Pay attention! instead of ignoring these red flags, think about what you can do differently to prevent them from knocking you down.
1. Your partner tries to control you.
Controlling what you can do with your time, finances, friendship choices and how much you can visit your family: all these behaviors are likely to invite feelings of depression. Getting mad at you if you didn’t load the dishwasher his way, or left dishes on the counter-top…these too are signs that your partner focuses on controlling you instead of being captain of his own ship.
Remember: depression is a disorder of power. When your partner takes away your power to make personal decisions (or at least to contribute jointly to decisions) depression is likely to be imminent.
2. Your partner is irritable.
Irritability is low intensity anger. Anger spreads toxic negative energy. This toxicity can induce depression in the receiver of anger. Anger is disturbing and unpleasant to witness even for on-lookers. For direct recipients of anger, the toxicity is even more so.
3. Your partner is abusive.
As we’ve mentioned already, abuse can be expressed emotionally in a partner’s critical and controlling attitude, verbally with name-calling or physically by pushing, throwing things, or hitting. All of these forms of abuse are incompatible with a loving relationship.
The impulse to hurt someone is the opposite of the impulse to love, nurture and be intimate. Any form of putting you down can engender depression. Any form of appreciation adds to good feelings. It’s pretty simple.
4. You feel criticized.
“I don’t like your hair that way.” “You shouldn’t have bought that new sweater.” Criticisms are put-downs. Feedback is a not problem, but criticism is.
Feedback lets you know in a gentle way that something you have been doing is problematic and it usually starts with an “I” statement: “I get nervous that men will find you sexually attractive when you wear your hair that way,” or “I felt uncomfortable when I saw your new sweater because I’m worried about whether we’re going to have enough money to cover our bills this month.”
H/T: Susan Heitler for YourTango