Being in relationship is an invested process. When we begin to examine relationship issues in therapy, I often speak about the fact that our behaviours either feed the health of the relationship, or its dysfunction. The following list are things that feed the dysfunction of the relationship and will lead to issues of mistrust, unease, and general dissatisfaction:
- Dismissing your partner’s feelings.
- Extreme reactions (of any kind – they lead to mixed messages and drama, both of which are harmful)
- Love bombing – also on the extreme continuum; love bombing is all or nothing. One minute you are lavished in love, the next, you are being accused of something, mistreated or ignored.
- Blaming your partner; for your actions, for their actions – it is the underlying and consistent tone of blame that harms the communication process.
- Gaslighting – rewriting events to convince your partner they happened a certain way.
- Using guilt to control; including threatening to hurt yourself.
- Jealousy; leading to constant, unfounded accusations.
All of these behaviours exist on a continuum. The more extreme they are constitutes for emotional abuse. The same abuse principle applies if you recognize many of these behaviours in your relationship. Abusive behaviour is never okay.
Seek help. Move on if necessary. Work towards a relationship where the health of it is being fed by both partners. After all, relationships are an investment 🙂
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