Are You in a Toxic Relationship?
Note from the editor: If you are in an abusive relationship please read this article when it is safe to do so and delete it from your browser history. Your safety is important. Resources to get help are below.
The term toxic relationship is used to illustrate any relationship that is damaging to you. It’s easy to be in a toxic relationship and not notice. It is even easier to be broken by that relationship. A healthy relationship is established on the grounds of loyalty, trust and respect. In addition, open communication, support and love for each other make a healthy relationship. When relationships start, these qualities are usually present, because the honeymoon phase is in full tact.
However, relationships can quickly change and become toxic in several ways, leading to a destructive environment. Getting out of a toxic relationship is important because that toxicity can be damaging to you. Nothing productive arises out of negativity and there is nothing positive in a toxic relationship.
A healthy relationship will give you a sense of security, love and happiness. Communication and respect for each other would be a given. In a healthy relationship you will feel free to be yourself and grow. These qualities are the reasons people thrive in healthy relationships. A toxic relationship will do the exact opposite. As long as you are in a toxic relationship, you won’t grow. You won’t accomplish any of your goals and your mental state of mind will be broken. In a toxic relationship you will find it hard to find happiness, often questioning yourself and your ability to be loved. You will find yourself so consumed with your relationship, that you will forget to take care of yourself.
Relationships usually become toxic because a) your partner is toxic to begin with or b) you are completely incompatible. A toxic person normally doesn’t realize they are because they are self-absorbed. They are so consumed with their own interests, emotions, and needs that they can’t give to anyone else. Relationships are about give and take and being self-absorbed automatically makes them a taker. When you are in the honeymoon phase, it’s easy to feel like your new love is perfect in every way. We can’t let the feeling of love make us turn a blind eye to who we are actually with. It is easy to fall in love with the idea of someone and not who they actually are. Have you ever seen two people who are completely wrong for each other, constantly fighting to stay together? They are letting the memories of how things used to be cloud their judgment in realizing they don’t belong together.
Being with a toxic person long enough can cause damaging long term affects. Here are some qualities of a toxic relationship:
Feeling Drained: A toxic relationship will have you feeling drained. Usually the non-toxic person is compensating for what their partner is not contributing. A toxic relationship, usually grounded in negativity, will drain energy from your body and leave you feeling tired. Sadness and depression can come with that tired feeling, followed by low self-esteem and self-doubt.
Being Controlled: If your partner is constantly controlling everything you do, this is definitely a red flag. It’s easy to feel like your partner is just protective or taking care of you, but this can easily be misconstrued. Control can start out as simple things like checking your phone without asking. This behavior can quickly escalate into wanting to know where you are at all times, or making you feel like you can’t make a decision without them. Being controlled takes away your sense of independence. You may find it difficult to trust anyone new when trying to move forward in life.
Projecting Insecurities: Insecurities are a reflection of how someone feels about themselves. This is toxic because it makes you feel like you did something wrong for no reason at all. An insecure person will accuse you of cheating, wanting to cheat or not loving them like you say you do. This makes you question yourself and keeps you in a perpetual state of trying to keep them happy. You will be so focused on them you will forget about yourself. An insecure person will constantly put you down instead of lifting you up; toxicity at its finest. Insecure people tend to project their insecurities through jealousy and deception. Instead of telling you how beautiful you look, they’ll point out a flaw in your outfit. Constant negativity is never good for the soul.
Isolation: Have you ever been in a relationship so co-dependent you no longer had any friends outside of each other? Sometimes this can be due to really being in love, but most times it’s a red flag. Outside friendships are a healthy part of any relationship. When your relationship gets to a point where you can’t even hang out with your friends, this is definitely a red flag!
Lack of emotional support: If you constantly find yourself trying to get your partner to care about your feelings or make you feel loved, you are in a toxic relationship. Your partner should always be willing to make you as happy as you are willing to make them. Your partner should be mindful of your feelings as well. Emotional support is important and only works when it is reciprocated.
If any or all the above signs apply, you are in a toxic relationship. It is easy to believe you can fix the relationship but understand it takes both parties to fix a relationship. If you are experiencing a toxic relationship, ask yourself what you are gaining from it. Are you willing to sacrifice your own mental health to stay in your relationship? A healthy relationship will make you thrive in life. A toxic relationship will hold you back and break you down. It can be scary to walk away because of the love you have for your partner but ask yourself this: Who you love more? You or them?
If you are experiencing an abusive relationship you can get help here