Unfortunately, there’s no secret formula or hidden recipe for building a healthy relationship when you’re young. You learn from trial and error, and most of the time, we start off developing unhealthy relationship habits because we are too young to understand or know what a relationship is. Unhealthy relationship habits are baked into our culture. Women worship romantic love – you know the irrational romantic love that doesn’t truly exists? Men and women are raised to objectify each other and to objectify their relationships and with this type of mentality, partners are often seen as assets rather than someone to share mutual emotional support with.
Fortunately, there’s been a lot of psychological research into health and happy relationships the past few decades. Consistently through research, there are some top four common tendencies in a relationship that many couples think are healthy and normal, but are actually really toxic and destroying everything important and dear to you. So below, I will discuss the top four common tendencies. Be prepared for a shocker.
1. Dropping “hints” and other passive-aggressive behavior
WHAT IS IT: Instead of stating what you’re feeling or thinking, you try to nudge your partner in the direction of figuring it out on their own. You find small and petty ways to piss your partner off so you’ll then feel justified in complaining to them.
WHY IT IS TOXIC: It’s toxic because it shows that you’re not comfortable with an open line of communication. A person has no reason to be passive-aggressive if they feel safe expressing their feelings in a relationship.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO INSTEAD: Openly state how you’re feeling. Make a clear statement that the other person isn’t responsible or obligated to them but that you’d love their support. If they truly love you, they’ll almost always be able to give it.
2. Holding the relationship hostage
WHAT IS IT: This is when a person has a simple complaint or criticism and blackmails the other person by threatening the commitment of the relationship as a whole. Example, if your partner feels like you’ve been cold towards them, instead of saying “I feel like you’re being cold sometimes,” they will say “I can’t date someone who is cold to me all of the time.”
WHY IS IT TOXIC: It’s emotional blackmail! It creates a lot of unnecessary drama in the relationship. Every minor issue in the flow of the relationship results in a perceived commitment crisis. It’s crucial for BOTH people in the relationship to know that negative thoughts and feelings can be communicated safely without threatening the relationship itself.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO INSTEAD: It’s okay for you both to get upset with your partner or not like something about them. But you need to understand that committing to a person and always liking a person is not the same thing. Two partners who are capable of communicating feedback and criticism towards one another, only with judgment and understanding, will strengthen their commitment to one another in the long run.
3. Blaming Your Partner for Your Own Emotions
WHAT IS IT: Say you’re having a bad day and your partner isn’t being as loving or sympathetic to you as you’d like them to be, so you lash out at them for being insensitive and callous towards you. You’ve been having a crappy day and they have done nothing about it. THIS IS THE ISSUE.
WHY IS IT TOXIC: Blaming your partner for your emotion is a subtle form of selfishness, and a classic example or poor maintenance of personal boundaries. When you place your partner responsible for your own emotions and how you’re supposed to feel all of the time, you’re developing codependent tendencies. When someone begins to get upset, all personal desires go out the window because it is now your responsibility to make one another feel better. Codependency breeds resentment in a relationship.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO INSTEAD: Take responsibility for your own emotions and expect your partner to be responsible for theirs. Any sacrifices should be made as an autonomous choice and not seen as an expectation.
4. Displays of “loving” jealousy
WHAT IS IT: This is when you get pissed off when your partner talks, touches, calls, texts, hang outs, or sneezes in the general vicinity of another person and then you proceed to take that anger our on your partner in attempts to control their behavior.
WHY IS IT TOXIC: This is craziness. It’s controlling and manipulative. It creates unnecessary drama and fighting. It transmits a message of a lack of trust in the other person. And to be honest, it’s demeaning.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO INSTEAD: Trust your partner. Some jealousy is natural but excessive jealousy and controlling behaviors towards your partner are signs of your own person feelings of unworthiness and you should learn to confront those feelings and not force them onto those close to you. This can lead to pushing someone you love away.
Relationships can be very complicated and difficult. But few people know that there are some pretty clear signals to know if a relationship is going to work or not. If you’re wanting more information about how to develop a healthy relationship or how to get out of a toxic relationship Click Here for a free 25 minute consultation to receive advice or tips that can be beneficial towards your relationship!