Relationships are a complex thing. Yes, they should be about having fun and enjoying each other’s company, but it’s not always as idealistic as this. It’s natural to fall out and experience conflicts in a relationship — if it was always rosy, the relationship would lose its value.
But when your relationship starts to negatively impact your mental health, it might be time to re-evaluate your situation. Read on for five signs that your relationship is going sour and consider whether it’s time to bail.
You’re second-guessing yourself
Second-guessing ourselves is a natural part of being a person. It shows we have critical thinking skills and are willing to see other sides to a narrative.
But if you regularly find yourself trying to guess your partner’s intentions when they say or do something, then there’s a chance you’re being deliberately manipulated. Your partner might deny it, even trying to gaslight you into believing you’re being paranoid.
When you’re constantly second-guessing yourself as a direct result of your partner’s behavior, then your mental health is likely starting to deteriorate. You start to lose your grip on reality, wondering whether your beliefs are genuine or all in your head. This is one of the most damaging ways a relationship can affect you, so be aware of this warning sign.
Your relationship impacts your friendships
A healthy relationship is one in which each party is facing the same direction, not at each other. You shouldn’t lose yourself in each other. Instead, you should cultivate friendships outside of each other.
It’s important to have a good support network that we can fall back on. But if our relationship with our partner is affecting our friendships, then you’ll start to become isolated and lose your support network.
If your partner doesn’t like your friends, that’s one thing. But discouraging or outright stopping you from seeing your friends is a huge warning sign. As Dr Becky Spelman of We-Vibe advises:
“It’s important to set aside time for your relationship — and time for each of you to nourish your other friendships and important relationships.”
If either party neglects their friends as a result of a relationship, then it’s time to reassess the situation. When it comes to your mental health, it pays to put yourself first.
You change to please your partner
Everyone changes a little when they enter a new relationship. We pick up little habits or our sense of humor starts to change, for instance. And that’s fine — we are always changing, and the people we spend time with plays a role in that.
But when we feel as though we have to change, rather than growing naturally, that’s a sure sign that your relationship is damaging your mental health.
Changing to please someone else isn’t just bad for us emotionally — it’s also not sustainable. Orion Talmay of Orion’s Method describes the futility of this in the long run:
“Don’t change the way you are in front of his friends and colleagues as well just so you can be more ‘pleasing’. This may be doable at first but you can’t be genuinely happy about yourself when you’re keeping a front all the time.”
Changing while in a relationship is natural. But forcing change within ourselves in order to please our partner is not. This is a sure warning sign that your relationship is a toxic one.
You make excuses for your partner’s poor behavior
Everyone acts badly from time to time. We all have our moments of madness, where we do or say things that we regret. But it’s when we behave badly on a regular basis, to the point that it affects other people, that it becomes an issue.
And if you find yourself frequently making excuses, both to yourself and to others, about your partner’s poor behavior, then you’re going to feel the impact on your mental health.
Making excuses like this not only affects you emotionally, but it lets your partner continue their poor behavior too. Over time, this will start to affect relationships with your friends and family.
You don’t feel comfortable talking with your partner
In a relationship, both parties should feel comfortable talking about how they feel. You should be able to speak freely about your thoughts and opinions, without the fear or anger or reproach.
But relationships can sometimes disintegrate into a state in which you do not feel confident saying how you feel. You walk on eggshells, terrified that whatever you say will cause your partner to fly into a rage.
Over time, you stop talking about your feelings altogether. This is a clear sign that your relationship is negatively impacting your mental health.
Relationships are full of ups and downs. No couple is ever 100% happy all the time. But when your relationship is bringing you down, making you second-guess yourself, or you’re neglecting your friends, it might be time to say goodbye.