10 Major Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship

Submitted by: Annabeth Tyson

The following list is of major warning signs of unhealthy dynamics in an intimate relationship.

1. Repetitive Arguments:

Relationships with repetitive arguments are defined by conflict, fighting, blaming and a lack of forgiveness spell disaster. It is when you find that you argue about the same things over and over again and never seem to find a resolution. You both feel unheard and invalidated and may feel like you are the loser and that you often “need” to defend your position.

2. Power Struggle

Power struggles can cause a serious rift in a relationship. When neither party wants to “give in,” minor differences become the battleground for winning dominance rather than understanding the deeper, more important issues at stake as well as the bigger picture of the relationship to promote health and happiness.

3. Escalation

Escalation takes place when argument gets out of control and neither of the partners is able to de-escalate the conflict. It is when partners negatively respond back and forth to each other, continually upping the ante so conditions get worse and worse. Partners tend to say things that threaten the very lifeblood of their relationship. Partners often try to hurt each other by hurling verbal (and sometimes physical) weapons.

4. Kitchen Sinking

When a partner brings up things that are totally off the subject ("everything but the kitchen sink"), it is impossible to have a constructive discussion. The argument that doesn’t have a focus leads to frustration and a power struggle.

5. Interpretations

Reading beyond the facts and assuming things regarding the intention of the other person. This happens a lot when you start the sentence with you. Negative Interpretations occur when one partner consistently believes that the motives of the other are more negative than is really the case. The actions of one partner are interpreted negatively and unfairly. Research tells us that people tend to see what they expect to see in others and in situations. In fact, we have a very strong tendency toward "confirmation bias" which consists of looking for evidence that confirms what we already think is true about a person or situation. In distressed relationships, the partners tend to discount the positive things they see, attributing to causes such as chance rather than to any positive characteristics of the partner.

6. Invalidation

Invalidation is saying or doing things while ignoring the other partner’s opinion, desire or feelings. It happens when confusion between listening and acceptance takes place (understanding the other side does not mean you accept it but rather respect it). Invalidation is a pattern in which one partner subtly or directly puts down the thoughts, feelings or character of the other. Sometimes such comments, intentionally or unintentionally, lower the self-esteem of the targeted person. Invalidation can take many forms. One partner says to the other that their feelings (for example: sadness or frustration) are inappropriate. Invalidation hurts. It leads naturally to covering up who you are and what you think, because it becomes just too risky to do otherwise. People naturally cover up their innermost feelings when they believe that they will be "put down.”

7. Temper Outbursts

Your partner has outbursts of temper, such as cursing, throwing things or kicking doors/walls towards anybody or anything. Repeated anger can be costly, both physically and emotionally. Chronic anger makes people rigid and highly defensive. It has a negative effect on personal health and damages relationships.

8. Unresolved Past

You have ghosts from past relationships (or childhood) that surface again and again, because they were not dealt with or resolved. You may overreact to fairly innocent things your partner says or does because it triggers your demon or a memory from a past relationship. Intimate relationship is the domain in which we work out our unresolved or unmet childhood needs. The unmet needs hurt or unresolved issues from our childhood usually, therefore, get reenacted in our adult intimate relationships. In this regard, our past is still very much alive, because it reappears in our present relationships.

9. Keeping Secrets

Secrets might reflect a barrier that keeps a couple from being truly close and intimate with each other. The longer you keep such secrets, the more difficult they become to keep, and the more they can jeopardize the relationship. Secrets are designed to prevent your partner from having a complete picture of you, flaws and all. As such, the most damaging type of secret to keep might be the kind you fear would lead your partner to disapprove of you.

10. Addiction

Addiction is often said to be a disease of denial, but it is also a disease of regret. Not only is addiction harmful to the addictive person but also highly damaging to the relationship. First the addict lies to himself about his addiction, and then he begins to lie to others, including his partner. Lying, evasion, deception, manipulation, spinning and other techniques for avoiding or distorting the truth are necessary parts of the addictive process.

About the Author: Studies have shown that couples benefit from couples counseling NYC, especially if they come early enough before a serious damage takes place. Investing in couple’s therapy offers a deeper, sexier, happier and more resilient connection with your partner. You can call us now for a 15 minute phone consultation at 917-692-3867 or email me at info@spiral2grow.com or visit http://www.spiral2grow.com

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