All relationships will have their ups and downs, the good times and the bad. It’s the nature of being human. We aren’t always going to get along and agree. There will be differences of opinion, issues with things the other person has said or done, etc. However, you should be able to talk through those things. A relationship—a good relationship—should be about ensuring that you are happy, respected, safe, cared for, and allowed to be yourself without fear, and a toxic relationship can be quite the opposite.
However, many people are involved in toxic relationships. These types of relationships make people feel upset, nervous, angry, and drained. They are a lot of work on the part of one person for no true, good results. However, many people get inured to these situations. They don’t even realize that they are in a toxic relationship that is doing them more harm than it is good.
Signs of a Toxic Relationship
Below are some of the signs that you might be in a toxic relationship. Keep in mind that these are just some of the signs and symptoms. If you ever feel unsafe or unhappy in a relationship, you should get out of it.
They Take and Don’t Give
Are you in a relationship where it seems like all you do is give and try to make the other person happy, only to have them do nothing in return? If you are the only one putting in any effort into the marriage to make it work, it can feel like you shouldn’t even bother. It may even mean that the other person has already “checked out” of the marriage. Maybe they just feel it’s your duty to give as much as you do. Regardless, it’s not conducive to a healthy, happy relationship.
You Don’t Trust Them
Do you feel that you can’t trust the other person? Are you worried that they would cheat on your or are you worried they might steal from you? If you are in a relationship where you can’t trust the person you are with there is no way you will ever be truly happy and at peace. These relationships don’t work out well, so it’s better to get out of them before they get even worse.
It’s Hostile or Violent
Sometimes, relationships feel dangerous… but they shouldn’t. No one should ever have to be around someone they worry might have an outburst or might hurt them because of something they said or did, or for no reason at all. However, abuse of this type—physical, mental, and emotional—happens far too often. You need to extricate yourself from these relationships as soon as possible.
So Much Negativity
Sometimes, there isn’t necessarily violence or hostility. However, there may simply be a cloud of negativity that surrounds the relationship. Your partner might have a negative outlook on life, love, and the world at large. Although they might not be putting you down or harming you physically, this can end up being a major drain on you. It can deplete your energy and your happiness.
Does your partner have control issues? Are they always telling you what to do, where you can go, who you can hang out with, and what you can buy? Does it go beyond merely being interested in what’s happening in your life and having normal concerns for your safety? Do they try to control certain aspects of your life? If they do, it’s a toxic relationship and one that is often disguised as love and “watching out for you” in the beginning.
Does the person treat you with disrespect? Are you not allowed to have your own opinions? Are you talked down to? Mutual respect is one of the most important things for a good partnership. If it doesn’t exist, you will have a lot of trouble in the future.
You Feel Unhappy
If you generally just feel unhappy when you are around the other person or when you think about them, there’s a high chance of toxicity. Why would you want to be with someone if they make you feel this way? Wouldn’t it be better and healthier for you to get out of the relationship?
What Should You Do?
If you find that some or all of the issues mentioned above apply to your relationship, it’s not a good sign. It means that there is some serious trouble in the marriage (or partnership if you aren’t married yet). It also means that the best thing for you to do is to get out of that toxic space as soon as possible.
This is often easier said than done depending on how long you have been together and whether you are married, if there are children, etc. Still, finding a way out sooner rather than later is always in your best interest.
People who are in these relationships often have to take some time to recognize that there is a problem. Once you do, and once you realize that you may have been in denial—sometimes for years—it becomes easier. You can see the problems and the patterns, and you can start to try to find a way out.
Often, this means getting some additional help. It might be from friends and family if you need a place to stay for a while once you are out of the relationship. In cases where there is violence, it might be getting the authorities involved and getting a protective order.
You want to do your best to surround yourself with positive people, particularly when you are first getting out of one of these relationships. It’s too easy to go back if you aren’t careful and if you aren’t adamant about moving on and taking a healthier approach with your life going forward.
Additionally, don’t feel guilty that you were in one of these relationships. It happens to a lot of people, and it often sneaks up on you. Things are fine one day and eventually, you realize that everything has changed. Don’t blame yourself but do help yourself out of a bad situation.