Everyone craves for a healthy and fulfilling relationship that uplifts, empowers, and brings out the best in them. No one wants a bad one that drains out the energy and sucks out the peace and happiness from life.
Whatever the reason, a bad relationship could leave you and your partner constantly feeling unhappy with each other. If you are both trying to spend more time apart than together, then the chances are that you are in a bad relationship.
In this MomJunction post, we tell you about the possible causes and indicators of a bad relationship and ways to deal with it for you and your partner’s benefit.
Signs Of A Bad Relationship
People want to be in a relationship for love, comfort, fun or pleasure, and sometimes, a sense of security. But if you and your partner are struggling more and loving less, then look out for the following signs that indicate you are in a bad relationship.
- You always walk on eggshells around each other. In a good relationship, you and your partner would be comfortable with each other. You will not just be lovers; you’ll be each others’ best friends too. But in a bad relationship, you always try to hide your true selves fearing judgment or ridicule from the partner. You are in constant fear of how your actions would change your partner’s mood.
- Every conversation would end in a fight. Even a simple discussion about ‘what to have for dinner’ could blow up and end in a fight. It may seem like no conversation ever ends on a positive note. Couples in bad relationships do not need a specific reason to fight. Anything and everything can spark an argument that ends in bitterness and blaming each other.
- You do not trust each other. Whether it is due to an episode of infidelity or something else, couples in bad relationships find it difficult to trust each other. Lack of trust is often the root cause of many problems in a relationship and leads to extreme behavior like spying on each other or hiding important aspects of each others’ life. This also makes it impossible to share your fears or dreams.
- You fantasize being single. This is one of the many side-effects of being in a bad relationship. If you are in a failing relationship for longer than you should, you may wonder if relationships are worth the time at all. You start to imagine how your life would be without your partner. The thought persists even after you brush it off initially, and eventually, make you long for the happy times and freedom you’ve had when you were single.
[ Read: Arguments In A Relationship ]
- Misunderstandings become the norm. Even in a normal and healthy relationship, disagreements are bound to be there. But in a healthy relation, these fade eventually as the couple gets to know each other and moves towards understanding each other better. But in a bad relationship, the partners overthink and fight, and never try to reach the phase of better understanding.
- You feel sex is the only thing keeping you together. Physical intimacy is essential, but that must not be used as a carpet under which you sweep your relationship troubles. In a bad relationship, whenever there is a fight, instead of having a discussion, the couple may end up having ‘makeup’ sex. Though this might calm the waters a little, it could only make things worse in the long run.
- You do not share the same core values. One of the reasons for a bad relationship is a significant difference in values and philosophies. It could be loyalty, integrity, morality, or sincerity or anything else that is a part of your core beliefs. Frequent arguments about such values are also an indicator of a bad relationship. For example, your partner might think that small white lies in a relationship are okay, but for you, it could be a big no-no.
- You do not prioritize each other. One of the most important aspects of a good relationship is making each other important. When you were single, you could’ve had other things or people that you’d give more importance to. But when you are in a relationship, it is important to make it as well as your partner the top priority. When neither of the partners thinks it is important to spend time together, the relationship turns bad.
- Your partner is all words and no action. The saying ‘actions speak louder than words’ holds true in a relationship too. Initially, you tend to believe the words of your partner, but when their actions start contradicting their speech, then you start to wonder if they are who they say they are. Such confusion and lack of trust are one of the prominent signs of a bad relationship.
- Your family and friends think it’s not a good idea. If you are the only person in favor of your relationship, then something is off. While it is not necessary to have the approval of your friends and family, their constant criticism about your partner should be a sign that maybe you do not see what they can see. If your best friend or mom says that your partner might not be the one for you, ask them why.
- You are unhappy. This is probably the most evident sign of a bad relationship. Though it is subtle, you cannot ignore it. The ultimate goal of any relationship is the happiness of both partners. But if being with your partner is only making you feel sad and depressed, then that relationship is just not working for you.
Couples who are in bad relationships tend to endure the pain and try to get along long after they shouldn’t have to. Wonder why? Keep reading, and we’ll tell you.
Why Do People Stay In A Bad Relationship?
When someone prefers to stay in a bad relationship, we, as outsiders, might think they’re foolish. But have you ever wondered what makes someone stay in a relationship that is making them unhappy? Read on to find out.
- Fear of loneliness: This probably is the most common reason to stay in a bad relationship. Being in a relationship for a significant time tends to make us dependent on the partner, and we fear that if they get out of the relationship, we will be left all alone, forever.
- Hope that things will get better: Another reason for staying in a bad relationship is the hope that things will change eventually. You and your partner may think that everything is going to be fine tomorrow, without realizing that you’re in an unending loop.
- The embarrassment of breakup or divorce: Social norms could make breakup or divorce difficult. Some couples feel embarrassed to tell their friends and peers that their relationship did not work out.
- Low self-esteem: Staying in a bad relationship will break you emotionally, making you feel you are not good enough, and your partner is an angel for putting up with you. Such negative thoughts also cause people to stay in bad relationships.
- The obligation of children: Some couples stay in bad relationships for the sake of their kids. They feel that by staying together, they are giving their children a complete family. But they fail to notice the emotional turmoil the kids go through because of their fights.
You could be staying in a bad relationship due to any one of these reasons, or simply because you love your partner. If you have decided to stay in that relationship, then you must know how to deal with it and make it work. More about it next.
[ Read: How To Come Out Of A Toxic Relationship ]
How To Deal With A Bad Relationship
You do not have to end a bad relationship immediately, but enduring the pain and hoping that someday things will change is not wise either. You could have a hundred reasons to stay in the relationship. But staying together and not resolving the issues is not going to do you or your partner any good.
Here, we list a few things that you can do to make a bad relationship better.
- Talk to each other: The first step in making things right is the commitment to do it. To achieve this, the couple must talk to each other openly. It will not be easy to cultivate love amid all the hatred. But, take that first step, sit with your partner and tell them how much you love them, remind them of the happy moments you have had together and ask them if they too want to make the relationship work.
- Identify the pitfalls: Even a bad relationship would’ve been loving and promising at one point. Introspect and try to understand where things went wrong. Is it the way you communicate, or is it the trust issues? When you figure this out, you are already halfway through fixing the bad relationship.
- Design a route map: If both of you are committed to making things work, then sit together and talk about the things you are expecting from each other. This will help you understand what the core issue is. Once you two open up, you will be surprised to know how much you misunderstood each other. Considering the things that need to be changed, set up some ground rules such as:
- Neither of you will bring up the past again
- You will communicate clearly and lovingly with each other
- You will try to be more flexible and accommodating to each other’s needs
- Try something new: These ground rules will help you fight less, but that is not enough. You need to try and rekindle the lost love. To bring back the spark, take up something that both of you have never tried: it could be a dance class or an adventure trip. Create new and happy memories that can replace the bitter old memories.
- Appreciate each other: There would be some quality of your partner that you find adorable: it could be the way they laugh or the tasty food they can make. Identify it and try to appreciate them. Thank them when they do something for you and apologize if you think you did something wrong. A simple ‘thank you’ or ‘sorry’ can make a lot of difference.
- Refrain from doing what your partner dislikes: You might have noticed that your partner doesn’t like it when you look at your phone when you both are together or if you hide things from them. Try and avoid these little things, be honest and ditch the mobile and give them your undivided attention when you’re having a conversation. Making such tiny compromises will make your partner feel valued and loved.
- Go for therapy: Sometimes, a little professional help can aid in fixing a bad relationship. If both you and your partner are comfortable, then go for couple’s therapy.
- Take a final call: If you have tried everything possible, but the fights and arguments continue to rock the boat, it is time to take a call. If the relationship doesn’t seem to get better and you’re only becoming tired and frustrated as days pass by, maybe it is time to walk away. But when you do, make sure that you are one hundred percent convinced that you have given it your all.
[ Read: What Is Relationship Anxiety ]
A relationship is all about two people who love each other no matter what. But sometimes, situations can make things difficult. If your relationship has turned bitter, then try everything to make it work, as once it probably was a relationship you’ve wanted to be in. That said, do not settle and take in the pain as you cannot expect a dead plant to bloom.
What is your take on bad relationships? Let us know in the comments section below.
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