Are you in a relationship that looks one-sided, where you constantly feel unhappy, drained and unloved? Or you are abused verbally, emotionally or even physically and you are unsure of your emotions? If your answer is yes to all the questions above, then you are most probably in a toxic relationship.
Did your relationship all of a sudden turn bitter, provoking, or your partner all of a sudden starts venting anger or starts becoming mean and unbearing? Then the journey to a toxic relationship just started.
Do you think you are in a toxic relationship but you aren’t sure yet, or could it be your relationship is just going through a rough patch which needs a little more effort? Read on to find out as the signs of a toxic relationship will give you a guide on what a toxic relationship looks like.
A toxic relationship is a relationship that portrays characters that are exhibited by the toxic partner. Such characters are usually emotional, psychological and even physically damaging to the other person involved, making them feel drained, stressed, unfulfilled and depleted.
A relationship can start off perfectly healthy and fulfilling but along the line, some unhealthy characters and attitudes may begin surfacing thereby changing the whole essence of the relationship. At this point, you may begin to notice signs of a toxic relationship.
Toxic relationships are not only common with romantic relationships, other forms of platonic and familiar relationship and friendship such as sibling-sibling, mother-daughter, employer-employee, etc., can also drift into toxic relationships.
A toxic relationship has the power to control emotions making one feel extremely low and bothered, adding negativity to your life making you lose your self worth and sense of humour. Toxic relationship behaviors can stem from childhood trauma, abuse, rape incidents, negligence, past relationships, insecurities, and even rumours.
Signs of a toxic relationship are sometimes glaring in a toxic person or they could be hidden traits that take some time to be noticed. They exhibit characters such as inconsistency, use of foul language, noticeably irresponsible, hard-heartedness, unforgiveness, manipulative, controlling, jealous, sad, indecisive, unreliable, etc. Toxic people are usually defensive of their positions and do not wish to be corrected.
Sometimes the signs of a toxic relationship might not be glaring and make you think it could be your relationship is just going through a rough patch. Yes, all relationships are indeed worth fighting for until you lose the goodwill to do so when you come to realize you can’t accept things the way they are going but you don’t need to wait until it begins to take its toll on your job, health or any other aspect of your life.
What then are the signs of a toxic relationship and a toxic partner:
1. They Always Find Something Wrong With You And Refer To Your Past Mistake
No one is perfect as we all have our excesses. We are all bound to make mistakes and offending your partner is inevitable and vice-versa because we are mortals and within us lies imperfection. That’s where forgiveness comes into play.
Every healthy relationship has rough days when we get angry and offended, but we talk about it to get to a resolution and forgive one another.
However, in a toxic relationship, the toxic partner always looks out for faults and doesn’t waste time in pointing accusing finger at their partners. This continues such that a partner would always have stones to throw at his partner for every little mistake.
This will degenerate to the point where they will always see something wrong in everything you do even when you put in your best efforts to please them. You could experience confrontations as ‘you no longer dress well’, ‘you no longer cook well’, ‘you didn’t make the bed well’, ‘your clothes are lying in the wrong position’, etc.
When making these complaints they make reference to previous mistakes of similar nature you made, in an attempt to justify their criticisms which are not constructive. A relationship that isn’t suffering from toxicity would pass corrections with love. This is one of the huge signs of a toxic relationship.
Scold me with love.
2. Your Relationship Becomes Conditional And It’s Based On Selfish Interest
You will be convinced you are in a toxic relationship when you notice that your significant other doesn’t care about how you feel neither does he/she care about your needs nor interested in what happens in your life.
It usually gets to the point where all they care about is how you accommodate their needs and all the things they can get from you and how you will make them feel good. It could be that you are being used for sensual gratification, monetary gains or to get to a position they desire.
They are all about “I can give you this only if you give me that” and you get to pay the highest worthy price. Your relationship is heading to a toxic end because they are concerned about the benefits they get from you. What happens when those benefits stop? Well, your guess is as good as mine.
Imagine your friend only calls because they know they can get money from you and not because they care. Don’t they even care to ask how you are doing?
Pause and think.
3. You Get Blamed For Their Emotional Trauma And You Still Get To Apologize
There are times when we tend to lose our cool and get crazy when we get frustrated or going through a tough period.
It could be due to stress, work pressure or even changes in body chemistry as it’s common with ladies and mood swing issues experienced in that special time of the month. You know we humans sometimes just want to vent our anger on someone so we can feel better, a bit relieved and make them understand our pain.
However, when such actions become the norm of your relationship and you get blamed and lashed for everything that happens to them including their past emotional trauma, such that you are manipulated to make your life revolve around their emotional challenges, your relationship is getting to a toxic level.
You will eventually find yourself exhibiting resentment towards them as well as being extremely careful to avoid any entanglement in their daily troubles.
This could have emanated from the fact your partner is emotionally immature. As a matter of fact, most relationships that involve teenagers are always having this particular challenge. Most adults who have refused to mature emotionally will exhibit similar circumstances.
In this case, your partner has poor emotional intelligence. You will find yourself having to take care of them and help them deal with their regular emotional disturbances and challenges. You will also end up apologizing regularly to them so they can always feel better.
Some partners will create fictitious scenarios in their lives and cause you to pay for it even if it will cost you dearly or even your peace of mind.
4. You Feel Drained Of All Your Positive Energy Without Any Meaningful Or Positive Impact
Being around the special people in your life should be special moments where fond memories are created whether family, friends or a romantic partner. You should always leave feeling energized with a whole lot of positive vibes.
If then you realize that is not the case but instead your relationships leave you regularly drained, going back with sad thoughts so much so you get to question yourself and you don’t always look forward to spending time with them, then check.
In a toxic relationship, there is no room for growth because they don’t make a conscious effort into seeing you be the best version of you. This will obviously leave you exhausting in the relationship.
5. They Stop Taking Responsibilities
In healthy relationships, both partners take responsibility for their actions. When there is a bridge both partners make an effort to build back the connection through communication. This is not the case in a toxic relationship where the toxic partner refuses to take responsibility for his/her actions. Instead, they look for excuses to either pass the blame to someone else or justify their actions.
According to Megan Fleming, a relationship therapist in New York City, “a sign of a toxic relationship is when your partner never admits to their wrongs, doesn’t take responsibility for their actions or always needs to have the last say in an argument”.
6. You Are Always Scared Of Being Yourself Around Them Because You Don’t Want To Offend Them
Relationships are interesting when we can freely express ourselves without fear of being judged for who we are. You want your spouse or your parent to be your biggest fan, cheer you up to success and celebrate little wins with you.
When your partner doesn’t care or pay attention to happenings around you, you get scared of saying how you feel or whats going on in your mind or even your plans.
You also don’t want to relate your mistakes because you are scared of being shut down and discouraged. They belittle you and make you feel less of yourself and gradually you start to lose your self-esteem and you hide your true identity such that you sometimes question who you really are especially when you are with them.
Relationships without mutual desire for the others happiness and peace of mind, little issues linger for long without a positive attitude towards resolving them as most toxic partners do not have conflict resolution skills.
7. They Become Abusive
Most toxic relationships are always abusive. The abuse can be emotional, psychological, emotional or even physical. No one has the right to abuse you in any way especially when it comes to physical abuse. There are no two ways about it because if they ever try it once, it is sure to repeat itself.
Toxic persons are very abusive because they tend to look for ways to pour out all their anger and toxicity on anyone close to them especially people who are closely knitted to them.
Toxic people are bitter, full of offense and little actions trigger their anger. You become sick from their thought and you are always nervous because you don’t know what to expect from them anymore.
8. They Have Bad Behaviours And You Are Always Making Excuse For Them Hoping They Will Change And They Show No Remorse
The feeling of love can make one blind to faults which causes you to see the other person as perfect. Truth be told, we all should have an acceptable limit of tolerance of misbehaviour in any relationship. This will help identify a toxic person at the beginning of a relationship.
Toxic people are never apologetic about their inappropriate actions because they always feel right about themselves. The moment you begin to realize that you have been making too many excuses for your partner with the hope of getting them to behave differently but to no avail, it’s time to jump the ship because you are in for a toxic relationship.
Toxic partners tend to get worse by the day and even when you try to cover up their excesses by presenting them to the world in a good light, even defending their negative actions, you’ll only get yourself hurt. How long will you keep fighting for them before friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, etc.?
Most times sticking to them longer than necessary causes you to start acting up in the same manner as your toxic partner. You both will find yourself living in a different world because every other person becomes an enemy. In fact, when people notice you are putting up with a toxic partner, everyone tends to leave you two miles apart.
The actions of a toxic partner will usually make you feel insecure. Most of the time, a toxic partner gives the impression that you can’t do without them but they can do without you. Once you believe that, you find yourself in a state of low esteem and in an atmosphere of thoughts that will suggest you will be helpless once you leave them.
All their action will keep making you feel insecure about the relationship. They will usually say words that suggest they can walk out of the relationship anytime without considering how you feel. You always feel like someone is doing a favour by being your partner.
They could also be the ones with insecurities issues, they feel threatened by your actions and always read meaning to every action you take because they feel you can leave them anytime or you could seek for someone better. Of course, a toxic partner already knows you are not like them.
They know you are better mannered. They recognize the fact that something is wrong with their actions. They may or may not admit this before you but deep down, there is this feeling that they may lose you. This comes with extra scrutiny towards your contacts and towards your actions because they know you could leave them for a better person.
10. Competition And Struggle For Power
Competition can occur in a relationship when one partner begins to feel like he/she is less important than the other or one partner feels the other person is doing better than him/her. In this case, they find themselves striving to be like the other person or even better.
They always want to control the other person so they can feel powerful and have a feel of being in charge of the relationship. They don’t mind sabotaging your means of sustenance so you don’t overpower them in the struggle of power.
Such Toxic relationships are common in the workplace and even among siblings. It could sound outrageous but couples who are driven to pursue their career at all cost could find themselves in such a situation.
Do not ignore the signs of a toxic relationship when you begin to notice them. Take the first step of talking with your partner because effective communication goes a long way in solving many problems.
Some toxic partners do not see their actions as being toxic according to Dr. Gloria Brame, an award-winning relationship therapist and best-selling author. “For the toxic partner, toxic relationships are a norm and they do not see anything wrong”. The first solution to a problem is accepting wrong and taking responsibility for your actions.
When they, however, become unbearable, it’s better to leave such relationships. Toxic relationships can drain you and affect your mental health.
In a toxic relationship, more damage can be caused if you choose to stay put. Let go and move on, you deserve something better. A toxic relationship is likened to a poisonous substance, imagine taking poison and hoping you will not die.
Once you successfully come out of a toxic relationship, you will begin to feel better, you feel positive and your confidence and your self-esteem will boost and you begin to grow other useful and positive relationships. I will like to read from you in the comment section, let me read about your experiences if you have had any or you are currently in a toxic relationship.
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