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If you’re feeling stuck in a relationship, you wouldn’t be the first. But how do you fix it? Is it time to go or can you turn the Titanic around?
Relationships have their highs and lows. Sometimes you feel on top of the world; you are fulfilled and excited for what the future holds. But, other times your relationship can feel like it’s in a rut. When you are feeling stuck in a relationship, it can mean you feel bored or that you can’t end things.
Whichever one of those you find yourself in, there is a way out. You can fix this.
Why are you feeling stuck in a relationship?
Before you can fix a problem, you have to know what caused it. When you are feeling stuck in a relationship, there are a lot of possible reasons for it. But, knowing which one is at play for you is key to fixing it.
Maybe things aren’t progressing. Perhaps you want something more serious and things just are moving along. Whether you want to move in together, have a family, or get married, if you feel like things are stagnant, it is likely you’ll feel stuck in a relationship that is going nowhere.[Read: Is your relationship of convenience masquerading as love?]
Maybe things are fine, but just fine. You can get along and not fight but if that’s all you have, it isn’t much. As humans, we crave companionship and fulfillment and if your relationship is just there without adding to your life in any way, it is natural to feel stuck.
Feeling stuck in a relationship could also be due to long-distance, manipulation, guilt, or stress. If your relationship is unbalanced, you could feel exhausted for always giving or feel taken for granted for never feeling like you are a priority. [Read: How to know if you should stay or break free when you feel trapped in a relationship]
You may care deeply about your partner, so even though you feel the relationship has run its course, you don’t want to hurt them. You could feel controlled by your partner. Perhaps they are jealous or suffocating. This can leave you feeling stuck in a relationship too.
Being verbally abused, physically abused, and manipulated can also leave you in a cycle of feeling stuck. You know you want to escape but situations like this are not as easy to leave as some may imagine.[Read: These signs of a bad relationship should never, ever be tolerated]
Consider what makes you feel stuck in a relationship. Is it something you can work on or something that is a reason to end things?
How to not feel stuck in a relationship
If you are feeling stuck in a relationship, you can break out of that and have a fulfilling relationship once again. Once you recognize the root of these feelings, bring it up to your partner for true and lasting change.
You cannot fix a relationship on your own, no matter the reason. A relationship is a partnership, and you must be on the same page.[Read: The 10 steps to take to tell your partner you’re unhappy]
Do you feel undervalued? Talk to your partner about how you feel and why. Let them know you need more from them to feel like your relationship is solid. Ask them how they feel. Are they happy?
Do you feel happy or are you just maintaining a level of acceptance? Talk to your partner about changing things. Be clear when you talk to them. You do not want to blame them or accuse them. Just express how you feel and that you want to work together to make this relationship the best it can be.
One conversation will start things off, but depending on how deep these issues go, it will require consistent effort and communication. [Read: How to fix a broken relationship quickly and learn to make it last]
Check in with each other regularly. Are you planning on moving in together in a year? Do you both want kids? Do you want to travel or stay put? Most importantly, are you both happy?
When you stop putting effort into your relationship, that is how it becomes stale. You both need to be willing to share the effort of keeping a relationship solid. When things go wrong and nothing is done about it, that unhappy relationship can make you feel even more stuck the longer this goes on. The sooner you bring this up, the better.[Read: 5 tips for choosing the right words to talk to your partner]
How to get out of a relationship
Feeling stuck in a relationship can’t always be fixed with open communication and effort. Sometimes, things are lost or broken beyond repair.
And that is okay, but learn to come to terms with it. Often, by the time you realize you feel stuck in a relationship things can be so far gone, it is nearly impossible to work your way back together.
Whether you are afraid to end things because you don’t want to be alone, you don’t want to hurt your partner, or you’re scared of them, you can do it. [Read: The breakup conversation you can use to break up with someone you love]
Although it is always best to talk with your partner and let them know why you need to end things, that isn’t always an option. Yes, relationships are made of two people, but if something is wrong, you do not need their permission to leave if you feel it is necessary.[Read: Are you experiencing any of these signs of disrespect in your relationship? It can reveal a lack of love]
I know letting a relationship end feels like failure. No matter how long you’ve been together, it can feel like with enough focus you can recover, but it isn’t always true. A relationship doesn’t have to be over for it to fail, it just has to be bad.
We often convince ourselves to stay in an unhappy relationship because it is safer and more comfortable than going off on our own and venturing into the unknown. But, the fear of being alone is not worth being stuck in a relationship that is draining us. [Read: My 9 year love and the pain of ending a long term relationship]
When you want to escape feeling stuck in a relationship, don’t consider the what-ifs. Don’t think about how you’ll be single. Don’t think about how you’d rather be hurt by who you’re with because you’re numb to it rather than someone new.
Think about your happiness. Think about all the times you expected a change. And think about all the effort you’ve put in and how miserable you are. [Read: Why does love hurt when it goes bad? The truth you need to hear]
Feeling stuck in a relationship does not mean you are stuck.
If you let your partner down, it can be the best thing you’ve ever done. In many cases, they may fight back, they may beg, threaten, or continue to reach out. But, you should put your happiness and mental health first.[Read: The 16 clear signs it’s time for you to leave your relationship]
When you’re feeling stuck in a relationship and fixing things is no longer an option, making a clean break can change your life for the better.