Had life been black-and-white, decision making would be a great deal easier. That is not always the case, however. Sometimes relationships can be really confusing. Your partner is good with you one moment and terrible the next. He makes promises igniting hope in you and before you know he is back to square one. You are made to ride an emotional roller coaster. You make yourself strong to move out of the relationship, but, just when you do that, a spate of good incidents force you to think otherwise.
When two people come together, a new entity is born, it is called a relationship. Think of a relationship as an independent entity, like a joint bank account if you will. Whether you withdraw money or deposit it, whether you lose your ATM card or use the overdraft facility, whether you gain interest or pay installments, all transactions have an impact on your account. And, that is regardless of who of the two does the transactions. Similarly, every action of yours or your partner’s makes a difference to the relationship — positive or negative.
To better understand my viewpoint, remind yourself that a relationship is a third person. It is not what you are getting from your partner, but from your relationship. It is mutual ownership. When this repeatedly fails, it’s a sign to move out of a relationship. I am personifying the three types of undesirable relationships for you:
1. The Abusive – Should you move out of a relationship of this type?
This one is a no brainer to move out of a relationship. It is relatively easy to make a decision either way. It is not uncommon to end up in an abusive relationship. If your partner is the abusive type, no matter what, exit, move out. It is unlikely that his nature is going to change, it is highly improbable for that relationship to ever get better. There can never be a reason for abuse nor any justification.
If you have children and you are thinking of putting up with abuse for their welfare, it is a mistake. They will emerge stronger and better human beings living in a peaceful environment. It is better to have a loving and caring family with a single parent than a loathing one with both. If you cannot move out because you are not financially independent, you must gather your inner strength, explore your options and gain such independence. No doubt, you may end up with drastic changes in your lifestyle, your standard of living may go down, but your quality of life will go up significantly.
2. The Pitiful Type – A tough call to take if you should move out of a relationship.
This one is a common scenario. In this type, there is a fundamental mismatch in partners’ viewpoints, preferences, likings and so forth. One partner tends to be weaker than the other. The weaker one is often more attached to the relationship. They both recognize that the weaker one needs to change.
He tries to mend his ways, he sincerely tries to change but without much success. It is hard to pinpoint whether he is unable to change due to lack of discipline, or, capability. One of them has some fulfillment out of their marriage, and the other one, barely any.
There is no physical abuse in the relationship, perhaps only emotional abuse in the form of unkept promises, unmet expectations, unfulfilled desires. Such promises, expectations and desires that were made and agreed upon mutually but one of the partner is unable to match up. The stronger one may not move out because he pities the weaker one. They keep telling themselves that the other person is trying to change. The fact is that you cannot be in love with someone out of pity. You can be caring, loving, concerned but not in love.
So, should you stay put or call it quits when a relationship is an average one, it is non-abusive but also unfulfilling- should you move out of a relationship? The truth is, it is you alone who can make that decision. Do not seek external opinions or affirmations. You sit down in peace and jot down what is important to you. For example, is money more important to you than love, your own fulfillment or having both parents for your children?
Make a list; based on what matters to you, arrive at a decision accordingly. And, if you do move out of a relationship, make sure you take your time before getting into another relationship. I have often seen that people end up repeating patterns in their relationships. They repeatedly make similar choices ending up in similar relationships.
Spend time with yourself in solitude. If you want to make the existing relationship work, or you just cannot call it quits, you are only left with one choice: accept your partner exactly the way he is. You have tried to change him, and he has tried to change himself but it has not worked. Acceptance will give you peace.
3. The Insignificant Type – Hope to turn things around.
This one is even more complicated. In this type of relationship, there is nothing seriously lacking in your partner or in the relationship for that matter. You both are doing well in your respective careers. However, the relationship has become insignificant in your life. The charm died long ago and fulfillment has disappeared. It has truly become like a bank account — transactional. Should you move out of a relationship of this type?
You cannot pinpoint your finger at one thing. Nothing is missing as much as nothing is left in the relationship. Your bedroom conversations sound like boardroom meetings, they are all about planning and practicality, reporting and reviewing decisions, and directions. In other words, the boardroom has become bored-room.
This is one of the top causes that prompt individuals to go outside their marriage or relationship for flings and other alliances. They have grown tired of eating bland food, day in day out.
Sometimes such flirting takes a serious turn transforming into an affair. The one who has discovered and revived love and laughter in his life, decides to move on. The other partner feels betrayed.
Before they move out, the relationship shifts to type two: the pitiful type. The infidel is no longer attached to the existing relationship and tries to love the partner out of pity. He cannot punish the partner because the other person has not done anything wrong. But loving out of pity does not and cannot continue for long. And before they know it, they end up on the two different poles.
However, if the two partners remain sincere, it is possible to restore harmony and love. In fact, it easier because a certain degree of care and understanding is already there. Find and play on that common ground, not of responsibilities but of joy, of fun, of living, of loving. You may want to read- The secret to a happy marriage
Go on! sit down like adults and work it out. Working out can be more pleasant than to move out of a relationship, giving is better than giving up, growing together is better than growing out.
Discover your own truth, find your own way, chalk out your own path, the one where there is room for two to move together.
Some men wrote to me saying that my posts on marriage were a little harsh on the males, that I only used the masculine pronoun. Please note that by ‘he’ I mean both ‘he/she’. I would rather be grammatically right than be diplomatically correct (smile).
You see these red flags in a relationship, and may be you understand that the relationship may not be going anywhere but still, you are unable to break it off and move on.
Why? It’s simple.
Most of us have a fundamental fear of being alone.
Imagine that. The thought of being alone is scarier than the thought of being in a relationship that doesn’t allow us to be ourselves.
In making the latter choice, we settle. We settle for a toxic relationship even when it burns us. But as someone once said, “Stop setting yourself on fire to keep someone else warm.”
The good news is, it’s never too late. A fresh start is yours for the taking anytime you choose.
Because remember, “If you are in a relationship and all you do is cry, you need to stop and ask yourself, are you dating a human or an onion?”
Art of Meditation
Free yourself from suffering and live life to the fullest. Learn the yogic technique of meditation in 4 days (and master it over a lifetime)
The FAQs below cover even more red flags in a relationship.
3 Major Red Flags in a Relationship:
- Excessive clinginess (lack of personal space in a relationship)
- Undue fear (not being able to voice your feelings because the other person either reacts violently or ignores what you have to say)
- When you feel forced to care, not because you are in a responsible relationship, but out of fear or attachment, you are a victim of compulsive care.
And in such circumstances, you go through three emotions. It’s a cycle. The three emotions, or more appropriately, the three roles, form what’s called the Karpman Drama Triangle:
- The Rescuer: As a rescuer, you act strong, together, in charge. As soon as your partner plays victim and cries for help, you make yourself available for them. You put aside your own preferences, needs, issues and anxieties.
- The Persecutor: Since the inner happiness of the rescuer disappears as soon as the matter is resolved, their own issues rise to the surface. They no longer feel that the weaker partner actually needed help. Consequently, a rescuer starts to behave like a persecutor holding the other person responsible for everything he or she’s feeling.
- The Victim: The rescuer now sees himself or herself as a victim. A sense of self-pity emerges in their consciousness. The person who was once a rescuer now feels helpless, powerless, indecisive and depressed. “Poor me” is the core feeling.
The victim then seeks a rescuer and the cycle continues. It’s the reason why most people move from one abusive relationship to another.
Continue reading about the Drama Triangle and catch the red flags in a relationship, as soon as they pop up.
5 Steps To Move On From a Toxic Relationship:
Sometimes some people or events can hurt you so bad that you just want to erase them from your memory. You have even forgiven them, you want to move on but you find yourself unable to do so. Take it easy. It’s only human.
How to move on, in such a scenario?
- Step 1: If you find yourself thinking about that person, hold a mini self-dialog as the first step. Accept that you are missing them and that you are hurt.
- Step 2: Talk to yourself. Repeat it a few times and watch your mind releasing the thought of that person.
- Step 3: Releasing their memory is crucial if you want to forget them. Give yourself time and each time their thought arises, simply and gently focus your mind elsewhere.
- Step 4: Promise yourself that anytime you are reminded of them, you will not let that ruin your peace.
- Step 5: And the way to protect your peace is to shift your focus.
This is the most powerful method I know of.
Continue reading about this method in How To Forget Someone. You may not have caught the red flags in your relationship but you can take charge of your healing.
How do I move on from someone who doesn’t love me back?
At the outset, let me say there’s little you can do if you love someone but they don’t love you (back).
The other person may change, they may even come around but he or she will not love you the way you love them. When the other person is not invested in you, there’s practically nothing you can do to make them love you.
While this is not one of those red flags-in-a-relationship scenarios, it still causes considerable damage to one’s peace of mind. What can you do if an apple goes off? You can’t really restore it.
When you’ve tried everything you can think of, and when you’ve given it your best shot and you are still not loved back, at that time, you’ve three choices.
- Change yourself: If you have no choice, if must you stay with the person due to financial, family or other reasons, and they don’t love you back, well then, stop expecting love so you may live in peace.
- Change the other person: In reality, this is not even a choice because you can’t change the other person unless they are willing to change. I’ve listed it here for a reason though.
- Change the person: Often, a lot of people go for this option only to enter into another unfulfilling relationship. That said, if you are in an abusive relationship, please don’t blame yourself. There’s no justification for abuse in a relationship.
Read more about these other three choices and an astounding real-life story about a woman’s failed relationships in When They Don’t Love You Back.
Is toxic anger one of the red flags in a relationship?
After having met numerous people to date, I have observed that a turbulent childhood or an abusive relationship are the two most common causes of toxic anger.
Toxic anger – a resident emotion, can often lead to depression and anxiety. It can bring damning metabolic changes resulting in severe headaches and weight gain. It can trigger heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. Yes, cancer.
If you are in an abusive relationship, you are mistreating yourself and you are doing a disservice to yourself. Take care of yourself, give yourself some breathing space, don’t be too hard on yourself, experience and live with a sense of freedom. You deserve better.
You are allowed to lead a happy life. It is perfectly fine for you to do things that matter to you; it is okay to be yourself. A good relationship, a healthy environment gives you that respect and personal space.
Continue reading about toxic anger. It is okay to move on from a toxic relationship.
How do I find happiness after moving out of an abusive relationship?
If you’ve paid attention to the red flags in your relationship and decided to call it quits, the next obvious step is moving on. How does one find happiness after such an experience?
The video below shows you how.
- 0:37: The mind’s tendency for negativity
- 2:56: How to be happy
- 5:42: The story of how a town became debt-free