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Tumultuous Relationship: 20 Signs You’re in One & the Best Ways to Fix It

Relationships go through their rough spots, but you shouldn’t have extreme highs and lows. Because that is a tumultuous relationship, and it’s unhealthy.

Tumultuous Relationship

You might be in a tumultuous relationship and not even know it. I might feel “normal” to you, but it is most definitely not. Before going into detail about what a tumultuous relationship is, let’s discuss what the word means first.

So here goes: Tumultuous – characterized by disorderly commotion; mental or emotional agitation.

What is a tumultuous relationship?

Now that we have defined the word tumultuous, what makes a relationship tumultuous? In a nutshell, it’s experiencing extreme emotional angst.

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.

A romantic relationship has its ups and downs, but it should never be said that negative events should be the marker for a positive outcome. [Read: Secrets of a love-hate relationship – Can it ever last?]

The big signs of 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. Fighting over the same things

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. Manipulation

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.

Tumultuous relationships revolve around these actions. [Read: 12 subtle signs you’re constantly being manipulated by your lover]

3. Too much dependence 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.

Good or bad, you’re okay with staying because living without your partner makes you feel lonely, abandoned, or depressed. [Read: 10 scary signs of codependency in your relationship]

4. Excessively closed off

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, 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 blowback. 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. On-off-on-off cycles

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]

9. Unproductive, toxic fights

When people are in a tumultuous relationship, they have toxic fights. Instead of working together as a team to solve problems, they see each other as “enemies” and fight to “win.” These are usually frequent, and they are very destructive.

10. Emotional and mental abuse

If one or both of the partners criticize and put down the other, then that is not healthy. Maybe words like “loser” or “bitch” or “ugly” or “fat” or any other negative words are thrown around at each other. The makes one or both partners feel bad about themselves.

11. Physical abuse

Emotional and mental abuse is horrible, but so is physical abuse. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a slap on the hand, this is abuse. But tumultuous relationships go a lot farther than that. They can get very physically abusive. [Read: Narcissistic abuse – 16 subtle signs a narcissist is abusing you]

12. Emotional abandonment

Healthy relationships are supposed to be loving and caring. But in a tumultuous relationship, one or both of the people have abandoned each other emotionally. They don’t connect anymore, and they feel like strangers.

13. Frequent anger outbursts

The lack of ability to be able to control your temper is another sign. If there are frequent outbursts of anger for no good reason, then this is unhealthy. It usually is over something small and insignificant, but they still yell and scream about it, even though in a normal relationship, most people would find it silly.

14. Lack of rational thinking

Because there is so much fighting, anger outbursts, and possible abuse, there is also a lack of critical and rational thinking. In a good relationship, people can talk rationally about their problems and work as a team. But not in a tumultuous relationship. [Read: How to calm down when you’re angry and regain your composure quickly]

15. Lying

Lying is never acceptable. Sure, most people tell harmless white lies, but in an unhealthy relationship, lying runs rampant. There can be a lot of secrecy between the two people and outright bold-faced lies as well.

16. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a terrible form of manipulation and psychological control. If one person is deliberately and systematically fed false information to question their sanity, then this is extremely unhealthy in a relationship.

17. Cheating

Unfortunately, cheating is quite common in relationships – especially tumultuous ones. Unless you have an open relationship or decide to be swingers, cheating in a relationship is always toxic. [Read: How to rebuild trust after cheating – 11 things an ex-cheater MUST do]

18. Selfishness

In a healthy relationship, both people need to put their partner’s needs at least equal to – if not before – their own. But in a tumultuous relationship, there is a lot of selfishness. It can be both people who are selfish or it can be excessive selfishness on just one side.

19. Jealousy

When there is a lot of jealousy, that is another sign of a tumultuous relationship. If the partners are always giving each other the third degree about whether or not they are talking to another person or cheating, then that is definitely bad.

20. Possessiveness

Because there tends to be a lot of jealousy, there is also a lot of possessiveness. This can lead to controlling the other person’s whereabouts so that they don’t have the chance to meet anyone else. There might even be attempts to keep them from friends or family. [Read: Possessive relationship – signs you’re in one and how to fix it]

How to fix a 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 make 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. Talk to your partner

In order to fix a tumultuous relationship, both people have to be on the same page. Both of you have to want to fix it and make it work. One person can’t do it all on their own. [Read: Communication exercises for couples – easy games to be a better lover]

So, you really need to talk to your partner in a calm, rational way and see if they have any desire to try to make the relationship better. If both people aren’t committed, it can’t work. But if you are, that’s when the work begins.

7. Change the way you fight

In a tumultuous relationship, most couples don’t fight the right way. As we said earlier, they think of themselves as enemies and try to “win” arguments and be “right.” But this is not the way to do it.

Instead, you have to view yourself as a team and find a solution that works the best for both of you. This takes emotional maturity and a lot of effort, but it can be done. It’s the only way to get your relationship back to being healthy.

8. 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]

9. 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 to 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.

[Read: Emotional roller coaster: Are you stuck in an unhealthy ride?]

Did these give you an idea if you are in a tumultuous relationship? If you are, are you ready to take the next step to remedy it?

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Danielle Anne
Those who can’t do, teach. I can neither do nor teach as well as others, but I can try. Aside from being a writer, I am also a physical therapist. My dream is...
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