Relationships have challenges even when both partners are healthy and relatively well-balanced in their interactions. However, there are instances where the dynamic of the relationship is so negative and destructive that it may be more advisable to cut your losses than to stay and continue to be tortured. Depression often results from the negative influence of these toxic relationships upon our feelings of self worth, self esteem, and value in the world. Here are 5 signs your depression may be linked to your relationship:
1. Your partner is insulting and critical toward you, either publicly or privately. These insults may be blatant, like name calling, or may take more subtle forms, such as picking at the way you do things, being disdainful or critical of who you are, and even questioning your mental state and planting doubts in you about your sanity. Your partner may rarely take responsibility for problems, preferring to blame some defect in you for the issue.
2. Your partner prohibits or pressures you to give up outside contact with friends and loved ones. You may actually be prohibited from seeing certain people, or your partner may leverage guilt against you, saying something like, "I can't believe you would choose to go to your friend's house over hanging out with me." This isolation serves a couple of purposes. Your partner's control over you is affirmed, and also prevents you from hearing more positive, affirming messages about you from loved ones. It reduces the amount of criticism you hear about your partner from others as well.
3. Your partner attempts to limit or control your normal daily activities. You may feel compelled to give a regular account of how you spend your time, who you were with, and what you did. You sense disapproval on a regular basis from your partner and feel a need to defend your actions. You may even find yourself choosing your activities from a mental list of those you know your partner will approve of, just to avoid the confrontation and discomfort.
4. Your partner implies that you will face consequences if you do not give in to whatever your partner demands. Once in awhile your partner may act kindly toward you, but this is merely a tactic to draw you back into the relationship when he or she feels you are pulling away. Once you are back in, the emotional abuse begins again.
5. Your partner manipulates or controls you through sex. Your partner may demand sex and intimacy regardless of how you're feeling about it, or may take the opposite approach and deliberately deprive you of affection and intimacy. In both cases, you are subject to your partner's timetables and whims.
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