The perks of a healthy long-term relationship are great—you know your partner, you’ve gone through all the awkward getting-to-know-each-other stages, and you know this is someone you want to spend a good chunk of your life (if not the rest of your life) with. But being in a long term relationship doesn’t automatically mean your relationship is healthy. Ignoring problems in your relationship, whether they’ve just developed or they’ve been brewing for a while, will only result in more problems, communication issues, and leave your relationship on unsteady ground. Having standards for what you will and will not tolerate in a relationship doesn’t automatically mean you’re self centered, it means you respect yourself and your partner enough to know what belongs in a healthy relationship and what does not.
These 14 things are signs of what you shouldn’t put up with in a long term relationship. Your relationship is an evolving process that requires work from both you and your partner, not a free pass for your partner to act like a child and leave you to be the responsible party.
14 Not Making Time For You
All relationships take work. While it’s normal for you and your partner to get busy with your own work lives and hobbies (that time apart isn’t just a good thing, it’s a necessity), there needs to be a balance between your individual lives and your relationship. A new job or added responsibilities can cramp your time together, but if that happens, you need to talk to one another and find a way to spend time together. Spending time together that is centered on each other helps refresh your bond and keep open communication. If your partner isn't making time for you, he’s not making time for your relationship.
13 Lying/Going Against His Word
Trust is fundamental in a long term relationship. If your partner is consistently lying to you or going against his word, there’s cause for concern. It doesn’t matter if his lies are harmless or involve serious issues, the fact that he’s lying should be a clue that something isn’t right. Whatever needs fixing, it’s important that you and your partner get to the bottom of the issue and resolve it before their lying gets out of hand. If it’s already to the point where you don’t know when he’s lying or being honest, consider seeing a relationship counselor to help smooth out the problem.
The security of knowing your partner is monogamous is one of the many perks of a long term relationship. While all healthy relationships should revolve around feeling secure in your relationship (both emotionally and physically), the longer you’ve been together, the more likely that sense of security will grow. When your partner cheats, that foundation crumbles and can leave you feeling both hurt and insecure. While it doesn’t excuse their actions, cheating doesn’t happen without a reason. You deserve to know why your partner cheated, and for both of you to be honest about the situation so you can decide how to move forward in your relationship (if at all).
11 Substance Abuse/Unhealthy Habits
Substance abuse and other unhealthy habits can happen to anyone, but it’s never an easy experience to have a relationship with someone who has a problem with substance abuse or other unhealthy habits. Whether it’s something that’s been going on since you started dating or your partner has recently developed a problem with drinking, drugs, or other health related issues, it is crucial that you act quickly. Confronting your partner and setting up healthy boundaries about their issues will help give your relationship structure and let your partner know that you’re serious about them being healthy in order for your relationship to continue.
10 Talking Poorly About You
Being able to look back at an awkward or embarrassing moment and laugh at yourself is part of having healthy self esteem, but if your partner is the one poking fun at your mistakes, you need to pay attention. It’s one thing for your partner to make a joke to try and cheer you up, but talking down to you, belittling you, or embarrassing you is not healthy, it’s verbal abuse. If you are uncomfortable with the way your partner talks to or about you, tell them your concerns and be sure they listen. If communication or even counseling doesn’t work, he isn’t relationship material.
9 Disrespecting Your Family/Friends
Your family and friendships don’t have to mesh perfectly with your relationship, but a basic respect needs to be maintained even if your family and friends and your partner aren’t close. If your relatives and friends don’t like your partner, it may be for a good reason. If your partner is disrespecting or undermining your family or friends, he may be jealous of your relationships with them. Ignoring his disrespectful and childish comments is a silent confirmation that his actions are acceptable. Not only is it childish for your partner to pick apart your family friends, but doing so shows a lack of respect that could quickly include you.
8 Being Too Friendly With His Ex
Maintaining friendships with ex girlfriends isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes relationships just don’t work out, but a platonic friendship can last a lifetime. Regardless of why your partner and his ex split up, if they’re friendly, it should never make you question their ability to keep the relationship platonic. If your partner and his ex were friends, maybe you were all friends, and things suddenly shift to where you feel like you’re the outside friend looking in on an intimate relationship, you need to talk to each of them to figure out what’s going on. No friendship should make you feel like your partner isn’t being faithful toward your relationship.
7 Uninterested in Working
Job losses or down times between gigs can happen to the most dedicated, hard working people. Helping your partner in times of financial troubles is part of being in a trusting adult relationship, but it doesn’t mean you should be giving your partner a free ride. If your once ambitious, hard working partner has turned into a sloth who just wants to binge watch Netflix and eat pizza all day, something needs to change. They need to find work and start pulling their weight or you’ll have to make some changes to your relationship before things get so out of hand that you completely resent him.
6 No Respect For Your Interests
Knowing where your interests lie and pursuing those interests means that you make time for yourself and know who you are as a person. Your partner should also be invested in his own interests, and that doesn’t mean you have to like all of the same things. You can have different interests and still have a great relationship so long as you are both respectful of what you each enjoy and you allow each other time for those hobbies. He shouldn’t bash your kickboxing competition and then expect you to help him throw a football party when you don’t enjoy the sport.
5 Money Problems
Being able to trust your partner in a long term relationship means that you should have a sense of financial security with your partner. Whether you have a joint account or completely separate bank accounts, your joint income, especially when living together, should be stable and as predictable as possible. Things won’t always be perfect, but if you suddenly notice your partner is spending your rent money on video games or otherwise being reckless with your finances, it needs to be resolved quickly. Everyone makes mistakes, but you shouldn’t shoulder the burden from your partner’s poor spending habits and damage your own financial security.
4 Acting Out at Work or Family Functions
Company parties and family get togethers are stressful enough without having to worry about your partner begin childish and acting out. We’re not talking about your partner getting a little too tipsy at your cousin’s wedding and being too rowdy, we mean consistently or intentionally undermining your relationships or otherwise acting out around your co-workers/family to draw attention to themselves. This isn’t just selfish, but it reflects poorly on you even when you haven’t done anything wrong. If your partner can’t attend functions and be respectful of everyone, he’ll need to change his ways for your relationship to work.
3 You Don't Know His Friends
Not close with his friends? That’s okay. Just because you’re in a relationship with someone doesn’t mean you have to be close to everyone that he is close with, but you should know who his friends are. Your boyfriend’s friends reflect the type of people he enjoys hanging out with and who likely have a great influence on his actions. In a long term relationship, there’s no reason for your boyfriend to purposely keep you from knowing his friends, even if they’re only acquaintances. You can’t expect your relationship to continue to work long term if you don’t know or can’t be around his closest friends.
2 You've Never Met His Family
Meeting your boyfriend’s family (and introducing him to your own family) usually represents a big step in the relationship. By meeting each others families, you’re showing that your interest in the relationship goes beyond just casual dating. If you live far away from his family or he has some serious relationship issues with people in his family, it can be challenging to connect with them, but an effort should still be made on his part to at least introduce you and allow you all to form your own relationships. Your partner should be comfortable enough in a long term relationship with you to have you around his family.
1 Lack of Communication
Not being able to communicate well with your partner will set you up for a disastrous breakup. Whether it’s figuring out what to make for dinner or talking about your long term career goals, you need to be able to talk openly and honestly with your partner about your feelings and concerns if you want to be together long term. It may not be easy to discuss certain topics with your partner, but that doesn’t mean open communication can’t happen. If your communication is breaking down, have a honest conversation about how you each feel. If that doesn’t help, a professional counselor may be able to help you get past that hurdle and keep your relationship form failing.