1. Change who you are.
Whether it’s as small as your style or as big as your faith, it is not acceptable for your partner to want to alter anything that defines you. How is that supposed to make you feel knowing that he or she wishes you were different? You’re not allowed to be selective about which qualities you like about your spouse, and asking for anything different says that you don’t accept them for who they are. Unless these changes are actual improvements, be cautious about what you ask of them.
2. Spend less time with your friends and family.
Happy relationships are typically made up of well-rounded individuals who have their own lives. You should be able to have a healthy balance between your significant other and those outside of your relationship. If he or she asks you to spend more time with them and less with others, it can be a sign of control, jealousy, and insecurity.
3. Change your career path.
You should never be asked to be less ambitious, consider other career options, or quit your job, especially if it’s something you love. If your job is affecting the family negatively, it’s understandable to want to discuss changes to your career, but it shouldn’t be an ultimatum. It could also speak to your spouse’s own insecurities if their reason is that they feel threatened by your higher income or status.
4. Give up something for them.
Relationships might require some compromise but never total sacrifice. Anything your partner asks of you that takes away from your happiness, identity, or health is non-negotiable. Before you give something up for him or her, whether it’s a hobby or time, make sure they’re reciprocating the request and that it’s not just a one-sided thing.
5. Do something you’re uncomfortable with.
Being with your partner doesn’t mean they have more of an excuse to put you in situations you don’t approve of. They shouldn’t ask you to cover for them, do things in the bedroom that you’ve already established you don’t like, or do anything that would jeopardize your reputation or relationships. They should also know better than to put you in scenarios where there’s little room for choice.
6. Show them your phone.
Unless you’ve given them reasonable grounds to question your trust, your spouse shouldn’t ask to see your personal texts or emails. Privacy is so important, especially in relationships when the other person is practically a part of you. You should never feel controlled or monitored by your SO, and if you do, think about whether your partnership is truly healthy.
7. Pick sides.
Yes, your partner is essentially your teammate, but that shouldn’t imply an us-against-them attitude. It’s not OK for them to pit you against your friends and family, or to put you in any situation that requires you to choose them over anyone else. There’s a difference between having your partner’s back and being forced to show your loyalty.
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