7 signs your relationship is toxic.
I am 38 years old.
I have had a few serious relationships in my life. One of these was with a man I met online.
Around 15 years ago I was in a bad place mentally. It was before the whole “Mental Health” movement we have nowadays. I was 23 with a beautiful little girl. I had a part-time job which gave me some income but overall I was sad and depressed.
During my pregnancy, I had gained weight and lost so much of my self-confidence. Looking back I wasn’t overweight. I looked fine. My skin was amazing and I had beautiful hair. Although inside I felt horrible and my confidence was at an all-time low.
My confidence, or lack of it, led me into one of the worst relationships in my life. I was abused physically and emotionally and it took me years to recover.
Psychology today defines a toxic relationship as “any relationship that is unfavourable to you or others”.
1. All take, no give
You feel like you are the only one contributing to the relationship. A one-sided relationship can never run smoothly. If you are the one making plans or calling or even the one doing all the travelling to them then this is a typical sign of a one-sided relationship. Is your partner there for you when you need them? Do they comfort you after a bad day at work? If you cannot turn to each other, is there a reason to be in the relationship?
2. Lack of Trust
Trust is one of the cornerstones on which a relationship is built. If your partner is constantly questioning you then this shows a distinct lack of trust. Does he/she go through your phone? Accuse you of cheating? These are signs that the trust is gone.
Your partner tries to tell you where you can and can’t go. Or who you can and can’t see. They may even tell you what clothes to wear. All these are signs of control and you need to get out.
Is your partner jealous? Do they demand that you spend all your time with them because ‘they just can’t bear to share you?’ This is signs of cutting you off from your friends and family. They want to control you and the only way to do that is to keep you isolated from your support systems.
All couples argue. It’s a fact. In fact is can be healthy for the relationship to clear the air. In a toxic relationship, you don’t argue back. You let your partner have their say and you apologise and promise to change. This diminishes your self worth not to mention your self-confidence.
5. When nothing you can do is right (walking on eggshells)
So you burn the dinner and it scares you how the other will react. Or you say the wrong thing in front of someone when you are out. Just wait until you get home! This is an unhealthy way for your partner to react. Instead, you should be laughing about it.
And I don’t just mean the things you have done in the relationship. I mean when you have your entire life set down under a microscope and you are constantly reminded of the mistakes you made. In a healthy relationship, these things are dealt with once and the couple moves on. In a toxic relationship, the toxic partner undermines you by dragging your past through the mud, essentially making you feel like they are lucky to have them. A couple is an equal partnership.
6. You are constantly exhausted
The relationship wears you out. It makes you feel exhausted and tired and you simply give up. You no longer see the joy in being with your other half. You reminisce about the start of your relationship instead of looking to the future. This is wrong. You should be making plans with your partner and feeling happy about being with them.
It goes without saying that if there is violence in your relationship then you need to get out RIGHT NOW. Call the Domestic Violence helpline or check out the advice on the GOV.UK site here. Believe me when I say that it will never change – I know I’ve been there!
The first step is to be strong enough to admit there is a problem. You can do it. You are strong enough to do it and remember that you can get back in touch with friends and family who will help and support you.
Be careful, take care of yourself, and get help if you need it.
Until next time,