Top 5 signs you’re in an unhealthy relationship and how to give it a clean bill of health
Every relationship is an investment. The question is; how much of an investment is it worth? A relationship has the potential to add value to your life by improving your life in all aspects. However, it can also be the exact opposite-an emotionally draining investment. Similar to a bank loan investment, the more you put in, the more you get back. But is your relationship bank draining already? Here are top 5 signs of an unhealthy relationship and how you can reinvest to make more benefits.
1) Lack of Communication
The #1 cause of a relationship’s downfall is the lack of communication. You need communication so you can build and maintain your relationship with one another. Honest, direct communication is a key part of any relationship. When a couple feels comfortable expressing their needs, fears and desires, trust and bonds are strengthened. Some relationships get stuck in peaceful coexistence, but without truly relating to each other. While it may seem stable on the surface, lack of involvement and communication increases distance. When you need to talk about something important, the connection and understanding may no longer be present.
Solution: Face your problems head on.
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, but to keep a relationship strong, a couple needs resolve the conflict with respect and love.
- Fight Fair
- Avoid using direct “I” statements to communicate how you feel.
- Avoid dragging old resentments into the argument.
- RESPECT your partner.
In a conflict, most of us primarily want to feel heard and understood. We talk a lot about our point of view to get our partners to see things our way. Ironically, if we all do this all the time, there’s little focus on the other person’s point of view, and nobody feels understood. Try to really see the other side, and then you can better explain yours. People often think they’re listening, but are really thinking about what they’re going to say next when the other person stops talking. Truly effective communication goes both ways. While it might be difficult, try really listening to what your partner is saying. Don’t interrupt. Don’t get defensive. Just hear them and reflect back what they’re saying so they know you’ve heard. Then you’ll understand them better and they’ll be more willing to listen to you. Sometimes, even nonverbal cues such as eye contact, leaning forward or away, or touching your partner’s arm communicate much more than words. And this leads us to the next cause of an unhealthy relationship!
2) Lack of Intimacy
Although many experts believe that a majority of marriages end today because of financial reasons, problems with sexual intimacy rank just as high. According to author Steve Harvey, the top three things a man needs from a woman is 1) Support 2)Loyalty and 3)The Cookie. “Ask any man if sex is important in a relationship and the one who says no is lying”, he quotes.
Solution: Keep the flame lit
Touch is a fundamental part of human existence. Studies have shown that affectionate touch actually boosts the body’s levels of oxytocin, a hormone that influences bonding and attachment. Sometimes you have to work hard to keep that flame lit, so take the time to be creative. Regular, affectionate touch, holding hands, hugging, or kissing—is equally important. Being sensitive to what turns your partner on and off is an effective way to keep the passion alive.
3) Taking Your Partner For Granted
When a partner feels like he/she is being taken for granted, it is a warning sign that your relationship needs a major workout to urgently fix its health! Couples are often more fun and playful in the early stages of a relationship. However, this playful attitude can sometimes be forgotten as the tough challenges of life start getting in the way. This may lead to a lower level of tolerance for and understanding of each other.
Solution: Quality Time Together
Show your partner that you appreciate him/her. Planning a day’s activities to spend quality time together at least once a week will not only strengthen the relationship you share, but it is one of the most effective ways to keep a relationship healthy. Join a couple’s bowling league or sing karaoke together. Ladies, if you make an effort to enjoy activities with him, he might attend those Pilates classes with you someday. Or have we also mentioned that laughter is infectious? Smile a lot and have a sense of humor. Making your partner laugh is one of the most effective and caring things you can do for him/her.
4) Lack of Support in Each Other’s Personal Development
You might as well say,” I do not respect you” to your partner if you have been preventing him/her from being interested in his/her hobbies, skills, or talents.
Solution: Be Your Partner’s #1 Fan
Learn how to support each other as a couple as well as individually. If your partner loves to dance, allowing some quality time to do it together as a couple would show that you support his/her interest. Even bragging to people, especially your partner, how proud you are of his/her talents and skills is a way to show that you appreciate your partner’s presence in your life.
5) Unrealistic Expectations
Simple- Expect disappointments if you are expecting to get what you want 100% of a time in a relationship. Healthy relationships are built on compromise. However, it takes work on each person’s part to make sure that there is a reasonable exchange. “We have to do what I want or else!” is a line that immediately tells you two things about your relationship – 1) You are selfish 2)You are selfish. Admit or deny it, but not managing your expectations in a relationship is indeed selfish.
Solution: Reach a Compromise; Give and Take
You are more likely to get your needs met if you respect what your partner needs, and compromise when you can. Recognizing what your partner wants from a relationship with you is like the groundwork of your relationship. It is equally important for your partner to recognize your wants. Stating them clearly and reaching a compromise is the most effective way towards building a healthy relationship.
It is important to recognize that there are ups and downs in every relationship. The ultimate test to a relationship is if it is strong enough to endure life’s challenges. If you are coping with a lot of stress, it might seem easier to vent it on your partner. Fighting like this might will slowly poison your relationship. Find other ways to vent your anger and frustration. How about working out at the gym? It will not only improve the fitness of your health, it will improve your relationship fitness too!