16 Things That Are Never Normal In A Relationship (No Matter How Much He Tells You Otherwise)

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signs of an abusive relationship
Love, Self

No, you’re not overreacting.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being in relationships that never should have happened, it’s that abusers love to minimize things they do to their victims. Doing this takes away your power and makes you question whether or not you’re being unreasonable for wanting basic respect. By making you second-guess yourself, they keep you in their grip.

Sometimes, it actually takes reading that what you’re experiencing isn’t normal to have it sink in. Once you recognize the signs of an abusive relationship and realize that what you’re dealing with aren't “normal couples’ issues,” it’s time to leave. Doing so can even save your life.

Make no mistake about it, the following behaviors are not normal in a relationship, no matter what your partner or anyone else says.

1. You find yourself dreading seeing their name on your phone or when you see them.

A normal relationship is one where you’re actually excited to see your partner. If you’re dreading seeing them or speaking to them, that’s a very bad sign.

If you’re doing this, your relationship is toxic and there’s no doubt about it. At best, you’re in a dead-end relationship with someone you’re not into. At worst, you’re being abused. It’s time to leave.

RELATED: 21 Signs You're In An Unhealthy Relationship (And How To Deal With It)

2. You’re almost always putting your needs second to your partner’s.

In regular relationships, it’s a 50/50 split. If you find yourself doing way more than what your partner is doing to keep you happy, wake up — you’re not in a relationship! Heck, you’re not even in a partnership. You’re in an uphill battle with someone who just isn’t pulling their share.

3. Any promises your partner makes quickly become hot air.

A partner who is genuinely trying to make things better will spend months, if not years, to make things better. They won’t wait until you’re out the door to change. They will put in legit effort, and won’t backslide the moment they feel safe.

If the only time they’ll change is when you’re about to leave or threatening to leave, they don’t care enough about you to keep you.

4. Physical violence has occurred.

I do not care what the circumstances are, how “stressed” your partner was, or what happened — this is not normal and is one of the major signs of an abusive relationship. The moment your partner hits you is the moment that any excuse he has is now invalidated.

Hitting is never normal and absolutely never deserved. If your partner hit you, pack your bags and get out of Dodge. It will not get better!

5. You find yourself making excuses for his behavior all the time.

This may seem innocent, but it’s really not. If you have to constantly explain your partner’s behavior, that means that your entourage has already noticed something’s wrong.

If you feel the need to excuse your partner’s behavior, it also means you realize that your partner’s behavior really isn’t acceptable. So, why are you with him?

6. You’ve noticed that you argue more than you enjoy one another.

Love can be challenging, but it’s not always a struggle. If you find yourself bickering every other day, that’s not a normal relationship. That’s a sign you really aren’t doing well together and that you shouldn’t be together in the first place.

7. When you try to broach an issue, your partner shuts down and refuses to discuss it.

Stonewalling is one of the “Four Horsemen” of a relationship’s demise, and yes, it’s a sign that you’re in a relationship that will most likely end. My advice? Cut the long, painful death of the relationship short and leave ASAP.

8. Your normally supportive friends can’t stand him and are begging you to leave.

If your friends are the real deal, they legit care about you and want to see you happy. When your friends can’t stand your partner and are begging you to leave them, that’s often because they are worried about your wellbeing, and because they hate how that person’s treating you.

RELATED: How To Leave An Emotionally Abusive Relationship That You KNOW Must End

9. Though you’ve said it’s not cool, your partner regularly insults you.

Insulting you is not normal. It’s abuse, and him saying that he’s “just kidding” doesn’t make it any better. If he can’t develop a non-hurtful “sense of humor,” he can kick rocks. No one has time for that.

10. Your self-esteem is shot, but you never had issues before then.

More often than not, if you were confident before the relationship but suddenly lack confidence now, it’s a sign you’re not with a good match. Use your instincts and consider breaking up.

11. You regularly have to assure your partner that you’re not cheating on them.

I’m sorry to tell you, but this isn’t normal. In fact, it’s one of the most common signs that your partner is cheating on you. Even if he isn’t, do you really want to have to deal with this for the rest of your life? Probably not.

12. He’s been asking you to give up things and people you love... for him.

In a normal relationship, people have friends and hobbies outside their lovers. If he’s asking to be your entire world, that’s a bad sign. A truly loving partner wouldn’t ask that of you.

13. Any boundaries you set become a challenge to be broken.

Not cool. Boundaries are what make normal, healthy relationships healthy. If your partner can’t handle the boundaries you establish, they shouldn’t be your partner, and truthfully, they probably shouldn’t be anyone’s partner at all.

14. The entire relationship feels like a tug-o-war between you and someone else.

I see this pattern all the time in seriously unhealthy relationships. Sometimes, the opponent is the guy’s mom. Other times, it’s his job. Still, more times, it’s the ex-girlfriend he continually measures you against.

Whatever the reason, this kind of dynamic says everything you need to know. If you feel like you’re constantly having to fight over his affection and loyalty, it’s time to cut the cord; he’s shown he doesn’t care enough about you to fight for you.

15. It feels like there’s always another hoop to jump through before you can win his affection and/or commitment.

Newsflash: if you’re feeling that way, it’s because he’s stringing you along, using you, and really just not showing you any respect whatsoever. If he can’t be affectionate when you’re begging for affection, it’s time to leave. Trust me when I say plenty others will be happy to take his spot.

16. You constantly second-guess yourself, despite once being totally confident.

If you aren’t sure if you’re being unreasonable, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dump his ass. Trust me, you’ll be thankful you did. 

RELATED: Why People Stay In Sad, Unhealthy, Unhappy Relationships (And How To Break Away)

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a Jack-of-all-trades writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. When she's not writing, she's drinking red wine and chilling with some cool cats. You can follow her @bluntandwitty on Twitter.