Another common reason that causes people to stay too long in an unhealthy relationship is theology. Many people are religious and stay far too long in an unhealthy relationships because their theology of divorce says that to divorce is to sin.
Religious views can be very rigid and dangerous. Imposing religious ideals on someone who is in a less than ideal situation can be additionally abusive. Unfortunately there is often more value placed on the religious ritual of marriage than the two people suffering in it.
"I have met individuals who were not motivated to behave lovingly in their marriage because they knew their partner wouldn’t leave them because of their religious convictions."
After realising many people are hopelessly trapped in marriages they are afraid to leave I made a point of researching Biblical writings on this topic to clarify what was actually recorded and was surprised by what I found.
The first thing I read in Malachi 2:16 was that G-d hates divorce. Wow, that is an overpowering confronting statement. That concrete statement felt like the end of the entire discussion. But then I became curious about why G-D would have been recorded making such a strong statement. To my surprise, after reading verses life Jeremiah 3:8 I realised G-d is a divorcee. I was shocked to realise that G-d divorced the people of Israel because they were not faithful to him. And so, just like everyone else who has ever been through a relationship breakdown, G-d hates divorce.
However, I also found in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 the details of what were appropriate circumstances that would warrant giving someone a certificate of divorce. I don’t want to get into countless details about this subject but I want to offer you a source of information that could ease your suffering. The law given to Moses evidently recognised that life is not always ideal and that relationships don’t always work-out ideally and therefore it was important to include details on when and how to dissolve a relationships if required.
I encourage you to research this topic for yourself to arrive at a mature approach to this matter. Often our first exposure to religious ideals was in childhood and refreshing your understanding from an adult perspective can be very helpful. You may find your new perspective will release you to move toward more self respect and less suffering. -Greg Gardiner