The number one reason for love hate relationships is that both people are reactive and playing the victim. They still don’t have the tools to be and feel empowered and remain calm, which would allow them to see the root of the issues objectively, from a place of kindness and love.
How to spot a love hate relationship
Frequent blow-ups and makeups that happen multiple times a week are a sure sign of a love hate relationship. So, do you have a calm relationship? Or do you bicker, cry, yell and ‘lose it’ pretty often?
Even if you also have a lot of romance, kindness and sincerity in your relationship, it doesn’t mean you’re ready to put your feet up and act like you don’t have any work to do. Luckily, there is a way out of this vicious cycle. You can find the happiness you knew before the volatile reality you now experience as the norm.
Why relationships become explosive
Are you possibly in denial that you are in an explosive relationship? Relationships with a lot of love and arguing can create an illusion, and people can be verbally hurting each other and themselves thinking everything is ok and that their own behaviors are ok.
Here is why that happens: We live in a culture where emotional maturity is not the norm. Most of us have only been exposed to loving relationships with a lot of arguing so when we follow suit and end up in one just like that, we don’t think anything is wrong.
Our culture is, what I call, a baby culture. We are on one heck of a learning curve physically, economically, morally and emotionally. We are just starting to recognize that we created a huge obesity problem; we are still addicted to antidepressants because we are, without sugar coating it, emotionally stunted.
But that’s ok. If you look at other cultures that have a lower divorce rate, they also probably have been around for thousands of years and not just a couple hundred like America. Historically speaking, we are still kindergarteners in the age of our culture. Some things we are very good at and some things we are admittedly bad at.
From my research, these issues have stemmed from a lack of education about emotional health. We don’t have school classes about non-violent communication or in-depth courses about the ego and how detrimental it can be in relationships. We are lucky to get a few days of Sex Ed. It’s not our fault that our parents also may not be equipped with the proper tools to have an emotionally healthy relationship.
With the age of the internet, information is at our fingertips. We can grow as individuals and by working on ourselves, we can become empowered and choose kind words instead of words that sting.
I must draw attention to an important cultural aspect that creeps into love hate relationships: Low self-esteem. If you find yourself spending more than a few minutes getting dressed, asking for opinions often on how you look, thinking about what you’re going to wear a lot, or comparing yourself to others, this is an issue that can wreak havoc in your love relationship and you can nip it in the bud.
Check out my article about Imperfect Female Body Parts That Men Love to get some perspective on how warped our perception of what men like is. We have been marketed to by large companies in our culture to become insecure so we buy tons of nonsense.
Ladies, our insecurities are not our fault; we can overcome them once we recognize them. We can love our bodies and not have to worry about our looks. This can greatly reduce arguments based on insecurities.
Blowing things out of proportion
If you love each other that much why are you making a big deal out of little things? It’s as if the moment you’re in is the only thing that matters and you must solve all the problems right then. Really, it’s better to cool off, until you can apologize and think more rationally.
Try saying, “I’m experiencing irrational thoughts because my emotions are clouding my thinking. Because I love you, can you give me a little while to calm down?”
Take a moment to think about your place in the world. Do you have food and a roof over your head? Chances are you have it pretty good compared to most people. We get really disillusioned when we only experience privileged culture. We start fighting about little things and become ungrateful.
This does nothing but hurt us. If you want to have a healthy relationship, take time every day to remind yourself what you are grateful for. If you have ever experienced a time where you were stripped of the basic things you need such as a warm bed, money for food or a place to stay, it’s easy to put yourself in a place of gratitude.
If you have never experienced hardship, it’s more difficult to look at the big picture and realize you have it made. When we shift our focus from selfishness and try to think of ways to help others, we will stop critiquing each other harshly and wasting time arguing over petty small stuff. I’m just being real with you, speaking from experience and observation.
Where this kind of a relationship leads
This kind of a relationship can be extremely damaging to both people long-term if it’s not dealt with properly. When habits are created, it can lead to domestic violence or teach your children unhealthy ways of acting. No home should have arguing.
We are able to fix ourselves only, not the other person. If you can realize that, you are halfway to solving your problem. I have seen these types of relationships heal through therapy. However, people that are too proud to go to therapy can wind up emotionally handicapped and stay in this miserable reality for years after the relationship ends.
Chances are, you will continue to attract this type of relationship until you do some serious work on yourself, stop pointing the finger, and pick up the mirror.
How to deal with the situation
First of all, as I said, put down that pointing finger. Anger is a double edged sword and hurts you just as much as the other person. Take a look at your last argument; did you personally say anything hurtful? Do you think your ego is also partly the cause of these blow ups?
Unfortunately, many of us ladies, and I have been one of them, have a subconscious sense of entitlement. Not that we are bad people, but it basically is a way of behaving we are not aware of that is equivalent to shooting yourself in the foot.
Entitlement is a prideful attitude that makes us think we deserve to be treated a certain way without necessarily acting in a way that would deserve that type of treatment. Sometimes we are just downright spoiled. The last argument I was in, I took some time to think about everything I was grateful for about the other person.
I thought of all the things we had to be grateful for and how we were totally blowing things out of proportion. We were focused on first world problems, not real problems.
You need to take responsibility for your words, the tone of your voice, your ego and your pettiness. Real women care about more than their nail appointment, their dinner party and their pretty purses. Real women can put petty BS aside and be really kind and humble.
I am always on a mission to become a real woman. I know some women that are extremely strong in this area. They do speak their mind, don’t get me wrong, but they also do so in a kind, non-passive aggressive way.
The best thing you can do to start eliminating arguments is to really try to see where he or she is coming from. Chances are the person standing across from you is not a bad person right? Are they just speaking from a different perspective than you? Have you actually tried listening to them? Americans have bad tempers. We are emotional children for the most part. Go to an airport or an amusement park and listen to the way we treat each other, it’s so sad.
We need to watch our words as if they were the most precious thing in the world. We can build people up with them and break people down. It hurts us to hurt others verbally and it should be considered a form of abuse to insult someone.
Words can create lasting effects on a person's self-worth which can lead to all sorts of other issues. We have word vomit syndrome in our culture. Words mean nothing to most people, and people don’t use them carefully and thoughtfully. Often enough, they just talk without thinking and no one really listens because the talking is so invaluable.
There are exceptions to this rule though, and some people have not lost the art of communication of course. I recommend being careful with your words so people know that when you speak, it’s important and helpful.
When we take responsibility for our actions, we become empowered in our relationships. We are not controlled by our emotions and have ways to see them separately from who we are. I often set an intention before an important conversation with my partner.
This helps me be aware that I am bringing in either poisonous angry energy, or kind and compassionate loving energy. This does actually make a big difference in the outcome of arguments. I take some deep breaths to calm my nervous system and think about coming from a caring place, not a defensive place. I remind myself that I may become defensive and to try to let it go.
Whether to break up or not
The biggest question you probably have is whether to break up or not. If you can get your emotional intelligence up to par, you are halfway to solving your problem. I suggest journaling, meditating, and reading uplifting books on the subject like The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz.
Give yourself better emotional coping tools before giving up on your relationship. You will only attract the same thing next time if you don’t work on yourself this time.
Once you become calm, non-passive aggressive, patient, and truly caring, maybe things will change and your relationship will be all love no hate. If you feel undermined, sometimes it’s best to bring this up in a kind manner.
A lot of men are not aware of how things they are saying might be undermining you, and I’ve found that when I just bring it up instead of letting it make me mad, they feel bad and explain what they really meant by what they were saying.
When we are honest in a non-reactive way (which means we speak after thinking about what we are going to say and not when we are highly emotional) we can overcome many communication mishaps that most arguments stem from.
What I’ve found is that many arguments are not even based on something real. A lot of times they are about the future, something that hasn’t even happened. People argue about what they want to do in the future but are not even sure it will happen because life is unpredictable.
Try to take yourself less seriously and realize a little relaxation can go a long way. Say you’re sorry and show the other person you appreciate them. Stop looking for someone to show you their affection and just start giving it all the time. When you move out of a place of energy sucking and into a place of energy producing, your focus shifts from a victim mentality to a showering of love mentality which is more fun, more empowering and way more healthy.
If you have done the work to be in control of your words, reactiveness and emotions and still feel like you’re being attacked, consider therapy. The last resort is breaking up, but of course, if there are serious issues where you feel unsafe, and the relationship is extremely toxic, I suggest removing yourself from it immediately.
Sometimes it’s best to take some time away from each other and let things cool down so you both can gain perspective. Consider if you need to spend some time with other friends so you don’t smother each other and can appreciate your time together more.
If you can connect to my experience and find this article useful, please share it with your girlfriends…I’d love to hear your thoughts as we are all growing together. Don’t forget to check on the relationship column regularly for more useful and empowering advice.