Unhealthy Relationship Warning Signs

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Unhealthy Relationship Warning Signs

Do you know the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship? You’d better or else you could be in one and not even know it. Sure you might feel deep down something is wrong. But you’d be surprised how many people chug along in a relationship that is weighing them down or slowly poisoning them psychologically and they don’t even realize it. Here are the warning signs, see if you recognize them in your own relationship. First, what is the lying situation like?

Are you lying about small things? Do you tell a web of lies, one to cover up another and so on? If you aren’t a pathological liar by nature, then it is likely serious issues in the relationship that are making you lie. What about your partner? Are they lying all the time too? If you suspect they are lying, even on small matters, or worse if you’ve given up on whether they are being truthful or not, your relationship is rocky at best. Once the bond of trust has been severed, it’s hard to restore it. The next warning sign is infidelity. If one or both of you have gone astray, not only has the trust bond been severed but you’ve both been hurt emotionally. And what caused the cheating to begin with? This is a serious warning sign.

Do you have a secret goal that you wish your partner would achieve? If you have secret desires for them you haven’t shared, then go ahead and share them. Sit down with them and see if they want to commit to accomplishing whatever it is you have in mind. But to harbor them and have them affect you, thereby affecting the relationship, is a poor way to conduct yourself and it hurts your partner without either one of you knowing it. When they aren’t living up to some imagined expectation you punish them, even though they have no idea why. Is there jealousy issues? If you or your partner try to cut the other down, say separate someone from their friends because they are popular, or trying to get them fired because they are successful, a toxic jealousy has crept into the relationship. This will drive you two apart if it isn’t dealt with.

Being overly insecure and jealous of the opposite sex is another red flashing, warning sign. When you aren’t feeling any emotional intimacy the relationship is down the tubes. Reestablish it by reconnecting, or drift apart. If there is no sex in the relationship, this is a big sign that problems are deep and profound. Do you or your partner set each other up for a fall, just to say, “I told you so”? This is a warning sign that things aren’t going well. Find ways to turn this relationship around or get out of it. For more advice read, Love Is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships by Dr. Robert Hemfelt, Dr. Frank Minirth, and Dr. Paul Meier.

Attractions of Deprivation

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Attractions of Deprivation

Do you have a string of romantic disasters trailing behind you? Do you often fall in love with the wrong person and your passion turns into devastation when you see your relationship inevitably fall apart? What gives? Don’t give up. You aren’t destined to die alone or in a dysfunctional relationship. You may be suffering from attractions of deprivation. The Imago model developed by Harville Hendrix states that we are attracted to those who embody the worst elements of our childhood caregivers, our parents or whoever raised us.

We have unresolved issues surrounding abuse, betrayal, neglect and manipulation from these caregivers. We desire to heal these wounds, subconsciously, and so seek out a mate with these qualities so that we may do so. Said another way, we are therefore most attracted to those who have the ability to hurt us psychologically the way we were hurt as children. Moreover, what ends up happening is instead of healing we get hurt in the exact same way, once again, this time by a lover instead of a caregiver. We want to have the same problem play out from our childhood but this time solve the problem instead of enduring the pain, and move past this incident, gaining closure and healing the old wound.

The first thing to do is to identify the negative qualities that pull you in in the first place. Look for qualities that all of your exes who matched this pattern had in common. If you are unsure ask friends, family members and confidants. Next, identify these exact same qualities in your childhood caregivers. Write them down in a list. Call it “My Attractions of Deprivation.” Write down anything that annoyed, upset or hurt you. Don’t worry if you were at fault in some instances, too. Just write them down. Put in physical characteristics that are attractive too but negative like over-confident swagger. Next, get another piece of paper. Entitle it “Profile of my Attractions of Deprivation.” Write down the exact type of person you are attracted to using these qualities. Notice that these exact qualities are both what turn you on and what end up stifling the relationship, such as arrogance. On the flip side, that person doesn’t care about you the way you do them. They aren’t considerate and don’t support you or make room in their lives for you. If you can’t think of anything, ask your friends. They’ll have a ton of things to tell you.

Underneath write “My Gifts.” Write down all of the positive qualities your exes never took the time to get to know about you. These are the very things that get stifled in these relationships. They are holding you back from personal growth. Keep this with you and the next time you are attracted to someone who is wrong for you, turn away. Find people you are attracted to instead, those that inspire you not deprive you. For more advice read, How to Avoid Falling in Love with A Jerk: The Foolproof Way to Follow Your Heart without Losing Your Mind by John Van Epp, Ph.D.

Common Relationship Blunders

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Common Relationship Blunders

No matter what stage you’re in, whether you are in a new relationship and want to do it right or just walked away from a bad one, anyone can benefit from learning what common relationship blunders take a couple who have potential and drive them apart. If you can catch these early on, or you and your partner have the gumption to renew your bond, you can change your fate and fall into a close, loving, and supportive relationship.

One of the most common is that as time wears on couples tend to slip into a very comfortable phase. The niceties slip and sooner or later they are taking each other for granted. It’s important to show your appreciation for one another. Reflect on what your life would be like without them. Then think about what they bring into your life. Leave them love notes. Tell them they look nice in what they’re wearing. Whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears. Make it special and make it count. If you take each other for granted, each of you will feel undesirable and unfulfilled, and may stray outside the relationship in order to fulfill those needs.

Another problem is when it goes the other way. One partner appreciates the other too much. That is to say they become dependent, or needy. If you feel insecure, look to the signs of your relationship to see if these feelings are justified. Do they call when they say they will? What do they say to you? Do they compliment you? Do nice things for you? If all signs point to a healthy, stable, well-adjusted relationship then relax. If you or your partner are feeling these signs of insecurity perhaps discuss them, or even seek the help of a mental health professional.

Do you complain about your partner to everyone except them? First, you two have to learn how to deal with your problems directly. You shouldn’t be complaining about them to everyone. Deal with them directly, or vent to a confidant. But if you are constantly focusing on the negative you will not see the positive in your partner and the relationship will thus sour. Come to terms with your sweetie’s shortcomings and expect them to come to terms with yours. Otherwise if you can’t, this isn’t the person for you. The same thing goes for passive-aggressiveness. Instead of slinging barbs learn to communicate in a positive and productive manner. For more on this topic read, Relationship Advice: How to Rekindle and Cultivate Healthy, Passionate, and Long-Lasting Relationships by Henry Lee.

How Self-Loathing Affects Partners

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How Self-Loathing Affects Partners

Inadequacy can affect a relationship in a number of ways. Sometimes those who feel inadequate push their lovers away thinking that they aren’t good enough for them. But they don’t let the lover speak for themselves, a selfish act. Those who experience self-loathing often apologize over and over again for little insignificant mistakes, a behavior that can sometimes rake their partner’s nerves. Those who suffer from self-loathing often believe too that they are just one mistake away from ruining the relationship, or driving their significant other away. The other lover however may not feel that the bond is so tenuous. Still, this constant questioning weakens the relationship. When one person keeps on questioning it, the other lover may start questioning the relationship. Or they may decide that their self-loathing partner’s assessment is correct. They may feel that this person is too high maintenance or that their sucking all of their energy away. It’s hard to be with someone who suffers from self-loathing. Constant apologizing can also be a tactic to take the attention away from the one partner who feels inadequate and put it on the other when seeking apology. But inevitably the focus comes right back on the partner who loathes themselves, for their partner’s concern has been raised.

The other quality the self-loathing have is feeling that their partner is too good for them. They are haunted by guilt. Some people normally feel this way when they get together with someone they have strong chemistry with. But it usually fades with a little bit of time. However, the self-loathing never have this sensation subside. Here, even though the self-loathing believe that they are showing their lovers reverence and esteem, the irony is that the focus is actually brought back upon themselves.  Both of these behaviors display the inadequate person’s need for reassurance and attention. These people are usually high maintenance and needy or clingy. The truth is the self-loathing are constantly seeking validation from their partner. But they aren’t actually dealing with the root of the issue which is buried within themselves. Instead, their constant validation seeking will not only never satiate them, it is likely to drive their partner away as it will drain them of precious psychic energy. The relationship becomes boring and tiresome, and a lot of work, not really that much fun. The last problem is the self-loathing are oversensitive. If you are suffering from self-loathing, seek help. Watch what you say to your partner. Sensor yourself somewhat. And work through your issues. If you love someone who has self-loathing problems, get them to seek help. For advice on being nicer to yourself read, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind by Kristin Neff, Ph.D.

Asymmetric Relationship Playbook

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Asymmetric Relationship Playbook

Sometimes you feel like you aren’t giving as much as your partner is. This can be an imagined inequality perhaps caused by low self-esteem or feelings of inadequacy. But other times it is an asymmetric relationship. Is it that your lover takes advantage of your commitment? First, try to evaluate the situation. There certainly isn’t ever equality in any relationship. One person may be better at some things than the other. One is hardier, makes more money, has more friends or some other advantage. The question is, how much value do you put on your relationship and how much does your partner? It starts out in the beginning of the relationship that you two value each other immeasurably. Some couples stay at this stage or float around it. What may begin to happen is that the value on the other or the relationship may start to diminish. If it diminishes more for one person in the relationship than the other, this is what we call an asymmetric relationship. There isn’t equality in value between one person and another in this relationship. And that is where problems occur. In terms of a marriage for instance, one person may revisit his or her options now and again, putting strain on the relationship.

It comes down to one person putting more value than the other on the relationship. If there isn’t equality in what each person is contributing, then the couple must discuss the issue and come to a conclusion about it. The relationship cannot last if this problem isn’t dealt with. Eventually it will drive a wedge between the two so that the relationship will cease to exist. The bond will be broken. If one or another person wants to leave, finding themselves or the relationship devalued, they may not be able to. They may want to stick it out for financial reasons, or for the sake of the children. They could find the divorce proceedings too painful and expensive to wish to endure them. Each person must make their own choice and find their own path toward happiness. If you are in this situation and find that you cannot find your happiness staying with this person, by all means get out. But if you can find bliss and still cohabitate or even try to repair the relationship, go ahead and make it work. The trick is to reach down inside yourself and decide what it is you want, and what you can accept. But don’t let someone take advantage of you. Never give consent if you hear “If you love me, you’ll do this for me.” That isn’t real love. It’s manipulation. For more advice read, Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting, and Enjoying the Self by Charles L. Whitfield, M.D.