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7 Signs You’re Trapped in a Troubled Relationship

Does something feel a little off about your current relationship? We’ve got the 7 sure signs that you may be trapping yourself in a troubled union! By Minot Pettinato-Little

7 Signs You're Trapped in a Troubled Relationship

People have a natural inclination to partner up, whether it’s for procreation, sexual recreation or you’re just looking for that special life-long someone.

If you find yourself single for a long period of time, it starts to feel like you’d do anything to have a relationship. Suddenly anyone seems like they can offer dating potential, but only because you’re lonely. So what happens when you meet your match, and instead of sharing nights out and post-coital bliss, your happily-ever-after becomes happily-never-after?

Why do people feel trapped  and troubled in their own relationships?

There are many reasons to feel troubled in a relationship. Some are innocent and a part of human nature, while some are harmful to one’s wellbeing. The key to addressing an unhappy relationship is a 1-2-step:

#1 Assess your situation from both sides. Are you doing something that could be holding both of you back from a ridiculously happy life together? Are you really unhappy, or are you simply suffering from that 1-year-boredom-blues that happens in serious relationships?

#2 Talk it out with your partner. Listen to their needs, explain yours, and give an honest go of making your relationship a success. And if it isn’t working, then you need to step out of your toxic environment and break it off officially and completely.

7 signs of a troubled relationship

If you’re not quite sure if you’re just anxious, feeling troubled or genuinely unhappy with your partner, here are the 7 signs that may enlighten you.

#1 You’re unhappy. This is the easiest way to tell if you’re trapped in your relationship. While most people whine and pout about not having that special somebody, you’re wishing you could hit a fast-forward button whenever your partner is around. If you find yourself slipping into a relationship-based depression, or just plain cringe at the thought of coming home to your partner, then it might be time to open your eyes about the truth of your relationship.

Don’t feel bad. People lose interest, get bored, and move on from their romantic trysts. While it isn’t exactly a walk in the park, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and end what isn’t working. Hey, relationships are hard and breakups are even harder. If you feel you’ve done everything you could do to try and save your relationship, or simply lost your gusto to even bother, get out of your relationship while you’re still sane. [Read: 7 signs that your relationship isn’t as good as you thought]

#2 You’ve turned into superman. If instead of enjoying yourself in your relationship, you suddenly find yourself trying to “save” your partner with your immense strength and super-speed, you may start to feel less like saving your Lois Lane, and more like she’s become your Kryptonite-undoing. Spending too much time trying to fix your partner, be it their personality or their personal problems, may take a draining effect on you. What’s more, you could end up feeling like you can’t leave her until you’ve resolved the damage in her life.

This is an understandable quandary. Suppose your girlfriend suffers from clinical depression and after years together you decide you are ready to move on. You may feel scared to break up, wondering if she will landslide into depression and anxiety, and if you’re better off biting the love bullet and sticking it out, if only for her sanity. While this may seem noble, all you’re really doing is trapping yourself, and your girlfriend in a codependent relationship. [Read: 10 glaring signs you’re in a codependent relationship]

#3 You’ve already tried to leave. So you’ve already tried to excuse yourself from the shambles you used to call a relationship, but then your partner started giving you those doe-eyes, welling up with tears, then the lip starts going and you felt your resolve crumble. This is called staying out of pity. You truly aren’t doing yourself, or your partner, any favors by staying because you feel too bad to leave.

Surely, this will only lead to your eyes starting to wander, or resentment building between the two of you. Don’t let fear or pity stop you from starting over with someone who can make you happier.

#4 You’re not yourself. One way to tell if you’re stuck or unhappy in your relationship is to do a personal examination of yourself. How much have you changed in the time that you’ve been with your current partner?

Sure, people change depending on who they are with, but if you’ve suddenly turned into a “yes-man” or a woman who can no longer voice her own opinion, then odds are you haven’t found the person for you. The person who is right for you will enjoy your personality, not try to stifle it. [Read: 16 signs you’re settling in an unhappy relationship]

#5 Your friends and family have picked up on a change. Your friends and family, while they can be wrong, usually have a nose for this type of thing. If your closest friends, your parents or your siblings have started to notice a change in your behavior or general mood, or unhealthy behavior exhibited by your partner, it may do you good to listen. After all, they can see the situation from an outside perspective.

In fact, they may even notice it before you do. If trusted friends and family begin to question your relationship or your partner, take a step back and ponder over why that is. They may be seeing a glaring problem that you can’t see.

#6 You are straying romantically or looking for a way out online. If you find yourself actively seeking another romantic partner’s company, or have begun having an affair, then one thing is clear: you need to end this. Straying emotionally or physically is only going to lead to more hurt and resentment in the end, not to mention it’s a definite sign that you’ve emotionally and physically checked out. [Read: The truth about emotional cheating]

#7 Your partner is controlling. If you find you are often lying to yourself about your emotional welfare to defend an emotionally or physically controlling partner, it’s time to seek serious help. It may be that your partner has emotionally or physically intimidated you into staying in your relationship, causing you to feel there isn’t anyone else out there who would have you.

Partners who are abusive usually control with financial manipulations, emotional put-downs, family or friend isolation and physical violence. If your partner has exhibited any of these signs, and you simply feel too trapped to leave, then you need to start making an exit plan with your local police or domestic violence support group. These people are professionally trained to help you leave in a way that is safe. [Read: 16 signs of an abusive relationship]

[Read: 16 signs it’s time to move on and end in the relationship]

There is no reason to stay in a relationship that leaves you feeling troubled and disturbed. Even if there are children or investments involved, it’s still better to sever your ties than to sit around and take it all as your wellbeing deteriorates. Either get out or try to fix your problems before it’s too late.

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Waverly Smith

Waverly Smith is a freelance writer who has been getting paid for spreading her sarcastic take on love, life, and sex since 2010. She is many things that peo...

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