Relationships cannot always be rosy and bright. Agreed. There are the ups and then there are the downs. But most couples, usually live out the ups and survive the lows to find a balance that is right for them. These are known as normal, balanced, and healthy relationships. Then there are those relationships which cannot be termed anything but dysfunctional. What are dysfunctional relationships? Let us find out.
The Defining Signs
Are you in a relationship and can't help but feel that something is not right? It's time to face the possibility that your relationship issues might just make your relationship a dysfunctional one. Here are some signs to help you recognize if you're in a dysfunctional relationship or not.
Resentment and Anger
Do you always feel resentful and angry? Resentment and anger towards your partner or the relationship in general means that you are probably forced to do something that you don't want to do. These feelings are not confined to one day or a stray incident, but are experienced on a daily basis.
You feel like you are always gripped by tension. You feel that there is never an opportune time to talk or ask things of your partner. No matter what you say, there is always a fear that things will escalate into a fight.
You feel trapped and confined, and are often left wondering about how life was before this relationship―thinking of which always gives you a freeing feeling.
You feel that you have to constantly change yourself for the other person to like you. You feel like you are living your life on their terms and conditions and if you don't change and mold yourself to keep the other person happy, they will leave. The power play finds you a loser at all times.
Developing a low self-esteem is one of the main signs of this form of relationship. You feel your confidence ebbing away and a sense of failure making way. The need to isolate yourself from family and friends becomes almost overpowering because you're afraid of facing them.
There are constant fights and verbal assaults. It may start with neither of you willing to let go of a point and wanting to be the winner in every argument. This will slowly move to cutting remarks, sarcastic comebacks, and the like. A healthy relationship will find a couple who respect each other and are proud of the others' achievements.
Guilt and Unhappiness
You constantly feel unhappy. Not in bouts, but rather a more continuous emotion. And when thoughts of leaving the relationship come to you, you end up feeling guilty for having these thoughts.
Type of Relationships
There are several dysfunctional relationships which can be seen in a family set up as well. These type of relationships can be termed as those in which the balance of power is not normal. It does not meet the needs of a healthy relationship.
Needs not Met
The children's needs (love, food, comfort, clothes, etc.) will not be met. They will be ignored, such that even the children will develop feelings of fear and low self-esteem at an early age. Which in turn will decide the course of their lives for the future.
Children Assume Responsibilities
Children will take up responsibilities that would normally be taken up by adults of the house. This could involve cooking, shopping, looking after younger siblings, and the like. These responsibilities are taken up at a very young age due to certain mental illnesses that the parents are suffering from or because the parents are chronic drinkers.
Abuse can be meted out in either of these forms―sexual, verbal or physical. Verbal abuse is in the form of belittling and criticizing someone, direct name calling, making a mockery of their achievements, or constantly putting them down. Physical abuse is in the form of actually striking the child often and unabashedly, and not feeling any remorse after doing so. Sexual abuse can be faced by both boys and girls and is the worst kind of abuse to face because it can have scarring effects on the child's mental status.
Parenting, in which the parents are so controlling that they end up hampering the natural growth and development of their child, is another example of a dysfunctional relationship setup. They do not allow their children to take any decisions that are appropriate for their age and are constantly expecting them to do exactly what they demand of them. The demands placed on these children are also very high, thus making the children live under constant fear, and which overtime can often develop into resentment towards the parents.
These were the different scenarios that make up dysfunctional relationships. If you see yourself in any of these scenarios, it is time that you take help and address the situation at hand.