My partner has supported me through some tough times but she can be hurtful too.
You deserve to be respected, says our elder. Is she the right partner for you?
I am in this romantic relationship and I’m not sure if the relationship is healthy anymore. I have been through some traumatic events in the past two years and my partner has been right by my side but when we argue she says some mean and hurtful things to me that bother me even after we make up. I’ve tried breaking up but I missed her and we have gotten back together. I’m confused if this relationship is healthy or if I am just emotionally dependent on this person.
Thank you for writing to EWC. I’ve read your letter and here is what I think. When one partner says mean things to the other partner, it shows a lack of respect. It’s important in a relationship to be able to have disagreements without either partner being disrespectful. It’s important to be able to express what is bothering you without insulting the other person. When you allow her to say these mean things to you, you are basically enabling her to continue this behavior.
I suggest having a quiet conversation with your partner, and tell her these things she says are hurtful, and make you feel disrespected. Say, “I would appreciate it if, in the future, you would tell me what’s bothering you, or what I have done wrong, without the insulting, hurtful comments. Could we agree to that?”
You might also want to ask your partner why she feels she needs to say those things to you. Ask if there is something bothering her that she needs to get off her mind. Maybe there is a certain habit or behavior that bothers her, and you could offer to work on correcting it.
It’s also important to promote and reinforce positive behavior. Telling your partner things like, “Thank you for being here for me”, or “I appreciate your help and support”, may encourage her to be more considerate and respectful.
No one deserves to be in a relationship where he or she is disrespected, and if your partner’s behavior continues despite your efforts, you may want to reconsider if she is the right person for you, and if the relationship is even worth it. That’s all I can offer based on the information on your letter. If you need more advice, please write back. I wish you the best, and hope things work out for you. Good luck!