Do you think you’re in a bad relationship?
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. I think many people stay in bad relationships thinking, hoping, and feeling things will get better. Many people, both men, and women stay in difficult relationships hoping things will change. They even hope they can change the other person.
Before I address any of those concerns let’s take a look at some clues that your relationship may not be in the best condition.
One of the biggest offenders that could cause any relationship to go downhill quickly is…
Jealousy in some cases can be very flattering, but there is a thin line between controlling and jealousy.
If your partner is reading your mail, calling you uncontrollably when you’re out with friends, or checking your phone messages there should be a big flashing light going off for you. If your partner is preventing you from going out with friends, causes you to second guess everything you do, and causes YOU to modify your behavior so they don’t get pissed – then you should be taking a closer look at your relationship.
One-Way Behavior Modification
Do you find yourself trying to change things about YOU to make your partner happy? If you’re making changes so that your partner doesn’t get pissed or to appease them, maybe you should take a closer look at the relationship. In my opinion that’s NOT unconditional love going both ways. That’s one-way love, YOU loving them enough to change but not the other way around.
Think about it, even the smallest changes you make for your partner could impact your life, your friends, and even your work. That’s because your relationship isn’t in a silo. It’s part of your life and influences everything you do and how you come across to others.
Being called names can be extremely hurtful, and when your partner is constantly putting you down verbally in front of your friends and family members or even when you’re alone can cause a great relationship to sour quickly.
Do you really want to be called names by someone you love? Of course not. But in some relationships, name-calling is common because they know what your insecurities are and can push your buttons this way.
According to Ranya Al Huthaili, the host of the Beauty from Ashes podcast, “In my opinion, this type of behavior is uncalled for and not necessary in ANY relationship. If your relationship is so bad one of you has to get vicious and start using verbal abuse, maybe both of you should take a closer look.”
The only reason for this type of behavior is to HURT. And if you’re partner is purposefully hurting you, why do you want to stay?
These are all major signs of a relationship in turmoil.
Now, let me be clear, bad relationships will have good times too. And those good times may cloud all of the nasty that’s being done. But it’s a cycle. Some days it’s good. Some day’s it’s difficult. Should relationships be that difficult to deal with?
Will you have fights and disagreements? Sure. Will there be times of silence? Possibly. But if the above actions are a regular occurrence, then maybe you should give your relationship extra thought. You should look deep inside and start analyzing the facts of the situation and if you are willing to deal with them for LIFE.
So that comes to the question – Should you work the problems out or simply walk away?
First, let’s look at…
How Our Minds Work
Consider that we always want to be right. That’s why when we buy something we’ll do everything we can to prove to our friends, family, and anyone who will listen to why making that purchase was the right thing to do. We justify it.
The same thing happens in relationships. We don’t want to believe that we were wrong in making such an important decision. We may think… “I love this person. How could they be this way? Maybe they will change.” You may even find yourself giving yourself reasons why your partner does what he does. You also may find that your partner wants to be right in the relationship. They don’t think they’re doing anything wrong. Everything is YOU.
I have to ask…
What would you do if a coworker, a stranger, or a friend treated you the way you’re partner is treating you? Would you put up with it? I would bet that you’ve put up with less from friends and coworkers before. So why does your partner get a “freebie” to treat you like this?
Consider that it’s because you don’t want to be wrong about them or you’re using them as a crutch or reason for your own shortcomings.
You’re probably shooting me the bird, cursing me up one side and down the other, but consider that you’re holding on so that you can blame them for when things go wrong or don’t get done in your life.
Gosh, how could anyone expect you to do what you say when you’re dealing with relationship issues.
Most people have sympathy for these situations. They give you lots of rope because they don’t want to upset you.
Now it’s time to talk about the big subject…
Changing Your Partner Or Yourself
Do you want to change your partner? Do you really want to change?
I don’t think “changing” per se is the best plan. Changing someone is like putting the icing on a cow patty. No matter what you do, it’s still a cow patty.
Your partner may change and modify their behavior but will still be harboring the feelings and resent you for making them change.
But consider that you can’t make anyone do anything. Their actions and everything they do – the name-calling, the jealousy, the getting you to change – all come from inside of them. It’s their emotions and the story they’re making up that causes them to do the things they do. It ultimately has nothing to do with you.
Let me give you an example. Jon was cheated on by three previous women he dated and fell in love with. Each event piled onto each other and now Jon is very jealous of everyone he dates. He’s become so controlling he prevents his partner from going out with friends, attending events without him, or even participating in activities she enjoys. He’s fearful that his partner will cheat on him.
You see, everything there has to do with Jon and nothing to do with his partner. But when we’re in a sour relationship we look at what we can do to make it better, change ourselves, and modify our behavior. Doing that might make matters worse. How can it make it worse? Because you don’t get to who you truly are. You’re living a lie.
So how do you save your relationship?
It starts with understanding that, if your partner is treating you badly, there is nothing for you to change. It’s time to ask your partner to have an open and authentic conversation. Ask your partner to be willing to do deep soul searching. What you want to do is find out what caused your partner to do what he does. It’s those past events that are more than likely causing them to act the way they do toward you.
Once you’re able to get at the core of what was causing that behavior, it’s time to acknowledge it and let it be. Once your partner is aware of what he’s doing, he should be able to recognize it, catch himself and stop it.
Now, if things begin to change in your relationship, great.
But if they don’t and things keep going the way they’ve always done then maybe it’s time to call it quits.
You have to determine for yourself whether you want to put up with this behavior or find a relationship that works for who you are. No matter what the situation, to me, verbal abuse and this type of behavior is on par with physical abuse. It can be just as damaging.
If your partner is unwilling to do some deep soul searching and uncover what it is that’s triggering these responses, then it may not be worth staying in the relationship. Then again, maybe it is worth staying.
Let’s face it, some relationships are NOT worth saving. Some ARE worth saving. YOU have to make that choice.
Ultimately the ball is in your court. You get to say who you want to be with. You get to say whether you stay in the relationship. You get to say how your life goes.