Are You in an Emotionally Destructive Relationship? 2017-06-04T20:44:11+00:00

Are You in an Emotionally Destructive Relationship?

If you think that a relationship you are in may be destructive or heading that way, ask yourself the following questions. Your answers to these questions will help you look at the health of one or more of your relationships and see the particular patterns that are destructive.  Be honest with yourself.  It is completely understandable that it can be extremely difficult to face the hard truth that something is wrong.  You might even tell yourself, “I’d rather not know, because if I know, then I have to do something about it, and I don’t know what to do.”  You can’t fix or change something if you are not willing to look at it truthfully.  Don’t turn back now.

Some people realize that they are in several bad relationships at the same time or have had a string of destructive friendships or marriages.  Complete this questionnaire once for each relationship you are concerned about.  For example, if you’re evaluating your relationship with your spouse, answer each question about your spouse first.  Don’t combine answers about your spouse with answers about another relationship.  You can apply the questionnaire to each of your relationships.  It will help you not only identify whether your relationships are destructive, but in what way they are destructive.

 

Does the person use physical force or threats to make you do something you don’t want to do or to keep you from doing something you want to do?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the person use verbal weapons such as cursing, name calling, degrading comments, constant criticism, or blaming to get you to do something you don’t want to do or to keep you from doing something you want to do?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the person curse at you, call you names, humiliate you in public, or degrade you when he or she is unhappy with something you do?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the person force or manipulate you to perform sexually in ways you do not want to?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Do you ever feel afraid of the person?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the person yell, scream, curse, or hurt you physically when he or she is frustrated or angry?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the person threaten to alienate your children from you or use them to intimidate you into giving in to what he or she wants?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Are you afraid to disagree with the person?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

When you share your thoughts and feelings about something important to you, does the person ignore you, make fun of you, dismiss you?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Are you verbally or physically abusive, or both toward the person?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

 Does the person always think he or she is right to the point of arguing with you until you concede or give up?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the person make most of your decisions for you?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the person control the family money, giving you little or no say?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Have you given up things that were important to you because the person pressured you?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the person pout or withdraw from you for extended periods of time when he or she is angry or upset with you?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

When you ask for a time-out or don’t want to talk about something anymore, does the person keep badgering you to engage?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the person lie to you?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Have you observed the person lying to others?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the person tell you something didn’t happen, when you know it did?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the person question or challenge your certainty of what he or she said or did?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the person depend on you to meet all his or her needs?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Do you feel more like a child than an adult in the relationship?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Are you emotionally devastated when the person is upset with you or doesn’t want to be in relationship with you?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

When you try to talk with the person about your feelings or something that’s bothering you, do you end up feeling like the trouble is entirely your fault?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

When the person does something wrong, does he or she blame you or anyone else for it?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the other person make excuses for his or her behavior (anger, jealousy, lies)?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Do you feel loved and cared for in the relationship?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Can you safely express an opinion that is different from the person’s?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Does the person show interest in you and your needs?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

Are you able to express your honest thoughts and feelings with the person?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

When the person does something wrong, does he or she admit it and take responsibility for it?

Never             Seldom             Sometimes               Frequently                Almost Always

If you answered any question up through question 26 with anything other than never, you are likely in an unhealthy relationship.

If you answered most questions with sometimes, frequently or almost always, you are definitely in a destructive and likely an abusive relationship.  Now go back and look at which questions in particular you answered with any answer other than never.

Questions 1-16 describe the main characteristics of an abusive relationship where the abuser’s desire for power and control is at the root.  If answering this questionnaire has revealed to you that you are in an abusive relationship, please seek appropriate help from those in your community who are experts in helping victims of abusive relationships.  If you answered seldom to any question in this group, you still may be in danger, depending upon the severity of the abuse. Once a year is seldom, but it is still too often in a long-term relationship such as marriage.

Question 10 looks in particular for patterns of mutual abuse.  If you answered this question with frequently or almost always, then your relationship might be more mutually abusive.  Review questions 1-16 and ask them about yourself. Are you engaging in the same abusive behaviors that you cite in the other person?

Questions 11-17 reflect less obvious ways in which the relationship may be controlling. That does not mean it is not abusive, but if you answered never to questions 1-9, you may be in a controlling relationship that is not obviously abusive.

Questions 17-20 describe a relationship where deceit is present.  If most of your answers reflect problems in this area, your relationship is built on lies and it is unstable.  You cannot trust someone who does not tell you the truth.  And without trust, no relationship can endure.

Questions 21-23 describe a relationship that is overdependent.

Questions 24-26 describe a person who does not take personal responsibility for behavior or wrongdoing.

Stop here and name some of the specific destructive elements in your relationship with this particular person.  Is there physical, verbal, or sexual abuse?  How about controlling behaviors and attitudes? Is there more mutual abuse? Are you too dependent? Is there deceit or a lack of personal accountability or responsibility?

Questions 27-31 describe the basic elements of a healthy relationship.  If you answered never or seldom to any of these questions, your answers indicate that your relationship is unhealthy and probably destructive.

Right now you may feel overwhelmed and frightened.  These feelings are normal for anyone facing difficult truths.  If you want to become healthier and have better relationships, I want to assure you that you can begin working on your part.