->''I love you I hate you I kiss you I rape you\\
and I cheat and deceive but I need you''
-->-- '''Music/{{Clawfinger}}''', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVaH-JCNDDI "I Need You"]]

A marriage or other (romantic and/or sexual) relationship that is truly destructive, breaking down at least one of the lovers. Probably both. While they may eventually recover, it can also be an emotional counterpart of DefiledForever.

The characters may or may not be aware of how bad their relationship really is, but in either case the author is very aware: This severe form of LoveHurts is ''not'' portrayed as amusingly wacky or RomanticizedAbuse: [[SeriousBusiness No,]] it is PlayedForDrama as well as NightmareFuel. However, RomanticizedAbuse or TheMasochismTango can morph into this trope through the power of MoodWhiplash or CerebusSyndrome.

If the relationship doesn't contain outright DomesticAbuse, then they are still dragging each other down on an emotional level. This is sometimes done on purpose as a calculated move to make the partner stay: If your partner doesn't have any self-esteem, they'll believe that they don't deserve any better then being with a creep like you. They'll simply fall into DespairEventHorizon and accept the pain. However, please note that the partner does not ''have'' to be malicious or abusive; it depends on how sensitive the other character is.

These relationships can sometimes ''be caused by'' situations such as AMatchMadeInStockholm and messed-up beliefs such as MaritalRapeLicense and SexIsEvilAndIAmHorny. They might ''lead to'' situations such as LoveMakesYouEvil and a DestructoNookie.

If only one of the partners suffers, then that partner is likely a LoveMartyr.

For platonic variants, compare WithFriendsLikeThese.

Compare WomanScorned for when the destructiveness is caused by the termination of the romance rather then the romance itself. Contrast SafeSaneAndConsensual and CasualKink for stuff that might ''look'' like destructive romance without actually being it. See also SexIsEvilAndIAmHorny.
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Karim and Zagi in ''JyuOhSei''. Their relationship is described at least once as Zagi "ruling" her, and while they have expressed pretty genuine feelings for each other, it's clearly unhealthy.
* ''{{Loveless}}'' is absolutely full of this, with almost every relationship (romantic or otherwise) being faintly dysfunctional. The most blatant example is probably [[BrokenBird Soubi]]'s utter devotion to Seimei, who doesn't care about him in the least and is both verbally and physically abusive. Despite the fact Seimei doesn't love Soubi, Soubi will still do anything he says.
* An interpretation of Chiaki and [[{{Yandere}} Hatori's]] relationship in ''{{Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi}}''. While it's obvious they're an {{Official Couple}} from the two opening's from the anime, their relationship in series doesn't seem to work. What could have been a {{Childhood Friend Romance}} ended up becoming this due to how different the two are in work ethnics and personality. (Chiaki is a [[ManChild childish]], [[LazyBum lazy]] person despite being one of the top manga author's in Japan while Hatori is [[TheStoic serious]], [[MarriedtotheJob hard working]] and has to force Chiaki to do almost everything.) It gets to the point that the both can't live without the [[LivingEmotionalCrutch other supporting them.]] This has shown to backfire though as once they do get together [[spoiler: after Hatori brutally [[RapeasDrama rapes]] Chiaki mind you and it's not [[BreaktheCutie played for fanservice or laughs]]]], the episodes after that shows them fighting more than making love to each other to the point where it seems like both of them can't seem to trust each other to not cheat on them and snap whenever one accuses the other of cheating. And even though they recoil at the end of the episode, it ends up being repeated in the next episode simply because the only reason they're in a relationship to begin with is the fact they can't function without the other. And of course, both drag in Chiaki's friend [[UnluckyChildhoodFriend Yanase]] into the picture who always ends up suffering from their arguments and disagreements [[spoiler: physically and emotionally.]]so
** This trope is extremely common in YaoiGenre manga in general; the main couples in ''MaidenRose'' and ''SakuraGari'' are good examples, as are [[{{Loveless}} Soubi and Seimei]] below. To a lesser extent, it's also present in YuriGenre manga (mostly older works such as ''OniisamaE''). Makes sense when you consider the {{Melodrama}}-driven nature of most YaoiGenre and much YuriGenre.
* Very much so in MiraiNikki between Yuno and Yuki. The best example is probably when [[spoiler: Yuno drugs Yuki, takes him to an abandoned hotel and keeps him chained down in a basement so that the 'happy end' her diary predicts can't be interfered with. Then, when Yuki's friends finally track him down, she traps them and then tries to gas them to death.]] Thankfully, their relationship get sorted out by the end of the series.
* [[InferioritySuperiorityComplex Asuka]] and [[ExtremeDoormat Shinji]] in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' is an UpToEleven example, as it quite literally causes [[spoiler: TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt]]. Despite their mutual attraction, she's to much of a {{Tsundere}} and he to much of a ShrinkingViolet for them to truly understand each other, much less be open with each other about their feelings. Their failed attempts at doing so throughout the series is one of the biggest causes of {{Angst}} for both of them throughout the series. This finally comes to a head during TheMovie, after [[spoiler: Rei blows off Gendo and leaves the ultimate outcome of the Human Instrumentality Project in Shinji's hands. Shinji and Asuka are two of the first to be absorbed by the GNR, and when their souls meet together is essentially the first time in the series that they're open about their feelings with each other. Only by this point, Asuka is so angry and disgusted with him [[note]]The infamous masturbation scene was probably the last straw for her[[/note]] that she rejects him, which causes him to try to kill her, and then every other person on earth in an effort to NeverBeHurtAgain.]]
* ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' has a lot of creepy, unhealthy relationships, but the one that best fits this trope is [[spoiler:Anthy and Akio/Dios - she used to love him as a brother, but after she sacrificed herself for him he became bitter and selfish and trapped her in a non-consensual, incestuous relationship she was too afraid to escape from.]] Touga also uses 'joking' romantic behaviour to manipulate and control his younger sister Nanami, but they're not actually in a relationship.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/BitchyBitch'', Midge is so fragile that any romance she experiences is likely to turn into this.
* In ''ComicBook/BitchyButch'', one of the main sources of the protagonist's permanent foul mood is that she got her heart broken by her first serious girlfriend. First the girlfriend was unfaithful, sleeping with another woman without asking for an open relationship first. When discovered, she declares an open relationship retroactively, and Butchy accepts it on a theoretical level. On a emotional level, she obviously never got over it.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Fables}}'', the relationship between Jack and Rose Red has more then a hint of this even from the start, with Rose Red eventually realizing that they only brought out the worst in each other. When she later reconnects with him, it's out of pure self-hatred. Their new relationship drags her down even further.
* In ''TheFeelingPrinceCharlesHad'', love ''[[LoveHurts itself]]'' is portrayed as a destructive force that is bound to break people down emotionally.
* The comic series ''Flinch'' once featured a short story titled "Red Romance" (illustrated by BruceTimm, of all people) where a man and a woman, both sociopathic lowlifes, fall in love and begin a relationship that involves sickening amounts of Masochistic Tangoing, until even this violence isn't enough to satisfy their desires. It leads to the jaded man hiring a specialist to torture and kill her while he watches, only to discover she hired the specialist for the exact same reason. The story ends with the couple in orgasmic ecstasy as they watch one another get horribly brutalized, before finally killing them and leaving them in each other's arms on the bloodstained bed. A story that manages to be touchingly romantic AND incredibly disturbing at the same time.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Lucifer}}'', Lady Lys' spirit gets permanently broken by her mortal lover Cristopher Rudd. And you thought a romance between a demon and a human would be bad for the ''human''?
* Roy Harper and Cheshire's relationship in ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' and other related series is this, on the part of the former. No one can understand as to how Roy could possibly have any sort of feeling of love towards Cheshire, who is a PsychoForHire genocidal maniac and the mother of his daughter, Lian. Although there is the fact that most of it stems from him not wanting Lian to see her mother be caged like an animal. In the first ''Titans'' series Roy's conflicting feelings towards Cheshire were causing problems with his relationship with Donna Troy, which Donna eventually ended. Not long after Roy finally came to terms with the fact that Cheshire is always going to a heartless murderer and eventually put his feelings to rest after she was convicted. That hasn't stopped Cheshire from multiple attempts at exploiting their past relationship to manipulate Roy for her own ends. The ''Villains United'' miniseries leads strength to the argument that Cheshire is incapable of love unless it's a means for her goals.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''BadTiming'': The film charts the emotional, spiritual, and physical ups and downs of a young couple's relationship that is fueled by their compulsion to attack, manipulate, and humiliate one another.
* ''{{Gilda}}'' is all about the love-hate relationship between Johnny and Gilda. The entire plot revolves around the psychological, emotional and physical abuse they inflict on one another, which gets increasingly nasty and violent and bizarre, to the point where both of them are practically mentally unhinged by the end of the film.
* ''{{Thirst}}'': You have a vampire priest struggling to keep his humanity and ethics and a women who can't wait to indulge in the powers and menus of vampirism.
* ''Film/TheWarOfTheRoses'' walks the line between hilarious and genuinely scary. The film follows the courtship and marriage of a nice-but-shallow couple, followed by the most un-amicable divorce imaginable.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The novel ''Literature/TheStoryOfO'' exists in two versions. These versions have very different endings, casting the rest of the story in very different lights. In the most popular version, which most adaptations are built on, the relationship is simply CasualKink and PropertyOfLove. The other version is a DestructiveRomance presented as RomanticizedAbuse during most of the book [[MoodWhiplash but then abruptly changes tone]] at the end. [[spoiler:It ends with the protagonist and her boyfriend agreeing that she should commit suicide... and she does.]]
* ''{{The English Patient}}''. Everyone singing its praises as one of the great romantic stories of its time has missed that Katharine cheating on her husband with Almasy is portrayed as a highly destructive obsession that ends in the pointless deaths of all three.
* ''Film/{{Gone With the Wind}}'' features Rhett and Scarlett's marriage starting okay, but due to Scarlett's obsession with Ashley Wilkes taking prevalence over Rhett and her family, the marriage becomes destructive.
* Catherine and Heathcliff in ''Literature/WutheringHeights''.
* In Francine Riversí ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheLion'' trilogy, [[spoiler:Julia]] goes through at least two of these: the first man she falls in love with turns out to be brutally abusive; the second [[spoiler:gives her a baby she really doesn't want and the STD that eventually kills her, before abandoning her and]] leaving her [[BreakTheCutie totally disillusioned]]. The various affairs she had in between certainly didnít help her slide towards total cynicism or [[spoiler:excruciating death by syphilis]].
* Helen and Huntingdon's marriage in ''Literature/TheTenantOfWildfellHall''. Huntingdon associates love with complete submission and compliance, Helen associates love with trying to improve her husband's faults. At first this only causes a few spats, but later Huntingdon starts going out of the way to be horrible just to spite Helen and Helen stops giving him any affection and encouragement at all. It's more Huntingdon's fault than Helen's, but after a few years their marriage crumbles completely.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' has portrayed many of these over the years. In one episode, Olivia tries in vain to convince a woman to report her husband for DomesticAbuse. Of course she refuses to betray her beloved like that [[spoiler:and eventually ends up dying in Olivia's arms, stabbed to death by her husband]].
* In the ''Series/NorthAndSouthUS'' miniseries, Madeleine is married off to the villain Justin - who gradually breaks her down over the years, eventually turning her into a drugged down empty shell of a human being. It lasts [[LoveRedeems until the hero save her with his love]].
* On ''Series/{{Glee}}'', Terri spells out to Will that the only reason their marriage works is because it is a DestructiveRomance. Will, actually wanting to be in a healthy relationship, leaves.
* Monroe and Angelina's relationship is presented as this on ''Series/{{Grimm}}''. Though it is clear that the two characters care deeply about each other, by the end of the episode it is made clear that the relationship simply would not be good for Monroe. This is mostly due to Monroe having been through MonstersAnonymous program and is trying to stay clean and live a normal, but being around Angelina causes him to lose control and go back to his old ways.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. Spike's interest in Buffy started as StalkerWithACrush, but she regarded his advances with contempt. But after Buffy falls into depression in Season 6 she secretly starts sleeping with him. Unfortunately this only ends up making things worse -- Spike is convinced Buffy wants to come over to TheDarkSide and is frustrated by her unwillingness to either return his love or abandon her friends, while their InterplayOfSexAndViolence, her [[FoeYay lust for a soulless monster who's supposed to be her enemy]] and her [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman guilt over using Spike without respecting his own feelings]] only increase Buffy's self-loathing. At one point she savagely beats an unresisting Spike, describing him in terms that are clearly referring to herself ("There is nothing good or clean in you! You are ''dead'' inside! You can't feel anything real!"). The InUniverse ValuesDissonance between the two reaches a point where [[spoiler:after she ends the relationship, Spike tries to rape an injured Buffy; fortunately Buffy is able to fend him off and Spike realises that, even for him, this act is crossing the MoralEventHorizon, and motivates him to go on a quest to regain his soul.]]
* In Series/{{Moonlight}}, Josef describes Mick's relationship with his sire/ex-girlfriend Coraline as this to Mick's current love interest, Beth.
--->'''Josef''': You have to understand, Mick and Coraline's relationship was one of those terrifying, completely self-
--->destructive freakshows that you spend your whole life searching for knowing it can only end in one or both of you dead.
--->'''Beth''': That's your idea of love?
--->'''Josef''': What can I tell you, I'm a romantic.
* [[TheWoobie Niles]] and [[TheGhost Maris's]] marriage in ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' was depicted as this, only being stable when Niles was miserable and cowed and Maris was wrapped up in her own pursuits, and erupting into vicious fights, break-ups and various forms of abuse (on Maris's part) whenever this status quo was shaken up. It was hinted that the main reason that it lasted as long as it did (and the amount of backsliding that occurred during their drawn-out breakup) was because of Niles's insecurity and co-dependence, and Maris's enjoyment of having someone to control.
* All the romantic relationships on ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' have a destructive element to them, but the one that qualifies the most is Damon and Elena. Damon is quite abusive towards Elena.
* Sylar and Elle on ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' qualifies as she's a sociopathic Company assassin broken by years of Company experimentation on her powers and he's a psychotic serial killer with serious mental issues. They both try to reform for the better, but when the Company lies she's told surfaces including how she manipulated his feelings, Sylar kills her.
* ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' reveals that Sherlock and [[spoiler:Jamie Moriarty]] had one. [[spoiler:She's the abuser in this case as she invented an entire identity whole cloth in order to study and break him.]] And ''succeeded'', because it drove him into a drug-fueled downward spiral and a stint in rehab, which kicks off the series. The show also does not shy away from showing that even from [[spoiler:prison, Jamie is still exerting her abusive influence over him by writing him letters.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* MarilynManson has two entire albums based on this, ''Eat Me, Drink Me'' and ''The High End of Low''. Both were written throughout Manson's relationship with actress Evan Rachel-Wood. ''EMDM'' starts okay and starts to spiral out of control (which is exactly how things were going in their relationship) and ''The High End of Low'', which was written in order, starts with Manson begging her to let him love her in the song ''Devour'' and slowly turns from desperate love to hate, to homicidal hate (not hyperbole, he said in an interview that if he hadn't made the album, they both would be dead) to moving on and acceptance. With a few tangents against both America and himself (''Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon'' being a parody of the album ''Antichrist Superstar'', and ''We're From America'' being as critical as you'd expect).
* Music/{{Blutengel}} has several songs on this theme, often from the point of view of a former BastardBoyfriend who realizes how horrible he has been.
* Music/{{Clawfinger}} milks this trope in songs such as "I Need You" (see page quote) and "Love Is Just A Four Letter Word".
* Music/{{Eminem}} and Music/{{Rihanna}}'s hit "Love the Way You Lie."
** By the same token, every one of Eminem's songs about his wife Kim Mathers.
* "The Alpha Couple" from Music/TheMountainGoats is this all over. Even their inevitable, final reconciliation has threatening undertones:
--> Oh sing, sing, sing, for the dying of the day.\\
Sing for the flames that will rip through here\\
And the smoke that will carry us away.\\
Yeah, sing for the damage we've done\\
And the worse things that we'll do\\
Open your mouth up and sing for me now\\
And I will sing for you.
* The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin self-explanatory]] "(I Hate) Everything About You" by Music/ThreeDaysGrace.
* The lyrics of Music/SaraBareilles' "Gravity" may count as a mild version of this trope, as the song appears to be about a genuine but not-terribly-healthy passionate relationship.
* ''Go to the Mattress'' by Get Set Go features a couple who are just terrible together.
--> I'm a lecher, she's a cheater\\
I'll let her cut me, she likes to let me beat her\\
I'm a fucker, she's a screamer\\
I may be tougher, but she's definitely meaner.
* Music/FionaApple's "Werewolf" could be the theme-song of this trope:
-->I could liken you to a werewolf, the way you left me for dead\\
But I admit, that I provided a full moon\\
And I could liken you to a shark, the way you bit off my head\\
But then again, I was waving around a bleeding open wound\\
But you were such a super guy, 'til the second you get a wiff of me\\
We're like a wishing well and a bolt of electricity\\
But we can still support each other, all we gotta do is avoid each other\\
Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key...
* Music/PinkFloyd's "Don't Leave Me Now," from ''Music/TheWall'':
-->"Ooooh, babe\\
Don't leave me now.\\
Don't say it's the end of the road.\\
Remember the flowers I sent.\\
I need you, babe\\
To put through the shredder\\
In front of my friends\\
Ooooh Babe.\\
Dont leave me now.\\
How could you go?\\
When you know how I need you\\
To beat to a pulp on a Saturday night\\
Ooooh Babe.\\
How could you treat me this way?\\
Running away.\\
I need you, Babe. Why are you running away?\\
Oooooh Babe!"
* Music/{{Maroon5}}'s One More Night is about a guy that keeps arguing with his significant other, but he can't leave her due to her excellent love-making in bed. He regrets doing it, but he keeps coming back for more, thus being unable to break out of the abusive relationship.
* Miranda Lambert's "Bring Me Down"
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Mythology and Religion]]
* Hawaiian mythology gives us Kamapua'a, a [[TricksterArchetype trickster]] demigod, and Pele, the goddess of fire. Their fighting almost destroyed both of them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:TabletopGames]]
* All relationships between other vampires are assumed to be this by default in VampireTheRequiem. [[CrapsackWorld It's]] [[VampiresAreSexGods not]] [[DeadlyDecadentCourt surprising.]]
** Best example: [[MeaningfulName the Honeymoon Hijackers]] Charles and Charlene Greengrass. They were kidnapped and turned into vampires on their respective wedding nights by cruel sires, with their spouses killed. Charles and Charlene meet one another ten years after their abductions, instantly recognize the predicament of the other, and fall in love. They [[YourSoulIsMine diablerize]] their sires, escape vampire society, get into a scary codependent relationship, [[LoveMakesYouEvil then perform]] {{netorare}} [[LoveMakesYouEvil scenarios and serial killings on any recently married couple they can find.]][[note]]Diablerie causes vampires to sometimes pickup traits of the soul they ate. It's implied that's why the couple do what they do, despite their actions mirroring their own tragic histories.[[/note]]
-->Mess with their heads. Get it so the victims love their keepers, will do anything for them (even better if they can work one of the couple against the other--[[LampshadeHanging so sweet, that betrayal]]).
--->'''Night Horrors: Immortal Sinners, pg. 74'''
** Coming full circle, Charlene cheats on Charles. He doesn't know, but she wants him to.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* ''RomeoAndJuliet'', not really their fault, but the situation ended up pretty badly none the less.
* Norma and Joe's relationship in ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'': and ''oh'', what a dysfunctional one it is, with Norma's outbursts and Joe's passive aggressive BS. Close to the end, it turns out that [[spoiler:Norma's relationship with her butler is even worse.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebOriginal]]
* {{Webcomic/Homestuck}}: Troll Romance includes a romance based on mutual hatred not to the point where one would kill the partner. [[spoiler: Gamzee and Terezi]] get together under one, which demonstrates how unhealthy it can be if the pairing isn't right. After one year of the relationship, [[spoiler: Terezi's]] had her self confidence shattered, and admits that while she hates [[spoiler: Gamzee,]] being with him makes her hate herself even more. She compares him to a drug, and notes that every insult she takes personally, and can't leave because she's drawn to the wretchedness, and she's disgusted by her dependence. [[spoiler: This was part of the reason she had her eyes fixed, having her blindness, which was a proud part of her self-image, cured, devastated her.]] When Karkat tells her [[spoiler: Gamzee]] will likely end it, she breaks down crying and says that if he throws her away, she really will be pathetic.
** It's heavily implied if not outright stated this is too vitriolic and abusive ([[spoiler: Gamzee to Terezi]], including {{Gaslighting}} and outright physical abuse) to be a healthy kismesistude, in comparison to other hate-ships like Vriska and Eridan's or Jack and the Black Queen's.
* All of Romeo's romances in the WhateleyUniverse. He's an incredibly handsome mutant and a member of the Bad Seeds (at least one parents must be a supervillain to be admitted). He picks dowdy girls who feel unattractive and tries to turn the ugly duckling into a swan. No matter how successful he is, he always creates someone who doesn't feel attractive enough compared to ''him'' and so they mistreat him and then break up with him.
* In ''WebOriginal/YouCouldMakeALife'', Nikita broke up with Luke while they were teenagers in such a callous manner that Luke never emotionally recovered from it. Their ensuing on-and-off relationship of hatesex and brutal beatdowns for the next seven years only serve to drag the embittered Luke down even further.
[[/folder]]

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