Are you in a toxic relationship?

When you are in love, you start looking at life through rose-colored glasses. Everything seems beautiful, you are on cloud nine and everything your partner does seems perfect. Usually, at this time, your emotions are overcome by your rational thoughts. Whether it be for better or for worse, you also tend to ignore the negative aspects of your partner. Unfortunately, taken to an extreme, you can fail to see deal breakers and red flags as well. When giving your 100% to someone, it can be heartbreaking to see that this person is not providing you the same affection, loyalty, care, and attention in return. When the relationship becomes toxic, you start to lose your voice and identity in the relationship. It is at this moment that it is important to remember that simply love is not enough to sustain a relationship; you also need trust, respect, companionship, compatibility, fidelity, and genuine care. A healthy relationship makes you feel happy, safe, secure and appreciated. If you are not experiencing this in your relationship, it is time to ask the question – are you in a toxic relationship?

If you’re in a relationship and all you do is cry,
you need to stop and ask yourself,
are you dating a human or an onion?
-Karen Salmansohn

A toxic relationship is one that damages you emotionally, physically, or mentally while draining your energy and positivity. It is very important to know the vital signs of a toxic relationship to avoid any regret in the future. Below, we have listed some of these signs for you.

1. Your Partner is Abusive

According to the USA National Domestic Violence Hotline, “on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. One in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.”

If there is any kind of physical, verbal, financial, sexual, or mental abuse in your relationship, it is time for you to revaluate your relationship and take steps towards ending this abuse.

Below, watch a video of Reese Witherspoon speaking about leaving a psychologically and verbally abusive relationship. (Video link).

Domestic abuse is rising worldwide during the COVID-19 crisis. According to an article in the New York Times,  “mounting data suggests that domestic abuse is acting as an opportunistic infection, flourishing in the conditions created by the pandemic. Studies show that abusers are more likely to murder their partners and others in the wake of personal crises, including lost jobs or major financial setbacks.”

No matter what the circumstances are, there can be not an excuse for domestic abuse. If you are a victim of domestic abuse or feel at risk of abuse, then you must seek help as soon as possible. Call a friend, a local helpline, a nearby women’s shelter, or the police.

Letting go of toxic people is an act of self-care
-Karen Salmansohn

2. Your Partner is Cheating on You

According to an infidelity statistics article, “70% of all Americans engage in some kind of affair sometime during their marital life. 44% of men have declared that they have been cheating on their partners because they wanted more sex. Women, on the other hand, are often looking for more emotional attention, with 40% of the respondents claiming this as their reason for cheating.”

So, if your partner is cheating on you, it is time to say goodbye to that relationship because once a cheater, always a cheater. You deserve to be with someone who works on fixing the problems in a relationship rather than seeking that happiness elsewhere.

3. Your Partner Does Not Respect You

Mutual respect is the key to any healthy relationship! It is necessary for your partner to value your emotions, needs, desires, and opinions.

If you are in a toxic relationship, talking about your emotions will often end in a fight or you being stonewalled. According to The Gottman Institute article, “Stonewalling is when you are making every effort to address a problem, whether you are attempting to talk about something that is upsetting you, explain your feelings about an ongoing area of conflict, or try to reach a resolution — and your partner is pretending that you aren’t there.” Consistently being stonewalled can have a significant effect on your mental and emotional health.

A healthy relationship will never require you
to sacrifice your friends, your dream, or your dignity
-Unknown

4. The Relationship is Draining You

Many times, individuals continue to drag their relationships forward because of the sunken cost of the past years of effort they have already put into the relationship. However, its important to understand that if the relationship is draining you and not allowing you to feel emotionally secure, staying with your partner will only be to your detriment.

Sometimes we hesitate because all the efforts
we put in the relationship would be wasted
once we call it off
-Unknown

We call term these as “porcupine relationship” because the closer you come to these partners, the more they hurt you. You really want to be with them but when you are with them, you feel the worst.

5. The Relationship No Longer Adds Positive

Every relationship’s dynamics change over the years but love, care and companionship should remain constant and integral parts of your relationship.

Instead of bringing joy, if the relationship is consistently making you sad, frustrated and upset, you are likely in a toxic relationship. If you find yourself consistently avoiding each other and not gaining any positivity from the relationship, it is time for you to go your separate ways or start to see a relationship therapist.

6. Your Partner is Not Supportive

If you are the only one who is compromising and making sacrifices in the relationship, there is a problem. It is important to remember that a one-sided uninvested relationship can never give you happiness for a prolonged period of time.

You should be able to share all your thoughts, feelings, and ideas with each other without any hesitation. Being physical with each other in the relationship is not enough, complete emotional involvement, communication, and support should be provided from other partners. Your partner should not only know your dreams but should make every effort to help you achieve them.

It’s better to be single with high standards
than in a relationship settling for less.
– Unknown

7. Your Partner is Not Happy with Your Achievements

As aforementioned, it is the role of a partner to support you and this comes with an implied expectation that he/she will be happy with your accomplishments. If you do not see true joy and pride on your partner’s face to see you become successful, it is time to question the authenticity of that relationship. In a loving relationship, individuals pride themselves in the achievements of their partners. However, when your partner’s reaction is instead to showcase jealousy, insecurity, and frustration, the relationship has become unhealthy. In a toxic relationship, your partner will make an effort to bring down your self-esteem, downplay your successes, and hinder your personal growth.

A healthy relationship doesn’t drag you down.
It inspires you to be better.
-Unknown

7. Your Partner is Controlling You

Trust is very important for any relationship. In a dominating relationship, your partner will control your actions, closely monitor your every behavior, and question every decision. It will start to feel like you have a stalker.

A relationship without trust
is like a car without gas
you can stay in it all you want
but it won’t go anywhere
-Unknown

Many people also deliberately gaslight their partners to emotionally manipulate, traumatize, and control them. According to Psychology Today, “Gaslighting is a form of persistent manipulation and brainwashing that causes the victim to doubt her or himself, and ultimately lose her or his own sense of perception, identity, and self-worth.” This is a serious emotional abuse and unacceptable in any situation.

In an unhealthy relationship, your partner will constantly impose his/her values or standards on you and want to change you. Continuous criticism from a toxic partner can make you feel shame and doubt towards yourself. Over time, you can start to lose your confidence and self-esteem.

A good relationship is when someone accepts your past,
supports you present and encourages your future
– Karen Salmansohn

8. Effective Communication is Missing

Clear communication is necessary for any healthy relationship. The key to resolving most conflicts is to discuss everything in an open manner. Effective communication can be harmed in a relationship either when your partner is dismissive and does not participate in any discourse or if your partner is dominating the conversation completely. Communication can be helpful when it is balanced in terms of effort, honesty, and input from both sides.

9. You Do Not Feel Secure

If you are always questioning whether you have a future with your partner and living under the stress of extreme uncertainty, this is a sign of an incredibly unhealthy relationship. It is important for you to always know where you stand with your partner and for both of you have the same expectations for the future of the relationship.

What Can You Do If You Are in a Toxic Relationship?

If you are experiencing any of the above signs, it is time to reflect and act.

If you are tolerating your partner’s disrespectful attitude and behavior with the false hope that your partner will change someday, it is likely that you will be waiting forever. Things like this do not change on their own.

Yes, you can try to resolve your issues by talking them out or by seeing a professional therapist. However, in order for any of these steps to work, your partner needs to also see that there is an issue and has to be willing to make it work. If your partner is not willing to change (focus on their actions, not their words) it is time for you to leave this relationship behind and find someone who really deserves you.

Staying in an unhealthy relationship can keep a person
from finding their own way and
moving to the next level of their own path
and that person could even be you.
Sometimes the best way to save someone is to walk away.
Real love sometimes means saying goodbye.
-Bryant Mcgill

Summary:

We all are human beings and we all have our flaws. Nobody is perfect, and for that reason, no relationship is perfect. However, if a relationship starts to cause real damage to a sense of self-worth, wellness, physical/mental health, security, financial stability, freedom, and/or individuality, it is time for you to make a change.

Staying in a toxic relationship may result in anxiety, sleep, and eating disorders, depression, and other serious physical and mental health issues. So, it is necessary that you identify warning signs as soon as possible and save yourself from further damage.

Self-centered, insensitive, and controlling behaviors should always be deal-breakers in any relationship. It is important that you maintain some emotional distance in your relationship so that you can clearly identify the signs of a toxic relationship and can take necessary actions before it is too late.

Sometimes, some couples decide to drag the relationship for the sake of the child’s future. However, you must understand that it is also very devastating for a child to witness your toxic relationship. Kids need a healthy emotional environment to thrive and sometimes the only way you can give them such an environment is by leaving your partner. It is often in their best interest as well.

We end up in toxic relationships because
we don’t stand up for ourselves early on when red flags occur.
We let them slide because we fear losing a companion.
How long do you let disrespect & neglect go?
At some point, you have to develop healthy barriers
for how you’re going to be treated.
Sylvester McNutt III

Another major reason many people decide to stay in toxic relationships is that they are afraid of being lonely. What most people do not realize is that staying in a toxic relationship can make you feel lonelier than being single.

You must understand that no relationship is more important than your own happiness, self-respect, and self-esteem. Your relationship with yourself comes first! You should try your best to repair the relationship but do not lose yourself in the process. You are precious and your life is precious too! You have every right to live a happy, peaceful, and safe life. Take actions before the scars of toxic relationships damage you permanently.

My silence means I am tired of fighting and
now there is nothing left to fight for. …
My silence means I am tired of explaining my feelings to you,
but I don’t have the energy to explain them anymore…
My silence means I have adapted to the changes in my life
and I don’t want to complain…
My silence means I am on a self-healing process and
I am trying to forget everything I ever wanted from you…
My silence means I am just trying to move on
gracefully with all my dignity.
– Aarti Khurana

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7 Responses

  1. Shara says:

    Very good information for anyone who is in an unhealthy relationship and signs they should look for.

  2. You are right about that. I know a few people who had stayed in a relationship out of longing for that ’emotional connection’ when things are going well. It really is a terrible cycle to get stuck in.

    • Suroopi.com says:

      I’m so glad you agree! This cycle is extremely unfortunate and I’m hoping that this article might be able to help some people break out of it.

  3. Amber says:

    I was in an emotionally, mentally, and narcissistically abusive relationship on and off for 5 and a half years. It was a very draining and unhealthy relationship. At that time, I had extremely low self worth, I solely relied on him to validate my worth. It’s been a year since I’ve removed myself from that situation and I couldn’t be happier! This past year, I’ve been focusing on me, exploring my creative purpose, and coming out of my shell and connecting with other likeminded with my passion for blogging ✨🧡

    • Suroopi.com says:

      Hi Amber, your strength and courage through that relationship is truly commendable. I am happy to hear that you are in a better place now, you deserve nothing short of complete happiness. It’s great to connect with someone like yourself and I really hope we can stay in touch! <3

      • palak pandya says:

        This is an eyeopner.. at times people don’t find a toxic relationship a problem. Specially where I come form.. a mysoginytic approach is considered to be normal.. I am sure this article will help many to introspect and change their lives for good..

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