How to Deal with Tumultuous Relationships

Relationship Rules
18 May 2023
12 min read
In a Tumultuous Relationship? Here's What to Do

A tumultuous relationship is a toxic relationship in which everything always is volatile and never seems to even out. This type of rocky relationship can be a strain to mental health, cause extreme emotional angst, and can even be the sign of emotional abuse.

Although there are times where it may seem to be perfectly normal, the warning signs of a tumultuous relationship are rarely few and far in between. However, it may be hard to notice every single warning sign as it happens.

Let’s take a look at this unhealthy dynamic, and how a relationship doesn’t have to contain physical abuse in order for it to be toxic.

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11 Signs of a Tumultuous Relationship: How to Understand You’re There?

There are times where it’s easier for people on the outside to see that your relationship is going in the wrong direction. Your may think that your partner is not emotionally or even physically abusive – even when it’s evident for the people around you.

However, with clear criteria at hand, it doesn’t take much to notice an unhealthy pattern of toxic behavior from your relationship. So let’s take a look at a few signs that will show that you are in a tumultuous relationship.

1. Your Fights Are Constant and Always Over the Same Things

“If you feel constantly triggered by your partner, or your partner feels like they are walking on eggshells or across a minefield, this is a sign that your relationship has become tumultuous and unhealthy.”

Christie Tcharkhoutian, marriage and family therapist

When you are in a healthy relationship, the occasional disagreement is relatively normal. Think about a disagreement once maybe every couple of weeks at the most. After all, as different people, you and your partner share different physical and emotional manifestations.

However, it’s an issue for a romantic relationship when the fighting is constant, like once a day or more, and always about the same things. These constant fights that stem from the same arguments are one of the biggest signs of a tumultuous relationship.

Related reading: 21 Things Your Partner Should Never Say to You (and Vice Versa)

How to understand you're in a rocky relationship

2. There Are Things About Your Partner You Absolutely Hate and Can’t Get Past

A part of being in a relationship with someone is having to accept parts of them you may not like. For example, you may love them but you may not like the way they fold towels.

However, when you cannot get past things you hate no matter how hard your try, that may be a sign of a tumultuous relationship.

3. You Find Yourself Pretending Things Are OK

As human beings, we feel the need to keep up appearances that things are ok. We tend to ignore unresolved issues and refuse to let other people in to help us.

As you find yourself pushing away the issues and refusing to seek out relationship advice, you end up causing yourself that much stress. Don’t forget that you deserve happiness.

4. You Both Are Overly Dependent on Each Other

When it comes to unhealthy relationships, one of the biggest signs is being unhealthy dependent on each other. You may even feel like you can’t breathe without each other. Or that you have to be together at all times to keep up the illusion of having a deep connection with one another.

Toxic relationships leave no room for rational thinking. You may even feel like your self esteem or worth depends on constantly having your partner by your side or always knowing your partner’s whereabouts. But if your unhealthy relationship dynamic affects your self worth and social life, you are most likely in a tumultuous relationship.

Related reading: The Making of a Sexual Goddess

Being constantly on and off is one of the signs of a tumultuous relationship

5. You’re Constantly On and Off

In a tumultuous relationship, you are constantly breaking up and getting back together. This can cause both you and your partner to develop issues with low self esteem.

You may feel like breaking up and getting back together may fix the issues you have with a deeper dissatisfaction. But in turn, it actually results in the exact opposite of what you want.

6. It’s Normal Talking Trash About Each Other

Every good relationship has a bit of disorderly commotion in it. After all, everyone talks trash a little bit about others. However, it becomes a noticeable issue when you find yourself unable to say anything good about the people you have relationships with when they are not around.

This trash talking is usually a sign of emotional agitation. Also, it’s a sign that you are holding grudges against the person you are with.

7. You Find Yourself Making Back Up Plans

As you enter a bad point in your relationship, you may find that you are already making plans for when you break up next. Maybe you want to get with an old flame of yours. Or maybe you’re already looking at new places to live? For your relationship, it’s not a good sign anyways.

8. You Don’t Trust Each Other

You find it hard to trust them. You constantly think the worst things, like there’s no way for you to have no-drama relationship. If you both are constantly feeling like there’s no way to trust each other, that might be a sign of a tumultuous relationship.

9. There’s a Distinct Lack of Intimacy

As you enter a tumultuous relationship, you may find that the intimacy in your relationship seems to just disappear. Your sex life may feel like it’s dead. It may feel like your once burning romance is barely able to get hot anymore.

Alternatively, you may feel that sex has become even better when fueled by the emotional rollercoaster. However, in this case, it may be the only way to regain intimacy in your relationship.

“The sex continues to be great — makeup sex almost always is, and in tumultuous relationships, there is always a lot of make up sex. The problem is that couples confuse great sex with great all-around connection.”

Patti Feuereisen, a sexual abuse psychotherapist

Relationship problems aside, from time to time, everyone feels like they’re in a dead end in their love life. However, when you find yourself unable to go on dates anymore, or you find that the deeper connection that you once had is now gone, you may have entered one of the dreaded tumultuous relationships.

10. You Get Irritated with Your Partner for No Reason

It seems like you partner can’t do anything right. Or you always have a reason to be angry with them. Maybe they did something one time that justified you being continuously angry with them. But it’s also possible that you just find yourself angry at them for no reason.

If you find that you’re constantly irritated with your partner and nothing helps, that’s a sign of a tumultuous relationship.

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11. You Hold Grudges Against Them

Human mistakes happen to all of us. In most cases, we may be mad about it for a while. but we will ultimately forgive what has happened.

But what happens when you can’t let it go? As you hold grudges about mistakes your partner has made, you give room for the resentment you’re feeling towards them to grow.

As your relationship turns toxic, you may find that you want to justify this resentment. And this is where grudges come in handy.

6 Ways to Fix a Tumultuous Relationship

As you choose to try and fix your tumultuous relationships, here are a few pieces of advice on what you can do. You can turn them into healthy relationships and protect yourself from becoming a tumultuous marriage.

1. Seek Professional Help

Remember that its ok to get help from outside sources. A toxic relationship can heavily alter, affect your mental abilities and make it hard for you to realize what all is going wrong.

Talk with a couples counselor or a family therapist together with your partner. By seeking professional help to make your relationship better, you may be able to fix your relationship. You can even get help with identifying self-destructive behaviors that you may have developed.

2. Learn to Admit Defeat

Are you fighting because you know you’re the right person, or are you fighting because you simply want to win? Remember that one of the biggest signs of a tumultuous relationship is constantly fighting with each other.

Fighting just to win the argument can be detrimental to your mental well being. Learn how to take a step back and admit that you lost at times.

3. Be Open and Ready to Compromise

There are times where feelings of bitterness and resentment come forth. That happens because one or both members of a relationship want something that they simply cannot achieve the exact way that they want it.

Remember that for a good relationship to work there needs to be give and take from both sides. Be open about your feelings and always be willing to compromise. This way you can do better to work things out.

Related reading: A Guide to Growing an Exclusive Relationship

4. Accept Your Partner for Who They Are

Your partner is a human being, just like you. They are allowed to make mistakes and be imperfect. If you absolutely need a perfect specimen of a person, take a step back and reflect on why you feel this way.

Do you see your partner as a person, or as a reflection of your self worth? By accepting and loving the person you are with for who they are, you remove that unhealthy pattern of thinking and move closer to a healthier partnership.

5. Change Your Attitude

Negative emotions are unfortunately powerful things. After all, it only takes one sour mood to suck out all of the joy in a room.

By changing your attitude and approaching your relationship with more positivity, you may find that some of your unresolved issues were actually because of a poor attitude. That were not issues with your relationships.

6. Ask Why or What

Ask yourself why you feel so negatively about this relationship. What made you think of your partner so? Why do you feel the need to be angry with them?

Nobody can answer these types of questions except for you. However, it helps to practice your own self awareness. Recognizing that you are imperfect is one of the first steps in moving forward to be a better person.

Accepting your own imperfections as well as the imperfections of your partner by asking why, when, and how types of questions will help when your relationship feels unhealthy.

What to do when you decide to end emotional abuse

4 Tips to End a Tumultuous Relationship

When you believe your relationship has no future and there’s no way to solve those unresolved conflicts, you’ll need all your strength and courage to break things up. Here is what you can bring to the table to make this hard decision a bit easier for both.

1. Take a Break First

Before ending any sort of romantic partnership, even if it’s a tumultuous relationship, take a step back for a few weeks and examine how you feel and what happens. Do you feel better without them around, having more freedom and happiness? If you do, it’s likely best that you put an official end to your tumultuous relationship.

However, if you do not feel good during the break, that is a sign you should try to fix this relationship instead. You certainly don’t want to continually break up and get back together.

2. Get Your Affairs in Order

Ending a tumultuous relationship isn’t always as easy as just breaking it off and leaving them. When you develop a relationship with someone, you may end up living in the same house, have a pet, or have a child.

Thus, you need to establish that the relationship is going to end and start to get everything you need put together. Finding yourself a new place and creating a plan that lets you leave while causing as little damage as possible is incredibly important.

Don’t be afraid to ask others to help you during this time. This is often one of the hardest steps of ending a relationship of any type.

3. Be Calm

Ending any sort of relationship can cause a lot of distress for both of you. You may even feel the need to try and come up on top once again. This is where the fighting and arguing during the breakup can ensue and be at its worst.

This very poisonous feeling. Combined with the deep connection you once had, it may make you feel like you need at least one victory, no matter how small. However, you also need to understand that at one point this was the same person you loved. As you end the relationship, stay calm and avoid all temptations to fight with them.

4. Show Them Respect

Despite the fact that your once healthy relationship turned tumultuous it needs to be remembered that at one point there was something you saw in them that made you believe they were a good fit for you.

While you may have developed an unhealthy dynamic in your love life it is important to end your relationship with as much integrity as you can possibly preserve.

Being in a tumultuous relationship can be a difficult thing to go through. It doesn’t take constant forms of physical or mental abuse for a relationship to become unhealthy.

Take the time to learn what the signs are, and decide what the best course of action will be for you. By doing this you will learn how to navigate through this form of unhealthy relationship, as well as assist others who are also going through these types of relationship problems.

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What Will You Choose: Fix the Relationship or End it Peacefully?

Now that you know exactly what this very poisonous feeling is caused by, you can do two things – stay and try to fix what you have or leave and establish a more stable relationship with someone else. What will you do? When dealing with such a relationship, you’re the one to decide.

When you are in a tumultuous relationship, you are at a cross roads, in which you need to make a decision. Are you still on the same page to be able to turn your turbulent relationship around and create a healthy relationship? Or is this tumultuous relationship too far gone and no amount of fixing it will ever clean up this messy romance.

Whatever you choose, be bold and prepared to accept short-term discomfort for the peace of mind and the fulfilling relationship you deserve in the long run.

Love&Sex Expert
Cherie Hamilton
I’ve always been inspired by women who are outgoing, very sure of themselves, and not afraid to be who they were, including their sex lives. Under their tutelage, I gradually shed my old self, hung out and socialized with them, and, over time, became the empowered, self-confident, and sexual woman I am today. Happy to share my insights with other women today!
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