Starting a new relationship is incredibly exciting. But on the journey to finding the ideal partner, many people end up in abusive relationships.
What’s worse – some may end up staying in these abusive relationships for a very long time…reliving the abuse day after day, while their self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence are pummeled.
In most cases, people aren’t aware that the person they’re falling in love with is an abuser. That’s why it’s important to go into a relationship having a strong list of non-negotiable relationship deal breakers.
This list is not something you should take lightly. Having this set of standards clearly defined can help save a lot of heartache.
A lot of people have a relationship deal breakers list for things like laziness, messiness, no sense of humor, or being tech-obsessed.
These are based on personal preferences.
The relationship deal breakers that should be on everyone’s list, though, have nothing to do with preferences – they have to do with emotional and physical safety.
You would probably never dream of hurting another person, but not everyone feels the same way. Some people have so much anger inside of them that they have a hard time controlling their temper. While everyone loses it every now in then because they’re frustrated, that doesn’t mean they have a right to take their anger our physically on their partner. Violence is never justified.
Degrading you, talking behind your back, making fun of you to their friends – these are red flag warnings of verbal and emotional abuse.
This type of abuse is often used in conjunction with physical abuse, but not always.
The difficult aspect to this type of abuse is that people can’t see emotional bruises. But these internal bruises and scars can last a lifetime.
Verbal and emotional abuse is often used as a form of manipulation and is common in situations of narcissistic abuse.
If your partner doesn’t like to work or contribute to the financial well-being of your family, this is a major red flag.
Not everyone likes to work – usually because they don’t like their job. But there are some people who simply refuse to make any effort to get and keep a job. They look for partners who are hard workers and rely on them.
Eventually, partners find themselves feeing frazzled, drained, and frustrated because they’re doing all the work – inside and outside the home. All the while, their partner is at home playing video games, hanging out with friends, or browsing social media all day.
Another form of financial abuse is manipulating a partner with money. How does this work?
The abuser controls the purse strings. They don’t allow their partner to work. Or, if they do, they demand that they give all their money to them to be kept in a joint account – an account which the abused partner is not allowed to access.
This abuser is intent on controlling and manipulating their partner.
This one doesn’t need a lot of explaining. If someone ever lays a hand on your child or starts using manipulation, threats, or any other type of verbal abuse with them – get your child out of there!
Some people are willing to forgive their partner after an affair. In some scenarios, a partner will forgive the cheater, who acts remorseful. Down the road, though, there’s another affair and then another. Serial cheating will only wreak havoc on your self-confidence. No one deserves to go through that, let alone continually put up with it.
One of the wonderful elements of a healthy relationship is having someone that you can lean on. It’s hard to do this, though, with someone who is emotionally unavailable.
Some people act this way because it reflects the environment they grew up in. This doesn’t mean it’s right, nor does it excuse them from not trying to be there for their partner.
If you explain your concerns about their emotional unavailability and they refuse to even try to make some changes – it’s not worth your time to stick around. You should never be the only one to care in the relationship.
A lot of people deal with mental health conditions and diseases and are still able (with a lot of work) to be in a healthy relationship.
There are some, though, who have personality disorders that endanger your emotional and physical well-being.
Some of these fall under the category of cluster-B personality disorders. These can include:
According to the Mayo Clinic, many of these disorders can be recognized by the overly emotional, dramatic, and often unpredictable behaviors. Those who have narcissistic personality disorder engage in narcissistic abuse of their partner, which can include manipulation.
If you have a partner who has a personality disorder and is refusing to get help, it’s healthier for you to leave.
No one is going to be the perfect partner. Everyone does or says things they’re not proud of. And at some point, you’re going to hurt your partner’s feelings and they will hurt you. That’s just a part of being in a relationship with an imperfect human being.
But this does not excuse abuse.
Make a list of absolute deal breakers before entering a relationship.
If you want to have a safe, healthy relationship, it needs to be full of love and respect. You need to show that to your partner, and they should show these with you.
It’s also important to show those things to yourself.
By creating a relationship deal breakers list, you’ll be less likely to stay in an unhealthy relationship and more likely to keep your physical, mental, and emotional well-being intact.
Get your boundaries worksheets and start living a more empowered life TODAY!
Kim Saeed is a narcissistic abuse recovery expert on a mission to help abuse survivors to heal, find purpose, and live joyfully after No Contact. She also hosts a podcast called Heal, Grow, Evolve, where she aims to help people create meaningful lives and relationships after emotional abuse. Listen and subscribe at www.healgrowevolvewithkim.com