So many people don’t understand the impact of forced relationships on mental health.
That’s mostly because people in forced relationships don’t even know that they’re stuck in one. They may know that something isn’t right, but they’re not aware of the gruesome things that are happening to them.
You may be wondering: how is this even possible? How can someone be stuck in a relationship for such a long time and not realize that something is horribly wrong?
Well, that’s what we’re here to talk about. With the decrease in mental health also comes the inability to understand and perceive reality in a normal way.
In this article, we’ll explain to you what it actually means to be in a forced relationship, and also get into the types of mental health issues that you could develop because of one.
It’s better to give you a full view of everything so that you can have a better understanding of this type of relationship.
What is a forced relationship?
A person who’s in a forced relationship is scared of a life without their partner. This usually happens when their partner is being manipulative and abusive to the point where the poor victim believes that life outside this relationship doesn’t exist.
If you’ve ever found yourself in this type of relationship, then you know how hard you tried to make things work. You didn’t want to throw it away, but you also didn’t know what else to do to bring back the person that you fell in love with.
Don’t get me wrong, relationships aren’t easy to maintain. There’s so much trust, effort, love, and affection that goes into a romantic relationship that it seems like super hard work.
Nonetheless, it should never be about pulling each other back into a relationship that obviously isn’t going to work out, or at least, never going to become a healthy relationship.
Emotionally abusive relationships also have a tendency to become forced. The victim feels like they can’t leave because the abuser has somehow convinced them that there’s no life outside the relationship.
The impact of forced relationships on mental health is real. You feel like there’s no support system. As unstable as the relationship is, you’re sure it’s the most stable thing that you have in your life.
To put it simply, it’s a relationship where both parties would be better being single than staying together. However, some force the relationship into marriage, with neither of them understanding that they’re forcing it to work.
This type of relationship is extremely dangerous, and you need to know the consequences it will have on your mental health.
The impact of forced relationships on mental health
1. You’re constantly walking on eggshells
The impact of forced relationships on mental health is more than just a couple of anxious days that come and go. You actually feel like you’re constantly treading lightly.
Even when he’s acting like a good boyfriend, you’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
You feel like everything that you do could set him off to become aggressive and/or abusive. You’d rather stay silent in these moments and try to enjoy it as long as it lasts.
This is quite specific to forced relationships. They have a few or no good days at all. Most of them are spent fighting or giving each other the silent treatment.
All of these situations will give you huge psychological problems. All of this anxiety has to find a way out, which can be shown through insomnia, shivers, or random moments of crying.
Your body can’t take this much stress. When you’re forcing a relationship, you feel like everything that you do can have a negative impact. That’s when you know that this isn’t the relationship for you and you need to get out.
2. You get frequent panic attacks
Another impact of forced relationships on mental health is frequent panic attacks. Some victims even end up with a panic disorder.
Panic attacks are caused by repetitive thoughts that don’t have a positive outcome. Your heart starts pumping faster, you can’t get enough air, and your entire body tremors. That’s when it seems as if you’re losing all control over your body. When you’re in this state, you feel like you’re losing your mind.
It happens when your fear completely overtakes your body. Thoughts about leaving him, a life without him, or even a life with him, cause you so much fear that you’re unable to handle it.
3. You feel like you’re going insane from all the gaslighting
Gaslighting is an extremely strong manipulation tactic. You feel like you’re completely losing your mind because nothing seems to be real anymore.
The impact of forced relationships on mental health can be seen when the victim only takes the word of their partner into consideration. When your friends or family tell you that this is toxic and that you should leave, your partner will tell you that they’re only trying to separate you.
If you find out that he’s cheating, he’ll make you the villain by telling you that it’s your fault. He’ll tell you that it wouldn’t have happened if you were a good girlfriend. He’ll call you the evil one for going through his phone because it’s an invasion of his privacy.
This will make you feel like you’re in the wrong. He’s only shifting the blame onto you so that you don’t have time to actually react to his behavior.
When you tell him that you remember something happening a certain way, he says it didn’t happen at all, causing you to start doubting everything that’s going on. You only trust him and take his word for everything.
This is mostly why forced relationships usually last so long: The victim can’t see that their recollection of the events is right.
You only try to make things right afterward so that he doesn’t leave you.
4. You feel endangered
This type of relationship is also extremely dangerous because the abuser can use different types of manipulation to make the victim stay.
It’s not rare to encounter a forced relationship where the abuser keeps the victim around with physical abuse. This abuse can be seen in different forms.
He could keep her locked in the room, threaten to hurt her or the people closest to her, hurt her physically, or even starve her for days.
I know that this sounds like something out of a CSI episode, but it sadly happens all around us when we’re not looking.
The impact of forced relationships on mental health is obvious in these cases. You feel like you can’t do anything because some awful things will happen afterward. You feel endangered because you truly are in danger.
Even if he never hit you, just talking about what he may or may not do to you is enough to put you in a constant state of fear. He may tell you just how much he wants to hurt you, and that’s the moment you start obsessively thinking about it.
5. You’ve forgotten how to communicate
When you find yourself in a forced relationship, you know that everything you say can have consequences. You feel like he’ll leave you if you voice your opinion or if you choose to confront him about something he did.
All of these thoughts lead you to this point where you simply have forgotten how to communicate, which is exactly the impact of forced relationships on mental health. You don’t know if what you’re thinking is even true, and if you have the right to be mad about something.
When you come to him to talk about issues, your voice starts to quiver and you wonder where all the air went.
This doesn’t just include talking in the relationship. Even when people ask you if something is wrong, you don’t know how to speak up that something is indeed wrong.
He made you believe that no one will believe you either way, so you just keep quiet. You forgot how to communicate your thoughts and emotions because you feel like you’ll reap some awful consequences if you do.
6. You struggle with your self-worth
A forced relationship can also affect your sense of self-worth. This relationship makes you feel like you can’t do anything right because you’re worthless.
He also makes you believe you wouldn’t be able to live your life without him. Even if you think about finding a new partner, your brain is telling you that no one would ever want you. There’s a part of you that genuinely thinks no one will ever love you because of the flaws he keeps on talking about.
However, that’s only his way of maintaining control over you. Forced relationships have an awful way of making you doubt your self-worth.
That’s when your mental health takes a major nosedive.