The desire for love, acceptance and companionship are among the main reasons people enter into relationships. You don’t see an obvious fire and intentionally walk into it.
An unhealthy relationship is not like a raging fire-it is a raging fire and no one goes into it without coming out unscathed.
Some do not even come out at all as they do not live to tell the terrible story. The newspapers tell the sordid story on their behalf!!!!
A healthy relationship is meant to impact positively on the lives of the parties in such relationships. However, instead of providing succor, comfort, mutual positive growth and other positive benefits, some relationships drain all your positive energy, leaving you feeling physically and emotionally drained.
If you are yet to tie the knots with someone in a relationship and you notice many of the danger signs of unhealthy relationship given below, you had better caution yourself and take off before it’s too late and we start hearing stories that touch.
Danger signs of unhealthy relationship are:
- You deteriorate, rather than growing and flourishing: A positive relationship is meant to make you grow and flourish emotionally, physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. However, when the relationship you are into is constantly making you to deteriorate both in health and in total emotional well being, it is high time you reviewed it.
- Unhealthy criticism: A relationship that constantly keeps you on the receiving end of unhealthy criticism and personality attack from your partner is not worth your precious time and resources.
- Regular conflicts and constant arguments: It is true that there is hardly any relationship that is immune from conflicts and arguments. However, when conflicts and arguments are so regular in your relationship that you and your partner can hardly have some fun and peaceful moments devoid of quarrels, you guys need to fundamentally deal with it or reconsider your compatibility for a long-term relationship.
- Feeling stuck: A healthy relationship should make you to feel free to express your personality. When you feel stuck, caged and unduly enclosed in a relationship, you may need to address it with your partner or review the relationship.
- Emotional and physical abuse: Domestic violence cases has been on the increase recently. Information gathered from some victims of domestic violence shows that most of them saw red flags and danger signs of abuse in their partners but ignored such red flags and went ahead to commit to such partners for a long-term relationship. Some of such victims lived to tell their stories of regret while the unlucky ones were consumed in such expensive mistakes! If you find yourself in a relationship where you are physically abused, pleaseeeeee, flee as fast as you can to avoid stories that touch. Also, if you are being verbally and emotionally abused in a relationship, you need to seriously review such relationship because most verbal and emotional abuses not only destroy your self worth, they also graduate to physical abuse.
- Personality attack: This is also a form of emotional abuse that leaves you feeling worthless and useless. It is an obvious sign of an unhealthy relationship.
- Lack of acceptance: You don’t need to force yourself on someone, neither do you need to force somebody to accept you. Unconditional acceptance is vital part of a healthy relationship.
- Self devaluation: You don’t need to loose your self value or devalue yourself for your partner to feel valued. A relationship that leaves you constantly feeling devalued should be seriously reconsidered.
- Energy draining: A healthy relationship is meant to be symbiotic and not parasitic. It takes effort and energy to build an enduring healthy relationship. Also, a healthy relationship infuses you with positive energy that refreshes you. However, when your relationship constantly drains your energy, both physically and emotionally, you may need to reconsider your options.
- Lack of vulnerability: Vulnerability is a sign of a healthy relationship that allows you to freely express your fears and concerns before your partner. If you need to constantly feel like the strong guy or lady, conceal your emotions, and pretend all is always well, it is not a good sign. There should be unhindered open communication in a healthy relationship.
- Obvious selfishness: Sacrifice and compromise helps to build a healthy relationship.
- Being too judgemental: There is no price for winning an argument and loosing your partner.
- Jealousy and over possessiveness: There is a bit of jealousy in love. However, when your partner cannot stand seeing you have an innocent talk with an opposite gender, it becomes a problem. Over possessiveness is also sign of lack of trust in the relationship.
- Always being blamed: The truth is that you cannot be always right….or wrong for that matter.
- Neglect: If you are in a relationship where your partner consistently neglects you and always makes other people and activities their priority, it is an unhealthy sign. Partners in a healthy relationship make each other priority in all things.
If you have already committed yourself to a relationship (including marriage) with the above listed danger signs of unhealthy relationship, all hope is not lost. You and your partner can still rebuild your relationship. However, your first line of action if you are in a physically abusive relationship is safety. You can temporarily leave the site of the abuse, escalate the matter by speaking out to the right persons or institutions and get help.
Way forward for unhealthy relationships:
- Adopt constructive conflict resolution method, devoid of personality attacks and criticism.
- Choose to focus more on the positive attributes of yourselves, rather than concentrating on your faults.
- Be more sexually intimate with yourselves (this is for those in marriage). This will help to boost your marriage. Also, research shows that oxytocin hormone, (love hormone), which is released during sexual orgasm and intimacy, helps to lower the effects of cortisol hormone, which is a stress hormone. Increased sexual activity with your partner will make you feel more positive with your spouse.
- Have a heart to heart talk with your partner if possible. Sincerely and methodically present your fears during the discussion. Your talk should be devoid of blame apportionment. It should be a simple presentation of facts and how you feel about each other. Make yourselves as clear as possible and be candid. The attitude should be the one aimed at saving the relationship and not destroying it.
- You may also get a trusted and matured third party involved. The third party may be a matured and trusted family friend, clergy, elder or even a marriage counselor. I am hesitant in putting the parents because of the high possibility of bias. However, sometimes, the best person that fits this picture may be a very considerate and impartial parent. A good sign of healthy relationship is that each partner must have someone he/she respects. It is a dangerous sign to be in relationship with someone who lacks a person that he or she respects. An average human being must have a check and balance.
- Sometimes, the best option may be to temporarily check out of the relationship until things get better. When the toxic party realises what he or she is about losing, he or she may consider adjusting. As they say “absence makes the the heart fonder”. Also where parties are not yet married, the injured party may consider quitting altogether.