You meet someone, you fall in love, it’s magical, thrilling and everything you ever dreamed of. Until things get real and your partner is not who you thought they were.
What are the signs that you’re in a toxic relationship?
If you’re not sure, ask yourself these questions:
Does your partner constantly criticize you?
Do they violate your boundaries and ignore your requests?
Does your partner shame you or your choices?
Do they verbally abuse you?
Does your partner abuse drugs or alcohol?
Does your partner ignore or put down your friends and family?
Are you being manipulated?
The fairytale starts to crumble when you discover your new partner is a jerk or narcissist. Your perfect partner turns into an emotional manipulator who puts you down, blames you for everything that goes wrong or makes you feel unworthy of their love.
It’s not always obvious at first glance if someone is a potential danger to your mental health and wellbeing. But there are red flags that show you if someone isn’t good for you.
Toxic relationships are exhausting, draining and hurtful; they leave us feeling worthless, or like we’re the only one who cares about the relationship.
Know the signs of a toxic relationship.
If you’re in a toxic relationship, you probably have some idea that things don’t seem normal. Or maybe the relationship dynamic has changed so much so that you no longer recognize the person you’re involved with.
Toxic relationships are not always easy to spot as you are usually fully immersed and being manipulated to believe that “it’s all your fault”.
But if these warning signs sound like your partner, you might be in a toxic relationship.
signs that you’re in a toxic relationship – Your self-esteem takes a nosedive.
When you’re in a toxic relationship, one of the first things to suffer is your self-esteem.
As the relationship progresses, you may start to feel like you’re not good enough for your partner.
You may feel stupid, unworthy, guilty and ashamed – even when there’s no reason to. You may begin to believe you’re not good enough to find someone better because you’re not worth it.
You may feel like you have to be perfect to have a healthy relationship.
You may believe that everything that goes wrong is because you’re not good enough because you are being constantly criticized.
You may find yourself apologizing all the time, even when you have nothing to apologize for.
You may find that you’re constantly trying to please your partner, no matter what the cost is to your own happiness.
Signs that you’re in a toxic relationship – You’re constantly walking on eggshells.
If your partner is emotionally manipulative, you will be constantly walking on eggshells.
Your partner may stonewall / give you the cold shoulder if they don’t get their own way. The stonewalling is unpredictable and takes you by surprise. You loose your confidence and become hesitant in all areas of your life as you’re never sure what your toxic partners reactions will be.
You may feel like you have to be extremely careful about what you say and do for fear of upsetting them as you’re afraid of your partner’s reaction. You may be afraid to talk about certain subjects, go to certain places or do anything that may upset your partner.
You may feel like there is a constant undertone of tension in your relationship, like something bad is going to happen at any second.
You may feel trapped in your relationship because you are afraid of what may happen if you try to leave. You may be afraid that your partner will stalk you, hurt you or your family.
You may be afraid that your partner will make you look bad to your friends and family, and that no one will believe your side of the story.
You may feel like you are constantly having to prove yourself and yourself worth, to be worthy of the relationship.
Signs that you’re in a toxic relationship – He or she is always blaming you.
If your partner constantly blames you for everything that goes wrong in the relationship, your partner is toxic.
You may find yourself always apologizing for something you didn’t even do.
You may find that you always feel guilty for the bad things in your relationship. If your partner blames you for everything, including things that are out of your control, your partner is toxic.
You may find that you are constantly defending yourself against your partner’s accusations.
You may find yourself getting defensive when your partner blames you for something because you know you didn’t do it.
Signs that you’re in a toxic relationship – They’re extremely jealous, possessive and Controlling.
If your partner is extremely jealous, possessive and controlling, this is a sign of toxic behavior.
You may find that your partner constantly accuses you of having feelings for other people, even when you don’t.
You may find that your partner doesn’t want you to talk to other people, even your friends or family.
You may find that your partner gets insanely jealous when you spend time with other people and may even try to sabotage your relationships with other people.
You may find that your partner doesn’t want you to go to certain places or do certain things.
Your partner may try to control your life, your friends and even your choices.
They may want you to spend all of your time with them and have no time for yourself.
Signs that you’re in a toxic relationship – Lack of trust
There is never peace when there is a consistent lack of trust in a relationship. It doesn’t matter whether you don’t trust the other person, or they say that they don’t trust you. Relationships are incredibly draining when there is a constant lack of trust.
Healthy relationships have a mutual desire to see the other person succeed in all areas of their life. The relationship turns toxic when every achievement becomes a competition or when one partner actively obstructs their partners achievement.
Signs that you’re in a toxic relationship – toxic communication
Conversations will be filled with sarcasm and snide remarks that are often cutting to the bone.
You end up avoiding conversations with toxic partners as you know that there will be an inevitable argument as they only see their side of the story. They will also mock your point of view constantly and you will end up doubting yourself.
Signs that you’re in a toxic relationship – Ignoring your needs
Toxic relationships will result in you focusing on someone else’s needs and ignoring your own needs.
You will feel the need to conform to the your partners needs, their opinions, and their demands whilst ignoring your own.
You will ignore your own self-care and health so that you can take care of your toxic partners needs.
You will ultimately become isolated from friends and family as your toxic partner will find fault with everyone in your circle.
If your relationship is toxic, it is not healthy.
No relationship can be healthy if one or both partners are being hurt by it.
All relationships have their ups and downs, and all relationships have problems. But if your relationship is toxic, it is not healthy, and you should get out as soon as possible. No relationship is worth your mental health.
If any of these signs apply to your relationship, it is important to take action. You will not be able to ever change your partner as toxic people often do not take responsibility for their behavior. If they do promise to change their toxic behavior the change will not last and you will be disappointed.
If for some reason you are unable to leave your toxic relationship you can learn to recognize toxic behavior and how to respond to it in a healthy way. This will buy you time to get into a position to leave one day.
Once you leave a toxic relationship, whether it is a personal relationship, a work relationship or a friendship you will feel a sense of relief like nothing else. It may be difficult at first, but it’s definitely worth it.