Falling in love can be very allusive. That’s why many people stay in relationships that don’t really work for them. However, if you’re in love but not happy then you need to make a change.
First and foremost, love should make you happy. I ask my clients to put a percentage on the amount of time they feel genuinely happy in their relationship. Most of them groan as the reality hits them that the majority of the time they’re not happy. In a good relationship you should feel happy a minimum of 75% of the time, preferably more.
Occasional arguments are actually necessary to keep getting your needs met but constant fighting should be a deal-breaker. One client actually asked me, “How often is normal to fight?” I’d never actually thought about putting a number on it, because it should never be a regular occurrence.
The myth that love is all you need really needs to be dispelled. Either that or there needs to be a clear definition of what love truly is. Because what frequently gets labeled “love” is anything but true love. Relationships become toxic when one partner starts to control what the other does, says, and/or wears. They use criticism to break your self-esteem and get you to do what they want. Control is not love, it’s insecurity.
Love is caring about your partner’s feelings and wanting him or her to be happy. In return you should feel loved. That means getting your needs met and that your feelings matter. That “I can’t keep my hands off you” feeling is affection and lust. You can have incredible chemistry with someone but that doesn’t make them a truly loving partner if you don’t have the above stated experience.
If you feel like you’re in love but you’re putting up with a lot of conflict and fighting. Or you’re walking on egg shells and going along just to get along to avoid another fight. If you feel controlled and that your feelings aren’t being acknowledged then you need to get out of this relationship. I promise you, you’ll be much happier when you stand up for yourself and hold clear, strong boundaries.
Many of my clients tell me they’re afraid to leave even when it’s bad because they fear they’ll never feel so much love for anyone else. But getting away from this toxic relationship is the only way you’ll be available to meet someone better.
The other reason you can be in love but not happy is if you have commitment issues.
Years ago I was in a relationship that I thought was the best I’d ever had. Until he started to tell me, “I know I love you, I’m just not happy.” He then would say, “95% of the time we get along great” to which I would respond, “Do you think it can get better than that?!” If your relationship is really good but you’re still not happy than you probably do have commitment issues. You don’t need a different partner, you need to confront your fear. Find a good therapist or sign up for coaching with me. You could also read Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.