Managing and nurturing a relationship is no easy task. Everyone goes through ups and downs, and it’s a rare couple that hasn’t bickered over money, housework or other hot button issues. But what happens when a relationship crosses the line and becomes unhealthy? Here are ten questions to ask yourself about the health of your relationship.
1. Your Overall Feelings: Do you experience happiness or dread at the thought of going home to your partner?
2. Verbal Abuse: Do you or your partner shout or berate eachother? Do you call eachother names or issue insults in public or in private?
3. Aggression and Uncontrolled Anger: Are you verbally threatened or do you feel scared to act or say anything for fear of angering your partner? Do you think he feels the same about you?
4. Constant Conflicts: Are you constantly fighting with your partner? After arguing, do you feel regret about your own behaviour, and/or do you feel drained, humiliated or hurt by his behaviour?
5. Posessiveness: Do you often suspect and accuse eachother of infidelity? Is permission required for the other to see friends and family?
6. Lack of Confidence: Do you stay only because you fear being alone? Does he make you feel unattractive, stupid and unwanted? Do you make him feel that way?
7. Life Goals: Is your partner supportive of your dreams and career aspirations? Are you supportive of his? Do you belittle his achievements and get jealous of his success? Does he treat you the same way?
8. Negative Feelings: Do you often feel lonely, embarrassed or trapped?
9. Blackmail: Have your considered leaving your partner but feel you cannot because he threatens to harm you or himself? Have you done the same to him?
10. Conditional Love: Do you feel you need to change who you are in order to please your partner? Do you think he feels that way about you? Are you comfortable being yourselves in eachother’s presence?
Remember: a toxic relationship breeds constant negativity that leaves you tired, empty and robbed of joy to enjoy life. If you think your partner is toxic, it may be related to issues like substance or alcohol abuse, financial hardship, personal loss, depression or being laid off or fired. However, these are not excuses. Just because you love someone doesn’t give him permission to abuse you. And on the flip side, if you’re having toxic reactions to your partner, consider that he may not be a suitable match for you if he triggers that behaviour.
If you feel the relationship is worth salvaging and you’re both committed to change, seek immediate help in professional counselling. Second chances are possible, but only in a loving, caring and respectful relationship. Don’t just hope for a change. Take action to put an end to destructive behavior.