15 Signs You’re The Therapist, Not The Partner

You care about your partner and want to support them, but sometimes it feels like you should be charging them by the hour because they’re always offloading their issues onto you. It’s so taxing! Here are 15 signs that your partner needs to find a qualified therapist and stop treating you like one.

1. Your partner only talks to you about their problems.


It sometimes feels like you and your partner only talk about their problems, like the bad day they had at the office or the fight they had with their mother. Even during chill moments, like when you’re out to dinner or going for a walk, they’ll find a way to steer the topic towards whatever they need help with.

2. Your partner dominates your time with their issues.

If your partner treats you like their on-call therapist, they might violate your personal boundaries, like when it comes to your alone time. Maybe they think it’s no big deal to show up at your house when you’re relaxing to vent about something that happened or ask you for advice, but it’s too much.

3. Your partner needs a lot of reassurance.

Does it sometimes feel like your partner needs you to boost their confidence or tell them everything is okay? This is understandable if they’re going through a tough time, but it becomes emotionally exhausting if other issues, like deep-seated insecurities or depression, are at play.

4. Your partner only talks about negative things.

You’re probably nostalgic for times when you and your partner could have fun and be silly together. That’s because these days they’re always carrying negativity around. They’re bringing too much of their drama and stress into your relationship, and it’s affecting your well-being.

5. Your partner needs lots of advice about every little thing.

It’s great to be asked for your advice because it makes you feel like your partner acknowledges and values you. But, you also want to be with someone who can stand on their own two feet. If they’re asking you for advice on every little thing, it starts to feel like overkill.

6. Your partner calls you at any hour of the day.

guy talking on phone looking depressed

You love your partner, but the late-night calls to vent or the “just need your thoughts” texts during your busy work hours are getting overwhelming. This is another example of how they’re crossing your boundaries and expecting you to neglect your needs to accommodate whatever they need at the moment.

7. Your partner never asks how you’re doing.

Family conflict. Offended spouses not talking to each other at marital therapy

If you’re always the one supporting your partner, it can start to feel like the relationship’s one-sided. When last did they ask you about your day? When last did they let you speak about your problems and want to support you emotionally? If you can’t remember when they were there for you, it’s unfair and they’re being selfish.

8. Your partner gives you TMI right away.

two female friends talking in a coffee shop

If you haven’t been dating for a long time, it can be unsettling when your partner dishes about their entire life story. You haven’t even got to the basics yet! This can make you feel trapped in the relationship and it could be a red flag that they lack emotional regulation and boundaries. Over time, they’re just going to keep oversharing and expecting you to lose your boundaries too.

9. Your partner gets mad if you don’t solve their problems.

woman looking at boyfriend side eyeistock

If you’ve been trying to support your partner but they become irritated or impatient with you when you don’t find a way to solve their problems, it’s so insulting. Just offering them emotional support is enough—you’re not qualified to help them sort out their lives, and it’s unfair for them to put such high expectations on you.

10. Your partner is draining you.

skeptical woman listening to man at cafe

When you’re expected to be there for your partner every second of the day and listen to their drama, it’s exhausting. While you might feel guilty for expressing this, you shouldn’t—you’re their partner, not their therapist! Your well-being matters just as much as theirs.

11. Your partner says they can’t function without you.

It’s nice to know that your partner loves you so much they can’t imagine a life without you in it. But, if they tell you that they couldn’t get through the day without you, that’s a lot of pressure and stress. They’re saying that your emotional support is the reason for their existence, which isn’t healthy. This can also be a manipulative tactic to keep you in the relationship.

12. Your partner doesn’t consider your needs.

If your partner is so obsessed with their feelings and needs, they may be pushing yours on the back burner. Maybe when you ask them for advice or express frustration about something, they shut you down or talk about themselves. It’s so frustrating and can make you feel invisible in the relationship.

13. Your partner monopolizes conversations.

Whenever you try to talk to your partner, it’s challenging because they dominate conversations. If they’re treating you like you’re hired to help them sort out their problems, they’re taking advantage of your kindness and excellent listening skills. It’s also selfish, interrupting you and not actively listening to what you have to say.

14. Your partner makes you feel responsible for their feelings.

Just because you’re with your partner, it doesn’t mean that they should expect you to make them happy/more adjusted/less anxious. Yes, you care about them and you want them to be healthy, but it’s not your responsibility. It’s also not your job to fix them and if they’re making you feel like it is, you should consider walking away before you completely lose yourself (and your sanity) in the relationship.

15. Your partner makes you feel guilty for having a life outside of the relationship

Maybe your partner gets angry when you have to work late or spend time with your friends, and it’s weighing you down. They might even guilt-trip you by claiming that they’re having a tough time and need you, just to keep you with them. This is unhealthy and controlling behavior, so it’s worth talking to someone about it to get a fresh perspective on your relationship.

Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.