7 things you should never tolerate in a healthy relationship

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Every relationship has problems — anyone who’s ever been in at least one can confirm that. 

And we all have different thresholds, and different definitions of what constitutes a problem.

So it’s hard to know sometimes what’s normal, and what’s not. 

Am I putting up with things I shouldn’t be? Would I be making a problem out of nothing if I put my foot down about this?

These are things that can go through anyone’s mind when you experience relationship issues.

So let’s simplify things a little for you and go through 7 things you should definitely never tolerate in a healthy relationship.

1) They physically abuse you

Let’s start with some of the most obvious. Physical abuse has absolutely no place in any healthy relationship. 

Couples rarely start out this way from the start, but it can creep up on you with little shoves or slaps building into full-on fights.

Unfortunately, by that point some people feel they have invested so much into the relationship that they don’t see it as a reason to leave. 

They have gotten used to it over time, and like a frog sitting in gradually boiling water they don’t realize that things have gotten critical. 

Your partner may also manipulate you into staying by being extra nice and charming afterwards, making you feel bad for considering leaving them. 

But don’t let them convince you that this is acceptable behavior. If your partner is physically abusing you, don’t hesitate to call your local helplines for domestic violence.

2) They manipulate and control you

For some reason, there’s this misconception that physical problems are more serious than emotional ones. That’s why many people face stigma when it comes to seeing a mental health expert, when it’s perfectly normal to go to a regular doctor.

We’ve just mentioned physical abuse, but let’s not forget that emotional abuse is just as bad.

But since it happens inside our minds, “emotional abuse” is also much more vague and difficult to define.

So let’s make it more specific. 

Emotional abuse often takes the form of manipulation and control. Your partner might do this in direct ways, telling you outright who you can see, and what you’re allowed to do, and even small things like what you can wear or eat.

But it isn’t always so easy to spot. They can also use mind games and play on your emotions, saying or doing things that make you feel guilty or ashamed in order to make you do something. 

You’ll probably have a feeling if something is off, so if you find yourself feeling bad around your partner a lot, pay close attention to notice the reasons why. 

3) They try to change you

This is something people don’t always do with bad intentions – in fact, many of us find ourselves guilty of trying to change someone we’re dating at some point in our lives, even subconsciously.

But at the end of the day, your partner must be happy with the person they are dating — you, and not some imaginary future you they hope to one day mold you into.

Of course, we all make mistakes and have areas we can work on, so there are things you or your partner can reasonably ask each other to change.

But this should take place in the form of a respectful conversation where you both share your feelings and hear each other out. 

It should never be a demand, or something done through subtle manipulation or constant criticism. It should always be up to you to decide if you want to change in some way or not.

4) They disregard your emotions or needs

It takes time to get to know how another person thinks, and what they need from a relationship.

Mistakes are bound to happen, so if your partner messes up it’s not necessarily a reason to call the relationship bad or doomed.

What matters here is how they react when you share your feelings with them. 

A good friend of mine was starting to date a guy that she got along with extremely well. They had so much in common, and she loved being around him.

However, he made her feel disrespected by commenting on other girls’ bodies to her. She started to feel insecure around him, and not sure if he even wanted to be with her.

She spoke to him about this, and he said he wanted to give things with her a proper shot.

But nothing changed — he kept making similar comments, and she felt uncomfortable with his behavior. 

This is why she decided to call it quits with him. It’s normal for your partner to mess up and unintentionally upset you, but if they don’t seem to care about it, that’s something you should never tolerate.

5) You don’t feel good about yourself around them

The sweetest wedding vows often include some variation of “I’m a better person when I’m with you.” 

Well, the opposite side of this coin is a surefire sign that a relationship is not healthy.

A healthy relationship may come with some bumps along the road or teach you lessons that may feel painful, but the good in the relationship should still far outweigh the bad.

It should lift you up and add to your life. Otherwise, what’s the point of being with someone if they make you feel limited and insufficient?

This is what the friend I mentioned in the point above started noticing.

When she was around the guy she was dating, she found herself feeling insecure and always second-guessing herself. It started seriously affecting her own self-esteem. 

Of course, this is something she could not tolerate in her relationship, and neither should you.

6) They never apologize

We all make mistakes — heck, I’ve seen some pretty big mess-ups in the couples I know. But they were able to get past them because they each took responsibility for their mistakes and gave a genuine apology. 

If your partner is not able to do this, and constantly makes excuses or throws the blame on you, the relationship doesn’t sound very healthy. 

It’s extremely difficult to be with a person like this, because they make you out to be the bad guy, while they can seemingly do no wrong.

This kind of tendency may come from the way they are raised, or mental health issues resulting from being mistreated by people in the past. 

But that still doesn’t mean you have to put up with it in your relationship. Your partner doesn’t have sole rights to being right all the time, and they must be willing to see your side and acknowledge their own shortcomings if they want to build a healthy relationship with you.

7) They’re negative all the time

Let’s face it — humans like to complain. Misery loves company, and it’s natural that you would vent first and foremost to your partner.

However, we can all agree that this can become very burdensome very quickly if left unchecked.

I have another friend who I call with every so often, and I noticed that in every phone call, practically everything he says is negative.

His work is frustrating, his boss is annoying, traffic sucks, the weather sucks, the government yet again made a stupid decision…

If I made a drinking game out of every positive comment he made, I would probably stay sober the entire night. 

All jokes aside, something like this can be pretty serious. When a person is overly negative, it could be a sign of mental health struggles.

Even if not, it cannot be a very pleasant experience to think so negatively all the time either, so your partner should be willing to try to improve their mindset for their own wellbeing and a healthier relationship. 

Final thoughts

Life is all about balance — I could go on and on about things that you should never tolerate in a healthy relationship, but we have to be tolerant and understanding too.

At the end of the day, what you are willing to tolerate comes down to you, your boundaries, and what kind of relationship you want.

However, there are definitely foundations that should never be crossed. In my opinion, they start with the 7 points above.

What do you personally never tolerate in a healthy relationship?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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