Six Signs You’re In A Toxic Relationship
Relationships are hard—oftentimes, the challenges you go through can bring you closer together. However, not all relationship stress is good, and it can negatively impact other aspects of your life, like your health or career.
As a woman, you’re naturally in tune with yourself, and it’s important to examine your relationship to make sure it’s healthy. If you suspect that you’re in a toxic relationship, here are some signs that can potentially confirm it.
Your significant other blames you for everything that goes wrong.
The toxic person in a relationship won’t take responsibility for his actions. He’ll look for any excuse to blame something on you, even if it’s clearly not your fault. It might be nobody’s fault, but you’ll still get the brunt of his wrath.
This is damaging in its own right, but you know it’s gone too far when you actually start to believe it’s true. Over time, a person’s constant abrasive nature can seep into your psyche, and you start to convince yourself that their negative words are true. It tears down your self-esteem and makes it hard to love yourself.
You start to adopt some of your partner’s negative behaviors.
Relationships should involve pressure to be the best person you can be, but often, a toxic partner will encourage you to engage in negative behaviors you wouldn’t normally do. While you don’t want to adopt any bad habits, substance abuse is a common product of toxic relationships with terrible consequences.
“Multiple studies have examined why men and women do drugs and have found that abuse often occurs for wildly different reasons,” explains an article from a women’s treatment and recovery center. “Many men are merely curious about substances or have a risk-taking personality that compels them to try them out. While many women use drugs for the same reason, many more do drugs as a self-medication method or as a way of connecting with their partner.”
You’re never allowed to spend time alone with friends.
This is classic abusive behavior. The abuser doesn’t want to relinquish even a moment of control, so if you say you want to hang out with your girlfriends, he’ll make an excuse to go with you or be in the room while you’re spending time with them.
Generally, this is a sign of his own insecurity. He’s afraid that you might say something about him or that your friends will convince you to get out of the relationship. Regardless, it’s not healthy.
You’re accused of cheating if you talk to anyone of the opposite sex.
Although any two people in a healthy relationship will be careful to avoid flirtations when interacting with the opposite sex, you will obviously interact with the opposite sex on a daily basis, whether at work or in another public setting.
Your controlling partner will blow these micro-interactions out of proportion, accusing you of cheating for saying a friendly word to a man passing on the street or helping a male coworker at work. He might also go through your phone and make a big deal out of every text you’ve shared with another man, even if it’s completely innocent.
You start to sense passive-aggressive behavior.
Passive-aggressive behavior comes in many different forms, including him giving you the silent treatment when you try to ask what’s wrong. He might also make you feel stupid for trying to bring it up.
A common form of passive aggressive behavior is making mean jokes about you. He’ll make a belittling comment and then say, “just kidding,” as if that excuses it. It’s a tactic to make victims look stupid or dramatic, dismissing any complaint you might have had.
“A good joke will make you feel included; a toxic joke will make you feel small, angry, and powerless,” says Melanie Curtin, a female rights activist and contributor for Inc.com.
You’re constantly feeling exhausted when your significant other is around.
When was the last time you actually enjoyed spending time with your partner rather than feeling like you were walking on eggshells? To avoid a fight, you must predict his behavior or mood changes every day for months or even years. This tiptoeing around is frankly exhausting.
Healthy relationships typically exhibit the opposite feeling. When you’re together, you can finally relax and enjoy yourself rather than watching everything you say. It’s the one place where you should be able to feel safe and unjudged, but a toxic partner makes this impossible.
Leaving a Toxic Relationship
If you identify with any of these telltale signs, the first step is admitting the problem. The next is to seek a support group who will help you step away and not look back. You might ask friends and family or seek the help of a professional to repair any damage your partner did.
If you feel threatened at all, it’s important to tell the authorities so they can provide protection. It can be scary but walking away from a negative relationship may be the best thing you ever do for your health and happiness.