People enter into and stay in unhealthy relationships for many reasons. Sometimes you may not realize the level of unhealthiness that your relationship has reached. Other times, despite the dysfunction, you are comfortable and assume that all relationships are unhealthy so “why even bother finding someone new!” Friends, let me tell you. There are healthy partners out there. You may have to patiently remain single for awhile before finding that person but believe me, the payoff is so worth it. Not to mention, you’re worth it and you deserve happiness!
If you’ve been struggling with your relationship or perhaps you feel like you could use some quick reminders on what unhealthy relationships look like then read along…
5 signs of an unhealthy relationship:
1. You don’t consider each other in important decisions.
A true partnership is just that: a partnership. You wouldn’t decide to sell your half of the business without consulting your business partner first, would you? The same goes for your romantic relationship. If your life partner is discussing a move 1200 miles away and you’re not in the equation, this is a big glaring sign that this relationship is not on the right track. For a relationship to stay healthy and continue to work, partners must consider each other in every decision that they make. Why? Because what one person does will ultimately affect the other.
2. You don’t communicate with each other.
So you feel neglected by your partner’s busy career? Instead of communicating openly about how you feel, you decide to take a vacation away from your partner for a week, avoiding the issue and hoping that it will just work itself out when you return. Uh-uh.
A healthy partnership is based upon respect, concern, and open communication with one another.
If you’re not able to communicate with your partner about how you feel and vice versa, then this will be a short lived relationship, or perhaps a long-lasting, yet very unhappy relationship where you feel that your needs are never really being met.
3. You don’t fight fair.
In all relationships, there will be times where you just flat out do not agree with one another. However, there is an art to fighting fairly.
If you or your partner are constantly bringing up events from the past, name-calling, and or stone-walling (shutting down and refusing to communicate, much like point number 2), then you are definitely in the thick of an unhealthy relationship.
Learning how to resolve conflict and disagreements within your relationship is much like building the foundation for a house. It has to be there or the house will crumble. If you have children, then they learn how mom and dad resolve (or refuse to resolve) conflict and ultimately the cycle just continues itself.
Learn to fight fair. Listen attentively, allow your partner to speak, think before you speak, and stay in the here and now. If there are issues from the past that have never been resolved, then I urge you to go to a therapist and discuss them, then agree to let them go and move forward.
4. One or both of you are cheating (this includes emotional infidelity).
I am of the mindset that if you’re cheating, you’re feeding some sort of void in your relationship or within yourself.
Maybe you are the eternal ladies man that needs to receive validation from women and one woman is not enough, yet you decided to get married thinking that “marriage will fix me”. Being the eternal ladies man (or woman!) could be a completely separate point in and of itself, but the key point here is that: problems you have before you marry will only follow you after you get married (unless they are dealt with beforehand).
You must deal with personal issues prior to becoming united in holy matrimony because marriage will only magnify your issues. Having another person that is always around you is kind of like having a mirror to look at all the time. There will be times where you may get called out for doing something that you didn’t even realize you were doing!
A good relationship/marriage is not always easy, but if you allow it to-marriage can help you become a better person. If you’re not ready to be an open communicator and a faithful partner, then it’s not for you. Remember, if you are feeling the need to stray from your relationship or you already are being unfaithful, this is surely a sign that you and your relationship are not in a healthy place. If both of you are cheating, then why continue being with each other!?
5. Abuse is present.
Any kind of abuse–emotional, mental, physical, and/or economic/financial–is never acceptable.
Making degrading statements to your partner, withholding finances so that your partner must beg you for money to buy groceries, and or having someone physically harm you in any way is surely the biggest indicator that you are in an unhealthy relationship. Abuse can manifest itself in so many ways–from being controlling, jealous, and possessive, to name-calling, and hitting–not one form of abuse fits all.
Typically abuse is insidious, creeping in slowly and by that time, you may already be “hooked”—fallen in love and or at the point where you feel too old to find anyone else, feel like you’ve already invested so much time in this relationship it’s pointless to leave. Maybe you have been told by your partner that “no one will ever love you”. If any of these apply to you, you must know that it is never too late.
I wish that men and women would leave at the first sign of abuse, yet sadly, this is hardly ever the case. Months and even years often pass with the cycle of abuse occurring and each time the person is getting deeper and deeper into the relationship.
You deserve peace, happiness, and a healthy relationship in your life.
If you are encountering any kind of abuse and need further assistance, please reach out to the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for support.
Tying it all together…
A relationship is a partnership. If you’re not considering one another in your life’s plans, not communicating, not fighting fairly, cheating, and any kind of abuse is occurring, these are clear indications that your relationship is not healthy.
I completely believe in the power of change and improvement, but a relationship can only get better if both parties are willing to put in work. Of course, you can only control yourself so there is always the possibility that by you making positive changes, it will spur your partner on to be healthier, but this is not always the case.
If you’re newly dating someone and these issues are coming up, then it’s time for you to make a choice! You can remove yourself from an unhealthy relationship before you get too deep into it. or you can invest even more time into the relationship to see if it “gets better”.
The longer you stay in, the harder it is to get out.
Allow yourself to be treated the way that you should. You may have gone through some horrific situations as a child or teenager, but as an adult, you finally have more control in what and who you allow in your life. Take advantage of this. And in the end, if you need to be by yourself for a while then so be it.
Consider this: It’s better to be alone than in an unhealthy relationship…
Empowering you to have healthy relationships in your life today and everyday,