Is your relationship toxic? Do you know the signs of a toxic relationship? Do you argue all the time leaving one or both of your hurting? Do you have trust issues? If so, you may be in a toxic relationship.
“You’ve got to learn to leave the table when love’s no longer being served.” – Nina Simone
*WARNING: some of this content may not be suitable for younger audiences.
Does your partner demand that you make major life changes?
Has your partner ever demanded that you make a major life change? For instance, have they demanded that you change your religion and or beliefs? Have they demanded that you pack up and leave everything and everyone you love to follow them to a different location just for the sake of moving? I’m not saying that packing up and moving isn’t sometimes necessary if, for instance, a promotion and a new job were the reason for the move. Even then, it should be up to both of you whether you will move. It could be a major change that you’re not ready, or willing to make. This is something you should decide together, discussing it rationally, not having one or both of you issuing ultimatums or using guilt tactics.
Is trust an issue?
Does your partner insist that you give them your passwords to your phone and/or social media accounts? If so, they don’t trust you. Trust is important in a relationship. No matter who’s at fault, perhaps there’s something in your or their past that makes it hard to trust, if you don’t trust your partner, there is no relationship. You need to decide if it is something you can work out or whether it’s time to move on.
Not all things are created equal
Is it expected in your relationship that everything from the bills, chores, groceries and even date night tabs will be split 50/50? If so, that expectation is unrealistic. Life happens, people lose jobs, people choose to go back to school, etc. There may come a point in time where one or both of you will have to make sacrifices. Is your partner willing to make such sacrifices? Or will you be the only one who will bend? You need to be able to take these things into consideration before it becomes a problem.
Are they keeping secrets from you?
Is your partner purposely hiding things from you? Things like surprise parties, dinners, gifts, etc. are okay but if they’re hiding serious things from you it could be a serious problem. They could be hiding things like a gambling, drinking, or drug problem, or worse. You owe it to yourself (and your children, if there are any in the situation) to find out what is going on. Asking you to keep a secret for them is also toxic to your mental well being. Again, I’m not referring to the “SURPRISE” type of secrets. I am referring to the type that can hurt you and others when (notice I said when, not if) they are discovered.
Suggesting that you overlook their indiscretions
If your partner cheats on you and asks you to give them a pass, or tells you to “just get over it”, you are definitely in a toxic relationship. Yes, they will tell you they’re sorry and that they’ll never do it again, and they may truly mean it. You need to take, and they need to give, you time to process your emotions. News like that is not something anyone can just “take with a grain of salt.” You need to decide if you’re willing to forgive and try again. You will also need to ask yourself if you will ever trust them again. Bullying you, or even making you feel guilty by telling you it’s your fault they cheated, or crying their eyes out in order to prevent you from leaving are just some of the tactics they will try. Be strong, hold your ground, and take the time you need to decide what is right for you.
Does your partner like to control everything you do and everyone you spend time with? Is it okay for them to have time out with their friends but conveniently when you want to spend time with yours, it’s a problem? This is toxic in the sense that you need time away once in awhile. Whether it’s by yourself or with your friends, everyone needs to have some “me” time. If your partner gets upset every time you spend time away from them they may be jealous of your friends. They may feel that you enjoy your time with your friends more than the time you spend together. If this is a problem you continually experience with your partner, perhaps you could try having a get together that includes them and their friends along with yours. Or maybe you should have a date night where it’s just the two of you so that your partner can be assured that you like to spend time with them just as much as you do your friends.
The blame game
“It’s your fault.” How many times have you heard that? Everything that goes wrong must be because of something you did or didn’t do right? Wrong. Some people need to blame others because they can’t accept their own faults. We all have them. The difference is that some can’t own up to them. They feel that it makes them look “less than.” In all reality, accepting and admitting your faults/mistakes makes you the bigger person. You should never allow someone to treat you like everything you do is wrong. It damages your sense of self-worth and if it continues long enough, you actually might start to believe it.
“Spicing things up a little”
This can be good for relationships but, only if BOTH parties agree. If your partner suggests something that you are uncomfortable with, you need to let them know in no uncertain terms that you will not participate. It might be wise to have a conversation to discuss what you are both comfortable with. That way you’ll both know what is taboo in the bedroom. There’s nothing saying that you can’t revisit the conversation later but don’t let yourself be bullied into doing something you don’t want to do.
“Don’t ever bring that/them up again”
Everyone has things they don’t necessarily want to discuss however, when you’re told that you can’t ever discuss it again it can cause problems. Maybe you’ve been told by your partner that you can’t ever mention so-and-so again and maybe so-and-so is your friend, or your child, or your sibling, etc. These are situations that you need to work out or you will be miserable. If you cannot discuss things with your partner at the time, you may want to consider talking to someone outside of the situation, perhaps a counselor would help. Even if your partner won’t participate in the conversation it will help you to discuss your concerns with someone.
Abusive family or friends
If your significant other allows their friends or family to disrespect you they are taking you for granted. Should they disown them or cut them out of their life? No. However, your partner should make it clear that you are just as important to them as their friends or family are and if they can’t respect you and treat you decently then they are disrespecting your partner as well. Your feelings matter and your partner needs to “go to bat” for you. If they don’t or won’t, it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship.
Are you ridiculed in front of others?
It’s okay to participate in fun, friendly banter but when your partner ridicules you in front of others it’s a sign of disrespect. This is very toxic to a relationship. If you’re getting constantly criticized about your weight, or your clothes, or how you talk, or anything else, in private or in front of others you should take a stand. You need to express the fact that these things hurt you. If your partner truly loves you they will stop ridiculing you.
Another very important thing that goes along with ridicule is belittling you in front of your children. This is true whether you are still with the parent of the children or not. You should never place your child in a situation where they are in the middle. It hurts them when they feel that someone is being mean to their parent, no matter who is saying the hurtful things. They love both of their parents and no child should be made to feel like they have to choose.
Abandoning you in your time of need
Consider this, you’ve just had surgery and you’re bedridden for a few days. Can you count on your partner to be there for you? Will they help you with the household chores, bring you meals, or anything else that you would normally take care of if you were able? It is very important in a relationship to know that your partner will be there to help you in your time of need.
I would like to leave you with this quote:
“I have standards I don’t plan on lowering for anybody…including myself.” – Zendaya
Now that you are aware of the signs of a toxic relationship, I encourage you to dig deep inside and ask yourself a few questions:
- Is the problem in your relationship something that can be fixed? If it can be fixed, do you want to fix it?
- Do you trust him/her? If not, can you get it back?
- Are you being fair to your partner and yourself because if you’re honest, you don’t trust anyone?
- What makes YOU happy?
Lastly, if you’re in need of counseling and are afraid to meet in an office setting, there are online options available. You might also consider journaling or maybe even blogging. Self-help books are also a good thing to look at for inspiration. Whatever you decide remember, toxic relationships are just that, “toxic”. They will eat away at you until you no longer recognize the person you used to be or the person you aspired to be. Please feel free to leave me comments below.
*This post may contain affiliate links for which I will be paid if a purchase is made, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting the effort put into bringing you this site.
**The content in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, counselor, or other certified professional with any questions you may have regarding medical or mental conditions.