No relationship is perfect, and trying to find the perfect fairy-tale relationship can only lead to fights, disillusionment and unnecessary pressure on you and your significant other. However, there is such a thing as a healthy relationship in which you and your lover meet each other's needs as much as possible. If you notice signs that your relationship is going astray, take steps to improve your relationship and resolve your problems before they become insurmountable.
The Honesty Policy Has Been Repeatedly Broken
Trust is a foundational element for a strong, long-lasting relationship. The healthiest relationships practice honesty as the best policy. Both individuals in the relationship should be able to feel like they can trust each other, and each person must feel comfortable communicating things that may be important to the relationship, such as past sexual activity. If you find your partner is repeatedly lying or telling half-truths, or if you find yourself doing the same, it's a warning sign of the relationship's overall emotional health.
Your Free Time No Longer Involves Your Lover
If you find that you spend your free time more and more apart from your significant other, it may be a sign of emotional or sexual distance. The underlying causes may be simply due to work and life demands, such as long commutes to the office, or because you're meeting your needs in other venues, such as friends or family. Either way, a healthy relationship involves both individuals in the relationship making a concerted effort to find shared activities and shared interests.
The Relationship Saps Your Energy
The best relationship builds you up. If you feel like your significant other is sucking up all of your energy or controlling you so much that you no longer feel like yourself, you relationship may be souring and becoming toxic. Example red flags include your partner trying to manipulate or control how you spend your time, your partner making fun of you or calling you names, or your partner trying to reduce your contact with friends or family.
Someone Keeps Score
You will inevitably make mistakes in your relationship. Likewise, your spouse or partner will also make a mistake or hurt you in some way. A relationship can go bad and become unhealthy if one or both individuals keeps score of the past and holds onto old mistakes and grudges. Forgiveness is key for creating healthy conflict resolution and empowering both of you to love and live in the present moment. And sometimes this forgiveness starts with you; you must forgive yourself of your own mistakes and may need to let go of the emotional baggage that you might have brought into your current relationship.
- Columbia University Health: Healthy Versus Unhealthy Relationships
- Psychology Today: 7 Keys to Long-Term Relationship Success
- Psychology Today: When Is It Time to Leave a Relationship?
- Psychology Today: Are You Falling Out of Love? A Quiz on 10 Warning Signs
- Psychology Today: Toxic Relationships - A Health Hazard
- Dr. Phil: Contaminating a Relationship
- Marie Claire: Do You Have Emotional Baggage?
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