It can be tough when you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, and you feel it begin to slip through your fingers. Your partner still means a lot to you, but you know what you want, and this relationship isn’t make you happy anymore. Feeling unhappy in a relationship can come as a surprise, and it’s not always something that comes to you gradually. One little change or blip can make you feel like you’ve stumbled off the right path with your partner. However, it’s never right to blame yourself. Feeling unhappy in a relationship is not a crime, no matter what. It just might mean you need to take a long hard look at what you’re going through. You’re in charge of your own mind, and you have the power to make things better.

Sometimes, the spark has just gone

There are so many couples that last for years and years, and then all of a sudden, it feels like there’s nothing left there. It can be hard to tell from the outside when something looks good that there’s anything wrong. You can become too comfortable in a relationship, especially if it’s long-term and a large part of your life. You begin to neglect each-other’s needs, and go through the motions together. You don’t say how they make you feel, even though you know things aren’t right. That’s not a healthy relationship. It takes work to keep you going, and if one of you or both of you don’t contribute to the effort, feeling unhappy in a relationship isn’t uncommon. Don’t feel guilty leaving a relationship like that – you need to be getting something from it, and a relationship with no spark is a dead one.

You may be worn down by their behaviour

All couples fight from time to time. It can be over something menial, or something a lot more serious, but when it’s frequent, it can dissolve the trust between you and leave nothing but anger and bitterness. You tell people often about your issues, but you never say it to the person who matters – your partner. You can still remember days where you were happy, and you’re inclined to cling on to them, but they seem like a long time ago. If that’s the case, it’s likely your relationship is going to need some serious repair, or to be abandoned. It doesn’t help when it makes you unhappy, so don’t talk yourself into holding on to a sinking ship. Let it go while there are still ways you’re able to make it easy.

Maybe you’re both different people now

We have to change to grow as people, but if you’ve been with someone a long time, you can lose sight of the person you fell in love with. Life is long, and as much as you can want a thing to stay the same, life makes you realise it can’t. We don’t always get what we want, and what we want can change too. If someone strays too far from their former self, they might not even be someone you like anymore, let alone someone you love. If you’re feeling unhappy in a relationship, question where it went wrong. Did they change their ways too much? Did you change instead, and now you can’t understand why you’re together? If so, it may be time to pull the plug. Talk through your options and look for the way forward.

Have circumstances left you feeling unhappy in a relationship that used to be strong?

Sometimes, you can pinpoint the moment when everything went wrong. Did your partner break your trust, or hurt you to the point where you can’t fix things? Have you experienced something together that hurt you both, and left you having to pick up the pieces? With some work, these situations can be salvaged, but if you’ve been fighting long and hard for something that won’t fix itself, it can be best to let it go and enjoy the good times you once had together. You know you can’t make yourself feel a way you don’t. It doesn’t help to say you’ll stay when you don’t want to. Separate yourself from your relationship for a while and consider your own needs. That way, you will find happiness you’ve been deprived of during this difficult period of your relationship.

Is there any love left?

It’s a question you have to ask yourself, and it can be very difficult to answer. You can still really care for a person, but not have any romantic feelings for them. You may not even recognise the difference anymore if the love has left you gradually, and you might not remember how it felt to be in love. This is the worst-case scenario. Nothing really happened to cause your feelings to dissipate, and you’re sure it’s a one-sided issue. You’re going to hurt the other person if you admit you’re not in the same place they are anymore, so you stick it out. But you have to think of yourself sometimes – feeling unhappy in a relationship isn’t healthy, and it doesn’t aid the other person either. In the end, it hurts them more the longer you prolong it, especially as it’ll eventually implode. Sometimes, you have to put yourself first and escape a broken relationship while there’s still time for you.