How to tell your partner you're not happy in your relationship

Most people want to feel happy about their relationships. So when we end up feeling ours is more like a burden, it can be confusing, frustrating and deeply upsetting. People struggle with their relationships all the time. In fact sometimes going through something tough can make you come out stronger on the other side.

Why do people feel unhappy in a relationship?

People reach this point for a range of reasons. Maybe you feel like you’ve become different people since getting together. There’s nothing wrong with that: people change. It can be hard though, for a relationship to keep up with the change - especially if you haven’t had a chance to talk about what’s happening.

Maybe you feel like you aren’t spending enough time together, or that when you do, it’s just not relaxed or fun.

Or maybe you’re just not sure. Maybe you can’t figure it out - all you know is that you used to like being in this relationship, and now you don’t know.

How to figure out why you're unhappy in a relationship

Sometimes, the best way to figure out why you’re not happy in a relationship is to think about what you want. It means taking some time to really talk to yourself, and understand why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling. You might like to ask yourself a few questions, like:

  • When did I start feeling this way?
  • Are there times when I feel more like this? Or less?
  • What would make me feel happier?

It’s not always that easy to work this stuff out - but trying to make some progress can be really useful when it comes to talking to your partner about what’s going on.

Talking to your partner about feeling unhappy in your relationship

Talking to your partner can feel scary and awkward and uncomfortable. But, it can also be a really, really useful way of getting to the bottom of what’s going on and figuring out if you can fix it together.

There can be a bit of temptation in relationships to just expect them to get it. After all, if they’re with you, they should already know how you feel, right? And if they don’t, they need to learn. Right?

Well, no. The truth is: we’re all individuals. We can’t read each other’s minds. Freezing them out isn’t going to give them a clue any more than writing a message in a bottle and throwing it out to sea.

So - give it a go. You may also find the following tips helpful:

  • Try to focus on your own feelings, and not blame your partner for stuff. Use ‘I’ phrases: ‘I think’, ‘I feel’, ‘I want’. That way, you’re owning your statements, you're not attacking them and they’re more likely to listen.
  • Listen to what they’re saying - relationships are about working together. They’ve got their own perspectives on things, and you’re going to need to understand them just like they need to understand yours.
  • Keep calm. If you feel like things are getting a bit heated or emotional, try taking a bit of a timeout and coming back to things later.

And just in case it needs mentioning: if you’re thinking about doing this by text or social media, just…don’t.

Good luck!

This content has been produced in partnership with Status, as part of their #BetterBreakups campaign.

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