Unhealthy Relationships for Women [Help For 2019]

Believe it or not, getting out of an unhealthy relationship and fostering healthy ones can save your life.

Identifying the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships can save lives since it’ll allow them to realize that the relationship that they are in can put them in physical, psychological, and emotional danger.

Difference between Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships for Women

By knowing these differences, women would also be able to see that not all relationships have the same characteristics and that having a good and healthy relationship with someone is indeed possible.

The power behind the word NO

The defining characteristic of a healthy relationship is the equality and reciprocality between the people involved. In this type of relationship, each person has the right and power to say no to anything, regardless of how big or small it may be. In this situation, the other person respects the other person’s opinion and takes it as a definitive answer. He or she may try to pose a healthy argument or debate to change this opinion, but if this fails, then the power of the word ‘no’ still stands.

In an unhealthy relationship, the power is only given to one person. This means that if the other person says no, it doesn’t have any hold and it can easily be thwarted by the opposition of the partner. The other person may be subconsciously or physically forced to change by the other person.

Openness to others

A partner who fosters a healthy relationship knows the importance of making sure that his or her partner constantly socializes with friends and family. He knows and understands the importance of maintaining strong connections with different people, and he doesn’t get jealous about it.

On the other hand, this openness to others is lacking in an unhealthy relationship. Indeed, one of the trademarks of an unhealthy relationship is their lack of openness to their friends and family. This is because the initiators of this type of relationship often prefer to keep their partners from their loved ones and other people. Some also want to put them in the same level of misery and loneliness or to prevent them from seeing that the grass is greener and happier on the other side. In short, they just want their partners’ lives to revolve around themselves.

The idea of a relationship

Those who are in a healthy relationship always feel thankful for the relationship that they have. They feel lucky that they were able to find someone that they can enjoy a lazy afternoon with. They appreciate any time that they have to spend with their significant other, regardless of how long or short it may be.

Those who are in an unhealthy relationship, on the other hand, view relationships in a negative light either consciously or subconsciously. Suddenly, every date becomes a chore and every interaction can bring forth so many negative feelings that, at times, it can all be overwhelming.

Identifying Unhealthy Relationships for Women: Verbal Cues

Unhealthy Relationships for WomenAccording to many relationship experts, the more time that partners stay in a relationship, the harder it’ll become for them to end it. This is the reason why the best way to avoid unhealthy relationships is to learn how to identify one at the soonest possible time.

Considering that most often than not, unhealthy relationships start off with certain verbal cues, looking for these signs is one of the best ways to avoid a toxic or abusive partner. Here are some of the verbal cues that you need to watch out for in order to identify and avoid unhealthy relationships.

“End of discussion”

One of the definitive traits of being in a toxic relationship is being with a partner who has the ability to control the overall flow of the conversation. He or she may use phrases like “stop talking” or “end of discussion” once you start talking about topics that he or she doesn’t like.

These words are used by people who are knowingly or unknowingly stonewalling their partners. Stonewalling is one of the many ways that a person can inappropriately control the conversation by not giving the other person a chance to respond. Manipulators see stonewalling as one of the many ways that they can assert the idea that they want. They also use this method in order to instill in the mind of their partners the idea that they should be followed at all times.

”Stop hanging out with them”

It’s normal for your partner to not like your friends or even your family members due to several reasons such as incompatibility or a less than ideal past encounter. However, it isn’t normal for your partner to ask you to stop socializing with them for any reason.

When your partner says, “stop hanging with them,” beware for you might be on your way to having a toxic relationship. This is because more often than not, in order to keep the other person in the unhealthy relationship, their partner tends to stop them from socializing with other people so that no one else can know about what they are doing and no one will be able to tell that they are in a toxic relationship.

Always remember that being in a healthy relationship means being with a person who highly values the people that you love or treasure. This means that even if they don’t like your family or friends, a good partner will never ask you to completely stop spending time with them.

“If you don’t do this. . .”

In a healthy relationship, both parties respect the opinion of one another and are open to any objections or different opinions. In unhealthy relationships, their partner may forcefully coax them to follow what they want with words such as “if you don’t do this. . .” These ultimatums are unfair to the other person and are highly degrading since they eliminate the right of the other person to have her own opinion and exercise her freedom to choose the best course of action for herself.unhealthy relationships

These are just some of the verbal cues that can help you identify the early forms of a toxic relationship. By watching out for these cues, you can avoid investing your feelings and the many years of your life in a relationship only to find out that it isn’t healthy and good for you.

Tell-tale Signs of being in an Unhealthy Relationship

Aside from the physical manifestations and effects of being in an unhealthy relationship, another excellent way to tell if your partner is toxic is by looking at how their arguments are being laid out. This is because manipulative partners often use arguments to create an environment that will allow them to control their partners for a long period of time.

For this reason, it’s best for women to find out how arguments usually pan out in toxic relationships in order to determine if they are tied into one. Here are some of the characteristics of arguments that unfold in unhealthy relationships:

It’s usually accompanied by anger

It’s normal for a debate or a healthy conversation to become heated, especially when the topic is sensitive; romantic partners are not exempted from this. However, if every debate or argument that you’ve with your partner becomes explosive, there’s a very high chance that you’re in a toxic relationship.

Manipulative people use anger to either intimidate their partner or to make their partner feel guilty and, ultimately, to make their partner submit or give in to whatever they want. This kind of argument in is often accompanied by a serious temperament, even if the argument started out from something that’s very simple or even very basic (which doesn’t need to be argued about in the first place).

The partner always wins

In a normal relationship, the goal of every argument is to resolve an issue and not to have a winner and a loser. In a toxic relationship, on the other hand, the manipulator always has to win and he or she will do anything in order to gain the upper hand.

This is because they need to seem superior to their partner so that they will be able to keep their partner in the relationship. Even if it’s their fault, they still won’t admit that it’s so. Humility and acceptance is nowhere in their vocabulary. So if you notice that your partner rarely or never admits his fault in an argument, you might be in a toxic relationship.

The partner doesn’t listen

Even though arguments are usually heated, this doesn’t mean that partners don’t have the ability to really listen to each other during these moments. In a healthy relationship, both people try to make sure that their anger or hotheadedness doesn’t get the best of them since they know that the goal isn’t to win but to actually resolve the issue.

For people who are a part of a toxic relationship, this isn’t the goal. Hence, they don’t feel the need to listen to their partner. This is the reason why being in unhealthy relationships is often compared to being in a relationship with an inanimate object since there’s usually only one-way communication.

By taking note of these characteristics, you’ll be able to identify if you’re in an unhealthy relationship or not. This will also enable you to assess people and determine whether or not they have the makings of a manipulative or a healthy partner. This will allow you to avoid toxic relationships immediately long before you start investing time and effort into the relationship.

Pay attention to these points and watch out, for it could be that you’re already tied up in an unhealthy relationship.

Ways to Prevent Unhealthy Relationships for Women

When it comes to toxic or unhealthy relationships, there are cases wherein both people who are involved are the victims. This usually happens when both parties are suffering from the same problems or conditions or if the other person who has the upper hand or is the manipulator isn’t aware of what he or she is doing. These relationships actually have a chance to become normal and healthy as long as one or both parties know how to stop their relationship from being toxic.

Here are some of the ways on how to prevent unhealthy relationships:

Self-assessment

As the great philosopher Socrates once said, “Know thyself.”To avoid cases wherein one person in the relationship unknowingly manipulates his or her partner, sufficient self-assessment should be done. This will allow people to determine their role or their contribution to the relationship.

Are they being the overly negative person who is making the relationship unhealthy or are they at the receiving end? Determining the answer to this question can help couples understand themselves, their relationship, and the changes that they need to make to avoid turning their healthy relationships into unhealthy ones.

Have a lengthy and no holds barred conversation

Most often than not, people who manipulate their partners in a relationship have secrets or problems that they cannot air out. This is what leads them to form a toxic relationship with their partner since they think that this is the best way for them to avoid their issues. By addressing these problems, both partners can understand the behavior of each other and determine the proper course of action.

They can either choose to work on the relationship and solve these issues simultaneously or to hold the relationship off until these issues are properly addressed. These issues are typically deep and hard to address, which is why couples should allot sufficient time to determine, tackle, and solve them.

Avoid arguments

Arguments, especially regular and pointless ones, can ruin any type of relationship, whether it’s toxic or non-toxic. They can also serve as triggers for some people to manipulate their partners in order to gain the upper hand or even just to win the argument.

Instead of arguing about a topic, couples should find a healthier way to debate without belittling or manipulating the other. Partners should “discuss” rather than “argue.”However, the de-escalation process should not include changing the topic or avoiding the topic completely, as this won’t solve the issue. Couples should focus on knowing how to communicate better in order to avoid arguments.

Note: Two-way communication is a must in every relationship!

Focus on the feelings

Ever heard of the phrase “Being in love with the idea of love”?

There are cases where couples are so invested in the idea of being in a relationship and what it means for their friends and family that they forget to focus on what their relationship really means to them as well as their feelings for each other. Are they still genuinely happy with each other or is every date starting to feel like an obligation and a routine? Determining what they truly feel about the relationship can help couples avoid emotions, which can harbor negative feelings towards each other such as resentment.

These ways prove that any healthy relationship can turn toxic at any point. Don’t wait for this moment to happen. Learn how to prevent unhealthy relationships from happening at the earliest possible time.

When it comes to unhealthy relationships, the focus is often on taking the first step in ending the relationship and leaving the abusive partner. The importance of putting the right amount of attention to what they should do after is often forgotten. This is the reason why there are a lot of women who find it hard to move on after being in such a relationship.

To avoid this problem, women should know how to get over these types of relationships even before knowing the steps to get out of one, as this will also serve as a motivation to end the relationship. Here are some tips for women on how to get over unhealthy relationships:

Re-assess your self-worth

More often than not, abusive partners focus on the flaws of his or her partner in order to make the partner stay in the relationship. In doing so, they can make their partners feel like they are not worthy enough to be loved by anybody else when in reality, they have more positive traits than they can imagine.

By re-assessing your self-worth, you’ll be able to see these traits and realize that you’re a catch and that you’re too good to be in an abusive relationship. You’ll also realize that unhealthy relationships are not a common occurrence, that your partner doesn’t deserve you, and that you totally deserve someone who’s a lot better than him.

Don’t ponder on the time that you’ve wasted

unhealthy relationshipsConsidering that many abusive or unhealthy relationships can last for years, there are a lot of those who think that they should not leave their relationship since they have invested too much time and effort into the whole thing. Once the relationship ends, they may also feel like it’s too late for them to find a new partner since so much time has already passed.

To avoid pondering this thought, always remind yourself of the advantages of leaving or ending the abusive relationship. Look forward to being free. Embrace the idea of being single once again and look forward to the advantages and opportunities that may come along with it. This will make it easier for you to see that the time that you’ve wasted on the relationship is greatly outweighed by the positives.

Find your identity

Another way that abusive partners manipulate people into staying in the relationship is by stripping away their partner’s identity. They can manipulate people into being anti-social by cutting any form of connection that they have with their friends and family. They can also make people change their behavior in order to make them submissive and doubtful of themselves.

By finding your identity once you’ve gotten out of an unhealthy relationship, you’ll become independent and you’ll stop thinking that you’re nothing without your abusive partner. Find time for yourself or embark on some soul searching; you’ll regain your confidence and belief in your self-worth along the way.

All of these tips can help you move on from an unhealthy relationship. However, your success still depends on your own willpower and determination. Always remember that these tips can only get you so far. You should still work on your post-relationship issues as hard as you can.

Inconspicuous Signs of Unhealthy Relationships for Women

Inconspicuous Signs of Unhealthy Relationships for WomenRelationship experts say that one of the most common reasons why unhealthy relationships normally last for at least a year is that women often fail to realize or are often in denial that they are in a toxic relationship.

The abusive or toxic partner knows how to subconsciously manipulate their partner into staying in the relationship and actually being dependent on it to the point that their partner will actually want to stay in the relationship. Considering that these master manipulators are well-versed in what they do, women should know how to tell if they are in a toxic relationship even before agreeing to date someone.

Here are some of the inconspicuous signs of unhealthy relationships for women.

They try to find fault in others

In order for people to become dependent in the relationship, abusive people know that they should make their partner cut their ties with other people who can make them feel empowered. Instead of asking their partner to stop contacting their friends and family, these people will try to make the friends and family of their loved ones seem like bad people or that they are on a mission to destroy the relationship.

These abusive partners will usually take any excuse to bring the friends and family of their partner into a negative light.

They use guilt

Gone are the days where manipulators and abusive partners use physical violence as a form of a threat in order for them to basically take complete control of their partner since they know that doing so has more apparent and strict legal implications. Nowadays, abusive partners tend to evoke the feeling of guilt in order for them to basically have the power to tell their partner what to do and how to act.

They will even create scenarios that can make their partner feel bad or emphasize the negative aspects in their lives, such as living with a broken family. This is why partners who tend to focus on the negative aspects in their lives are commonly the perpetrators of brewing unhealthy relationships for women.

unhealthy relationships for womenThey have anger management issues

Most of the time, abusive partners use their anger to empower themselves and to give themselves motivation to maintain unhealthy relationships for women. This is why these people prefer to keep everything in, instead of actively finding ways to deal with their issues.

They don’t like to talk about their feelings, but they are more than open to talk about their negative experiences in order to make their partner feel guilty about leaving them. They often say no to any form of therapy that can address their current issues, despite the obvious benefits.

Considering that these are just some of the inconspicuous signs of unhealthy relationships, women should take an active role in knowing other signs that can very well save their lives. One should know how to read between the lines, as they say. They should also strive to be more observant of their partner, even if they have been in the relationship for years, more so if there are a lot of underlying issues in their relationship.

Physical Implications of Unhealthy Relationships for Women

unhealthy relationshipsBeing in an unhealthy relationship is never easy. Aside from the emotional and mental anguish that it can give, it can also pose a lot of physical problems when continued in the long run.

What women sometimes fail to realize is that unhealthy relationships can also cause health issues and even certain forms of diseases.

Here are some of them:

Weight loss

Even though there are a lot of people who tend to eat more when experiencing relationship problems, there are those who also tend to suffer from weight loss. Weight loss can be attributed to the stress that one experiences when being in a toxic relationship. Stress can make women lose their appetite. Some may even skip more than two meals a day because of this.

There are also those who tend to feel ill when ingesting food. They may even go as far as feeling nauseous minutes after eating and eventually vomit out everything that they have just ingested. This can lead to other diseases such as heartburn, ulcers, and severe stomach hyperacidity.

Obesity and Bloating

When it comes to the consequences of having unhealthy habits, two of the most common ones include obesity and bloating. Obesity can be caused by overeating or not watching the quality of food that you eat, which is more likely when you’re in an unhealthy relationship with someone.

The development of this bad habit can also cause the population of bad bacteria in your stomach to increase, which means that you would be more prone to bloating. These conditions can cause extreme stomach discomfort, which can even prohibit you from carrying on with your normal daily tasks.

unhealthy relationshipsHigh blood pressure

Another inevitable consequence of being stressed all the time or at a constant pace is developing hypertension or high blood pressure. In order to accommodate the stress that your body is feeling and to fulfill the body’s increased clamor for nutrients and oxygen, it increases blood circulation throughout your body.

This increase leads you to develop high blood pressure. Being in an unhealthy relationship for women can thus lead to developing unhealthy habits, which can increase your risk for developing hypertension.

Heart problems

Having hypertension increases the likelihood of developing many types of heart diseases, including chronic cardiovascular diseases and heart murmurs. Considering that these conditions can also be caused by regular exposure to stress, women in unhealthy relationships tend to be at a higher risk for developing these heart problems than others.

Slower recovery

Because of the degradation of your physical health, your organs won’t be able to function properly. This will make it harder for your body to recover from illnesses and to prevent them as well. This inability will make you more prone to certain diseases and infections since your immune system won’t function well either.

Being and staying in an unhealthy relationship won’t do you any good. Considering that unhealthy relationships for women can cause other more life-threatening diseases, staying out of one should be the priority of all women. Don’t be fooled with the mentality of being the “savior” of your partner.

Don’t make it your life-long mission to change your partner to the point of staying and committing to an unhealthy relationship. Once you recognize that you’re slowly diving into an unhealthy relationship, get out now and get out fast.

Handling Unavoidable Unhealthy Relationships for Women

Handling Unavoidable Unhealthy Relationships for WomenUnhealthy relationships take many forms and may involve other people other than your romantic partner. You may have a toxic relationship with your parents, siblings, or even friends with or without your knowledge.

There are also times wherein you’re well-aware that you’re in a toxic relationship and you’ve already laid the plans out on how to get out of it. However, you’ll need to wait for the perfect opportunity to arise or for things to ease up so that your departure from the relationship will wreak the least amount of havoc as possible. When this happens, you need to know how to handle a toxic relationship so that you’ll be able to get out of it successfully.

Here are some tips on how to handle unavoidable unhealthy relationships for women.

Stay true to yourself

According to many studies, the trademark of a master manipulator is getting your basic concept of your identity or how you see yourself. They will try to take away your independence and mold you into a more submissive and dependent person so that you’ll have to rely on your toxic relationship.

To avoid this from happening, always remember your positive traits and what makes you strong. This will allow you to remember that you’re perfectly capable of handling yourself and being independent. This will also make it easier for you to remember that you deserve to be in a healthy relationship and that getting out of your toxic one is the best thing that you can do for yourself.

Connect with other people

If the toxic people in your life are your family, it’s best to go out with your friends as much as you can. Some experts say that depression can be contagious in the sense that one person’s behavior of sadness can be mimicked by those around him or her.

This means that if you constantly surround yourself with people who are miserable or are trying to bring you down, you may eventually exhibit the same characteristics. By socializing with other people in your life, you’ll be able to see the difference between a well-adjusted person and a person who is destructive to others. Hence, you’ll be able to avoid this behavior completely.

Read self-help materials

Self-help materials may they be articles or e-books, can teach you how to handle toxic people in your own way. When handling toxic people who are very close to you, it’s very easy to get lost in all the commotion and start losing your ability to adjust to these conflicts that will work best for you. In order to re-establish your rational thinking and ability to adjust, you may need to seek self-help materials, which can help you analyze yourself and determine ways that will work best for you.

Through these tips, you’ll be able to withstand unhealthy relationships for women even if it involves close members of your family or your oldest friends.

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Ava Moore
BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.

I'm the Chief Editor here at Independent Femme and would love to hear from you.

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