitting on the branches of trees if it does'nt get sex or gets angry If you take that route then eventually you will not be able to see weakness as something to be happy about but rather see them as logical and imperfectionist and hate children because that attitude would increase with the generations and make us incapable of keeping track of it because time moves and accelerates these things at a pace at which we cannot keep up or observe the progress of such situations and attitudes.

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