Being in a relationship shouldn’t be a mandatory requirement for you to feel complete. However, for a link to be worthwhile, it needs to bring things that compliment you, allowing you to be an even better version of yourself.
When we are in love, we may end up revealing some attitudes of the partner that are not at all positive. Often, the tendency is to find justifications for these actions, even if you are very hurt.
Realizing that you are in a toxic relationship is not easy, but this is the first step in getting out of this situation and resuming your life. Know some differences between unhealthy and healthy relationships to help you with this mission:
1. You are free to do your own thing
A mature partner knows that maintaining interests other than the relationship is necessary and beneficial for both people. Therefore, when you are in a healthy relationship, you feel free to continue supporting your friendships, practicing your old hobbies, running, taking a dance class, attending cooking classes, etc.
When a partner prevents you from maintaining your old interests, either by emotional blackmail (“I can’t stay away from you!”) Or by outright prohibiting it, this is a clear sign that the relationship is unhealthy.
2. Do you do the same with or without your partner
With your friends and family, you are a cheerful, talkative, and relaxed person, but when you are with your partner, do you feel you should be more restrained and keep quiet? That is not a good sign.
In healthy relationships, we don’t feel the need to “adjust” our behavior in the presence of the partner. On the contrary, it is with him that we can be ourselves.
3. Power and obligations divided equally.
In a toxic relationship, it is evident that there is a partner who “commands” and a partner who “obeys.” It is always the same person who decides whether you are going out, where you are going, and what the couple’s priorities will be. Also, the person who obeys is responsible for carrying out all the obligations that should share between the couple, such as doing household chores and taking care of the children.
When the relationship is healthy, the partners reach a consensus on the decisions, always taking them together. Likewise, the obligations have divided between the two, with cooperation between the couple.
4. The partner encourages your dreams.
Even if your dreams are not the same, partners who are in a healthy relationship support each other in achieving each other’s goals.
If, on the other hand, your partner always suggests that your dreams are unreachable, that you shouldn’t go after them, or that you can’t fulfill them, this attitude indicates a lack of companionship on his part.
5. Differences are welcome
Partners don’t have to be the same for the relationship to work. Often, it is precisely the differences that attract two people, whether in the taste for a particular cuisine, the hobbies, and interests of each one.
The problem is when the couple sees these differences as a threat and tries to deny their existence, and is no longer able to appreciate the individual characteristics.
A note: it is clear that there are differences in values that are practically impossible to reconcile or that could put one of the partners at risk. When we talk about appreciating differences, we are referring to those characteristics that make each person unique.
6. You still have privacy.
It is not uncommon to tell jokes about the fact that a person is terrified that his partner will discover his cell phone password. Although many people see this as a laugh, the couple’s handling of privacy can also be a sign that it is a toxic relationship.
When you have a healthy relationship, you don’t despair when you leave your cell phone within reach of your partner, because you know that he won’t search your stuff. And even if he did, there would be nothing to worry. Respect for individual privacy only happens when there is trust between the couple.
7. Do you have constructive discussions
Having a healthy relationship does not mean that there is never any disagreement and that one partner will never hurt another. The total absence of fights is a very idealized idea of a life together.
Conflict is natural in any relationship, and it is a sign that the two of you are trying to communicate something to each other. The problem is when you feel there is something wrong, but you are not comfortable saying it to your partner.
Disagreeing, showing hurt, and clearing up misunderstandings are healthy attitudes towards the relationship, as they demonstrate that partners are interested in seeking a solution. Discussions with physical or verbal aggression are not constructive at all.
Each person is unique, so it can be challenging to say that specific behavior proves that a relationship is toxic. If you feel disrespected and neglected or realize that you are cheating on yourself to avoid conflict, consider whether it is worth insisting on that relationship.