Signs of a Bad Relationship

All relationships take work to make them successful. That fact has caused much confusion as people try to decide what exactly that work is, how much work is too much and how much work needs to be done to make the relationship worthwhile. However, there's a big difference between working on a relationship and wasting your time. If you note any of these signs of a bad relationship, then it's time to re-evaluate your situation.

The Warning Signs
Lack of Trust. Trust requires both partners to believe that the other will still love them, even when they make mistakes. They are able to be truthful about being at fault, and they can be vulnerable in front of each other. If you find yourself lying to cover when you make a mistake, or if you are afraid of your mate seeing you looking less than perfect, you are not being your true, honest self.

On a deeper level, lying, hiding the truth and withholding information are signs of a bad relationship. If you worry that your partner may be out with other women when he claims to be out with the guys, then you are lacking the trust a relationship requires. Likewise, your partner might interrogate you every time you go out. When you reach the point that you are accusing each other of hiding something, whether it be about love, money or who forgot to feed the dog, then you need to ask yourself why you really don't trust your partner.

Disrespect. Respect means simply treating the other person like he or she is important. We all want to be treated that way. Good communication is an exchange of listening and sharing ideas. When you treat another person as if he is important, you would never hurt him, mistreat him, put him down in public or berate him. Sarcasm, disdain, taking the other person for granted or constantly putting the other person on the defensive all fall in the disrespect category. When your partner isn't supportive, he is revealing his own insecurities-and do you want to be with someone like that?

No Space. In a good relationship, both people have time apart and time together. When you are together too much, you run the risk of feeling smothered. While you may enjoy being with your partner 24/7, time apart gives you something to discuss when you are together again. If you are apart, neither partner should resent the time apart or act jealous about it. Both partners trust that the other will be true, and both are worthy of the trust they have earned. In a bad relationship, one partner is resentful of the other or worries that the other partner will stray if left alone, which leads to that other hallmark of bad relationships, distrust.

Fear of Change. Genuinely liking the other person for who she is means that you will still like her if she changes jobs, hobbies, friends or gets depressed. Genuine caring allows the other person the freedom to grow. It also means that you feel good with that person - you enjoy being with her. Bad relationships depend on the person to stay exactly one way, and change is met with resentment and suspicion, as if one partner changed just to hurt the other person. If your partner's affections depend on your looking the same or liking the same things, you may be in a bad relationship.

Physical or Emotional Abuse. The clearest sign of all, abuse rears its ugly head when the previous four signs of a bad relationship are out of control. When there's no trust, no respect, no space and no room for growth, you are being smothered. Not only that, but you are also boxed in and fearful that, if you do anything that doesn't please your partner, you will be punished. Punishment has no place in a relationship. You must start looking for the exits if your partner hits you or makes you question your self-worth. Even if your partner is wonderful sometimes or apologizes afterwards, that isn't enough to justify the pain you are feeling. Seek outside help from family members, friends or law enforcement if you have any reason to fear for your safety.

What If You Don't See These Signs, but Still Feel Bad?
Even if a relationship isn't sour, you might think your relationship lacks spark. Relationships go through phases as people have different experiences in life. Sometimes couples who genuinely love each other aren't clicking for one reason or another. Often that reason is stress from outside factors, or difficulty communicating. If you feel that your relationship at its heart is a good one, consider trying relationship counseling. An outside perspective can help both of you decide if your efforts are for the good of the relationship, or if you are simply wasting your time.

You can't change an unhappy relationship into a good one, but you can help a good relationship that's struggling become better if both partners want that and want help getting it back on track.

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