Before we look at the signs you’re in a toxic relationship, it’s important to know that no relationship is perfect. Every relationship has its problems. However, a healthy relationship, regardless of the issues, should make you feel loved, respected, secure, and comfortable.
So, it’s crucial to understand that every relationship will have arguments and disagreements, but that doesn’t mean they’re toxic.
Toxic relationships are ones that make you feel bad about yourself. They leave you emotionally drained. They break you down over a period of time, making you feel worthlessness and insecurity.
This is what I’m going to be talking about.
[Read: How to fix a toxic relationship… Can you or is it too far gone?]
15 signs you’re in a toxic relationship
In the beginning, your relationship may have been amazing. You really connected and communicated well. But relationships can change over time. Humans evolve. Sometimes, we grow with our partners and the relationship flourishes, and other times, we grow apart from our partners, and the relationship comes crashing down.
We all want to be in loving relationships, which is why it’s important for you to understand what a toxic relationship looks like. This is certainly one relationship you don’t want to get yourself involved in.
The sooner you know the signs you’re in a toxic relationship, the better.
#1 You avoid saying how you feel. You have an opinion, but you’re scared to speak your mind. Maybe your partner becomes aggressive when you don’t share the same opinion as them or ignores what you have to say. You simply stop saying what’s on your mind to avoid conflict. [Read: Double standards in a relationship and why they’re toxic AF]
#2 You feel bad all the time. When you’re around your partner, you should feel content. But with this person, you feel bad. You wake up feeling empty; you go to bed feeling unloved. There’s nothing positive this person is giving you. And this is toxic for yourself.
#3 There’s a lack of investment in the relationship. I’m not talking about financial investment. People can be in healthy relationships without spending a lot of money on each other, for example. What I’m talking about is an emotional investment. Your partner doesn’t emotionally invest in the relationship. They don’t try to spend time with you, they don’t confide in you; they show very little effort towards the relationship. [Read: 15 types of toxic relationships to watch out for]
#4 You feel like everything’s a trap. When you’re talking to your partner, you feel you must watch everything you say. If every question they ask you is like you’re being tested, and you need to say the right answer, this is one of the clearest signs you’re in a toxic relationship. If you’re unable to relax around your partner and be honest with them, this is a huge problem.
#5 Nothing gets resolved. If there’s a fight, you are unable to sit down and talk about each other’s feelings. Instead of actually solving it, your partner covers the situation up with a drastic change of mood and tries to buy you something nice or take you somewhere.
#6 The relationship sits on your shoulders. In healthy relationships, the couple works together and gives equally into the relationship. But for your relationship, it all rests on your shoulders. You need to give everything into it, while your partner sits back and chills. More importantly, it feels like whatever you do is not enough – and that’s because it will never be enough. [Read: The hidden signs of a toxic relationship we all choose to ignore]
#7 There’s a lot of lying going on. When will this all end? Are you tired of being in a relationship like this? On top of all of this, your partner is lying. You’ve caught them in many lies, and it’s not ending. Your trust has been broken. Once the trust is broken, it takes a very long time and a lot of effort from your partner to restore it. And that’s just not happening.
#8 It’s full of passive-aggression. Your partner may not necessarily express their feelings towards you right away. Instead, they’ll passively hint to you what’s bothering them, and then you should spend your time figuring out what you did wrong. This is toxic because there’s no communication in the relationship. [Read: 20 signs you’re a people pleaser and don’t even know it!]
#9 You struggle to say ‘no.’ You can never say no. And in healthy relationships, ‘no’ is an important word. Compromise is always needed in a relationship; you can’t always do what your partner wants. But in this relationship, ‘no’ is seen as a negative word and an attack against your partner. [Read: Emotional dependency: Are you showing the signs of being overly dependent on one person?]
#10 There’s no emotional responsibility. The reason why you never resolve any conflict is that there’s no emotional responsibility. They’re unable to accept responsibility for their actions and are looking for ways to point the finger at you. This is highly toxic as everything is and will always be your fault.
#11 There’s a scorecard. Oh god, the relationship scorecard. I was in a relationship where my partner used this, and it was exhausting. When we got into an argument, they would continuously bring up things from the past and pile everything against me. Your partner should not do this. Bringing up the past constantly will only build resentment. [Read: How to fight fair in a relationship and feel closer]
#12 You have no privacy. Everyone needs some amount of privacy. Your partner doesn’t need to know every conversation you have with your friends and what you talked about. They also don’t need to know every time you step out of the house. But your toxic partner checks all your receipts, goes through your phone, and makes sure they know exactly where you are.
#13 You’re left out of big decisions. When making a big decision, couples usually sit down and talk about it together. But your partner doesn’t consult you. They make decisions without your knowledge and never ask for your opinion or thoughts. They don’t see you as someone equal or someone they respect.
#14 “Loving” jealousy. If you look at someone of the opposite sex or talk to someone you know on the street, your partner lashes out in anger and tries to control your behavior. The control can come through many forms like going through your phone, prohibiting you from seeing that person, etc. While this control is happening, they use the excuse of being jealous and loving you. [Read: The worrying signs of control in a relationship that many people miss]
#15 There’s abuse. If there’s ever any abuse happening in any way, it’s a toxic relationship. There’s no way around it. It wasn’t just “a bad day” or something “you deserved.” There’s no excuse for abusive behavior. I know you love this person, and it’s hard to accept that you’re being abused. But if this is happening, it’s abuse, and you’re in a highly toxic relationship.
[Read: Are you overlooking these signs of emotional abuse in your relationship?]
If you see the signs you’re in a toxic relationship and you feel the relationship isn’t good for you, do what feels right. And in most cases, it’s walking right out that door.
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