When you’re in a relationship, you want to do everything you can for your partner. When you’re in love, you’d move heaven and earth to make your partner smile. But when does this become dangerous, as opposed to romantic?
Unfortunately, there are people out there that seek to use and abuse the trust and devotion of their significant other. They ask for seemingly small things one at a time until they build up into a terrifying crescendo of toxicity and emotional abuse that is very difficult to break free from.
It’s important that you are aware of the difference between a reasonable request and a controlling, manipulative one. That way, you can catch any harmful ones and nip them in the bud before they grow out of control.
Here Are 10 Things Your Partner Should Never Ask You For
1. Isolation From Your Family Or Friends
Each person in a relationship should have their own lives outside of the partnership – friends, family, or any other kind of social group that is separate from their partner’s. They should not be made to feel like they have to cut themselves off and rely on their partner alone. This is extremely unhealthy and leads to codependency.
A partner who tries to cut you off from those you care about is exhibiting a form of emotional abuse. They are forcing you to depend only on them and keeping you to themselves. It’s jealous, controlling, and toxic. They may say convincing things, such as: (1)
- But I don’t get to spend any time with you anymore! (Even when you spend a lot of time with them already.)
- I don’t trust that friend of yours. I’m pretty sure they’re backstabbing you.
- Your mother is toxic; don’t you see that? I’m just looking out for you!
- I’m just not comfortable with you having male/female friends.
- None of your friends like you anyway.
It’s not unusual for a partner to dislike the occasional person in your life. Not everyone is going to get along. They are more than welcome to talk to you about their worries regarding someone in your life; however, they must respect that, at the end of the day, it is your decision who you keep in your life.
2. Lack Of Pride In Your Own Success
Partners are supposed to support each other and lift each other up. They are supposed to celebrate together and be proud of each other. If your partner is telling you that you shouldn’t or don’t deserve to be proud, or that you should tone it down a notch, that’s a big red flag.
It’s not uncommon for partners to feel envious of one another’s success, but the trick is not to let that get to one another. Understand that the envy comes from a place of insecurity and should not be dwelled on. Sadly, some partners will continue to be envious and will use that as fuel to put down their partner’s success.
If you realize that you tend to feel guilty when you do well, or that you are frightened of sharing good news with your partner, it may be time to step back and evaluate the relationship. Your partner should not be dragging you down.
3. Forgiveness For Toxic Behaviors
No partner is perfect. At some point, your partner will slip up and wrong you. But if their immediate reaction when you call them out on the problem is to deflect blame or make excuses, you’re in trouble. A partner like this might say things like:
- I didn’t mean to do it! Can’t you just forget it, already?
- Come on, it’s not a big deal. Let it go.
- You made me do this!
In these cases, they may be asking you to forgive and overlook actions like:
- Unwarranted outbursts
- Invasions of personal privacy
- Violation of boundaries
Should you hold a grudge forever? No, of course not; you have to either move forward in the relationship or decide to break up. It’s not fair to hold a mistake against someone forever.
But, at the same time, you should not feel forced or guilt-tripped into forgiving and forgetting too quickly – and you definitely shouldn’t be asked to overlook toxicity. Instead, work together to overcome the problem with positive thinking. (2)
4. To Be In The Middle
You’re not your partner’s errand-servant. You’re not there to solve their problems on your own so they can avoid them. If a partner continuously asks you to take on a middleman role, tread carefully. Here are a couple of situations where you might find yourself in the middle.
a) Picking Sides
A partner may get into a disagreement with someone you know and force you to pick a side. While you will likely support your partner because of your loyalty to them, the choice should still be up to you in the end and you shouldn’t be pressured into agreeing with them.
b) Passing Messages
Does your partner ask you to help them communicate with their friends or family members? Are you constantly asked to be the one to pass messages to others on their behalf, so they don’t have to face the consequences? This simply isn’t fair on you.
c) Choosing Them
A toxic partner will say something like: “It’s either me or them!” In essence, they try to force you to choose either something/someone you care for very much or your relationship. This is a form of blackmail and cannot be looked upon in any positive way.
5. Quitting Or Changing Your Job
Some partners may feel insecure about the fact that you earn more or similar to them. Conversely, if you earn less than them, they may think negatively of you for not earning enough. Either way, these are toxic thoughts to have – and when acted on, they are especially damaging.
In many cases, a significant other may seek to exert financial control over the relationship by asking you to change your occupation to suit their needs. A partner might pressure you to:
- Change your job or career
- Quit your work
- Turn down promotions
- Not capitalize on your abilities, skills, or talents
- Be less ambitious
Yes, sometimes career changes have to be discussed in long-term relationships. But it’s just as much your decision as your partner’s.
6. Full Access To Your Devices
Did you know that 25% of women and 20% of men admit to secretly snooping through their partners’ devices? That’s a serious problem that shows trust issues, but the issue we’re talking about takes that to the next level. (3)
A partner may ask you to provide them with all your device information and even account passwords. They may ask you to give them complete access so they can check your texts, your social media, your emails – everything. They may justify it by saying that if you have nothing to hide, you would be okay with it.
The thing is that everyone has the right to privacy. On your devices are private chats with clients, colleagues, friends, and family members that the other party didn’t consent to sharing. Plus, it’s just extremely invasive for your partner to deny you any privacy at all. This is monitoring, controlling behavior that reveals a deep lack of trust, and it’s a huge red flag.
7. Agreement To Calculative Rules
Equality in relationships is important, but it’s unreasonable to expect a relationship to be a complete 50/50 split. That’s just not possible. Both sides need to learn to sacrifice things sometimes.
If your partner is attempting to demand calculative rules, you’re in for a bad time. This gives them the chance to keep score of everything, including:
- How much money you’ve each spent
- Exactly how many chores each person has done
- How many hours you each work
Being calculative in a relationship is simply not a positive way to interact. You’ll each need to make sacrifices now and then, and you’ll find that it usually all evens out in the end anyway. Focus your energies on functioning well together instead of counting who’s turn it is to do what. (4)
8. The Overlooking Of Bad Treatment From Their Family Or Friends
Families-in-law (or families of a partner) can be tough to get along with. Sometimes, friends of your partner may be the problem instead. But there’s a difference between not liking someone and being repeatedly treated badly by them.
If you talk to your partner about the negative treatment you receive from the people in their lives, your feelings should be treated as valid ones. If your partner tells you to just use positive thinking and asks you to get along and endure negative treatment for their sake, your partner is saying that these other people are more important than you.
It’s okay for your partner to value their friendships and family relationships – and they should! But they also need to know when certain actions towards you are unacceptable. You should respect your partner’s other relationships – but they should also respect you enough to know when to put their foot down.
9. Something You’re Uncomfortable With In The Bedroom
Consent is important in intimacy. Both partners need to be respectful of each other’s wants and needs, and communication is important even during Unfortunately, many people find a way to create gray areas.
If your partner starts pressuring you into doing things you’re uncomfortable with in the bedroom, that’s a major red flag and very dangerous. This is called sexual coercion. They may: (5)
- Repeatedly badger you for a positive response after you’ve said no countless times
- Try to convince you to try things you aren’t comfortable with
- Normalize their actions
- Offer rewards in exchange for intimacy
- Complain when you decide to withdraw consent
- Make you feel obligated or guilty
- Threaten you if you don’t oblige
- Cause you to feel as though you owe intimacy to them
- Call you boring or unfun for not agreeing to new things
10. A Change Of Who You Are
When you start dating someone, you do so because you like who they are. If your partner keeps trying to change you, it indicates their goal from the beginning may have been to mold you into their idea of the perfect partner. Creepy, right? Here are some things they may ask you to change:
- Sense of style
- Personality quirks
- Values or beliefs
These aspects are part of your identity, and you should not be expected to give them up. Discussing flaws and self-improvement is one thing, but turning you into something completely different is unacceptable. You are lovable and worthy just as you are!
Final Thoughts On Some Things Your Partner Should Never Ask You For
If your partner asks you for one of these things, are they definitely evil? Of course not. Sometimes, ignorant requests stemming from personal issues can be the problem, and they often come from positive intentions.
As such, if you think your partner doesn’t mean to exhibit harmful behaviors such as these, talk to them about it. Discuss the problem and understand where it comes from. Work as a couple to solve the root of the issue. Additionally, don’t be afraid to seek professional help, if needed.
Remember, you deserve happiness and love just as much as your partner does. Your relationship should hold lots of respect and affection … not unfair, unbalanced requests.