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As your relationship with a new person in your life has developed, you have found your old friends falling away, while family members have commented on how you do not seem like yourself.
Are you losing yourself to an odd, and ultimately destructive relationship?
Before you can regain your individuality and strength, you will need to determine if the relationship is taking something away, and if it is, you may want to put an end to the destructive cycle. The following steps to evaluating your relationship can pertain to any you have, potentially unhealthy or not:
1. Evaluate it honestly.
Is this a healthy relationship? Be objective as you analyze how things have changed since this relationship began.
2. Are your family relationships suddenly filled with tension every time your partner’s name comes up in conversation?
You should be concerned and alarmed if everyone who cares about you is getting worried or being pushed away. Does this person bring out your best or worst traits? Do you feed each others’ best self, or have you seen your attitudes change to more closely mirror your partner’s, which in turn makes your family and friends not want to be involved?
3. Recognize your blindness to your partner’s faults.
Infatuation is not a bad thing. It can actually be necessary and good; however, it can make one temporarily have a very difficult time for the first part of a relationship. Sometimes our infatuation can make us blind to obvious warning signals. Ask yourself: do you find yourself apologizing or making up excuses for your partner’s behavior? If you find yourself getting defensive when someone questions you about your relationship, you are most likely already aware that there is something wrong and you have not yet come to accept it. Remember that people in healthy relationships have nothing to hide.
4. Notice if your plans are continually overturned in favor of his/hers.
Are you are always changing plans to do what he/she wants, and/or always meeting up with his/her friends? Be aware of the way he/she behaves around your family and friends, especially if he or she interrupts them, contradicts them or behaves dismissively. If you feel you need to explain or apologize his or her behavior to your family or friends, there is a problem.
5. Keep your support system.
Cutting you off from your support system allows him to gain dominance over you. A controlling partner will treat your friends with disrespect.
6. Recognize excessive jealousy or possessiveness as a danger signal.
If your partner is protective of you, that is sweet. If he/she is strangely overly protective that can be scary. Does he/she interrogate you if you are not home exactly on time? Does he/she question you too much about why you were talking to another person?
7. Watch for repeat offenses, shallow apologies and courting afterwards.
Does he/she do something that is unacceptable and then ask for your forgiveness? Does he say he realizes he was wrong and promises to change? He or she may seem very sincere and convincing, but it is part of the control. It is a way to use your compassion to keep you interested. He or she may also bring you extravagant gifts in an attempt to sweep you off your feet.
8. Beware of the “backhanded compliment”.
Be careful of the saying, “Nobody will ever love you the way I do.”
9. Stop berating yourself for being attracted to this person.
Realize that he or she is amazing on the surface, and you should not beat yourself up for being attracted to that.
10. Evaluate whether the relationship is worth saving.
All of the above are warning signs that you are most likely involved with a controlling person who is likely to be manipulating you. Try to be objective if talking, working it through, or going through counseling fails to get your partner to stop these behaviors and these behaviors begin again after a short time. There may be no choice but to go your own ways, even if you still love him/her.
Photo: Getty Images feedproxy.google.com
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