Your partner, your boyfriend, spouse, or girlfriend should be your biggest supporter. You’re a team who works together to have an amazing life where you share memories and do and create beautiful things. It’s all about lifting each other up in a way that motivates and encourages you to be the finest version of yourself.
However, even reading this may leave you feeling like something is up, and this isn’t how your relationship is. If this is the case, and you feel like your partner is actually having more of a negative effect on your life, here are the signs to look out for that can confirm what you already fear.
They make comparisons between you and other people
When your partner compares you to their ex-partner, this automatically puts you in a weird position where you could feel obligated to live up to some ideal they have in their brain. This is a poisonous state of mind to be in.
It's not cool, even if it's done in a subtle, innocuous way, like your spouse remarking, “My ex was fantastic at sussing out people straight away” when you explain you're not.
They aren't actually behind you.
Let’s say you’re feeling furious, sad, or frustrated. What does your partner do to address this kind of situation? Do they listen to you and provide you support, or do they tell you to “toughen up” or “don't be such a baby”? If it's the latter, that's not cool at all. This will almost certainly make you feel entirely alone in the relationship. It’s not a beneficial response whatsoever.
They crush your dreams and fantasies
When you propose something you want to do, how does your partner respond? Do they say things like, “That will never work” or “You need to think more practically”? Right. Who said you needed their help? Partners who crush dreams rather than encouraging them are worth debating whether you want them to remain your partner.
This was a big one for me. I remember when I first said I wanted to start writing and my partner at the time genuinely burst out laughing. They then started reeling off facts like I hadn’t been to school or was qualified to be a writer, nor did people actually do money writing. Safe to say, my partner was gone by the end of the week. I’ve been a full-time writer for over ten years.
They want you to go back to being a former self
Have you ever heard your spouse say, “Where's the fun girl gone?” or “Where is the cool-girl I used to date, who loved to break the rules?” It's annoying because it makes you feel like they're in love with the person you used to be rather than the person you are right now. This is not a supportive way to be because they’re not accepting the person you’ve grown into.
They publicly “tease” you
“Even if your partner professes to be joking about, making fun of you in private or public is never acceptable., especially if you personally feel like they’ve crossed a line or boundary. This can make you feel insignificant or humiliated, and it could be a means for your partner to humiliate you or gain control. If it makes you feel bad, then they shouldn’t be doing it, even as a joke,” shares Daniel Muche, a lifestyle blogger at Write my X and Origin Writings.
They dismiss you
Do they completely disregard your ideas or tell you that they are bad or foolish while you and your spouse brainstorm solutions to a problem? You want to feel important in your relationship and like you contribute, but you'll feel rejected and worthless if they constantly scribble down your thoughts and creative ideas. This will have a long-term negative impact on your self-esteem.
You feel like you can’t share your feelings with them
If you're humiliated or embarrassed, it's understandable if you want to keep your feelings and ideas to yourself. However, if you find yourself hesitating to tell your partner how you feel or choose to confide in friends instead, they may be shaming you. Good partners are ones you can open up to honestly about how you feel.
They bring up memories from your past
Nikki Harrison, a psychology writer at 1 Day 2 write and Brit Student, shares her experiences. “While discussing previous relationships with your spouse is healthy, if they constantly bringing it up or make you feel terrible for past romantic choices, they could be shaming you. You don't deserve to be treated this way.”
You find they are constantly interrupting you
While you may believe that your partner is a selfish communicator who could use some communication skills when they are continuously interrupting you to have their say, they could be shaming you. On the other hand, they may be interrupting you because they believe your viewpoints are invalid. The bottom line is that they don't value you or treat you with respect.
They make fun of your body
Your partner's humiliation could come in the form of insults or underappreciation, but it could also be violent. For instance, your partner might inquire, “Are you really going to wear that?” or “Are you really going to eat that whole meal?” Simply put, this is toxic, and you should not tolerate it.