How to tell if your relationship is walking you down the wrong path
Relationships can be a rough and painful ride, especially when you’re not sure if the person you’re with is right for you. In this article, we’ll discuss red flags to look out for in a relationship and how to tell if your relationship is walking you down the wrong path!
List of Red Flags
There are many things that can cause an otherwise healthy relationship to fall into unhealthy territory. While you can never tell if your relationship is walking you down the wrong path without talking to your significant other, there are some signs that you should be concerned about. These include unexplained fear of abandonment, persistent jealousy, and attempts to control how you dress or act. One of the most common occurrences is when one partner begins to shift their personality and priorities.
Here are some examples of red flags that may signal your relationship needs a little more careful consideration.
1. Controlling Behaviour
If your partner is controlling you, it could be a sign that your relationship is going in a bad direction. A controlling partner will try to manipulate and persuade their partner, making them feel guilty or embarrassed about things they have done. They often want to control the relationship by being the only person who makes decisions. In other words, controlling can be seen by whether your partner tries to control both of your actions and choices, whether they want more than just what’s best for you, or how they always seem to know what you’re thinking.
2. Violent Displays
There are many signs that your relationship is walking you down the wrong path. One main sign would be if you frequently experience violent displays from your partner to the point where they are constantly hurting you or others. Violence in a relationship is never warranted. If you’re in a relationship that’s making you feel unsafe or if you see that your partner’s behaviour is becoming more and more threatening, it’s time to get out.
A recent study by the National Council on Family Violence has found that 60% of women in abusive relationships experience some form of violence in their home, with most physical and sexual violence taking place in the presence of their children. This can be a difficult time for them, with most feeling like they have nowhere safe to go and no way out.
3. Emotional/psychological abuse
Emotional abuse is the most dangerous kind of abuse. More often than not, people who are emotionally abused feel like there is something wrong with them, which can have serious implications down the road.
Signs of emotional/psychological abuse can be subtle, like quietly questioning your partner’s decisions or asking you to do things that might seem too hard. Serious signs include black and white thinking, extreme jealousy, self-destructive behaviours, punishing behaviour, and increasing isolation. The two most common ways that abusers use to bully their victims are by criticizing them and devaluing them. This usually leads to the victim feeling worthless and paranoid and eventually struggling with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts or behaviour.
Emotional/Psychological Abuse is often hard to consciously recognize. It can be difficult to know what you are experiencing, so it’s best to be aware of the signs of your relationship and not assume you’re just having a bad day.
Red flags of emotional abuse often include: making less of you, insisting you’re wrong about things, withholding affection to punish and embarrass you, or telling your loved one that they can’t tell you what’s wrong. If these start to happen frequently in your relationship, it might be time to take a step back and reassess whether or not the relationship is right for you.
4. Alcoholism & Drug Addiction
I am not a relationship expert, but I am 100% positive that alcohol is the wrong path for any relationship. Alcoholism is a disease of the mind and body and does not just affect those who use alcoholic beverages as their drug of choice. A relationship with someone who drinks is always more difficult than one with someone without a drinking problem. You can find help and support for alcoholism – find it before it gets too serious. If someone in your relationship drinks too much alcohol, it could be time to reevaluate the relationship. Alcoholism is a difficult addiction to break out of because it can undo all the good things in your life.
5. ‘Beware’ warning signs
Constantly fighting, infidelity, betrayal, persistent jealousy and distrust, and lying are the “beware” warning signs for you. If you find yourself spending more time with negative people than positive ones, this could be a sign.
Make Sure You Have A Positive Relationship
The first step to a happier relationship is ensuring that you have a positive relationship. I tell people to make sure they’re not walking on eggshells and constantly trying not to do something wrong. If you find yourself constantly apologizing, it’s time to reevaluate the relationship and find more constructive ways of communicating with your partner. In a relationship, you need to make sure that both people are feeling appreciated. If your partner is always disagreeing with you or being negative, it’s a sign that something is wrong in your relationship and an unhealthy one at that. It’s important for both of you to have a positive outlook on life and each other. If you feel like your partner is constantly criticizing you and/or minimizing your accomplishments, that’s a sign that this person isn’t on board with your plans for success.
You need to know if your relationship is walking you down the wrong path before it’s too late. The best way to do so is to ask yourself, “What kind of relationship would I like to have with this person?” Ask yourself what kind of things make a healthy and happy relationship. And most importantly ask yourself if you really want this?
Heart to heart
At the end of the day, it’s important for you to trust your instinct and walk away from a partner who demonstrates one or more cautionary signs. In some cases, it might make sense to try to salvage your bond, but if your partner shows no sign of self-correction then it is probably best to walk away. If you ever struggle with knowing what to do, speaking with a therapist can help.
Written by Katherine Joseph