What’s an Unhealthy Relationship? Part 1

While many people desire a meaningful romantic relationship in their lives, not all such relationships are created equal. A healthy relationship is mutually loving, respectful, and fulfilling for both partners. When both partners are emotionally well balanced and committed to each other, with good communication a happy relationship can be achieved. However, sometimes individuals bring personal issues into the relationship that can prove destructive to the other partner and the relationship. When damaging behaviors in a relationship interfere with the emotional, spiritual, or physical well being of either partner, the relationship becomes unhealthy and toxic.

Most people recognize that physical abuse, rampant drug or alcohol abuse, or affairs can cause significant damage and harm the traumatized partner in such a relationship. However, there are more subtle forms of emotional abuse (which can escalate to physical abuse). If you are feeling inferior, incapable, worthless, or crazy with your partner, this merits a closer examination into the true relationship dynamic. Sometimes emotional abuse is characterized by name calling, but it can also occur with repeated “suggestions” about how to do all manner of regular daily tasks “right.”

One common aspect of emotional abuse is that it is designed to control the other party. You might be discouraged or prohibited from seeing certain people, dissuaded from pursuing new job or employment opportunities, coerced into sex (or denied affection), or “required” to give an account of your daily activities. In all cases, your partner is motivated by a desire to control your behavior and keep you dependent in the relationship.

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