17 Things That Indicate Your Partner Is Unhappy

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By Darryl Henderson

Most people’s top priority is paying attention to their partner to ensure they are as fulfilled as possible, but sadly, this doesn’t always work. If you’d like to learn more about how to make your partner happier, here are 17 things that tell you your partner is feeling down.

Decreased Communication

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Every relationship depends on open communication, which allows you to open up to each other. However, if your partner is unhappy, they will be less talkative and may appear distant. They could even avoid rooms that you are in, instead preferring to spend time by themselves.

Changes in Behavior

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Another key sign of an unhappy partner is behavior that feels out of place, such as being unusually angry or concerned about life’s problems. According to Business Insider, if you find yourself making constant excuses for your partner’s behavior, they might need someone to vent to. 

Lack of Interest

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If your partner is no longer the bubbly or excited person they used to be, this could be a sign of their sadness. They may show little enthusiasm for activities you both used to enjoy and could turn down any invitations that come their way. If you notice this, it’s time for a talk.

Increased Irritability

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Becoming irritated by minor things is a warning sign that someone is unhappy. With a lot going on in their head, they may react angrily if you suggest something, instead wanting to fixate on their worries and woes without being bothered. Everyone needs space, but if this is regular, you should be concerned.

Changes in Sleep Patterns

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Any happy and healthy person prioritizes sleep as they know they need it for their overall well-being. However,  unhappy individuals have trouble sleeping or will sleep more than usual. Stress, anxiety, and depression commonly accompany relationship dissatisfaction, all of which can interfere with sleep, so it’s worth looking out for.

Loss of Appetite or Overeating

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Another coping mechanism for sadness is a change in eating habits. They may eat less due to being stressed and worried, or they could eat more than ever to make themselves feel better about their situation. If you notice your partner making a habit of this, why not talk to them about it?

Emotional Distance

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The Independent notes that one of the most common misconceptions about long-term relationships is that couples should be happy all the time. You shouldn’t mistake an occasional mood swing for inherent sadness, but if your partner constantly seems emotionally distant and unhappy, maybe you need to reevaluate your relationship. 

Lack of Affection

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Withdrawing affection is one of the tell-tale signs of a dissatisfied partner; they’ll become less likely to initiate physical contact or show affection, which is, naturally, concerning. If holding hands or giving you a warm hug is clearly no longer at the top of their priority list, something’s not right.

Unwilling to Engage in Conversations

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Unhappy partners will seem indifferent to your thoughts in any conversation you have with them. When you tell them a story about your day and lament your struggles, they may remain silent and will not offer you any emotional support. If you notice this, it’s worth asking why they are acting this way.

Avoidance of Serious Discussions

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Expecting to talk to your partner about serious matters will not go down well if your partner is unhappy. Rather than tackling serious discussions head-on, they may shy away from talking about the future or resolving issues, stunting your relationship in the process. If this continues, couple therapy may be wise. 

Negative Communication Patterns

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An unhappy partner may disappear for long periods of time without telling you, leaving you feeling neglected and overlooked. CNBC suggests that communicating things you like and appreciate about your partner as often as possible may get them to open up, but if they continue to avoid you, there’s clearly something making them unhappy.

Increased Criticism

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It’s difficult to be around your partner when they’re constantly criticizing your actions. Even if you are doing something nice for them, they won’t appreciate this gesture, making you feel bad. It’s not fair for you to go through this, so you should speak openly to them to understand why they are so unhappy.


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Stonewalling occurs when one person refuses to engage or respond, leaving an unhappy person’s partner feeling frustrated, invalidated, and unheard. It shuts down communication and prevents the resolution of issues, which can escalate conflict and erode trust. If you’re experiencing this, couple therapy might be wise. 

Passive-aggressive Behavior

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Psychology Today discloses that passive aggression and irritability are very common symptoms of depression. Everyone gets mad occasionally, but if your partner continually expresses their frustration with passive-aggressive behavior, this is a serious red flag that their unhappiness needs to be addressed.

Unwillingness to Compromise

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Miserable partners will resist finding solutions, believing that everything should be on their terms, and will be unwilling to see your point of view. This can be unattractive for the other partner, as it shows they don’t have your best interests at heart, and sadly, it could show that you’re better off without them. 

Absence of Encouragement

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Being with an unhappy partner can be disheartening, especially if they refrain from offering support or praise for your achievements. Ironically, your partner is the person who is meant to support you the most, which can be extremely hurtful. They may just need some space, but if this continues, you need to talk.

Reluctance to Spend Time Together

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Finally, unhappy partners may prioritize other activities over spending time with you. If you’ve invited them to an event, they’ll choose to spend time alone or with a friend instead, which can be heart-wrenching. However, it’s a clear sign that they’re unhappy, so it’s important to address this to prevent their unhappiness from spiraling out of control.