Love, Sex

Understanding Why Men Stay In Unhappy Relationships

Understanding Why Men Stay in Unhappy Relationships

You probably know the man who always complains about his unhappy relationship – about how down he is or the stress it causes him. Or maybe you’ve been with him. But the question most women ask is – if he’s so unhappy, why is he staying with her?

It is a good question. Unfortunately, it’s a little trickier to answer. And in some cases, the reason for why men stay in unhappy relationships may be similar to the reason women stay in unhappy relationships. But there are other reasons that women may not suspect.

She’s Hot

It should come as no surprise that having a beautiful wife/girlfriend is important for a man. A gorgeous girl on his arm is a trophy – something he can show off to friends, co-workers, family, and anyone who generally has eyes. Having an attractive woman by his side also does something very important for his ego – it validates him. If she’s attractive, he feels like a king of the hunt. Even if he may feel as though he’s lacking in other areas, an attractive mate will boost his confidence. So, if she makes him unhappy, he becomes an economist – does he value her beauty more than his own relationship happiness? In many cases, men will briefly take the side of beauty – it just seems the natural course. And if she may be a bit out of his league, he’ll be willing to put up with the misery in order to still feel that boost of confidence at the end of the day.


Men can be sentimental sometimes. And they can certainly be sentimental when it comes to relationships. If a man has been with a woman a long time, or has shared intimate moments with her, then he will feel a deep fidelity and loyalty to the idea of the relationship. This means that he’ll keep thinking that the relationship is like it was years or months ago, instead of looking at the relationship as it is. He will stay in the relationship primarily to relive the good times. He is unable to let go of an idea he had of the girl he was with, and thus be stuck in a cycle of unhappiness.


This is more than just a little important to men. Sometimes, men will stay in an unhappy relationship because it’s an easy avenue to sex – he doesn’t have to go elsewhere to look for it, and he doesn’t have to worry about why he isn’t getting any. But then, he can also stay in an unhappy relationship if the sex is especially good. If the girl is causing him stress most of the time, but she brings something extra to the bedroom, he’s going to be thinking about that just as much as he is thinking about how unhappy she makes him. Just as sex is a reason why men leave relationships, it can be a reason to stay in one – even if he’s unhappy.

He Thinks He Can’t Find Someone Else

The fear of the unknown is a strong motivator for humans. It can be a strong motivator for a relationship as well. A man will stay in an unhappy relationship if he thinks that it’s the only relationship that he can find. There are plenty of fish in the sea, but if he thinks that he can’t get another woman, he’s likely to keep coming back to a painful and unhappy relationship our of loneliness and desperation. For men, the devil you know can be better than the devil you don’t.

He Doesn’t Want Her to Be With Another Man

This is basically jealousy talking. But when a man has strong feelings attached to a woman, he can become extremely possessive. At this stage, he might not care how unhappy the relationship is – because the thought of her being with someone else will make him more unhappy.

He Loves Her and Believes Things Will Get Better

Most importantly, a man will stay in an unhappy relationship because he loves her, and if he has any relationship experience, knows that no relationship will ever be perfect. Someone is bound to get on someone’s nerves at some point. Frustrations come with the responsibility of being in a committed relationship, and giving up is not the answer. He stays because he hopes that things will get better and not worse. A mature man knows that the grass is not greener on the other side, it only looks like it. There may be many beautiful women in the world, but to find a good woman he can trust and who has his best interest at heart is harder to find than a pair of 6 carat pink diamond earrings! A wise man would rather spend his time fixing what he already has. He realizes that until he fixes the mistakes within himself and properly deals with the relationship at hand, there is no need to go on to the next woman, because he will only end up back at square one repeating the same mistakes.

The motivators for a man to stay in an unhealthy relationship are varied. And sometimes, even after the reasons listed above, there still may not be a good explanation for why a man stays in an unhappy relationship. But if you’re wondering, just know that he thinks he has a good reason.

– Relationship Coaches Ben L. and Zach S.

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This article was originally published at How To Get The Man of Your Dreams . Reprinted with permission from the author.