4 Unhealthy Behavior Patterns in Relationships

Many of us take too long to realize that our relationship might have run its course. Or worse, that it’s on a very precarious path that might be leading to emotional strife or danger.

Toxic behavioral patterns develop over time, or rear their heads just as things start going smoothly. Let’s go through four basic toxic patterns and learn how these habits might be costing you your mental health.

Note: Keep in mind that these habits are not exclusive to couples. They can occur not just between two committed individuals, but also between parents and their adult children and even friends.

#1: The Constant Belittler

This refers to people who constantly demean you in every way possible, implying that anything you do or say or believe is stupid, naïve, and silly. They might try to convey it as something funny. If you become angry or offended, they’ll behave as if they’re don’t understand why you’re angry. This can involve brushing you off by saying something like, “can’t you take a joke? Why do you have to be so sensitive all the time?”

But the truth is; what they’re saying to you was not a joke. They want to put you down because they want to control you. These partners will also imply how lucky you are to have them because no other person will want you.  Remember that they want to limit your personal freedom so much that you start doubting your own capabilities.

What to Do

Pluck up the courage. Surround yourself with positive energy. Believe in yourself, and get out of the relationship, because you are worth being loved, understanding that they are behaving from their own woundedness.

#2: The Pleasure-in-Guilt Seeker

This type of person tries to control your behavior by inducing guilt in you every time you do something they don’t like. They’ll act like it’s not a big deal, but through their indirect behavior, will try to make you feel like they’re very disappointed or hurt by your actions. Guilt-inducing is also one of the most common ways through which parents try to control adult children.

For example, if you’re going out with your friends, they’ll say something like, “oh you’re going? Good, have fun. I’ll be here at home. It’s not like I have a life, or I’d like to go out as well. No, you go and live your life. I’ll just be here doing nothing.”

This form of behavior occasionally works because guilt-prone individuals try their best to find some way to take the blame away from themselves. And when a toxic partner shows approval, the guilt is lifted off their shoulders.

What to Do

Keep in mind that you aren’t doing anything wrong. You have a right to live your own life and have your personal time. You don’t have to live your life to please someone else. Set boundaries and find compassion for them in their inability to deeply relate to their in ability to find their own security and happiness within themself.

#3: The Uncontrollable Commitment-Phobic

Every time you try to set a boundary or make a commitment with such a person, they behave as though you’re trying to take away their independence. These partners will always try to make plans, and they’ll be convincing at it too; except, something will come up at the last minute. The excuse will seem plausible and they’ll grovel just enough that you’re consoled.

These people try to control your behavior by keeping you tied to them, while running free themselves. They never get within reach, so you’re never able to make any plans or even talk about your future. So you’re constantly anxious about your relationship and try to do everything to earn their commitment.

What to Do

Set a deadline for your relationship. If they do not respond, break things off. You can find a better person who will not behave in ways that affect your mental and emotional health. You are worthy of commitment and follow through.

#4: The Telepath

They didn’t tell you what they wanted. But they say things like “is it too much that you pay attention to their likes and dislikes? Now look at what you’ve done!”

Rather than stating things outright, this type of person will try to nudge you in a direction without actually saying anything. They’ll then get angry because you didn’t understand what they wanted. They’ll be passive aggressive or will complain and will try to push this dispute for as long as possible.

This type of person is really bad at communicating. Though they have no reason for passive aggressiveness, they’ll do so anyway because they feel safer expressing their insecurity about the relationship that way.

What to Do

Express your desire for your partner to talk and feel openly. Let them know that unless they tell you, you will not be able to understand what they want. But also say that you do love them and would just like to communicate with them better. If this person is worthy of your commitment and ready for a thriving relationship, they’ll try their best to open up to you.


Get Outside Help!

Despite taking the right steps, you might still feel like something is wrong in your relationship. This is why I offer a number of spiritual healing services Denver CO to help you find your connection with your most authentic self and to your partner.

For more information on spiritual healing, spiritual counseling in Denver and other services; contact me!

Kari Rivers