When it comes to relationships, some of us have had the unfortunate but eye-opening experience of being in an extremely toxic one. Most likely, our first experience was enough to be our last, if we were lucky enough to learn from our mistakes and never get involved in one of those types again.
The truth is, human beings have a tendency to idealize others up close. In fact, you might miss the signs you need to leave your relationship in the present, but see them clearly when reflecting on the past. How many times have you looked back at an ex and thought, "Wow, what was I thinking?”
Falling in love or experiencing infatuation can be so powerful. But in many cases, you may actually be falling in love with the idea of what another person should or could be, not the person themselves. Additionally, you might hold on to a relationship because you are deeply invested in it, perhaps financially or emotionally. Time is another big factor: If you’ve been with someone long-term, you might struggle to imagine your life without them.
But if you're in a relationship that is no longer serving you, it may be helpful to keep an eye out for the red flags that it's time to call it quits. "Some people don’t recognize the immediate signs, but you should feel the unhealthiness of the relationship if your energy is changing, and you feel depleted instead of refreshed," Alexis Nicole White, author and relationship expert, previously told Elite Daily.
If your relationship has grown unhealthy, here are the five signs to look out for.
They Lean On Sarcasm
Not all sarcasm constitutes an unhealthy relationship. However, if your partner has a tendency to speak down to you, and you’ve communicated to them that it bothers you and it hasn’t influenced their words or actions, you may need to consider leaving your relationship.
"It is important to notice whether or not the sarcasm is mostly critical of you and if there is that sense of superiority over you," doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Danielle Forshee, previously told Elite Daily.
While every couple’s sense of humor differs, if your partner is consistently acting with condescension towards you, it may be time to check in with yourself.
All couples are different and it’s totally natural to go through relationship ruts when dating someone long-term. However, if your partner dismisses your presence when you’re together, you may need to ask yourself if you’re getting what you need from your relationship.
"Excitement can be translated through consistent behaviors and follow through," Dr. Forshee said. If your partner used to text you “good morning” when they first woke up and now can go days without communicating, it might be time to open up about how that makes you feel. And if they continue to be dismissive of your feelings, it could be time to reevaluate your connection.
They’re Lying To You
If you are being lied to or you are constantly lying to someone else to maintain peace, it may be time to stop deceiving yourself and start a dialogue with your partner. Even the littles of white lies can add up in a relationship. At the end of the day, open and honest communication is the foundation of any strong connection.
“If you feel that they are not telling the truth, you can ask them to tell you anything they have not been honest about and then share your feelings and thoughts regarding this,” Dr. Paulette Sherman, a psychologist and author of Facebook Dating: From 1st Date To Soulmate, previously told Elite Daily.
If your partner still can’t be honest with you, it may be time to discuss the future of your relationship.
They’ve Cheated On You
Whether or not you and your partner decide to stay together and work on your relationship in the wake of infidelity is entirely up to you. However, if your partner has cheated on you in the past and continues to keep you in the dark about certain arenas in their life, it may be time to consider their priorities.
“In the aftermath of a cheating scandal, honesty seems to matter more than it ever has in the relationship,” Chelsea Leigh Trescott, breakup coach and podcast host of Thank You Heartbreak, previously told Elite Daily. “Trying to hunt down the truth is how we try to gain back control, reassurance, sanity and even closure. A crucial part of gaining this perspective is also a part that often gets neglected, and that is demanding honesty not only from your partner but especially from yourself. Instead of investing all your investigative fury into the person who has cheated, you have to seek clarity within yourself.”
You've Grown Apart
It can be natural for people begin to drift apart; interests can change, goals can evolve, and your paths in life can diverge. If you are beginning to feel this way, the best thing you can do is open up to your partner about it. In cases like this, being honest with yourself and your partner really can be the best policy.
"The kind of thrill and chemistry we feel with our partners at the start of a relationship comes from the thrill of being challenged by someone new to open up to another person, to share yourself," intimacy coach and sex therapist Irene Fehr previously told Elite Daily.
"If you are not learning and growing through the relationship, it can feel stagnant and boring once the initial endorphins and chemistry wear off," online dating coach and relationship expert Damona Hoffman previously told Elite Daily.
Remember: Every relationship is unique and different. If you spot any of the above signs, it’s 100% up to you whether you choose to work through the ups and downs with your partner. However, you never need to do anything that puts your safety or comfort at risk. If communicating your grievances is getting you nowhere, it might be time to consider walking away. At the end of the day, the most healthy relationship you must first and foremost maintain is with yourself.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.
Additional reporting by Iman Hariri-Kia.
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