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10 Steps to Take to Tell Your Partner You’re Unhappy

Relationships aren’t always going to be fine and dandy 100% of the time. When you need to voice your concerns, here’s how you should go about it.

how to tell your partner you're unhappy

When a person realizes that he or she is no longer happy in a relationship, they will start to think of ways in order to fix the problem. When they can’t do it on their own, they will turn to their partner and voice out their concerns. As easy as that sounds, not many people use that option.

A lot of times, people allow the relationship to deteriorate to the point of no return, just because they were too afraid to tell their partner that they were unhappy in the first place. [Read: 16 signs you’re settling in an unhappy relationship]

Why are people afraid to talk to their partner?

A person can become unhappy in a relationship for a number of reasons. It differs from person to person and can be caused by different circumstances. When you arrive at a point where you realize that you can’t find the joy in your relationship anymore, you start to think about why it’s happening.

When you realize that you can’t fix it by yourself, you start to question whether the relationship is going to survive. This is the time when you’re supposed to talk to your partner and tell them how you’re feeling.

Many people refuse to talk about their feelings not because they’re afraid. It’s usually because they feel confused and don’t know how to handle the situation. It’s not just about what they want. Once they start to air out their concerns, it will become a problem for both of them.

The consequences of speaking up

Although it’s helpful to talk about your problems, telling your partner that you are dissatisfied with your relationship can be very emotionally taxing. Some people refuse to tell their partner their feelings because they fear that they might hurt them. Others will try to push it aside thinking that the problem might go away on its own.

Most of these doubts come from their assumptions about what will happen once they tell their partner the truth. It’s understandable that their partner will feel hurt or even lash out once the reality of the situation hits them.

Sometimes knowing what exactly will happen can be scarier than not knowing at all. Are you capable of telling the truth no matter how much it might hurt your partner? Are you prepared to face the consequences in case they decide to break up with you after you tell them?

So many things can happen once the subject of your connection and happiness is questioned. It all depends on what you want to do with this information. Do you want to tell your partner you’re unhappy so you can fix it? Or do you want to tell them because you want some space? Before you decide to tell them how you feel, you have to think about what you want in the long run.

There’s no easy way to tell your loved one that you are not happy. The point of being in a relationship is to be with another person for the sole purpose of growing together and enjoying the moments you have together.

How to tell your partner that you’re unhappy

If the set-up is making you unhappy, then there is definitely something wrong with your connection to your partner. The only way you can fix it is by telling your partner how you feel and what you want to do about it. This will give them the chance to think about what they want as well and whether they feel the same way you do.

#1 Think about why you’re unhappy. Before telling your partner that you are having some doubts about the state of your relationship, consider first why you feel this way. You can’t just tell them that you suddenly started feeling disconnected from them. You have to assess your own feelings so that you can process it together. [Read: How to deal with loneliness in a relationship]

#2 Think of what you’re going to say. Don’t just present the problem to your partner and wing it. When you just blurt it out, your partner may not completely understand what you want to accomplish. If there’s any misunderstanding, the situation will be that much harder to fix. [Read: 5 tips for choosing the right words to talk to your partner]

#3 Prepare yourself for anything that can happen. Your partner may cry, get angry or even hurt you with their words. Finding out that the person you love is no longer happy can be very painful. Rational thinking might get thrown out the window because both your emotions are on overdrive.

#4 Be the bigger person. No matter what happens, don’t get baited into a fight. This conversation needs to happen and its purpose is to be honest with your partner. It is not meant to put the blame on anyone because you are both responsible for the relationship’s success. Be calm and explain yourself clearly. Don’t use harsh words and always be mindful of your partner’s feelings. [Read: 23 dos and don’ts of relationship arguments]

#5 Don’t leave anything out. Once your partner starts to get emotional, you might find yourself reluctant to say anything else. That’s a bad idea because not discussing the problem would mean that you caused your partner unnecessary pain. You started it, so you better finish it.

#6 Ask your partner what they want to do. Although you have your own views on how things should progress, you need to ask your partner what they want. Respect whatever it is they need. They may choose to end the relationship or work harder at it. Either way, you need to discuss it thoroughly before taking matters into your own hands.

#7 Tell them what you want. It’s a two-way street. The reason that you’re unhappy is because you want something that isn’t there. It could be affection, sex, more time together, more time apart or just about anything. If you don’t want to break up and they do, make them see that it’s not the solution you’re hoping for. If you want to break up and they don’t, make them understand why it’s better that way.

#8 Get closure. Don’t let the fight drag on for days or months. Make sure that you said everything that you needed to say. Allow them to tell you how they feel as well. If they need more time, give it to them. Just don’t let the issue die down without being resolved. Sweeping the problem under the rug gives it a potential to haunt you again in the future.

#9 Check on your partner. After talking about it, always check to see how your partner is doing. See if they are taking it well or if they’re starting to formulate new solutions. Remember that their happiness is at stake too.

#10 Review your relationship. If you chose to find a way to be happy again with your partner, observe the changes in your relationship. See if your discussion has helped in improving your feelings and connection. If nothing changes, you may need to discuss it again. If that fails, you may need to consider fixing the problem while you’re apart.

The mere fact that you managed to talk about your problem with your partner can be a very big help. You can breathe easier knowing that you told the truth about how you feel. Some truths can hurt the people you love, but being honest about how you see the relationship is something that needs to be dealt with.

[Read: Top 5 ways to deal with a relationship that’s falling apart]

Just because you’re unhappy, doesn’t mean you should give up on the relationship. By talking to your partner about your problems, you can combine your efforts into making things right again. This is what a healthy relationship is all about.

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Danielle Anne
Those who can’t do, teach. I can neither do nor teach as well as others, but I can try. Aside from being a writer, I am also a physical therapist. My dream is...
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