Sunday, October 28, 2012

Signs That Your Relationship Could be in Danger.

Call them "love blinders" or whatever you want, but oftentimes, if you're in an unhealthy relationship, it's hard to see and admit that fact. Whether you choose to break up or work on improving things, the first step to achieving your potential happiness is recognizing that things aren't how they should be. The red flags of an unhealthy relationship have been weighed, and what you should know not to stand for:

1. You Feel Limited in Your Own Potential
Unhealthy relationships stifle one another's growth and see the growth of each individual as a threat to the relationship. If you have a partner who is threatened by your desire to pursue higher learning or to go after a promotion to a more challenging position at work, a partner who puts you down when you express your opinions, ideas, or preferences, or generally derides them as "stupid" or "foolish," this is a sure sign of an unhealthy relationship.

It's important to be with a partner who brings out the best in us, and to feel comfortable being the best version of ourselves with that person.

2. You Feel Anxious or Always At Fault
If you are always anxious about what your partner is doing or how they feel for you, this will eat away at the relationship and your own sense of self. It's important to determine what the root of the anxiety is-is it your own insecurities and unresolved issues or is your partner behaving poorly and giving you good reason to feel anxious all the time? If it's the latter, this needs to be addressed.

Is your partner constantly making you feel guilty for any slight misstep? When you try to confront your partner about something they did, do they find a way to turn it around and make you feel badly? It is important that both parties can take responsibilities for their actions and that there is an even distribution of power.

3. You're Investing More
If someone tells you that they are interested in a relationship but their actions do not match their words, that is important information. This person may have commitment or intimacy issues, and you can address them and see if change occurs. Be mindful if you find yourself continuously attracted to people who are emotionally unavailable. Perhaps you do not feel you are worthy of receiving love, or maybe you are afraid to let someone truly see you.

All relationships require effort by both parties. Unequal effort = unhealthy relationship. If your partner isn't putting equal effort into making the relationship work, the potential lifespan of your relationship is limited…Furthermore, if you are the one doing most of the work you are going to end up feeling resentful and exhausted.

4. You're in a Relationship with Who Your Partner Could Be, Not Who They Are Now
One of the things I hear most often from people who stayed in unhealthy relationships too long is, "I just kept waiting for my partner to change but they never did and eventually I just couldn't take it anymore." Just because we love and care about someone doesn't mean they are right for us…There may be some minor things that annoy us that can be worked on to alter the relationship in a positive direction, but for the most part your partner should not violate any of your deal-breakers. Instead of wasting time waiting around for your partner to change, get out there and meet other people who better fit what you are looking for.

5. You Can't Express Yourself Authentically
Some types of unhealthy relationships are characterized by silent desperation borne of a fear of expressing ones true self, a kind of conflict avoidance in extreme. These couples do not suffer from contemptuousness as much as they suffer from a genuine warmth and intimacy; there is a sense of coldness and distance that characterizes this type of unhealthy relationship that stems from a distrust that the other person can really accept them for who they are, or that the relationship can tolerate conflict of any kind.

6. There's Physical, Verbal or Emotional Abuse
No one has the right to hurt, demean, humiliate, or threaten you. No matter what your partner may promise you this behavior is likely to continue. For your own safety and well-being you need to leave the relationship as soon as possible. Leaving a harmful relationship can be very difficult because the abuse comprises our own sense of worth.