Jun 202010
 

Here are the warning signs of a bad relationship that can’t be ignored. It’s not easy to accept that your relationship might not be good for you – but the sooner you face reality, the sooner you can move forward. After the signs of bad relationships, I summarize new research that describes how to predict if a relationship will last.

10 Signs of Bad RelationshipsShould I Stay or Should I Go? A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can — and Should — Be Saved by Lundy Bancroft will help you see if your “bad relationship” is really as bad as you think it is. Below, I describes signs of bad relationships, but it’s good to go beyond these signs.

Here’s one of the best signs of a good relationship, from Winnie the Pooh: Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.  “Pooh!” he whispered.  “Yes, Piglet?”  “Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw.  “I just wanted to be sure of you.”  ~ A.A. Milne.

In a good relationship, you feel sure of your partner without having to ask for reassurance. Do you feel secure, happy, fulfilled, and protected in your relationship? Maybe not – otherwise you wouldn’t be here, looking for signs of a bad relationship.





10 Signs of a Bad Relationship

I think the worst sign of all types of bad relationships is the first one: secrets. If you can’t talk about what your partner says and does to you, then it’s a bad relationship. Another big sign of an unhealthy relationship is if you feel unhappy, insecure, and unloved when you’re with your partner. If this is the case, then maybe you need to think about starting over after a bad relationship right now, and skip these signs!

Speaking of secrets and relationships — The Secret Laws of Attraction: The Effortless Way to Get the Relationship You Want by Talane Miedaner shows us how to meet our emotional needs. Once our emotional needs are met, we will attract good relationships – and we won’t need to wonder if one of these signs of a bad relationship exist in our love life.

1. You keep your partner’s actions and words a secret. If you can’t tell your family or friends about the things your boyfriend or husband says and does, then you may not be in a healthy loving relationship. If you lie to protect him, then it’s time to get out of that bad relationship. You’re not just with the wrong guy…you’re being the wrong type of woman.

2. Your partner wants you to change. If your boyfriend or husband doesn’t love you as you are, run for the hills! This is one of the most important signs of bad relationships: a man who doesn’t love or accept you as you are. Your boyfriend or husband should love you unconditionally, whether you’re rich or poor, big or small, or here or there. You know it’s time to get out when you can’t be yourself.

3. Your partner doesn’t trust you. Constant phone calls, demands on your time, and jealous fits are NOT signs of love! If your husband or boyfriend doesn’t trust you or accuses you of lying, then you need to re-evaluate your love. If he opens your mail or shows up at work unexpectedly, he doesn’t trust you. This is a sign of deep insecurity, which could lead to more serious relationship problems.

4. Your partner puts you down, in private or in front of others. If he calls you names, ridicules your thoughts or opinions, or makes you feel like a fool, then he’s no good for you! You’re better off to break up with him and start getting over your broken heart.

signs of bad relationships

“Signs of Bad Relationships” image by Laurie

5. You don’t feel like an equal partner in your relationship. Does your husband or boyfriend make all the decisions – or do you? An unequal balance of power is a sign of a bad relationship, and a sign it’s time to get out. If you aren’t being treated equally, read When to Leave a Relationship.

6. You and your partner don’t have the same long or short-term goals. If you can’t agree on financial issues, family matters, or goals for your future, then you may want to think twice about your relationship. Nobody has the exact same plans for the future, but the happiest couples have the same focus.

7. Your boyfriend says he loves you, but doesn’t act like he loves you. Believe his nonverbal behavior (his actions) over his verbal behavior (talk is cheap!). Read 4 Ways to Tell If Your Husband is Lying About Cheating for help identifying verbal versus nonverbal behavior.

Relationship Help

Do you regret the break up? Get Your Ex Back

Want to stop the separation or divorce? Save Your Marriage

Wondering how to make a man fall in love with you? Captivate Him So He'll Never Want to Leave

8. You feel bad, guilty, unhappy, depressed, or sad about your relationship. This tip is based on the quip from Piglet and Winnie the Pooh above. If you don’t feel secure, comfortable, and loved in your relationship, then you may be with the wrong guy. If you’re not happy, it’s a sign you’re in a bad relationship and you should think about leaving.

If your boyfriend or husband makes you feel bad about yourself, read The Verbally Abusive Man, Can He Change?: A Woman’s Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go by Patricia Evans. If you’re in a bad relationship, learn how to empower yourself, improve your relationship, and change your life for the better.

9. Your family and friends aren’t supportive of your relationship. I don’t think we should choose our boyfriends or husbands based on our family and friends’ opinions, but I do think we should take their opinions into consideration! If your family or friends have strong reservations about your partner, I encourage you to ask for specific reasons. Find out the root of their feelings, and try to be objective.

Are you staying in a bad relationship because you’re scared to be alone? Read 10 Ways to Move on After a Break Up.

10. You’re wondering about the warning signs of a bad relationship. The most important warning sign of love gone bad is your gut feeling! Why are you worrying about your relationship? Would you want your sister, best friend, or daughter to be in this relationship? To find the strength and courage to either fix or leave a bad relationship, you may need to talk to a marriage counselor.

If these signs of bad relationships are pointing you out the door, read How to End a Relationship. I wrote it for a reader who has identified all the signs his relationship is over, but he fears being alone.

Research About the Signs of Bad Relationships

What does your partner say or think about you? Here’s a way to tell if a relationship is going to fall apart: find out what people really think about their partners. The researchers in a new study used a so-called implicit relationship test, which shows how people automatically respond to words. The sign of a bad relationship in this case is whether people link words with pleasant or unpleasant meanings when they’re referring to their partner.

A sign of a toxic relationship isn’t just about feelings. Most research on good and bad relationships has focused on how the people in the relationship feel about each other. And this is usually done by the obvious route: asking them. “But the difficulty with that is, that assumes that they know themselves how happy they are, and that’s not always the case,” says Ronald D. Rogge, of the University of Rochester. “To make things worse, a lot of people don’t want to tell you if they’re starting to feel less happy in their relationship.”

The words you choose when you think about your partner are signs of how healthy your relationship is. The 222 volunteers in their study were all involved in a romantic relationship. Each volunteer supplied the partner’s first name and two other words that related to the partner, like a pet name or a distinctive characteristic. Then they watched a monitor as three types of words were presented one at a time – good words (like peace, vacation, or sharing), bad words (such as death, tragedy, and criticizing), and partner-related words (names or traits). There were two different kinds of tests: one where the volunteer was supposed to press the space bar whenever they saw either good words or partner-related words, and one where the combination was bad words and partner words. The idea is to get at people’s automatic reactions to the words – if they have generally good associations with their partners, they should be able to do the first task more easily than the second.

Bad relationships are linked to unpleasant word associations. The researchers found that volunteers who found it easy to associate their partner with bad things and difficult to associate the partner with good things were more likely to separate over the next year. The researchers also asked volunteers to report on the strength of their relationships at the start of the study – and found that the new test did a much better job of predicting breakup.

What do you think of these signs of bad relationships? I welcome your comments below, but I can’t give advice.




May you find the strength and courage to recognize these signs of a bad relationship, and move forward into a new chapter of your life.

Summary
Article Name
10 Signs of a Bad Relationship
Author
Description
Here are the top 10 warning signs of bad relationships. It's not easy to admit you're in a bad relationship, but the sooner you face reality, the sooner you can move forward.
laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen - bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer, blogger, warrior princess. :-) My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

Are you happy? My Grade 10 Social Studies teacher always asked me that. And I am happy, despite a hard childhood (schizophrenic mom, no dad, foster homes), infertility, an eating disorder, and a chronic illness. The source of my peace and joy is God; I'm a Christian. Where do you find peace?

I welcome your big and little comments below, about big or little things. I can't give you advice, but writing can give you clarity and insight.

In peace and passion...Laurie

  120 Responses to “10 Warning Signs of a Bad Relationship”

  1. These signs of a bad relationship are very important for women to know. Thank you for sharing them, and opening up the conversation for women to talk about bad unhealthy relationships.

  2. Donna,

    How have things been since your husband erupted? I think the only way to find out if counseling will help is to actually go to a counselor. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t want to go into couples therapy – it’ll help you to just talk through your relationship with a counselor on your own. Sometimes it only takes one half of the couple to get healthy, and the other half of the couple might come alongside.

    Thank you for sharing your story – I think you offered a very helpful warning sign of a relationship that could be bad, or it could be saved!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  3. My husband and I were married almost two years ago. He comes from an abusive background and while difficult for him to talk about, I know his father was verbally and emotionally abusive, physically so toward his younger brother (maybe also to him, though I don’t know), and his mother is emotionally controlling and manipulative. For most of his life, he accepted it — coping by shutting down his feelings, keeping some distance, yet still trying to do things for their approval. Now for the first time in his life, at 40, he’s starting to talk about what happened — and more, how it has affected him. And he is trying to adjust, his behavior and thinking — to influence the relationship he has with his parents and to stop bring the pattern he learned into our relationship.

    It’s been a long road to get here — much of the 2 years of our marriage, and even months prior. I’m encouraged by his attempts and things seemed better, I mean truly & remarkably better. We were able to talk more about things and also start dealing with his parents on a united front. He shares his feelings — not freely, but more. He’s more sensitive to my feelings. He stands up for me, which he never did. He makes quality time for me and our relationship has become the priority in his life.

    Until a few nights ago, when things erupted. During the day, he faced frustrations with work where he is extraordinarily talented, yet undervalued. This particular day hit him hard. Meanwhile, a recent communication with his mother was further hurting him. Through the day, he became more silent and withdrawn — the evening winded down with several snarky comments — and eventually erupted in a screaming tirade that scared me to the point, for the first time, that I thought he might hurt me. I stayed silent and curled in a ball, and he did leave slamming things through the house for the next half hour. Only when I left the bedroom the next morning did I realize he had punched a massive hole in our wall, destroyed the doorframe, broke a door handle, and punched a screw driver into the garage wall.

    I have avoided him since. I feel weak for not kicking him out or leaving myself. I feel ridiculous. The truth of why I don’t — I love the guy he is when he isn’t the monster. And I wish it was different. And I hate to close the door forever. I understand (I think) that his outburst had less to do with me, and more with the feelings of hurt, anger and frustration firstly from home and multiplied by some mirror experiences with work. But it was beyond any level of normal or acceptability.

    Now I’m trying to determine what to do. e.g., Does counseling ever really work — and is staying, while requiring him to get counseling, even worth considering? Or was the experience of the other night the one that crossed the final line? Before I could try to work through the emotional abuse (and I do, I stand up for things — and it’s hard but we tend to get there). But this was the first time I was honestly scared and I don’t know if trying any more is even a real option.

  4. Dear Charlotte,

    Your boyfriend may say he loves you, but he is treating you like a prisoner. Real love from a guy means support, respect, and trust. Your boyfriend doesn’t trust you, and is acting abusive. What you’re experiencing is emotional and mental abuse.

    Has he physically abused you — shoved, hit, slapped, or hurt you in other ways?

    You’re a smart 15 year old. You know you’re in a bad relationship – otherwise you wouldn’t have searched for the warning signs of bad relationships. You know your boyfriend isn’t good for you, and that you should leave him.

    My prayer for you is that you find the strength to leave. May you be infused with strength, clear thinking, wisdom, guidance, peace, determination, and the knowledge that YOU DESERVE TO BE TREATED BETTER. You are too smart, beautiful, and good to be treated like this. I pray you realize how valuable and lovable you are, and that you know deep in your heart that you are worthy of a good man to love you and treat you right. Amen.

    Be well. Treat yourself well. Don’t be held down by your boyfriend.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  5. My names charlotte and I am only 15, I have a boyfriend who I love very much! We are with each over every day. We met 9 months ago and I fell for him straight away but he messed me about, but I still was in love with him, about 3 months with been in love with him I slept with him that’s when he fell for me, but he made me change loads I’m now a different person, I don’t drink anymore, off drugs but there’s one thing that kills me, I’m not aloud to do anything! I have to stay in all the time he deleted all boys I had on Facebook, snapchat, my contacts and everything even though I wouldn’t cheat. If I don’t do what he says he will shout at me. I have no friends now I’m
    Stressing out as this is my last year at school I’ve had a hard up bringing but my mind is confused I need help –
    Is this love? Yes, no?
    Should I leave? Or should I go? Please help!

  6. Dear Carol,

    Even if you had read these warning signs of a bad relationship to your daughter, I suspect she wouldn’t have listened or broken up with her boyfriend. She might have just cut you out of her life earlier! Women don’t like to hear how “bad” our boyfriends or relationships are, even if we know they’re bad.

    Stay strong, and don’t lose faith in your daughter. She’ll find her way home to you. My prayer is that you find peace, and don’t let worry, fear, or concern overtake your life. I pray you are able to enjoy your life and live in the present, and have faith that your daughter will come back to you when she’s ready. In the meantime, try not to lose sleep or worry yourself sick over her. Your getting sick about her relationship won’t help her, it’ll only make things worse. Stay healthy, emotionally and physically. Be well.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  7. Oh I wish I had found this to read to my daughter before she cut us out of her life. She is drowning in a bad and all consuming relationship with a man who is playing mind games with her. He has introduced her to drugs and isolated her from every friend and family member who has voiced a concern for her. She even admitted to several of us that she knows he will destroy her. My heart is broken snd there is nothing I can do.

    • Tell her you love her no matter what. Nothing you say will change her path because she isn’t hearing you and isn’t able to hear you. I am this daughter, and have now after 10 years reached my crossroad. If you constantly tell her you love her she will remember this and come back after her bad choices. I wish you and your daughter well. The way was not easy. She is unable to listen or hear you. It is not you, it is her partner. One day something will happen to her and she will hear. Just tell her you love her and you are there no matter what. She will come home. xx

  8. Dear Sara,

    You can’t control what happens to your boyfriend’s health or anxiety after you break up with him – or even when you’re in a relationship with him! You need to decide what’s best for you — as selfish as that may sound. If you’re unhappy with him, you can’t stay in a relationship out of guilt or fear of what could happen in the future. If you believe you and he would be better off not in a relationship, then you need to break up with him and learn how to deal with your feelings of guilt.

    Here’s an article on dealing with guilt after a breakup:

    http://theadventurouswriter.com/quipstipsrelationships/how-to-stop-feeling-guilty-after-breaking-up-with-someone/

    The bottom line is that you need to listen to your heart. If you’re not meant to be with your boyfriend, then you need to trust yourself, and let him go. Be kind, loving and gentle. But, don’t carry the burden of feeling responsible for what he does or how he feels. He has to be an adult, just like you do.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  9. Dear Toni,

    Thank you for being here; you deserve to be loved, respected, and cared for! It sounds like you see your relationship clearly…it’s just a question of whether you’re able to take steps to change your life. It’s scary, but you might be happier in the long run.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  10. Hi this is my first time having a biyfriend,i met him in university now its 5 months that we have been friends and i love him,he says he loves me so much,i do really care abt him but sth that bothers me is that he has panic attack disorder,it makes me upset and i feel pity for him,i want to break up with him because of that disease,but i cant i dont want to leave him alone on the other hand i dont have future with him,i dont know what to do,every day i wake up i think abt him and think abt that i will not love another guy because i love him so much,and again i think abt what if i break up with him and his disease get worst because of me? Plz help me i dont know what to do :((
    Thank so much
    My english is not so good sry abt that

  11. I have been married for 13 yrs very abusive, my husband was an alcoholic , stayed out all night a lot, changed jobs a lot then went thru the pot times, never really sat an had a good conversation with me or ever took me on vacation nothing,. I call him and he ignores the phone, he will go out with friends an won’t answer the phone when I call. I don’t ask for diamonds an pearls I just want attention. I work very hard 60 hrs a week plus take care of the kids an house. Most recently he got a truck driving job so now I hardly see him . I don’t want to lose him but I also want to be treated like I mean something to someone.

  12. Dear Mander,

    It sounds like you and your partner have hit several of the warning signs of a bad relationship: addiction, different life goals, infidelity, and unhappy feelings about your relationship. But, it also sounds like you’re not ready to let him go, even though he doesn’t want another child and he doesn’t want to quit his addiction.

    So, it seems like you have two options: 1) keep going the way you are; or 2) ask him to leave, and figure out how to pay the bills and rent on your own.

    In a year from now, which option do you think you’d wish you had chosen?

    • You’re right, I’m just having a hard time facing the truth, I love him with all my heart, but he’s I guess obviously not that in love with me anymore to want to respect me, and my beliefs. I am currently looking for FT work so I will be in a position to provide for my child and I when the time comes for him to go. In a year from now I’d like to see my life being put back together, and I want to also be mentally the best mom I can be, you don’t realize how your relationship effects your kids until it goes wrong and you see them suffering too, which breaks my heart.

      • Facing the truth of an unhealthy relationship is one of the most difficult things we have to do! It’s painful and so disappointing. I know. But in the long run, facing the truth – and paying close attention to the warning signs of a bad relationship as early as possible – is so much better in the long run. The sooner we face up to the pain and discomfort of leaving, the closer we are to happiness.

        But I also know it’s easier to say all this than actually do it, especially when kids are part of the picture.

  13. I feel like I’m in such a bad place… I just don’t know what to do, I’ve been in a relationship for 8 years, not married( he’s afraid of commitment) and we have a 3year old. I met him at 17 he was 27 at work. After about a year he started talking to his ex-fiancé and broke up with me for about a week, to “try to get his head straight” he’s always been a drinker at times a very heavy drinker. In the beginning of our relationship we’ve gotten in physical fights, not anymore, because I just walk away instead of arguing with him. And just recently in January, I found out he’s been doing cocaine for the past 6 months and blew all our money, so we talked and I said if he ever did it again he would have to go, well he’s done it again and I’m just stuck in such a hard place. I’ve been a stay at home mom, he’s my income, we have so much debt, I do own this home we live in but if I said for him to leave I wouldn’t be able to afford it myself. I don’t want my son to grow up thinking it’s ok to do drugs or treat women with disrespect, I want him to have a good life. I also feel bad for my SO I feel like he needs me. He’s not a very affectionate person and I’m the opposite. I’m just so tired of his crap I feel like he doesn’t know what he wants anymore, and I feel he’s choosing drugs over his family, I’m also tired of not being able to talk to my friends or family because I’m so embarrassed about the situation. And I don’t know how I would live without seeing my son everyday all day, I’m so heartbroken. We’ve also been trying for another because I want more kids but he doesn’t, it’s taken me all these years to convince him to have another, but that’s now out of the question, I would never forgive myself if something happens to my baby because of his drug alcohol addiction. And now I can’t stop thinking about another guy that we’ve known for years,(he pursued me when my SO broke up with me for a week but I said no) what life would be like with him, and I feel bad that I can’t stop thinking about him. Any advice, I just am not thinking clearly anymore :(

  14. Hello Damita,

    Have you thought about what life would be like without him?

  15. I have been in a relationship with my oldest children’s father for 2 1/2 years but we have dealt with each other for the past 13 years on and off. He says I don’t communicate but every time I say something to him about how I’m feeling I get shot down. He tells me it’s either stupid or he doesn’t care about so he doesn’t want to hear it so I shut down and won’t talk anymore. Yesterday we got into an argument and it has been ongoing today. Anytime I say something he doesn’t like he gets really angry and says some things that are really mean. He’s called me stupid, dumb, and everything but the child of God.
    Of course I love him a lot but I don’t like he feels the same about me. I’m at my end and I don’t know what to do.

  16. Hello Farah,

    It sounds like you are excessively dependent on your boyfriend, and not in control of your relationship or life. I think it’s important to let go of control in many situations, but I also believe we shouldn’t be so out of control that we feel like someone or something is oxygen to us.

    It also sounds like your boyfriend isn’t as committed to this relationship as you are. What could you do to ease off on it a little, and become more of your own person? How could you become a strong, independent, confident woman?

  17. I have been in a relation with a guy for almost a year and 4 months at first he seemed like the perfect guy i can possibly dream of we stayed for 6 months absolutely happy it seemd like the perfect relation i was never happy like this and i started to think that he might be the one than i had to travel for university for 6 months and he was so supportive and he told we will make it i will come visit u and u’ll visit me we can do it in the early two months while i was abroad things were good than we had a fight and things started to change i found out that he is open to knew relations and since than things started going the bad way he changed he was mean he was distant busy all the time until later on i found out that got back with his ex girlfriend nit only he got back to her but he was planing on marrying her all of that happened in less than a month i got crazy it was one of the hardest thing i ever went through in my life i was simply dying alone in a different country and he tried to contact me many times to apologize to tell me that he still loves and that he had to go back to his ex for her own sack and that he was trying to protect her from another guy and that he made a mistake by telling her that he will marry her and he regrets it right now, and he still loves me i did not believe him if course i hared him so much i just wanted to get him out of my system and he kept contacting my family to check on me and he said that he destroyed his own life he does not want to destroy mine after he found out that i am seeing another guy he tried so much to get in contact with me to tell me that he still loves me he eventually broke up with his ex and started talking to me back to get back together the thing is at the time i was still in love with him and still very much in pain over what he did and the things he said when i returned back to my country he asked to see me so he would clarify everything and the reasons why he made that move and i wanted to know as well so i met him and we started talking again he apologized and said he would never hurt me ever again and he blamed the fact that we were a part and that we started fighting and that he never wanted his girlfriend he was just looking for care i gave him another chance not because he deserve it but because i still had feelings for him i needed to know to get to the bottom of everything because he is the man that i ever truly loved we started dating again he tried to win my trust again which to me seemed Impossible because my trust is very hard to earn and now i feel very insecure about him every small mistake he does reminds me of the pain i suffered because of him and personally i feel that is doing a very good job he still acts like a total idiot sometimes, sometimes i feel that i am wasting my time but than i remember his love and my love and i say no we belong together i feel like our relation is unstable i think he broke something huge inside me i don’t know if he is capable of doing things but, i want him to reassure me his love again to feel that if we worked on this we can get there but instead he is criticizing me and acting like a jerk And telling me that i have hard character and it makes me feel more insecure like i m not good enough for him , and some other time he tells me that i am the perfect girl that he has been dreaming of and that he wants us to be together and that we will get married yet he never introduced me to his parents yet i think he is still insecure about our relation too and is afraid of his parents judgement since we come from different cultures i feel deep in my heart like something is not right and i don’t know if i am doing the right thing by staying together with him he is super supportive super loving caring but he has these moments that i don’t understand like his parents thing that he told me he is working on but i am doubting it these moments when i feel like i m not what he is exactly looking for in a girl and that he might be thinking some stuff over even though i really try my best to make it work he never holds my hand in public as if we are a couple he talks about “my” life not “our” life and these things just make me so worried and insecure and uncomfortable and i am afraid that he might leave me at some point when he is no longer emotionally attached and i would be again sitting there picking up the peaces of my heart it s really painful for me to leave him right i m still very much emotionally attached to him sometimes i feel like he is my oxygen and i don’t want to be so vulnerable and so dependent on him it scares me so much plz any opinions would help

  18. Hi Kayla,

    How old are you and your boyfriend? Sometimes when guys are young, they don’t know how to act around their friends when their girlfriend is around. Sometimes they feel they have to play it cool.

    What does your boyfriend say when you tell him how you feel?

  19. Dear Sarah,

    I don’t have any answers for you, but I do have lots of questions! Have you talked to a counselor about how you are coping with your boyfriend? It sounds like he is manipulating and controlling you, as well as abusing you physically.

    Who says love will forgive anything? Would you forgive him if he abused your daughter?

    Are the good times you have together worth the pain and suffering he causes you and your daughter?

    • My boyfriend needs help. He has issues that come from his childhood and I can see that he wants to change. What in asking is if it is the right thing to abandon him or help him? Him hurting any of my children would make me leave in a heartbeat. But they have never witnessed any fights or arguments. He has been a great father to them.

      • Dear Sarah,

        It’s a very difficult decision, and whichever choice you make will involve pain. If you stay with your boyfriend, will he do the work he needs to do to heal? Will he get healthy and deal with his childhood issues? I don’t know. I don’t think you or even he knows the answer to that. But, I do know that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

        If you leave him, I’m not sure I agree that you’re “abandoning” him. He is not a child or a puppy. When you kick kids or dogs out on the street, you’re abandoning them. When you decide that a relationship is no longer working for you – or if you can no longer tolerate the unhealthiness of it – then you’re making a decision that is good and healthy for you. A breakup is not an abandonment — and people who are unhealthy will try to manipulate you into believing it is.

        Good, healthy decisions for you and your child aren’t easy. Sometimes the most difficult decision is the right one.

        The reason I encourage you to talk to a counselor is so that you can figure out what boundaries (eg, what you’re responsible for, and what your boyfriend is responsible for). You are not responsible for your boyfriend, his health, his emotional stability, or his healing. You are responsible for YOUR health, future, child, and choices. It sounds like you’re confused about how to love him, and I believe talking this sort of stuff through with a counselor is the best way to find the answer that is already in you.

        I can’t tell you what the right thing to do is. But whatever you decide to do, make sure you have support. If you decide not to talk to a counselor, then talk to a wise trustworthy person. Surround yourself with people you respect, who can help you find the decision that is inside you.

        Does this make sense? I encourage you to keep writing, here or somewhere else. I won’t tell you what to do – nobody should tell you what to do! – but I’m happy to listen. I also encourage you to read books about healthy love relationships — and a book called Boundaries. It’s important to know where you end and where your boyfriend begins.

        xo
        Laurie

    • My bf says he likes me but he don’t hold my hand or put his arm around me he just b hugging me n wen we around ppl he acts like I’m not really there n I do like him n we just started going out last week but he spends to much time wit his friends than wit me n wen we’re alone he wants to b all buddy buddy wit me n he pays attention to me wen I’m mad idk wat to do but ik that I wanna b wit him

  20. I have been with my boyfriend with 3 years and we have a one yr old together. We have been through many problems. Well it’s more like I have dealt with many problems created by him. He has thrown me out of our home over a misunderstanding. He has put his hands on me on more than one occasion. He has cheated. And every single time I have tried leaving him he would cry and begg me to forgive him. I love him so much and I am so hurt with him. But I believe him every time he swears he loves me and will never hurt me again. The last time I tried leaving he said he was going to kill himself because he was dead without me. He is currently going to counseling…and we can have so much fun together and we even like a lot of the same things. When is it time to give up? They say love will forgive anything.

  21. Thanks for your feedback, Not Important! I’m glad to hear from you. These warning signs of a bad relationship are geared towards women, because the majority of my readers are women.

    I don’t think it’s always the man’s fault, and believe any of these signs of bad relationships can be applied to both men and women. It works both ways.

  22. Dear Beverley,

    It sounds like you’re in such a bad relationship, but you have no way to leave. You’re financially dependent on him. Have you talked to anyone about leaving him? Friends, family, social services, etc?

  23. Came across your site looking for information on bad relationships and Imediately doubted the validity of any information after reading the second paragraph wherein you accuse the “boyfriend “or “husband” of wrong doing in the relationship. I guess it’s always the mans fault hah what a joke

  24. Tiffany,

    It sounds like you’ve been dealing with alot of grief, stress, loss, and difficulties. It’s piling up, and it may feel like you’re all alone. It sounds like you do feel like you’re all alone, and that can be a sad, lonely place to be.

    I don’t think you mentioned friends – do you have any friends you can call, who can help you figure out what to do next? You said you can’t tell your family about how bad your relationship is…but sometimes friends can be even more helpful than family.

    I don’t know where you live, or what resources you’re able to tap into. Some cities and communities have services for women, and can even offer shelter and help finding a permanent housing option.

    Another option is to call the local churches. Many offer brief help and support to families in distress.

    I wish I could be more helpful, but all I can do is encourage you to reach out and call as many organizations as possible. Help IS out there…it just needs you to dig it up.

    I’m here to listen, if you want to share how you’re doing.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  25. Ill try to make this short as possible but descriptive as possible. I need help. I am lost. You see I’ve with this same man for 8 yrs and he’s an alcoholic. Over years his verbal/mental abuse started to increase as much as his drinking. Yet I kept on chugging through as I loved him to pieces. Then he became physical. Once when I was preggo with my last child. I blew it off. Finally got a job, started saving money, had goals for myself and my oldest who is 13 was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. This broke things even more and he laid his hands on me two more times, has control of me, is up my butt wondering who/what/when/where,, etc I’m at nearly all times. Blames me for my sons cancer. Tells me I’m an awful parent as I choose to be 1.5 hours away with him over my other 3 children. etc., etc. I know I need to leave even though I know he loves me and the children (but not enough to stop drinking) but he has such control of me, and with my son current health issue it seems like nobody is willing it help me. I have no money, no job, his mom has control of our savings, my van (which is needed for transportation for my son to hospitals) loan is cosigned by his mom. My family doesn’t know as they will make my problems 10x worse. I tried calling DV to help..but they too told me they can help but I’m going to have to leave my kid alone while i stay home to help with court, etc. My head is in pieces and I dont know what to do.

    • God I feel for you. I to am in a verbal/ physical relationship with a young child. I feel so alone. I wouldn’t be able to financially survive without him and he knows this. There are days when I don’t think I can take another hour of this life I’m living. Sending my love to you and your kids.

  26. Dear Broken,

    I’m sorry it didn’t help you to write here. It sounds like you’re in a difficult situation – you aren’t in a good relationship, and your husband won’t let you leave without your children.

    Have you talked to the embassy, or sought help from a counselor there? Is it true that you can’t leave without your children? I don’t know the laws there, or anything about your situation. But, I do believe that even in the worst situations, we have more options than we think.

    Is it possible to call your embassy, or get help from someone who knows about the law?

  27. Mr Stuck Wishing for Happiness,

    These warning signs of a bad relationship are for both women and men, but I write for women primarily. I’m sorry you feel like I’m demonizing men.

    I’m very sorry that you’re in an unhealthy relationship. I wish you all the best, and hope you’re able to find happiness somehow.

    Sincerely,
    Laurie

  28. Have been in a “toxic” relationship for months now…she was married 3 times..4 kids and is never wrong. She also refuses to discuss and comprise on issues. Says she will never change. Leave or stay?

  29. I’ve been married for over 15 years to someone who never really loved me. Most of that time, I’ve spent trying to be who he thought I should be, instead of being myself. But now Im just tired. I have come to the conclusion that he will NEVER love me for who I am. The problem is that I can’t leave him because of my children. I made a huge mistake of moving to saudi arabia with him 10 years ago and now if I leave (which he has made clear that he doesn’t care if I do) it would have to be without my children. I thought that by writing this I would somehow feel a little better, but I don’t. I just wish that my life could be different but its not. and there’s nothing i can do but keep breathing for the sake of my children.

    • At a certain point you must weigh the long and short term effect on you and the children. Will you and they be emotionally harmed more by staying or leaving? Tough choices and even tougher times ahead but lots of US survive it and flourish. God bless

  30. The most important sign of a bad relationship is how you feel when you’re with your partner, and when you’re not with him. Do you feel insecure, lost, sad, unhappy, and alone? Those are warning signs, given by your own body!

  31. Oh Laurie thankyou i see your response to my other question.

  32. Dear Jennifer,

    I’m not sure what the signs are of sex addiction — but if your boyfriend’s interests make you feel uncomfortable, then you need to set boundaries. If he wants it too much, or in ways that don’t feel good to you, then you need to be honest with him.

    If your boyfriend doesn’t listen to you, then it’s definitely a sign of a bad relationship! He has to listen and compromise, especially when it’s about something so personal and intimate.

    Whether or not he’s addicted doesn’t matter. It’s how you feel in your relationship that matters. Do you feel respected, loved, and honored?

  33. Thankyou Laurie for your advice from yesterday. I will take in concern what you’ve told me. I’m living with him now , its been 4 weeks now. If we continue to ague and have physical fights i will leave him alone. We have spoke alot , he knows if it continues i will leave him alone. Also what are the signs that a man is addictive to having sex with me ? If he is addictive to having sex with me should i be concern?

  34. Thanks for your comments, Patricia!

    I agree, it’s not ideal that my articles don’t address specific circumstances. They’re more general, magazine-type articles that cover a broad range of people and situations.

    Every family and relationship is unique. It sounds like your partner and his family doesn’t accept you for who you are, even though you’ve tried really hard to get them to accept you.

    Maybe there’s nothing you can do to get them to accept you. Maybe no matter who you are or what you do, you’ll always be someone in their minds that they just can’t welcome into the family. That’s sad, but unfortunately there’s not much you can do to change who people are.

    Are you happy in this relationship?

  35. It worries me that these articles do not address different circumstances and make blank statements. I am with a man that does not accept me. If he had to go by your advice, he should leave me. However, the truth, is that they are very conservative and they can’t accept he divorced his previous wife, even though I met him years after their divorce. They treat me like I don’t exist. I’ve done EVERYTHING to be accepted by them to no avail. I also know people that will sabotage their friends’ partnerships because they are jealous. So, friends’ and family’s opinion of someone’s partner is not something that should guide you in your decision or even feelings about your relationship.

  36. Dear Natalie,

    Thank you for sharing your insights and wisdom here! It sounds like you’ve done alot of work in counseling, getting to know yourself and your patterns better. I admire and respect how far you’ve come, and I believe you’ll meet a man who treats you the way you deserve.

    I didn’t want your comments to get buried under the new ones, so I posted them here:

    http://theadventurouswriter.com/quipstipsrelationships/reasons-why-women-get-involved-with-the-wrong-men/

    Thank you again – I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  37. I am currently leaving my second terrible long term relationship. I was previously with a man for 2 years who was emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive. I was very addicted to the cycle with him and at times I can say I truly loved him and his ‘good side’.

    I spent a year and a half seeking counseling, medication, and self-help/personal development books to get back to normal after the end of that nightmare. I am STILL not over that man. He was also my first love and real boyfriend, at age 19-21 so that played a factor.

    By the time I met my recent ex, I was 22 and had revitalized my self esteem and life. So what happened? I was instantly attracted to this man. I ignored every warning sign, my friend and family’s advice. I absolutely lost myself in the relationship. I was completely distracted from school, work, everything. This man was also verbally, physically, and emotionally abusive. He recently showed up at my house out of nowhere and threatened to kill himself on my front lawn. I had to call the cops, he ended up in a psych ward. Now he’s saying it’s all MY fault he is there and that he was ‘never serious’ about hurting himself. He also said that I am the cause of all the problems in his life even though he has been like this his entire life.

    I often wonder how young, motivated, SMART woman get involved with these guys. There are a lot of reasons and factors – many of which are from our childhood. Also, following patterns and not breaking cycles or being aware of them.

    To other women reading this – I finally realized after seeing this person blame ME for his suicide attempt, even though I had barely spoken to him in weeks – that their behaviors are their own and you can’t be held responsible. You are beautiful. You are smart. You are lovely. Do not reduce yourself to a low self esteem, unhappy, shade of a woman. You are worth so much more than that. Sending love and prayers. If you’re a man and reading this, if someone is abusing you, it’s the same deal – you are worth it, you are loved, and you don’t deserve it.

  38. Hello Valenina,

    It sounds like you’ve been through a lot with your boyfriend! And I suspect you’re recognizing that your relationship has some of the warning signs in my article.

    How are you coping with your feelings? I hope it helped to express them here…but how do you cope with the stress, frustration, and pain you feel?

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  39. Well, I have this problem. I met my boyfriend in 2007 and been together every since. When I first met him, I was attracted to him because he loved his mother so much. So every place that we have gone to, I paid for it. He is a disable veteran age 47 and I was 21 or 22 at that time. BUT like I was saying I was paying for the hotel, dinner, our outings, because he said his mother was taking his check…um, I notice change in him when I got pregnant with our first child. During my first pregnancy, when he was actually getting his check, he’ll give me money then he would disappear at time maybe 2 or 3 days. Then when he come back, he’ll be broke.

    Ok, when I delivered my baby, you are required to spend 2 or 3 day in the hospital. Well, i had my baby at 4 in the morning, and he found out I receive a check from my school, he put my clothing on me and took me out the hospital to cash my check. I really don’t remember all what occurred that day because I was on meds. However, he brought me back before anyone can notice, and he was gone. I didn’t see him like 5 days later. He cause me to lose 2 jobs. One job, I let him borrow my car and he took me to work across town. When I got off at 11 pm, he never showed back up, so I was stranded. I had to pay $40 for a taxi. He told a bunch of lies to his folks saying my mom call the police on him. So he came back about a week later and I think it was a month later when I contracted and STD. I really think he is a drug user, and know he recovers years ago from the same issue. The next time I contracted a STD I was pregnant with my second child. He lies to my face all the time……..he doesn’t listen, he always thinking someone putting things in my head. Let me remind you, we have 2 small kids…..He always leave to go help his friends, and when I ask him to let do thing together as a family….HE WILL SAY, WE DON”T HAVE MONEY NOR GAS. And now all he do is wait on a phone call….when his boys call he is gone…….maybe for 8 hours or to the next morning. I am really getting tired, and I am considering to leave him and move out of town with my kids. …He haves the nerves to say I wont cook or clean….but he’s not running behind 2 kids, I AM…..and he can’t work….

  40. Sarah,

    Did you see the comment someone left for you on the article I wrote for you? I couldn’t have said it better!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  41. Becca,

    You sound like such a caring, loving mother and wife! Your husband is taking you for granted. Worse, he’s treated you terribly — you deserve better than that!

    I wrote this article for you – don’t be fooled by the title!

    http://theadventurouswriter.com/quipstipsrelationships/how-to-make-your-husband-love-you/

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  42. Dear Sarah,

    Thank you for being here, and for sharing your story. I really appreciate your honesty and courage.

    No, I don’t think it’s normal for a boyfriend to go into a sulk if you eat a chocolate bar…but I suspect there are other things going on! It’s not just the chocolate bar, is it?

    The trick is to figure out what the underlying issue is. Is he being unreasonable about your weight gain? I believe your fears and concerns are valid, and you need to pay attention to them! Don’t ignore your feelings, because they’re giving you important clues to the future of your marriage.

    I wrote this article for you:

    http://theadventurouswriter.com/quipstipsrelationships/will-you-love-me-if-i-gain-weight/

    Let me know what you think.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  43. Most of the time we get on great.. but I find it difficult to deal with the mood swings, he can totally go in a sulk if I am eating a bar or chocolate… is this normal? He us sensitive helpful kind generous thoughtful loving, and I do love him SO SO much.. BUT WILL THIS WEIGHT ISSUE KILL OUR RELATIONSHIP IN THE FUTURE? What if I gain while pregnant.. so worried.. I’m freaked out… I thought maybe he has a touch if depression as his mum suffers from it badly… I am not in a good place my self esteem is rock bottom and I can’t stop crying.. work is also crazy stressful right now

  44. I am engaged to my fiance and we are to get married next year.. I am having doubts whether he loves me it not..:(
    He has changed he is moody and withdrawn and often silent..
    We have had many many talks arguments and discussions about my weight, I gained 3 stone when I quit cigarettes and then I lost it.. he says he seen how fabuous I looked when I lost weight, unfortunately I gained maybe 1 stone,

  45. I will be married to my husband two years in Aug. We have a beautiful baby girl. A new home. everything we have strived for. My husband has totally changed since. We have not been romantic in months. He puts me down on a regular basis, makes me feel unworthy of his presence especially when other people are around. I try every day extremely hard just to get his attention and to make him happy in any way that I can. Im truly broken. I now see, no matter how much you love someone you cant make that person love you back. My heart just bleeds for my child. I dont want to tear her family apart but I dont feel like i deserve a life of constant hurt! Totally lost and confused. I love him with all of my heart and its just not enough.

  46. Dear Alessandro,

    I’m glad you’re leaving your relationship, because a woman who says things like that to you doesn’t deserve you! Those aren’t loving words, and the sooner you get out of that relationship, the better.

    I wish you all the best, and hope you know that you deserve a woman who loves and cares for you.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  47. The last 4 or 5 comments have been from men – I didn’t write this article specifically for women. Since I’m a woman, I tend to gear my articles towards women. But I believe the tips apply to human beings in general. Can’t men and women benefit from the same article on bad relationships — and the same comments section?

    Maybe it would be helpful for men and women to see each other’s perspectives by talking.

    But to answer your question, Jarrod, I don’t know of any websites specifically for men and their relationships. I’m sure they exist; I’m just not aware of them.

  48. Hi everyone, Ive just decided to leave an unhealthy relationship with a woman who made me feel bad about my past experiences,
    she was not telling me the whole truth about the problems she had, and at one stage she even told me that I’d have no chance in getting another girlfriend, because I didn’t have what it takes..

  49. When the author says “accept you as you are” does that mean “as you are” or “what you’ve let” yourself become?

    I’ll go to the most extreme example. She goes from a size 2 to a size 10. Who’s being unreasonable? Her allowing herself to become obese? Or him losing attraction to someone who became obese?

    Sorry – but “love me no matter how bad I let myself go” is WAY too far of a stretch.

    Also, women who shut off the sex machine and expect the husband to be both HAPPY and FAITHFUL are just deluded idiots too…

  50. Well I typed in Google “signs of a good or bad relationship and came to your site……seems like great advice but I’m a man and it appears the advise is predetermined as only for women. I need help as a man where can I find it?

    • Yeah I found this article through a Google search also and thought it was unfair to say the least that you demonized men and then riddiculed a man by say he is “afraid” to be alone.
      I’m in a bad relationship and engaged and I stay because I worry about her and will become of her without me being here to care for her.
      Funny how women like to point fingers and say “bad, bad, bad” but never look in the mirror and think “I’m doing bad, bad, bad and making wrong and bad decisions”.
      Today I started looking for love online because I feel so unloved. I feel I deserve better than all of this. I’m probably won’t and bad, bad, bad though huh.

      • You’re not letting your fiance live a happy life, nor are you showing any signs of caring for her are deciding to stay because you’re co-dependent. Neither of you will have A chance at happiness if you are focusing on caring for the other more than yourself. Plus you’re being selfish going online, get real and find a therapist who will help you learn how u forgot to love yourself. You wont find that on the internet.

  51. Great tips. It seems like common sense to look for these signs yet people repeat these behaviors time and again. Perhaps the key is to do something different (and positive) and stick to it until it becomes the new way of doing things.

  52. also to add… it was her sister..

  53. hi all.. im a man with my whole life in a mess.. i did this to myself.. i have 3 kids… 9yrs now workin on rebuilting trust but seems way to far

  54. I love the advice about being self-sufficient! It’s so important to retain some independence in your marriage, even if you are totally secure and certain it’ll last forever.

    Another really important tip is to get as emotionally and spiritually healthy as possible. If you’re grounded and stable, you can cope with a bad relationship…and possibly even turn these warning signs around, and make them the basis of a better, stronger marriage or partnership!

  55. Hi, been married 21 years, 4 kids, all boys, been a stay at home mom, two youngest are still in elementary school. I’ve felt trapped for a long time, emotionally abused, disrespected, unloved and taken advantage of. It’s been really bad living with someone who blatantly shows no love or caring. I don’t want to bore you will all the events but the last straw was a month ago sitting alone crying in my car after I had my uterus biopsied, in pain, when he promised he would be there with me. These times have been too many. I beg to be touched, when I talk to him he turns and walks away, he’s turned the tv up too. We’ve been to 2 marriage therapists but he won’t do the work. I know I want out, he knows I’m stuck, staying home all these years I have no job and no skills.no where to go. So I stay, living a silent life, my own hell. And it continues , it really hit me when i read, if I had a daughter would I want her to have my marriage, there’s no way! Unfortunately,I have no family. To my fellow sisters , pls pls pls, make yourselves self-sufficient, don’t allow someone to take care of you.

  56. Hello. I have been in my relationship for the past 11 years. During all that time my boyfriend (and father of 3 children) has been using (all sorts of things). Early on in our relationship, he cheated on me. We broke up for a while but I ended up getting pregnant and we started to have kids and because of my background, I didn’t want my kids growing up without their father because all mine did was send money to support me. I have used over a time to, but have grown tired of it and I now have health issues so I have decided to stop completely over a year and a half ago because I got a government job and was tired of spending money on something that only lasted a short time and my kids are WAY MORE IMPORTANT (not due to my using- due to problems I have had that never got checked while growing up) Anyways, to make a very long story short, my boyfriend has no parental rights to his first child because he could not stop using and because my family (my side) is crap and has done everything to get my kids taken from me, I no longer talk to them. But my story is I am told daily how I NEED TO CHANGE, HOW MY ATTITUDE IS BAD (I have thyroid problems right now as well) and how I took him away from his best friend (which is a girl) he had made. He constantly says we are not a couple and he doesn’t trust me. But then in the same instance, with his mom knowing what was going on and still continuing to enable him, says that she will make sure that my kids are taken from me. This is not right so I have started to formulate my plan to get out WITH MY CHILDREN. They have seen too much that they don’t need to see and I have worked too hard to lose them, especially to someone I have supported staying home for the last 8 years because he could not hold down a job. I, on the other hand, have always been able to work but continued to enable him as well because during our relationship, I waited a while to get back and when he was treating me badly, I decieded that was the time (before our 3rd child was born, he cheated more then once before we had children while I lived with him and his parents). I had been working so much and he would play his video games for up to 12 hours a day. He’s not as bad now but he just recently quit using because we had to move back home due to my family going back on their word and being crap to me. So I basically have no other support. But since we have been home, I have been constantly told that I have already lost him, he’s not exclusive to me, that he wants to go out and screw some hot girl, but would involve taking MY VEHICLE I PAID FOR AND IS IN MY NAME. He does not have a license right now. But then when his mother threatened to take MY CHILDREN, that’s when I decided I have had enough. Since we had our falling out almost 5 years ago, it has been a constant battle and its not fair for my kids to have to be witness to it. I guess I am looking for advice on what else to do or how to formulate my plan without anyones knowledge. I am so tired of hurting and feeling bad and feeling like I do nothing right. He gets annoyed easily at me over small things and goes off to make calls to this girl at times or exchanges emails and texts constantly. I have been denying it for a while but I think he’s in love with her because he calls her his best friend. Am I wrong to think that I should be??? I am prepared to fight for my children because I have held a job, had a roof over their head, taken them to doctors appointments, dental, surgeries that have been needed and so on. Her son has no rights to his first born, she is ALL MINE!

  57. Carolyn,

    Thank you so much for encouraging us to get out of bad relationships and into healthy ones! I really appreciate your taking the time to comment, and I know readers will be inspired and motivated by you.

    I am so glad you are in a healthy, happy relationship now :-)

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  58. This is so heartbreaking to read about all you lovely women who love their men so. I hope it works out for you. I’ve had some horrible, horrible, horrible men that I loved too much, but I’m in such a wonderful relationship now, it restores your belief that yes, it is heartbreaking to leave the present and launch into the unknown and be more selective in finding a calmer guy with a good reputation, but it’s worth it. Move on, move on. Occasional love is no good, my guy treats me right ALL the time now, he is attentive to my every word or he stays at home if I need him that bad. He used to drink and get mean and I said it’s the drink or me. Choose. Then I left for a long while and I guess he missed me.

  59. Dear Melanie,

    I’m glad you’re not alone. I’m sorry your relationship isn’t great, but hope you gain strength and courage by knowing that other women are struggling with the same relationship issues!

    A relationship is only “bad” when neither partner is willing to work on it, and make changes. If both partners can see their mistakes and patterns of communicating and relating, and if they’re open to making their relationship better, then their love can be revived. It can even be better!

    The problem is that working on a relationship is hard, and takes time and energy.

  60. I don’t know if anyone who comments ever comes back to see what others post afterwards but if “KIM” comes back…your comment hit so close that i could have written it, at one point, I thought “why don’t I remember writting this?” ….I didn’t think anyone would be going through the EXACT same thing as me !!!! wow !

  61. Dear Kim,

    Toyota is funny :-) Don’t you wish you could pry open his brain and see what’s going on inside? It’s hard to communicate with a guy who doesn’t say what he’s feeling or thinking. And, it’s hard to live in uncertainty.

    Have you tried asking him about how he feels? Maybe tell him how it makes you feel when he pushes you away, without blaming or accusing him.

  62. ***i have no clue why auto correct choose Toyota lol it’s suppose to say “toss up”

  63. I have no clue anymore, I have some of these problems sometimes, it’s like a Toyota in my house. I just wish it wasn’t so hard. Sometimes I think I have the best of the best, he works hard, is an amazing dad, and is pretty dang sexy…lol but other time I feel like things are so hard. I am a very affectionate person by nature, the first thing I want to do each morning is love and kiss my husband, but he is either up and out of bed playing on his iPad already or he moves away from me or gets annoyed at my touches or kisses. It’s like everyday he’s a good guy, but everyday I don’t feel good enough for him to share an intamit bond with, we have sex every couple weeks and its good sex but emotionally I feel like its just happening because I ask so much. I have tried going periods where I just laid off and didn’t ask for any emotional or physical attention but it turns out if I don’t ask nothing happens. I love this man with all my heart I just feel so, empty and unsure of what’s next. I would give anything to have his love and affection again. It was great when I had it.

  64. Dear elizabeth,

    I don’t know if there is any way a relationship “should” be. Different couples live with different types of communication styles, habits, norms, etc.

    The question is: “Are you happy in your relationship and life the way it is right now?”

  65. my boyfriend and I have been together for 8 year we been through a lot ! Now its just us with 4 kids .we harley go any where when we do I notice we don’t talk , he don’t go out with friend when we go to any of my families house hes quit doesn’t say hi and if I tell him something he say he didn’t hear them , his body language tell a lot but he says just cuz I’m not smiling or saying anything I’m mad then some time he get mad cuz I ask that . He act like that with me at home too . He don’t trust me and I can’t trust him . I want to go back to school cause I’m tired of living week by week and no support there I don’t go out I have no friends . I barley see my family when I do I get home and he has that awkward face again , I need a break and he always say why. Is this how it should be ?

  66. Dear SMTG,

    If you let money keep you in a bad relationship, then you’ll never leave.

    It’ll be difficult to support yourself if you leave your husband…and life is difficult with him!

    Which difficulty would you rather live with for the rest of your life?

  67. I am with my husband for 6 years and married for 4. We have just had another row – a constant in our relationship. I constantly feel sad, low and unloved. Sex happens about three times a year, since we stopped trying for a baby (which I now realize is good for any potential child we would have had!) and I am constantly watching what I say. When I let my guard down I say something and he attacks. I am constantly anxious and angry with him. Most of the time I think I hate him, but if he is nice to me at all, the love I initially felt returns. I should have seen the signs – he has no friends at all (and thinks that is normal), only one previous girlfriend before me (and he was in his mid 30s when I met him), weird relationship with his family, secretive. When we were about 6 months together we went on our first holiday and he attacked me (verbally) for interupting him when we were talking to someone and this has been a constant. He says he cannot trust me, that he cannot talk to me as I argue with him, that I have issues (who hasn’t?) but will not accept that he might be part of the problem – it is all down to me. About 6 months ago he told me he never wanted to marry me although he got down on one knee to ask me! It is since then that I realised that I had made a huge mistake. I waited until my 40s to marry and now here I am.
    However, we are in a predicament – we owe a fortune and own three properties in negative equity. I am working part-time for myself and we really struggle. I think I want to seperate but I can’t survive without his income – I don’t know what to do, and would appreciate some advice. The only positive is that there are no children involved.

  68. every last one of these signs r my relationship.

  69. this is for anyone that is in a bad relationship or doesnt feel right about it well heres how my relationship is going k well today he didnt talk to me like he thinks its fine because i never told him how i felt and i just dont know how to solve this like he just wont make a move and if you agree that all men sholud make the maove and not the women please post your thoughts and that isint all we have been dating for 17 monts and he hasaent told me ge loves me or anthing i feel lke we are just friends and not even a couple anymore

  70. for all the under age on this site,under age twenty 21,7 days is not a relationship,children haveing an raising children is to young to even know about life or love,children raising children an trying to have an adult relationship with another child,these relationships rarley work out because you are to young.life experience helps you to mature,this means before you have children learn to care for your self first,pay your own rent,buy your own car,pay your electric,water,insurance,find a job that has medical insurance for your self an pay your medical bills,once you know how to care for your self then you can begin to care for another,this is difficult an i know people in their 50’s who haven’t learned how to do this on there their own an because they don’t know how to care for them selves they had children an those children are unable to do for them selves. create live that isn’t a drain on society.

  71. I tick at least half of those boxes. My problem is not that I am scared of being alone… I am scared of being without someone I love very deeply. I love him so much but I don’t believe this is a healthy, happy relationship. What should I do?

  72. Good relationships are difficult to achieve and require some skill and effort. Times have changed, and people often tend to test run sexual and personal compatibility before offering commitment. The emphasis on sexual intimacy tends to blur the picture and create confusion. once sex enters then logic tends to depart and it can take a while to realise whether the two of you are suited. Likewise, the rules of dating and relationships have changed to the point where young men hit on older women as a source of income and sexual release. By middle age many people are reluctant to risk being hurt again after a failed marriage and the chances of finding a suitable partner without collateral damage diminishes. Be clear about who you are and what you want and try to find someone who matches your wish list instead of trying to change someone into someone they are not. Work on yourself first… and this may increase your chance of having a healthy adult relationship.

  73. I have been in a relationship w my boyfriend for 9 months he has been a great father to my 8 year old son and the best man I have ever had really. I am 27 and he is 23 says he wants a family all the same values but always felt he was too young to feel that way! He wants to spend every second w me does not go out or go anywhere fot that matter by hiself other than to wotk! I recently found the dating site we met on log n to my phone it popped up a couple times and decided to put a password I knew he wuld use sure thing got in. the whole 9 months was conversations how he moved to fl w me from al lookin to meet friends he lives w his girl but u know how relationships r blah blah. I was so hurt and baffled cus this whole relationship he has accused me and ive put 1000 % and whole time it was him. He denys it says it was his brother using his page but its a lie u sign in from my internet so no way that would be locked in the username? Im no dummy every other man has done the same I was w my sons father for 8 yrs he did the same and had a child w another woman. Im so hurt cus I thought this was the one I truly found. How u could b so caring loveable nothing ive never had and be devious just like the rest. Im a great woman cook clean rub his feet back have a great sex take care of any need he wouldnt have to look for in the street. I just dont understand where things went wrong w now or past! Is it me? Or all men jus cheat get bored? I asked him to just be real make me feel better was it pire entertainment? I jus dont really feel in my heart he acted out on this but I do believe it was him on the messages talkin

  74. If your husband goes behind your back and takes a woman 400 to her work without asking the wife her letting her know. years later says it is because she got a divorce, yes, she had a job. Also he stuck hundreds of dollars down the jeans pocket of female worker. ask for same waitress gave her 100 at one time, just he and a kid was eatting, vey little, he gave her large tips after that too. He says it was helping them out. one he gave 40o, one about 1200, other no telling but think several hundred. What do you think, was he just helping. Forgot to mention the 400 woman he went to church with and called her couple of times after church, to talk bout a grandchild of his and the woman doesn’t even know the parents.he doesn’t give her the money at church, he goes by her work to give it. please give me your opinion as to whys,

  75. Wow! Let’s get this straight. First off if you’re 16 and you cheated on your boyfriend numerous times then you really should just slit your wrists. Remember up and down not side to side. If you weren’t so busy giving mouth parties to Johnny, Joe, and Jimmy maybe you would of had more time to concentrate on your spelling.
    Conversely to those of you who say, “My husband / boyfriend is always bothering me for sex and he is always in a foul mood, well duh!. You make it out to be such an ordeal. How about just giving him head or handjob for 5 minutes. If it takes longer than that then you’re doing it wrong. Don’t acted suprised if he disinterested in you. If your beloved dog died and won’t play fetch or stinks of death, then you’re not going to keep feeding or petting it.
    If you’re with a man that is married or has a drug problem, well you are a loser as well. So quit trying to find sympathy for the issue when the underlying factor is you’re selfish reasons to get involved with an obviously emotionally crippled person just so that you can control them.

  76. Dear Bea,

    I don’t think couples counseling will help you help your depressed boyfriend! Couples counseling is helpful in bad relationships, but if your boyfriend has emotional health issues, then couples counseling isn’t what he needs.

    Your boyfriend needs professional help right away, especially if he’s talking about ending his life! You need to call a depression or suicide hotline, and find out what you can do.

    Here are two articles that may help:

    How to Help a Boyfriend Who Cuts and Self-Harms

    Is Your Boyfriend Depressed? How to Act and What to Say

    The second article has several comments from girlfriends in your situation, which may help you.

    In your case, the issue isn’t a bad relationship…your boyfriend has emotional health issues that are affecting your relationship and his life. He needs to find the strength to deal with his health.

    I wish you all the best.

    Laurie

  77. Im in a relationship with a guy who is extremely depressed. I didnt know this until a few days ago when we were arguing and he said he constantly thinks about ending his life. I thought it was a bad relationship since he sometimes abuses substances and he knows I am absolutely against it. Ive thought about leaving him, mostly when he smokes, but I recently found out about all the things that worry him, that are weighing on him and I cant just leave. I know he needs help, and I know there’s only so much I can do, but I love him and care about him, and would love to encourage him on going to see someone. Maybe couples therapy? I dont know.

  78. My man & I have been together for 18mths (we’re both mid 50’s). We live together in my house, he pays rent to me, mows the lawns & contributes to the food when home, I pay all the other costs. He is FIFO mine worker and I’m self employed. After 18mths, I would expect a bit more committment from him but he is still technically married, has made no moves to divorce her apart from one email request in March. A lawyer client advised me to give him a rent receipt to protect my property. My partner has several properties of his own, jointly owned with ex-wife, shared Super fund with her, bank accounts etc. Whilst he says he doesn’t want to go back to her, why doesn’t he divorce her. I advised him that whilst he has now set up a new Super fund in his name only, through the eyes of the law, that is still partly hers too. He denies this. Should I give him a time frame to start the divorce proceedings so we can then start making our plans for growing our relationship? He says he loves me but there’s not a lot of action!

  79. I’m in a relationship that was not bad at first until we moved in together. Once we moved in he began not trusting me, monitoring my where abouts, and wanted me to leave all my friends alone… My family loves him but they aren’t aware of his actions. I can leave I have before but because I’m stuck on how he once was I come back. He does everything for me. He helps me financially and with my car troubles. But makes me feel crappy afterwards.

  80. My bf has never said he loves me. He outright denies that there is anything to be concerned about but I have read his messages to other girls and he claims we split up even though he denies everything.

    Now that I am questioning his intentions he tries to pull me closer but I am just about ready to say farewell.

    He noticed my feelings before I was ready to admit to them, I would smile and kiss him. Thinking to myself I know you are right just go with it.

    I want to believe he is only withdrawing as a man thing. I will wait for some alone time with him let him know what I expect out of our relationship and see what he is willing to do to save it or call it over.

  81. i wonder that if i am on this website definitely,its coz i smell smthng bad in my relationship..every men,when they strive to find success in their affair,do anything for their girl..but once the girl starts lovig him back,things start turning upside down..i am an 18 year old..n he lved me for 5 years seriously..i acccepted him this january..n i feel i had the best of time..but nw,thngs are not the same..nw i am begging to him..to lv me back..girls are sensitive creatures,once they get love,they do anything for their loved ones..please dear sisters,never fall in flowery promises…

  82. This is for venessa the girl who is 18 with a 2 year old Hi venessa I am in your shoes I had my kids at 16 and 18 years old I’m no 26 and still with their dad If I can say one thing to you it’s get out I wish I could my partner and I fight all the time he has hit me to ment times treated me like shit and still I’m with him I can’t do anything or go anywhere I’m sorry I stayed with him this long I’m still trying to get out don’t be a fool like I am and get out why u still can I gave up everything for him friends my life everything I don’t fell 26 I feel 56 life is to short I have just left him a few days ago and I don’t even think he cares well hun good luck in what ever u dicide to do I hope iv helped you with my story

  83. I dont know what to do I’m wth this boy called Ryan and I don’t feel like where close we met at cadets coz ma dad is making go and we neva really talk at cadets and we’ve been together for like 1week and all we have done is kiss once and hug once and I think I really like him Crnt stop thinking of him and its wierd the last 3 night I’ve
    hade 4 dreams about him 1 on monday night about us kissing Tuesday night about him splitting up wth me then 2 on Wednesday night what does it meen and what should I do should I tell him I wanna b closer or just wait a thew weekday and if we still Arnt close dump him I really dnt know coz we haven’t even like cuddled or out

  84. I dont no if i am in a bad relationship my partner always say ur a bad mom and when i dont want to have sex he goes in a mood with me then calls me all names under the sun i been with my partner for 10 year since i was 15 i am 25 now and i just dont want him to leave i love him in a way but not luv him luv him i dont no what to do i dont want to finish with him because he has no where to live and feel sorry for him but my heart hurts so much when he says all the thing he wants to say exspecially about sex. He says he loves me all the time but i dont feel like he does he just want me to make his drink and food and give him sex when he wants and that like everyday and i think like i have to give him or gonna be in a mood with me i tellin all this but i no its a bad relationship but dont know how to say leave me we are over thanks for reading this and any advice will be great :)

  85. I understand how majority of these women feel. I’m 16, me and my boyfriend have been together since i was 13. I’ve cheated on him a lot! He has took me back a lot! I feel like i can’t live without him, i’m not sure what to do. Any more he has been a jack a** (donkey) and we’ve fought over one little thing i said last night that was no big deal, i’m sure every woman has done this for there man.. I’m talking about pleasing them when we don’t really feel up to it. He made that such a huge deal. Everyone has told me he will be a lowlife, and he has long hair and has to cut it to stay with me. Our hair stylist said that he will never cut his hair because he is a mommies boy, and she loves his curls. He got soo pissed off at me and started cursing at me. I told him if he cant be a donkey then dont bother texting me, goodbye. that was at 6 pm today, it is 8:30 no text, i talked to my ex’s sister and she told me to let him text me first, and that i deserve better than him.. if anyone has any advice i’d love to hear it!

  86. hey I’m 18 year old and I have a 2 year old I being with my partner for 4 year now he like couple year older then me ….but thing is we always aruging and I’m just so tried of it we really don’t under stand each other no more …..there some time that I feel ever I do is just my fault and that making me feel really depressing I have to much in me that just don’t know if should just live him or stay with him ……but I that come come in my mind I feel scared idk why….please can some one help me plz……

  87. I am having a hard time telling if I’m in a bad relationship. Yes, we argue but we don’t break up. We just stick it out.

    But when we are happy, it’s the best thing. It’s just that when it’s bad, it’s horrible. I don’t know what to do! We have a daughter who is eight months and I don’t feel like starting over. But man, sometimes I feel like leaving and just leaving all my stuff there & taking my daughter just because I can’t stand it sometimes.

  88. This article focuses too much on the majority. I find this way too easy to read, too simplistic and is objective rather than subjective. It does not give the individual enough information to allow them to devlop or work on issues within a relationship. Sometimes some of these alleged top 10 in my opinion nonsenses are due to deeper issues within one or both parties in the relationship. I believe love exists within those willing to work and develop a relationship and formulate strategies to work on both partie’s mentalities. Alternatively, you could leave your relationship under the above advise and it could be the right decision or it could just be that you have given up on a rlationship that needed time, effort, understanding and most of all the devlopment of a communication system that both parties understand. Most humans are reasonable and can learn to live and love another if they have the enthusiasm and drive to be with that other person. If a person expects to get to know there partner and develop a relationship sheerly by existing next to them, then you literally get what you paid for, currency=energy.

    I am currently writing an advice book. It is open minded and gives you the individual a chance to work out WITH your partner what it is you both want and how to communicate that without either one of you getting frustrated or misunderstanding. We are all individuals, for every individual there is an individual communication system. To overcome this we must develop a communal and new system between two individuals, sucess of this massive energy consuming task will I believe result in harmonious existence, at least by comparison to prior experiences.

    Thanks

  89. Dear Jess, if you and your boyfriend don’t do things in person together, then yes you should be worried about your relationship! Why have a boyfriend if you never see each other?

    Dear Meeka, I wrote this article for you:

    Are You Doing All the Work in Your Relationship? How to Stop

    I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts on it. Do you think your boyfriend will change? Remember that YOU can’t make him change…you can only change yourself.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  90. hi, i’ve been dating this boy for about a month and we bearly speak to each other in person, only on the phone,should i be worried?

  91. This article helped me a little. I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 3 years, he is a freshman in college, and I just graduated high school, but recently he has told me that he doesn’t feel close or comfortable around me like he use to. He makes me feel like everything is my fault. However, I work hard in our relationship every day to prove to him that I am committed and there for him but he doesn’t do anything to show me that he cares. He is busy because he works and is a student but I just don’t know what to do anymore. Someone please help.

  92. Dear Dee,

    I wrote this article for you:

    You’re Pregnant and Unhappy With Your Husband – Should You Leave?

    I can’t tell you if your relationship is “bad” or not, but I wanted to give you – and other women in similar situations – a few things to think about.

    I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts.

    Sincerely,
    Laurie

  93. I think if these are the signs then you do need to close up shop. If wht you’ve given him he is not thankful for, even if it is the best money has to offer then he needs to go.

    If he is too stupid for his own good then he will not change for you.

  94. I think women can easily see the warning signs of bad relationship but they just ignore them because they’re scared of leaving.

  95. Dear KIM,
    I’m really sorry to hear about your husband mistreating you but to me this sounds like he may be an addict. My best friend was dating somebody very similar. It’s the cycle of addiction. It doesn’t mean he is bad person, he just has a problem. Lying and stealing are very common symptoms. Chances are he won’t even listen if you try to talk to him about it. My advice would be for you to do some research and look up local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or Narcotics Anonymous. (Alanon.com) Until he is ready to talk about it or admit it you should just educate yourself in the field of addiction studies. If nothing changes or gets better, however, then you MUST tell a friend or family member and get out. Think about your children and what’s best for them. It may hurt a lot but you deserve better.
    a

  96. I’m not sure what to do. I can agree with most things on this list most days, but other days it’s wonderful. I love my common-law husband, we’ve been together 5 years, have a two year old son and another baby due at the end of July, and I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know if he loves me, he says he does, he seems like he does most days, but there are times that I’m unsure. He’s a huge part of my life, I always felt like something was missing, until I found him. Now I feel that feeling again, and it scares me. He doesn’t trust me, he won’t forgive me for some of the things I’ve done, but he stayed through it all. He makes me happy, not all of the time, but when he’s gone I feel like I’ll never be happy like that again. I can’t forget all of the terrible things he has said, and continues to say… I just don’t know. I feel helpless and useless, he doesn’t listen, and when he does he just flips everything around and I end up feeling like it’s all my fault anyways…

  97. Dear Kim,

    I don’t know how you can think you’re a horrible person! You and your husband are going through a really rough patch, and of course you feel sad and depressed.

    I wrote this article for you:

    What to Do When Your Husband is an Alcoholic or Drug Addict

    I hope it helps…and I encourage you to talk to your friends and family about your husband. I know it’s hard and embarrassing to share what’s going on, but it’s so important to get support from people who love you. What they think of your husband is less important than taking care of yourself – and part of taking care of yourself is leaning on people who love you.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  98. As I write this I’m so confused, I don’t know if I’m crazy or I’m a nightmare, horrible person. I love my husband very much but I’m so depressed and sad I can barely stand it. I don’t know if I’m out of my mind or not. We fight a lot, about many things. From my point of view, here is what I see, he drinks for hours, several days a week. When he is sober he is a wonderful, sweet, funny, loving guy. Our fights are basically when he has been drinking and I am sober. I really only have a drink or two a week, maybe. Anyway, when we fight, he walks away, yells, rolls his eyes, tells me to get a job, (i’m a stay at home mom), he’s gonna sell the houe, we can rent, then we will be on “level playing field”. I’ve hurt my back a couple times in the last year and been given pain killers, he’s taken at least half of my perscription each time. Tonight I was looking to take 1/2 a tablet I had left on my nightstand. I asked him about taking my medication, he said yes he took it and I tried to explain that when I take them, I actually need it because my back is hurting, he said, “dont” when I tried to discuss. I walked away, because I didn’t want to fight in front of our son. I don’t tell my friends any of these stories, I don’t tell anyone, I don’t want there opinion of him to change…I could go on…I think I need help…do you have any comments or suggestions? Thank you.

  99. My boyfriend is in another crew and then my cousin is in another i live in the other side and my boyfriend is from the other side. So on my boyfriends birthday i found out my cousin got jumped by the crew of my boyfriend. I was really mad and i endend up breaking up with my boyfriend, but i still feel unhappy i think i ruinend my happiness for my cousin what should i do ? Please Message Me And Tell Me What Should i do .! melanierocks01@yahoo.com

  100. I am in a failed relationship but he just cannot see how bad it really is. We have 2 children. I do love him but I think it’s only memories from when we met. I was sure at the time he was my soul mate but this is now not true.

    Distrust – reads my texts, emails, watches everything I do.
    Name calling, shouting, fighting, etc….over noting, but he says he Loves me. How can this be Love.

    I am finding it difficult to leave as I do Love him and think I will miss him just like a real Loss but on the other hand he is making me miserable…I can finally see it!

    Friends, Family never took to him so no support there.

    When children are involved you want to make it work but my Gut is telling me if I don’t do this now I will be in the same place in 5 years time.

    any help out there?

  101. I been with my boyfriend 8 yrs we just had a child together last year. I have been a stay at home mom since having our son. I have 2 kids and he has 2 kids from previous marrages. The last 6 months have horrible we fight mainly about his 14 yr old son that is very direspectful he lies steals and has hit me, to the point I just can’t handle dealing with him. Eric (boyfriend)says its my job to deal with it and he calls me horrible names, says he hates me its gotten physical but mostly verbal abuse. I have decided to sleep on the couch for 2 months and have told him I want to leave that i’m not happy. That’s when he makes it clear that when I leave he will take my car phone and not let me take my belongings. Im miserable and scared to start all over but this is getting bad

  102. I am in a bad relationship with a guy who ive been with for 7 yrs and have a son with,but he is controlling,holds me back from doing what i want in life,is lazy and who disrespects me,but i find that im having trouble kicking him out!

  103. Dear Sarah,

    I know how you feel! My sister isn’t mentally challenged, but she’s picked some major losers in her life.

    I wrote this article for you:

    5 Ways to Help Your Sister or Friend Who is With the Wrong Guy

    I hope it helps, and that your sister comes to her senses soon.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  104. This article kind of helped me but not totally. You see my sister started dating this guy and he constantly txts her and if she doesn’t answer back within about 5 seconds he calls her. They were going out for not even a week and were already saying i love you and having sex and he always buys her a lot of things. She is mild-mentally retarded and she wont listen to me or our other sister that he is only using her from our point of view. She broke up w a guy she had been goin out with for about 8 yrs because he didnt want to have kids and her current boyfriend said he liked her. She has been going out with her current boyfriend for almost 3 weeks now and she is talking about moving in with him and his parents and getting married and having kids. He is also incompedent but is on a much higher level than her and Im really conserned and so is our other sis but she wont listen to us. I also just got out of a bad relationship that lasted two years and i have a kid who is one already. Ive been in her shoes and I am trying to get her to see what I see and I know its not just me being parinoid because it happened to me. My oldest sister sees what happened to me happening to her also. Can someone please give me so advise to help her?

  105. I agree, Natly…to get out of a bad relationship, we need to first learn how to avoid getting into it in the first place! And that involves increasing our self-confidence and esteem. If we feel good about ourselves, we don’t have to worry about getting out of a bad relationship…we won’t get into it to begin with.

  106. The big question is: how do we get involved in these relationships in the first place and how to avoid falling in the same trap the next time somoene comes along?

    Has a lot to do with the self estime we have for ourselves and the way we feel inside, we are not always aware of that unfortunately.

    Great article!

  107. your article is male dominated and sexist.in my relationship I’M the boyfriend (theoretically) even though i’m the female.so MY actions matter NOT his.

  108. Well, I should have posted my story here! How true. I just think so many women by and large don’t think this could ever happen to them. I know I didn’t because I live by treat others as you want to be treated and hang around like minded people who don’t like throwing wool over others’ eyes. Well, I live, I learn, I win some and lose some but how do I respond is the real question. Thanks for giving concise and simple thoughts and suggestions to the readers by making the brain think outside the oooh and aaaah bliss that can come from relationships.

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