Many people are in unhealthy relationships today, but stay because the relationship feels “normal”. There is a fundamental difference in what is normal and what is healthy. You may have seen unhealthy relationships when you were growing up and therefore it seems normal. Therefore, you may have found yourself repeatedly in negative relationships. It may almost feel like you keep dating the same person (personality characteristics) just with a different face. However, you can break the cycle and be in a healthy relationship! Some of the signs of an unhealthy relationship are when either you or your significant other:
1. Feel like you are constantly “walking on eggshells”.
2. Want to change your significant other.
3. Have cycles of breaking up and making up. (Breaking up when things get hard and getting back together when things “cool off”.)
4. Continually criticize one another.
5. Are contemptuous (call each other names.)
6. Are defensive or blame other party during arguments.
7. Are codependent.
8. Do not have separate identities.
9. Abuse one another sexually, verbally, or physically.
10. Try to control each another.
11. Have a lack of trust.
12. Have a lack of influence.
13. Have a lack of intimacy.
14. Have a lack of affection.
15. Going for a big reaction (blow up) rather than walking away when your significant other does not give a reaction.
16. Talking to other people about the relationship and your problems instead of your significant other.
17. Trying to “win” an argument rather than compromise.
18. Feels there is inequality in the relationship which leads to feeling unworthy.
19. Significant other cuts you off from your support system/family.
20. Points out defects.
21. Has empty threats or says they are leaving the relationship when in an argument.
22. Manipulate each another.
23. Feel like an object.
24. Have influenced each other more negatively than positively.
25. Do not want to leave the relationship due to convenience, feelings of guilt, or thinking there are no other options.
26. Are jealous.
27. Fight unfairly.
29. Are dishonest.
31. Have a lack of empathy.
32. Invalidate each other’s feelings.
33. Guilt each other.
34. Shame each other.
35. Feel trapped in the relationship.
36. Look into your significant other’s personal belongings, cell phone, or computer, or place a tracker to find “dirt”.
37. Feeling that your significant other completes you or that you can’t live without them.
38. Frequently putting significant other needs above your own.
39. Use intimidation.
40. Have poor conflict resolution skills.
41. Use the past as ammunition. (unforgiveness).
42. Have poor boundaries
43. One or both have withdrawn from the relationship,
44. Even when you are together you feel alone.
45. Have a “plan b” significant other in mind or thinking about other people.
46. Have resentment walls built up.
47. Have more damaging interactions than positive.
48. Feel the relationship is hectic/unbalanced.
49. Have quickly attached.
50. Shutdown when significant other shares emotions.
If you find yourself feeling hopeless or trapped in your relationship it is okay to get out. If you feel that you are in an unhealthy relationship it is okay to seek out the help of a professional. A therapist can help you sort out what attracts you to unhealthy relationships and what keeps you stuck in them. You can have a healthy relationship! My next blog will address reasons people stay in unhealthy relationships.