James M. Sama makes clear that you don’t need physical violence for a relationship to be unhealthy, and guys can be hurt, too.
This is a very difficult topic to discuss – because you’ve got to be sensitive to people’s feelings, but at the same time, give them a dose of reality.
It’s both disappointing and unfortunate to see how many abusive relationships are happening on a daily basis, and thought to be normal.
It’s important to note that you don’t need physical violence in order to have an abusive relationship. And don’t forget, both men and women can be guilty of this.
If you are made to feel any of the following ways or recognize any of the following things, then you truly need to take a step back, put your emotions aside, and ask yourself what your partner is really bringing to your life.
– You always feel guilty, but don’t know why. –
Is your partner always making you feel as though you did something wrong, but you genuinely can’t understand why? There are people who literally seek out and find issues, and when they can’t find one – they create them. This is not the type of person who will change out of the blue and you need to get away from them.
– They’re obsessively jealous. –
It’s okay to be ‘kinda sorta’ jealous. Jealous in a way that says “I care about you” – but jealous in the way that says “I don’t want you talking to any other guy/girl, definitely not hanging out with them, and in fact, take their contact information out of your phone” is a red flag of someone who is illogically jealous and will slowly whittle your social life down to nothing – unless it includes them. Run.
– You’re paranoid about leaving your phone around. –
In 9 months of dating neither my girlfriend nor myself have ever locked our phones or worried about leaving them around. When I text someone I don’t care if she sees the screen. If you are genuinely doing nothing wrong but are still worried about your partner snooping through your phone and asking you about what they find – you are not in the wrong, they have crossed the line and invaded your privacy.
– It’s always your fault. –
Nobody is perfect. If you’re in a relationship with multiple conflicts and you find that they arise 100% of the time because of something you’ve been accused of doing (that you really didn’t do) then you need to walk (run) away, because it won’t stop.
– You’re always the one going back. –
The frequent pattern of breaking up and getting back together is, by itself, a huge red flag for an unhealthy relationship. However, when you find yourself to always be the one running back to the person to apologize, even when you weren’t at fault – you absolutely need to take a breather and use your mind.
– You’re never good enough. –
Are you discouraged from following your goals or dreams? Even if it’s indirect, do you feel like you’ve actually lost self-confidence because of your relationship? A healthy couple will support and encourage each other. Build each other up. Cheer each other on as they follow their dreams. Not the other way around.
– You no longer do what you love. –
Do you have passions and hobbies that your partner doesn’t approve of because of who’s around you or where you go? If what you’re doing is inherently innocent, they should have no issue with it. Every relationship requires compromise, but if you give up doing everything and essentially become a willing prisoner in an effort to avoid a fight, this is not normal.
– You never know when they’re going to explode. –
Are you always walking on eggshells because you don’t know when your partner’s next insecurity will arise in the form of an accusation? This is no way to live. You deserve better.
That is not what a healthy relationship looks like.
There are obviously thousands of more signs that can be seen as red flags to a negative relationship – but I find that some of these above are ones that typically pass off as “normal” and people don’t realize that they are being mentally or emotionally abused.
Please, please, please – have the respect for yourself to walk away from a situation like this. It may be hard and you may be afraid to confront your partner about your feelings (another red flag) but you will thank yourself in the long run.
Originally appeared on James M. Sama’s blog.
Photo: Flickr/Mirøslav Hristøff