“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.” – Joan Crawford
Falling in love is beautiful and one of life’s most incredible feelings. But love has an ugly side. Not every relationship is a healthy relationship just because the two people involved claim to be in love. Many of us are walking around barely able to breathe because a relationship is literally or figuratively taking the life right out of us. Although there are many signs that you are not in a healthy relationship, I’ve chosen to highlight five below:
You are fearful when your significant other walks in the room.
This can best be described as that “what is it now?” feeling. When your partner walks in the room you should feel joy or some other positive emotion 98% of the time. You feel on edge that some argument is pending or confrontation. Life is too short to bicker constantly with someone. We can often times embrace constant confrontation that it’s just a part of “growing pains.” Well, growing pains are minor bumps and thumps – not full on battle to the death matches. Reconsider if this is truly a healthy love or just a big ball of drama.
Your friends and family are always worried about you.
It’s true that not every family member or friend will like your partner. However, if the people who have known you the longest keep expressing concern that is a definite red flag. Are your favorite people always saying “you’ve changed” or “are you sure you are okay” or “I’m just concerned about you”? We often can’t see our own mess because we are standing in it. Take their concern into consideration that it may not be a healthy situation for you.
You stop doing things you enjoy.
We all adjust when we enter a relationship. We learn to like new foods or gain new friends for the sake of blending our lives with a partner. However, if you were an avid jogger and never go jogging anymore because of your focus on your relationship, it may not be a healthy situation. Falling in love is all consuming so it’s natural that you may be in the love-cocoon for a while. Just be cautious if you start losing sight of your hobbies and the things you enjoy because of your relationship. Be even more concerned if your partner starts making requests that you give up those things you enjoy to spend time with him/her. A relationship adds to our world, it does not become our world.
Something Isn’t Right
Physical or emotional abuse doesn’t always look as dramatic as your latest Lifetime movie. Does your partner constantly make subtle remarks about your looks or ways you need to improve all the time? Do you find yourself becoming more self-conscious with your partner? Is your partner too aggressive and plays it off as you being too sensitive? We can sometimes disregard these minor things even when it’s making us feel bad about ourselves or uncomfortable. Do not bury that “this doesn’t make me feel good” intuition behind “but my partner loves me.” Always remember love supports and gently corrects. It doesn’t drag you through the gutter and give you a hug at the end.
You are the only person in the relationship
A relationship is two people working and growing together. It won’t always be 50-50 every single day but it should not feel like the only person working in the relationship is you. Are you trying to convince someone they should be with you and only you? Are you spending all of your money and the other person continues to just take without giving anything? The unhealthiest relationships are those where one person is constantly trying to hold it together and the other person basically shows up without effort or concern. You can’t continue to pour out everything you have to someone who claims to love you but does not show it.
If you are reading this and starting to wonder if your relationship is unhealthy, I encourage you to talk with a professional. If you can’t get to a professional, rally the troops (your friends) and be honest and open with them. Take some time out to ask yourself “Has my relationship made me better or worse?” The only thing better than love is healthy love. You owe it to yourself to find that. Never be afraid to let go if loving someone else means you love yourself less.
– For more articles from Dee Rene visit her own blog over at LaughCryCuss.com
Love is Respect www.loveisrespect.org
National Domestic Abuse Hotline / Web site www.thehotline.org