You’ve heard the term “toxic relationship” thrown around enough to know you do NOT want to be in one. But want actually falls into the toxic territory?
Toxic relationships can sometimes be hard to identify. There are some behaviors that clearly cross a line- like any kind of abuse, be it physical, emotional, verbal, or financial. Other signs are subtler- but can be just as problematic.
“Every single relationship has a level of toxicity. Nothing is perfect- there is some work to be done”,. But it’s when toxicity spirals out of control that problems arise.”If you feel uneasy you need to stop yourself and ask what the causes are”,
Be on the lookout for these under-the-radar signs that your relationship is bad for you.
1. It Feels Bad. All The Time.
You fall asleep hollow and you wake up just as bad. You look at other couples doing their happy couple thing and you feel the sting. Why couldn’t that sort of love happen for you? It can, but first, you have to clear the path for it to find you. Leaving a relationship is never easy, but staying for too long in a toxic relationship will make sure and strength, courage, and confidence in you are eroded down to nothing. Once that happens, you’re stuck.
2. You Feel Very Insecure.
“When you’re in a healthy relationship, there’s a significant back-and-forth where you’re complimenting each other, bringing out the best in each other, and letting each other know ‘ I care about you.
There’s not a lot of this going on in a toxic relationship. So if you’re in a constant state of insecurity around your person, you are not in a healthy relationship period.
3. Your S.O. Never Takes Responsibility.
In a gentle reminder to your partner to please pick up the wet towels ends in a fight literally every time (because you knew they were going through a stressful week at work and why would you even bring that up right now, geez!)- yeah, that’s a red flag. “Healthy people can take feedback and course correct”. A toxic partner might blame you for the fact that they hurt your feelings.
This goes both ways, adds Thompson. “We look at how the other person affects us but we also need to look at how we’re affecting our partner”. If you’re constantly turning things around on your partner, you’re turning things toxic.
4. You’re Not Practicing Self-Care.
On that note, signs of toxic relationships aren’t all about your S.O. ‘s behavior- your own behavior patterns can be red flags too. “A toxic relationship to keep toxicity out”. “Self-care is vital for every relationship to keep toxicity out”. If you’re neglecting my time for any reason (your partner is off-the-charts needy or you’re voluntarily dropping all your activities in favor of their schedule) it’s a sign the relationship is turning toxic.
RELATED-How To Build Trust In Relationship: 12 Surprising And Crucial Tips
5.They Strip Away Your Self Esteem.
Toxic partners like picking at you. If you hear criticizing statements on a regular basis, that’s a problem.
Watch out for comments like:
● “I don’t like that dress.”
● “I don’t like it like that.”
● “Cut your hair”.
● “Why are you wearing so much makeup?”
● “I thought you were going to cook dinner tomorrow night and Saturday. I don’t want to go out.”
● “Why do you have to see your friends tonight? I thought you were going to stay home.”
“These kinds of comments strip away your self-esteem. “You start to feel bad about yourself and begin to doubt your own judgment. You’re constantly thinking, What can I do to make things better?”
6. You Avoid Saying What You Need Because There’s Just No Point.
We all have important needs in relationships. Some of the big ones are connection, validation, appreciation, love, sex, affection. When those needs are mocked or ignored, the emptiness of that unmet or ignored, the emptiness of that unmet need will clamor like to talk about what you need end in a fight, another empty promise, accusations of neediness, insecurity, jealousy or madness you’ll either bury the need or resent that it keeps being overlooked. Either way, it’s toxic.
7. You Feel Like You Do All The Work In Your Relationship
In every relationship, there’s a natural division of labor. Maybe you always make the restaurant reservations because you’re always spotting new date night spots on Instagram. Meanwhile, bae is awesome at making sure you’re prioritizing together time in your busy schedules.
“A healthy relationship is a partnership, with both of you co-creating your fulfillment”. If you feel like you’re suddenly doing all the heavy lifting- especially if your partner doesn’t seem to notice- the balance has become toxic. Make sure you’re not the only one contributing to the day-to-day activities or long-term vision of the relationship.
8. Your Partner Is Always Offering ‘Constructive Criticism’ ….Even When You Don’t Ask.
Ideally, you want to find a partner who makes you a better version of yourself, right? Someone who supports encourages, and challenges you can sometimes be confused for someone who’s really criticizing you.
“If your partner constantly asks if you really need that extra piece of pizza- and when you push back they get defensive saying they are only trying to help- this is not about helping you, this is about controlling you. Controlling behavior is usually present in a toxic relationship. Don’t confuse manipulation or control-freak tendencies with being “nice” or “helpful.”
9.Your Partner Is Constantly Stonewalling You.
Having a fight doesn’t mean your relationship is toxic- but if your S.O. is always shutting down when you try to bring up what’s bothering you, that’s what therapists call stonewalling. “Healthy couples are open to each other’s feedback”. You should be invested in each other’s happiness and see what you can both do to communicate more effectively. “If instead of listening, your partner is always saying they don’t want to talk about it, looking away, and being unresponsive, or even straight-up walking away, that’s a toxic red flag.
10. All The Work, Love, Compromise Comes From You.
Nobody can hold a relationship together when they are the only ones doing the work. It’s lonely and it’s exhausting. If you’re not able to leave the relationship, give what you need to give but don’t give any more than that. Let go of the fantasy that you can make things better if you try hard enough, work hard enough, say enough, do enough. Stop. Just stop. You’re enough. You always have been.
11. Big Decisions Are For Important People, And Clearly, You’re Not One Of Them.
If you’re sharing your life with someone, it’s critical that you have a say in the decisions that will affect you. Your partner’s opinions and feelings will always be important, and so are yours. Your voice is an important one. A loving partner in the context of a healthy relationship will value your thoughts and opinions, not pretend that they don’t exist or assume theirs are more important.
12.You Don’t Have The Type Of Trust You Should Have.
In a healthy relationship, trust builds over time. As you get to know each other and you’re wondering if you can believe what your partner tells you, truthfulness will be confirmed by your partner’s actions. They come through in the way they say they will in toxic relationships, this often doesn’t happen. They won’t follow through on their promise. Or maybe they’ll be super into you one weekend and completely disinterested in the text. There’s the constant push and pull.
13. You Don’t Feel Like Yourself Around Them.
Your S.O. should love you for who you are. But if you can’t be yourself or don’t feel like yourself around them, that’s a BFD.
Think about your current relationship: Maybe they say things that make you feel like they don’t even know you at all. If they say things like you’re not that kind of girl, or You wouldn’t understand that, anyway, they’re making assumptions and telling you the kind of person they want you to be rather than loved for who you are.
14. There’s A Battle-And You’re On Your Own. Again.
You and your partner are a team. You need to know that whatever happens, you have each other’s backs, at least publicly. In healthy relationships, when the world starts throwing stones, the couple comes together and fortifies the wall around each other. Toxic relationships often see one person going it alone when it comes to public put-downs. Similarly, when attempts are made from outside the relationship to divide and conquer, the couple is divided and conquered, as easily as if they were never together in the first place.
15. Nothing Gets Resolved.
Every relationship will have its issues. In a toxic relationship, nothing gets worked through because any conflict ends in an argument. There is no trust that the other person will have the capacity to deal with the issue in a way that is safe and preserves the connection. When this happens, needs get buried, and a relationship, unmet needs will always feel resentment.