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In the anime NTR: Netsuzou Trap, why did Hotaru stay with Fujiwara, who was a total jerk? He abused her, physically and probably emotionally. He even used her in a way! So why did Hotaru continue to date Fujiwara until she and Yuma got together?

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The answer most likely lies in the cycle of abuse.

Hotaru and Fujiwara did not have a healthy relationship founded in mutual respect to begin with. Fujiwara hates women and only uses them for gratification. And Hotaru's real feelings are for Yuma rather than Fujiwara. As per Rebecca Silverman's review on Anime News Network,

there's a strong implication that [Hotaru] has been dating boys and sleeping with them as a way to get over Yuma, or at least keep her feelings at bay, and that she might have a reputation for sleeping around [and she] could simply be masking her feelings [for Yuma] in order to protect [Yuma].

Hotaru and Fujiwara's relationship seems to be entirely centered around a superficial agreement to fulfill each other's sexual desires. Sexual desire is a biological drive in sexually reproducing organisms to engage in reproductive acts due to the pleasure associated with them. Such behavior can be addictive, and thus why these two might feel the need to have this arrangement. See this Wikipedia article for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_desire.

Which finally brings us to the cycle of abuse. In spite of Fujiwara's abuse, Hotaru stays with him. She pretends everything is fine or that it's not a big deal. This is typical behavior of abuse victims caught in the cycle of abuse. It is rational to leave the relationship, but in actuality, it isn't so easy due to being stuck in this cycle. See this review for some commentary on the cycle of abuse with relation to this story: https://web.archive.org/web/20171113094700/http://www.anime-now.com/entry/2017/07/29/050013

In line with this cycle of abuse, it's also important to note that Fujiwara has a manipulative and controlling personality and is willing to threaten and blackmail Hotaru and Yuma, and thus fear of repercussions would be another reason Hotaru stays with him.

In Hotaru's case, she most likely feels like she has to pretend everything is alright because she's suppressing her feelings for Yuma.

And lastly, Hotaru's feelings being for another girl could be a factor. Due to discrimination against the LGBTQ community and societal pressure to conform, there have been cases in real life where such individuals have suppressed their true feelings and married people of the opposite gender to themselves. As here: https://www.psychotherapynetworker.org/article/gay-man-straight-marriage/

Also see this Wikipedia article on such matters, which states:

Early research by Michael M. Ross in the 1970s and 1980s on gay men who married women found that their reasons most often had to do with social expectancy, as a defense against being perceived as gay, or due to internalized homophobia.

In Hotaru's case, her suppression likely has less to do with societal pressure and more to do with believing Yuma either wouldn't or shouldn't return her feelings.

So, Hotaru is caught in the cycle of abuse and feeling stuck denying her true sexual orientation makes it even harder for her to get out; due to her feeling an excessive need to suppress those feelings, she is compelled to pretend that everything is fine even when it isn't.

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  • Oh, wow, thanks. That makes a lot of sense, especially with your evidence!
    – ZeeBee
    Apr 17 at 16:22

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