The following six signs are clear indicators that your relationship may be doing more harm than good.
1. Your relationship is filled with contempt
By definition, contempt is “the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving of scorn”. Contempt is far worse than anger or blame. Renowned relationship expert John Gottman even claims that any feeling of contempt is a clear indicator that a relationship will not succeed.
If your partner believes he/she is better than you (or vice versa), your relationship is destined for failure. By maintaining they are better than their partner, the person with the feelings of contempt will continually make their partner feel inadequate.
Contempt can manifest in a variety of ways. Any sense that one person believes they’re smarter, more attractive, holds a more important job or feels as though they’re superior to their partner are examples of contempt in an unhealthy relationship.
2. Failure to admit when someone is wrong
Noone likes people who just can’t admit when they’ve made a mistake. This can be especially frustrating in a relationship. Nobody is perfect, and each of us will mess up at some point. Our mistakes don’t necessarily determine an unhealthy relationship, but our responses to them do. If you and/or your partner refuse to acknowledge when you’re wrong or mistaken, you will build up distrust and resentment toward one another. While some degree of stubbornness can occur in a relationship, ongoing refusal to admit to your faults will cause your relationship to head south.
3. You have poor communication skills
Conflict (to an extent) is actually healthy in relationships. We are all different and therefore are bound to have different beliefs and opinions. However, the way you discuss these beliefs and opinions can reveal a lot about the success of your relationship. If you are constantly arguing, continually having the same fight, or can never seem to disagree without devolving into disrespect, you may be in an unhealthy relationship.
4. You don’t trust one another
Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship; feeling like you can’t confide in your partner is a clear sign that something’s wrong. You should be able to share your deepest secrets and desires with your partner without fear of judgment or betrayal on their part. Your partner should generally be the first person you want to share your news with, good and bad. Unhealthy relationships retain little or no trust between partners.
5. There are signs of abuse
While physical abuse is most commonly regarded as a sign of an unhealthy relationship, emotional abuse can be equally traumatizing. A partner who uses insults, isolation tactics, or financial manipulation against you is just as abusive as a physical abuser. If you or your partner are maliciously doing things just to spite and hurt one another, it’s time to step away. This can be incredibly damaging to your relationship and escalate to dangerous levels.
6. You are always together
Wanting to spend the majority of your time with your partner is natural; the need to spend every waking second together, however, is not.
Just as relationships that lack communication and trust are toxic, so are those that require continual attachment and codependency. People in unhealthy relationships see their partner as their other half; people in healthy relationships view their partner as a positive complement to themselves.
Unhealthy relationships are, unfortunately, all too common. For help getting out of a toxic relationship or navigating your way back to a healthy one, learn more about my services and set up an appointment today.