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What does a good relationship look like? Think I'm in a bad one but have nothing to compare it too?

(8 Posts)
LittleMissUpset Thu 09-Mar-17 19:13:00

I went from living at home with my family and never feeling good enough, and having my feelings minimized and never feeling validated, into a relationship with my husband. (This has been a recent revelation after counseling)

I had counseling a few years ago as I've been unhappy for a long time, and thought it was all me and my problems. From that it seemed that while I'm not perfect, the things I want are not unreasonable or unrealistic, and I'm possibly in an emotionally abusive relationship.

We went to relationship counseling after that, as I was unhappy with the relationship as it was.

It was awful, he turned everything back on me, and charmed the counselor.

He charms a lot of people and has a lot of narcissistic traits, but some people think he is wonderful and confident and he can be very charming.

The trouble is I've never had a good relationship to compare it too, so would love to hear what you think makes a good relationship, as then I can hopefully stop doubting myself!

TeenyW123 Thu 09-Mar-17 19:20:50

There's a sticky thread at the top of Relationships called "Right, Listen Up" detailing what to expect from any relationship. Take a look and see if your 'D'H measures up.

Eolian Thu 09-Mar-17 19:28:46

What makes a good relationship is both partners being civilised, respectful, decent, non-abusive human beings who are attracted to each other, get on well together and are happier together than they would be apart.
Both are willing to own up if they've done something wrong and to forgive the other partner their failings too. Neither belittles the other or calls them offensive names. Parenting of any children is collaborative and supportive. Each is happy for the other to have friends, go out independently, keep in touch with family, have their own interests and have a job. Each is kind and helpful to the other when they are ill or sad. They laugh together often and enjoy doing things together and as a family.

outabout Thu 09-Mar-17 19:40:07

I did practically all that Eolian said for 25 years but am now 'disposed of' because I managed a couple of 'belittling' comments which were intended as jokes. Maybe not quick enough with spontaneous empathy at times too perhaps. Now to look up what I was supposed to have done, thanks TeenyW123

dudsville Thu 09-Mar-17 21:07:33

Michelle Obama once was quoted as saying a good relationship feels good. There was more to it but I liked the simplicity of the first statement and use it as a measure for any relationship.

enchantmentandlove Thu 09-Mar-17 21:17:47

Littlemissupset I have no advice, but relate to you very much. You deserve to feel valued, loved, listened to and confident. I hope you get some good advice here.

BrightNewLife Fri 17-Mar-17 18:57:03

Hi @LittleMissUpset

Speaking from harsh experience, if it feels like emotional abuse, it probably is. Trust your gut, and your judgement.

Last year I left a controlling marriage of 12 years. I realised I'd married someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. You may want to look that up, as you already seem to have an inkling. All along something had felt 'off' but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. From the outside, it all looked great.

I apologise to other readers as this is the theme of my threads at the moment, but I really want to help other people see 'red flags', although not everyone is a narcissist obviously...!

I spent soooo long thinking there was something wrong with me, going to therapy, etc, when all along I had been living with someone really difficult, except I didn't realise it.

I thought his 'controlling' was him 'managing the finances', I thought his 'angry outbursts' were just part of his bigger personality (which everyone loved).

So, I second @dudsville - if it feels good, it probably is!

Don't doubt yourself, trust yourself. You will immediately be able to spot (and feel) what a good relationship is like, and I'm afraid yours probably isn't one :-(

Now I am in a wonderful relationship and it feels different on every level, some of the new things I am experiencing, and I hope they are signs of a good one, to reiterate @Eolian:

- There is give and take on every level
- He is kind
- He doesn't use harsh words or put downs, even in a fight
- We do little things for each other and enjoy doing so
- He will say sorry after something and not revert the blame on me (like Ex did)
- There is a deep sensation of HAPPINESS with him (there is no 'niggling' worry lurking)
- I feel proud to be with him, and apparently its mutual ;-)
- He is considerate / respectful of my friends and family

(OMG these all seem so normal but I didn't have them before!)

- he does gentlemanly things like opening the door, filling my petrol, getting my coat at a restaurant (personally I love all that)
- we have differences but we respect them and discuss them

I have no idea if that is helpful, and I too would love other people's input on great relationships.

Your counselling will help you gain confidence in yourself. My biggest regret in those 12 years is that I didn't listen to that small inner voice that told me something was off. The gut always knows, truly. If you don't listen now, it will get louder.

All the best XX

RunRabbitRunRabbit Fri 17-Mar-17 20:13:22

You are unhappy in your relationship. Your DH has told you that you are unreasonable to be unhappy. The counsellor agreed. You want us to tell you if you are being unreasonable to be unhappy in your relationship.

Because apparently other people get to decide if you are allowed to be unhappy. Um. No. Feelings don't work like that.

Stop seeking external approval. Look inside yourself. You live with yourself 100% of the time, no escape. Do you feel happy being in this relationship?

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