The six warning signs of an executioner—victim-type relationship should be recognized and dealt with.
Relationships are an essential part of life—especially romantic ones.
We seek them and work hard to maintain them because we know it’s worth it to feel loved and wanted. But how can we differentiate between a toxic pattern and a healthy one?
Today I will discuss what it’s like to be in a relationship where love is present but is overshadowed by a wicked way of making us feel like we are always the executioner to a partner who constantly makes us feel like sh*t. I had been there for years, and I know how bad it is.
Here are six signs that we could be in a wrong relationship that’s breaking us instead of making us:
1. They make you take all the decisions in the relationship and offer you the lead, even if you don’t want to, making you feel in control all the time. Realistically, we definitely aren’t in control, but this is an exquisite way of manipulation, as people who thrive on victimizing themselves are not strong enough to make their own decisions. As a result, they put us in charge, even if we don’t want to, and end up blaming us for every turn that could possibly go wrong.
2. Feeling guilt, shame, and the inability to explain yourself after every single fight. Partners who guilt-shame their significant other, intentionally or not, tend to fixate on the same ideas and become too consistent with proving their point of view. If we love them enough, we could end up being convinced that we are wrong and they are right, yet again feeling like the messed up party who keeps hurting and misunderstanding them.
3. They are too dependent on you. Although this might be sweet initially, it might end up suffocating us. Asking for some space or a breather to be ourselves will shift to feeling like we asked for something abnormal or wrong. And so we enter the vicious cycle of not wanting our partner to feel left out or neglected. Gradually, we start ignoring our own needs and disintegrate into someone we don’t know and can’t recognize in the mirror.
4. No matter what you do, it will never be enough. Even if we are bending and breaking, putting them first, and doing what they want, they always make us feel like what we are doing is not enough—like we are not laying everything we have on the table in order for them to make us feel wanted, loved, safe, or recognized.
5. You will be under the illusion that your significant other is the best partner. We feel they’re the one who would never hurt us, who would die for us, who would catch a grenade for us—the one who would die if we leave them, or God forbid, if we choose ourselves at some point, because they love us too much to lose us.
6. Deep down, you know something is wrong. That deeply-felt gut feeling that was never wrong keeps telling us this isn’t how a good, healthy relationship should be, that this is a distorted image of an illusion that we have created—a good base that does not exist. And yet, we keep convincing ourselves that this could be enough because love is present, even when every cell of our heart, mind, soul, and body is telling us otherwise.
If you notice those signs, please do not ignore them. Listen to that inner voice in your core that is telling you this is not okay; this is not how it should be; this is bringing you down while it should lift you up; this is weighing on you instead of making you feel lightweight; this is killing you instead of making you feel more alive; this is destroying your being instead of building it up.
This is not healthy, and the first step is to recognize this pattern, acknowledge the fact that it needs changing, and if it is not possible to change the situation, you need to leave, to choose yourself, to choose your being.
You need to choose happiness, to choose freedom, to break free from those concrete but invisible chains, to look for what true, selfless love and support are like, and get yourself the real deal.