5 Signs of An Unhealthy Relationship - and What to Do About It

Signs of An Unhealthy Relationship - and What to Do About It

Relationships can be a source of either joy and peace in your life – or a source of chronic stress. If your relationship has any of these unhealthy elements present, it may be time for a sit-down with your partner, and possibly a couples counselor.

Relationships can be difficult to navigate. Certainly all relationships will have their ups and downs, and that’s normal. But how do you know if what’s going on in your relationship is normal, or if it’s a cause for alarm? And how do you know when you should seek outside help…or even end things? (Yes, divorce is an available option. While it obviously isn’t the most desirable option, sometimes it is the healthiest option for all  parties involved.) Here are some of the signs that you may need to start re-evaluating your relationship.

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Your needs are being consistently neglected

Different people will have different needs, so this will differ based on each person and relationship. Think about what you need from a relationship and ask yourself if you’re getting it. There may be a withholding of affection, sex, or quality time, which can lead to resentment. A relationship is never 50/50, and there will always be times when one partner is carrying more weight, so if it happens a few times, it’s understandable. But if it’s happening consistently and your needs are chronically unmet? It’s time to talk to your partner and find out what’s going on – and possibly consider marriage counseling to help you learn how to communicate your needs to each other better.

 unhealthy relationship needs counsellor

Your (halal) sex life isn’t satisfying.

File this under “needs,” sis…but having a satisfying sex life with your partner goes back to having your needs met. Sex is a big part of any relationship, and it’s obviously one of the many perks of marriage. It can also be a good gauge to see how your relationship is going – is your sex life exciting and interesting? Is it rushed, detached, or nonexistent? The way you approach sex with each other is likely how other aspects of the relationship are approached as well. Good communication outside of the bedroom usually leads to a better time in the bedroom. It’s okay to prioritize your pleasure and to want pleasure.


If you do find that you and your spouse are struggling in the sheets, there are many factors that can be at play. Parenting responsibilities, adulting, stress, physical and mental health, and medical conditions are all things that impact libido. If you or your partner are suffering from low or mismatched libidos, it may be time t consider speaking to a doctor to rule out any medical causes, and possibly seeking sex therapy, which can help address the various challenges of intimacy.

unhealthy relationship halal sex

You keep trying to change your partner.

This can be a difficult pill to swallow sometimes, but you're in a relationship with your partner – not their potential. The growth potential your partner displays is a bonus; it shouldn’t be what you’re hanging all your hope in the relationship on. If you find yourself needing and wanting to change a ton of things about your partner, you may need to start asking yourself some important questions. First and foremost, are you actually trying to change them or are you trying to get your needs met? Why/what is it that you’re trying to change? Seeing a trusted shaykh and/or seeking couples counseling is highly recommended to help you and your partner get on the same page with each other. And if there are changes that need to be made in the relationship, it’s something you should confront together (obviously with the exception of situations like neglect or abuse).

Signs of An Unhealthy Relationship - and What to Do About It

You’re putting in all the work.

As you know, marriage involves two parties – your partner and you. In an ideal world, things would be 50/50, but this dunya is far from ideal and it never works out that way. Whether it’s because of illness, parenting, work, or other reasons, there will always be some reason that things can never be entirely equal – but they can be equitable. That means there are times when one partner has to do a little more than the other….sometimes you will need to be supported, and sometimes you’ll need to do the supporting. Being able to seamlessly transition from being supported to being supportive and back again, like a see-saw, keeps a relationship healthy. But if you’re the one doing all the work, all the time? That’s a big problem. It’s definitely time for a conversation if so.

Your boundaries are being violated.

Boundaries are healthy, and necessary for a relationship to flourish. There are certain boundaries that we set called “dealbreakers,” meaning things that we absolutely will not tolerate. It’s okay to have dealbreakers, and you should have dealbreakers.


Does your partner hate your family? Are they cheating? Abusive? Abuse – physical, verbal, emotional, financial – should always be a dealbreaker.

 unhealthy realationship boundaries abuse

Signs of An Unhealthy Relationship - and What to Do About It

If your boundaries are not being respected, or if dealbreakers are happening, then it’s time to re-evaluate the relationship, and most likely make an exit plan. Depending on the severity of the boundary violation, such as in the presence of abuse, it may be necessary to leave the relationship in order to be safe and protect yourself. You do not have to stay in any relationship where your boundaries are being violated.


If abuse or neglect is present, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or visit their website; please keep in mind that many abusers monitor web usage, and access resources as safely as you can. It should also be noted that entering couples counseling with your abuser is never recommended unless they have attended individual services first, as they will likely try to find ways to weaponize even the counseling sessions against you until they have received adequate help individually for their own issues.


If you’re interested in finding a Muslim therapist, you can check out Therapy for Muslims, the Muslim Association for Psychological Services, and the Institute for Muslim Mental Health. Everyone needs some help sometimes. Just like you go to the doctor if you experience a physical ailment, there’s no shame in seeking out expert help if you have concerns in your relationship. Let’s start normalizing it.


Have you attended therapy or couples counseling before? Did you have a hard time finding a Muslim therapist? Let’s talk in the comments! And be sure to follow us on Instagram at @tuesdayinlove to stay up to date on all the latest from us.


Signs of An Unhealthy Relationship - and What to Do About It

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