How to Tell If You Are in A Toxic Relationship
by Carolyn Lee Jul 18, 2022
There are different stages in an intimate relationship. Each step allows you to learn more about your partner and relationship. Over time, challenging situations can negatively impact couples and change how they relate. When a relationship becomes toxic, it can create distrust, abuse, and poor treatment.
So, how do you know if your relationship is toxic?
We’ve got a few things you can look for to recognise a toxic or abusive relationship and address it in healthy and safe ways.
Toxic (unhealthy) relationships.
Every relationship has disagreements, but toxic relationships can be draining. An abusive relationship lacks mutual support. There is also disrespect and conflict, with one partner undermining the other. A feeling of competition and a lack of cohesiveness are also common signs. Conversely, you feel cared for, free to be yourself, secure, respected, and happy in a good relationship. In unhealthy relationships, destructive behaviours let us know the relationship is abusive.
What are some of the common signs of a toxic relationship?
Distrust: Your partner may interrogate you about your whereabouts or get upset if you don’t answer their calls. In extreme circumstances, your partner may search your phone, stalk you or use technology to track your movements.
Constantly worrying about how your partner will react: You avoid talking about problems because you fear it will cause tension or arguments. So, you keep issues to yourself.
Broken relationships: You’ve lost contact with family or close friends because you are scared you may have to explain what is going on in your relationship or to avoid conflict with your partner.
Poor financial habits: It is usual for couples to share expenses and plan for their financial future. Disagreements over spending will happen but can be toxic if you have an agreement about your finances and one partner consistently disrespects that arrangement.
Lack of support: In healthy relationships, both partners encourage each other’s success, but this can change if the relationship becomes toxic. You may feel unsupported or discouraged from sharing some of the things that make you happy because your partner may view your success as competition.
Lousy communication: Your partner is unkind, critical, sarcastic, and condescending when they talk to you. You find yourself repeating what they said in a mocking tone when they’re out of earshot or when you’re with a close friend. Another sign is that you stop taking their calls to avoid the possibility of arguing with them.
What should you do if your relationship is toxic?
Couples with relationship challenges and need help can enlist the services of a licensed family or marriage therapist or counsellor. Your therapist or counsellor will help you identify your problem areas and guide you to solutions you can try. Contact your local domestic help helpline or the police for help with cases of physical abuse, stalking, or violent threats. Use our Find Yello listings to find a counsellor or therapist near you.
Sources: Healthline, INC, Time, Insider and Women’s Health Magazine.