10 Warning Signs Your Relationship Is Making You Depressed

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10 Warning Signs Your Relationship Is Making You Depressed
Bad relationships can actually make you feel depressed. Be on the lookout for these tell-tale signs!

6. With your partner, it's "my way or the highway." In a healthy relationship, both of your concerns need to count. That's true whether you're wondering what to eat for dinner or deciding where to live. If your voice doesn't seem to count, you'll be at risk for feeling powerless and depressed.

7. Your partner is depressed. Depression is contagious. When someone is depressed, he/she tends to see the world — including you —  through dark glasses. If you adopt your partner's view, you'll sink down emotionally too. 

8. Your partner is irritable. Anger spreads toxic negative energy. This toxicity can induce depression in the receiver of anger. Anger is disturbing and unpleasant to witness even for on-lookers. For direct recipients of anger, the toxicity is even more so. 

9. Your partner is abusive. As we've mentioned already, abuse can be expressed emotionally in a partner's critical and controlling attitude, verbally with name-calling or physically by pushing, throwing things, or hitting. All of these forms of abuse are incompatible with a loving relationship. The impulse to hurt someone is the opposite of the impulse to love, nurture and be intimate. Any form of putting you down can engender depression. Any form of appreciation adds to your good feelings. It's pretty simple.

10. Your partner doesn't do his/her share. A partner who takes on active roles in the project of living and loving together is a joy to partner with. Whether he scrambles eggs for the two of you in the morning or scurries around with a quick clean-up before visitors arrive, helping is loving. By contrast, a partner who does not do his part is passively provocative. The irritation or anger you will feel in response signals that you are not getting a full adult partner. 

So if you don't want your relationship to be making you depressed (and who would?), then pay attention to these signs. Discuss them with your partner, but do so carefully. Complaints and criticism might invite your partner to either feel depressed themselves or fight back. So use your best tactful communication to agree on new rules for being together, rules that replace darkness with sunshine for both of you.

Denver psychologist and marriage counselor Susan Heitler, PhD, is author of the interactive website PowerOfTwoMarriage.com which teaches the skills for sustaining a loving relationship.

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