Every relationship takes some work.
However, it’s important to be able to take a step back and assess your relationship honestly to allow you to identify areas that could be causing you or your partner to feel unhappy in the relationship, so as to enable you to improve it or to move on.
This is something I have done myself time and time again, while not easy it’s unbelievably important to make sure you and the person you’re with are both in a mutually beneficial relationship, built on love and respect. And if you aren’t, you may have a difficult decision to make.
Here are six signs that may indicate you are in an unhappy relationship.
1. You can’t communicate.
Regular and honest communication is essential to any healthy relationship. If either you or your partner completely shut down or stop responding to the other person, either during an argument or during day-to-day situations, it’s a negative sign.
Similarly, routinely ignoring your partner can also be damaging, as it can lead to the other person feeling as though their voice and opinion doesn’t matter in the relationship. This is something I learned early on in my relationship with my significant other, and we had to work hard to match the other’s communication style!
Odds are if the communication is off, you can feel it in your heart and soul. Something is missing or mismatched. Address it. Don’t let it go, because it won’t go away.
2. You NEVER fight or argue directly.
Whilst constant arguments aren’t a good sign, neither is a complete lack of arguments healthy either. Occasional bickering, disagreements or arguments are a sign of a normal and healthy relationship. It means you are both comfortable expressing yourself, but it also means you’re both emotionally invested enough to care to fight in the first place.
Nothing says “Checked out” of a relationship quite like being so dismissive and detached that you don’t care enough to try to settle an argument.
3. You’re constantly critizing, and pointing out each other’s flaws.
There are bound to be some habits that your partner has that you find annoying. However, criticizing them over everything, no matter how big or small, can lead to a really unhappy and uncomfortable relationship.
Being constantly criticized makes a person feel like they are routinely falling short of your expectations–like they’re failing over and over at being your partner. Continuous judgment is challenging to handle and your relationship and intimacy are both likely to suffer as a result.
For example, my partner and I used to constantly criticize each other about my habit of leaving socks in the lounge and my partner’s habit of snoring, but now I just wear my earplugs and get a great rest, and I do make an extra effort to pick up my socks!
4. Your relationship lacks gratitude.
Everyone needs to feel appreciated. Taking time to thank your significant other or show them how much you appreciate their effort and work is extremely important.
“As a couple, you will do a lot for each other. However, if one or both of you start to feel as though you are being taken for granted, this can be a dangerous sign for your relationship. The moment a partner stops recognizing the effort and lengths the other has gone to in their relationship, contempt and unhappiness can quickly begin to creep in. If you don’t show your partner that you are grateful for all they do, then they will have less motivation to keep doing it,” says Bruce Smith, a journalist at Writinity and Researchpapersuk.
My partner and I have started thanking each other for everything from cooking and cleaning to the most mundane things like just being at home or turning on the TV. But you know what? It’s a lot of fun!
It’s been eye-opening too – I’ve discovered all sorts of things I had no idea my partner even liked or noticed.
5. You find you’re leading *completely* separate lives.
It’s perfectly normal and healthy to have different interests and hobbies from your partner. However, if you find yourselves leading two completely separate lives, then this could be a sign that things are not going well in your relationship. You should have a good idea of what is happening in your partner’s life, particularly the things which are important and which matter to them. In a healthy, happy relationship, at least some parts of your lives should be intertwined and you should want to make time to spend with one another.
I always used to make fun of my partner for being obsessed with cars and collecting model cars, to the extent that he stopped discussing these things with me. However, when I realized it was discouraging him, I decided to start asking him about how his car collecting hobby was going, at least once every day. Now we have fun looking at model cars online together every now and then, and he can feel like I am a part of his passion.
And of course, we have things we make it a priority to do together, like cooking and our weekly tennis match, so that we share hobbies and time together as partners!
6. You feel like you lack respect for one another.
Respect is a CORE element of any healthy and happy relationship.
“If you’re in a loving relationship, you should both respect each other,” says Marilyn Englehart, a lifestyle blogger at Draft beyond and Last minute writing. “At no point is any kind of aggressive or abusive behavior acceptable. Similarly, belittling each other or making each other feel as though they don’t measure up, leads to an unhappy relationship. If you notice signs of disrespect in your relationship, talk to your partner calmly about it. Only by acknowledging the issue will you be able to stop it from reoccurring in the future.”
Bottom line: You need respect. It’s the foundation of which love, friendship and partnership are built on.
In the end…
Every relationship has its ups and downs. But it’s important to look out for signs that the bad is outweighing the good, and you’re finding yourself in a situation that isn’t healthy.
Acknowledging these issues can lead to constructive problem-solving and growth within a relationship, yes. But it can also mean that it may be time to walk away.
You have to be brave and self-aware enough to know what you deserve in this life, and ultimately both you and your significant other deserve to be fulfilled, respected and loved. That has to be the priority, whether it’s together or apart.
You deserve to be happy.
We all do.
Cheri. S. Jones is an emerging entrepreneur and business writer at Law assignments and Gumessays.com. She has been involved in a number of daring and challenging business projects, through which she managed to find success. Cheri believes that by acknowledging challenges in our personal and professional lives, we can overcome difficulties and lead happier, more successful and fulfilling lives.