WORDS JENNIFER F. NETTO
Fairy tales have always given us the illusion of perfection in relationships but as much as those happily-ever-afters made us smile, no relationship, in reality, is perfect and achieving a happy ending is not as easy as a script. Every relationship requires respect, understanding, compromising, and yes that crazy thing called love. Whether you know your partner for a week, a year or a decade, red flags may present itself at any time in a relationship. Seeing them sooner is definitely better than later, especially in mellowing the severity of heartbreak if it comes to an end, but when do we say enough is enough, or ‘this is not the package I signed up for’ and claim a rebate on that ticket to a possible “I do”?
According to Professor Srini Pillay of Harvard Medical School, perfection is a state of mind and what may seem acceptable for one may not be for another. Similarly also in relationships, what is disturbing to one might not be for another. However, there are several traits that should generally ring the alarm. Here are a few distressing ones that should push you to seriously consider questioning – how far do you want the relationship to go or how long before you call it quits?
“While a little insecurity and jealousy from your partner can sometimes make you feel “wanted”, too much of it can become toxic.”
THE TRUTH MAY HURT FOR A LITTLE WHILE, BUT A LIE WILL HURT FOREVER
No one likes a liar, white lies or otherwise. If your partner finds it difficult to be honest with you, you are most likely going to always be in doubt and suspicious about what is being told to you. If you have discovered truth and your partner blatantly denies it, then you need to ask yourself further – what is your role in this relationship? What does your partner regard you as? According to Dr Abigail Brenner, an American psychiatrist, a person who doesn’t hold his or her words accountable, lacks integrity and lacks respect for their partner. If someone truly loves and cares, respecting you should come as second nature and not lying to you is the greatest form of respect. Lying can lace many other bad attributes such as cheating and stealing. It is a destructive nature if not nipped early.
DON’T LET JEALOUSY FOOL YOU. IT IS JUST ANOTHER NAME FOR INSECURITY
While a little insecurity and jealousy from your partner can sometimes make you feel “wanted” and encourage you to feel important in someone else’s life, too much of it can become toxic and can shackle you down from actually doing the things you want to do, because you end up constantly having to guess if it’s going to be alright with your partner. For instance, you get a promotion and you tell your partner the good news. Instead of being happy for you, your partner starts to make negative remarks and compares progress. This can be a sign your partner is feeling insecure about your achievements and is jealous of you. Some jealousy and insecurity can sprout from the thought that if you start doing better, you would leave them – this can be related to abandonment issues but it’s not an excuse to be made. In the long run, you want to have a partner who knows how to be happy for you and celebrates you for your success. The world has enough critics already, the one you want for the rest of your life doesn’t have to be.
A HULKING TEMPER?
There is no excuse for explosive temper or temper tantrums. If your partner is unable to control anger for any reason at all, then you should ask yourself, how do you feel around that much anger? Does it make you feel uncomfortable and unsafe? Does it make you embarrassed? Who does your partner lash out on when something turns the mood?
Does your partner lash out on you, or on any random person? Does your partner throw tantrums at his immediate family members? These are signs of a person who is unable to manage anger and such a trait can lead to physical abuse if not managed and corrected.
ANOTHER ONE WON’T HURT UNTIL IT BECOMES AN ADDICTION
Every addiction starts by wanting a little more and without control, it spirals. Be it an addiction to drinking, gambling, shopping, eating, gaming, pornography, etc, they all have harmful consequences for those affected and those related. Addiction is an illness and needs professional help if self-restraint does not curb the problem. Losing a partner to addiction is nerve-wracking and can strain a relationship in unimaginable ways as it diminishes the integrity of a person to live and sustain a good life for themselves and those around them.
TOO IN LOVE, WITH THEMSELVES THAT IS
Narcissism is a trait that is quite distinguishable. While you want a partner who has a good sense of security, one with too much of love for themselves is not the right formula either. Humility can take a relationship far, while narcissism can drain the non- narcissist in the equation. If both parties are equally narcissistic, it’d probably be a series of lightning and thunder between the two.
FEEDING THE EGO
Does your partner get upset when corrected? Doesn’t say “SORRY”? Blames others instead of admitting to a fault? Dislikes talking through issues? Looks down on others? Always has an excuse and loves to trivialize serious offences? If the answers are YES, then you are dealing with the pensiveness of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. According to Sigmund Freud, ego allows a person to maintain their self- esteem. It is simply a defence mechanism to their critical self. However, as much as ego takes care of a person, it can rip apart those who are close to them as it hurts and shreds little by little the dignity and integrity of those in a relationship with them. Unless you want to continue feeding their ego, ask yourself how much are you worth and if you should compromise your dignity to stand by all these red flags for old habits die hard. HT
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