Love can take on a very dark turn when you’re in a toxic, unhealthy relationship. Especially one you don’t feel like you can escape. One where you love him so much and can’t bear to let of him (let alone imagine life without him) no matter what your logical, rational mind says.
The heart wants what it wants.
Love is a horrible, dark, life-changing experience when you’re so passionately in love with someone who doesn’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated. When you’re in love with someone who doesn’t completely support you. When you’re in love with someone who doesn’t appreciate you or even want what’s best for you.
Someone who makes you unhappy more than they make you happy.
Someone who causes you more pain than pleasure.
Someone who makes you cry and wait by the phone wondering “why????!”
Someone who’s toxic.
Someone who’s addicting but manipulatively charming.
MORE: Video: What Makes Love Last: Establishing Trust
And pretty much everyone falls into this kind of situation at some point in life. We fall in love with someone that turns out to not be a very good person, and all of a sudden we’re stuck in an unhealthy relationship.
How To Spot An Unhealthy Relationship
- Fights are more about revenge than repair
- Generosity gives way to guilt
- You try to change each other
- Your partner doesn’t support your goals
- They expose intimate areas of the relationship
- They’re only generous when they can get something
1. Fights Are More About Revenge Than Repair
Fights in relationships can start for any number of reasons, but there’s one truth that carries through all of them:
You can either work towards ending the fight and reconciling, or towards taking revenge on your partner for making you angry.
One habit is healthy, and one habit is unhealthy. I’ll let you guess which is which.
If your partner places more importance on hurting you back because you hurt them, that is unhealthy behavior. Love should never be vindictive.
MORE: End Any Fight With These 5 Simple Steps
2. Generosity Gives Way To Guilt
You like that alliteration in the subheadline up there? Yeah, I bet you do. Alliteration is amazing.
Guilt isn’t. Guilt sucks.
In a healthy and happy relationship, both partners should WANT to make each other happy. They should want to do things that please the other person and keep them content.
MORE: Subtle Signs Your Relationship Is In Trouble
This is done in a spirit of generosity and openness.
However, a relationship can turn unhealthy very quickly if one or both partners decide that they need to DEMAND what they want, instead of allowing their partner to give it freely.
If one person in a relationship uses guilt to manipulate the other person into doing what they want, that sucks. It just plain sucks. There’s no two ways about it, that behavior is unhealthy.
There are a ton more red flags that you’re in the wrong relationship, you can check them out here.
3. You Try To Change Each Other
You know what the best kind of love is?
It’s when you’re endlessly curious about the other person. It’s when you can’t wait to find out more about them, and the more you know, the more you love.
It’s when you want to make a complete map of the other person and know all their peccadillos, their strange little quirks, and everything else they think about.
You know what a crappy kind of love is?
When one partner decides they don’t like the way the other person is, and tries to change them.
They selfishly decide that they want their partner to be DIFFERENT, to be a different person, and they put their efforts towards changing them, whether the other partner wants to change or not.
That’s crappy. That’s unhealthy. Don’t do that.
RELATED: The 5 Most Deadly Mistakes That Destroy Relationships
4. Your Partner Doesn’t Support Your Goals
This one takes some honesty, and some real reflection.
Think back in your relationship to the times you supported your partner, and the times your partner supported you.
When you think back, whose goals did you work for more? Whose goals came first, and whose goals came second.
MORE: How to Have a Healthy Relationship
Ideally, in a perfect relationship, there would be complete balance between working towards each other’s goals. That’s not totally feasible – it’s impossible for it to be exactly equal – but all things considered you should give both partners a roughly equal split.
But in an unhealthy relationship, one partner’s goals are deemed much more important than the other’s, and there’s no compromise. There’s no shared cooperation.
It’s just both people working towards one person’s goals, and letting the other person’s goals fall by the wayside.
5. They Expose Intimate Areas Of The Relationship
Ain’t nobody wants their partner to start talking about the weird stuff they do in bed, or the funny thing they do with their tongue when they’re kissing, or other stuff that you feel comfortable sharing with your partner but not necessarily with your partner’s coworkers.
That’s why it sucks so much when one partner doesn’t protect the privacy of the other and shares details about the relationship that would rather be kept private.
It signals a profound and fundamental lack of respect – and is a bad, bad sign of an unhealthy relationship.
6. They’re Only Generous When They Can Get Something
Like I talked about before, in a relationship that’s full of real love, both partners will want to give each other what they want so that they’ll both be happy.
It’s done in a spirit of generosity, a spirit of joyful sharing of happiness.
That ain’t how it goes down in an unhealthy relationship.
In a lot of unhealthy relationships, one partner will only give if they get something in return. They’ll only do as much for their partner as they can extract from them.
That sucks. That’s not trusting your partner, it’s exploiting them. It’s not true love.
And it’s not healthy.
And listen, if you’re in an unhealthy relationship and it ends, remember: it’s not the end of the world.