It is often easy to tell someone else that they are in an unhealthy relationship but when it comes to taking a good look at your own relationship it may not be quite so simple. This is usually because you are so emotionally invested in your relationship that you may not be able to see the truth. For this reason it is sometimes necessary to try and separate your emotions from what you know is real. In order to realize that your relationship is unhealthy you may be forced to take a good look at things you may find painful to see. There are a lot of signs that we often miss or ignore as it is easier that way. However, our remaining in a relationship which is unhealthy is a disservice not only to ourselves but also to our partners. If you have been experiencing any of the following issues in your relationship, you may want to consider the possibility that your relationship either needs work or needs to end altogether.
How Do You Relate to Each Other?
Most of the time good friendships are filled with openness and honesty, as well as a desire to share experiences and communicate about many things, including whatever events have taken place throughout the day. An intimate relationship should have the same qualities and then some. If your relationship feels like it is one sided, in that you are the only one who shows any type of interest in talking and sharing your life, this could be a very unhealthy sign. The way you relate to each other as a couple says a lot about the type of relationship you have. If you find that you are always on two different pages no matter what the issue is, this can be frustrating and ultimately disappointing. In addition, people who do not coincide well but stay together just out of habit may find that they have absolutely no interest in going out, interacting or even having sex with their partner anymore. This is not what a healthy relationship looks like. No one should settle for this, day in and day out. If you cannot find a way to mesh with each other and find some sort of common ground in the way you relate to each other, then you may just be fooling yourselves by staying together.
An Absence of Nurturing
Some people believe that in order to be abused you must be hit or physically harmed in some way but this is simply not true. Abuse has all kinds of faces and comes in many different forms. One form of abuse that people seem to tolerate and even ignore is when their partner is cold, neglectful and indifferent toward them. An intimate partner should be someone who you can turn to when you have had a horrible day and that person should make you feel better, not worse. In the same way an intimate partner should be capable of nurturing you when you are not feeling well or just need a shoulder to cry on. If you have a partner who not only fails to listen when you try to tell him or her about something that has upset you but even finds a way to make you feel worse, this is not healthy at all. Basically, if you find that you are left feeling bad when you are around your partner, this is something that should be addressed. Sadly, if someone is being mean and uncaring with you, it may be time to realize that perhaps that person does not love you as much as you need him or her to.
You Are Not a Priority
When you are in an intimate relation with someone, such as a marriage or exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend situation, you should be made to feel as if you come first and there is nothing that is more important than you and your happiness. This is not to say that your partner may not have other things that he/she needs to focus on, especially if there are children in the home. However, you should not always come second or third to your partner's job or friends. If you find that your partner is always putting something else before you and your needs, then something is very wrong. Unfortunately, this is not something you can change. Either someone is going to find you important or they are not. It is up to you to decide where you are comfortable placing in your partner's life and priorities.
No Joy in the Relationship
Your relationship does not have to include abuse or arguing in order to be unhappy or unhealthy. Simply having an overall feeling that you are bored and unhappy with your relationship should be a red flag. While it is true that the honeymoon will end at some point and you must face the real world, this does not mean that all of the joy should be gone from your relationship. Some people stay in relationships for all the wrong reasons. Some of the time people stay in relationships because they have grown comfortable and have developed a habit. It is important to remember that you only have one life and is meant to be lived. If you are in a relationship that never makes you happy and you find yourself even dreading coming home sometimes, this is surely a sign of an unhealthy relationship. Keep in mind that often couples to go through periods where things seem to stand still for them and their relationship. If at the end of the day you have tried everything you know to find joy in your relationship and cannot, it may be time for you to examine your options.
Jealousy and Possessiveness
One of the biggest signs that your relationship is in trouble is when one of you has become so dependent on the relationship that you cannot live without the other person. This means that you will find yourself doing things like monitoring your partner's behavior, snooping through his or her things, sneaking into his or her e-mail accounts and carrying out a variety of other spying techniques. You also may find that no matter what your partner does to try and reassure you, you cannot resist the temptation to know his or her whereabouts at every moment of every day. No relationship should be built on this kind of mistrust. If you have a partner who you feel you cannot trust to be faithful, you must ask yourself what you are doing there first place.
There are many other signs that a relationship is not healthy. But as a general rule of thumb if your relationship is causing you more pain than joy, it may be time to move on. It is not always easy to leave a relationship, especially if you have been in it for a long time. However, it is important to remember that you owe it to your self and your partner to walk away from an unhealthy relationship.