Are You in a Tumultuous Relationship? 11 Ways to Know

A couple in a tumultuous relationship closing their eyes as they hug.

Hang on just a second… just what is a tumultuous relationship? Well, the textbook definition is, “a relationship that is characterized by disorderly commotion; mental or emotional agitation.”

Now, you might think that applies to every relationship out there, but it doesn’t. A tumultuous relationship is when both people feel more and express more than most, which results in an overload of physical and emotional manifestations.

This can present a lot of challenges and cause unnecessary stress that you just don’t need, because let’s face it, a regular functional relationship is already hard enough.

So how do you know if you’re in a tumultuous relationship? Here are the warning signs:

1. You have lots of unresolved issues
Most couple’s problems are a result of not dealing with them as soon as they arise, ignoring them and hoping they’ll go away. The trouble is, they never do. They fester and grow and breed resentment. If you want to move forward, you have to address any obstacles that come up along the way. If this sounds like the total opposite behavior of you and your partner, you might be in a tumultuous relationship.

2. There are things about your partner that you really hate.
It’s normal to have pet peeves and bad habits that annoy you when it comes to your partner, but you shouldn’t be anywhere near hate. If you are, it’s a red flag because hatred is a really strong emotion, and if this is genuinely how you feel it could be because the two of you just aren’t well suited.

3. You talk behind your partner’s back
If you love and respect someone, you won’t feel any need to talk behind their back because you’ll say what you need to say to their face. So if you find yourself moaning about your other half to friends or family, you need to think twice about being in this relationship. Plus, no one likes to be on the receiving end of that back-chat.

4. You’re overly dependent on your partner.
Do you find yourself always needing to be around your partner in order to feel happy, and reluctant to give yourself or them alone time? This might be because one of you depends on the other too much, and believes this person is the sole source of their happiness. So even if you don’t think this relationship is functional, you’ll find yourself sticking around because the thought of being on your own is terrifying.

While it might be hard to adjust to being single again, it’s far better to spend some time on your own instead of in a toxic relationship.

5. You’re keeping your options open.
When you’re with someone, you should be wholly committed to that one person, otherwise go and be single. After all, no one is forcing you to be in a relationship. If you find your eyes wandering, or you’re keeping your options open in your head, you need to think seriously about remaining in the relationship. Someone who is in a committed and loving relationship will not be thinking about dating anyone else.

6. You fight over the same things repeatedly.
In a tumultuous relationship, you’ll find yourselves arguing over and over again about the same sets of issues, and as we already mentioned, because you’re not resolving any of them as they arise, they continue to circle and crop up again and again. Over time, it can start to feel like this unhealthy behavior is normal, but it’s not the way a healthy relationship works.

7. You’re constantly trying to change each other.
We all have our own flaws and imperfections because we’re human beings and none of us are perfect. So if you find yourself constantly trying to change your partner into someone they’re not (or vice versa), it’s a sign that you don’t truly love them for who they are.

And if you don’t, you should let them go, because there’s someone out there who will embrace them and all their flaws.

8. You don’t trust each other.
Trust is the foundation of any stable relationship. Without it, you’re doomed. Do you find yourself checking your partner’s phone, asking them where they’re going or where they’ve been, or getting jealous when they talk to anyone attractive? If the answer is yes to any of those questions, then you’ve got a trust issue, and it’s something you need to either work on or end the relationship.

9. You keep breaking up and getting back together.
Breaking up and then getting back together happens often, because sometimes that time apart is exactly what two people need to realize they’re perfect for each other. But if you’re breaking up every month and getting back together again, your relationship is completely unstable. Deep down, you know this isn’t what a healthy relationship looks like. How many more times do you want to keep on repeating this toxic cycle?

10. There isn’t any long-term purpose to your relationship.
Are you in a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship right now, or do you see it lasting for a long time? There should always be a real purpose behind a relationship, and loneliness or desperation are not a foundation to build on. If you can’t see yourself with them in 5 to 10 years time, this might not be the right partner for you.

11. You lack a deep connection with your partner.
Of course, you need to be attracted to your partner, and a healthy sex life is important, but there has to be something deeper than that if you two are going to survive as a couple. A superficial attraction can only go so far, so it’s important you value other parts of them like their intelligence, their compassion, or their ability to make you laugh out loud.

Do you recognize any of these signs in your relationship? If so, you might be in a tumultuous relationship and it might be time to take a step back and reflect on whether this person is healthy for you and vise versa. 

Shani Jay

Bestselling Author and Empowerment Coach

Shani is a bestselling author, empowerment coach for women, and self-love advocate. She is the author of Bloom, The Babe Bible, Glow Getter, and Light Up Your Life; and her writing has been featured on many internationally recognized platforms including The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, and Teen Vogue.

​In 2016 Shani founded The Glow Getter Tribe – a self-love & kindness movement which helps young girls & women worldwide feel happy, confident and beautiful starting from the inside, out.

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