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10 Signs Your Partner Is Unhappy In Your Relationship

Look for these signs to decode your partner’s feelings.

Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on July 9, 2023

Two Fingers Painted Like An Unhappy Couple Holding A Broken Heart A Symbolic Picture Of Being Unhappy In A Relationship

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Two Fingers Painted Like An Unhappy Couple Holding A Broken Heart

When our relationships are great, we feel happy, assured, and empowered.

But what if you suspect that your partner is unhappy in a relationship you share?

The sad truth is that sometimes, no matter what we do, our partner/husband/wife/fiance/boyfriend or girlfriend can secretly feel unhappy in the relationship they’re in.

And because most people tend to avoid conflicts, it is very likely that your partner won’t be willing to share about it.

If you are concerned that something is missing from your relationship, here are a few signs your partner is unhappy or at least irritated.

Let’s take a look.


10 Signs Your Partner Is Unhappy In Your Relationship


1. Your Partner Keeps Reminding You Of The Past Issues


One of the signs your partner is unhappy in your relationship is the tendency to fight over past problems or something that you’ve done in the past.

This can happen when your partner is unhappy AND unconsciously looking for a way to justify these feelings by creating a fight where there shouldn’t be one.

Bringing up past problems could also indicate that your partner still harbors some unresolved concerns or feelings about past experiences between the two of you.

Maybe they are looking for some reassurance, or they haven’t yet said everything they wanted to say, and it’s making them unhappy.

Or perhaps your partner is seeking some sort of closure.

Whatever the case, the right communication tactics can help you and your partner learn healthier ways of approaching past issues together.

Healthy communication is the key to happiness in relationships; it helps you and your partner acknowledge what has happened in the past and move forward.


2. Your Partner Has Unexplained Mood Swings


If your partner seems to be happy at one moment but then transforms into a grumpy or angry person shortly after without any particular reason, it might be a sign of an ongoing inner conflict.

Specialists believe this happens because of a person’s inability to discuss what makes him or her unhappy and it results in one being sensitive and irritated.

The suppressed feelings and emotions get bottled up, causing emotional discomfort for the person.

After some time, all that has been suppressed eventually breaks through, leading to sudden outbursts of anger or other strong emotions.

Unexplained bursts of anger can be one of the telltale signs your partner is unhappy in a relationship and tired of putting in the effort.


3. Your Partner Gives You Silent Treatments


Did you use to be the couple who couldn’t wait to chit-chat about their day-to-day activities?

Are you now experiencing silent treatments on a regular basis or something that closely resembles it?

Receiving silent treatment is up there with the signs your partner is unhappy in your relationship.

Usually, silent treatment will follow after a fight and will last for a pretty long time, but it can happen even without a fight.

In its purest form, silent treatment comes from a place of anger or frustration.

However, a fight doesn’t necessarily need to happen for a person to experience these feelings, and hence give you the silent treatment.

A person can become frustrated or angry because they have been bottling up their emotions for a while; then, even the slightest stressor can really set them off.

Remaining silent in an active conversation can be used as a form of protest, to really draw attention to the fact that the person feels hurt or upset.

The silent treatment can also be used as a way to escape conflict, to stop engaging in a conversation that is getting too heated and confrontational.

If you are on the receiving end, the silent treatment could look like this: you’re trying to engage in a conversation, but your partner answers with a few short words only.

A more extreme way of receiving silent treatment is when your partner just ignores your attempts to talk entirely and rather watches TV or plays video games.

Related: 10 Rules That Keep a Relationship Strong


4. Your Partner Does Not Listen To You


Another behavior closely linked to silent treatment is the “we’ve already discussed this” ultimatum.

If you are trying to resolve a problem and your partner shuts you off, this might be one of the signs your partner is unhappy in your relationship.

Your partner might not be interested in finding a mutual consensus.

Even though it might seem like a mission impossible, re-engaging in a conversation could be really helpful here.

If you are looking for ways to improve your relationship and communication with your partner, these books are absolutely worth reading and can teach you a lot:

Book Cover Of Feeling Good Together: The Secret To Making Troubled Relationships Work By David Burns

Feeling Good Together: The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work

An excellent book for all sorts of relationship problems – whether it would be with your partner, your colleague, or your friend.

It will reveal to you the real reasons you can’t get along with the person you’re trying to get along with and how to deal with any interpersonal problem quickly and effectively.

Written by my favorite CBT teacher, doctor David D.

Burns, who also wrote a life-changing book for many Feeling Good – The New Mood Therapy.

The book helped me personally to overcome a lot of anxiety issues.

Get Feeling Good Together book for relationships here

And you can also check out the Feeling Good – New Mood therapy book here

Book Cover Of The 5 Love Languages By Gary Chapman

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts is a must-read for every couple!

If you want to learn how to mend, tend, and grow your relationship, this book will provide you with many invaluable insights and ideas on how to keep that fire burning.

It is helpful regardless of the state your relationship is in, so it doesn’t matter if you guys are experiencing a crisis or a honeymoon phase – there’s something to learn for everyone.

Get this book here


5. Your Partner Talks About Their Colleagues… A Lot


No one is happy to hear their partner constantly chatting about those “awesome coworkers”…

But it happens quite often since we spend most of our time in our workplaces.

Noticing that your partner can’t stop talking about colleagues could be taken as one of the signs your partner is unhappy.

There might be something missing in your relationship and it makes your loved one focus more on other people.


6. Your Partner Compulsively Buys Unnecessary Stuff


Some studies observed that men, just like women, are prone to compulsive shopping and they do it when they feel unhappy in some part of their life, including their relationships.

A sudden burst of new purchases might also be viewed as one of the unhappy relationship signs.

Your partner could be unhappy or unsure about the commitment to your relationship (therefore they seek value in possessions).


7. Your Partner Forgets To Apologize


When your partner is unhappy in your relationship, they can seem to forget to apologize after you’ve had a fight or disagreement.

Yes, it’s pretty weird to feel that someone forgot to say “sorry”, especially if that person was the one who started a fight.

It mostly happens when a partner believes that there is nothing else to do about the situation or still feels angry inside even though the problem is sorted out.

So, if you notice a pattern of your loved one forgetting to apologize, you could take it as one of the signs your partner is unhappy in your relationship.


8. Your Partner Hides His or Her Phone


This is more than a sign that your partner is unhappy…

It might tell you that your partner is already looking for someone else.

Being extremely careful with one’s smartphone could mean that your partner is trying to hide something.

It’s one of the most apparent signs your partner is unhappy in a relationship.

However, don’t lose hope just yet – there’s always a possibility that there’s some other fishy business going on.


9. Your Partner Looks Way Happier With His or Her Friends


If you feel like you are always doing something wrong in your relationship (even though you’re trying your best), you probably did nothing wrong.

People that are unhappy in their relationships tend to make their partners feel like nothing is ever enough and they usually look a lot happier with their friends.

They also want to spend as much time with their friends as possible and skip activities you both used to enjoy.

If your partner is looking considerably happier with other people when compared to you, it might be viewed as one of the signs your partner is unhappy being in a relationship that you share.


10. Your Partner Stopped Paying Attention To Their Appearance


One of the bigger signs your partner is unhappy is if they stopped trying to impress you.

Of course, this can happen for many reasons, including depression, stress, or illness.

It may also be that your partner is comfortable enough with you to drop the facade they put up for other people.

Some people dress up solely so that other people would like and accept them.

Perhaps your partner realized that you will accept them as they are, therefore they don’t need to try so hard to appear likable to others.

However, if you do notice that your partner is getting considerably sloppy and puts absolutely zero effort into their appearance, it might be a signal that your relationship is no longer worth the effort for them.


No matter how good or bad your relationship is, it always takes time to create and maintain a healthy relationship.

It requires commitment, along with the willingness to move past issues together.

If you observe your partner in one of these signs your partner is unhappy, try to discuss it with them.

You never know what they might say, so it’s best to avoid making assumptions prior to your conversation.

The answer you’re looking for might just be on the very tip of your partner’s tongue.

If you talk and feel like there’s a mutual wish to make things better, it might be a great idea to seek the support of a couple’s therapist to make the process easier.

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