When there appears to be more emotional turbulence than fulfillment in your relationship, or when your time together becomes a lot destructive than constructive, you are perhaps in a dysfunctional relationship
The roots of dysfunctional relationships mostly stem from childhood. Those who were raised up in a troublesome environment may not have had healthy relationships modeled. They might subsequently end up repeating dysfunctional patterns in their own romantic relationships.
Mostly, unresolved individual problems can also lead to dysfunction. After all, the journey to a strong, healthy connection has plenty to do with how well you know yourself and how safe and mentally healthy you feel. There cannot be any relationship with someone else that can compensate for your own unhappiness, no matter how well it is. Expecting your partner to make you happy, content, or fulfill could lead you to disappointment and dysfunctional patterns.
Even though no relationship is perfect, it is the genuine and mutual desire to communicate respectfully and manage conflict that can assist you to weather the most difficult storms.
Here, in this article marriage counselor and relationship counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo talks about signs that one is living in a dysfunctional relationship.
Higher Levels of Conflict
Destructive communication involves a never-ending pattern of escalation. Imagine beginning off a discussion with; “The problem with you is…”, or “Why are you always so self-centric?”. It is quite simple to see the intensification of negativity this could invoke. Certainly, there is no such thing as a relationship having no conflict. Only a specific percentage of problems are solvable. So, what couples ought to have is a sense of forgiveness, conflict management, and good communication skills. This is probably the biggest hallmark of a healthy relationship.
In this sense, the danger is never the conflict, but disconnection. If you do not consistently confront your issues, you can end up in a never-ending circle of negativity, repeating the same argument time and again. It is when you have issues reconnecting and resolving your problems, or end up avoiding your problems altogether, that you feed dysfunction.
The reality is everyone needs emotional security to grow and thrive in a relationship. When one reads and responds, shares and listens, they create a relationship where emotional trust and safety exist and intimacy flourishes. It is not unusual for modern-day stresses and obligations to pull you apart. While several couples can come back together and heal, some stay chronically disconnected and might need assistance learning to connect.
Being emotionally out of tune is specifically destructive if your partner is attempting to make a bid for connection, and rather than acknowledging the bid, you turn away. For example, you see your partner, specifically, sad one day, instead of reaching out and/or asking if they need to talk, you overlook them and go on watching TV. Emotional involvement, active interest, and concern for your partner are signs of healthy functional relationships. A serious indication of dysfunction happens when you notice your partner stops bothering or fighting for the relationship.
Imbalance of Power
When you feel a power hierarchy within the relationship, where one of you is controlling the majority of the decisions shows very little respect, offers no compromise, or one where you do not dare risk honest self-expression, then you are likely having an imbalance of power in your relationship. This could look like one partner is asking for more and the other pulling away, or where you have small influence and are ignored.
In healthy relationships, both partners vouch for power during a conflict. But when power and control are prioritized instead of love and respect there will possibly be dysfunction.
Mostly the frustrated, dissatisfied, and unhappy couples are those who blame their partners for problems in the relationship. On the other hand, those who take personal accountability for solving their issues score highest in marital satisfaction.
Taking personal responsibility is vital to happy relationships. It means if your partner crosses a line, rather than blaming yourself or your partner, you take charge of the problems that come up. If you take responsibility for your role, and you both feel it is your duty to make each other happy, you will possibly decrease dysfunction.
A high level of resentment within a relationship is the silent poison that mostly leads to destructive and harmful communication patterns. Resentment leaks into your daily interaction and makes your attempt to repair things more difficult.
Prolonged resentment sours your views on the relationship. It mostly ties up with pride, identity, or values and can feel impossible to get rid of. Resentments require to be understood. Ask yourself, what is creating these feelings? Is it linked to the past? Mostly resentment is rooted in deep core values and beliefs being threatened. Look to focus on your own feelings, then explain what the problems represent and mean to you.
Overall, it is well known that one cannot completely avoid conflict, disengagement, power struggles, blame, or resentment within relationships. One can have their attitude and mindset, however.
Try to look out for compassion and prioritize your relationship; nurture, and take an active part in the well-being of your partner. This goes a long way to functional, healthy, loving, and caring relationships.