Everyone has their happy moments and their unhappy moments. This is simply life. As much as we all wish it were true, there is no other person in the world who can make you happy all of the time. We fight with the ones we love, often because we love them. This is the simple and unfortunate truth of having emotions.
But, just because being unhappy sometimes is part of living does not mean you should feel unhappy all of the time (or even most of the time). If you feel more often than not in your relationship you are unhappy, then it might be time to take a step back and see what is going on.
- Are you getting the love and support you need from your partner?
- Is most of the time that you are together happy or unhappy?
- Are you fighting all of the time?
- Have you felt more frustrated, upset, or anxious since the relationship?
These are the questions to ask yourself if you think you may be unhappy in your relationship. These questions are critical because how we feel in our relationships profoundly affect our mental health.
Think about it; if you are in an unhappy relationship, where you feel constantly put down, ignored, or attacked, your mind will have a hard time not internalizing those feelings. You may end up feeling less worthy of a happy relationship and the love and attention that you want. But, it is important to know that you are deserving of love and happiness — even if your mind is trying to tell you otherwise.
What Does an Unhappy Relationship Look Like?
All relationships look and feel different, but there are some red flags that you should keep an eye out for in any of your relationships that may lead to an unhappy relationship — even if it is not unhappy right now.
Here are some common characteristics of unhappy relationships:
Intense feelings in themselves are not a bad thing. Many people feel intense love and care for their intimate partners, but when that intensity becomes unpredictable and overwhelming, it can be a sign of an unhealthy relationship. If you always feel that you need to act a certain way to avoid an outburst of emotion, you aren’t going to be able to relax and feel happy and fulfilled in your relationship.
Jealousy is a normal emotion that all of us feel. This feeling becomes unhealthy when your partner begins accusing you of things you did not do, trying to control your interactions, and treating you as their property.
Manipulation is a common sign of an unhealthy (and, by extension, unhappy) relationship. People manipulate their partners when they feel that their emotions and desires are more important than their partners. This creates a power dynamic rather than an equal footing and can lead to dissatisfaction in the relationship.
Whether they are sabotaging your relationships with others, your work life, your self-esteem, or anything else, constant belittling and putdowns are a huge red flag for a relationship. After all, a happy and healthy relationship revolves around mutual respect and support. If your partner is not providing you with these things, you will not be happy in the relationship.
Having a support system is important for all of us. We are all human, and we are all, therefore, social creatures. Because of this, if you find yourself being forcibly cut off from your family and friends because of your partner, that is a red flag. This type of imposed isolation can be difficult to notice at first, but if your partner is trying to control who you see and when you see them, they are not respecting you and your desires.
How Unhappy Relationships Affect Mental Health
Whether you are married or you are in another committed intimate relationship with your partner, your relationship has very noticeable effects on your mental health. A happy relationship can lead to improved moods as well as a better approach to solving problems and interacting with others.
On the other hand, an unhappy relationship can lead to several negative mental health effects — which we will dive into here.
When people hear the term PTSD they often think of war veterans or people who have survived an accident. Many people do not think of PTSD that has been caused by a relationship. But, the truth is, there are a lot of things in this world that can be more damaging than physical damage.
Not all those who have PTSD have it because they were physically harmed. Many people who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder have experienced a tremendous psychological blow.
Experiencing betrayal from a person that you trust fully and completely can be more than enough to cause someone to have PTSD. This type of betrayal can leave you constantly fearing the same thing will happen again and leaving your body in a state of constant alertness.
Depression and Anxiety
Many of us rely on our partners for the reassurance and comfort that we need when we are experiencing feelings of anxiety or depression. Now, this isn’t to say that we look to our intimate partners to solve all of our problems or cure our depression or anxiety. We simply look to them for the love and comfort that they provide us with.
Simply being able to sit and relax with our partner or talk about what is bothering us can be incredibly important in helping us to overcome the feelings we are having. If we are unable to do this — for example, if we are met with anger or dismissal when we bring up the things that are bothering us or causing us to feel upset — our anxieties and feelings are only likely to get worse.
If we are unable to get the support we need from our partners, we will have a tendency to shrink into ourselves and fall further into any feelings of depression or anxiety that we may have been facing.
If we are constantly feeling dismissed, belittled, or simply ignored, we can start to overlook our own worth. When we are treated as unimportant, we can begin to internalize this feeling and lose our own sense of self-worth.
This can be incredibly damaging to our minds and can lead us to accept things that we never should, such as an unhappy relationship where we do not get the love and comfort that we need to be happy.
What Can You Do?
There are a number of things that you may be able to do to bring happiness back to an unhappy marriage or other intimate partnership. But, it also may be that the relationship is simply not at a place where it can be fixed, and the best option may be to part ways with your partner.
The truth is that the “right” response is going to depend on your situation, you, and your partner. But, this does not mean that you need to tackle the problem alone. You can consult a therapist — either an individual or couples therapist — who can help you to determine what the best steps are for you and your mental health. A therapist will be able to give you the personalized expertise that can help you to decide where you need to go to take back your happiness.
So, if you are feeling stuck in an unhappy relationship or simply want some guidance on how to improve your mental health, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Love Heal Grow.