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If you ignore these warning signs of unhealthy relationships, you set yourself up for future pain and heartache. After I describe the signs of an unhealthy relationship, I tell you how you can predict if your relationship will last.
Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can — and Should — Be Saved by Lundy Bancroft will help you see if your “unhealthy relationship” is really as unhealthy as you think it is. Below, I describe signs of unhealthy relationships, but it’s good to go beyond these signs. Sometimes we need guidance from an expert.
Here’s one of the best signs of a healthy relationship, from Winnie the Pooh: Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh!” he whispered. “Yes, Piglet?” “Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” ~ A.A. Milne.
In a healthy relationship, you feel sure of your partner without having to ask for reassurance. Do you feel secure, happy, fulfilled, and protected in your relationship? Maybe not – otherwise you wouldn’t be here, looking for signs of an unhealthy relationship.
10 Signs of Unhealthy Relationships
I think the worst sign of all types of unhealthy relationships is the first one: secrets. If you can’t talk about what your partner says and does to you, then it’s an unhealthy relationship. Another big sign of an unhealthy relationship is if you feel unhappy, insecure, and unloved when you’re with your partner. If this is the case, then maybe you need to think about starting over after an unhealthy relationship right now, and skip these signs!
1. You keep your partner’s actions and words a secret. If you can’t tell your family or friends about the things your boyfriend or husband says and does, then you may not be in a healthy loving relationship. If you lie to protect him, then it’s time to get out of that unhealthy relationship. You’re not just with the wrong guy…you’re being the wrong type of woman.
2. Your partner wants you to change. If your boyfriend or husband doesn’t love you as you are, run for the hills! This is one of the most important signs of unhealthy relationships: a man who doesn’t love or accept you as you are. Your boyfriend or husband should love you unconditionally, whether you’re rich or poor, big or small, or here or there. You know it’s time to get out when you can’t be yourself.
3. Your partner doesn’t trust you. Constant phone calls, demands on your time, and jealous fits are NOT signs of love! If your husband or boyfriend doesn’t trust you or accuses you of lying, then you need to re-evaluate your love. If he opens your mail or shows up at work unexpectedly, he doesn’t trust you. This is a sign of deep insecurity, which could lead to more serious relationship problems.
4. Your partner puts you down, in private or in front of others. If he calls you names, ridicules your thoughts or opinions, or makes you feel like a fool, then he’s no good for you! You’re better off to break up with him and start getting over your broken heart.
5. You don’t feel like an equal partner in your relationship. Does your husband or boyfriend make all the decisions – or do you? An unequal balance of power is a sign of an unhealthy relationship, and a sign it’s time to get out. If you aren’t being treated equally, read When to Leave a Relationship.
6. You and your partner don’t have the same long or short-term goals. If you can’t agree on financial issues, family matters, or goals for your future, then you may want to think twice about your relationship. Nobody has the exact same plans for the future, but the happiest couples have the same focus.
7. Your boyfriend says he loves you, but doesn’t act like he loves you. Believe his nonverbal behavior (his actions) over his verbal behavior (talk is cheap!). If he talks down to you, perhaps you need to learn what verbal abuse is.
8. You feel unhealthy, guilty, unhappy, depressed, or sad about your relationship. This tip is based on the quip from Piglet and Winnie the Pooh above. If you don’t feel secure, comfortable, and loved in your relationship, then you may be with the wrong guy. If you’re not happy, it’s a sign you’re in an unhealthy relationship and you should think about leaving.
If your boyfriend or husband makes you feel unhealthy about yourself, read The Verbally Abusive Man, Can He Change?: A Woman’s Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go by Patricia Evans. If you’re in an unhealthy relationship, learn how to empower yourself, improve your relationship, and change your life for the better.
9. Your family and friends aren’t supportive of your relationship. I don’t think we should choose our boyfriends or husbands based on our family and friends’ opinions, but I do think we should take their opinions into consideration! If your family or friends have strong reservations about your partner, I encourage you to ask for specific reasons. Find out the root of their feelings, and try to be objective.
10. You’re wondering about the warning signs of unhealthy relationships. The most important warning sign of love gone unhealthy is your gut feeling! Why are you worrying about your relationship? Would you want your sister, best friend, or daughter to be in this relationship? To find the strength and courage to either fix or leave an unhealthy relationship, you may need to talk to a marriage counselor.
The best way to predict if your relationship will last is to ask yourself if you’re willing to keep living with these signs of unhealthy relationships. What do you want from your relationship, your partner, your life? Claim it. Don’t be a passive observer of your own life!
If these signs of unhealthy relationships are pointing you out the door, read How to End a Relationship. I wrote it for a reader who knows his relationship is unhealthy, but fears being alone.
What do you think of these signs of unhealthy relationships? Comments welcome below.