Sunday, August 17, 2008

Signs of an unhealthy relationship

How do you know a relationship is turning out to be really bad for you?

We recently got to chat with someone who has been in an on-again-off-again relationship for the past five years. All their friends have been advising them to finally go their separate ways, yet they still insist on getting back together—only to eventually hurt each other. Neither of them is happy with the relationship, yet both are too scared to let the other go, for fear they may never find another suitable partner. When the guy cheated on her, she swallowed everything and continued to go out and sleep with him, even after they have decided to breakup.

You wonder, how could these people allow themselves to stay in such an unhealthy relationship? The answer could be as simple as: they do not know the relationship is actually bad for them. So to clue you in, here are a few tell-tale signs you are in an unhealthy relationship.

Go Ask Alice, the health question and answer online resource produced by Columbia University, lists some of the characteristics of an unhealthy relationship as follows:
- Either of you makes the other feel bad about himself
- One is manipulating the other
- One or both of you do not make time for the other
- One controls the other’s money or other resources

Inspirational writer Heather J. Tait writes that an unhealthy relationship often causes us stress and is detrimental to our well-being, leaving us down and exhausted. “Common symptoms of unhealthy relationships include sickness, stress, and a negative outlook of ourselves and the world around us. People who are accustomed to unhealthy relationships often stay cornered in situations like this because they do not recognize that there is another way of living,” writes Tait.

This shows us that the first step toward having a better relationship is recognizing you are in a bad one. Follow your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, then something must be wrong. Now that you know the signs to watch out for, assess yourself and start talking to your partner about it so you can make the necessary adjustments while you still can. If it’s too late, you must know that there really is no other way but out. Do not waste your precious time on a relationship that would eventually make a turn for the worse—and consequently bring out the worst in you.

What other signs of an unhealthy relationship do you know? Share it with us.

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