This paper reviews the relevant theories and marketing literature to develop a theoretical foundation for understanding the process and outcome of struggling business-to-business (B2B) customer relationships. Specifically, the paper provides a social exchange perspective of the factors that influence the likelihood of dissatisfied customers remaining in a present relationship by serving as deterrents to discontinuing the relationship. In doing so, the paper identifies the common features of, noteworthy differences among, and gaps in these theories. The paper also connects determinant factors to an outcome variable in order to explain what drives a customer in managing an unsatisfying business relationship, and therefore makes a conceptual contribution by proposing the effect of mediating variables, namely dependence and calculative commitment. Support for the hypothesised relationships would imply that specific investments are related to dependence or calculative commitment, which continues to play a role in generating customer outcomes.