Whether it’s your personal or professional life, you are likely to encounter a toxic relationship somewhere or the other. It could be a toxic family member, partner, colleague, or boss. The only thing you will get out of these relationships is a lot of stress and anxiety. So, it’s very important to identify the traits that make a relationship toxic and get out of them as soon as possible.
A toxic relationship, especially with your partner, just drains you and makes you unhappy. You dread spending time with the person, you are always walking on eggshells, and you always feel an imbalance in the relationship. Here are some signs that prove you are in a toxic relationship and need to get out.
1. Your communication is consistently toxic
In a healthy relationship, occasional joking around and a sarcastic quip now and then is normal. But when it becomes the norm, you need to re-assess. If your partner is constantly poking fun at you, without any regard for your feelings, that’s a red flag. Similarly, if in an argument, your partner gets mean and contemptuous and you are always blamed, it is a sign of toxic communication. Attacking you with past failures, being highly defensive, humiliating you in a fight are all signs of a toxic relationship. This could also include physical violence, throwing things around, breaking things, and name-calling.
2. Your partner displays controlling behaviour
Constantly asking you where you are, who you are with, what you are doing, are all signs of controlling behaviour. Dictating what kind of clothes you should wear, what you should watch, who you should and shouldn’t meet are also warning signs to look out for. Your partner may get angry if you don’t respond to calls and messages promptly even when they know you are busy. If you see these things happening, know that your partner is displaying toxic and controlling behaviour.
3. Being constantly envious
Jealousy is a common emotion that is a part of every relationship. But when that jealousy turns into a regular affair, you need to be careful. Your partner could be jealous of your friends, your family and even your pets. They might even be jealous of your personal or professional success and try to bring you down or undermine your achievements.
4. Persistent lying
An occasional white lie may not do any harm, but continuous lying chips away at the relationship. Trust is the basis of any relationship and when that’s broken, so is the relationship. If you find yourself lying frequently about your whereabouts or who you are meeting, to avoid aggravating your partner, you need to take a hard look at your relationship.
5. You have a judgemental partner
Your partner is constantly judging you for everything you do, whether it’s the way you dress, the way you talk, or even your tastes in different things. Instead of motivating you, your partner is constantly finding fault with the things you do and making fun of or ignoring your interests.
6. Your partner is a taker, not a giver
Every relationship requires some give and take from both partners, but if one person is doing all the giving and is not receiving anything in return, that’s a sign of an unhealthy relationship. If you are the only one taking the initiative all the time, compromising, and trying to make the relationship work, it gets exhaustive and subsequently builds resentment.
7. Being resentful all the time
If you or your partner are resentful of each other all the time, it might be time to break things off. Holding on to grudges for a long time and festering in the resentment is a sign of a worsening relationship.
8. There’s no place for self-care
A healthy relationship is one where both partners build each other up and do not tear each other down. If you feel drained all the time or the thought of your relationship fills you with dread, know that you are caught in a circle of toxicity. Think back to the time when you were able to truly relax and have fun, or just sleep soundly. If your relationship causes you constant stress and anxiety, it’s time to take a step back. Usually, in a toxic relationship, you are either busy dealing with your partner or dealing with the backlash of their actions. You rarely, if ever, get any time to take care of yourself.
9. Abusive financial behaviour
A toxic relationship can include negative financial behaviours as well. In a healthy relationship, partners take financial decisions together, but in a toxic relationship, they might be taken unilaterally by one party. If you have concluded how to spend your money, and yet your partner spends exorbitantly despite your objections, that’s a red flag. Similarly, if it is just one person taking care of all the expenses with zero or bare minimum contribution from the other partner, that’s a red flag too.
10. You are playing a dysfunctional role
If your partner expects you to parent them and take care of every tiny thing, it might be time to make a clean break. Often, the relationship dynamics we see as children bleed over into adulthood, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay. If your partner needs to be told to participate in the household chores and if they need to be prompted all the time to do basic things like wash their clothes, that’s unhealthy dependency.
It might be difficult to realise that you are in a toxic relationship, but it is important to stay aware of your and your partner’s behavioural patterns. Be on the lookout for how your behaviour is changing over time or how you are reacting to situations. If you catch yourself getting toxic, nipping it in the bud is a better course of action than letting things worsen.
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