Making a relationship work takes a lot of effort, especially an unhealthy relationship.
When you first start dating someone, the sky is bluer than ever, and there isn’t a thing in the world that can bring down your feelings of pure euphoria. The world if perfect, life is beautiful, and all of the birds are chirping a song of love specifically written for you.
Being with the right person is meant to be an exciting adventure full of joy and laughter. It’s meant to make you feel so full and happy that your heart feels like it’s going to burst. It’s a love that is only read about in fairytales and seen in films at the theatre.
New love makes you feel so warm and fuzzy inside—kind of like you’re living in an ice cream castle with rainbow unicorns frolicking through a field of sprinkles. Knowing that this person decided to love you makes you feel an over-the-moon type of joy.
REALITY CHECK: In an unhealthy relationship, things may only seem this way at first…
Yeah, even with all the cotton candy and fields of flowers you notice several things that rub you the wrong way, but you choose to ignore them. Why? Because he’s too perfect to be bothered by things that initially seem so insignificant.
Over time, things change. The warm and fuzzies slowly fade, and the “amazing” person you committed to doesn’t treat you so well anymore. It’s killer—it literally destroys your heart and soul.
So you start to realize that love isn’t enough.
I was once in a relationship that took a similar course—a seriously downhill course. And let me tell you, it got worse than I could have ever imagined…
As many millennial women are today, I am educated, outspoken, and opinionated, however, my voice was stifled and what I had to say “didn’t matter.” Nonetheless, I continually fought for what I felt was right. After a long and hard internal (and external) battle, I finally decided to end things.
I had a hard time believing, like many other people in my life, that the man I thought was so right couldn’t have been more wrong…
10 signs that you’re in an unhealthy relationship:
The power struggle
No matter what the situation, there’s always a battle for control. Decisions are not made jointly, but rather, solely by one person—typically your partner. When you decide to stand your ground, you find yourself in massive, destructive arguments. Nothing is solved, and you most likely feel hurt, frustrated, and unheard.
The insecure partner
This can have a very serious effect on the relationship. Being with someone who is not comfortable in his or her own skin, or even worse, intimidated by your success, can be detrimental to both individuals and the relationship.
To feel better, your partner might say or do hurtful things that will imply that you are small or insignificant. Not only does this destroy the trust in your relationship, but it can also cause feelings of shame, resentment, and decreased self-esteem. Healthy? Don’t think so…
Not being the priority
Always being last in line on the list of important people is hurtful. When it comes to your partner’s life, it’s possible that everyone and everything is put before you and your relationship. Relationships should be built collectively, with you and your partner walking through life side-by-side. You are not meant to be an added character in your love story—you should be one of the leads.
You’re constantly bickering over little insignificant things, and discussions aren’t even an option because things escalate so quickly. Constantly communicating in a manner such as this one is not healthy, by any means.
In order to make your partner happy, you compromise. You begin to give up too much, and before you know it, you realize that you’re the only person making sacrifices. You wake up one day and you’ve lost sight of what you want and need.
If your partner loved you and respected your individuality, this wouldn’t happen. It takes two to tango, and it’s always a two-way street.
Think of the Venn diagram—you give so much of yourself because you think it will benefit your relationship, but rather, you’re only chipping away at the parts that make you who you are—your interests, your goals, your happiness.
Couples are meant to grow with one another. In order to build a strong bond, relationships aren’t meant to crush existing aspects of each individual’s life. It is important to always maintain parts of your own identity. Refrain from adopting your partner’s identity and way of life, although they might desire it. Be sure to find a balance.
Lack of communication
You express yourself, but it feels like you never actually said anything. It’s as though your voice, opinions, and needs don’t matter. This is absolutely unacceptable. It’s possible that your partner may not care enough to listen, or that he or she is simply unwilling to consider your needs.
Your voice is who you are—if your partner doesn’t take the time to hear you, they don’t deserve you.
Walking on eggshells
You find yourself constantly walking on eggshells. You will literally do anything to keep the boat steady and avoid an argument. Love is about being open, honest, and feeling comfortable and trusting enough to rock the boat. Thoughts and feelings are meant to be heard, respected, and nurtured, not suppressed.
Everything you say is either ignored or questioned, so you begin to think twice about your choices. Whether needing to second-guess your words or actions, or wondering if you should even speak at all, you consider the possible negative effects and if an issue might arise.
Ah, resentment—the game-changer. Before you know it, you’re in a love-hate relationship—the kind that makes you feel stuck. Is it the love or hate that’s sticking? Which is it?
The take away here is that love isn’t enough. Know when to cut your losses and save yourself. If someone isn’t willing to make you a priority, hear you, and love you, it’s time to take care of yourself…
**Abuse or mistreatment of any form is not okay. If you ever need help or have concerns about a loved one, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline
Decided to walk away and end your relationship? Let’s talk about how to best cope with a break-up…