We love and trust freely, but that isn’t always reciprocated the way we’d like it to be.
Unfortunately, every 20 minutes in the United States, somebody is being abused by their partner.
Does that statistic hit close to home? The signs of an unhealthy relationship aren’t always obvious or easy to face up to, but that doesn’t change the reality.
If you’re not sure if you’re in a toxic relationship, here are 7 telltale signs you shouldn’t ignore.
Jealousy and Negativity Are Common
Jealousy can be a natural element in many relationships, but it can be an overwhelmingly toxic sign if it creeps into every facet of your life with your partner.
If jealousy, and negativity more generally, are common in your relationship, it’s time to re-evaluate. What constitutes toxic negativity, however?
Passive aggressiveness could be one sign. Putdowns, criticism, and behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable shouldn’t be tolerated. Neither, too, should gaslighting.
Gaslighting is where you are made to doubt the validity of your concerns. Don’t question your sanity in those circumstances – question the person who makes you feel that way.
Arguments Without Resolutions
Every relationship requires you to be able to adequately communicate with your other half. Unfortunately, in a relationship on the rocks, you’re more likely to argue in anger and without resolutions.
Arguments like these tend to indicate that there are things that are troubling in your relationship that you’re failing to solve. You can only solve issues like these together.
That’s not to say that the blame is yours alone, or yours to share. Communication is two-way, and you may find yourself dealing with a partner that won’t respond with anything other than anger.
If you or your partner can’t or won’t communicate, you’re at a dead end in your relationship.
You Prefer to Stay Apart
You should be able to enjoy spending time with your partner or, at the very least, be able to stay in the same room together. If you can’t, why are you staying together in a relationship?
That’s the question you need to ask yourself if you find yourself preferring to spend more time apart. Ask yourself, too, why it might be the case.
Is it mentally draining being around your partner, or are you under physical threat? Domestic violence or abuse, as our earlier statistic showed, is far too common.
Remaining in your partner’s company isn’t something you have to do, but if you don’t want to, then consider the future of your relationship with care.
You Don’t Feel like Yourself
There’s often no one, single cause for a relationship that’s toxic – that’s why it can sometimes be difficult to recognize the signs.
Rather than looking at signs in your relationship first, look instead at yourself.
How much has the relationship you’re in changed who you are? Do you find yourself more upset and more doubtful than you ever were?
Anxiety issues are common in toxic relationships, as you’re faced with the battle of hiding your own emotions and worries to satisfy your partner. You can learn more about the 5 most common types of anxiety disorders from our guide.
If you don’t feel like yourself anymore, you should consider whether your relationship is the root cause of those changes.
Your Partner Has Excessive Control over You
When you leave the house, do you have to ask your partner for permission? What about when you see friends or family members?
The best kind of relationships exists between two, equal partners. Both are adults, and both are capable of making decisions, either for themselves or as a team.
Permission shouldn’t come into it. You are not a chattel or a property of another person. A relationship doesn’t mean seceding your free will to another.
Unfortunately, isolation and control tend to come hand in hand in relationships with abusive partners. Reducing your access to other people, or to the outside world, can give your partner greater control over you.
Compromise and courtesy are one thing, but if your partner has an abnormal amount of influence over the decisions you make, it might be a significant sign that you’re in a bad relationship.
Their Happiness Feels More Important Than Yours
We build relationships with other people because we enjoy their company. Happiness plays the biggest part in that.
In your relationship, whose happiness is more important? Yours, or that of your partner?
In relationships where mental or physical abuse is common, the latter is more likely. Your happiness is likely to be secondary, or not even a consideration at all.
But it shouldn’t be that way.
As we’ve already mentioned, a relationship should be an equal partnership. Your relationship should be weighted so that the happiness of both sides are equally important.
If that’s not the case, and the situation can’t or won’t change, you should consider whether your relationship can continue.
Exhaustion Is the Norm
A partner that’s willing to abuse your mental or physical health, gaslight you, and reduce your self-worth is going to have likely signs of instability.
Dealing with that can be exhausting. Are you often tired around your partner? Do you see these signs of mental exhaustion in your day-to-day life?
We’ve already mentioned anxiety, but what about anger, dread and a lack of concentration?
Healthy relationships aren’t tiring to deal with on a day-to-day basis. That doesn’t mean they’re perfect, but the good times should outweigh the bad. If you’re tired far too often dealing with your partner, that should be concerning you.
Exhaustion is a clear and toxic sign of a relationship that’s likely to be causing your health, both mentally and physically, more damage than it may be worth.
Don’t Settle for a Toxic Relationship
The signs of a toxic relationship might not be easy to face, but if you’re being abused, you should remember that you don’t have to accept it.
Don’t miss the signs. Negativity, exhaustion, jealous, unhappiness – they could be evidence that you’re in a relationship that isn’t worth saving.
Break out of a bad relationship for good and begin the process of reinventing and rebuilding your life for the better. It’s not always the easiest choice, but your mental and physical health may be dependant on a fresh new start.
Don’t be afraid to seek out professional help on your road to recovery. Check out the therapy sessions we offer to help you rebuild your quality of life.
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