From time to time everyone gets so angry that they think unkindly about their partner.
That’s so common and normal. But you should worry about thoughts that are motivated by fear, rather than anger. Because that suggests something really bad is happening.
Like do you ever think that you must get home, right now, or your partner “will get mad at you?” You might worry if they’re cooking a special dinner for you and you’re running very late. But it shouldn’t be a regular thought.
Or what about: “My partner probably won’t let me…?” That suggests something controlling’s going on. You should feel you can do whatever you want, like seeing family or friends, without worrying about what your partner will say. It’s one thing to discuss your plans together. It’s quite another to “ask for permission.”
NOT A CHILD
If it crosses your mind that you’re “going to be in trouble for that,” then there’s probably some sort of balance of power problem.
You’re not a child and your partner isn’t your parent. So you shouldn’t have to worry that you’ll be getting into trouble for expressing an opinion, or little things like forgetting to buy milk. You should feel that small mistakes will always be forgiven. If you don’t, you’re being abused.
Do you ever think “she didn’t mean it,” or “he’s just stressed?” That might be true, but if you’re always thinking about how your partner “really does love you,’ even though they hurt or belittle you, then you’re being abused. Abusers can be people we love. That doesn’t make it OK.
If you think that your partner would literally die without you, especially if they’ve threatened to kill themselves if you left, then you’re probably being manipulated.
Or if you ever think that your partner “is the only one who loves you,” then they’re probably isolating you from your family or friends. And if you’re sure that they’re not, then it’s time you made some new friends, or reconnect with your family.
If you regularly think “I don’t want to be in this relationship any more,” then you probably mean it. Don’t ignore feelings like that just because you’ve been together forever. If you’re constantly unhappy, then it’s time to go.
People who aren’t happy with their relationships, often think “things could be worse.” You should be in a relationship because it makes you feel happy and fulfilled. Not because you can imagine an even more awful situation.
If you’ve ever told your partner “I don’t deserve you” and actually meant it, then you might be living with someone truly wonderful. But it’s more likely you’ve been so worn down by an abusive partner that you doubt your own worth. And feel like you don’t deserve to be happy.
So if you’re having thoughts like these, it’s time to take a hard look at your relationship. Talk to a counsellor. Soon. Because fearful relationships can suddenly get worse.