What is a toxic relationship ?
A toxic relationship is a relationship characterized by behaviours on the part of the toxic partner that are emotionally, mentally & physically damaging to their partner. When a relationship becomes toxic, every interaction in the relationship can feel wrong or out of place, brimming with negative energy that makes both partners uncomfortable, angry, having regrets and disappointed.
Here are some signs that you may be in a toxic relationship or to help you recognize a toxic relationship:
- When your partner prioritizes being attractive over being honest.
If you catch your partner prioritizing being attractive over being honest, it’s a red flag. This shows that your partner is willing to lie to you or deceive you, if it’ll get them to be perceived the way they desire. They’re even willing to hide or hold something back from you, thinking you’ll love them less for it. They might hide the fact that they’re a single mum or a single dad. As excuse, they might say that they loved you so much, that they didn’t wanna risk losing you.
- When your partner have opposite religious belief.
Most times, it’s advisable that two people of different faith shouldn’t start a relationship, because the difference in their religious belief could cause great disagreement between them about raising children, how to spend time & money, friendships, where to live, etc. Religious incompatibility can be a deal breaker for a lot of people. It’s the kind of topic that needs to be discussed early on. If you’re unmarried yet, try to see if you can make things work, but if you can’t, don’t force it. Recognize the incompatibility & consciously decide to stay in spite of it or to move on because of it.
- When your partner makes it a headache to not give them what they want.
You shouldn’t be in a relationship where people are motivated to do something by avoiding a headache. You should be in a relationship where you & your partner treat each other the way you both want to be treated because you’re inspired to. Your partner could cause you headache by nagging over and over again or they could also cause you headache by attacking your self esteem & insulting you until you do what they want, just to prove them wrong. Sometimes, they might frequently use negative emotions to get you to do what they want. For instance: disgust, sadness, rage, fake tears, etc.
- When your partner always find something wrong with you.
Gary Lewandowski Jr. (PhD, a professor of psychology at monmouth university) says
A partner who offers unsolicited suggestions for what you need to improve, doesn’t support your interests or hobbies and fundamentally criticizes the aspects of who you are, is definitely toxic.
- When your friends or family don’t like your relationship.
Naturally, we know that our family members or good friends have our interests at heart & they wouldn’t desire us to end up in a wrong marriage. So when you hear stuffs like ‘ why is she talking to you like this ? ’ or ‘ why is he doing that ? ’, it shows they’re bothered. Don’t always ignore their advice, but look into it & see if there’s truth in it. Though, don’t allow your family members or friends decide how you live your life, especially in marriage. It’s a red flag, if they’re doubting your relationship.
- When your partner’s action doesn’t match their words.
Most times, your partner will say that they’ll never want to hurt you, but they don’t mean it & their actions will always leave you hurt inside. They might say they love you, but there’s lack of commitment. They may even make a promise but never fulfilling any.
- When your partner don’t bring out the best in you.
The best you might be is someone who is really confident, secure and is a lot of fun, but if you become the opposite when you’re around your partner– you have low self esteem, you’re less confident, you’re doubting the things they say– you might want to think about your relationship and take the right step because it’s not too late. Your partner should add values to you & you to them.
- When your relationship is like a rollercoaster with lots of extreme highs & extreme lows.
This is a good sign of a toxic relationship. It seems like an endless drama stirred up by your partner. If you find yourself normalizing things like fighting, nagging, etc. It shows that your relationship needs a rethink. And it might also indicate that your relationship may be built more on addiction & codependence.
- When you & your partner don’t have a positive feeling about the future.
In a toxic relationship, you & your partner don’t talk about the future or how the future would feel with both of you together. It sometimes seem that you don’t even know where you stand with your partner. They’re hot today & cold tomorrow.
- When you keep waiting for them to change.
Here are common objections or forms of resistance people have to leaving a toxic relationships
- “ I don’t want to be alone. ”
- “ I still love him\her. ”
- “ It’s my first serious relationship. ”
- “ Our relationship didn’t start this way, I’m sure it will get better. ”
- I have children, a house, a career & I feel trapped.
- And many more.
The longer you stay in a toxic relationship, the harder it can be to exit from it. Once you’re unmarried yet, don’t wait till it’s too late. Start a new & healthy relationship with the right partner who deserves you.
Toxic Relationship Quiz
If you’re still struggling to figure out whether your relationship is toxic or not, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I like the person I am, around my partner ?
- Do I feel safe around my partner ?
- Does my partner respect my moral|sexual|emotional boundaries ?
- Do I feel heard, seen & respected by my partner ?
- Can I express my thoughts and feelings openly around my partner ?
- Does my partner say sorry or show remorse for wrong doings ?
- Does my partner say sorry quite often & makes no change ?
- Do I feel equal with my partner ?
- Can I often unwind & feel calm around my partner ?
- Does my partner bring out the better values in me ?
- Can I rely on my partner ?
- Do I feel free to change and grow in my relationship ?
- Is there a mutual desire to work through past grievances ?
The more you answer “ NO ”, the more likely you’re in a toxic relationship. Help yourself and take necessary steps today, for a better tomorrow.
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