There are subtle signs that your partner is not satisfied in your relationship.
You’ve had the impression that everything in your relationship was going swimmingly up until this point. You’ve been having a good time with your spouse, dealing with issues effectively, and enjoying the couple life. However, things are starting to seem a little odd, and you can’t escape the sense that your spouse is dissatisfied.
It’s fantastic that you become aware of it, whether it happened gradually over a period of years or all at once one night. Not everyone notices or takes the time to evaluate issues in their relationship. Even your spouse may not be aware that they are sending bad feelings or that they are dissatisfied with their life. Consider the realization that something is incorrect as a positive start in the right path.
That’s the first step. Step two is to actually do something about it, before you spend one more second worrying about it — and before things become any worse — According to Kali Rogers, author and life coach, “Use these signals as an invitation to start a discussion.” “‘Are you stressed?’ I inquire about the conduct. ‘Can I be of assistance?’ or asking for what we want, [for example,] ‘I’d like to hold hands more often,’ is a more effective use of our time.”
It may be uncomfortable, but it is critical that you open these channels of communication so that you can find out how to deal with this together. According to specialists, here are some more indications that your spouse is dissatisfied, as well as suggestions for how to deal with the situation.
1. They are not in the least bit accommodating.
Take notice if your spouse is unable to meet you halfway during an argument or while making shared choices. “Compromise is necessary in all relationships,” says Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, a therapist in New York City, in an interview with Bustle. “You do things for someone you don’t really want to do because you care about them and want to see them happy.”
A dissatisfied partner, on the other hand, will be unable to summon the necessary energy. So, if you’ve observed that they don’t appear to be as concerned as they once were, inquire as to why. This may be the beginning of an important and continuing discussion about your partnership as a whole, and about how you can both be happy in your current situation.
2. They’re always hanging out with their friends
“If your spouse constantly appears to have other plans and doesn’t involve you, it’s a red signal that they aren’t happy,” Hershenson explains. “If your partner always seems to have other plans and doesn’t include you, it’s a red indicator that they are not happy.” Many times, this may be an indication that they have something on their mind but would prefer not to discuss it.
If it continues, speak out. It’s possible that your spouse has other reasons for going out, such as the desire for some alone time, and that’s perfectly OK. However, you won’t know unless you talk about it with someone else.
They Don’t Want To Talk About It
A contented spouse will be willing to speak about their day and will be willing to share their difficulties if they are in a good mood. That’s why it’s not a good indication if your SO suddenly becomes withdrawn.
“If you inquire about your partner’s well-being and the response is ‘OK,’ this may indicate that they are dissatisfied with the relationship,” says Hershenson. “Both a desire to communicate and a failure to communicate are detrimental.”
Of course, it’s perfectly OK to keep things to yourself in a relationship, or to feel a little lonely on occasion. However, it should not become a habit that lasts for an extended period of time.
4. They have a markedly reduced physical presence.
In the event that your spouse isn’t feeling very physically active at the moment, it’s critical to respect their boundaries. However, since it may be hurtful if they withdraw from physical contact — particularly because this is frequently an indication of underlying issues — you must bring it up.
In Rogers’ opinion, “if your spouse is not receptive to touch and has pulled away from it, this may be an indication that they are dissatisfied in the relationship.” “A lack of physical contact may suggest stress or a general dissatisfaction with the current status of the relationship. Furthermore, refraining from touching each other may be a coping technique for maintaining a healthy distance between you.”
5. Your conversations come off as awkward and stilted.
If your spouse is experiencing some kind of dissatisfaction, it may seem like you are pulling teeth anytime you attempt to get them to talk. And this is especially true when discussing everyday topics. In Rogers’ opinion, “saying things like “it’s chilly outside” doesn’t need a response, but most couples do so because they just like chatting to one another.
These times, according to the well-known relationship counselor John Gottman, are referred to as bids. In Rogers’ words, “one [person] is attempting to win the love, support, and understanding of the other.” “Bonding begins when one partner accepts the other’s offer. Otherwise, they will have squandered a chance. Bids are taken advantage of as frequently as feasible by happy couples. Couples that are unhappy are less likely to do so.”
6. They require an excessive amount of alone time.
Once again, alone time is essential for maintaining a good relationship. Having the ability to be alone, leave one another alone, and feel comfortable going solo for a period of time demonstrates trust in your partnership. Furthermore, it provides you with interesting topics to discuss when you are reunited.
Having said that, your spouse shouldn’t desire to be alone all the time. “If you’ve observed that solo activities are taking the place of shared activities, that may be an indication that a partner is attempting to withdraw,” Rogers adds. “They may need some alone time to reflect, or they may have determined that they need to establish their own identity and independence outside of the partnership.”
On the one hand, the fact that they are attempting to improve themselves may be
7. They’ve been picking fights with no rhyme or reason to them.
If your spouse becomes irritable all of a sudden, it may be a result of excessive stress at work or a side effect of melancholy or anxiety. So if they’ve been on edge, you’ll want to consider all of the options and attempt to ease their anxiety.
However, given the possibility that it is also a result of their dissatisfaction, this is not a trend you should disregard. Lori Bizzoco, a relationship specialist, tells Bustle that when a spouse is dissatisfied and can’t figure out a way out of the relationship, they will resort to inventing an issue that doesn’t exist. “Your spouse may attempt to start arguments about little issues and make a big deal out of them.”
Suddenly, you get the impression that you are unable to complete any tasks or that you are locked in a never-ending dispute. It may be beneficial to call attention to it and inquire as to the root of the problem. If the issue is one that can be fixed, talking about it may be very beneficial.
8. They aren’t as thrilled to see you as you are to see them.
It is natural for the euphoria associated with a new relationship to wear off after a while. You will still be pleased to see each other, but you will not experience strong butterflies every time you see each other, and that is OK.
Take notice, though, if your spouse seems to be indifferent about you on a consistent basis. “It [may] seem as though getting to see you or be with you is of little significance to them,” Bizzoco explains. You may also notice a little decrease in the amount of excitement in their eyes, which may be uncomfortable. So don’t be afraid to express yourself.
9. They Have Discovered New Interests.
So, nine times out of ten, your spouse will not pursue new interests because they are dissatisfied. The fact is that they may have side projects and accomplish things on their own while yet being equally committed in the partnership.
You should be concerned if it seems that they are using these interests as a means of escaping from the relationship, particularly if it is a pastime that they do not allow you to participate in. Alternatively, if it is giving them pleasure, but nothing you say or do has the same effect. As Bizzoco explains, “If they aren’t happy in your partnership, they will go for satisfaction in other areas of their lives.” And that’s not acceptable.
10. It Takes A Long Time For Them To Respond To Texts
While it’s difficult to maintain the 24-hour-a-day messaging frenzy that characterized the early stages of your relationship, you may want to say something if your spouse is now refusing to respond to your texts. It’s also a red flag if they don’t appear to place a high value on communication with you, even after you’ve requested a few adjustments.
“Texting makes it simpler to detect distance between you and your spouse,” Bizzoco adds. “They may take longer to reply to your messages or may suddenly become overburdened and unable to speak with you.” In addition to not bothering to check their phone, an unhappy individual may also avoid doing so on purpose.
11. They are no longer discussing the future.
A sudden quiet is worth noticing if you two couldn’t seem to stop chatting about the future. The relationship expert and spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport tells Bustle that “if your spouse avoids any talks about the future and any plans you both may have made, this is an indication that they may not be happy in the relationship.” “Unless they are ready to share their future intentions, it is possible that you will not be included in those plans.” And that’s something you should be aware of, certainly.
12. You’ve had a sneaking suspicion that something is wrong.
According to Rappaport, it is very unusual for dissatisfied people to seek attention outside of their relationship rather than addressing issues with their spouse and figuring out how to reconcile. Your spouse may believe that it is simpler to seek out to others for emotional support, and this may lead to the beginning of an emotional affair.
So, if something doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts. This conversation is necessary if you regularly don’t know where your spouse is, or if they’ve been giving off untrustworthy signals.
Insecurities may be a sign of relationship anxiety, and there are ways to recognize when they are.
You adore your spouse and have full faith in them, but every time they wait more than 30 minutes to respond to a text, you begin to be concerned. Do you feel like they’re ignoring you?
Is it possible that you said anything bizarre?
Is it possible that you offended them by mistake? Alternatively, you may get very anxious whenever your spouse mentions something amusing their new co-worker did. How often do they converse? Is your significant other drawn to them in secret? If your concerns about your relationship are interfering with your relationship or taking over your life to the point that you are unable to concentrate on anything else, you may be suffering from relationship anxiety.
According to Christine Scott-Hudson, a psychotherapist and certified marital and family therapist, “Relationship anxiety is when a person feels excessive concern about their relationship,” according to Bustle. These concerns can be about the past (for example, concerns about your significant other’s exes), the present (concerns about whether or not you are good enough for your partner, or concerns about your partner developing feelings for someone at work), or the future (concerns about whether or not your significant other will leave you for someone else or relocate for a job opportunity).”
Relationship anxiety is distinct from other types of anxiety, such as generalized anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder, in that it is not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Susan Zinn, a professional therapist and trained trauma expert, tells Bustle that this isn’t the case. “This kind of anxiety is recognized by mental health and wellness experts.”
In contrast to typical relationship concerns, relationship anxiety is a source of stress.
It’s normal to be concerned about your relationship, particularly when you’re in the early stages of dating. After all, if something is very valuable to you, it is natural for you to want to preserve it. It is much more nerve-wracking if you have not yet formalized your relationship but are deeply in love with your spouse.
According to Zinn, relationship anxiety is described as “extreme concern and dread about a romantic or friendship connection that interferes with a person’s capacity to operate in that relationship.” When things are going well in a relationship, a person suffering from relationship anxiety may choose to leave the relationship or engage in self-sabotage as a consequence of continuous worry, insecurity, and uncertainty.
When someone has relationship anxiety, they may find themselves needing excessive reassurance, suppressing their own thoughts and opinions in order to please or accommodate their partner, constantly doubting the relationship’s long-term potential, and engaging in behaviors that may sabotage the relationship.
According to her, “their worry may not be caused by anything in the relationship itself, but it may ultimately evolve to actions that cause problems and pain for both themselves and their partner.” “If anxious thoughts develop into excessive worries or anxiety and begin to interfere with a person’s everyday activities, it is time to seek professional assistance.”
What Is the Source of Relationship Anxiety?
According to Scott-Hudson, relationship anxiety is strongly associated with codependence, poor self-esteem, and trauma. Negative past experiences, dating back as far as childhood, can play a role in the development of relationship anxiety. For example, someone who has experienced parental abandonment may be concerned about being abandoned by a romantic partner.
Someone who has been cheated on in a previous relationship may have relationship anxiety and may act out as a result of their worries.
“What occurs is that a person utilizes the connection as a means to deal in harmful ways, just as an alcoholic would use drink or a shopaholic would use purchases to control their own emotions,” she explains. “If things appear to be going well in the relationship, the person may experience a brief period of feeling regulated.”
For example, if a person suffering from relationship anxiety does not spend time with their spouse for a day, they may become very concerned about what their partner is doing and with whom they may be spending time. They may have a heightened feeling of worry throughout the day until they get a call from their spouse and are informed of the situation.
“In the same way that an alcoholic may stop at a bar on the way home from work in order to attempt to regulate their own mood, a person suffering from relationship anxiety may constantly feel the need to check in on their partner in order to alleviate their own elevated anxiety over the relationship,” Scott-Hudson explains.
How to Deal with Anxiety in a Relationship
Coping with your relationship worries will require time and patience, just as it would with other kinds of worry. Because certain concerns are firmly ingrained, you may still experience periods of intense anxiety or discomfort from time to time. It is possible to handle your anxieties in a healthy manner, though.
To begin, be mindful and conscious of your habits and patterns. If you feel comfortable doing so, share your concerns with your partner and have an open and honest discussion about your worries. As Zinn explains, “unresolved emotions accumulate if they are not addressed, therefore dialogue is essential.” “Even when someone is in a loving relationship, prior trauma and attachment styles may cause problems in the relationship if there is not a commitment to alter old behavior patterns. Being more present may assist in preventing anxiety from spinning out of control.
Self-regulation skills training, such as taking a brisk walk or repeating affirmations such as “I am safe” or “I love myself,” may be very beneficial. As an alternative to messaging your spouse several times in a row, Scott-Hudson recommends waiting 15 minutes before checking in with them.
Finally, if you believe that treatment will be beneficial, consider seeking it. A professional can assist you in moving on from a traumatic experience and may provide you with useful advice for the future.