A relationship is all fun and games until you don’t even realize you are slowly slipping into an unhealthy relationship. A man does not have to raise his hand and hit you before you realize that your relationship is not good for you.
There are many telltale signs of an unhealthy relationship that people overlook because they are in love. Literally, too many warning signs these days gets blamed on the ‘passion’ and the ‘heat of things’. But as we grow older we need to become better and more alert to some relationship red flags and how to handle them.
The truth is, no one thinks they’ll ever be in an unhealthy relationship and as a result of this, they are ill equipped to handle it when it stares them in the face. Because we don’t want you to be that person, here are five ways of knowing if you’re in an unhealthy relationship.
1. Using Kindness As A Weapon
It’s easy to miss the signs when your partner uses kindness as a weapon of manipulation. They do extravagant things that will normally be considered as romantic, so you feel indebted to them. They paint the ‘hero’ portrait quite well so they become your go-to person when you’re in a bind.
Most times this might be misconstrued as romance; however, you only need to trust your gut to know when something isn’t right and well intentioned. If your gut tells you that his/her kindness isn’t born out of the best intentions, trust your instincts.
If they constantly lord their ‘good deeds’ over you, reminding you of all the ways they’ve helped you out while you’ve been together – see that as a major sign that you’re in an unhealthy relationship.
2. They Always Need You
Things never seem to go wrong for them, they go extraordinarily wrong and they need you to be their rock; sound familiar? For example, they don’t just have a bad day, they had the worst day of their lives. They threaten to kill themselves if you leave them because they cannot imagine life without you or you are their whole world.
This is a unique way of control because it allows you to misguidedly think you are doing them the favor without you actually realizing that they are controlling you – holding you hostage in an emotional prison. You stay out of a sense of duty. When faced with this situation, you have to find a way to break free, you signed up for a relationship – not to become a prisoner.
3. They Try To Change You
It is funny how this happens because you don’t really realize it until it is too late. They create an avenue where you find yourself in need of their approval, so you change to meet their standards.
Most times it is more subtle than that – they tell you you’re beautiful but you’d be more beautiful if you did this or that. Before you know it, you don’t recognize the person you are, your friends don’t recognize the person you are and your family also does not recognize the person you are.
They convince you that your likes and interests are not good enough and try to modify your tastes to their own idea of ‘good enough’. If they constantly try to change you, it’s because they don’t think you’re good enough and why would you want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t think you’re good enough?
4. They Belittle Your Hopes And Dreams
This usually comes under the guise of good advice, but be alert if you notice them alternatively trying to redirect you when you are chasing your dreams or a huge opportunity. Sometimes, they simply don’t want you to progress further than they have.
Even though other people try to discourage, your partner should always be the once to encourage you and want to help you grow. If this is not the case and they constantly shut you down when you try to pursue something uplifting, then it is time to evaluate whether you’re in a healthy relationship or an unhealthy one.
5. They Hold Your Heart Hostage
Love should never be used as a weapon, nor should your feelings for a person be used as leverage. If they are constantly using your feelings for them as a manipulative tool then it’s time to consider that the relationship is probably not the best for you.
Love should also not be the only thing to keep you in a relationship if they are constantly treating you badly. If they treat you unfair but constantly remind you that you love them and they love you and you can overcome anything – beware, that’s a telltale sign that they don’t intend to ever treat you better.
Not every sign of abuse will be visible; emotional abuse is as scarring as physical abuse. If you find that you cannot easily leave your unhealthy relation, never hesitate to ask for help.