8 Signs You’re in Denial in Your Relationship

8 Signs You’re in Denial in Your Relationship 8 signs you’re in denial in your relationship
Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

A relationship is an investment, but not just an investment where you’ve banked your future, happiness, emotions, finances, and even your physical health, but also other countless sacrifices you’ve made. You may have sacrificed that promotion, those hobbies, those friends, or even family just so that you can build a happy home for your kids and your ‘love of your life.’

It’s a dangerous state for sure because we lose ourselves in those relationships until we even forget about ourselves, but that’s how we’ve been conditioned to look at relationships. Almost all of our beliefs (religious and all the rest of them) have conditioned us to look at relationships in terms of permanence and not in terms of how we’re treating ourselves or our relationship with ourselves.

That’s why you will fight and fight for the relationship to work, or you may just prefer the ‘easier’ route of denying the actual facts so as to maintain that ‘family’ unit or that investment. The idea of losing that investment you’ve built for a number of years is distorting your sense of reality; you can’t imagine yourself losing it.

You might have racked up loans (actual loans) just to get to the point you’re now. You also have the reputation to maintain in your community, and you don’t want your friends or those close to you to learn about your failed marriage. So, to escape all this, you choose to live in denial yet deep inside you’re in a lot of pain.

Being in denial is doing what it takes for the relationship to work, without thinking of it as an alternative. In this article, I’d like to share some signs that you’re in denial in your relationship and then later explore what you can do about it.

Are you in denial in your relationship?

1. You’re Giving Them Countless Chances

When someone keeps repeating the same undesirable behavior but you just forgive them, and you’ve even lost count of how many times you’ve done that. It’s become like an automatic aspect of the relationship, them making a mistake and you forgiving them or them making a mistake and apologizing, and you allowing them back into your life.

Most of the time, they’re not really changing their behavior, but because you’re in denial, you just want to try again and forgive them again and again. They will even think it’s okay to do what they’re doing as they know you will still forgive them. It’s more of a wild card to do as they wish, but the relationship must work.

2. You Ignore the Facts

You’re also in denial when you ignore the facts of the relationship. One common thing we mostly do is pretending that we’ve not seen something. We turn a blind eye to what’s happening in the relationship because if we scrutinize those issues and problems, it will mean the end of the relationship.

For example, you may have overheard that they’re seeing someone else behind your back, and so instead of raising that concern, you just sweep it under the rug as if you’ve not heard anything. A common one when it comes to toxic relationships is you may have done a little research and you think that your partner has some narcissistic traits, but you choose to ignore it because the investment is so much to lose.

3. You Rationalize Your Unhappiness and Emotions

You know you’re really unhappy in that relationship or how you’re being treated, but you justify that your unhappiness or stress is not coming from the relationship but from something else. You make things up in your head and even act as if you’re happy in the relationship. You even tell yourself that you’re just overreacting when you’re upset about some undesirable behavior by your partner.

4. You Make Excuses for Them

Every time they act undesirably or treat you in a way they’re not supposed to, you always have a justification for why they’re doing it. They themselves may not have really explained why they acted undesirably, but in your head, you make excuses for their behavior. The most common ones are, “It’s their depression that makes them act that way,” or “I’m sure they never meant that.” Check on cognitive dissonance here.

5. You Lash out at People who are Concerned about your Relationship

You may also be in denial if you lash out at your loved ones who express genuine concerns about your relationship. You do not even want to listen to them; you just feel that they want to ruin your relationship, and they don’t really understand.

You go to great lengths of even blocking them because they cannot ‘understand’ your partner more than you do. If you were not in denial, you wouldn’t even react to the situation, but them showing their genuine concerns is just triggering something which you already know. It’s stirring the pot.

6. You Avoid Talking about Issues in the Relationship

You are also in denial if you avoid talking or discussing any issues or concerns you have about the relationship. For the sake of maintaining that investment, you choose to just keep quiet about them as if nothing is happening. This is because the moment you talk about it, it might destroy that investment you hold dear.

You may even choose to talk about those issues with a third party and seek their advice but not the guilty party (your partner) because it may tear everything down. You just avoid any confrontation with them as much as possible.

7. You Want to Change them

You may also want to change them so badly because of how they’re behaving even when they don’t show any initiative to correct their undesirable behaviors. You talk to them about therapy or you even pray for them but all is in vain.

You’ve tried setting ultimatums but nothing is working because they just don’t want to change. You’re in denial when you want to save someone who doesn’t want to save themselves. It simply shows that your denial is so strong that you want them to change yet all along the one who needs to change is you.

8. You Exaggerate Every Small Glimpse of Change or Affection

Your unhealthy relationship will have some good days where your partner may show brief glimpses of affection or change. They may buy you a rare gift, say some sweet words, or just anything out of the normal undesirable behaviors. It’s more of being fed with love from a teaspoon. When those affectionate moments happen once in a blue moon, you hold them so dear and you even forget how they’ve been treating you.

This is because your standards have gone so low and you’re now used to that. When you make a big deal out of their rare moments, you’re in denial of what’s really happening in that relationship. One small act of affection doesn’t rub out what you experience on a daily basis.


There are many signs that you’re in denial in a relationship, but the only one who can know this is you, and you can tell this by just looking at the facts and how you feel deep inside. Your mind will justify and make excuses aimed at preserving the relationship, but when you just look at the facts plainly without rationalizing, you will understand that you’re in denial. The thing is, the denial of the facts does not change the facts, and it’s just eating you on the inside. When you realize that your relationship is not working and you really want to preserve it, take measures to do that.

You can talk about it with your partner or you can seek help instead of just being in pain or sweeping things under the rug. If that’s really, really not possible because you feel that you will lose that investment, then it already means that you’ve lost that investment. Living unhappily in a relationship that is not working is just like being on a ship that is sinking slowly. It may look safe, but you will ultimately drown if you don’t seek help or you don’t accept the facts.

You might think that you’re losing that investment if you leave, but you also need to realize that by staying and being in denial, you’re still investing more and more in a ship which ultimately sinks with you in it. So, if it’s not working, it’s not working. Always prioritize the relationship you have with yourself or the investment you’re making in yourself because without the investor, there will be no investment.

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns , then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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