I'm looking for an expression describing a situation when two people stay married to each other even though it would be better for them and others if they separated.
The primary reason are perverted ideas of fidelity. The correct version can be formulated like this: If you have a working relationship that doesn't harm you and others, you shouldn't destroy it by having affairs with other people.
However, if the relationship
- does not work and/or
- harms someone,
it may be a good (not immoral) idea to terminate it.
Example 1: Think of a couple with two kids. Wife and husband hate each other. This has been going for so long and the hatred runs so deep that no therapy can change this, especially because both are extraordinary liars. They fight regularly, but don't even think about a divorce. There is no physical violence, but only because the husband channels his rage in destroying furniture instead of hitting the wife.
The kids are constantly terrified and grow up with a bunch of complexes (like aversion to relationships and marriage). In this case it would be better for the kids (no fights, no trauma), if both marriage partners separated peacefully.
Example 2: A woman is regularly hit and/or raped by her husband. She refuses to call the police because she thinks that by doing so she would violate her duties as a wife.
What are good words or expressions describing the perverted understanding of fidelity?
One time I heard an expression in Russian meaning roughly Your fidelity is worse than adultery (Ваша верность хуже измены). It's too soft. I'm looking for something more dramatic. Slang, regional expressions, and obscenities are welcome.