21 Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship and How to Avoid It

When we talk of a relationship, we quickly think of the union between a man and his wife. In some other cases, we also think of the casual friendship between two young couples that will eventually lead to marriage. Either of these, is a very beautiful thing and good to behold, but none of the two couples involved ever desire to experience the unfavorable conditions.

How can we describe an unhealthy relationship?

An unhealthy relationship has everything it takes to be toxic, unfriendly and lacks happiness. It is everything that lacks the characteristic of a healthy relationship. In a situation where the couples find it difficult to move on, such a relationship can be life-threatening.   

Why do couples engage in an unhealthy relationship?

Previously before the era of development, young people were not allowed to engage in courtship. They form a marital union through matchmaking or the use of consultation, an act of referring a lady to become a bride to a strange man. The act of a man and a woman coming together as strangers to take a marital vow.

This activity does not give room for the couples to learn each other’s manner and character. They were not given any privilege to find out the signs of an unhealthy relationship in other to avoid ugly situations. For this reason, they keep accepting and enduring unwanted behaviors from the other partner. They keep enduring each other’s toxicity until eventually one or both of them dies. Therefore, the absence of courtship and pre-knowledge of each other makes them involved in unhealthy relationships.

How can couples avoid unhealthy relationships?

In recent times, men and women engage in a sort of courtship. A period for each to learn and understand the other properly before final agreement to the nuptial proposal. During this time of courtship, both couples lookout for signs that indicate that the other is suitable for him or her. It is also a time when each couple decides if they can handle the other person’s flaws and blemishes. At this time, they both have the right to say “no” and move on their separate ways or say “yes” and decide to come together.

It is usually very necessary for the duration of courtship to last much longer in other for the couples to understand fully well each other’s character. Therefore, Courtship proves to be a means to finding out if the relationship will prove healthy or unhealthy.

There are some conditions where couples get together initially in a more peaceful and healthy state. But after some years of happiness, they start experiencing strange manners and characters from each other’s behavior. Conducts that were never there at the beginning of the relationship. This could result from bad influence from friends or some sort of unwanted circumstance that brought a sudden change in their union.

Below are 21 signs that a relationship can be unhealthy 

Poor communication

This is the first sign when both couples find it difficult to engage in a face-to-face conversation. A hearty discussion, talk about their affairs together, and plan for their future.  Maybe the only exchange of words between them is the morning courtesies or some kind of serious information that needs to pass to the other. In the absence of this, they have nothing to talk about. This relationship is not healthy.

The regular use of abusive words

This is a situation where the common use of abusive words is regularly in practice. Either of the couples, who feel more superior to the other, uses offensive words to address the other.  Such words as, “stupid, useless, nonsense”, and the like of such words. Again, calling the other bad names even in front of the kids or in public places. This is a sign of an unhealthy union.

Where the relationship lacks happiness

A relationship that has no trace of joy, contentment, and peace of mind is not healthy. Either of the partners is always expressing sadness and in constant anxiety. Such that the condition makes him or her grow pale and thin. This is an unhealthy relationship.

They only recognize each other during intimacy

Maybe, they still find one reason or the other to stick together, yet the only thing that brings them together is when they need each other’s body intimacy. At the end of it, they continue to live like cats and dogs. Such is a bad relationship

Both partners lack emotional and physical support

None of the couples is ever willing to give a helping hand to the other when in need of financial help or some words of encouragement. They feel the other is old enough to take care of whatever circumstance that may befall him or her. 

Telling lies can bring a lack of trust

They are always telling each other lies, every relationship built on lies will surely lack trust. The existence of lies in any affair will make both couples unable to defend the other in matters that need signing an undertaking. This could be very bad when a serious issue arises it can lead to serious damage. When your partner tells lies even when caught in the act, then it’s time to understand your relationship is unhealthy.

Always in a serious argument

Every little thing brings argument, and when in any disagreement none of them wants to submit for the other. They are always like two captains in one ship. Sometimes at the end of each argument, they end up holding grudges for eternity. Not willing to ask for forgiveness, and not willing to pardon easily. This is not suitable for any relationship it is very unhealthy.

Fear of insecurity

Any relationship that one of the couples is constantly expressing the fear of harm from the other person is risky. Fear of accepting edibles or even material things such that they keep suspecting each other of evil is a bad relationship.

Lack of compliments or admiration

They both find it difficult to praise each other’s effort, even when either of them takes the risk of doing something beneficial. Or wins an award that needs appraisal, the simple compliments of congratulations become a hard task for the other. Again, each of them finds it difficult to say, “thank you” or “am grateful as a sign of being grateful.

Always full of threats

This is trying to install fear and intimidation on the other partner, in other to exercise a higher authority role. If it is done occasionally, it can be a bit acceptable but regularly threatening your partner or in constant scolding is a way of proving that your relationship is at stake.


If your partner is acting only on self-absorption, cares less, or does not care at all about your feelings as well as others. This is not a good sign, as it can make him or her selfish and unwilling to accommodate the other person in every issue.

Always gossiping about each other

Either your partner is often or occasionally discussing your matter with other people, they can be friends, relations, or even strangers. The worst side of it is when the discussion is something that should be kept secret between both of you.

Never feels each other’s presence

Even when one partner goes on a long journey or is somehow away from the other, there is never any feeling of missing the other. Sometimes the other may prefer a situation where the other is not always around. when one is around the other gets nervous and uneasy about his or her presence.

There is always a competition of superiority

The act of who gets the upper hand between the man and the woman is one ugly thing that destroys a relationship. None of them wants to be obedient towards the other simply because of the belief that both couples are equal. Therefore, they both deserve the equal right. No one makes an order and no one takes the order. The relationship is deemed unhealthy

Either or both couples acts unfaithfully

Cheating is another sign that a relationship is not strong and may collapse in due time. It is having an affair outside the relationship which signifies that your partner is not worthy of your affection. It also entails that your partner cannot satisfy you otherwise.

Avoiding the home and family

When either of the partners, (precisely for most men) enjoys the solace of keeping late hours outside his home. A place far away from sight, and while he is there, he feels comfortable and happy. The relationship is unhealthy.

There is discrimination

Couples were expected to share and do things together, again refer those things as, “our”, “we” and “us”. Now the reverse is the case as they keep and own things separately. Ranging from separate accounts, properties, even living in different homes, the relationship is not healthy.

If they cannot forgive each other

Any relationship that lacks forgiveness of the other person sins, but prefers to take revenge. Also, always wanting to punish the other wrongdoings, is a sign of a bad relationship.

They never share a secret

An unhealthy affair is seen in partners who usually keep to their thoughts and feelings, never in the mood of sharing them. This could be because they are afraid to experience betrayal by the other person.

When either of the partners is an overachiever

Spending too much or most of your time in your business or workplace can describe your relationship as unhealthy. To avoid a bad relationship, you should map out time for everything and give most of your time to your relationship. Inadequate attention can cause the other partner to feel lonely and do something unwise

Where there is jealousy

If the partners choose rather to be happy towards the achievement of the other, they prefer to become envious of each other’s progress. Each of them lurks in greed and hatred for the improvement of the other. Again, laughing at the other persons fault is an unhealthy union.


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