Many of us have been in a relationship that wasn’t exactly smooth sailing at some point or another. You might find yourself wondering if this is normal or healthy for a relationship. In some cases, it might just be a tough time for everyone involved, but in others, it could be a sign of something deeper. Luckily, there are warning signs and ways to get out.
A master manipulator can easily smooth talk their way past our alarm systems. If infiltrated by such a partner, it’s not always easy to see it or admit to ourselves what we’ve gotten into. A toxic relationship will have multiple red flags. There is an actual psychological issue some people have called Obsessive Love Disorder that is defined as a condition in which one person feels an overwhelming, obsessive desire to possess another person towards whom they feel a strong attraction, with an inability to accept failure or rejection.
A healthy relationship usually evolves over time and does not involve desperate intensity and infatuation. Unfortunately, we have romanticized obsessive love in literature and in Hollywood with works like Romeo and Juliet and the Joker and Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. This isn’t a healthy love, but it’s a mad love. There needs to be a balance between passion and reality.
A healthy relationship needs great communication and a fire. Here are 11 signs that you are in a toxic relationship.
1. Your partner actively tries to cut you off from your support network.
If you find your relationship with your family is being strained and friendships being destroyed, this is a major sign. The fewer people around you the more you’ll be likely to feel unable to leave your partner. It’s very calculated and it will get you.
2. You don’t have a sense of relationship security.
One day you’re in love and ready to plan your wedding on Pinterest and the next they’re screaming at you and telling you what a terrible person you are, slamming the door on their way out. Another sign of obsessive love disorder is a tendency to have extremely good or bad feelings about someone. If your partner has unbalanced feeling towards you, you can start getting paranoid or insecure about how they are feeling about you on any given day, which isn’t good for your mental health.
3. You feel worse about yourself as a person than when you started the relationship.
This is a big one that reflects back on the last point. Once someone begins breaking you down mentally, you will start to feel bad and question yourself, especially when there is such an erratic swing of moods in love from your partner. You know how you feel and where you stand, but going so high and so low so quick can have your head spinning like an intense roller coaster ride.
4. You’re unable to get your partner’s attention about important matters.
It’s only time to talk when he wants to talk. He never takes your feelings into consideration and if he’s not in the mood, you’re getting nowhere. Someone who loves you hears when you say something is important and will turn their attention to you. If it’s important to you it should be important to them. If they’re not giving you attention when you’re in pain, stressed, or just need to talk about an issue, that’s selfish and a major red flag.
5. It’s their way or the highway.
If you stay with someone like this, you’re only setting yourself up for failure. A healthy relationship involves two parties joining forces and compromising. If you always set aside your opinions because you must agree with your partner, you are eventually going to disappoint them because that’s not who you really are or how you really feel. If you can’t properly communicate or convey your thoughts because they block them out, it can never work.
6. You worry that your partner might get so angry they’d hurt you.
And you don’t know when that could happen.
7. Your partner keeps you at arm’s length emotionally. You don’t have a healthy sense of interdependence.
Are you constantly opening up and spilling your soul to your partner? Will they rarely reciprocate? Do you find that you go to them with problems or things you’re stressed about, but they aren’t confiding in you about their issues? A relationship needs a healthy balance of depending on one another and it shouldn’t feel one-sided.
8. They control you with kindness.
When things are going well, they will build you up and make you feel like a queen. This kindness is not to make you better, but to make you view them as your hero or your constant go-to person.
9. They love creating different standards.
“Girls’ night out? No way. You’re obviously going to cheat, but boys’ night is completely fine and you better get over it.” Totally fair, right? If you do something wrong, it’s the end of the world. If they do something wrong, you feel like you deserved it.
10. They are slowly changing you.
A skilled manipulator will make you think it’s what you want and it’s what’s best for you. Remember, it’s all about power and control. If you are starting to realize you aren’t dressing the way you used to or you feel on-edge being completely yourself for the fear of them judging you, then they are winning. You have to be yourself or you will end up feeling lost and stressed. A healthy relationship would allow you to speak your mind and make you feel comfortable.
11. They are holding your heart hostage.
The wrong person will know how to play your heartstrings so that you don’t want to live without them or so that you think you can’t live without them. You feel trapped because they’ve made you believe no one can love you like they can. But would a person who is in love be capable of doing all of these things listed above?
Being in an unhealthy relationship is dangerous to your wellbeing. It will diminish your growth and progress. In a healthy relationship, two partners will point out their flaws and speak about it amicably and realize where they’re wrong and then work to grow and change it. Chuck and Blair from Gossip Girl had an extremely unhealthy relationship filled with games and horrible communication. After years of fighting, figuring it out and introspective self-improvement, they ended up married with a child. Not all situations have no hope. There are resources like therapy, learning and time. If things aren’t looking up, sometimes you need to step out and look from a different perspective. It may be time to go.