They say love is blind. And boy, is that the truth! Sometimes we get so caught up in love that we cannot see our partner’s faults as well as the bigger picture. This includes whether a relationship is serving us as individuals. Therefore, it helps to regularly assess your relationship, both individually and as a couple.
Today we’re discussing healthy vs. unhealthy relationships along with the negative impact a bad relationship can have on your mental health. Plus, some of the most common, and most ignored, red flags in relationships!
8 Signs You’re In An Unhealthy Relationship
Unless you’re a psychologist, it’s hard to identify healthy vs. unhealthy relationships and what aspects of a relationship should change. Keep an eye out for these common red flags!
1. You Constantly Feel Unhappy
Feeling unhappy on the regular is a red flag. But sometimes we convince ourselves to overlook these emotions. Remember, good times still exist or there are other areas of the relationship that you excel at as a couple. Unfortunately, relying on the good times can be a patch that’s bound to fail. Be realistic about the long-term, including whether the mental gymnastics are worth the relationship.
2. You Have Nothing to Talk About
Sometimes a relationship starts strong before fizzling out. You go from talking about anything and everything to scratching your brain for conversation. It seems like you have nothing to talk about or have anything in common anymore. But what could have changed? Often, it’s simply the excitement for a new relationship. Or perhaps the conversation is one-sided. Your partner only talks about themselves, and you find yourself drained from constantly supporting them while receiving no support in return.
3. You Can’t Tell Your Partner How You Feel
Feeling as though you can’t be honest with your partner is a huge red flag of an unhealthy relationship. It’s one thing to take time to open and up and be honest. But it’s another to fear retaliation, a lack of empathy, or criticism. Even worse, you may end up adapting to their response and feel less confident in the ability to advocate for yourself. This can be the beginning of manipulation or controlling behavior.
4. Your Partner Always Has to Get Their Way
In a healthy relationship, people express care for one another by a willingness to compromise. It can be a huge indicator of an unhealthy relationship if the compromise is one-sided. That is, you’re always the one giving in to what your partner wants. This can leave you feeling unheard and as though you are unequal. In the long run, this can cause you to resent your partner, starting a downhill spiral. Your wants and needs are as important as your partners, and if they cared as much as you, then they too would compromise.
5. You Lack Trust
Trust is the foundation for a healthy relationship. If your partner has given you a genuine reason not to trust them, especially more than once, it can cripple your chances of success. Unfortunately, trust is hard to gain and easy to lose. And it takes hard work on both people’s ends. A lack of trust can have a tremendous impact on your mental health and self-esteem, which can leave you feeling stressed and angry constantly. It can get exhausting!
6. Your Self-Esteem Has Changed
There is a wide range of reasons that a relationship can lower your self-esteem. Maybe your partner constantly puts you down. Maybe they don’t trust you and express it regularly. Regardless of the reason, you must make it known that they are crippling your self-worth. In a healthy relationship, people lift one another and support them for who they are. If your partner is outright unwilling to acknowledge or address the ways in which they are putting you down, then it may be time to call it quits.
7. They Refuse to Take Responsibility or Apologize
If there is one personality trait that screams negative, it’s that a person cannot take responsibility or apologize. Remember, this it the adult thing to do after all! Granted, it’s fine to advocate for yourself when necessary. But taking responsibility now and again creates trust and dependability. It shows a willingness to be honest and vulnerable, which will encourage your partner to come to you more. If your partner can’t or is unwilling to do this, it can be frustrating and even detrimental to your relationship.
8. Controlling Behavior
Another serious red flag that is easy to overlook is controlling behavior. Controlling behaviors can start small but escalate quickly. These behaviors can range from insisting that they get their way every time to dictating where you can go and when. Controlling behavior can quickly become abusive and is usually noticed by friends before the person who is actually in the relationship. Listen to the people around you and make the boundaries clear in your relationship.
Leaving a relationship is never easy, but you must advocate for yourself. One of the best ways to end an unhealthy relationship is to surround yourself with support. You’ll need help to confidently move on from this stage of your life, so accept love from those who give it. Some people can find it difficult to put themselves first, but at a time like this, it’s essential. All too often we guilt ourselves into staying in a relationship. But you should treat yourself the same way that you would treat someone whom you cared for. So end the relationship and make a clean break. Don’t try to stay friends. It’s not worth the risk to your mental health, and it’s unfair to the people who supported you throughout the breakup. Finally, find a way to fill the void. Following a break up, you may feel that there is too much free time on your hands. Find positive and fulfilling ways to spend it, including working on yourself, pursuing your passions, or directing energy towards other relationships.
We hope that this information on healthy vs. unhealthy relationships helped you! Beyond that, the next helpful steps might include seeking personal or relationship counseling.
Leaving an abusive relationship is a highly personal, individual decision, but all survivors benefit from having trusted people during this time. If you need the assistance of an advocate, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline.