Signs You’re In A Tumultuous Relationship And How To Get Out Of It

While all relationships go through ups and downs, there comes a point when being on a constant roller coaster with your partner isn’t normal or healthy. So, how do you know when you’re in a tumultuous relationship that’s toxic and potentially damaging? Read on for an explanation as well as the signs you should be on the lookout for.

What is a tumultuous relationship?

According to Oxford Languages, tumultuous means “making an uproar or loud, confused noise.” It also means “excited, confused, or disorderly.” From the definition alone, you can pretty much get an idea of what a tumultuous relationship might be like.

A tumultuous relationship is one in which there’s constant chaos. From fiery arguments to drama over minor things, these partnerships are toxic and dysfunctional. When you’re in a couple that’s so volatile and frenzied, it can be hard to ever feel settled and secure.

Signs you’re in a tumultuous relationship

  1. Your fights are constant and destructive. Not only do you argue about the same things over and over again, but your fights are explosive. They always include a lot of screaming, drowning one another out, and potentially even throwing or breaking personal property. If your arguments are scary, that’s a sign there’s a serious problem.
  2. You pretend to have an amazing relationship in public and on social media. To the outside world, your relationship is the opposite of tumultuous. Your friends assume you’re the happiest couple ever and your Instagram feeds are full of happy couple selfies. You know you’re presenting a lie, but you’re desperate to keep up the facade and hide the truth.
  3. You experience extreme highs and lows. When things are good between you and your partner, they’re great. When they’re bad, you get so low that you feel extremely depressed. Every couple goes through ups and downs, but your highs and lows shouldn’t be so extreme that they throw you off balance.
  4. You feel alone even when you’re together. Your partner could be right next to you on the couch but you still feel lonely. Being in their presence isn’t comforting or relaxing, especially because you never know when things will go south. What good is being in a relationship if you feel worse than when you’re on your own?
  5. You’ve broken up and gotten back together multiple times. A tumultuous relationship lacks stability. Therefore, you might decide to end things, only to be drawn back together a few days or weeks later. It’s a neverending cycle that you both feel powerless to stop.
  6. There’s a lot you don’t feel you can talk to your partner about. You hide things from your partner not because you think they’re bad but because you don’t think they’d care or understand. You don’t want to risk angering or upsetting them, so you stay quiet. You should be able to open up about anything and everything. If you can’t, there’s an issue.
  7. You’re always one-upping each other or putting the other down. People in a relationship should be a united team, not competitors. In a tumultuous relationship, both partners are always trying to put each other down to elevate themselves. They go out of their way to belittle each other to feel powerful. It’s incredibly toxic.
  8. You don’t feel supported or encouraged. You’d like to count your partner as your #1 cheerleader, but in a tumultuous relationship, you can’t. That’s because you never know where they stand or how they’ll feel from one day to the next.
  9. You often feel angry or resentful towards each other. Even when things seem to be going okay, you can’t help but feel a deep-seated fury or resentment at your partner. This is likely because you can’t forget about the bad times very easily. Who could blame you?
  10. You both put your own needs first. Selfishness isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but too much prioritization on the self in relationships leads to problems. You should never sacrifice your needs for that of a partner. However, their needs should be a consideration and a priority as well. Otherwise, there’s no point in being together.
  11. One or both of you have cheated. Infidelity leaves the other partner feeling insecure and uncertain in their connection as a couple. The relationship is bound to become tumultuous if you’re always paranoid about whether or not your partner is cheating. That’s no way to live.
  12. Your partner’s behavior is very hot and cold. One day they’re in a great mood; the next day, they act like they couldn’t care less about you or the relationship. You can never settle into things because you don’t know where you’re at with them.
  13. You often find yourself fantasizing about other people. Part of you wishes sometimes that you were with someone else. You find yourself fantasizing about other relationships that are calmer and more secure. If your current relationship is making you feel so unsettled, it may be time to end it.
  14. You don’t trust each other. You’ve probably heard a million times that a relationship is nothing without trust. That’s very true. There’s no way that you can share a healthy, productive partnership if you don’t feel with 100% certainty that your partner has your best interest at heart.
  15. You have nothing positive to say about each other. All those initial qualities that drew you to them seem like distant memories at this point. You’re so all over the place with your partner that you literally struggle to think of anything positive to say about them or your relationship. That’s a major sign of trouble.

Can relationships with so much dysfunction and toxicity be saved?

This isn’t a question with an easy answer. That’s because a tumultuous relationship may feature behaviors and habits that are truly destructive or even unsafe to continue. In that case, for the well-being of both people, it’s vital to break things off completely and walk away.

That being said, there are times when many of the issues in a relationship are the result of unresolved baggage that can be repaired and changed with the proper tools and effort. In that case, it’s important to take steps to ensure not only that you break toxic patterns but that you don’t revert to them in the future.

How to fix things

  1. Learn how to communicate. This is easier said than done, of course. However, in a tumultuous relationship, the only way to start on the path of healing is to figure out how to talk. You need to be able to tell one another how you truly feel. You should be able to communicate what you feel are the biggest issues in the relationship as well as how you’d like things to change.
  2. Take a step back to reassess. When you’re in the middle of a chaotic situation, it’s vital that you remove yourself, even if only temporarily, to figure out how you feel. Suggest taking a break from the relationship just long enough to assess what’s going on in your head and what you’d like to work on together. Once you’ve done that, you can come back together and start the hard work.
  3. If necessary, see a therapist. Going to couples therapy may be the best route to take if you truly want to repair your tumultuous relationship and move forward into a happy, healthy partnership. There’s no shame in seeking help from a qualified professional. In fact, it may be your saving grace.
Scarlett is somewhat new to the writing world, having only graduated in May 2022 with a degree in journalism. She was the associate editor of her university's newspaper and hopes to expand into the publishing world with her articles on love and relationships.
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