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Feeling Trapped In a Relationship – Everything You Need to Know

Feeling Trapped In a Relationship – Everything You Need to Know

Updated on Jul 06, 2023

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

Feeling Trapped In a Relationship - Meaning, Causes, How to Deal & More

If you are feeling trapped in a relationship it can have a huge effect on your personal and professional life. You may develop certain depressive or negative thoughts in your mind. 

Try to understand your thoughts and the reasons behind certain feelings that you are experiencing currently. 

These feelings can force you to think of a way out of your relationship. 

But before rushing into a permanent decision, you should spend enough time thinking about everything that you actually want from this life. 

This feeling is a state of mind and you should not have to hold yourself back for any reason if you are confident enough to leave your relationship. 

Sometimes people develop these feelings from several conflicts or unresolved issues with their romantic partner that can be solved.

Whereas, a toxic or abusive relationship can also make you feel this way. 

Feeling Trapped In a Relationship - Everything You Need to Know
Things that make you feel trapped In a relationship
Feeling Trapped In a Relationship - Everything You Need to Know
How to not feel trapped in a relationship & how to leave it?

What is Feeling Trapped in a Relationship?

Feeling trapped in a relationship means the inability to get out of a relationship even if you want to. You feel that you are not able to do what you actually want in your life or you are not being treated the way you think you deserve. 

One wrong move can really cause several disasters in a relationship.

Sometimes it is better to take some time for yourself and explore all your emotions before making some hard choices in life. 

Think about all your reasons and the consequences, this will help you to make the choice that you may never regret in the long run. 

A wrong decision can make you end up suffocating in an unhappy relationship with someone you do not have any respect for. 

Is It Normal to Feel Trapped in a Relationship?

Feeling stuck in a relationship with someone is nothing unusual and can happen to anyone around you. 

Often when you like someone you tend to make your decisions entirely based on your emotions, without considering the facts and the reality. 

Rushing into some intense decision all of a sudden can create this feeling of being trapped in your relationship after a certain time. 

You will be forced to come out of your imagination and face the harsh reality of your relationship and your partner.

Sometimes when you are struggling with some issues for a very long time and you are unable to discuss them with your partner, you may develop certain feelings of being trapped. 

If you ever feel that way there is nothing to worry about. It is just the time to sit down with your partner and talk. 

Signs of Feeling Trapped in a Relationship

Here we are going to discuss several things that can make you feel suffocated and trapped. 

1. Denial

Denial is something that everyone may feel at different phases in their life. When you are not ready to accept something even if that is true, it can be called denial. 

It is possible that you are going through certain problems in your relationship with your partner and you are not ready to accept that fact. 

Even if you realize that you are in a toxic relationship, you may deny that because it is hard to process. 

You may try to find some reasonable excuses that can replace the hard facts and are easy to believe. 

You still have faith in this relationship and believe that these issues are temporary and happening for a reason. 

Though you are trying to believe that everything will be just fine, your subconscious knows the truth. 

You may feel trapped in this relationship because you are not trying to open the door that can help to get out and accept the freedom. 

2. Fear

You can feel trapped in a relationship with someone for being afraid that if you get out of this relationship everything in your life will change. 

You are afraid of that change and confused that it may not be good for your life. 

When someone is in a relationship they are with their partners most of the time and they are always occupied with different responsibilities. 

Sometimes being in a relationship does not give you enough chances to be with yourself and explore yourself. 

You are afraid of being left alone at the end. You want to avoid the feeling of any separation or loneliness in your future.  

3. Lack of autonomy 

Autonomy is actually the individuality and emotional security of an individual. If you are in a relationship with someone for a long time you may start to lose yourself. 

This can affect your ability to express your emotions and your individuality. 

You can be too dependent on someone when you are in a relationship with him/ her for a certain period. 

Also, you may be the kind of person who gets vulnerable around other people easily. You involve yourself in their lives too much without any reason. 

Autonomy does not mean that you can not be involved in others’ lives or you do not care about someone else. 

Autonomy is something that can help you to express who you are and how you are different from everyone around you. 

You can feel too dependent on others and may not be able to make any decisions on your own.

If there is a lack of autonomy in you, it can hold you back to stand up for yourself and express what you really want. 

4. You have changed

Everyone always thinks that they will be the same person for all their life. But with time everyone grows and changes little by little. 

Change is something that you cannot avoid at any time in any condition. 

As you are developing as a person your perception of your relationship or your partner may change as well. 

You may not find happiness or satisfaction with the same person anymore for certain reasons. In such situations, this relationship may feel like a trap to you.

If you are in a similar position you should talk to your partner about these feelings. You can also talk about the things that are bothering you about your partner. 

Try to resolve your issue together with a calm mind. 

5. You need space

Personal space is very important for any relationship.

You both should be transparent about each other’s thoughts about having space from the beginning of your relationship. 

You may be really overwhelmed in your relationship and need some space to figure something out.  

Sometimes it is better to maintain a distance and figure out who you are and what you want from current situations. 

Taking a space does not mean increasing the distance between you and your partner. It helps to rethink all the decisions you have made and make some new choices. 

If you are feeling trapped in a relationship it is possible that you are just not getting enough personal space in your relationship. 

6. You feel your partner is cheating

If you are having a doubt about your partner, things can get really intense. When you feel that your partner is cheating on you, it is normal to feel rejected and trapped. 

These things can create some huge misunderstandings in any relationship, you should not jump to a conclusion at once. 

Try to gather some proof of your doubt so that you can be sure and confront your partner. 

7. Your relationship has become boring 

When you are in a relationship for a very long time it can be monotonous sometimes. A relationship or a marriage includes different responsibilities, efforts, and hard work. 

You may repeat the same routine almost every day which can take away all the fun and excitement from your life. 

You may not have the opportunity to try something new, adventurous, and exciting. 

Feeling trapped in a relationship because it is monotonous is not always your or your partner’s fault. 

It is possible that you are missing out on some fun parts of life due to all the responsibilities and stress. 

You should talk about it to your partner and plan something exciting that can make you both happy. Try something really fun which can make you laugh together. 

Plan your days together with some different angles as much as possible. You can try something new every day and grow together. 

8. Lack of communication

The silent treatment is never good for a romantic relationship. Communication in a relationship is always crucial in solving all the problems in life. 

If you do not get many chances to talk to your partner it can make you feel trapped in a relationship. 

Opening up your heart and talking about your emotions or your expectations can make every relationship better. 

Talking to your partner about everything and maintaining your transparency in any relationship really matters.

You should be able to open up in front of your partner and talk about the things you want without being judged. 

If you are unable to talk your heart out in front of the person you really like, it can create so much pressure in your mind.

This can affect your mental health as well as your relationship with your partner. 

9. Lack of appreciation

If your partner does not appreciate you at all, no matter how hard you try, this can be really frustrating sometimes. Everyone deserves to be appreciated for their efforts and work. 

Sometimes even if you are fulfilling all your responsibilities in your relationship, you may not get any positive response from your partner. 

This can really break your heart and make you feel trapped. 

In a relationship, you both should appreciate and motivate each other. This can always boost your happiness and your satisfaction level. 

10. Lack of support from your partner 

To maintain a healthy relationship you both should support each other. If your partner does not support you in your decisions that can be a huge problem in your life. 

Supporting your partner means standing up for them and being with them in every difficult situation.

When your partner really supports you it is a lot easier to face different challenges.

This can boost your confidence level and your motivation to do something good. 

When your partner does not support you in something that you really like doing, it can affect your happiness negatively. 

Not getting support from your partner can increase your struggle and make your path more difficult. 

After a certain time, this relationship may feel like a burden to you. You can feel like you are trapped somewhere and do not know any way out. 

11. Abuse

Abusive relationships are very bad for your physical and mental health.

If your partner abuses you physically or verbally, you can never be comfortable in your relationship. 

When someone is abusing you that means they have no respect or care for you. 

Remember domestic violence is a punishable crime and you can get some help if you are not feeling safe in your relationship. 

When you are in an abusive relationship with someone for a long time, it can affect your confidence and your mental condition negatively. 

You will feel trapped and you may lose all your hopes for a better future. 

Emotional abuse is really harmful to your psychological conditions as well.

You may lose all your strength to stand up for yourself if you are a victim of an abusive relationship for a long time. 

12. Excessive rules or a controlling partner 

No one loves rules in their life. If your partner sets too many rules in your relationship that you need to follow all the time, things can really heat up with time. 

When you are bound by too many rules, this will always feel like a cage. 

These feelings can increase your desire for freedom. You can also experience the fear of breaking some rules. 

If you are always anxious about your decisions and these rules, it can add some extra pressure to your mind. 

When someone in your relationship tries to control every behavior of their partner, things can be really suffocating. 

You will never find a personal space for yourself where you can pay more attention to your individual growth. 

In such a relationship your partner will try to control every step of your life. You will not be able to do something you want without your partner’s permission. 

If you are in certain situations for some time, you will feel that you are trapped and have lost your freedom. 

Try to talk to your partner about what you feel and find a solution that can help to resolve both of your problems. 

13. Inability to change your routine 

When you are doing the same thing every day you will definitely feel monotonous after some time. You may not be able to change your routine for several reasons even if you try. 

This can be really frustrating and boring. 

It is possible that even if you are bored, you feel more comfortable and secure in your daily routine. You are afraid to change it because you are afraid of any negative outcomes. 

You are not ready to face the challenges that your life has to offer. Sometimes you may not know what changes you should make in your routine.

In several situations, you can feel something in your routine is not that important and you want to stop doing that. 

But you have not found anything else that can be done to replace it. 

14. Narcissist partner

Narcissists are those people who are too obsessed with himself/ herself and they are not ready to think about someone else. 

If your partner does not pay much attention to you and always talks about themselves, you will feel unimportant on certain points. 

A Narcissistic person does not leave a chance to talk about how good they are. They will never have enough patience to think about you. 

These people are always very busy admiring themselves. You may never get a chance to hear any appreciation or admiration from your partner. 

15. Sexless relationship

Physical attraction and physical intimacy are very important for a relationship.

If you are having trouble with a sexual relationship with your partner for some time, you may feel frustrated. 

Sometimes it is hard to talk about your sexual needs and your problems with your partner. 

For a long time, if you are in a sexless marriage or a sexless relationship and your partner is not ready to talk about it, things can get really complicated. 

Sexual intercourse and affection in a relationship can strengthen the bond between you two and also is good for your mental health. 

If you are having some trouble with it, you should take the initiative and start a conversation with your partner. 

16. Your partner does not listen 

Everyone needs someone in their life with whom they can share everything at any time.

When your partner is not ready to listen to what you have to say, your mental health can be affected negatively. 

Listening to each other can help both of you to understand each other and grow together. 

If your partner is too busy doing something else rather than talking and understanding the problems that you are experiencing, it is hard to have mental peace.

Feeling Trapped in a Marriage

Marriage brings more responsibilities to your life. Maintaining the balance between all your responsibilities and your personal goals can be really difficult sometimes. 

If your partner is not supportive or they do not pay much attention to your things, it can be more complicated.

A successful marriage requires both your love and care for each other. You both need to pay attention to each other’s needs and make each other happy. 

If your partner is not playing his/ her part in this relationship for a long time you may lose all your hopes. Every marriage has certain difficulties which only you can solve together. 

But if your partner is not ready to put any effort into solving your issues, you will never be able to resolve everything on your own.

This can really affect your mental and physical health negatively. Getting out of a marriage is not an easy decision to make for someone.

You should sit down and think carefully before making any final choices so that you never regret your decision. 

How to Not Feel Trapped in a Relationship

There are certain steps that you can follow if you do not want to feel trapped in your relationship. 

Talk to yourself

Self-analysis is very important for everyone to resolve all their issues and achieve their goal.

When you feel you are trapped in your relationship you should sit down and reflect on yourself.  Try to find out the reasons that are making you uncomfortable. 

This will help you to reflect on your behavior and the reasons behind them. You can find out all your needs and desires in life and from your relationship. 

Try to understand your emotions and do not hold yourself back from expressing them. 

If you are somehow not satisfied with yourself and have a negative feeling, this can affect your relationship too. 

There may be something in your mind which is bothersome. Go deeper in your mind and try to understand the factors that are making you feel bad about yourself.  

This can divert your mind and you will be able to avoid your personal issues. The self-analysis will help to find out all the reasons behind your conscious thoughts and emotions. 

Reflect on your relationship 

Along with yourself, you should also reflect on your relationship. Try to find out all the things that can make you feel negative about your relationships. 

Think about the complications that you have with your partner.

Once you can identify the issues it is easier to find the solutions. Talk to your partner if something about them is bothering you for some reason. 

This reflection will also help you to understand if you are doing something that is making your partner uncomfortable. 

It will help you both to improve personally and grow your bond together.

With good communication, you can find some common goals in life as a couple and maintain a healthy relationship

Work hard

If you are feeling trapped or feeling something negative about your relationship, try to find out the factors that are making you feel this way. 

Once you can discover the factors, you can work really hard and find a way to resolve them. 

Get involved in something productive which can help you to improve yourself. Working can also help you to improve your ability to understand and analyze. 

You can develop some new hobbies which can bring some peace and happiness to your life. 

Spend time with your friends and family and socialize with other people. Talking to different people always helps to open up your mind and think innovatively. 

Do some good exercise and develop a healthy lifestyle to stay physically and mentally fit. 

If you are experiencing any emotional complications you can talk to someone you are comfortable with. You can also seek professional help for any guidance if you feel the need. 

Increase your confidence level 

Self-confidence is very important for your self-growth and satisfaction. If you do not have faith you will not be able to stand up for yourself. 

Believe in yourself and talk about all the problems you are experiencing in your relationship. 

If something is bothering you about your partner you should speak up. You can take proper steps to improve your relationship with your partner. 

Do not let something or someone break your confidence level. 

If you believe in yourself it will be easier to express all your emotions easily. Your confidence level will help to make all the hard choices if you ever need to. 

Take a break

If you are overwhelmed with all the responsibilities and stress in your life you should take some time off and think. Think of something that you really like to do.

Focus on yourself and take a step towards self-growth. Taking some space from your relationship will also help you to think about several things that are going on in your life. 

Spending some time away from your partner will help you to realize the importance of him/ her in your life. 

You both will be able to think and understand each other’s perspectives in a better way. 

Taking a break does not mean breaking up or it does not mean that you can go out with someone else. 

Taking a break means spending some time away from each other, alone to figure out different things in life. 

Make an exit plan if needed 

An exit plan is always very important if you ever feel trapped in a relationship with someone. Try to think carefully of all your issues and a way to resolve them. 

If you feel that none of your problems can be resolved and you are unable to do this anymore, an exit plan is all you need. 

Change is very normal in everyone’s life. Your feelings for your partner don’t need to be the same all the time. 

Your partner can also change for several reasons and you may not find him attractive anymore. 

You may think that you will not be able to fix your relationship anymore and getting out will give you peace and happiness. 

In these situations, you should figure out a way to end your relationship on a good note. 

Do not give up on love 

You should not judge everything or everyone based on your one experience. You should give someone else a chance to experience something really good in your life. 

Do not lose your faith entirely from one unhealthy relationship. 

Take some time to understand all the choices that you have made in your past relationship. 

Reflect on yourself and figure out what you need from a relationship and set up a goal for yourself. 

Just think about all the positives and negatives before making any choices in the future. Let your emotions come out and do not hold yourself back.

Believe in yourself and have a fresh start. 

What To Do If You Feel Trapped in a Relationship

If you want to leave a relationship that you feel trapped in you must do it carefully. Following these steps will help you to come out smoothly. 


You should think about your decision carefully so that you do not regret it later. The reasons behind your choice should be clear in your head. 

Be careful not to make your choices based on some wrong reasons. 

Find some support

You should discuss your thoughts with someone before rushing into something. Talk to your friends or any of your relatives or someone you trust. 

Sometimes sharing your thoughts can help you to think clearly and make the right choice. 

You can also get different ideas from your well-wishers. If you think that you are stuck and you are unable to find a way out, talking to someone you trust and care for will really help. 

You can also go to your family therapist where you will be able to share your heart. It will help you to express yourself and find some guidance for your next step. 

Make some plans 

If you have decided to step out you should figure out your safety, finance, and your children if you have any. 

If you are married and you are feeling trapped in this relationship, things will be more complicated. 

You should think about whether you are financially dependent on your partner or not. 

If you are financially dependent on your partner you should plan your finances after leaving your relationship. 

When your partner is abusive or aggressive you should think about your safety after leaving your relationship. If you think that your partner may come after you, find out a way to secure your future. 

If you have any children this is a huge as well as difficult decision to make. You should figure out if you want to share the custody with your partner or if you want their full custody. 

Boost your self-confidence and have faith in yourself. 

Move on 

You will not be able to move on instantly just after leaving a relationship. Give yourself some time to figure everything out and settle down. 

Make some plans about your future and try not to look back.

You can plan a vacation to calm your mind or spend some days with your family and friends. 

Take some time to clear your mind. Do not rush to move on overnight. If you were in a relationship for a long time it will take time to move on. 

Forgetting your past entirely is not possible at all. You should leave that behind and focus on the good memories and the learning you had. 

Try to learn from all the mistakes you have made in the past and take small steps toward the future. 


Feeling trapped in a relationship can be really frustrating and depressive.

If you ever feel this way you should try to figure out the factors that are responsible for your thoughts and feelings.

If you can figure out the reasons it will be easier to find a solution. Reflect on yourself and try to understand all your needs and desires.

Do not rush into something instantly. Take your time and make your choices carefully.