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When two people come together in a relationship it’s because there’s something that drives them together. However, with time, what drove them together might disappear and the remaining question is: “should I stay or should I leave?”

An important point here is the fact that absolutely any relationship is based on something. However, what exactly is the “glue” in them? At best, it can be interest, attraction, sexual attraction. And then the decision to stay is made with a simple and understandable motivation: “Because I want to!”. But sometimes people are held back by something else. Something that is devoid of any inner impulse. This option lacks desire, feelings, and attraction in a relationship. This is what we’ll talk about in this article.

“I have to” outweighed the “I want to” for relationships

If partners are in conflict with each other, if they quarrel, swear, then there is definitely still energy between them. Which means that the relationship is still alive. Even the lack of trust cannot be considered an indicator that the relationship is dead. Since even in such context, they still have the prospect of renewal and development. Relationships that are already “dead” are most often just non-conflict. There are no feelings in it. Which means there is no life either.

The criteria for determining such relationships are as follows:

  • Indifference.
  • “Loneliness together”. When partners are simply adjacent to each other, without experiencing emotional closeness.
  • Parallel life – each side lives its own life, showing no interest in the life of a partner.
  • Complete lack of desire to change anything in the current relationship format.
  • Lack of sexual attraction to each other.
  • Lack of plans for joint future life.

There are various other criteria. However, these are perhaps the most obvious and speak for themselves. But the most surprising thing is that people can remain in a dead relationship for a very long time.


Let me list the most common reasons for “staying” in a relationship in which nothing grows and everything is burned out:


Not feelings, understanding, acceptance of each other are valued in the relationship. But stability and comfort will have to be lost when parting. This means that it is better not to change anything. Not to notice the obvious parallel existence and continue to be in the comfort zone.

Scenario and anti-scenario: the first is the setting about “how things should be”. For example: “No one in our family has ever divorced!” Or “They get married/marry once and for all!”. One of the variants of this is the anti-script: “Mom didn’t manage to create strong relationships for life, but I certainly can!”. And then, with all the seeming freedom of choice, in reality, we are not talking about it at all.

Expectations and illusions

Too often people have high expectations of the relationship and refuse to see reality. And for such people to leave a couple/family means to admit that there was and is a lot of imperfect and then to meet with disappointment in unfulfilled hopes, sadness, anger, pain, fear. Avoiding these feelings, people prefer to stay in the fantasy zone and do not part with illusions.

The presence of one partner (or both) of such feelings as fear, guilt, and shame. They can glue dead relationships very tightly. In the case of fear, it looks like this – “It’s scary to be left alone”, “I won’t be able to cope alone”, “Will I regret it?”, “Will the new life be better than the old one?” Guilt manifests itself, for example, like this: “I spent the best years of my life on him/her.” Guilt is a very toxic feeling, and as my experience shows, much more often it appears in men towards women as an accusation of her own failure in various aspects of life. Shame easily makes itself felt, manifesting itself in phrases like “What will relatives/family/colleagues think?”, “How will I explain why I left?” etc.

An ideal partner

is about the case when a woman is a “saint” and a man is a “saint”. The image of a partner is so perfect and impeccable (this is an illusion, of course) that it is simply not possible to leave such a “holy” person, because “no one will understand!”.


One partner openly broadcasts messages to the second: “I can’t live without you!”, “If you leave, I will certainly do something with myself.” Thus, supposedly their own helplessness and the vital necessity of the presence of a partner nearby are presented.

Accommodation of those needs that were not met in the parent-child relationship. In this case, partners literally “get” everything that they did not receive from their parents in childhood, directly in the relationship. Most often, in this way, people usually try to satisfy their needs for acceptance and love (usually – unconditional). Such marriages are one of the longest since in them the “adult” needs of partners go to the background and even the third plan and simply cannot compete with those named above.

It is quite difficult to get out of a relationship that is already “dead” on your own because first, you need to realize that they are not alive. It is not easy (and sometimes impossible) to do this alone, which is why it is recommended to seek support from a psychologist and go through this process together with his competent help.

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