Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Healthy Relationship or Unhealthy Relationship? Which Is Yours?

Is your relationship a healthy relationship or an unhealthy relationship?

I'm sure you know of Jeff Foxworthy and his Redneck series. Well, this is similar to that only it concerns intimations as to whether you are in an unhealthy relationship.

When you and your partner are out and about and you get together with other people, does your companion verbally embarrass you? I'm sure that everyone just laughs it off like it must be some kind of joke, but did the remark hurt you inside? If so, then you might be in an unhealthy relationship.

How about this one? You and your significant other spend time together and he or she tells you that they love you. But then their actions don't support their claims. You know, that actions speak louder than words, don't you? Think about it. How do they make you feel? Loved and secure? Or used and abused?

An unhealthy relationship?

Are you starting to be concerned about how things you do might be misconstrued by your companion? If you are starting to feel like your relationship is a ball and chain type of deal where your companion is ultimately domineering and critical of everything you do, you might be in an unhealthy relationship. (i.e. they read your mail, listen in on your phone conversations, call to monitor on your whereabouts throughout the day, etc.)

They hacked your computer and are reading your email (or just checking your history on your computer to keep you in line). They just all of a sudden show up at places where you are just to check on you. Take heed; you might be in an unhealthy relationship. It's possible they are checking up on you out of concern for you too, but many times this is not the case. You'll know the difference.

Maybe your partner is making you separate from family and friends. They realize that when you are around others that love you they have little control over you, so they want to dismiss that from happening at all. Hmmm...could be another sign of an unhealthy relationship.

Let's say that you have changed a lot of things about yourself. Maybe it is your looks, maybe it's your interests, maybe it's your habits...if you have changed things about yourself just to please them that's the wrong reason. If the changes were made, but not to please yourself then you might be in an unhealthy relationship.

Domineering people make you feel odd just being around them. It's not so much that they are scaring you, but just making you feel awkward and uneasy...like you have to be on guard and walk on egg shells when you are with them.

So, why would anyone end up in an unhealthy relationship? Why would anyone want to be with someone who makes them feel emotionally or physically abused?

They say love is blind, so maybe you do not recognize these things as they really are. An unhealthy relationship has a cycle. There's a honeymoon period, followed by some kind of a blow up which is then followed by a reconciliation. Then the cycle begins all over again. It's a vicious circle.

When you first meet a new partner, you are obviously in the honeymoon stage. You may be in the relationship for quite a time before you realize that you are in an unhealthy relationship. Everything is new. Nothing could be wrong. You hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil. Just like a monkey. Literally. That's what the honeymoon phase is like. Two monkeys swinging around without a care in the world.

Later, you have a disagreement. The other person blows it way out of context and it ends up being a full-blown argument, often littered with name-calling or battering. Watch out! Is this something that you should be concerned about or is the disagreement just that...a disagreement?

Trouble could be looming its ugly head.

If you suspect that your relationship is an unhealthy one, remedy it while you can.

At this point though, it may be really hard to get out of the relationship. You know consciously that you should get out and that the relationship is not healthy for you, but you are already on the emotional roller coaster that, subconsciously, makes ending the relationship very difficult.

One reason for subjecting yourself to this type of relationship is that many people in unhealthy relationships grow up in homes where they were witness to unhealthy relationships. As a result, you repeat these patterns from your childhood without even realizing that is what you are doing. You view what is happening to you as perfectly normal. After all, you witnessed this occurence daily.

Another thing is this, you may not know any better. You may have been beaten down into submission and now believe that you deserve everything you get. Or don't get, as the case may be. You think that you are not worthy of getting anything different.

It may be that you can trick yourself into thinking that by staying in the situation you can change it. After all, you do enjoy taking care of people and it's not all that bad. You recognize the care and attention the other person needs and think to yourself that if you only love them "enough" they will love you and respect you back. Unfortunately, that isn't so.

More often than not, a person who stays in this kind of relationship has very low self-esteem. They do not think they have anything of value to offer another so they just suffer the consequences. They often drift into deep depression. They can't think clearly and come to the conclusion that they have no choices about what to do with their lives.

The good news is that this isn't so. It is merely a conclusion that is the result of you honestly not having any respect for yourself either.

The main thing to realize here is that you do have choices. Once you realize that you have choices, then you will be able to start defending yourself. In most unhealthy relationships, the dominating partner has taught you that it is all your fault. Once you buy into this, you become the weaker partner who simply submits to the control of the other person.

Though it can be very difficult to either walk away from the relationship or set new limits that can heal the relationship, it can be done.

Don't be one of your own worst enemies. Don't go on a guilt trip that you don't need to go on.

Some people are able to break the sequence of events that lead to this kind of relationship.

First of all though, before any problem can be resolved you need to recognize that a problem does exist.

The truth is that most relationships are able to be salvaged. Sometimes, each of you just needs some space. Sometimes, as a couple, you need to get counseling. But if both partners make an attempt to rejuvenate the relationship, it is possible to renew the bonds of your relationship in a healthy way.

The first thing you need to decide is that the relationship must improve or you're going to have to get out of it. If your significant other realizes that you aren't willing to walk away, you'll never be able to heal that which divides you. The cycle will continue just the way it is. It's like an infection. If you don't take the proper treatment to remedy it then it is only going to get worse.

Once you recognize that you are in a poisonous relationship and are able to affirm your need for freedom from such a relationship, you are on the highway to healing the bonds that tie you.

Don't incessantly annoy the other person. Just let them know how you are feeling. You can tell them, "I am feeling a particular way and I need your support in this situation" or "I just want you to love me, no ifs, and or buts..." Don't be demanding, just let them know how you feel. Remember that the other person needs to be told how you feel. They cannot read your mind. Don't allow them to continue on their track of control and domineering behavior.

You need to talk to the other person. Make sure that they realize that if you don't get what you need from the relationship then you are willing to get out of it.

Think of a healthy relationship as one where both people can grow. The couple nurtures each other. They support each other and bring out the best in each other.

In an unhealthy relationship, only one person is growing stronger. The domineering person's needs may be met, but the weaker individual is stagnant and crushed.

Recognize this. Don't let it happen to you. Be your own best friend.

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