There have been many reports of women being attacked by their boyfriends and exes. While some women are fortunate enough to be rescued and taken to hospital in time to save their lives, others like Ivy Wangechi, are killed. This could be a sign of an unhealthy relationship to that escalated to the extreme, a physical attack. But things don't always start that way. There are signs, some subtle and others quite obvious that are clear indicators that your relationship is toxic.
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Signs you are in an unhealthy relationship:
1. Poor or lack of communication
Good communication is important in maintaining a healthy relationship. In an unhealthy relationship you:
- are afraid of speaking up lest your partner bursts out in anger,
- are unable to confide in your partner or you feel your opinion isn’t heard or valued,
- can’t discuss issues pertaining to your relationship,
- either you or your partner is defensive during arguments, blaming each other or you don’t forgive each other
2. Lack of compromise
In every healthy relationship, you and your partner should be able to let reach a compromise especially when you have varying points of view. In an unhealthy relationship you feel forced to agree with your partner when you argue and you makes all the sacrifices forgetting about your needs and wants.
3. Disregarding your feelings and needs
You are in an unhealthy relationship if your partner:
- says you are overreacting when you are upset about something
- discourages you from bettering yourself e.g. going back to school
- disrespects your choices especially when you say ‘no’
- goes out either without informing you or comes late without giving you a heads up and then acts defensively when you ask
4. Possessiveness and jealousy
If your partner behaves like he owns you, tries to control you or tries to isolate you from your friends or family, they are being possessive and jealous.
Your relationship is unhealthy if your partner lies to you repetitively and doesn’t feel remorseful even when caught in a lie.
6. You feel like you have lost yourself
You should never feel like you have to become somebody else when you are in a relationship. Things like feeling emotionally drained or when your partner openly asks you to change to fit their expectations, are signs of an unhealthy relationship.
7. The relationship leaves you dissatisfied
Dissatisfaction comes in different forms in a relationship i.e.:
- your self-confidence has reduced
- you imagine yourself dating anyone else other than them
- you feel lonely even when you are sitting together
- you can’t remember the last time you were happy in each other’s company
- you want something more/different from your life than as compared to your partner
- you avoid going home
Your partner should never humiliate you. If they make fun of you in a mean way, compare you to other people, belittle you even in public or persistently points out your flaws they are toxic.
9. Recurring breakups
Breaking up over and over again only to get back together, is a sign of an underlying problem. You both have failed to acknowledge the reason behind your recurring breakups.
10. Physical violence
There are different levels of physical abuse – a slap, a blow, a complete beat down and eventually a killing. Whichever you go through, it is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.