Remaining in an unhealthy relationship can be painful. Knowing the signs of an unhealthy relationship allows you to either work on it or move on and recover. To help you identify some red flags of an unhealthy relationship, I have interviewed Nancy Simon, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years experience working with both singles and couples. I have a Masters in Administration from the University of Chicago and advanced training in hypnotherapy from the Wellness Institute In Seattle. I work especially well with sensitive clients who are having difficulty in relationships. Also, for more than 2 years, I have been leading a therapy group, which focuses on relationship ambivalence, communication tools, choosing an appropriate partner and how to change your relationship to yourself.”
What are 7 signs of an unhealthy relationship?
“The 7 signs of an unhealthy relationship are:
1. Feeling Taxed and Not Relaxed
A relationship should feel safe and relaxed.
2. Your Partner Feels Like A Drug
If you feel like you can’t live without your partner and experience withdrawal or extreme highs, he or she has become a drug for you.
3. Fighting Instead of Uniting
Every relationship has its necessary conflicts but if conflict occurs more than not, this is not good for either of you. Anger can be very toxic in large doses.
4. Too Much Sex or Not Enough
If you are having sex all the time and forgetting to connect emotionally, intellectually or spiritually, sex is serving another purpose. If you are not having sex or very little something else might be the problem.
5. Extra-Marital Affairs
If you are having an emotional or sexual affair, you are avoiding the problems in your primary relationship. And, you cannot work on your primary relationship as long as the affair continues.
6. You Feel Like You’re in Prison
Relationships should be a breeding ground for growth and freedom. Safety, autonomy and the ability to be heard are very important.
7. Your Partner Embarrasses You in Public & Can Be Violent.
If your partner makes fun of you or becomes violent, you are with someone who cannot manage his or her anger. Without tools, this behavior will only get worse.
8. You Need a Drink or Drugs to Have Fun Together.
After the buzz wears off, who is your partner really? Behind their jokes and flirtations, is there a sense of safety, trust and respect?
If you are aware of any of these signs, talk to a mental health professional first for suggestions on how to talk to your partner.
If your partner is unwilling to see his/her part in things after you speak to him/her, be aware that you cannot work on your relationship by yourself. You might have to leave.
What type of professional help is available for someone that is in an unhealthy relationship but is having a hard time getting out of it?
“Couples counseling is very helpful but only if both people are open and willing to do some hard work. Some people go to couples counseling to stay together while others need it to break up. If finances are an issue, look for a mental health agency or a private practitioner who accepts insurance.”
What last words would you like to leave for someone that is in an unhealthy relationship?
“Relationships are lifelong work yet healthy relationships are probably one of the most gratifying experiences of one’s life. If you are stuck in a relationship that feels bad but are afraid to leave, find a good therapist who can help you learn to love yourself enough to leave. There is ALWAYS hope around the corner once you understand your needs and how to identify a healthy partner.”
Thank you Nancy for doing the interview on the 7 signs of an unhealthy relationship. For more information on Nancy Simon or her work you can check out her website at nancysimontherapy.com and psychologytoday.com.