A healthy relationship is built on love, trust, and mutual respect. However, some relationships can turn toxic over time, which can be damaging to both partners. Toxic relationships can manifest in different ways, and it's important to recognize the signs before they escalate into something worse.
What is a toxic relationship?
A toxic relationship contaminates your self-esteem, your happiness and the way you see yourself and the world. A toxic person will float through life with a trail of broken hearts, broken relationships and broken people behind them, but toxic relationships don’t necessarily end up that way because the person you fell for turned out to be a toxic one. Relationships can start healthy, but bad feelings, bad history, or long-term unmet needs can fester, polluting the relationship and changing the people in it. It can happen easily and quickly, and it can happen to the strongest people.
Can I fix it?
All relationships are worth the fight, until they’re not. In a toxic relationship there will always be fallout:
- moodiness, anger, unhappiness become the norm;
- you avoid each other more and more;
- work and relationships outside the toxic relationship start to suffer.
If the relationship is toxic, it is highly likely that all the fight in the world won’t change anything because one or both people have emotionally moved on. Perhaps they were never really there in the first place, or not in the way you needed them to be anyway. Even worse, if your relationship is toxic, you will be more and more damaged by staying in it.
Fighting to hold on to something that is not fighting to hold on to you will ruin you. Sometimes the only thing left to do is to let go with grace and love and move on.
What are the signs that I’m in a toxic relationship?
Being aware that the relationship is toxic is vital in protecting yourself from breakage. To stay in a toxic relationship is to keep your hand hovering over the self-destruct button. Not all toxic relationships are easy to leave, but being aware of the signs will make it easier to claim back your power and draw a bold heavy line around what’s allowed into your life and what gets closed out.
Toxic behaviour exists on a spectrum. All people and all relationships do some of these things some of the time – but that doesn’t make them toxic. A toxic relationship is defined by the consistency, the intensity and the damage. Here are some of the signs.
Constant Criticism: If your partner is always criticizing you or making negative comments about your appearance, intelligence, or behavior, this could be a sign of a toxic relationship.
Jealousy and Possessiveness: If your partner is overly jealous or possessive and tries to control who you spend time with, where you go, and what you do, this could be a red flag.
Emotional Manipulation: If your partner tries to manipulate your emotions by playing mind games or using guilt, this could be a sign of a toxic relationship.
Lack of Support: If your partner doesn't support you or your goals and dreams, this could be a sign of a toxic relationship.
Gaslighting: If your partner tries to make you doubt your own thoughts and feelings or twist the truth to make you feel crazy, this could be a sign of gaslighting.
Intimidation: If your partner uses threats or intimidation to control you or make you feel afraid, this is a sign of a toxic relationship.
Lack of Trust: If there's a lack of trust between you and your partner, it can be hard to build a healthy relationship. Trust is the foundation of any relationship, and without it, things can quickly turn toxic.
Passive-Aggressive Behavior: If your partner uses passive-aggressive behavior like giving you the silent treatment, making sarcastic comments, or withholding affection, this could be a sign of a toxic relationship.
Constant Fighting: If you and your partner are always fighting and can't seem to resolve your issues, this could be a sign of a toxic relationship.
Blaming: If your partner always blames you for everything that goes wrong in the relationship or their life, this could be a sign of a toxic relationship.
Lack of Communication: If your partner doesn't communicate with you or shuts down when you try to talk to them, this could be a sign of a toxic relationship.
Disrespect: If your partner disrespects you by belittling you, talking down to you, or insulting you, this is a sign of a toxic relationship.
Controlling Behavior: If your partner tries to control every aspect of your life, from what you wear to where you go, this could be a sign of a toxic relationship.
Dishonesty: If your partner lies to you or keeps secrets, it can erode trust in the relationship and lead to toxic behavior.
Physical Abuse: If your partner becomes physically abusive or threatens to harm you, this is a serious red flag and you should seek help immediately.