When your partner is feeling miserable and struggling in life, you want to be there for them.
But it doesn’t always work out.
There are times when your partner’s unhappiness and problems begin to seep into your life as well, sabotaging your motivation and well-being.
Here are the top warning signs that this is happening.
1) You no longer think of future plans
The future can be intimidating for any couple, but it should have at least a hint of excitement.
When that ceases to be the case due to your partner’s downhearted mood and hopeless attitude about the future, it’s worth reflecting on.
The future is the realm of dreams and idealism. When that goes missing, something vital has disappeared from the core of the relationship.
We all go through down periods, but when your partner’s defeatist mood is making the future look hopeless, then there’s something very wrong indeed.
2) You get accustomed to rude and snappy exchanges
When you’re with a miserable person, you get used to talking to them in a way that’s disrespectful and they often do the same to you, too.
Before you even know it, you realize that your tone of voice is sarcastic or denigrating, and that they are also speaking to you in a way (or using words) which you don’t appreciate.
Even the tiniest exchange over what to eat or the weather becomes very bitter and stressful.
You want to turn the temperature down and all just feel much more relaxed, but it’s like a standoff in an old Western film and it feels like if you take a step back your partner will come up with some more toxic negativity. s
Speaking of disrespectful exchanges…
3) Arguments come up over the smallest thing
When your partner’s unhappiness is infecting you, you’ll often find that arguments break out over literally nothing.
It’s like the toxic energy in the air just spontaneously leads to raised voices, sarcastic comments and hurtful conversations.
You don’t even know why you’re arguing half the time, but before you know it you or your partner seem to be involved in some kind of fight.
You feel miserable about these arguments and promise yourself to avoid the next one, but somehow it ends up happening again and the only thing you can point to is that your partner’s horrible mood just seems to be poisoning everything.
4) You begin self-isolating yourself and not communicating
When you find that you stop wanting to see friends, family and colleagues because of how down your relationship is making you, there’s definitely a big problem.
Your partner’s gloomy moods weigh you down, and their depressed words echo in your head.
It feels like you have no energy left to give those around you and you feel emotionally and even physically depleted.
This is the high cost of nihilistic and very depressed energy.
5) You rarely desire physical intimacy with your partner anymore
When your partner is feeling miserable it tends to have a very definite effect on libido.
Your partner may still be physically appealing and you may still have times when you feel frisky:
But the energy just isn’t there.
The idea of doing intimate activities with them fills you with “meh.” A quick peck on the cheek is about as far as it goes. And even that is rare.
You’re just not into it. And your partner’s rarely into it either.
6) You start finding yourself playing the victim
When your partner is very down, you may find that you yourself start slipping into their role as well.
You begin to focus on the parts of life that are unsatisfying to you as well.
You start thinking about all the ways you’re misunderstood, underappreciated and mistreated.
Then you become more and more bitter. You’re the real victim (and maybe you really are).
You’re now competing in the victim olympics with your partner, a game where the only gold medal is clinical depression.s
7) You begin treating people in your life unfairly
When you feel neglected in your relationship it tends to have a lot of other spillover effects.
You start treating people in your life unfairly because you feel like your own emotional reservoir is tapped out…
Because you are anxious about the future of your relationship…
Because you so badly want to be there for your partner, but no matter how hard you try it doesn’t move the needle in any way…
You feel invisible. You feel frustrated. You have absorbed the unhappiness and defeated posture of your partner.
8) You start neglecting your own hygiene and self-care
It’s sad to see, but people in extremely unsatisfying relationships with a partner who is down in the dumps often start to mirror their partner.
Self-care begins to slip up and even grooming and hygiene suffer.
Unkempt hair, body odor and poor fitness are the least of it…
Work suffers with missed deadlines and shoddy output. Emails go unanswered and texts sit on read.
You find that your desire to look after yourself and keep caring for your body is slipping up. You’re down in the dumps right alongside your partner.
9) You start engaging in addictive, compulsive and impulsive behavior
If your partner is making you so unhappy that you turn to addictive and compulsive behavior, red flags should definitely be popping up.
This can include things like gambling, pornography, work addiction and overuse of alcohol or drugs.
When you feel an emotional void from where your partner’s affection and communication used to be and try to fill the hole, it’s a definite sign that their misery is contagious.
You want to feel whole again, so you try to stuff something in the gap, but you just end up feeling emptier and more tied to a sinking ship.
10) You look in the mirror and no longer like or recognise what you see
There are many reasons that you may find your self-esteem suffering in life.
But if you look in the mirror and feel sad at what you see, it may be because your partner’s hopeless moods are weighing on you.
The unfortunate truth is that other people’s state can affect you very strongly.
And while your partner may not be able to help his or her downcast mood, you are also not to blame for a decision to spend time away from them if you find it is negatively impacting you.
11) You feel lonely and unwanted and begin feeling you are cursed
The feeling that you are uniquely cursed or singled out is very hard to deal with.
Your partner is somebody you may love deeply, and seeing them go through a horrible time without knowing how you can help (or having tried and they are still miserable) is deeply disheartening.
What do you do now?
Your partner is distant and you don’t want to abandon them. But you also don’t know what to do in their company and feel abandoned emotionally.
12) You feel like you’ll never meet someone who’s better for you
Among the most damaging effects of a downward-energy relationship is that it makes you feel like you have no better option.
Your energy is circling the drain to such an extent that the idea of going out on your own or holding out hope for something more proactive is beyond you.
You just can’t conceive of it apart from as an abstract idea.
Leave and start over? It sounds kind of out of the realm of possibility. Plus, you’re so tire
Curing the disease
Even the healthiest relationship can have serious problems that start to come up.
Supporting your partner through the ups and downs is part of what it takes to make love work.
But if this crosses a certain line into codependency and contagious defeatism, then it’s necessary to consider whether this relationship has legs.
Your partner’s unhappiness may be something they need to deal with on their own, and at the very least a test separation or break is often called for.