Shinji and Asuka in Neon Genesis Evangelion just don't fit together. While they aren't exactly in a relationship, they both have strong feelings for each other, but they fail so much at communication that both suffer because they believe their feelings to be unrequited. They're similar where they should be different (both have trouble expressing affection because of their crappy past) and different where they should be similar (she's very extroverted and dominant, and poor shy, introverted Shinji can't bring himself to speak up to her/stop her from pushing him around). This is further complicated by the fact that Asuka sees him as a rival. She, in particular, constantly provokes him into doing stupid things, does nothing but insult and abuse him, until he eventually snaps and attempts to strangle her. Considering Hideaki Anno's actual beliefs at least at the time, how difficult the relationship is was probably done to make a point. Somehow. Bottom line, this is a ship that was not designed to make anyone feel good.
An interpretation of Chiaki and 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 childish, lazy person despite being one of the top manga author's in Japan while Hatori is serious, hard working and has to force Chiaki to do almost everything.) It gets to the point that the both can't live without the other supporting them. This has shown to backfire though as once they do get together after Hatori brutally rapes Chiaki mind you and it's not 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 Yanase into the picture who always ends up suffering from their arguments and disagreements physically and emotionally.so
Loveless is absolutely full of this, with almost every relationship (romantic or otherwise) being faintly dysfunctional. The most blatant example is probably 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.
In 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 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?
In Bitchy Bitch, Midge is so fragile that any romance she experiences is likely to turn into this.
In Bitchy Butch, 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.
The comic series Flinch once featured a short story titled "Red Romance" (illustrated by Bruce Timm, 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.
Roy Harper and Cheshire's relationship in Teen Titans 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 Psycho for Hire 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.
Bad Timing: 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.
The War of the Roses 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.
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.
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.
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.
In Francine Riversí The Mark Of The Lion trilogy, Julia goes through at least two of these: the first man she falls in love with turns out to be brutally abusive; the second gives her a baby she really doesn't want and the STD that eventually kills her, before abandoning her and leaving her totally disillusioned. The various affairs she had in between certainly didnít help her slide towards total cynicism or excruciating death by syphilis.
Live Action TV
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has portrayed many of these over the years. In one episode, Olivia tries in vain to convince a woman to report her husband for Domestic Abuse. Of course she refuses to betray her beloved like that and eventually ends up dying in Olivia's arms, stabbed to death by her husband.
On Glee, Terri spells out to Will that the only reason their marriage works is because it is a Destructive Romance. Will, actually wanting to be in a healthy relationship, leaves.
Monroe and Angelina's relationship is presented as this on Grimm. Though it is clear that the two characters care deeply about eachother, by the end of the episode it is made clear that the relationship simply would not be good for Monroe.
In 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.
Niles and Maris's marriage in 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 The Vampire Diaries have a destructive element to them, but the one that qualifies the most is Damon and Elena. Damon is quite abusive towards Elena.
Marilyn Manson 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).
Blutengel has several songs on this theme, often from the point of view of a former Bastard Boyfriend who realizes how horrible he has been.
Clawfinger milks this trope in songs such as "I Need You" (see page quote) and "Love Is Just A Four Letter Word".
By the same token, every one of Eminem's songs about his wife Kim Mathers.
"The Alpha Couple" from The Mountain Goats 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 lyrics of Sara Bareilles's "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.
Fiona Apple'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...
"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!"
Mythology and Religion
Hawaiian mythology gives us Kamapua'a, a trickster demigod, and Pele, the goddess of fire. Their fighting almost destroyed both of them.
Norma and Joe's relationship in Sunset Boulevard: 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 Norma's relationship with her butler is even worse.
Romeo and Juliet, not really their fault, but the situation ended up pretty badly none the less.