Relationship ups and downs are perfectly normal. However, extreme fluctuations are a huge red flag and the warning signs of a tumultuous relationship.
Before going into detail about what a tumultuous relationship is, let’s discuss what the word means first. Even I had no idea before I started writing this feature. *Some writer I am, right?*
So here goes: Tumultuous – characterized by disorderly commotion; mental or emotional agitation.
Wait, what? Isn’t that like every relationship out there? Actually, no. A tumultuous relationship is essentially an overpowered relationship in terms of physical and emotional manifestations.
Couples are more inclined to feel more and express more. This can be good, but it can also be a bad thing, especially if it causes pain for either of you.
I read an article somewhere that says being in a tumultuous relationship can be beneficial. I truly see that as an irresponsible piece of relationship advice. A romantic relationship has its ups and downs, but it should never be said that the negative events should be the marker for a positive outcome. [Read: Secrets of a love-hate relationship – Can it ever last?]
What makes up a tumultuous relationship?
Tumultuous relationships can be unhealthy in the long run. Two people can’t handle that much stress when they’re planning to spend the rest of their lives together. A relationship cannot be JUST tumultuous. It should be balanced, with a healthy dose of challenges to make people better and more in tune with their emotions.
Now that we’ve defined it, it’s time to simplify it. Here are the signs you are in a tumultuous relationship.
#1 You fight over the same things repeatedly. A tumultuous relationship is like a roller coaster ride. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop unless you force yourself to get off the ride. When you keep doing the same things over and over again—happy or no—you start to develop this mindset where you think it’s the normal way relationships work. [Read: 18 critical signs of an unhealthy relationship]
#2 You use manipulation to get what you want. Most people aren’t aware that they’re manipulating their partner. They even deny it sometimes. Examples include guilting, stonewalling, showing contempt, getting defensive, and deflecting through criticism.
#3 You are overly dependent on your partner. You think the relationship works because you feel your happiness depends on it. The truth is you may be dependent on your partner and vice versa. That’s why you keep coming back to the same place over and over again.
#4 You are excessively closed off from your partner. This can go either way. Sometimes the cause of your disagreements or unhappiness is because you haven’t done anything to remedy the situation. Usually because couples in rocky relationships tend to hide their feelings, or at least express the wrong types of feelings.
The key is to never hold back on what you have to say. That allows couples to make important decisions faster and easier.
#5 When you’re happy, you consider your relationship perfect. The bar you’ve set is too low. This is what you think you deserve. Therefore, you fight tooth and nail for it.
Sometimes, it’s best to take a step back and take a good hard look at what you really think is perfect. For most of us, it’s usually a healthy and happy relationship with a few rough patches that can be dealt with in a mature way.
#6 When you’re not happy, you think it’s the end of your relationship. For you guys, it’s either a hard yes or a hard no. There is no in between. Sadly, there is always the blow back. You’ll just come back when you feel there’s a chance of happiness again. [Read: Yo-yo relationship and why they’ll never ever work out]
#7 You ask for validation from people, rather than solve your issues with your partner. “Am I doing the right thing? I don’t think I can do this anymore. What do you think? Should we try again?”
Honestly, your friends’ ears may be bleeding around this time already. You’re too flaky and flighty about your relationship, yet you want people to tell you what to do. There’s really no point since you won’t listen anyway. Go to a therapist instead. People listen when they end up paying $100 per hour for advice.
#8 You break things off, get back together, break it off again. After that, the cycle just goes on. This is the most obvious market in your tumultuous relationship. Rocky is just an understatement. You and your partner play a dangerous game with your emotions. It is best to sit down, talk about this, and consider whether or not the next breakup will be the last. [Read: 8 reasons getting back with your ex is self-sabotage]
What can you do about your tumultuous relationship?
First of all, assess everything about your relationship. Start from the beginning up to this day. To help you with a bit more perspective, here are some tips.
#1 Take a look at why you like this person. The purpose of this is to assess whether or not you want to be with this person. Because of who they are or because of what they can’t give you. You can’t have just one of those—you need to know that you like or love them for both.
#2 Ask yourself if they are still the same person you fell in love with. Now that you understand who you are supposed to love, ask yourself this: Are they still that person? Are they still capable of going back to who they were? [Read: 15 reasons why you’re bored with your relationship]
#3 Check to see if your fights or arguments harm your social life, career, and other relationships. If the answer is yes, you need to rearrange your priorities. If you really love this person, you’ll have to give up the rest because you can’t allow all of those to be destroyed.
If you focus on your relationship, make sure it’s worth it. There are cases where it’s fine, like if a loved one has issues that need to be dealt with as a couple. If not, you’re better off focusing on the things that makes YOU a better person. [Read: Right person, wrong time? The key to timing it all right]
#4 Compare how sad you are to how happy you usually are. If you’re more sad than happy, then it’s time to tip the scales in favor of joy, gratitude, and a healthy mind. You can continue with your relationship this way, but only if your partner is on board with your journey.
#5 See if you have this habit of using happy moments as an excuse to disregard the sad ones. Normal people do this. People in tumultuous relationships consider this a lifeline. It’s not healthy because happy moments can’t be manifested out of thin air. They happen in their own time when you put yourself in the right situation and mindset.
#6 Consider your two options: breaking up or relationship therapy. A tumultuous relationship is not a dead end. There is always hope for a better outcome.
This is possible through opening up to your partner, showing your vulnerability in a healthy way, and maybe even getting some professional help. If you can’t afford it, you and your partner can go online and find free sources from news sites and advice sites like LovePanky. [Read: 5 reasons couple’s therapy isn’t working for you]
#7 Focus more on yourself rather than your partner or your relationship. Finally, while you’re working on your relationship, make sure you put more attention on your well-being. It doesn’t work when all you’re worrying or fretting about is how to fix the relationship.
Make yourself feel better using better methods, like communicating with friends, doing something fun, living a healthier lifestyle, etc. This is the truest advice you can ever receive. If you’re not happy, your relationship will never be happy. It will always be as tumultuous as is it now or maybe even worse.