Love your toxic partner? Read How Can I Love Someone Who Abuses Me? Psychology of Toxic Relationships
Randi Gunther Ph.D. writes “No one feels good when their partners are disappointed, disillusioned, or blaming them. If accusations of blame were not thrown around in the beginning, and replaced with mutual and willing accountability, most partners would be more open to a more effective resolution.” Being accountable for your actions is the secret to a happy relationship.
3. Power imbalance
In a healthy relationship, both partners hold equal power to influence each other’s choices and to guide them. However, in a dysfunctional relationship, power is impaired. You will feel like your partner is controlling most of your decisions. You will also feel that you are putting in a lot more effort than your partner to keep the relationship going. You are the only one who is making the compromises and the sacrifices and getting very little in return. As your partner becomes more controlling, they will tend to disrespect you more and you will be afraid to express yourself honestly.
Dr. Gunther adds “If the relationship is a power hierarchy where one partner consistently is on top, the other, more adaptive partner will eventually lose hope and stop fighting as hard in succeeding conflicts. That leaves all the responsibility for the outcome on the shoulders of the top guy, and submission, martyrdom, and resentment in the emotional belly of the other.”
4. You feel like a different person
You have become aware of your words, behavior and actions as your partner tends to be highly critical of you. You try to change your thoughts, opinions and perceptions to meet your partner’s expectations either to please them constantly or out of fear. Your friends and family repeatedly remind you that you have changed as a person. And deep down inside you know they are right. This is one of the most harmful signs of a dysfunctional relationship. If you start becoming more submissive to your dominant partner, then it’s high time that you take a stand or just leave.
5. A feeling of guilt
Do you find yourself apologizing to your partner more than you should? Do you feel guilty every time you feel like expressing yourself? Then you’re in a dysfunctional relationship. Love is not supposed to make you feel guilty about being yourself. According to The Good Men Project “It becomes a joke, the way you take the fall for everything, but it’s not funny, and you begin to feel worthless and ashamed. Your partner’s angry reactions become justified, and the increasingly unreasonable demands become givens, with any resistance viewed as disloyalty and cause for character assassination.”
6. Infidelity & lack of trust
Doubt or a lack of trust is a prominent sign of a dysfunctional relationship. If you believe your partner is having an affair or if you are experiencing infidelity in your relationship, then it is imperative that you address the issue immediately with your significant other. If you don’t, your relationship will get further damaged as fights will get uglier and you will feel more insecure and uncertain.
In her article, Randi Gunther Ph.D. writes “Destructive triangles are often part of dysfunctional relationships. One partner talks to someone outside the relationship about the intimate situations that lie within it without the other partner’s knowing or consent. That confidante then knows things about that partner they may have no right to know.”
Feeling insecure? Read Become A Relationship Superhero: How To Turn Insecurity Into A Superpower
7. You are unhappy
Are you happy in your relationship? If not, then it is the biggest sign that you’re in a dysfunctional relationship. Of course, every relationship goes through some difficulties and at times you will feel upset at your partner no matter how great they are. Every relationship has arguments. But, if you’re feeling unhappy constantly then you may need to change your perception.