Relationships form the core of human society. They are the basic building blocks to create partnerships, families, and communities.
In any kind of relationship, be it with a family member, friend, romantic partner, or colleague, your behavior can impact the wellbeing of others. At the same time, the habits, actions, and conduct of others can affect your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
It is not as if you wake up one day to realize that you are in a toxic relationship. The warning signs were always there. You just failed to recognize or accept them or you chose to ignore them.
With so much at stake, you must pay attention to these warning signs. You can avoid heartaches and heartbreaks later on.
Some of these warning signs are so obvious and hard to miss, while others are there only if you care to look for them. The question is how to know if your relationship is toxic.
This article delves into the topic of abusive relationships and explains how to recognize a toxic relationship. You will find here a compilation of signs of a toxic relationship.
Toxic relationship: Meaning
A relationship is said to be toxic when the behavior of one partner is emotionally and at times, physically damaging to the other. A toxic or abusive relationship leads to low levels of self-esteem, confidence, and energy in the abused partner. Insecurity, dominance, controlling, and egocentric behavior are the highlights of an abusive partner.
Lack of trust, frequent lying, hostile communication, and all-take-no-give behavior are the hallmarks of a bad relationship.
Toxic relationship: Signs of warning
All relationships go through ups and downs. There are times when you feel closer to your partner or even mind read but there will also be times when you feel emotionally and mentally distant despite physical proximity.
Things like these can happen in healthy relationships too. After all, human nature is unpredictable.
However, when things are down more often than they are up, it is an indication that there is something more seriously wrong in the relationship. At least this warrants more attention and investigation to see if everything is alright.
When you dig deeper, if you come across one or more of these warning signs, you need to take action.
20 toxic relationship signs
A mild form of jealousy is common in relationships and can even help in spicing things up. However, when it exceeds the limit, it can turn toxic. Jealousy in its severe form can lead to a lack of trust. This is not a good sign for a healthy relationship. When you come across your boyfriend/girlfriend hacking into your phone or laptop and accessing its content or your social media account, you cannot write it off as love.
2. Love bombing
This starts as infatuation and madly in love. When your partner demands constant connection or goes into hyperdrive when they can’t reach you, you know your relationship is toxic.
3. Keeping score
A healthy relationship is all about giving and taking. It is not about keeping count on how much one gives and how much one takes. When your partner frequently reminds you of something you did that is unrelated to the current discussion, your red flag should go up.
4. Accused of causing misery
Everyone has bad days. But when you are blamed by your partner for theirs, you know that your relationship is not headed in the right direction.
5. Too much drama
When you experience an emotional rollercoaster in the relationship, you should know that something is not alright. A healthy relationship should be able to give you stability and make your life easier.
6. Ridicule and disrespect
The basic requirement of a healthy relationship is mutual respect. When this is missing in yours, it is time you wake up from the slumber and face the ugly reality.
7. Sacrifices and self-betrayal
When you feel forced to do or say certain things even if they are against your beliefs and values, you know that there is something wrong with your relationship. When you start to lose your identity, you know your relationship is not healthy.
8. Stalling and blocking conversation
Communication is one of the cornerstones of a healthy relationship. When you find your attempts for conversations and discussions being stonewalled, it is not a good sign. If your partner throws temper tantrums, you will feel too afraid to bring up topics that may act as triggers. This is unhealthy.
9. Boundaries are not respected
In a healthy relationship, the partners are encouraged to pursue their individual goals and set their personal boundaries. When your partner ignores the boundaries set by you, it is a sign of a bad relationship.
10. Dominant and controlling
A healthy relationship is an equal partnership. How power and responsibilities are shared in relationships may vary. However, if the power-sharing is one-sided and one partner has to take on most of the responsibilities, the relationship cannot be called healthy.
11. Robs of dignity
In a healthy relationship, partners should do everything to make each other feel better. When your partner is saying or doing things that make you feel insecure, insignificant, and uncomfortable, you are being deprived of your self-respect and confidence. You are in an abusive relationship.
12. Drained and exhausted
When you feel no excitement or enthusiasm left in life and are feeling weary of keeping up with the demands of your partner, it is high time you re-evaluate your relationship.
When your partner is angry, aggressive, unkind, bitter, or spiteful all the time, you would be feeling emotionally insecure and unsafe. This is definitely not a sign of a healthy relationship.
14. Physical abuse
This is hard to ignore though you may be pressured to forgive your partner. You may find it difficult to get out of such relationships on your own. Get help from people you trust or seek professional help.
15. Cutting off other relationships
When your partner takes you away from your support system, despite the claims of “we only need each other”, it is not healthy.
16. Suspicions and trust issues
If your partner has trouble trusting you or is suspicious of your actions and behavior, you are in an unhealthy relationship.
17. Unresolved past relationship
If your partner continues to have a more-than-friendly relationship with their ex, it points to unfinished business. This is definitely not healthy for your relationship.
18. Financial inequality
When your partner is showing excessive interest and exercising control over your finances and doesn’t extend the same privilege to you, it is a sure sign of a toxic relationship.
19. Personal growth is stunning
In a healthy relationship, partners are allowed to pursue their individual goals and will have enough space for individual growth. When you find yourself stagnating, you can be sure that your relationship is not healthy.
If you feel angry, bitter, and resentful all the time, it can be as a result of being ignored and unheard of. This is not a good sign.
There are red flags that should trigger concern in any relationship, especially if you’re in one that isn’t healthy. See 30 red flags of unhealthy relationship and learn to avoid them.
When your partner has no interest in your interests or in people you care about, it is time to sit up and take notice. It is hard to admit that your relationship is anything but perfect. But it is better to get out of such failing relationships than suffer the consequences.
If you find it difficult to make a decision on your own or have trouble carrying out your decision, ask for help from a person you trust. If this is not working, approach a professional for help.