Polymeric composites exhibit highly nonlinear and rate dependent behavior during loading and unloading in off-axis directions. The equilibrium state of stress during loading is lower than the state of stress produced at finite strain rates. The amount of stress relaxation during loading decreases. Interestingly, however, the stress goes up to reach to the equilibrium state of stress for a fixed displacement during unloading. The unloading behavior is quite similar to the loading behavior. The stress relaxation patterns during loading and unloading is also similar, and those depend on the fiber orientation angles and the loading and unloading rates. The AS4/PEEK thermoplastic composite is used to characterize the relaxation behavior for different off-axis angles and loading rates. There exists a transient loading region at the beginning of unloading. The effective stress and effective plastic strain concept is used to establish a master curve of stress recovery pattern for different off-axis angles and unloading rates.