Clear Signs Of A Toxic Relationship
It is wonderful when you finally find a partner that compliments you. Many times these feelings last till a pair’s wedding day, and the feelings remain well into old age. People can love each other a great deal, but that is no substitute for a possibly toxic relationship.
If you’re struggling to hold onto one what used to be, and your partner only reinforces the negative way you feel about yourself, perhaps you need to do something.
Not everyone is able to see it, but here are some of the warning signs of a toxic relationship:
1. Your Partner Decides What You Can and Can’t Do
It is completely normal for partners to have their own interests, just as it’s normal for them to want time away from each other. Does your partner ever question your motivation for wanting to do something alone?
“Whether they’re jealous, controlling, or have major anxiety issues, it’s unhealthy if your partner tries to restrict your freedom,” said Anita A. Chlipala to Men’s Health.
It is important to consider your partner’s feelings when they take issue with certain things. Discussions about why each of you has an issue are healthy.
If you are refused any freedom whatsoever to go out, this issue should be looked at closely.
2. “Jokes” That Aren’t Jokes
It is healthy and encouraged by many therapists that partners have light-hearted fun with each other. But there are times where jokes can get out of hand, and others where the “jokes” may simply be an opportunity for your partner to diminish you.
Some toxic partners may blow off your feelings about the comments, stating “I was just messing with you.”
If the ‘jokes’ your partner tells make you feel tiny and vulnerable, then those are not jokes. Remember, jokes are supposed to be funny and make you laugh, not cry.
3. Walking on Eggshells
Is your partner an extremely jealous person? If just the idea of going out with others for an after-work drink fills you with fear, you’re likely in a toxic relationship.
Partners who trust each other will inform the other if people want to get together. You should haven’t to figure out what sets your partner off and make sure that doesn’t happen.
4. You Feel Like You Have To Ask Permission
Asking for permission to do things was normal when we were kids, whether you were going over to your friend’s house or wanting to go on the next class field trip. Compromise is part of a relationship and discussing things like moving or new employment should be discussed.
If making plans with friends requires or even feel like it requires asking permission, there is something wrong in the relationship.
5. They Simply Don’t Respect You
Respect is a two-way street and an important aspect of any strong relationship. “A pattern of disrespect wear us down and creates things like anxiety and dread. It makes us feel like we have to keep our guards up or prepare for the argument or attack before it happens. We begin to dread bringing things up because we ‘know what they are going to say’.” says Kevin Gilliland, PsyD.
6. You Feel Like You Can’t Open Up to Them
Open dialogue and respect go hand-in-hand. You should feel free to share your feelings openly to your partner without the fear of saying the wrong thing. “Opening ourselves up to our partner leaves us feeling exposed, at risk for rejection, etc.,” states Chlipala. “But it’s important of a healthy and intimate relationship.”
There’s no reason you should feel punished for expressing how you truly feel, and if you do that’s another telltale sign.
“Both partners are responsible for creating the conditions in their relationship for the other to be vulnerable. You should be able to share your thoughts and feelings without punishment,” adds Chlipala.
7. You Feel Like You’re Being Bullied
If bullying is a regular part of your relationship and it has somehow become part of the routine, you’re clearly in a toxic relationship. Most people had enough experience with that throughout elementary school. So why stay with an ‘adult’ who behaves so childishly?
8. Your Friends and Family Have a Problem with Your Partner
Oftentimes, it is meeting the family that is the most nerve-racking part of a relationship. A friend or family member’s outside perspective may help reveal what you might have been blind to the whole time.
“Is there a pattern to what different people see and observe when you are with your partner? Do two or more of your friends and family that don’t know each other, say the same concerns? If they do, you have a problem to solve,” advises Gilliland.