There are pretty much universal signs that you are in an unhealthy relationship. If this sounds like yours, it is time to make some huge changes. Perhaps therapy is in order and your relationship is fixable. And in some cases, the only way to save yourself is by leaving it.
1. He is an addict.
If your partner is an addict, you cannot fix him. You must leave if you ever want peace or joy in your life. Some women develop an unhealthy love of the drama that life with an addict brings. Other women are co-dependent and "enjoy" repeated attempts to fix and care for their sick partner. Regardless, if you want a healthy relationship yet are with an addict, it is time get therapy, get strong and get out. There is no other option if you ever hope for joy, peace and love in your life.
2. There is physical abuse.
If either you or your partner is hitting each other, you must end the relationship. Almost without exception, violence escalates. If this is your relationship, your mental and physical safety are at grave risk. Get help. Get out. Now.
3. He abuses your children.
If your partner abuses your children, you must report the crime and leave immediately. It is your moral, legal and ethical duty to protect your children. Failure to do so means there is a very real possibility you may have your parental rights terminated. These seem so obvious yet I know a few women who have actually put their children at risk in order to try and keep their guy. It is unbelievably sick.
4. You can't be your "true" self.
If you are constantly trying to appease your partner by being someone you're not, you need serious help. If you are afraid that your partner won't like you or may leave if he truly gets to know you, you must confront this reality now. This one can be really tough. When I first met my fiancé, I hesitated telling him about my battle with cancer.
I realized that if he knew about my health issues and left me, we had no future anyway. I have tried my best to be the "real Lizzy" from day one because if I am not good enough for my guy, then we are seriously wasting our time. And if he needs to leave the relationship, then there is nothing I can do to prevent it anyway.
5. Your family, friends, and children hate him.
If those you love the most can't stand your guy, you need to start listening. Ask why and if you see some truth in what they are saying, perhaps you need to re-think the relationship entirely. Plus, if your guy becomes the reason your loved ones make themselves scarce, you are becoming isolated in the relationship. Perhaps your guy loves this -- you are all his and he can better control you. And if this is true, you are in a potentially highly abuse relationship.
6. He embarrasses you.
Who loves to continually make excuses for the behavior of a guy? No one! If you no longer want to take him with you to public events or around your friends, it is time to end the relationship.
7. He cannot communicate in healthy and "normal" ways.
If your guy can't communicate and he resorts to screaming at you, you are in a bad relationship. There is no way to develop love and trust in that relationship. Or, if he refuses to talk about tough issues, you cannot develop true intimacy. Communication is key to any good relationship.
8. He lies.
This one seems obvious but, too often, it isn't. I recently met a guy who was talking about his ex-wife. She apparently lied about small things and he ignored it. After all, who cares if she was lying about, say, restaurants she had been to or a city that she had traveled to but clearly hadn't?
But then he realized that she was lying about everything else-- a university she apparently graduated from (but didn't), that she was a master karate instructor, and how many marathons she had completed (after years of marriage, he never once saw her go for a single run, let alone train for a marathon).
They married anyway and had children. Throughout their contentious marriage, he was constantly trying to keep track of the lies she was telling mutual friends so he wouldn't contradict her. This became almost paralyzing to the point where he no longer wanted to spend time with any of their friends.
If you cannot trust, you cannot have a healthy relationship. It simply isn't possible. And a liar is not trustworthy. Ever.
9. He criticizes you.
My ex-husband took great pleasure in cutting me down. I apparently would not have a job without him. I was a terrible driver, a horrible mother. I was boring. The more he criticized me, the more I grew to loathe him. Sound healthy? Of course not!
10. You hate the sex.
If you and your partner no longer enjoy a healthy sex life, there is a reason for that. You either lack an emotional connection, he is addicted to porn, or he simply no longer satisfies you (emotionally or physically).
11. You love his absence.
I have a friend whose husband travels frequently and before each trip, she is nearly ecstatic with the anticipation of his leaving. She (claims) that the best times of her week are when her husband is away. Ouch. If you don't like spending time with your partner, your relationship is doomed.
12. He controls you (or tries to).
If your partner tries to control everything you do, including how you spend money, which friends you can invite to the house, or even your clothing choices, you are in a potentially abusive relationship. If you add any type of physical or emotional abuse to the mix, you need to get help immediately.