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Are You Trapped & Unhappy in Your Relationship?

Are You Trapped & Unhappy in Your Relationship?

Do you feel trapped in a relationship you can’t leave?

Of course, feeling trapped is a state of mind. No one needs consent to leave a relationship. Millions of people remain in unhappy relationships that range from empty to abusive for many reasons; however, the feeling of suffocation or of having no choices stems from fear that’s often unconscious.

People give many explanations for staying in bad relationships, ranging from caring for young children to caring for a sick mate. One man was too afraid and guilt-ridden to leave his ill wife (11 years his senior). His ambivalence made him so distressed, he died before she did! Money binds couples, too, especially in a bad economy. Yet, more affluent couples may cling to a comfortable lifestyle, while their marriage dissolves into a business arrangement.

Homemakers fear being self-supporting or single moms, and breadwinners dread paying support and seeing their assets divided. Often spouses fear feeling shamed for leaving a “failed” marriage. Some even worry their spouse may harm him- or herself. Battered women may stay out of fear of retaliation. Most people tell themselves “The grass isn’t any greener,” believe they’re too old to find love again and imagine nightmarish online dating scenarios. Also, some cultures still stigmatize divorce.

Unconscious Fears

Despite the abundance of reasons, many of which are realistic, there are deeper, unconscious ones that keep people trapped – usually fears of separation and loneliness. In longer relationships, spouses often don’t develop individual activities or support networks. In the past, an extended family served that function.

Whereas women tend to have girlfriends in whom they confide and are usually closer with their parents, traditionally, men focus on work, but disregard their emotional needs and rely exclusively on their wife for support. Yet, both men and women often neglect developing individual interests. Some codependent women give up their friends, hobbies, and activities and adopt those of their male companions. The combined effect of this adds to fears of loneliness and isolation people envisage from being on their own.

For spouses married a number of years, their identity may be as a “husband” or “wife” – a “provider” or “homemaker.” The loneliness experienced upon divorce is tinged with feeling lost. It’s an identity crisis. This also may be significant for a noncustodial parent, for whom parenting is a major source of self-esteem.

Some people have never lived alone. They left home or their college roommate for a marriage or romantic partner. The relationship helped them leave home – physically. Yet, they’ve never completed the developmental milestone of “leaving home” psychologically, meaning becoming an autonomous adult. They are as tied to their mate as they once were to their parents.

Going through divorce or separation brings with it all of the unfinished work of becoming an independent “adult.” Fears about leaving their spouse and children may be reiterations of the fears and guilt that they would have had upon separating from their parents, which were avoided by quickly getting into a relationship or marriage.

Guilt about leaving a spouse may be due to the fact that their parents didn’t appropriately encourage emotional separation. Although the negative impact of divorce upon children is real, parents’ worries may also be projections of fears for themselves. This is compounded if they suffered from their parents’ divorce.

Lack of Autonomy

Autonomy implies being an emotionally secure, separate, and independent person. The lack of autonomy not only makes separation difficult, it naturally also makes people more dependent upon their partner. The consequence is that people feel trapped or “on the fence” and wracked with ambivalence. On one hand, they crave freedom and independence; on the other hand, they want the security of a relationship – even a bad one. Autonomy doesn’t mean you don’t need others. In fact, it allows you to experience healthy dependence on others without the fear of suffocation. Examples of psychological autonomy include:

  1. You don’t feel lost and empty when you’re alone.
  2. You don’t feel responsible for others’ feelings and actions.
  3. You don’t take things personally.
  4. You can make decisions on your own.
  5. You have your own opinions and values and aren’t easily suggestible.
  6. You can initiate and do things on your own.
  7. You can say “no” and ask for space.
  8. You have your own friends.

Often, it’s this lack of autonomy that makes people unhappy in relationships or unable to commit. Because they can’t leave, they fear getting close. They’re afraid of even more dependence – of losing themselves completely. They may people-please or sacrifice their needs, interests, and friends, and then build resentments toward their partner.

A Way Out of Your Unhappiness

The way out may not require leaving the relationship. Freedom is an inside job. Develop a support system and become more independent and assertive. Take responsibility for your happiness by developing your passions instead of focusing on the relationship. Find out more about becoming assertive in my e-book, How to Speak Your Mind — Become Assertive and Set Limits.


How to Know if You're in an Unhappy Relationship

These signs indicate it's more than just a rough patch.

When you've been in a relationship for a while, there will inevitably be arguments both big (like money you're spending versus saving) and small (say, when she forgets to unload the dishwasher again). Not to mention there may even be days when the mere sight of your spouse makes you want to lock yourself in your bedroom indefinitely&mdashwhich is part of the reason why it can be hard to tell if you're actually in an unhappy relationship or marriage or if you're just going through a rough patch.

First things first, it's perfectly normal to be unhappy in a relationship from time to time. But if there's a noticeable uptick in the frequency and duration of your feelings&mdashso much so that your lives are more parallel than interwoven or you constantly prioritize friends over your partner&mdashthat could be an indication of a serious shift. Equally concerning signs: If you feel alone even when you're together, if you continually fantasize about being single, and if all your conversations turn into fights (or you stop fighting entirely).

But just because you're feeling unhappy in your relationship, doesn't necessarily mean it's time to break up, separate, or divorce. In some cases, you can fix issues with therapy and regular check-ins, Kiaundra Jackson, a marriage and family therapist, tells Oprah Daily. In other cases, though, staying together might not be the best choice for either of you. "There are a lot of reasons people feel like they can't leave unhappy relationships&mdashmany of which are rooted in fear," says couples counselor Ronica Arnold Branson, Ph.D. "Fear of being alone, fear of being rejected, and the fear of failure&mdashthese all apply to our relationships and why we continue to stay in them even though we aren&rsquot happy." Plus, many people choose to stick it out because they have a child or they still feel deep affection for their significant other. (Yes, you can love someone but still be unhappy.)

&ldquoAsk yourself: If today is my last day, can I say that I&rsquom in the relationship that I want to be in? That I deserve to be in?&rdquo says Branson. If the answers are no, acknowledge that what you want does matter&mdashand that it ultimately might be worth ending your relationship.

Still not sure where you stand? Ahead, marriage counselors, couples therapists, and other relationship experts weigh in on exactly how to know if you're in an unhappy relationship.


Why Can’t I Be Happy – Trapped in a Loveless Marriage

D o you ever find yourself wondering what the devil has happened in your marriage?

Are you trapped in a relationship where all the love has dissolved away?

If one was to try their hand on providing a loveless marriage definition, what might it be?

Is it when two married people who joined together to pursue a dream of living a life of happiness, raising a family, and doing those things that couples do – discover that for any multitude of reasons that the special bond between them has been severed to such an extent that staying together seems futile?

I think that’s pretty close to capturing what happens in far too many marriages.

People who slowly fall out of love for complicated reasons (or sometimes simple, yet destructive reasons) will invariably grow apart as dissatisfaction takes root in their lives. Why does this happen?

Perhaps the two of you were really happy at one time, but events conspired such that neither of you are all that enthused any longer such that you find yourself thinking way to often,”why can’t I be happy.”

I was talking to a lady the other day and she wanted to explore her feelings out loud.

“Chris, why can’t I be happy with my life again. I feel trapped in a loveless marriage. I think he feels the same, but neither of us are ever honest about what is really going down.”

Do You Feel Your Marriage Wasting Away?

So what should one do when you are not happy in your marriage and you know your husband is unhappy with his life? When two people are trapped in a marriage that seems headed nowhere, shouldn’t they do something about it?

I mean let’s say you are very dissatisfied with the state of the relationship. Let’s assume all kinds of things are going wrong.

There is way too much fussing and fighting. You find yourself too frequently gravitating to thoughts of separation or divorce or even having an affair with this guy that fawns all over you at work.

Perhaps it also clear to both parties that all the energy and love has been sapped out of their marriage. Feeling trapped without love and with nowhere to turn to get relief – such a predicament can be extremely disheartening and disabling.

My client kept telling me, “my husband is miserable in our marriage and so am I, but neither of us really know how to get out of this unhappy state we find ourselves in. It is much more than a terrible bad marriage rut. We just really don’t even like each other anymore.”

She explained how the relationship just sort of dissolved away. They both knew things were not jelling quite right, even before the marriage. But she figured her husband would be more loving and she would come to draw closer to him once they vowed to be together in marriage. But day by day, month by month, things slowly soured and it seemed that whatever they tried, it didn’t matter so much.

Then the tears flowed as she continued to struggle with “why can’t I be happy in a relationship”.

It wasn’t the first time she had gotten close to a man, only to see the relationship unravel.

Now it was all happening again and she didn’t know whether to blame herself or her husband. “I try to be happy but I can’t. It is hard to keep faking it. We sleep together, but we are hardly a couple. He only shows affection, if you want to call it that, when we have sex. Then it’s like he can’t wait to get up and away from me.”

Then she tells me about desperate feelings that sometimes grips and paralyzes her with indecision in the night. It comes about with her awareness that next to her lies her sleeping husband, who she doesn’t love, and all she can think of is getting away. But when morning arrives, it is like those empty feelings are replaced with the necessity of getting ready to go to work and do and think about those other things.

No one really wants to be alone in life.

She explained that another thing she struggles with is the idea that moving out and away from him is scary.

She will ask herself, “Is it the right solution”?

Have I done enough on my end of this marriage?”

She explained to me that she is not good at being by herself or without someone in her life that can make her feel safe and loved. She knew that she wasn’t getting that from her current husband. It was truly a loveless relationship and the walls were closing in on her.

But still, she feared striking out on her own. Starting over was scary for her.

She kept saying, “why can’t I be happy single. I don’t need these complications that marriage brings into my life. What if I leave to be on my own and then get depressed? Where would I go? Would he cooperate and move out?

What she was experiencing was a form of Break up Chaos. That is what I call it.

She explained that after running all these confusing breakup thoughts through her mind, she usually will become mentally exhausted and eventually just ends up caving in and going right back into the same loveless situation.

It’s not a do over. Rather, what she is describing is akin to a negative relationship feedback loop.

She related a story of how she first knew it was all going south.

She was looking for information about relationships one day and came across a “why can’t i be happy quiz”. She obviously was in the mood of searching for answers that might help her get a better grip on why she keeps meeting and marrying men that ultimately make her unhappy.

So by taking this loveless marriage quiz, she was hopeful it might lead her to a deeper understanding of why she couldn’t seem settle into a happy and satisfying relationship.

That is all she really wanted.

She wanted to be part of a man’s life and feel loved and cared for. But she wanted him to respect her own needs. She was a keenly intelligent woman who enjoyed her career and had opinions and interests in many areas. So she wanted a man who understood her on a simple emotional level, yet also appreciated the complexity of who she was and what fulfilled her.

Well, she had not found that yet. So by taking this marriage quiz on love and love lost, a part of her was hoping it would point to something that would spark an insight. It wasn’t like she expected this little survey to be her savior and cause her to overhaul her view of marriage.

She knew what marriages could become and when it can be good and bad. What she was looking for had more to do with confirmation of what she already knew deep inside.

You see, in her present marriage, just as in her previous relationship, the husband she settled down with was a poor match for her in couple of important areas.

She and her husband’s values did not align which is usually a predictor of marriage friction.

On top of that, they had vastly different interests. He was super into sports and weightlifting. Working out was his thing. Her husband was a doer. His thinking was more often one-dimensional and he didn’t have much patience or curiosity for what others were up to. He was more into himself.

She on the other hand was very active in volunteer work in her community and engaged in the local political scene. She enjoyed that work because it gave he purpose. Her family had encouraged her when she was younger to give back.

If those relationship mismatches weren’t enough to tax the marriage, the biggest hurdle for them both was their different views on displays of affection.

She loved to hug and kiss and he was often put off by any displays of such emotion in public and seldom (in her view) did he make her feel loved behind closed doors.

To put it mildly, their emotional connection was terribly strained which led to her view that she was stuck in a marriage without love. There was little effort on her husband’s end to make her feel valued.

Confronting Your Reasons For Staying in a Loveless Marriage

So why do people stay in such marriages if the wheels have fallen off?

Well, it is often for numerous reasons.

In a lot of these cases, the marriage fuse is short with both parties sometimes stuck in reverse. The fear of the next incident unfolding such that it causes yet another marriage blow up lies close to the surface.

Some of the reasons why unhappily married couples don’t break up for sometimes the longest of times is the insecurity of doing something big.

Most couples don’t want to rock the marriage if it is already wobbly.

They seek to patch things up, only to later rip off the bandages and fight it all out again. Little fixes to solve big problems get your nowhere.

Sometimes it is the idea of being alone that is more frightening to some. So they hold back on doing what part of their mind says they need to do.

Financial reasons also contributea to why men and women stay in loveless and sexless marriages.

By the way, how do you define a sexless marriage?

Is it one in which neither the husband or wife are making love with each other?

Is it the kind of relationship in which the very thought of having sex is completely ruled out because each party hates the other and have their own rooms?

Well, if that is what you are thinking, I think we largely agree. But I also see a sexless marriage as one in which sex may happen on occasion, but it is rare and is followed immediately by regret.

Just the inertia of being married and being somewhat of a slave to your routines, can cause couples to keep repeating the same mistakes, hoping that tomorrow will be a better day.

I know it sounds self-destructive that unhappy couples can so easily get locked into negative and hostile patterns. It is as if they can’t bring themselves to end things, even when one or both feel there is little hope and the love between the pair has all but vanished. But this sort of thing happens every day.

Another somewhat irrational fear that keeps the madness of a troubled marriage moving forward is the couple may be afraid of what others might think of them.

“What will my parents think if I was to divorce him?

“How will it look to my friends that we have been lying to them all these years about the real truth of our marriage?”

So how do you survive a loveless, sexless marriage?

When you know you are both unhappily married, what can you do to bring your misery to a close.

Should you rush out to the nearest bookstore and bury yourself into a bunch of loveless marriage quotes with the hope it will lift you up and move you to do something big?

I don’t think that is going to get you very close to the happiness you seek.

The way I see it, there are three tracks you can take.

3 Paths You Can Take To Break Out of Your Damaging Relationship Cycle

1. You can say enough is enough and insist that something substantial occur which will bring about meaningful change, such that you both can actively work on your marriage. Taking a last stand not just for yourself, but for the very survival of the marriage is a worth endeavor. In effect, with this approach you are drawing a line in the sand, saying if we can’t make this work in x amount of time, then let’s agree we are only further damaging ourselves. And if that is the case, why wouldn’t you go your separate ways? It is a touch question and an important one. When do you finally call it quits?

2. Another relationship track you can take is to accept that you have done all the things you should have done to make it work. And if that is true and yet the two of you are still carrying on as two loveless souls living together in the same house, then you should just face the music and accept the marriage is pointless.

3. A third path is to do little to nothing about your situation and remain in a pointless and loveless marriage, marking the days as they go by. As I mentioned before, such an approach to a “screwed up marriage” is a sad and disturbing pattern taken by far too many women and men. Obviously, I don’t want you taking this approach as it only leads to ruin. But it is an easy “out” and I see couples go in this direction every day.

The 5 Signs That You Are Trapped in a Miserable and Loveless Marriage

  1. Your husband (or wife) screams at you far too frequently and doesn’t seem to care how it affects you. He resorts to such bullying tactics over and over again.
  2. You get up one day and realize years have gone by and your husband (or wife) has never told you he loves you and really meant it. It is like you are brother and sister living together. Connected by a bond, but love has long since disappeared from you lives.
  3. Your husband (or wife) constantly picks on you and tells you that you have no backbone and should leave the marriage. He is practically encouraging you to end the relationship. Why? Because he is probably to cowardly to deal with the problems head on and wants to get out or keep the status quo. Or maybe he is angry and wants to hurt you. Unfortunately, some men take a perverse joy out of making their wife squirm. Either way, such actions point to a highly dysfunctional relationship.
  4. Both of you are having affairs. Your husband may flaunt his in the open as a way to hurt you as retribution for you own the affair (or likewise). Cheating happens more often in marriages than you probably realize. When both the husband and wife are involved in love affairs, it spells much more than big trouble for your marriage. It suggests the very foundation of the relationship is broken.
  5. You both recognize that the marriage is bad for each of you and both of you talk frequently about it openly. There is an admission that the passion is gone and so too is the love. While misery may not color each of your days, when a couple can honestly tell each other they just don’t feel the same way toward each other and conflict and unhappiness follows each of you around, it may be time to go down a different path.

5 Things You Can Do To Escape an Unhappy Relationship

  1. Once it is clear that your marriage is failing miserably, then it’s time to meet with your husband or wife and put all your cards on the table and come up with a separation plan. Now the trick is knowing when it’s time, right? You sure don’t want to quit the marriage just because you both feel trapped. There may be personal problems or illness or other issues that are contributing to your misery scale. So make sure the two of you have made good faith efforts to resolve your problems before pulling the cord.
  2. If the environment is hostile and toxic, just leave. If there is physical violence of any kind, then leave. If for example, your husband is abusing you verbally, telling you how worthless you are then walk. If the marriage is in shambles from so many unresolved fights, then walk out and leave. There is always an opportunity to later reconcile if that turns out to be something you want. But there come a point in every marriage where enough is enough. If your relationship is broken in half because of a hostile husband (or wife) then don’t stay. Develop and execute your exit plan.
  3. Sign up for marriage counseling with a plan and scheduled date to end the relationship if meaningful progress is not made. Sometimes it is easy for you or your partner to agree to “work on things”. Perhaps you are both committed to seeing a marital therapist. Maybe each of you agreed to a formal list of improvement actions. And while both of you may be well-intentioned, the gravity and weight of past routines and patterns can cause you both to resume your old, unhealthy marriage behaviors. The way to break through this troubling pattern is by agreeing on a date in which you both have to concur with whether the marriage is back on a better track. If not, then the action should be to separate. This approach makes what the two of you are trying to achieve very real and you are more likely to hold yourselves and each other accountable for making progress.
  4. Tell your spouse that you are miserable and unhappy because the marriage is failing. Explain you are not quite ready to give up, but you are on the edge and for your own sanity and whatever future the marriage has, you are going to take a long break. Arrange with your best friend to go on a long, extended vacation. Maybe you take a 10 day river boat cruise in Europe. Or you can go rent a cabin in Yellowstone and draw closer to nature and the beautiful wide open spaces. Whatever it is, this is YOUR time to heal and get away from the misery that defines your marriage. At the same time, your husband (or wife) will now have an opportunity to think about how important the marriage is to them as well. They may not like what you are doing, but will likely soon realize you are very serious and this decision of yours represents an important crossroads. They too can experience some healing.
  5. Don’t get into one in the first place. I know, that sounds a bit arrogant. But here is my point. If your loveless marriage is falling all to pieces and misery follows you around, then chances are good that the relationship will end. But now you will be on a new path. And on this new path, you will have an opportunity to meet a new man or woman who can satisfy your needs – a partner that you are more compatible with on many levels. So take your experience and make sure this time you choose better. And you can do this because you will have gained so much wisdom from your prior experiences. You will know your own needs better and the chances of having a very satisfying relationship with a special person best suited for you becomes real and achievable.

How likely is your marriage to succeed?


2. You Feel That You Need To Stay Together For The Kids

Feeling trapped in a relationship is difficult enough, but it gets more complicated when there are children involved.

You and your partner work together to take care of your kids, with responsibilities ranging from feeding, changing, and bathing, to homework guidance and taking them to various extracurricular activities.

If you know deep down that your relationship with your partner is over, you might feel like you have to stick around because the thought of dividing those childcare tasks even further might be an absolute nightmare.

Especially if you already carry most of those tasks yourself: you may be terrified that you’ll be under enormous pressure that you won’t be able to handle, and it would just be easier on everyone if you stayed together.

Alternatively, you may have a child with special needs, or one who deals with severe anxiety.

In cases like these, you may feel that you have to sacrifice your own happiness and well-being for their sake: that their care is the priority, and you just have to slog through your own daily distress and depression for the sake of their care.

The thing is, kids pick up on tensions between their parents really easily, and they can tell when you’re miserable.

Another thing to consider is the kind of example you’re showing them about what healthy adult relationships look like.

Remember that they learn by watching, and if they’re growing up in an uncomfortable, tense, resentful environment, they may grow up believing that this is just what a relationship looks like.

They might even end up following in your footsteps, repeating your life choices as their own.

Is this what you want for them?

Once again, the answer to all of this is honesty… which is often the most difficult thing to face, let alone talk about.

Be honest with yourself as to whether you can do this much longer without permanently damaging your own well-being.

Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling – chances are they feel the same, but haven’t been able to drum up the courage to talk to you either.

And most importantly, be honest with your kids, especially about the fact that none of this is their “fault,” but rather is just part of life.

Remind them that you both love and support them unconditionally, and will work together to make sure they stay happy and healthy.

There are always solutions when it comes to custody/parenting arrangements and responsibilities, especially if extended family can lend a hand.

Some families do well with a “one week with one parent/one week with the other” schedule (which also gives each parent every other week off for their own pursuits).

Also, if you and your partner still get on quite well, you can get together as a group for birthdays and other occasions.

You CAN make this work. It’ll just take some courage and honesty to make it happen.


Develop Psychological Autonomy

People who are psychologically autonomous possess a solid sense of independence and emotional security. When you lack the appropriate autonomy in relationships, you struggle between wanting to be free and the security of a relationship, even if that means being unhappy, according to Darlene Lancer, a marriage and family therapist, in her article, "Are You Trapped & Unhappy in Your Relationship?" published on the Psych Central website. If you have yet to achieve psychological autonomy, you may fear commitment. This can cause you to pull away, Lancer says. To become more independent, develop a support system and indulge in activities and interests outside of the relationship.


20 ways you’re sabotaging your relationship

Learn to stay away from all these in other to have a healthy relationship

Whether it’s purposeful or not, there are several ways you could be self-sabotaging your relationship - from hiding your feelings to holding a grudge.

Here we round up 20 of the ways you could be harming a partnership, along with some advice on how to repair any damage done

While occasional jealousy is normal, extreme and overwhelming feelings of envy can alienate your partner and make them feel trapped or cornered, notes author Tony Robbins. One of his suggestions is to figure out what the green-eyed monster is trying to tell you.

“Instead of shutting down the jealous behaviour outright, seek to understand it first. What problem is the jealousy attempting to solve? Working backwards from there will help you get to the bottom of how to stop being jealous. By getting to the real problem, you’re able to address it and find lasting relief.”

A solid relationship is based on trust, and trust is built through communication and honesty. As Healthline notes, it’s important to combat the urge to shut down lest you alienate your partner. “Sitting with emotions allows you to fully experience and understand them. This deeper understanding can make it easier to understand your role in the situation.”

Letting extreme paranoia go unchecked

Experts say it’s normal to feel suspicious or excluded from time to time, but experiencing chronic paranoia to the point you spy on your partner is not. In fact, it may be a sign of severe mental illness. Dr. Carrie Barron advises those who feel like they conjure up a distorted reality about their relationship—alienating their partner and causing damage to their own self-worth. Seek professional help.

Not taking care of yourself

“Taking care of yourself is essential to your relationship health because it shows that you can show up for yourself as you can for your partner and allows you to be hopefully more present with your partner,” Jaclyn Lopez Witmer, a licensed clinical psychologist, tells Bustle. When you let yourself go, the opposite is true —you may not have the energy or motivation to engage in the partnership in a healthy way.

Continually criticizing

Think about when someone constantly criticizes your actions or nags you to complete a specific task: how does it make you feel? Probably not great. It’s important to learn how to communicate your message in a healthy way.

Relationship guru Kyle Benson says there are four parts to the task: take responsibility for your actions express your feelings give specific details about the source of irritation, and ask for what you need. This should then lead to a constructive—not combative—conversation with your partner.

Abuse of any substance (like alcohol, for example) can breed mistrust between partners and hinder the ability to connect on an intimate level. In the worst of cases, the substance being abused can alter one’s personality and lead to verbal or physical abuse. In these instances, the solution is almost always to seek professional help. A trained therapist can help you get to the root of why you need crutches to get through a day.

Forgiveness in a relationship is key. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. But how do you overcome a grudge after being hurt by your partner?

Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne suggests five steps in Psychology Today: be the first to seek reconciliation recognize your own power in the situation look for commonalities with your mate don’t let the slight take on a life of its own and recognize when your grudge comes out of a rational fear.

Being too busy for your partner

Relationships need nurturing, and being too busy to tend to your partner’s needs can do some serious long-term damage-—even when you justify that you’re doing something for the good of your family. “It’s important not to use this as a blanket justification for ignoring their needs in the present.

It can be difficult to repair relationships if you ignore them for too long,” Dr. Alice Boyes tells MadameNoire. Her advice is to invest in your relationship the way you invest in your career.

Do you set the bar too high for your partner? Are you constantly asking them to do things or complete tasks they can never achieve? Do you expect someone to know and understand your feelings better than you do without telling them your thoughts? You may have unrealistic expectations, notes Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford to Psych Central.

Her advice is simple: communicate. “Expecting something out of the relationship that the other is either ignorant of, unwilling to provide, or simply unable to provide, can be emotionally damaging for both partners involved and unhealthy for the relationship. […] Do not keep your likes and dislikes, dreams and fears, achievements and mistakes, or anything else to yourself. If it is important to you, share it with your partner for the sake of your relationship.”

It’s only fair that when you say you’ll do something, you do it—that includes things for your partner. When promises start to get broken, so too does the trust between a couple. Dr. Randi Gunther tells Psychology Today those who can’t stay true to their word need to learn how to apologize, then rebuild trust. They also need to figure out how to make promises they can keep.

Refusing to discuss intimacy

Many people feel topics like intimate relations are taboo, even with their partner. But maintaining open communication when it comes to your comfort level with romps in the sack or even how, when, and where you get it on is key to building a satisfying and healthy relationship.

So, do what you need to do to find the courage to talk about intimacy issues with your partner, Dr. David Ludden tells Psychology Today. That could involve reading self-help books or getting professional help.

Giving your partner the “silent treatment” is toxic on so many levels, and is considered one of the most destructive relationship tendencies. The key is to learn how to talk to your partner when things get heated and then to cool down before following up.

When a relationship moves to the next level of commitment, some people may subconsciously look for a way out because they’re nervous or fear settling down. The simplest way to overcome these concerns is to talk to your partner. Get candid about your fear of commitment, and embrace being vulnerable.

Have a wandering eye? That could mean flirting with someone or blatantly checking someone out, depending on your definition. How do you know when you’ve crossed the line? Ask yourself whether your partner would be happy knowing what you’ve been thinking/doing. If the answer is no, you may break your partner’s trust—and the relationship.

Comparing anyone against another is a surefire way to erode trust and intimacy in a relationship. “The first step to changing any behaviour is to recognize when it occurs,” Natalie Dickinson, an Ottawa-based couples therapist and registered social worker, tells Canadian Living. “If seeing another’s relationship brings up serious questions about your own, it’s important to find time to talk about your concerns with your significant other.”

Sweeping problems under the rug

If you find yourself justifying your partner’s behaviours or wishing away circumstances that make you unhappy instead of addressing them with your partner, you could be walking into a situation where you end up alone. As with most relationship issues, this one can be solved with a little introspection and open communication. First, figure out what’s making you unhappy, then tackle the issue with your mate instead of trying to sweep it under the rug.

Taking things personally

When you take everything personally, you make everything about you instead of the relationship. As Dr. Abigail Brenner tells Psychology Today, instead of reacting when someone pushes your buttons, you should take a step back and evaluate what’s really happening. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes, don’t jump to conclusions, create some space between you and your reactions, and respond in due course.

This will ensure you have the clarity of mind to hear what your partner is truly saying (something that’s key to any healthy relationship) and that you react respectfully to their thoughts and opinions.

If you constantly feel like a victim or martyr or blame your partner for just about any negative aspect of your life, you may alienate your love and create a situation where perception becomes reality, Vicki Botnick, a licensed marriage and family therapist in California, tells Healthline.

Why? Because blaming others may show your partner you have little interest in trying to make constructive change.

Being too quick to control

Wanting to control someone is a surefire way to sabotage your partner’s relationship satisfaction, and will no doubt push them away if the behaviour goes unchecked for an extended period of time. Counsellor and psychotherapist Sharon Martin notes that many use control tactics in an effort to manage their own anxiety, even though it always backfires. Her advice? Remind yourself you can’t control your partner and focus on making positive change for yourself.

You and your partner have likely been through a lot, especially if you’ve been together for a long time. But living in the past and constantly bringing up arguments related to a current disagreement or expressing hurt over things that should have long been forgiven will likely show your beloved you aren’t truly ready to move forward with them.

The way to cope? According to Dr. Annie Ready Coffey, it could be as simple as asking your partner to call you out when you bring up past issues, helping you realize when you do it and why.


All couples go through peaks and valleys in their marriages. Sometimes it&rsquos great, other times you wonder what you were ever thinking saying the words: I do. But if you truly want to be with your spouse until &ldquodeath do us part&rdquo, science is suggesting that you stick it out*.

New research reveals that couples who stick out the tough years in their marriage end up happier for it. The study sheds light on findings from 10,000 parents. Results reveal that of th e 70% of couples wh o were unhappy after the birth of their first child, a whopping 68% reported being anywhere from happy to &ldquoExtremely Happy&rdquo 10 years later.

A marriage, in many ways, is like a rollercoaster. It&rsquos an amazing experience, but it has its ups and downs . Many couples go through periods of unhappiness, but that is no reason to give up on trying to change your relationship. Life is what you make of it. Coping with an unhappy marriage is all about changing your perspective.

* This advice excludes those who put themselves at risk by staying in an emotionally, physically, or mentally abusive relationship.


2. Your relationship feels more draining than satisfying.

If you always feel exhausted around your partner and don’t feel that connection with them any longer, this points to an unhappy relationship. A relationship should make you feel motivated, overjoyed, and alive, not lethargic and uninspired. Maybe you two just don’t click any more, or you might have different life goals which would require you to go down separate paths. This doesn’t mean either person should be blamed for the lack of chemistry just have a civilized, rational conversation and check in with them about their feelings. You might be able to work through these issues, but if not, you’re much better off on your own than staying in an unhappy relationship.


Does your partner check your phone and emails? Does he or she want to spend all your time together? Is he or she against you spending quality time with your friends?

If you can recognize your partner’s behavior in these questions – consider ending this relationship. If there is no trust in a relationship, there is no future for the couple at all. Think about the joy that you are forced to give up when you are not allowed to do what you want. You are in a relationship where you both are equal in rights, so there can be no “I don’t allow you to do that.” Come on!


5 Signs Your Relationship Is Making You Unhappy

There’s nothing wrong in relationships, but things get really serious when you realize that 6 out of 10 people are unhappy in their emotional relationship.

Unfortunately, most people decide to stay with their partner because they are used to the relationship. There’s something about the comfort, safety and stability. Some people are afraid that they won’t find another partner, and others struggle with the fear of leaving.

It’s time to realize that you shouldn’t stay in a relationship if you aren’t happy.

We all have problems, but a good conversation always helps. Maybe it’s just a phase, and maybe you need some time alone. But, what if it’s not a phase? How would you know if your relationship makes you sad and unhappy?

5 signs to tell if your relationship makes you unhappy

If you don’t like to spend a lot of time with your partner, it’s time to think about your relationship. Are you even happy? A solid relationship is built on trust and communication. It’s more like agreeing to stay with a person despite all the obstacles. Are you tired of your partner? Would you rather go out with your friends?

Talk to your partner. You can solve your problem in two ways. You will either work things out or you will walk away.

Your relationship is draining you

This one is easy. If you are tired and unhappy around your partner, it’s time to change something. An emotional relationship should make you happy and satisfied. It shouldn’t drain you. If you two don’t click any more, find someone that will make you happy. Don’t blame your partner for the lack of chemistry. It’s gone.

You aren’t attracted to your partner

You can’t expect to make love with your partner as often as you did at the beginning of your relationship. But if you aren’t attracted to your partner anymore, you have a serious problem. Making love with someone requires all your love and emotions.

Talk to your partner, and try to find a solution. If things don’t change put an end to your relationship. A happy relationship requires both physical and emotional intimacy.

You don’t enjoy your time together

Are you excited to see your partner? No? Then why are you two still together? If you hate the idea of spending time with your partner, move on. There’s nothing wrong in leaving a relationship behind.

There’s nothing worse than staying in a bad relationship. We all deserve someone who will give us butterflies or excitement. Stop being with someone you don’t like anymore.

You feel trapped or suffocated

A relationship should make you feel free. If you feel trapped, leave. Nobody should feel that way. Your partner is supposed to bring joy and happiness in your life. You are supposed to learn new things, and live your best life.

If your relationship feels like a burden, leave.

You don’t want to end up depressed and anxious, right? Take more care of your life. Love yourself first, and you will find the love of your life. Relationships are great, don’t forget that, and we all deserve a good one.


Watch the video: For People Feeling Lost in Life (January 2022).