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Can You Change a Suffocating Marriage?

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Signs of a suffocating relationship can take several forms. It can be that a needy partner craves so much attention that they can't see friends or family. A codependent relationship can excessively demand your time and energy. People may become resentful, feel trapped, and erect walls if they neglect personal wants in favor of their spouse. A stifling relationship can rob the joy of a healthy romantic partnership and become toxic.

Your Partner is Keeping Tabs on You.

Enmeshment in a relationship can have symptoms of blurred boundaries like micromanaging and excessive control. Indeed, you should always talk to your partner before making major life decisions, but you shouldn't have to speak to them about every detail. If you're in a relationship with an enmeshment style of attachment, set small limits on your partner's control by making small, daily choices without consulting them first. 

Your Partner is Jealous.

Jealousy is a feeling of anger when someone thinks another person is trying to get their partner's attention. Jealousy is a desire to control someone to whom you're attached. If your partner borders on irrational jealousy, it can become toxic if they obsess about who you're with when you're not with them. Jealousy can make your partner insecure and anxious about whether your feelings for them are authentic.

Your Partner Uses Manipulation to Get What They Want.

Manipulation is an attempt by an individual to influence someone's emotions to get them to act in a way to get what they want. Every human is subject to manipulating others to get what they want, especially in close or casual relationships. Using guilt or feigning illness are common tactics that prevent you from interacting with family or friends or enjoying time independently. The manipulator may be consuming all of your time already and may want to isolate you, which will cause feelings of suffocation.

Small Ways to Fix a Suffocating Marriage

Express your concerns to Your Partner

One of the most important things to fix the experience of emotional suffocation is expressing your feelings openly about violating your boundaries so they can see the relationship through your eyes. If your partner isn't aware that they're being suffocating, chances are they won't do anything about it. It can be even more significant if they're aware of your needs and aren't listening.

Open communication with mutual respect is essential to every healthy relationship. When discussing boundaries with your partner, be honest and understanding about what you and your partner are comfortable with or not. Consider writing down your expectations to see what you want when sharing them with your partner. Open communication about how certain behaviors affect you lets your partner know what's wrong so they can fix it.

Set solid boundaries

Each partner should set specific personal boundaries at the beginning of the relationship and when attempting to repair current damages. These boundaries need to be firm, without allowances for crossing the lines, or there is a possibility of ending the partnership.

Take back your privacy.

It's okay to celebrate milestones, special occasions, and even good news on social media if everyone agrees and knows it's happening. Decide what you will share with family and friends or on social media and what will be kept personal.

Work on re-developing a sense of independence.

Couples should make significant decisions as a team. If one person makes all the decisions, the cycle of feeling suffocated can start in a relationship. To break free from the pattern, limit your mate's "policing" capacity and choose to make daily decisions independently.

Encouraging your partner to have fun with friends or family or engage in hobbies or activities independently will display trust in your mate. Your spouse may see they can also trust you to do activities alone without the occurrence of anything improper.

Freely share your opinion.

It's healthy for couples to share their opinions on different topics and agree to disagree. Being able to share views is a beneficial element of good relationships. Loving couples disagree on many subjects, but it doesn't have to affect their feelings for each other.

Take time each day for yourself.

Pamper yourself and do things you enjoy to refuel positive energy and relieve stress (hobbies, sports, spa time, etc.).

Reinforce the Importance of Trust.

If you're in a committed relationship for a while and still feel it's hard to be alone, you may want to look at what's happening. Reconnecting to your individuality will be very hard if you continue this way, and it will feel impossible to respect theirs. Building a relationship of trust will help you avoid feeling smothered.

If your partnership is beginning to drain you or cause resentment towards your mate, consuming every moment of your time and having unreasonable expectations, you're experiencing a suffocating relationship. Partners can learn to effectively communicate their needs and wants and show mutual respect and commitment to one another.

Work on your relationship together in the privacy of your home! Download Marriage in a Box's e-book "Marriage: Fix it or Leave It" by Maria Sappe, LMFT. Marriage In A Box is also a great resource that gives you access to the simple tools, techniques, and solutions professional marriage counselors use for typical relationship issues. Marriage coaching is also available on the site. Check it out online.

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