It's happened to most of us - whether it's with a spouse, a live-in partner, or someone you're casually dating. You begin to get this suffocating, trapped feeling. If you haven't experienced it, let me be the first to congratulate you.
For the rest of us, though, at one point in our dating or married life, we've felt smothered, like there was no way out.
Here's what to do if you begin to feel trapped in a relationship.
1) Ask yourself if this is the first time this has happened, and do so honestly. If this is a pattern for you, it needs to be addressed.
2) Find a good therapist to speak to. He or she can help you untangle the web of your emotions and get to the root of WHY you feel trapped.
3) Take an honest look at yourself and your relationship: what parts make you feel trapped? Is it something you've done? Is it something your partner does?
4) If it's things you've done - say, isolating yourself from your friends - then work on picking those things back up and rebuilding your own life. A life that doesn't revolve around your relationship.
5) If it's something your partner does - being jealous, for example - open up a dialogue about it.
6) Remember: open and honest communication is key. Use "I feel" statements rather than "You make me feel" statements. It puts your partner in a position to be less defensive.
7) If your gut is giving you the The Feeling, listen to it.
8) Remind yourself of why you want to be in this relationship - is it because you'd rather be in a bad relationship than be alone? If so, that's not a great reason to stay with someone.
9) Crowdsource it. One of my favorite ways of finding new perspectives on things is to ask my best friends and family what they see - honestly. Find out what they think about your partner, your relationship, and why you might feel suffocated.
10) Never, ever, EVER, feel like you need to settle for less than you're worth. This isn't the only guy who will love you or want to be with you. Not by a long shot.
Any other advice for those who feel trapped in a relationship?
Image via Pascal Maramis/Flickr