This post was updated on Oct 10, 2023
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I unhappy in my relationship?” Unhappiness in a relationship takes on many forms and originates for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, couples find themselves in unhappy relationships because they feel bored, or because both partners have lost the physical spark they used to have. At other times, there may be extreme jealousy or resentment present in the relationship, or perhaps a severe case of emotional manipulation. And, what is not spoken about often is that the unhappiness is generated from their own family of origin complications that have not been individually worked out.
Some problems that make people unhappy in a relationship are normal and easy to resolve, while others require a lot of time, effort, and maybe help from a professional relationship expert. You can begin by first getting more familiar with the characteristics of an unhappy relationship and how to know if it is time to leave for good.
What Does a Healthy Relationship Feel Like?
There is much talk about unhealthy, toxic, and unsafe relationships, and it is sometimes difficult for people to let go of a few challenges and become aware that they are actually in a healthy and happy relationship.
That is why it is also important to recognize which emotions are good in a relationship, and what are the positive aspects of being in a relationship that you can expect to experience on a daily basis. Here are some of the important characteristics of happiness in a relationship:
- There is mutual respect for space and privacy.
- You and your partner understand each other’s needs.
- You and your partner are able to spend quality time with friends and family.
- You are comfortable enough to share and express feelings and opinions.
- You feel physically and emotionally safe and comfortable with your partner.
- You enjoy the time you spend together and are able to spend quality time apart.
- You are able to resolve conflicts without hurting each other’s feelings.
- You feel comfortable being honest with your partner.
- There is forgiveness if a partner makes and admits a mistake.
- You and your partner have shared tolerance for certain issues and problems.
- You and your partner mutually engage in efforts to support the overall health of the relationship.
What Are The Foundations Of A Healthy Relationship?
Happy and healthy relationships reside on strong foundations. There are certain aspects of a relationship that allow you to build upon and continue to thrive both as an individual who is in a relationship and as partners looking forward to a life spent together.
Mutual respect for each other’s boundaries and habits is favorable in relationships.
Healthy relationships have a foundation of clear communication.
It is essential to build trust over time with your partner to create a happy relationship.
Consent is a necessary aspect in a relationship and there needs to be an agreement for the things you and your partner do together.
How Do You Know If You’re Unhappy In Your Relationship?
It is not always easy to become aware of the fact that you might be unhappy in your relationship. Healthy families can be happy and also have ways to navigate the challenges that arise. When your family has many conflicts that are not resolved, the difficulties suffocate the chance for happiness.
The same goes for relationships. There are many reasons why partners might not feel happy in a relationship, and it is often difficult to explore these feelings. However, there are some signs that point to a lack of happiness within your relationship. Let’s see what they are:
- Your family, friends, and other interests keep taking priority over your partner.
- There are few or no dedicated date nights for getting emotionally and physically intimate.
- You or your partner are experiencing constant criticism.
- There is little or no gratitude in your relationship.
- Your sex life is not what it used to be.
- You’re finding it hard to say nice things about your relationship.
- You feel more and more alone each day.
- There is hidden or open contempt between your partner and you.
- You’re experiencing problems with stonewalling.
- You’re starting to live a parallel life separate from your partner.
- Both you and your partner tend to hold grudges.
- There is a constant blame game going on between you and your partner.
- You or your partner seem to be picking fights on purpose.
Why Do I Stay In A Relationship That Makes Me Unhappy?
Perhaps you’re not leaving your relationship because you’re not aware of just how unhappy in your relationship you are. You may also have an old wound of abandonment or neglect that you are protecting from surfacing if you would choose to leave. However, sometimes individuals realize they are not part of a happy and healthy relationship, and they still refuse to leave. Here are some of the reasons why you might still be part of a relationship you know is not healthy:
- You feel like you’ve invested too much in the relationship and you’re not willing to see all your time and effort go to waste.
- Your feeling of self-worth is very low, which negatively affects your relationship standards, keeping in a bad relationship.
- You’re frightened of the alternative and of the unknown of being outside of a poor relationship you’re familiar with.
- Your partner is implementing methods of emotional and mental manipulation that make it difficult for you to leave without feeling guilty.
- You’re using once-present love and affection as an excuse to remain in the relationship and await for their potential return.
When It Might Be Time to Give Up On A Relationship
Sometimes, all the effort and the love you put into a relationship is not enough to see it succeed and thrive. Staying in the relationship has left you constantly feeling unhappy, and as difficult as it is, the best solution for your well being could be to end your relationship.
However, making that decision is not easy, and you might not know what the tipping point for ending a relationship is. There are also factors that are important to consider which is why having support to discern whether or not to leave is helpful. Sometimes the relationship needs to have a hard reset. When this is possible, a relationship can get a boost of life that results in a new beginning.
Take a look at some of the signs it is time to exit a relationship:
- You spend more time living in your past memories than enjoying the present.
- You find it hard to respect your partner and struggle with clear communication.
- Your relationship is starting to bring more pain into your life than it does joy.
- Your partner is expecting you to change every little thing about yourself and you feel like you are always “wrong.”
- You find yourself avoiding date night.
- You constantly have to justify your partner’s actions to yourself and friends.
- You’re experiencing emotional, verbal, or physical pain from your partner.
- Your partner is putting little or no effort into your relationship and you feel disrespected.
- Your partner is no longer interested in sharing a sex life with you, or you are no longer interested in sharing a sex life with your partner anymore.
- You are not on the same page about fundamental beliefs and values.
- You’re feeling that your relationship is starting to hold you back in life and interfering with other relationships.
- You’re constantly hoping for things to get better, yet they don’t, despite your best efforts.
- You simply do not feel the same way about your partner as you did in the past.
PIVOT Relationship Coaching Will Help You With Relationship Unhappiness
If you find yourself feeling unhappy in your relationship, know that you are not alone and feeling frustration about this is normal. There are many reasons why this can happen and you might feel stuck. Some of the reasons might be easy to detect, understand, and find solutions for, while others turn out to be a lot more difficult to identify and eliminate from your relationship. Feeling happy in a relationship is one of the things that makes being with another person beautiful, and once that seems to disappear, it is easy and normal to start thinking about ending the relationship.
However, sometimes it is entirely possible to resolve problems causing an unhappy marriage or relationship, although it might take professional help to figure it out. Instead of giving up, why not reach out to experienced relationship coaching experts at PIVOT for support?
PIVOT offers retreats for struggling couples that provide understanding and love, and our qualified relationship coaches are here to help you create space for self reflection, to share your honest concerns, get over your hurdles and find happiness with each other once again. It can be helpful to open communication and speak about concerns in your relationship. We design emotional intimacy sessions for couples, as well as small group and individual emotional intimacy workshops. Depending on your own needs and preferences, you can choose an option you feel comfortable with. Contact us today to get clarity on your relationship!