7 Signs of a Toxic Relationship: Are You in One?

Relationships aren’t always rainbows and unicorns — Bumps down the road are essential to strengthen the bond between a couple, and as stressful as they may seem it isn’t necessarily one of the signs of a Toxic relationship. On the contrary, it’s actually completely natural to have them in your relationship.

At the end of the day, what really matters is for you to feel loved, respected, trusted, cared, and at the same time have a sense of security in your relationship. Those aspects are what differentiate a simple partnership from a healthy relationship. This is one side of the coin.

If there is a good side of relationships, there certainly is a bad and sometimes a worse side as well. The side that drains you mentally as well as physically, and no matter how much you would want to run away from this side, it will always pull you in.

The side that is commonly referred to as toxic relationships.

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Toxic relationship meaning.

7 Signs of a Toxic Relationship: Are You in One?

The meaning of toxic relationship in most simple words is a type of relationship which is driven by a dominating partner who possesses toxic traits in his or her personality.

At the same time, It’s not a necessity for only one of the partners to be toxic, in some circumstances both the partners are equally toxic for each other and sometimes it’s the external forces that drive a relationship towards toxicity.

If a healthy relationship contributes to our social, mental and emotional well-being then a toxic relationship destroys each of them.

Toxic relationships are known to damage the self-esteem of the victim and drain them emotionally and physically.

They are characterised by insecurity, dominance, control and in certain cases fear. Sometimes the toxicity in these relationships increases to a level where it becomes risky for people to be with each other.

Now the question stands, if someone is stuck in such a toxic relationship (trust me, there are more people than you can possibly imagine) What are they to do in that situation? Well, the main focus should definitely be to get out of such circumstances as soon as possible. But to get out a toxic relationship you have to first recognise one.

Recognising and eventually examining the affected areas take first place in the process of eliminating a problem from your life. You have to first know the problem at hand and the extent of damage it has done in order to weed it out.

To make this process easier to understand, Below are the 7 signs of a toxic relationship. If you feel like your relationship resonates with the below-mentioned signs of a Toxic Relationship then, I’m sorry to tell you, but you are more likely than not in the type relationship which is harmful for your physical and mental health.

The type that will only pull you down to great depths. On the other hand, if you don’t (as it shouldn’t) you should still take some notes for the future.

1. Gaslighting – the backbone of a toxic relationship.

A guy being ghaslighted in a Toxic relationship
Photo by Inzmam Khan on Pexels

One of the top signs of a Toxic Relationships. In simple words gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which the victim is forced to question his/her sanity, perception of reality and even memories.

Sometimes your heart needs more time to accept what your mind already knows.

Why did I put a quote as such, in the middle of nowhere? Well, you’ll soon understand but for the time being forget about the quote and focus on the above definition.

By the words of it, most of the people will get a say — my partner would never do such a thing with me or my partner has never done any of the above-mentioned things to me.

Now go back to the quote and give it a thought.
Gaslighting isn’t your partner being straight up and stating you’ve lost your mind or memories. Instead, It is a vicious cycle of lies, dependency, emotional manipulation and control.

A cycle that always starts off with simple statements like — you sure about that? I mean, you have a bad memory. Or I don’t know what you’re talking about Or you are just trying to confuse me. They will even deny things that they’ve done and instead would turn the cards on you with things like I never did that, what is wrong with your head? or is this coming from your crazy imagination?

In the beginning, you won’t even pay much attention to their changing behaviour due to its low-lying nature.

It is very hard to notice this one of the signs of a toxic relationship. In some cases, people even start to make excuses for their partner’s bad behaviour to convince their friends, family and even their own self, the otherwise which also brings us to the next point.

If you are or have been with such (narcissist, gaslighter, sociopaths or toxic) partner, family member or friend in the past, then self-love will act as one of your main strengths in overcoming the stress, anxiety and toxicity of the past.

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2. You make excuses for the toxic behaviour of your partner.

A woman making excuses for the toxic behaviour of her partner is the sign of a toxic relationship.
Photo by Budgeron Bach
on Pexels

If you constantly have to make excuses for your partner’s off- behaviour towards you or others close to you. It is one of the major signs of a Toxic Relationship.

They didn’t text or call you? Well, they are busy. They yelled at you? they must have had a hectic day. Don’t want to meet your family? They don’t like to socialize much. They are calling you by derogatory words? Must be due to a bad work-day, Stress, must not be feeling well. How can you even consider this relationship as a healthy one?

People who are in toxic relationships will find many things to blame for their partners’ shitty behaviour, except the culprit who is their very own partner.

Sometimes your eyes and even the conscious would pass over the toxicity of your relationship or partner because of the love you hold for them in your heart but on the very other hand a third person with a fresh perspective might catch on to them very quickly.

Hence, when your friends and family try to warn you about the toxic behaviour of your partner, instead of making excuses or thinking of them as outsiders, you should sit down and give it a good thought.

Are your family members really the outsiders or do they just want the best for you?

3. Your partner has controlling nature.

A woman controlling her partner in a toxic setup.
Photo by Alex Green on Pexels

Controlling behaviour is one of the very common signs of toxic relationships. Like everything it starts off with little things like telling you what’s right and what’s wrong but quickly escalates to a situation where you will feel like a bird trapped in a golden cage.

Don’t wear this. Don’t hang out with these people. Don’t post this picture. You can’t do this or that — if you hear these statements commonly from your partner then your relationship is far from a healthy one.

On the High level, this controlling behaviour can go to heights like wanting to know what you are doing or where you are at all the time, trying to control your finances, friend circle, wanting access to your social media (yes, it’s toxic!), Keeping you away from your family and giving you no privacy whatsoever.

There’s a thin line between suggesting and telling you what’s right and wrong, the line which also differentiates your relationship between a healthy and toxic one. You must understand that your partner has no right to control your life, thoughts, desires and beliefs.

4. All give and no take is one of the signs of a toxic relationship.

A partner screaming on her partner is one of the major signs of a Toxic Relationship.
Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels

A healthy relationship is the one where there is an equal contribution of give and take and on the toxic front it’s always give and no take.

If you are constantly neglecting your needs and feeding off your partner’s desires and happiness then the balance of a relationship is lost. If your partner isn’t considering your feelings, wants, desires even though you are providing them with all the above things, it’s one of the major signs of a toxic relationship.

If you frequently find yourself compromising on various fronts just to please your partner or always being the one that contributes most to make your relationship work then it can’t possibly be a healthy one.

A biased division of house chores and responsibilities in a relationship is also a perfect example of all give and no take relationships.

5. A communication gap pushes a relationship towards Toxicity.

Women with her ears closed
Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels

Communication gap is one of the most common problems of couples during this time and not every couple who faces communication difficulties has a toxic relationship but if you are facing something similar it’s better to solve the problem before it erodes your relationship and turns it into a toxic one.

On the other hand, if your relationship is going through hostile communication tactics then let me clear the air out for you— your relationship isn’t too far away from turning toxic, that being said if it isn’t already toxic. Now, what does hostile communication seem like?

Constant yelling at each other, calling each other derogatory names and hurtful phrases, verbal or physical intimidation, throwing or breaking things while arguing. Did any of those ring a bell? I hope it didn’t.

But it wasn’t always like that (or it isn’t like that, yet) right? Of Course, it wasn’t or isn’t because the beginning of a toxic communication looks something like — giving each other a silent treatment, constantly blaming each other during arguments, interrupting each other, all talking and no listening and last but definitely not the least not being interested in your partner’s side of the conversation.

6. Jealousy.

A couple stuck in a toxic relationship having resentment for each other
Photo by Alex Green on Pexels

Envy is the killer of a relationship, whether it’s a romantic one or not. It is almost as bad as infidelity.

When your partner starts to become jealous, not only does it become very toxic for you to stay with them but it also becomes very bad for their own mental health. Alas! They don’t understand it sooner.

If your partner doesn’t celebrate you, your growth opportunities and success then the relationship turns very negative and eventually toxic.

Jealousy reflects your partner’s insecurities, fears and the little envy soon takes the shape of resentment, anger, frustration and sometimes even disgust and a relationship that involves these aspects is bound to fall from the day it began.

7. Walking on eggshells is one of the signs of a Toxic Relationship.

Signs of a Toxic relationship
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels

If you feel like you have to suppress your thoughts around your partner to not make them go all nuts with frustration or anger then it’s one of the signs of a toxic relationship as well as toxic partner.

Sometimes people oppress themselves to avoid having conflict with their partner and sometimes they simply do so because they are intimidated by them or scared to provoke them but whatever the reason is, if you can’t be yourself around your partner then it’s indeed a toxic situation.

You should never feel like you are walking on eggshells around your partner and if you do, trust me not only is it one of the signs of a toxic relationship but your partner also needs help.

A relationship should be your safe place, where you feel secure, respected and loved. A place where you can happily be, who you are, a place where you are heard and your voice is appreciated not the other way around.

Dealing with a Toxic Relationship.

It is important to know when you need help and not hesitate to reach out to ask for it. There will be some things that might be left unsolved in your mind in this process of dealing with a toxic relationship and later on come to disturb your mental health, other relationships or life in general.

No matter if you decide to leave a toxic relationship or fix it. You should definitely consider going to therapy in order to get your inner self at peace, deal with your unchecked traums and walk towards a better as well as brighter tomorrow.

I’m not saying you certainly need a therapist to get over a toxic relationship but giving one a small visit doesn’t sound so bad either, especially when you can do so from the ease of your home.

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Conclusion – Signs of a Toxic Relationship.

Dont forget to check out the part 2 of this article for complete information.

Not every relationship is toxic from the very beginning. The type of off-behaviour that you feel like you should tolerate or endure today would turn into a much more problematic situation tomorrow. A situation which many people find hard to escape. Hard not impossible.

Toxic behaviour always starts from mild toxicity to severe or excessive.

According to me, toxicity is a disease and just like a disease if it is recognised in an early stage there’s a good chance of curing and preventing it to ruin you further but on the other hand it’s left untouched till its roots are dug deep into your relationship, there stays no change but to eradicate the source of the disease which in this case is your relationship.

When I say toxic relationships can be cured at an early stage, keyword — early stage. Do mind I’m talking about toxic relationships, not abusive ones.

It is very important to face the problem in order to cure it. No matter how hard it is, you have to stop giving excuses to yourself and start believing that your relationship is a toxic one (if it is) in order to get help.

At the end of the day, the faster you come out of your denial and acknowledge the problem, the faster you’ll be down to get the help and the better would be the chances of saving your relationship.

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Thank you for sticking with me till the very end.

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