There are relationships that are un-ideal and then there are relationships that are blatantly toxic. Learn how to identify dangerous relationships.
Anyone who has ever been the worried half of a dysfunctional relationship can appreciate some advice on how to spot them before they progress too far. We’re not talking about your “too bad it didn’t work out” relationships…no… those not-so-magical yet not-so-terrible match-ups are a walk in the park compared to the truly destructive ones.
We’re talking Greek tragedy here; everybody loses or dies. The dysfunction that I mean to illuminate is the type that stems from one partner displaying tendencies of narcissism or borderline personality disorder.
These relationships are doomed to suffer the consequences of an individual taking out old abuse, past failures and misplaced insecurities on an unsuspecting and undeserving lover. Such unfortunate unions, without exception, lead to damaging behavior, harmful intentions and the development of unhealthy coping mechanisms on the part of one or both people involved.
Fortunately, there are some textbook indications that a relationship might be heading down this dark path, and recognizing them can help you escape before the situation becomes detrimental to your health.
Inability to Communicate
Couples inevitably have arguments, but if none of yours have ever ended in resolution, something is seriously wrong.
Perhaps at first, you find that you can never come to agreement on any subject, as if you have opposing perceptions of life itself. Then you realize that your conversations are always ill-spirited competitions rather than thoughtful debates. You hold grudges against each other and you have the same arguments again and again. You are always in the wrong and your partner will go so far as to manipulate words and situations to make you seem unreasonable and unstable.
At his point the alarm should be sounding in your head.
This is abusive behavior, probably stemming from a past relationship where your partner was abused or oppressed, and no one deserves to be treated this way.
Communication is so vital to managing a healthy relationship that even couples who care for and respect each other can falter in their efforts. So, if your arguments are, from the beginning, more akin to fistfights than learning experiences, the relationship has no future.
Get out of it before you become a victim of it.
Total Lack Of Teamwork
It’s called a partnership. That means you shoulder the load together, split the work 50-50. If you can’t accomplish anything as a team, even the smallest of tasks, you will never be able to navigate all of life’s pitfalls as a couple.
The signs that a person does not play well with others are apparent. You will never be able to make a decision together, and there is never any rationality involved in coming to a decision. You get mocked or put down for opinions. You end up taking the entire burden upon yourself and resenting the other person for it.
Any duo that has a hope of lasting must be able to be productive together and evoke the best from each other. So, if you can’t get things done together, the relationship can’t survive.
These two scenarios are clear cues that you’re relationship is dysfunctional and is a tragedy in the making. Cut ties with civility if you can, but cut them; or you can find yourself trapped in a nasty cycle of co-dependence fueled by blame, guilt, hostility and fear.
For more signs that you’re in a dysfunctional relationship, click here.[image: via Vic on flickr]