Have a feeling your relationship might be unhealthy? Not sure why or what to do about it? Here are answers to some of the questions you may have.
1. What Is The Difference Between A Healthy And An Unhealthy Relationship?
A healthy relationship is characterized by respect. That is, respect for self and respect for the other. Self- respect is what will keep you from valuing yourself as an individual so as to not let yourself be exploited or manipulated by the other and respect for the other person will keep you from doing the same to them. A healthy relationship is also based in honesty and trust. An unhealthy relationship on the other hand is characterized by control, manipulation, distrust and fear.
2. Why Does It Matter?
Understanding the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships are necessary as many people don’t realize the detrimental effects an unhealthy relationship can have on them in the long run. Suffering in an unhealthy relationship for an extended period of time can cause severe damage to a person’s sense of self-worth and may cause them to lose their sense of identity as well.
3. Why Are Some Relationships Unhealthy?
Relationships become unhealthy because of the characteristics of the people in them. Sometimes, one partner is out of line or sometimes both partners are responsible for the unhealthiness of a relationship. Some of the reasons unhealthy relationships are formed are listed below.
A Desire To Change The Other Person
If you are in a relationship where either you or your partner are trying to change the other person, then this is a sign that the relationship isn’t healthy. In a healthy relationship you accept the other person as they are along with whatever quirks they may have. If you notice a behavior in your partner that causes a conflict in you, then talk to them about it. During the course of your discussion, you may realize something new you didn’t know before or may perhaps even inspire your partner to want to change the behavior in themselves. If your partner decides to change, you can be supportive of their decision. Ultimately, the decision to change must be an individual one and should not be forced onto another person.
Restricting Or Controlling The Other Person
You want to enroll in a class but your partner doesn’t want you to? Or your partner wants to vacation alone but you don’t want him/her to? It’s important to understand that restricting or controlling another person is not only wrong but also suggests that the person in question may have some insecurities that have to be dealt with. These insecurities may be financial, emotional, physical, etc. If you are being restricted and are unable to express yourself, it is essential that you get out of that environment and figure out how to help yourself or find a support system that can help you. By suppressing what you feel, you are putting your identity at stake. If you feel like you may be trying to control your partner, ask yourself why you are doing so. It will also help to talk to a professional to figure out the cause of the issue.
Lack Of Self-Sufficiency
To say the words “You complete me” might be popular and romantic but could cause serious problems if that is the principle that the relationship is based on. It is necessary to ensure that the individuals in a relationship are as self-sufficient as they can be. Don’t get into a relationship if what you are primarily looking for is security rather than wanting to be with that person. Many people get into relationships in hopes of being financially secure or because they can’t emotionally support themselves. If you are one of these people, it is best if you visit a professional and learn to be as self-sufficient as you can. At the end of the day, people have to be responsible for themselves. A healthy relationship is formed when two individuals who are completely capable of functioning on their own choose to be with each other regardless of their needs. When you have been in a relationship for a long time it’s very easy to become dependent on your partner for various things. Therefore it is recommended that you have quality time your yourself and do separate things once in awhile. This is to ensure that individual growth is not stunted.
It is important to evaluate whether your expectations in the relationship are reasonable. Sometimes we base our expectations on the upbringing we have had or from cues from the society around us. This is why everyone has different expectations and at different levels. The best thing that a couple can do is to talk about their expectations openly with each other. If these expectations are not clearly stated and mutually agreed upon, they may cause conflict later on.
4. Signs Your Relationship Is Unhealthy
Still not sure if your relationship is unhealthy? Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you figure it out. If you answer “Yes” to these questions, it is likely that your relationship is unhealthy.
Do you feel drained emotionally when you spend time with your partner?
Is your partner causing you to lose your sense of identity?
Do you feel stressed when you’re with your partner?
Are you scared to express what you feel to your partner?
Do you have negative feelings when you’re with your partner?
5. What Should You Do?
Many people find themselves in unhealthy relationships and can’t seem to figure out how they got there let alone how to get out. The first step to take if you are in an unhealthy relationship is to decide whether you are going to fix it yourself or if you need professional help. Many times, having another person to offer a different perspective goes a long way in terms of fixing the relationship. It is also important to acknowledge that some relationships cannot be fixed. If this is the case, it is essential to get out. There may be many factors that might prevent you from exiting the relationship like financial dependence or perhaps you don’t have the kind of support you need. Try your best to approach any kind of social support group that are willing to offer their services. Most importantly, value and respect yourself. You are a human being and do not deserve to be exploited.