- 11 Subtle Differences Between A Toxic Relationship Vs. One That Just Needs Work
- 7 Differences Between A Healthy Relationship And A Toxic One
- 5 Signs of a Toxic Relationship
- Toxic Relationships:
- Your Relationship Is Not Different
- Do Abusers Know They Are Abusive?
- 9 Subtle Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship
11 Subtle Differences Between A Toxic Relationship Vs. One That Just Needs Work
If your relationship is going through a rough patch right now, it might cause you towonder, “is my relationship toxic, or does it just needs some work to move past a few specific issues?” In both situations, relationships are ly to be rife with arguments, they might not be very fun, and they won't necessarily feel healthy.
But there are some key differences to watch out for. “A truly toxic relationship is different than a rough patch when you notice that behaviors are …
destructive on a rather consistent basis, despite attempts at rectifying them,” clinical psychologist and relationship expert, Dr. Danielle Forshee, tells Bustle.
“Additionally, a relationship is toxic when an individual is unable to accept responsibility at any time, compared to a rough patch, where they accept responsibility sometimes.”
In toxic relationships, one or both partners are more ly to be unwilling to change, and there will probably be unhealthy dynamics that won't go away, as a result.
But if a relationship simply needs work, both partners will be down to make the effort, and changes will occur. They'll be aware of what's wrong, and will figure out ways to fix it.
And they will do so in a kind, understanding, and patient way.
Relationships are difficult, and many go through rough patches, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're all toxic. Here are a few ways experts say it's possible to tell the difference between something toxic, and something that's still worth fixing.
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In healthy relationships, any time a problem crops up, both partners will be willing to figure out a solution, and make a change. With toxic relationships, however, that rarely happens. And things can become stagnant as a result.
“The truest and biggest sign of a toxic relationship is showing no remorse for hurting your partner. The second biggest sign is showing remorse but not changing the behavior or working to change the behavior that is damaging,” licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert Dr. Dori Gatter, PsyD, LCPC, tells Bustle.
The moment one or both of you refuses to change something negative in the relationship, is the moment it becomes toxic.
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Learning how to communicate effectively with each other will probably be a lifelong learning process. And that's OK. It's only when you stop trying to communicate that things can go south, and rough patches may not resolve.
“All couples will have some issues and places where they feel stuck and fight,” Dr. Gatter says. “We tend to have the same arguments over and over again without coming to a satisfying outcome. Feeling frustrated and not knowing how to reach your partner can start to build a feeling of resentment and we often pull away, shut down, or fight as a result.”
But as long as you're willing to move past it, be on the same team, “and work on changing behaviors then this can be a healthy relationship,” Dr. Gatter says.
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Even through tough times, healthy couples will still have that chemistry that brought them together in the first place. Sure, they might be arguing. Yes, they might be disagreeing. But they'll still feel that special spark between them.
“During a therapy session I am looking for signs of fondness and appreciation for one another underneath the hurt feelings,” Julie Espinoza Malm, MA, LPC, of Psychotherapy Innovations, P.L.C., tells Bustle. “If this criteria is met, it is clear that the couple is going through a rough patch and ly just needs to have a safe space to talk out their wants and needs to find a solution.”
With toxic relationships, that fondness won't ly exist, either due to apathy, anger, or other underlying issues. In this situation, seeing a couples therapist can come in handy, as they can offer an outside perspective, and help you figure out the difference.
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The key to figuring out whether a relationship is toxic or not isn't the absence of arguments, but rather how a couple argues. Do you yell and scream and throw insults? Or do you hear each other out?
“Ways in which you manage conflict is something that is fixable,” Dr. Forshee says. “When both partners are able and willing to point the finger at themselves at times, and not always at their partner,” things can remain healthy. But if not, that's when toxicity can seep on in.
If a couple is simply going through a rough patch, they'll ly be actively working on it. And this is what sees them through. “Talking about the hard stuff, all the way through to the other side, brings you closer and makes your relationship stronger,” relationship coach Ken Blackman tells Bustle.
Compare this to a couple who deceives each other, withholds information, misdirects, etc., which Blackman says are all toxic traits. “This is where I draw a hard line,” he says. “Either you change your mind about this behavior, right now and permanently, or the relationship is going to end.”
Sometimes, it takes a while for a couple to learn how to communicate, sort their issues, and create a healthy foundation for their relationship. There will, however, be slow progress in that direction.
This is very different from toxic relationships, where things are bad — and they stay that way. “Consider if the toxic behavior is a pattern or just isolated incidents,” therapist Julie Williamson, LPC, NCC, RPT tells Bustle.
“If it's isolated incidents, those can be talked through and new habits created. A pattern of toxic behavior may indicate characteristics of a mental health issue.
” And one that may negatively impact a relationship, until the person seeks treatment.
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One thing that's super toxic? Gaslighting. As Dr. Forshee says, “Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where one person is targeted and they engage in tactics that result in questioning your own memory, perception, and sanity.”
And this is not something that happens in a relationship that is simply going through a rough patch. “This is extremely detrimental to a relationship because it is not about love, it is about power and control,” she says.
“For example, if you confront your partner with something you’re concerned about, or something that you didn’t that they did, they will offer evidence to show that you are wrong, or to make you question your own memory.
” Since this tactic is often inherently emotionally abusive, it may be best if you leave this relationship, or seek help from a professional or a loved one in leaving it.
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
It's important in a relationship to spend time apart and focus on what matters to each of you, individually. But this is way different than one or both partners focusing solely on themselves.
“If your partner only cares about themselves, how [the relationship] makes them feel, what you can do to make them happy … then this is a sign of a toxic relationship problem that can't be solved,” Diana and Todd Mitchem, relationship coaches at Enarilove, tell Bustle.
With all problems, you can always try to talk about it and fix it. But if someone isn't willing to put effort into a relationship, it isn't ly to go anywhere, and it may be best for you to move on.
Nothing screams “toxic” quite a partner who can't apologize, or accept when they're wrong. So take note if you notice this pattern in your relationship.
“All relationships involve ups and downs and everyone makes mistakes,” Jonathan Bennett, relationship and dating expert at Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. “Healthy relationships involve both sides admitting fault when it’s appropriate and then forgiving. Refusing to apologize or accept an apology over common disagreements and fights is a toxic control tactic.”
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Again, communication is everything when it comes to telling the difference between a healthy relationship, and one that's toxic. So be on the lookout for childish things, a partner who dishes out the silent treatment.
“If your partner constantly shuts down communication in a relationship, then it’s a sign of toxicity,” Bennett says.
“This can be done through more subtle ways 'the silent treatment' or running away to a bar when an issue needs to be resolved.
The only way for a relationship to be healthy is to keep the lines of communication open and not let problems fester to the point of resentment.”
When a relationship is toxic, its effects will ly bleed over into other areas of your life. So be on the lookout for struggles outside of your love life.
“Is your work or school suffering? Are you isolating from friends/family to avoid sharing about your life? How is your sleep and other general day to day routines faring?” asks Malm. “If any of these areas or more are being impacted then it would be wise to look more closely at the health of your relationship.”
While it can be tough to tell at first if a relationship is toxic, or it just needs work, it often becomes easier to spot true toxicity once you know what to look for.
You can also bring these issues to your partner's attention, and try to work on them as a couple.
But if they aren't going away, and things have possibly dipped into emotionally abusive or controlling territory, it is best to do all you can do to move on.
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7 Differences Between A Healthy Relationship And A Toxic One
There are a few glaring hints that a relationship isn't good for you, if someone is out-and-out abusive. But when it comes to figuring out whether a relationship is toxic, things get a little murkier. Here are seven key things to look out for that will help you figure out whether you're in a healthy relationship—and what to do if you think you aren't.
1. How you handle screw-ups.
In a healthy relationship: You can apologize when you shelve date night for work, and they can do the same when they forget to take the trash out yet again. In a toxic relationship: One of you would rather move to Siberia than actually say, “I'm sorry.”
Everyone makes mistakes in their relationships, but the most important thing is being able to own up after the fact. “Some people have difficulty with apologies because it can create a sense of vulnerability,” says Anne Brennan Malec, Psy.D.
, a Chicago-based licensed clinical psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and author of Marriage in Modern Life: Why it Works, When it Works. It can also make them feel they're flawed in some deep, dark way, so they'd rather avoid it altogether by pretending they didn't do anything wrong.
In a healthy relationship, you're able to open up, admit you made a mistake, and trust in the fact that your partner will still love you.
2. What you emphasize about your partner.
In a healthy relationship: You mostly tell each other the things that delight you about the relationship, with a few complaints or requests to change something peppered in (because that's totally normal). In a toxic relationship: You're more about voicing your frustrations with each other and your general status quo than talking about what either of you does right.
What you each focus on is a big part of forming a blissed-out connection.
“In a happy relationship, both partners acknowledge and convey what the other person does to please them,” says New York-based marriage and sex therapist Jane Greer, Ph.D.
, and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship. In toxic ones, they only talk about what disappoints them, and they often communicate these issues in a critical, blaming way.”
3. How often you employ the silent treatment.
In a healthy relationship: Even when one of you is upset with the other, you still think about their feelings and don't want to cause any unnecessary pain via ignoring them. In a toxic relationship: One person completely ices the other out after a fight.
Beyond being a tactic best left to high schoolers, the silent treatment is a symptom of emotional manipulation.
“The person who's left behind doesn't know what's going on, or whether their partner is even still interested in being with them,” says Malec.
Going off the grid, whether verbally or by straight up disappearing for a day after a fight, is a way to create emotional instability in the relationship. People in healthy relationships avoid inflicting this kind of pain, even to make a point.
4. Whether you're both truly dependable.
In a healthy relationship: When your partner says they'll do something, you know they'll follow through. In a toxic relationship: You're never exactly sure whether they'll stick to their promises or if it's all lip service.
This one is all about feeling emotionally safe. “In healthy relationships, you have a foundation of trust, stability, and security,” says Greer.
In toxic ones, you usually have to deal with a base level of anxiety because you never know if your partner will show up, either emotionally or physically.
It's even worse when they actively do things that you're hoping they'll change, spilling too many details about your finances to your family. If they're always promising to make a 180 but never actually doing it, you'll wind up feeling you can't trust them.
5. How many little fights turn into huge blowouts.
In a healthy relationship: You can agree to disagree about the fact that Breaking Bad is the best show ever. In a toxic relationship: A minor difference of opinion often turns into a sprawling argument.
5 Signs of a Toxic Relationship
Source: Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash
If you're in an abusive relationship (physical or emotional), you know it's toxic. Maybe not in the beginning, but eventually. And you may minimize it. You may struggle to leave.
But you know there is something wrong: There is no doubt that the relationship is unhealthy. If you are unsure, your friends and family will keep reminding you. It is there and seen.
And it's just a matter of time before you address it or leave.
But what if a relationship is not abusive? Can it still be toxic? Yes, and these relationships are just as dangerous, if not more, than an abusive relationship because you may not be aware that it's harming you.
boiling a frog, a toxic relationship can kill you slowly inside, stunt your growth, lower your self-esteem, and disconnect you from you, without you knowing it. Toxic can happen over time. That's what makes toxic relationships so dangerous—many aren't obvious.
Toxic can be a very slow leak, but a leaky faucet can drown you.
That's why it's important to step back once in a while and review. Not as an evaluation; as a check in with yourself. Maybe you're the one who's making the relationship toxic?
Here are five signs of a toxic relationship.
Subtle Character Assassination. Assassinating one's character isn't always obvious. You can do it without bad intentions. Many of us grew up belittling friends and siblings as a way to connect, especially boys who spent a lot of time in locker rooms—idiot, loser, bitch, wussy.
This can carry into adulthood. When I was in my early thirties, I called my girlfriend a “pig” once after she ate the rest of the fruit while I was in the restroom. Of course I was joking and I didn't think it was a big deal. But she also struggled with an eating disorder that I did not know about.
So it was a big deal.
It's not about whether you mean what you say or not. It's about how your partner is wired and what he or she will internalize.
“F you” to one person can be a high five to some people or an insult to others. Any dialogue or behavior, intended or not, that takes away from one's worth is character assassination.
And over time, this can create hairline cracks in your relationship container.
Control Without Knowing It.
Checking up on you, accusing you of talking to people you “shouldn't,” purposely making friends or family feel uncomfortable when visiting, punishing you by making you feel bad about something, demanding a report on your actions and conversations, not allowing any activity which excludes your partner, telling you what you can and can not wear, or what you can and can not eat. All of these are obviously examples of controlling behavior.
But control can also come in decaf, a subtle between-the-lines push that can make people do things guilt or other things, and that we may not be aware that we're doing. We can get people to change by leveraging who they are and what they've been through.
Not intentionally; it may not be coming from an evil place. You may just want the best for them. But your best not be their best and if it's your wants and not theirs, you can be controlling without even knowing it.
It doesn't matter where it comes from: Any dialogue, behavior, or design, intended or not, that takes from one's truth and freedom is control.
Jealous Passive-Aggressive Behavior. There's nothing wrong or toxic about feeling jealous. If you're human, you have felt jealous before.
It's what you do with that feeling that determines whether you make a relationship toxic or not.
Is he transparent about his jealous feelings but then also processing it with his therapist? Or is he blaming you for them? Does she want you to do something or change so she doesn't have to deal with her feelings of insecurity?
Yes, checking your phone and emails behind your back, wanting to know where you are at all times and who you're with, and telling you what you can and can not wear, all represent jealous behavior.
But so is the heavy energy or pouting that he's not taking responsibility for because he's jealous of something or someone. So is the passive-aggressive, “I'll just stay at home, then,” or pulling away/indirectly punishing you due to his jealous feelings.
This is also jealous behavior, but it flies under the radar and may not be as such. But enough of it can make any relationship toxic.
Never Taking Ownership. We don't always own our issues and that's okay. No one 's perfect. We all have egos. But if we never take ownership, it turns the relationship lopsided and ultimately toxic. Ownership is what makes relationships grow.
If people don't own, they are not learning, expanding, and evolving. They are repeating patterns. They are living in the past. They are defensive.
When people don't take ownership, they flip their relationship magnet, and this can make a relationship toxic, because if a relationship is not always growing and evolving and deepening, it is stagnant.
And a stagnant relationship, one that only goes in circles, is a toxic relationship. Loving someone isn't just about comfort and feeling good; healthy love means discomfort, and if you don't take ownership, there is none.
Negativity for Too Long. We all go through winters. We all have bad days. But if your partner makes no effort to catch light, always dragging you into their cave because you're the closest person to them, that can turn the relationship toxic. I used to be a very negative person.
I used to put my unhappiness on who I choose to love at the time. It wasn't intentional; I didn't know the damage I was doing. I didn't realize how heavy and unfair it was to carry one's negativity. I took people hostage without intending to or knowing it.
Over time it made my relationship toxic.
We have a responsibility for our own happiness. If we're not happy, fine; no one's happy all of the time. But then we should be working on that while getting support from our partner. Not putting it on our partner.
If we don't do anything about our negativity, behavior, thinking, and energy, we are taking them down with us. Whether we intend to or not, we are affecting our partner's quality of life.
Over time, this can turn a relationship toxic.
Subtle character assassination, control without knowing it, jealous passive-aggressive behavior, never taking ownership, and negativity for too long, are all common behaviors we have been guilty of in our relationships.
And they're not obvious so we can miss them. And since they're not detected, they grow and eventually turn into a virus that puts cinder blocks around both feet of a relationship, and can slowly drown both parties.
So ask yourself if any of these are happening in your relationship. But more important, what can be done to stop the leak, and to turn the boil down.
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There is often a perception that abusive relationships only involve certain kinds of abuse, or that abusive people only behave a certain way.
People look at their relationship and the person they are in the relationship with and say, “This person is different. This relationship is different. It's not the same.
” It can be one of the hardest things to accept that this is in fact not true.
It doesn't matter what kind of relationship it is. Whether it's family, friend, spouse, child . . .
those in these relationships with a narcissist or other abusive type of person will often say—and believe—that their circumstances are somehow different from the other abusive relationships they've seen or heard about.
They may think their circumstances are special or that the abuser has some kind of mitigating factor going on that makes it different, unique and not other abusive relationships.
“She says hurtful things but she's had a hard life. It's not the same as Bobby's situation. His wife is just mean.”
“He hits me but he's got emotional problems. He's not those guys on the TV movies. He has a real problem.”
“Mom puts me down but Grandma was the same way and that's the only way Mom knows to parent. She's not doing it to hurt me or be cruel these mothers that abuse their children. She just doesn't know any better.”
The idea seems to be that abusers are mean and hateful for the sake of being mean and hateful, so if someone seems to have a problem or history that explains their behavior or excuses it somehow, they are not a real abuser. They are somehow different. This is just not true.
Every single person in every single abusive relationship thought this exact thing: “It's different. He's different. She's different. I'm different. This isn't the same as those other terrible relationships I've seen or heard of. This person can be nice sometimes. They seem sorry. They have other problems. They have reasons.
” But all abusers have reasons. All abusers have problems. All abusers have excuses.
Your Relationship Is Not Different
It's not different. And while most people are happy to find that they are not alone, it can be hurtful and even shocking to realize that everybody has the same story they do.
Everyone thought their relationship was different and special and therefore not subject to the “rules” of “real” abusive relationships.
Everyone knows that when a relationship has been identified as abusive, it should be ended because abuse is wrong. So the whole thing ends up being rationalized:
“Yes, I know we should leave abusive relationships but he's not really abusive. He's damaged. He's suffering. He's sorry.”
“Yes, I know we're not supposed to put up with abuse but this is different. She's had a really hard life. She needs help.”
Part of this is denial and part of it is because, in some ways, people have been conditioned to believe that a person cannot be both a victim and an abuser. But this is just not the case. Many abusers have had a legitimately hard life.
Many abusers have a genuinely sad story and most really were victims at one time. That often explains their behavior, but it does not excuse or mitigate it. Ever. Just because there is an explanation for something doesn't mean it's excused.
A person can usually explain why they gave themselves permission to murder another human being, but that doesn't mean it's OK that they did it or they will now face no consequences just because they had a reason.
Suffering abuse is no excuse for abusing other people who had absolutely nothing to do with that. All too often, this is the justification that is given. And all too often, it is accepted.
People see this person they live with or that they know. They can often see that this person really was a victim, or they really are suffering or they really do have other problems—problems that may be significant. And people have been conditioned to believe that if someone is a victim, things are not their fault.
Therefore, they can't be an abuser. So they accept these justifications for abuse – which is really all they are. The problem here is the misunderstanding of responsibility. No one is ever to blame for being abused, and there are absolutely no exceptions to this.
No one is responsible or in control of another person's actions. Ever. However, that does not mean that the person's own actions are not their responsibility. If someone was abused as a child, that does not make their own abusive actions as an adult somehow not their responsibility.
Abuse is often a cycle in families and it only stops happening if someone stops it—starting with themselves.
Do Abusers Know They Are Abusive?
Sometimes, the explanation for abuse is that the abuser doesn't realize their behavior is hurtful or not OK. While this is usually not true, even if it were, how does that make it OK to stay committed to the relationship? Ignorance is only an excuse once. After you've told someone their behavior is hurting or bothering you, they know better.
If they don't stop, they don't care. It's as simple as that. If there were a situation where someone really couldn't stop or truly couldn't understand, then the relationship is still toxic because they are still behaving in a manner that does not respect or consider the other person.
It doesn't really matter whether abuse or toxic behavior is intentional or not. It affects people the same.
For the record though, most abusers are aware their behavior is hurtful. They don't care, at least in the moment when they are doing it, and that is when it really matters. Being sorry later is great and all, but if it doesn't stop someone from behaving that way in the first place, it doesn't really matter.
What we often find is that abusers regret the consequences of their actions rather than the actions themselves. This is why the supposed remorse usually only shows up when they are actually faced with these consequences. If there are no consequences, there is often no remorse. They are sorry their actions led to the consequence, not for the action itself.
If it hadn't led to that consequence, then it probably wouldn't matter. In other words, “I'm sorry I did this because it has led to this consequence I don't .” They are not sorry because they feel what they did was wrong. It only becomes wrong when it leads to an outcome they don't .
The consequence is often resented mightily and the victim may be punished for having feelings or being human.
The truth is, this is a very old story and it's one that has played itself out over and over again.
The idea that their relationship is different and therefore fixable or otherwise salvageable can be a big part of what keeps people in these relationships so long. Sadly, the outcome is always the same.
We often say, “Hurt people hurt people,” and it's true. But that is an explanation, not an excuse. Hurt people may hurt people, but that doesn't mean they have the right.
9 Subtle Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship
One of the first signs of a toxic relationship is when one partner is very controlling, Andrea Bonior, PhD, author of The Friendship Fix told Health.com. “This doesn't always mean physically threatening or violent,” she said.
It can simply be that you feel frightened to share your opinions because you're nervous and afraid of your partner's emotional reactions, says Dr. Bonior, an adjunct professor of psychology at Georgetown University.
And if you find yourself dumbing things down so your partner can feel smart or save the day—huge red flag in toxic relationships.
“Your body is smart,” says relationship expert Sofia Milan. “If you were to eat poison, your body would immediately try to throw it up. If you get something in your eye, your eye starts tearing.” Stressed? Your hair will fall out.
Get it? So if you’re having physical issues ulcers, throwing up, dizziness/passing out, chest pains, or new skin flare-ups, your body may be trying to get your attention. Physical illness often presents itself in people in toxic relationships.
Milan says to ask yourself, what is the root cause of these ill feelings? They might be symptoms of garden-variety stress, but “if your partner, a friend, or co-worker is the person that comes to mind first, that is a sign that you need to give someone the boot or begin a conversation to mend the problem.”
While some bickering is even healthy for your relationship, “constant misunderstanding is a bad sign,” says Sue Kolod, PhD, a psychoanalyst in New York City.
“As couples get to know each other better, there should be a progression toward more understanding and less misunderstanding.
” Poor communication that never improves is toxic because, without communication, a relationship can never move forward.
“Many couples thrive on high theatrics—screaming, accusations, hands, and words flying,” says psychiatrist Scott Haltzman, MD, author of the book The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity. “As long as there are not physical assaults, or so long as the words are not hateful or contemptuous, that's not necessarily a bad thing,” he notes.
In fact, many couples this are considered high expressers, says Dr. Haltzman, and they often report better sex lives than more mellow couples. “But, and it's a big but, their divorce rates are higher.” He says your partner lighting fireworks over your sea of tranquility is often characteristic of toxic relationships.
These clues could signal you're headed for divorce.
“When a partner or pal wants you to break off relationships with friends and family, that is a sign of a toxic relationship. Isolating the partner from friends and family is upsetting because it is an attempt to control and manipulate without interference from the partner's support system,” advises Dr. Kolod.
“The relationship scorecard develops over time because one or both people in a relationship use past wrongdoings in order to try and justify current righteousness.
This is a double-whammy of 'suckage,'” says author and blogger Mark Mason.
“Not only are you deflecting the current issue, but you’re ginning up guilt and bitterness from the past to manipulate your partner into feeling wrong in the present.”
Partners need to talk about a lot of important things in relationships—not just whether to get sushi or pizza for takeout or what to watch on Netflix. If your partner flat-out refuses to talk about important relationship topics, when to have a baby or buy a home, you may be in a toxic relationship.
“When it is not possible to discuss the issues in the relationship there's a huge problem,” says Dr. Kolod. “One patient has told me that if she tries to talk about her expectations for the future with her boyfriend, he disappears for several days. This is a toxic pattern because it results in my patient feeling afraid to bring up concerns with her boyfriend.
” If you or your partner refuses to fix problems, you could be fostering a potentially toxic relationship.
If you’re concerned about the balance of power in your relationship, it can be helpful to imagine your relationship as a seesaw, Suzanne Lachmann, PsyD, told SpiritualityHealth.com.
“If both partners understand their power (or are empowered), the seesaw stays relatively level and balanced,” Dr. Lachmann explains.
“But if one person in the relationship has brought in a feeling of powerlessness, he or she may try to compensate by bearing down on the seesaw, shifting his or her weight, and perpetually uprooting, destabilizing, or ungrounding his or her partner on the other side.”
Sometimes a relationship has to run its course and one party is still “in it to win it” while the other is starting to sabotage it, possibly without realizing it, advises Milan.
“If you’re starting to have thoughts , ‘This is not it used to be,’ ‘This is not what I signed up for,’ or ‘This doesn’t feel good anymore,’ it is possible that what was a good relationship has turned toxic.” In a healthy relationship, both parties work on themselves and are committed to the relationship, says Milan.
“If you find that your partner doesn’t feel much a partner or lover any longer—and he or she is bringing you down more than lifting you up, you need to rethink your relationship.” Now, learn what a healthy, solid relationship should look .