When we talk to couples who are happily married, they often remind us that relationships take work. However, sometimes people work too hard to make it work. Couples can get blinded to the flaws of an unhealthy relationship. They avoid discussing issues and resolving problems. They grow tired and end up sweeping them under the rug, which leads to resentment and intensifies conflict.
No one wants to give up on a relationship, especially if you have children or think you’ve found "the one." But if a relationship leaves you feeling drained and insecure, or too fearful of bringing up problems, that’s a sign that you’re trying too hard to make it work. Below are four other warnings to look for in your relationship. If you see or feel these, it’s a good idea to ask yourself why you’re allowing this situation to continue and seek guidance from a mental health professional.
1. You never feel good enough for your partner. A healthy relationship makes you feel good about yourself. In fact, one of the greatest gifts of being in a healthy relationship is your partner builds you up and helps you feel better about yourself. When you are emotionally supported by someone who loves you, your self-esteem is higher.
2. You feel emotionally drained and exhausted after every encounter with your partner. In a healthy relationship, your partner should share the load, not add to it by expecting you to take care of everything. When there is an issue to resolve, they should make sacrifices along with you and not expect you to cater to their needs exclusively.
3. Your visions for the future don’t match up. When you and your partner no longer share the same vision of where you want to be in 2 or 3 years, that’s a red flag that you no longer see each other in your future. Take it seriously when your partner tells you what they want in five years, especially if it’s about children or lifestyle.
4. You feel lost and have forgotten who you are. In a healthy relationship, both partners are supportive about each other’s personal interests. If you’ve given up your personal interests to satisfy your partner’s, that’s a red flag. When you stop participating in your personal growth, it robs you of what adds meaning to your life.
A healthy relationship is about give and take. If you feel like you’re the only one giving, you’re working too hard to keep the relationship. Staying together for children or financial reasons only works if couples are motivated and willing to invest in therapy. Not everyone has the emotional maturity needed to create a healthy relationship. If your partner is unwilling to share the work and help the relationship improve, then it’s time to let the relationship go.