Signs of Toxic Relationship. A toxic relationship does not always start with a slap or a punch in the face. Sometimes, these are never experienced. Toxic relationships manifest in various forms, many of which the victims do not know or regard as abnormal. Not only women are victims of toxic relationships, anyone can be a victim. The young, old, brilliant, beautiful, respected, and firm-resolved men and women.
Oftentimes, people live with toxic partners without really knowing that they are toxic. They often look at their poor actions as bad traits that can be ‘managed’. Many have lived in or currently living in a toxic relationship. You could be such a person. Because of this, we have come up with 10 warning signs of toxic relationships. This is to help you reevaluate your relationship and make life-changing decisions.
1. Loss of Personality
In a toxic relationship, you tend to lose yourself. Your partner does not accept you as you are, hence you feel obliged to change to suit their needs. This does not refer to constructive criticism. Of course, your partner will want a positive change in your eating habits, weight, manners, and other attributes of yours that are unhealthy. The type of change that is toxic refers to certain characters that make you question your identity and self-worth.
It cages you, diminishes you, and cancels your desires and expressions. When you are faced with a trying situation that prompts you to change, ask yourself certain questions. Does it align with your values? How much does it reflect your standards and identity? If it requires you to change so much, or entirely lose your ideal self, then your relationship is toxic.
2. Feeling of Guilt
Does your partner make you feel guilty and unlovable? Your partner may criticize with no justification to the point that you feel guilty of certain actions which normally are right. In a toxic relationship, you may feel at fault even when you are not wrong. Your partner blames you and makes themselves appear innocent. Such a relationship messes with your mental health and self-awareness.
3. Loss of Confidence
In a toxic relationship, fear creeps in and envelopes you. Like a flower whose petals fall off little by little, you lose your self-confidence. You also find it difficult to express yourself because you are afraid of your partner. Frustration heightens and you gradually lose confidence in yourself. You may feel like you are never enough no matter how much effort you put into the relationship.
4. Loss of Peace
This is a major sign you are in a toxic relationship. You feel bad all the time. There’s a huge feeling of anguish and irritability. Your peace of mind diminishes. When you think of your partner; wife or husband, your heart sinks. When they are on a business trip or vacation, you wish they do not return because you feel better in their absence. If this is how you feel, then you are obviously in a toxic relationship.
5. You Can’t Say No
Relationships do not require both parties to always agree. Both parties are allowed to have different beliefs, interests, and ideologies thus may disagree with each other from time to time. However, in most toxic relationships, disagreeing with your partner on certain issues leads to a heated quarrel or prolonged non-communication.
The dominated partner in a relationship always feels the need to agree with every decision of his or her partner. This is usually to avoid quarrels, misunderstandings, or disagreement. But this is not right. You should be able to voice out your concerns and stick to your opinions which may benefit you and your partner.
6. You Live the Life of Your Partner
A toxic partner will control you, your thoughts, finances, and personal life. They always want you to do things their way; reduce your friends and sometimes lose communication with your family. You realize you become more and more glued to them and used to their lifestyle.
While they may ensure you sever ties with some of your friends on the ground that they don’t mean well for you, they keep their friends and stick to their usual ways of doing things. A major disadvantage of this is that when the relationship doesn’t work out, they have their family and friends intact while you have almost none.
7. You Do All The Work
It is a fact that both parties in a relationship should collectively put in some amount of effort for the relationship to flourish. This means that if you constantly do all the work, with little or no form of input from your partner, you are probably in a toxic relationship. You should not do all the calling, texting, chatting and what have you.
Both of you should plan dates together, surprise each other at intervals, support your dreams, and also call and text one another. Doing all the work is usually draining, boring, and frustrating. The passivity of your partner will cost you your mental health and peace of mind because you do more work than you should.
8. Physical or Verbal Abuse
Does your partner hit you at the slightest provocation? Do they say demeaning words to you? Abusive relationships can take many forms. They can range from subtle comments that gain ground with time, insults to physical abuse. It is usually like a bitter-sweet experience. Today, your partner is charming, kind, and passionate. The next day they are violent and say derogatory words to you.
Most people in abusive relationships are aware that they are being abused because the signs are clear. However, they find it difficult to put an end to such toxic relationships even with all the abuse inherent. If you find yourself in a physically, verbally abusive relationship or both, walk away for your safety and sanity.
9. There’s No Privacy
Does your partner want to have access to your credit cards, mobile phones, and other devices? Do they seek access to your house even in your absence? While this is usually seen as a sign of love and intense connection, it is sometimes a sign of insecurity. They may also do these, not because they love you but because they want to gain more ground to manipulate you. Your relationship should also give you some form of privacy to figure things out and deal with your personal life.
10. Threats and Blackmail
I saved the best for the last. This is a major sign of a toxic relationship. Your partner may resort to threatening or blackmailing you if you finally decide to leave the relationship. Emotional blackmail can mess with your sense of judgment and compel you to stay in such an abusive relationship.
Some partners may also threaten you if you decide to leave. Statements like ‘If I can’t have you, then no one else can’ or ‘You are mine and mine alone’ will be made by your partner. When it gets to this stage, know that your safety is at stake, make plans, and leave the relationship as soon as possible.
These are some of the many signs of a toxic relationship. Have you experienced any of them? If you have, you should leave the relationship for your safety. You can also seek professional help if you do not know how to leave or need further assistance.