Signs of a Toxic Relationship – Everything You Need to Know
No one really wants to get into a toxic relationship. Almost everyone believes they will spot the signs and get out of the mess quickly. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as it sounds and many remain trapped inside a vicious cycle of abuse and toxicity until they reach a breaking point. While it isn’t easy to get out of such a situation, being aware of the signs of a toxic relationship can help.At eTherapyPro, we encourage people to seek therapy when they believe they may ve in a toxic relationship.
What is a Toxic Relationship?
Before we look into the different signs of a toxic relationship, we need to understand what a toxic relationship truly is. The word toxic is often used in most mundane or benign cases. Small squabbles over normal day-to-day issues that resolve quickly and don’t have an impact on your mental health aren’t toxic.
A toxic relationship is a situation that actively harms your mental and/or physical well-being. If being in the relationship is lowering your self-esteem, making you question your judgment, making you feel alone or trapped, it may be toxic.
A toxic relationship is very harmful and can sometimes harm others associated with the relationship as well – such as extended family members. It can be particularly stressful and traumatic for children of parents in a toxic relationship.
Signs that Your Relationship is Toxic
There are many signs that indicate your relationship is toxic and you need help to overcome it. Some signs are easy to identify while others are more subtle. We have a list of 10 signs to look out for:
- Poor Support
A relationship is a part of your support system. It is a way for humans to support and comfort each other, helping them reach their goals in life. If your relationship doesn’t support you or if your partner is actively competing with you and feeling jealous of your success, it is a sign of a toxic relationship. If you feel trapped and stressed when you’re spending time with your partner instead of feeling supported and sheltered, it is time to consider therapy.
- Poor and Hurtful Communication
Communication is the key to maintaining a healthy balance in a relationship. Partners need to convey their feelings and ideas clearly, listen to what their partner has to say, and maintain an open rapport. However, toxic communication isn’t balanced. It often ends up being one-sided, oppressive, and full of misunderstandings. Sometimes a toxic partner will deliberately misinterpret your words just for the sake of an argument. If the communication is stressful and arguments are recurring, you need to consider getting therapy for toxic relationships.
- Disrespecting Loved Ones
Manipulative partners will often target their partner’s loved ones. They will make comments on family members, and friends, discourage maintaining a good relationship with them, and more. These are all attempts to isolate you and pressure you into putting some distance between you and your support structure. This is one of the more alarming signs of a toxic partner because it can make you vulnerable to them. If you notice this behavior, seek assistance immediately to avoid further issues.
- Controlling Behavior
Toxic partners will attempt to control your behavior and try to keep tabs on you. Most people don’t realize this is happening because it can start very innocently. It can begin with your spouse asking where you were or how did you spend your time away. These are often innocent questions but the moment your partner starts becoming displeased with the answers and tries to stop you from engaging in activities outside your relationship, you need to consider the possibility that you are in a toxic relationship.
- Resentment and Spite
Resentment and spite are very clear red flags when it comes to a relationship. Arguments can happen in even the healthiest relationship but holding on to resentment well after the argument is over can cause problems. There are many reasons why people hold on to resentment. Some do it because they don’t trust their partner to listen while others do it because holding onto the resentment feels better than admitting to a mistake. Regardless of the reasons, holding onto resentment for an extended period of time can be a sign that your relationship is toxic.
Lying is a sign of a relationship that is well on its way to becoming unhealthy. If you catch your partner lying to you frequently or you find yourself lying to them because you don’t feel safe enough to tell the truth, we recommend getting some toxic relationship counseling. You may need all of the support you can get to identify the root cause of the problem. Dishonesty is an indication of a lack of trust with your significant other and may indicate a toxic relationship.
- Dropping the Ball
A partner has certain responsibilities towards their loved one. Things like failing to show up, failing to offer support, disregarding their share of responsibilities, etc, are all signs of a toxic partner. If your partner is regularly absent and doesn’t handle their share of responsibilities, it is time to consider seeking therapy. This is especially necessary if your partner is dropping the ball in regards to their parenting responsibilities.
- Issues with Money
Most couples develop their own system when it comes to money. People eventually come to an agreement about what they need to run their life and household together. It is fairly common for individual partners to spend money on things they like even if their partner disapproves of them. That isn’t toxic behavior. However, if your partner agrees to something and then backs away from the agreement, it may be a sign of toxic behavior. That is especially true if you made a major financial commitment and your partner’s lack of adherence will cause real distress. If your partner makes large purchases without your consent or if they hide money this may also suggest some toxic behavior.
- Being Extra Cautious
When you are in a healthy and loving relationship with a partner, you are comfortable with them. You share your thoughts and don’t feel the need to hold yourself back in your own home. However, if you’re spending most of your time at home walking around on eggshells, unable to feel comfortable, and rehearsing conversations in advance you may need to consider therapy for toxic relationships.
If you see these signs of a toxic relationship in your life, we encourage you to reach out to us at eTherapyPro. We’re a well-established online therapy platform with many qualified and dedicated therapists.