Whether platonic, romantic, or even professional, relationships are always dynamic and complex. It can be difficult to instill boundaries and make sure that everyone’s emotional needs are being met, especially when factors like narcissism and gaslighting are at play.

Romantic relationships can get especially sticky, and it’s easy to overlook being in a toxic or tumultuous dynamic when one is blinded by one’s feelings. Here are some signs that you’re in a tumultuous relationship, and some ways to go about navigating it healthily.

What Is a Tumultuous Relationship?

A tumultuous relationship can be categorized as a rocky relationship that has very high highs and very low lows. It can seem like you’re having the same kind of fights over and over, and rather than journeying toward a solution, you’re simply battling one another. The thrill can sometimes feel exhilarating, so much so that you may not even notice your nervous system in 24/7 fight-or-flight mode. 

Signs You’re in a Tumultuous Relationship

Ultimately, we want our relationships to be as healthy as possible and uplift our lives rather than drain them. Here are some clear indications that you and your partner may be in a tumultuous dynamic:

It Feels Like You’re on a Rollercoaster 

When you two are good, it’s a peaceful and edifying experience; however, when it’s bad, it’s bad. The high highs are outshined by the low lows, and it can be dizzying to survive your tidal waves. You may also be in a classic on-again, off-again situation, always finding your way back to each other after a breakup.

Your Fights Feel Like a Revolving Door

Fighting can actually be indicative of a healthy relationship, one in which both parties feel safe and comfortable enough to raise concerns and work their way toward a solution. However, if the fights are unproductive and about the same topics consistently without coming to any conclusions, that’s indicative of something much less healthy.

You’re Constantly Walking on Eggshells

Feeling the need to tiptoe around your partner’s feelings is no sustainable way to thrive relationally, and it can sometimes feel like that when you’re in a tumultuous dynamic. If it’s easy to set them off or trigger their anger, causing you to filter everything you say and do, you may be in a tumultuous relationship. Similarly, if you find that you anger easily, they may be the ones tip-toeing around you.

You’re Codependent

It’s difficult to admit or even see that you’re in a codependent dynamic when you’re in it, but it’s fairly common within a tumultuous relationship. You may believe you couldn’t live or breathe without each other, and you may tend to value your partner’s opinion over your own or find difficulty in telling them no.

The Communication Is Unhealthy

Whether it’s lying, manipulating, or belittling, the communication between you two is objectively unhealthy. You may speak from a place of resentment, possession, or jealousy, which can potentially lead to mental or emotional abuse. It’s important not to overlook this kind of treatment and take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety.

Things Are Not Totally Doomed

While it can be difficult to untangle yourself from the web, a tumultuous relationship still has the potential to heal, but both parties must be willing to make the necessary changes they’ve been feeding into the dynamic to see the healing happen.

Voicing your concerns about the dynamic of the relationship is the first step towards opening the dialogue and moving toward a healthier way of coexisting. Inviting a mediator or couples counselor can also do wonders for establishing healthy boundaries and navigating each other’s triggers. To avoid making your partner feel defensive, it’s important to be compassionate and use “I” language as often as possible. There may be compromises necessary and changes promised to make it work, but as long as you two are solution-oriented, healing is on the horizon.  

You Are Worth Your Healing

While healing is possible, it’s important to be brave enough to say goodbye if you don’t see the potential of things getting better or if they aren’t willing to do their part. While your attachment may be feigning a sense of safety, you’ll always be better off choosing your emotional well-being.