Unhealthy Relationships: Signs, Patterns & Solutions

Are you finding yourself less and less happy in your relationship and struggling to find common ground with your partner? Are you stumbling at your attempts to create beautiful new memories together, constantly feeling let down? If this sounds familiar, read on. 

This can be extremely difficult to deal with. Unhealthy and unhappy relationships will drain your emotional stamina and leave you feeling physically weak and unable to deal with your daily responsibilities. Relationships are supposed to give you strength, desire, love, and support, aren’t they?

Yes, that’s what a healthy relationship sounds like, and knowing what your relationship could be only to realize everything it isn’t is tough and discouraging. However, if there’s love, desire, and a mutual dedication to repairing and restoring, there can be happiness again if you agree to intensively work through your relationship problems and find solutions for you and your partner.

What Are The Signs Of An Unhealthy Relationship?

All happy families are alike, while each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. The same can easily be said about unhappy and unhealthy relationships. Every unhealthy relationship has its own set of underlying problems that causes you to experience a range of negative emotions. 

That makes every unhealthy relationship difficult in its own unique way, which is why it can be really hard for partners to find a way out of bad patterns and discover their mutual affection again. Yes, it’s hard, and yes, you’re hurting, and yes, you’re probably wondering why try at all. 

Sometimes, you might not even be aware you’re one part of an unhealthy duo. Instead, you simply find yourself less than happy most of the time and start getting this uneasy feeling that something may be off. If it persists and intensifies, you may end up like many people do and not know what to do about it. 

Did you ever stop to think that it’s nothing to do with you and that you’re just part of an unhealthy relationship? We’re all too quick to blame only ourselves, even if it’s not just us. If you ever think that you might be involved in a not-so-happy relationship, start by identifying the possible signs before attempting to resolve them. 

First Signs Of An Unhealthy Relationship

Knowing what these signs are will also help you preserve your own well-being. As varied as signs and reasons for unhealthy relationships are, there are four most common ones that couples experience: 

  • Dishonesty: Trust is the building block of all relationships, not just romantic ones. Trusting your partner and nurturing honesty is essential for a healthy relationship. Lying about different aspects of your relationship or life is the first and most common sign that something may be wrong. 
  • Control: Controlling behavior is often extremely toxic for the person having to withstand it. It takes on many forms, from controlling a partner’s social life to managing their free time and even diet. Such behavior can greatly harm a relationship. 
  • Avoidance: Addressing conflict and navigating through difficult times by talking to your partner can be tough, but it can also be the only way to adequately resolve your issues and continue your relationship. Avoiding to resolve your conflicts can lead to long-term resentment that can be a ticking time bomb for any relationship. 
  • Insecurity: All of us have insecurities we struggle with, and that’s normal. However, it’s not OK for your partner to continually exacerbate your own insecurities and make you feel even worse about yourself. This will deplete your self-worth, leaving you feeling bad about yourself and completely unhappy. 

What Are Some Unhealthy Relationship Patterns?

Your relationship might be unhealthy because of different behavioral patterns you or your partner have. Also, you might be involved in certain unhealthy relationships patterns that neither of you are able to successfully break. 

Whatever the case, it’s important to remember not to blame yourself, as that will only lead to more negative feelings. Instead, work on breaking these unhealthy relationship patterns: 

  • Being overly dependent: Healthy and happy relationships can serve as an incredible source of love, support, care, and understanding. If one or both partners focus solely on their relationship, neglecting everything else, they can, in fact, become overly dependent on the other person to make them happy and create an unhealthy environment. 
  • Being overly independent: Healthy compromises are important for healthy relationships. Now, nobody’s saying to compromise on everything all the time, as that can lead to you losing yourself in the relationship. However, being completely independent and not investing anything in the relationship can lead to becoming too distant from your partner and your relationship. 
  • Not communicating: No two people are identical in terms of manners, behavior, preferences, needs, and wants. It’s important to be aware of the differences between you and your partner. However, problems can arise if you fail to communicate those differences with each other and find ways of being together while being yourselves. 

How Do You Break A Relationship Pattern?

If you and your partner are willing to work on strengthening your relationship, and if you love each other enough to give it a try, it’s time to uncover and shift those unhealthy relationship patterns.  

Now, this can be hard work which requires some time and patience. If you take your time and work with your partner on resolving your issues, your relationship can be stronger than ever. Here are some guidelines that might help you:

  • Forgive yourself before going further. Say that it’s not your fault and that you want to make the relationship work again. Again – it’s not your fault!
  • Understand where these patterns come from. All of us, your partner included, can resort to various survival patterns we adopted in early childhood. However, these patterns, or coping mechanisms, rarely work with our romantic partners. This is why it’s important to recognize them and see if they’re causing problems in your relationship. 
  • Be honest with yourself and your partner about how you feel now and about how you want to feel in your relationship. All of us want to be seen and heard, and you deserve to feel connected again. 
  • Start resolving the patterns by being honest with your partner about the various bad behaviors and try to think of ways you can stop them from occurring in the future. 
  • Consider seeking help from professionals. Some couples may need a bit more help understanding the causes and consequences of certain negative behaviors in their relationships. So, if you need someone to talk to about your issues, a relationship coach can help you understand your patterns and embrace positive change. 

Join PIVOT Romantic Relationship Building Skills Workshop & Improve Your Relationship

Being part of an unhealthy relationship is extremely tough. It’s emotionally draining and physically exhausting. It can even leave you feeling hollow and unable to find optimism at certain times. What’s more, not resolving these issues can lead to other problems, such as leaving you or your partner craving even more attention or deepening the process of growing apart

Yes, one untackled relationship problem usually leads to one or several others, resulting in a vicious cycle that becomes more and more difficult to break as time passes. In the end, you might end up suffering further relationship betrayals and developing severe trust and intimacy fears. As difficult as it is, it’s worth trying to resolve your relationship issues as soon as possible.PIVOT can help you with this. We’ll help you understand the reasons behind your relationship becoming unhealthy and be there to help you resolve those underlying problems through our comprehensive individual workshop programs or by participating in our specialized emotional intimacy workshops for couples. We want to see your relationship succeed!

© 2021 Lori Jean Glass, LLC | PIVOT