Advertising
Advertising

How to Build Loyalty in Your Relationship

How to Build Loyalty in Your Relationship

The definition of loyal is faithful allegiance. So, what does that mean in relationship?

Knowing you have loyalty in a relationship is knowing that your partner always has your back, and that you can count on them through thick and thin. This provides stability and a strong foundation that’s imperative for any relationship to go the distance.

A great example in how this shows up in a relationship is when after a hectic day at work, your partner provides a sounding board to vent your feelings and emotions from the roller coaster you experienced. This not only enhances interpersonal communication, but provides another crucial layer of vulnerability in your relationship.

Some foundational characteristics of loyalty are respect, communication, affection, intimacy, vulnerability, and compassion.

Loyalty is being dedicated to not only your partner, but to the relationship and each other. To know that you are fully committed to one another, and to realize how any individual decision must be considered in how it impacts your partner and your relationship.

In my relationship, this shows up by not just the ‘big things’ we do for each other every now and again, but in the ‘little things’ we do for each other on a daily basis that adds to our emotional Love Bank Account.

One idea for filling the emotional bank account is to create a jar of things you love about your partner. You can give this to them as a gift and have them draw one item out each day, so they are reminded of why you love them. Reading it out loud will remind you as well.

Advertising

Loyalty is a beautiful alchemy of respect and reliability. It’s the maturity in knowing that all relationships have their ebb and flows, the good and not so good times. Are you going to just throw in the towel when things get rough? Or do you roll up your sleeves and figure out how to improve your relationship and truly be there for your partner? The key in reliability is knowing unequivocally that you can always count on having each other’s backs no matter what.

Loyalty is making your partner your best friend. You are 100% committed to them and on their side. You may not always agree, but you don’t hold each other’s hostage by making the other person wrong. This is the person you want to spend most of your time with. While it’s okay to have separate hobbies and interest, your partner is the first person you want to call when you have good news. They are also the first person you want to call when you need help.

Loyalty is the desire to see your partner and your relationship succeed. Everything you do, everything you say, and all that you are is invested in your relationship with your partner. You’re determined to be a successful couple living your fairy tale love story together.

You are your partner’s staunchest advocate and your desire is for them to be the best version of themselves in order to push you to be your very best that ultimately makes you the happiest couple you know!

The Keys to Loyalty in a Relationship

Being Authentic to Yourself and Your Partner

In the beginning of a relationship, if you try to be who your partner wants you to be, they may later feel like there was bait and switch.

My marriage ended in divorce after 13 years. For many of those years, I felt betrayed by my ex who showed up initially in the relationship to woo and court me.  After we were married, those romantic gestures became fewer and farther between. In the end, I felt deceived, as the man I thought I married, was actually very different than the man he was at his core.

So be sure to be true to yourself and your partner.

Advertising

Being Monogamous

In romantic relationships, the first thing that comes to mind is fidelity. If you and your partner are loyal in your relationship, you will be monogamous. Sometimes disloyalty comes in the form of an emotional affair which is just as dangerous. Having an emotional bond or connection with someone else is a form of being unfaithful.

How do you know if it’s a relationship to avoid? Some signs are if you have a physical attraction to your friend, whenyou share intimate thoughts or details about your romantic partnership with them. Other signs include If your mate is unaware of your relationship; and if you behave differently around your friend if your mate were present. These are all warning signs that you are involved in an emotional affair or are on the slippery slope of one.

Never Having to Hide Anything From Your Partner

Standing by your partner in both good and bad times even when you may not agree with their actions. It’s standing by them and supporting them even when the going gets tough.

How to Build Loyalty in Your Relationship

While we have gone over some of the common ways to show loyalty in relationship, people are different and have different beliefs and values.

Before you can build trust and loyalty, you need to understand what it means to your partner and be on the same page to build a long-lasting relationship.

1. Keep Promises and Secrets

Be sure to keep your promises and don’t keep secrets from one another.

2. Leave Your Judgement out of It

Be sure to respect each other and your differences without judgement. Although you may not understand why certain things are important to your partner, what is important is that it matters to your partner.

Advertising

Communicate, communicate, communicate: How to Improve Communication in Relationships and Increase Intimacy

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Vulnerable

Honesty and vulnerability are keys to building loyalty and trust in relationship. In fact, there’re plenty of benefits for being vulnerable: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

When you live your truth, your partner will be more comfortable living theirs.

4. Be Forgiving

Forgiveness is essential in building and maintaining loyalty. We all make mistakes, and being quick to forgive is important. Don’t hold grudges about past transgressions as this will only erode the relationship.

Letting go of the hurt, accepting the apology, and moving on builds a trust based on truth and love. Knowing that we are human, that we make mistakes and our partner will accept us as we are is key to building trust and loyalty.

5. Be Committed to Working on Yourself

Personal growth and development not only make you a better person, but significantly improve your relationship. It’s important to grow as individuals and to grow together as a couple.

Like they say on the airplanes, place your own oxygen mask on first before helping those around you. If we’re not taking care of ourselves, we certainly can’t be there fully and completely for our partner. This ultimately creates a deeper bond and significantly adds to the Love Bank Account.

Advertising

Always remember, you’re either ripe and rotting or green and growing.

Here’re some tips to help you: 30 Ways To Practice Self-Love And Be Good To Yourself

Final Thoughts

The importance of loyalty and continuing to build upon it are crucial in allowing a relationship to not just survive, but to ultimately thrive.

We all desire the safety and security of a loyal relationship that brings out our best qualities individually as well as those as a couple. It’s this warmth, comfort and deep knowing that our bond and commitment can survive any adversity that comes our way.

More Tips to Enhance Your Relationship

Featured photo credit: Jonathan Borba via unsplash.com

More by this author

Dana Lam

Dana is a busy mom of two boys, author and co-founder of the Surprise Date Challenge.

How to Overcome Trust Issues in a Relationship (And Learn to Love Again) How to Build Loyalty in Your Relationship Why Your Relationship Has Become Boring (And How to Fix It) Warning Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Trending in Relationships

1 How to Improve Intimacy in Your Marriage and Rekindle the Passion 2 Why You Feel Lonely In Your Marriage And How To Deal With It 3 How To Spot Toxic People: 6 Traits To Watch Out For 4 10 Signs Your Marriage Is Over And It’s Time To Move On 5 11 Red Flags in a Relationship Not To Ignore

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

Advertising

2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

Advertising

  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

Advertising

This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

Advertising

6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

Read Next