Experts tell us that no relationship is perfect, and that some amount of arguing and compromise is normal.
But if your partner’s behaviour is becoming a constant source of negativity, it might be a sign that you’re going through more than just a rough patch.
When it comes to love, we can easily be blind to the signs that a relationship is becoming harmful – because we all want to feel loved, happy and wanted.
However, if you’ve landed on this article with a niggling feeling that something might not be quite right, it might be time to clue yourself up on the signs that your relationship is veering into toxic territory.
Here, we’ve pulled up some red flags you need to look out for.
When was the last time you made time for your circle of pals? While it’s nice to consider your partner’s feelings, if you have to ask permission to maintain close relationships, it’s a sign of a controlling spouse. Maybe they complain about how often you talk to your best friend on the phone, or say they don’t like you spending time with your work colleagues. Either way, if continuing to see your friends is causing arguments, it’s not a good sign. All healthy relationships should have a good sense of trust, allowing you to keep your own identity.
Keeping a toxic relationship from tipping over the edge is exhausting work. If you feel like all of your energy is being put towards trying to satisfy your partner, or arguing with their logic, it’s a sign that it’s time to move on.
While all relationships involve a degree of compromise, you shouldn’t have to give up the things that define you. One of the most obvious signs that you’re in a happy relationship is the feeling that you can just be yourself, warts and all. In a toxic relationship, you may feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner, or monitor your conversation to avoid topics that might cause further hostility. Over time, you might even being to daydream about your life after your breakup, and all of the things you could do if you had your freedom back.
Does your partner constantly criticise and demean you? Maybe they negatively comment on the way you look or how you handle situations. Either way, constant belittling can ruin your self-confidence and cause insecurities, which plays right into the hands of a toxic partner; if you feel like nobody else will want you, you’re more likely to stay in an unhappy relationship.
Arguing is normal in relationships, but when it’s a healthy match, you’ll resolve the fight and move on. In a toxic relationship, previous grievances are ‘stored up’ as ammunition to use in the next big fight. These arguments are full of hostility and contempt, rather than the desire to actually work through the issue at hand. Perhaps your bickering has even turned into a game, where the two of you are overcome by the desire to ‘win’ and are constantly attempting to ‘one up’ each other. This lack of healthy communication is a big warning sign.
Do you often wish that life could just be a little less dramatic? While every couple has their ups and downs, no healthy relationship should be in a constant state of upheaval. If you feel like you and your partner are constantly breaking up and getting back together, then it’s probably a sign that your relationship has become toxic – and it’s time to cut your losses and move on.