Relationships are so complex because each of us brings our own brand of life experiences to them. We’ve all experienced challenges in life, and in doing so have made some internal decisions on how to behave.
While life’s challenges have made many people stronger, some people have developed coping behaviors that are not healthy for other people. Particularly for partners.
In choosing a partner, though each of us may be very different in areas of skills and intelligence, we ultimately want to choose a partner who is ‘safe’ for us.
Safe means not being bullied either physically or emotionally. Safe means you can trust their words and actions. Safe means you can reveal your vulnerabilities without ever worrying that they will be used against you.
This is a hugely important subject for anyone who is currently seeking a partner. It is also important for anyone who saw warning signs while dating that this person may not be safe for them, but ignored the signs and married anyway.
It is difficult in the initial blind fog of love to see warning signs in their true light. It is hard to not feel confused by all the other fabulous qualities that are also present in your partner or potential partner. It is complicated to sort it all out, but it is also vitally important to do so to sustain your physical and/or emotional safety as the relationship matures.
I recently came across an insightful article that prompted me to share this information with you. After years of studying the responses regarding relationship advice of 700 older people, Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. Professor of Human Development at Cornell University, concluded that there are 4 warning signs during dating that often DO NOT improve in marriage.
Any 1 of these 4 should be a red flag to you that this relationship is not safe for you:
1. Violence of any kind towards you
2. Anger that is explosive and unexplained
3. Dishonesty – whether large or small
4. Sarcasm and teasing.
Here’s a link to a complete, in-depth article by Dr. Pillemer to learn why he came to the conclusions he did and how best to handle each situation as it comes up.
To Your Healthy Pursuits!