These four types of partners can ruin a romance
Are you a radiator, an actor, an employee or a child in your relationship? Forget about infidelity and incompatible libidos…psychologist Emma Kenny explains the dynamic that is truly fatal to any couple.
Although being a radiator means you are warm, loving, and generous, it also draws you to emotional drains.
Over time, they will drain more and more of you until there is nothing left and you are physically, emotionally, and mentally drained.
In a relationship, the drain does not like to expend energy on anyone other than themselves, so they show very little interest in their partner’s life or in committing or communicating in general.
The drain will take little effort, and when they do, it’s usually because they want their partner to take care of their needs.
The radiator acts as a facilitator, trying to accommodate his partner’s needs, believing that he will eventually find a solution.
But it keeps them trapped in a marriage that is emotionally bleeding them.
Can you fix it? Due to each partner’s temperament, even though the marriage may last through co-dependency, it is unlikely to ever be happy or healthy.
The drain believes it has the right to have its needs met and the radiator wants to please.
This situation could possibly be corrected if the heater shuts off for the drain to receive a wake-up call. This would help them recognize the ingratitude they have shown towards their partner and inspire them to prove that they have learned the error of their ways. The drain would benefit from individual therapy.
We always try to please – boss/employee
IN this relationship, the employee wants constant validation from their partner. As small as a gesture is, they want to be noted on it.
Because they are continually terrified of losing their job and being replaced, they exist in an exhausting life cycle to please their other half.
This means they can never relax, always feeling anxious about being wrong, which means they lack confidence, which infuriates their partner.
The relationship boss thinks they are better than their partner and often sees them as weaker and less capable. In reality, they are more than happy to stay away from life as they simply order their partner to do whatever needs to be done.
The boss likes to make the employee feel disposable because it means they are trying hard to please them. The employee has been trained to strive for self-improvement, but is rarely rewarded for it, leaving him feeling lonely and unloved.
Can you fix it? The effort in this relationship is so one-sided that once the employee burns out, so does the relationship.
Tired of always having to please their partner, they either move on or become so discouraged that the boss fires them.
For this type of partnership to heal, the employee must learn to be assertive, learn to say no. The boss will then respect them more. The relationship may still fail, as the employee realizes they have been taken for granted.
We’re doing a show for friends – actor / extra
There’s a lot of conflict because the acting partner spends a lot of time trying to convince others that they have a perfect life, even though in reality their relationship is in tatters.
They spend so much time living in a fantasy that their partner feels like they’re just an extra in their life.
The actor often exaggerates his achievements in the relationship, which infuriates his partner, the “plus”, because he thinks it’s a deception.
The “extra” feels that his partner is a fantasy, which makes him untrustworthy.
Due to the lack of authenticity in this relationship, neither party feels satisfied, which means each believes that the other is responsible for their unhappiness.
To deal with rejection, the “extra” seizes every opportunity to belittle and humiliate his partner.
Can you fix it? Because there has been a huge breach of trust within this relationship, both parties may think that a clean break is best. Neither partner feels fulfilled and there is little or no respect.
An overhaul of communication would be necessary for this relationship to find its bearings and would imply absolute honesty on both sides. The actor may choose to break off the relationship so that they can continue to live in their fantasy world.
Relationship therapy could help the couple stay together — or break up without the drama the actor would otherwise be prone to play in public.
One party makes all decisions – parent/child
None of you know how to be equal adults. Instead, the parent holds all the power and the child feels helpless.
Relationships thrive when partners act as collaborators, ensuring they also carry the burdens of life. But the parent/child partnership is the opposite, with the parent partner making all the key decisions, even if those don’t benefit the other party.
Because these actions make the child partner feel vulnerable and smothered, they may act childishly – slamming doors, yelling, getting angry for days on end, and temporarily refusing to comply with anything their partner asks.
The person taking on the parenting role will then become more punitive, becoming very critical of their partner until they behave in a manner deemed appropriate.
While the parent partner is very controlling, they also resent their partner’s lack of equipment and fail to see how their own behavior is adding to their problems.
Instead, they feel they have to shoulder all the responsibilities alone, which adds to their contempt and disrespect for their partner.
As the two refuse to believe they are the problem, they constantly repeat the cycle.
Can you fix it? For the relationship to work, both parties need to start communicating as adults, which means completely changing communication styles.
The parent needs to stop being so controlling, allowing the child to take a more active role in decision making and life direction. Because this type of dynamic is often toxic, it’s wise to seek professional help.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.