British psyche means we would rather stay in a bad relationship than air our feelings


Six out of ten people stay in bad relationships rather than confront their partners, because they are used to compromising.

A survey by polling company YouGov of 2,031 British adults found the majority of British people have silently accepted being lied to, cheated on or disrespected by their partners. 68 per cent said they had put up with such behaviour from a partner and remained in the relationship.

Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) have stayed in a relationship despite being lied to, 37 per cent not ending things despite a lack of consideration for their feelings and 14 per cent not breaking it off when they were cheated on.

By contrast, only six per cent of the people interviewed said that they were quick to ditch a partner when things did not work.

When questioned about why they did not end a bad relationship, 35 per cent said they did not want to end the relationship, with the same amount admitting they were used to compromising.

Lucy Beresford, relationship expert and psychotherapist, said: “We tend not to be hot-headed or reckless by nature, so we take our relationships cautiously, not throwing in the towel at the first blip, row or betrayal. Whether it’s romance or shoddy service, we’d love to speak out and complain, but it is part of the British psyche for many people to prefer to nurse grievances in private.”

Fear of the unknown, a lack of self-respect, laziness and concentrating on the good elements of a relationship were all explanations for people staying in poor relationships, Ms Beresford added.

The survey itself also said that this reluctance to express feelings was also behind the nation’s reluctance to confront people about other things, such as poor customer service.

Also, according to the study, women were less likely to accept bad behaviours than men.

An example of this was that men were apparently more forgiving of infidelity than women. Only 57 per cent of men said such behaviour would cause them to end a relationship, compared to 73 per cent of women.

More than four in ten (44 per cent) men said their partner prioritising family and friends over them is acceptable. Only 27 per cent of women agreed.

“It’s almost as though we don’t imagine we deserve better, even though of course we do!,” Ms Beresford added.

Share this post: Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+