Are You in A Relationship Out of Guilt, Fear, Or Pity?

If you stay in a relationship because of pity, maybe you should decide if it is the best idea for both of you.  Perhaps it's better to end the relationship.
Are You in A Relationship Out of Guilt, Fear, Or Pity?

Last update: 27 May, 2022

If you’re currently in a relationship out of guilt, pity, or fear, now is the time to ask yourself why.

You’re probably not happy that your relationship isn’t based on love. Still, there’s no reason you need to stick around. If anything, there are reasons you should leave as you’ll see in the article below.

There are many reasons to feel guilty. The other person might be very nice, and there might be a lot of love in the relationship. As such, you might think: how can I end this and cause the other person so much pain? Instead of leaving, you stay in the relationship out of guilt.

Fear, on the other hand, is a very different situation. It often involves abuse and pressure to stay.

Another issue is when someone suffers from emotional dependency.

How staying in a relationship out of guilt hurts you

Black and white image hugging and crying

If you stay in a relationship out of guilt or pity but you want to end it, you’re doing much more damage by staying, even though it may not seem this way.

The other person doesn’t deserve to be with someone who isn’t being totally honest. You may not love them, but pity and guilt prevent you from doing what you want.

As human beings, we have the great power of empathy. This can work in or against our favor. When wanting to leave a partner, the other person’s tears and sadness make us feel bad.

Everyone wants to avoid this. Although it’s natural, you shouldn’t put off making a decision that will benefit both of you.

Even though we believe there’s no winning in a breakup, many times there’s much to gain.

Discover:  Ending a relationship in a healthy way

Are you with your partner out of fear?

Relationship out of guilt

It’s very different if you stay in a relationship out of fear.

What’s at the root of this fear? Maybe you’ve hinted you’d like to leave and they’ve threatened you. Are you afraid that they’ll harm you physically? Are you going through this right now?

In this situation, fear can be paralyzing. Nevertheless, it’s very important to get the nerve to end things. 

In many countries, there are safe places for women to go to when they’re in this type of relationship. Remember: you can make the decision to leave.

Fear can also be due to emotional dependency. You may be afraid that you’ll end up alone and won’t find anyone else.

This is a problem that affects many people and that may need professional assistance. With help, you can discover how you don’t actually need someone to be happy. As a result, you’ll be able to end your relationship without fear.

Walk away for your health

Black and white woman with hands on head

If you stay in a relationship out of guilt, pity, or fear, it’s important that you end it for your health’s sake.

These three feelings together not only foster problems with your partner; the relationship can also turn into something very toxic.

All of this happens because you’re avoiding ending it once and for all.

Indeed, it’s natural to feel pity, guilt or fear, but it’s your obligation to confront them. After all, they mean that you’re limiting your happiness and that of the other person.

If you stay in your relationship out of guilt, pity, or fear, remember that it doesn’t benefit either of you. You’ll see that in reality, you’re doing much more harm to the both of you.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Urbiola, I., & Estévez, A. (2015). Dependencia emocional y esquemas desadaptativos tempranos en el noviazgo de adolescentes y jóvenes. Behavioral Psychology/ Psicologia Conductual.
  • Aiquipa Tello, J. J. (2015). Dependencia emocional. Revista de Psicología.
  • ¿Qué es la dependencia emociona?

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.