4 Questions to Ask If You’re Wavering in Your Relationship

There’s an old saying that asserts, “Just because you can be together does not mean you should be together.” If you are experiencing concerns about the health and future of your romantic relationship, you are not alone. Both women and men from all occupations, backgrounds and ages can find themselves involved in toxic relationships for a variety of reasons.

Frequently, it is intuition or what we call that “gut” feeling that first creates doubt or triggers the sense that the relationship is unhealthy. But bringing this sensitive topic out in the open or deciding to leave can be a momentous step. To help clarify whether or not your relationship is beneficial to both and nourishing growth and happiness, you will need to ask yourself the following tough questions:

1. Do you trust your partner?

Central to a happy relationship is the ability to share your innermost thoughts and allow yourself to become vulnerable. Each person must be able to trust their significant other to be an active listener and provide support during difficult times. People who care about each other realize the importance of keeping sensitive thoughts and feelings just between the two of them.

If your “other half” decides to overshare your private and most personal thoughts it will be difficult, if not impossible, to maintain trust in the relationship. And quite simply, no love affair can survive without trust. In addition, we now live in a technologically saturated, social media world. And this brings up an entirely new form of trust issues. If you are constantly receiving texts or phone calls from your partner when you apart, it may be a sign of distrust and, if left unchecked, can actually manifest into stalking and abuse.

2. Does your companion make you feel secure?

Relationships are partnerships. Over time, you and your partner create a shared alliance that protects and cares for each other. This emotional connection creates a powerful bond between two people and permits their relationship to grow and flourish.

If you are experiencing circumstances where your companion criticizes and points out your errors in front of others instead of supporting you and “having your back,” you should assess the strength of your relationship. We all make mistakes and enjoy laughing at our silly behaviors, but no one wants to look like a fool or be humiliated in front of friends. It simply leads to insecurity and self-doubt.

Likewise, if your partner creates a sense of jealousy by constantly admiring out loud the beauty or accomplishments of others without ever recognizing your positive attributes, you have every reason to doubt the longevity of your relationship.

3. Do you feel like your own person?

Losing your individuality is a huge red flag in a relationship and is often referred to as codependency. Codependency is defined as “an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship.”

Some basic signs that you are losing your independence and freedom in a relationship include:

  • Losing control over all decisions ranging from when/where you go out to how household money is spent
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • The holding back by the other person of their affection to gain control
  • Blame for anything bad that occurs

Typically in a codependent situation, one of the individual’s faces low self-esteem and is fearful of being abandoned. They put the other’s needs ahead of their own, often without realizing the severe toll it takes on their own lives.

Codependency is also an obstacle with people who abuse drug and alcohol, although it can also occur in people without an addiction. Counseling is strongly recommended for people in codependent relationships. It is nearly impossible to break free from a codependent cycle without outside help.

4. Do you feel physically, emotionally and sexually safe?

There is absolutely no place, time or circumstance where staying in an abused relationship is acceptable, whether you are a man or a woman. Abuse in its early stages may be as simple as feeling like you are “walking on pins and needles” around your spouse. As it progresses, abuse can become physical, emotional, sexual or a combination of them all.

Everyone has the right to be treated with respect. And if your partner is abusing you, remember it is not your fault. But you must get out now. Locate a crisis centers, call an abuse hotline, confide in a friend or trusted religious leader. Whatever you need to do, just get help immediately.

All does not have to be lost or end in heartbreak. If both individuals are willing and agree they want to work on their relationship, couples therapy may help. Qualified trained professionals have the knowledge to assist in recognizing and dealing with conflict. You can start the process by locating resources on our website www.AllAboutCounseling.com.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to realize that not all relationships can be “saved.” It will certainly be a struggle and require immense effort. It is vital for both parties to be committed to the process if there is to be a chance for success.

Audrey Beim holds two advanced degrees from major universities, including a Master’s Degree in Psychology. She has over 20 years of experience in the health, wellness, nutritional and fitness categories and has used her expertise to write articles for media outlets such as Linfield Media and Examiner.com.

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