Being in a relationship is supposed to be something pleasurable and something that makes you feel good. The thought of your partner and all the amazing things you both can do together should make you want to see them and spend more time with them. There is always a natural desire to always see your spouse even when you have only been away for a short time. However, some relationships become toxic and have a number of consequences for most people.
A toxic relationship involves trying to manipulate, control and isolate the other person. It is a relationship in which there is no bond of respect, but in which one person commands and the other is subjugated. In an abusive relationship there is a frequency of behaviors, becoming a cycle of abuse. It is important not to think that anyone is toxic because they made a mistake by doing something wrong. In fact, what defines whether someone is toxic in a relationship is not the error, but the way she deals with mistakes.
To distinguish between a wrongdoing and a toxic behavior, there are certain signs to look out for.
1. Control and possessiveness
A toxic partner is very domineering. They seek to control almost everything you do. From the way you dress, who you go out with to the salary you earn. It further progresses to the things you do on the internet and basic choices you would make on a normal day. Even though this may seem like simple acts of love and care, it changes overtime and they make you understand that there is no privacy because you are in a relationship.
Abuse is very evident in many toxic relationships and it can take different forms. It could be verbal, physical, emotional or even sexual abuse. The toxic partner calls you an idiot, an asshole, sick, stupid, ridiculous, and sometimes words that are even worse. They care less about the effect it’s going to have on you and your mental health. The intention most times is to make you feel bad, guilty and fall even more in control of the toxic behavior.
3. Discards your achievements
A caring partner is very supportive. He or she wants the best for you and pushes you to win bigger. They will always be there for you through every step of the way and they will keep cheering you on but a toxic partner relentlessly talks down on your efforts.
When you get something you really wanted, instead of congratulating you, they get jealous and drop comments that will weigh you down and weaken your spirit. It leaves you wondering if your win is worth it or if it’s actually as big as you thought. Yes, it is worth it and it’ll always be a huge win.
4. Maximize the problem of the other
A toxic person can reinforce a characteristic or problem of the partner to make things worse for you. Instead of trying to help you out of a difficult situation, a toxic partner would rather sit still and act like you don’t exist. Sometimes, they would worsen the situation by making the environment very unconducive for you. They may also say uncool things that may annoy you and bring down your mood.
5. Physical abuse
This is one of the most common signs of a toxic relationship. Some people beat their partners and end up giving them bruises and scars all over their body. They act paranoid and get irritated easily. A slight verbal exchange or questioning of their authority and capabilities strikes them and forces them to act in awful ways. Such relationship is undoubtedly toxic and holds no good for you. Sometimes it results in death due to repeated assault by the toxic partner.
Threats are common in a toxic relationship. You always have consequences waiting for you even before you do something wrong. This gets you scared and leaves you with no other choice than to restrict yourself within their provisions and act in accordance with their rules. They always put you in a situation of extreme anxiety and distress and sometimes, they may go hours, days, or even weeks without exchanging a word with you as a punishment for something.
It is important to learn about toxic relationships because many people think it is normal and only understand when others show how abusive the relationship is. It is difficult to get out of these relationships especially when you already feel attached to the person.
It is also very important to know what an acceptable relationship is, to know what type of relationship you will tolerate. Therapy is very important in this whole process, to get to know and see what needs to be adjusted in the relationship, if it is a healthy relationship, or if there is no adjustment and it is necessary to end it.