Even a strong relationship can turn sour. While a deteriorating relationship can cause a lot of heartaches, there’s a lot more on the line than a broken heart. In some cases, a not-so-stellar relationship can negatively impact your health.
Of course, with all the exhaustion that comes with being in a relationship that is on the rocks, it can be hard to tell the difference between stress and actual health problems. How can you tell if your relationship is actually hurting your health?
“Relationships are arguably the most impactful, meaningful aspect of life, and they can impact us in very different ways, depending on the relationship,” psychologist Holly Parker told Bustle. “Some have the power to uplift our spirits, to lend comfort during life’s strains and stresses, to weave fun and playfulness into our day, and to imbue life with a profound sense of purpose. Sadly, others can pull us downward, drain our energy and emotional reserves, fill us with heartache, and erode our happiness.”
According to Parker, an unhappy relationship can impact both your physical and your mental health. If you’re experiencing headaches, insomnia, muscle pain, anxiety, or depression, it might be caused by your relationship. Parker added that mental and physical health are very much entwined, so if you’re experiencing physical problems, there might also be an underlying mental health issue.
A big sign that your relationship is causing you mental harm is that you feel a sense of relief when your partner leaves. This sense of relief is a big sign that your partner is causing you stress. This is especially true when the feeling is accompanied by “a sense of weight and physical tension in the partner’s presence,” said Parker.
If your relationship is taking a toll on your well being, listen to your mind, not your heart. While your heart might encourage you to stay, you should listen to the instincts telling you to get out. “If a partner isn’t having a positive impact on your emotional well-being, your mind will be more likely to show you the exit door,” said Parker.
While there are, of course, a lot of factors that could contribute to a deterioration of mental and physical health, Parker said that the importance of a romantic relationship is not to be underestimated. “If a romantic relationship is having a negative impact on your psychological well-being, it’s vital to turn attention to that,” she said.
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