America continues to progress and become more enlightened. Most people are learning to speak up about their feelings and express their needs. Just as importantly, we as a nation are beginning to recognize issues with inequality and injustice that have long plagued our country.
However, we still seem to struggle with personal relationships. Nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce.
While divorce isn’t always the answer, there are some relationship red flags you should learn to recognize. Relationships that have these types of problems require immediate work and revision. If this proves to be impossible, then separation is imminent for your mental and emotional health.
But what are red flags in a relationship? Keep reading to learn about seven of the most major relationship problems.
1. Physical Aggression or Abuse
No matter what your role in the relationship is, you have a right to your physical well-being. There is no circumstance that justifies physical abuse. If you’re in an abusive relationship, it’s definitely a red flag requiring immediate action.
Talk to someone you trust to seek counsel and outside help. If you’re afraid for your safety and well-being, it may be time to get the authorities involved.
This can be a difficult step if you’re still in love with your partner. However, you must get help. A healthy relationship doesn’t involve fear or physical abuse.
2. Verbal, Mental, and Emotional Abuse
Physical aggression and domestic violence aren’t the only forms of abuse. Some of the most critical relationship red flags are mental abuse, verbal abuse, and emotional abuse. These issues come in various forms, such as:
- Condescending comments
- Controlling behaviors
- Invading your privacy
- And more
Few human beings are perfectly enlightened. We all have our mental and emotional burdens to carry.
Sometimes, they come out in a negative way toward our partners. However, you need to create boundaries for the types of behaviors you’re willing to accept.
3. Extreme Jealousy
Jealousy is a natural feeling we experience, especially within romantic relationships. We want to be the only one our partner sees. Sometimes, this means feeling jealous when they spend time with others, particularly those we perceive as threats.
If your partner acts out in extreme ways based on jealousy and insecurities, it’s one of the most significant relationships red flags. This unpredictable behavior can lead to ruined relationships between you and your friends and family. It can also create a lot of unnecessary tension with your partner.
However, there are healthy ways of dealing with jealousy.
4. Secrets and Dishonesty
The best relationships advice promotes trust and honesty between two people. Without trust, love cannot fully exist.
Therefore, there is no room for secrets or dishonesty in a relationship. Neither you nor your partner should have secret bank accounts, credit cards, or any other financial assets.
There also shouldn’t be any secret friends or relationships that the other person doesn’t know about. If you’re hiding something (even if it’s innocent), it will give your partner a reason to distrust you.
When dishonest behavior is not innocent, it’s nearly guaranteed to tear apart the relationship. This is most common after one partner has been unfaithful.
Once trust is broken, it’s difficult to rebuild. However, rebuilding trust is possible through hard work on both sides of the relationship.
In most relationships, it’s important for all parties to feel equal. This is key in a romantic partnership.
While we all have our strengths and weaknesses that we bring to the table, both people need to have equal say in the relationship. For example, one partner shouldn’t control all of the finances. Nor should anyone control how you spend your time together.
If a relationship is one-sided, one partner will ultimately feel unheard, insignificant, and inferior. This isn’t okay and the “superior” partner shouldn’t be okay with it either.
If this is one of the relationship red flags you’re experiencing, you need to speak your mind to your partner. Let them know that you feel things are unequal and that you’d like more say in the areas of concern. If they are unwilling to share the reins, it might be time to dissolve the relationship.
6. Unrecognized or Untreated Mental Health Issues
Sadly, one of the most common red flags is an untreated mental health issue. While mental health should be treated like any other disease, it can make your relationship difficult to navigate.
It isn’t your partner’s fault that they are struggling with mental health. Yet, if their issues are creating problems within your relationship and they aren’t doing anything about it, it is their fault.
A third of Americans show signs of clinical anxiety or depression. These symptoms can present in a number of ways. Some people shut down completely while others act out aggressively.
If left untreated, mental health issues can drive a wedge between you and your partner. This is true of moderate anxiety and depression. More severe mental disorders can wreak even more havoc in a relationship.
7. Fundamental Communication Issues
Finally, one of the most common relationship red flags centers around communication. Open and honest communication is possibly the most important ingredient for a healthy relationship.
You and your partner must feel safe to express your feelings, no matter what they are. However, this also means allowing the other person to react and respond to those feelings. You can’t demand space for your feelings and then deny the other person the same luxury.
If you need support, rather than immediate response, communicate your needs with your partner before opening a dialog with them. Then, even if you bring up a difficult topic, they will know exactly where you’re at and what you need.
Do You See Any of These Relationship Red Flags?
Any one of the relationship red flags listed above has the potential to come between you and your partner. The key is identifying these issues before they become massive wedges driven into the relationship.
If you’re already experiencing severe or toxic problems, however, it might be time to excuse yourself from the relationship. We all deserve to be treated fairly and with respect.
And if you’re looking for more relationship tips, we have more to offer. Check out the rest of our blog to find more relationship advice. We also have a free video you can watch if you want to learn more about how to save your relationship.