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Reasons Why You May Feel Trapped In A Relationship (And What You Can Do About It)

Many of the reasons why you may feel trapped in a relationship don't have to exist, and can be overcome.

By Mackenzie Z. KennedyPublished 6 years ago 7 min read

If you go out in the streets and take a walk, you will see at least one couple in which it's clear that at least one partner feels trapped in a relationship they don't want to be with. It's often obvious because one partner looks miserable with their lover, or because they're looking at other attractive people walking down the street.

Sometimes, it's just the overall vibe of suffocation that makes you realize they aren't happy with them. In many cases, that vibe is palpable - even if they try to hide it. It's quite possible that you may actually be in a relationship where you feel trapped by duty, obligation, or responsibilities.

Believe it or not, it doesn't always have to be this way. Many of the reasons why people feel trapped don't have to exist, and can be overcome. Before you resign yourself to a lifetime of misery, try to see if the reason you feel this way is due to any of the following reasons.

Your partner changed, and what you loved about them is no longer there.

A lot of people will feel trapped in a relationship if they notice that the partner that they initially got with is no longer the partner that they are with right now. For example, many men may feel "cheated" if they married a woman who was a size 2, but now are married to a woman who's a size 20.

The fact is that many people change, and most of the time, that change is for the better. If you're noticing a very long string of negative changes, there may be a deeper reason why this is happening.

Most negative changes come about when a partner is unfulfilled, depressed, or unhappy. If you want the old partner to come back, you're going to need to have a very blunt talk with them and ask them what's up.

Tell them that you miss the way they used to be, and yes, if it's a weight issue, you may want to (gently) bring that up. The key to doing this is tact and diplomacy. Though you can offer a gentle push and tell your partner your needs, there's not much else you can do for this.

If they aren't willing to keep themselves attractive for you, you may want to cut your losses. It's not your responsibility to stay with someone who puts no effort in.

It's also worth noting that there are moments in which people just grow apart. Sadly, this is not a relationship that is healthy to stay in either, because these kinds of relationships often involve a lot of arguments.

The qualities that you fell for are still there, but you're just bored of them or taking them for granted.

Illustrated by Anna Sudit

Comfort can legitimately be a relationship-killer, and unfortunately, this leads many of us to take people for granted. Never forget how hard you had to work to find this person - and how special they are to you.

You spent a lot of time with them, but that doesn't mean that you should be bored with them. Rather than just get bored of the sex or the talk, why not try to spice things up with an interesting new hobby, outing, or activity?

Take time to think about all the good qualities that your partner has, and do your best to push aside the negative qualities. Sometimes, it's best to focus on the expectations your spouse does meet rather than the qualities your spouse doesn't meet.

If you take an accepting, forgiving stance with your partner, you're very likely to fall in love with them all over again.

You're with them for the kids and you legitimately hate your partner's guts.

Staying "for the kids" is one of the most idiotic reasons to ever keep a relationship alive for a number of reasons.

First off, you're doing nothing good for yourself because you're staying in a toxic, resentment-filled relationship with someone that you really, truly don't want to be with. Being in a bad relationship is a lot like taking a dose of poison every day; it kills you slowly, but makes you miserable every day.

Secondly, you're also making this toxic relationship your role model for your kids. Do you really want them to feel like they have no chance at finding a happy relationship in the future? This is what you're saying by staying with this spouse.

Moreover, kids are smarter than you think. Most grown adults who were products of homes where a person "stayed for the kids" also wish that they would have had parents who just divorced. This is because it was painful for them to see their parents miserable in their relationships.

Third, sometimes giving your kids space away from a parent (particularly a toxic parent) is the best thing you can do for them. This isn't saying you have a greenlight to bail on your kids - but it is saying that leaving your spouse is an option.

The only reason you're with your partner is because of financial reasons - and you hate your partner's guts.

Illustrated by Anna Sudit

They say that a person who marries for money will earn every single penny, and there's some truth to that. If you hate your partner, you will eventually have that resentment and disgust bleed through into your partnership.

Ask yourself if the money is really worth staying with them. Wouldn't it better to start earning money on your own? If life is really, truly awful with your partner and the only reason you're with them is money, your best bet is to start socking away money, then leave them.

You're overall unhappy, but you're staying because of the commitment you made to a person.

A lot of people really do want to stick through things because they made a commitment and they worked hard to get to that point. That's very admirable - but it'll only work if you actually put effort into it and have your spouse on the same level.

If you want the commitment to work, you need to be assertive - NOT PASSIVE. You will need to talk things out and give a genuine effort to make things work. If you both aren't pulling your weight, the relationship will shrivel up into a very resentment-filled, hateful mess.

That being said, if you made a commitment to a partner that treats you terribly, there's no reason you need to keep that commitment to them. Neither they nor you deserve the outcome of you committing fully to them while they abuse you or use you.

You stay because your partner regularly puts you down, threatens you, and takes away your money.

This is abuse - even if your partner isn't hitting you. This is a time when you call friends, family members, or even nonprofits, and ask for help moving out your stuff.

If they threaten you, call the police. If they take your stuff, call the police and ask for an escort to remove your goods. Abusers are bullies, and the only thing they understand is people who fight back.

Trying to be nicer to them in hopes that things get better will only make you a bigger target. Even if it seems impossible to leave, it is possible to get out of an abusive relationship - and it's worth the effort to do so.

You may be tempted to cheat, or you aren't sure that you are really meant for monogamy at this point.

Tempted by the fruit of another? Well, it's understandable. Having the same sex with the same person can get a bit boring - but that's what monogamy is all about, right?

Well, the best way to handle this is to talk to your partner about it and tell them the truth. It may hurt, but if your partner is mature enough, they'll be willing to help you stay together and maybe spice things up. Who knows? Maybe they have some multi-partner fantasies they want to experiment with, too.

It's also worth noting that minimizing cheating temptation is a must if you don't want to stay. If you find yourself falling for a sexy stranger, keep away from that person. Stop talking to them and switch jobs if you have to. Lust is an "out of sight, out of mind" thing.

You also may want to ask yourself if your sexual needs are being met. If you're truly unhappy on a sexual level, it's okay to leave to search for a partner who's more compatible with you.

On the other hand, if you're just bored, do yourself a favor and really try to make things work. Good partners are hard to come by.


About the Creator

Mackenzie Z. Kennedy

Socialite and dating guru Mackenzie Kennedy knows all about the inner workings of people and society as a whole. It's not only her lifestyle - it's her passion. She lives in Hoboken with her pet dogs, Cassie and Callie.

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