6 Signs That Your Marriage Is Affecting Your Mental Health
The World Health Organization reports that mental disorders now affect one in four people, but your romantic relationship should never be the reason for a decline in mental health.
A romantic relationship is supposed to be a safe haven from the rest of the world. You should feel loved, respected, and supported by your partner – even when you are having a disagreement. Of course, relationship problems affect all couples, but they should not be the main focus or overshadow the positive qualities of the relationship.
If you feel that your spouse is causing you emotional and mental distress and aren’t sure what to do, keep reading. These are 6 signs that your relationship has turned toxic.
1. You Feel Like You Are Crazy
There is a quote by Ray Bradbury that goes, “Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage.”
Does your spouse have you locked in a figurative cage? If so, they may be gas-lighting you as a way to control you.
When it comes to relationship problems, gas-lighting is not just a toxic issue, it is an absolute disaster. To gaslight someone means to manipulate them psychologically to the point that they question their own sanity. It is a very real and very dangerous practice that declines mental health and keeps individuals locked in toxic relationships.
Warning signs of gas-lighting include:
Denying something, even where you have tangible proof
Telling blatant lies
Using positive reinforcement as a means of confusion (Positive reinforcement, such as compliment a spouse on their artistic abilities used after previously degrading them will confuse the victim into believing their spouse is not so bad after all)
Trying to convince your friends or family that you are a liar, crazy or have mental problems
Using loved ones or dear possessions to control you
Projecting personal downfalls (cheating, abusing drugs or alcohol) onto the innocent spouse
Gas lighting is a serious issue that can severely degrade one’s mental health.
2. You Don’t Want to Be Around Your Spouse
Couples who are deeply in love are excited to be around each other. In fact, in the early stages of a new relationship, this is often referred to as Eros love. This is a passionate excitement and attraction to one another that boosts relationship satisfaction.
This is exactly how couples should feel around each other – safe, excited, and happy.
In a study on what causes couples to seek a divorce, 886 couples cited growing apart and no longer being able to talk to one another as key factors.
If you do not want to be around your spouse, dread spending time with them to the point of feeling physically ill or no longer feel that you can talk to them, this may signal toxic relationship problems that should be addressed immediately.
3. You Feel You Have to Change
Your spouse says that they don’t like the way you dress, don’t like the way you interact with other people, or that they aren’t attracted to your body any longer. Because of this verbal abuse, you now feel the need to change yourself completely in order to please your spouse.
Not only are these disrespectful and hurtful things for a partner to say to someone they are claiming to be in love with, but they can also have a negative impact on someone’s mental health.
Feeling like you don’t know who you are or that you are not good enough can lead to depression, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts.
4. Low Sense of Self-Worth
One way that a partner can degrade their spouse’s mental health is by guilting them into feeling bad. A manipulative partner knows exactly which buttons to press to bring up feelings of guilt or insecurity. They may also use past mistakes as leverage for getting their way.
A spouse may also use verbal attacks, such as telling their partner they are stupid, unattractive, or annoying in an attempt to lower self-esteem. Once you lose your self-worth, you may begin to think that you do not deserve any better than the treatment you’re getting in your current relationship. This thinking prevents many victims from leaving their abuser.
5. Persistent Stress and Anxiety
Relationship problems regarding mental health can also manifest in physical ways. Signs of stress and anxiety related to poor mental health can include:
Upset stomach and diarrhea
Excessive fears or worries
Withdrawal emotionally or physically from close friends, family, and once cherished activities
Extreme fatigue and low energy
6. Constant Insecurity
In a healthy relationship, partners express appreciation and gratitude for one another. This is great because studies show that expressing gratitude in a marriage was the highest predictor in increased relationship satisfaction, romantic investment, intimacy, commitment, support, and self-expansion.
One of the biggest relationship problems is the feelings of constant insecurity.
Whether it’s our bodies, our education, or even our ability to cook, most of us are insecure about something or another in our lives. But a loving spouse should never be someone who makes us question our self-worth. But when the feelings of insecurity caused by a spouse become obsessive and have a negative impact on your mental health, it may be time to end your current relationship.
If you still feel that your relationship can be salvaged with some hard work and you both are willing to work it out, seek marriage courses. Taking up a marriage course can help you both look at the areas that need work. You will get expert guidance and a blueprint to take corrective steps to improve your relationship satisfaction.
Relationship problems affect all couples to some degree or another, but they should never be the reason for mental health issues. Those facing emotional, verbal, or physical abuse at the hands of their toxic relationship are encouraged to call or text the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
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