Warning Signs Of A Toxic Relationship

Humans are social beings. Our relationships are core to our existence, and we form many of them over our lifetime. These relationships can either make or break us, and it is important that we are able to separate those which are good for us and those which are toxic.Here are 7 warning signs that a relationship may be toxic.

1. You are constantly fighting, even over the silliest things

It is perfectly normal, even healthy, for a couple to fight from time to time. However, when you are fighting more often that you are enjoying each other’s company, it could be an alarm bell. This is especially true if you seem to be fighting over absolutely everything, from the silliest things such as an innocent hello in passing to a friend. This indicates that your partner could be insecure and controlling. If you feel like you constantly have to walk on egg shells around your partner, and constantly worry about what may upset them- this is a major red flag.

2. You are isolated from friends or even family

Another hallmark of a toxic relationship is a partner who doesn’t allow you to see certain friends or family members, because they feel threatened by them. This indicates a partner who is deeply insecure and unstable in themselves and desires to take control of you and your life as a result. Having that control over you helps them feel more stable and in control of their own life. Anyone who tries to isolate you from your outside support system is toxic- and this is usually used by abusers as a way of locking you into their trap. Once they have successfully isolated you, you will have no support system to fall back on when you want to get away from them.

3. You are given strict rules on where to go and what to do

If you feel like your relationship comes with a whole set of rules on what you can and can’t do- even if they were things you used to enjoy when you were single- it’s probably a sign that the relationship is toxic. A partner who tells you that you cannot go out and dance, cannot go to a bar with friends from time to time or cannot engage in a hobby is probably trying to take hold of you and reshape you into a mould they find more satisfying and easier to control. There are obvious things you should not do when in a relationship if you wish to be respectful of your partner and the bond you share, however, when it starts to feel as though you are being kept on a very short leash and barely have any say in your life, it is probably time to run.

4. You have no privacy or alone time

Whether it is because of previous issues with fidelity in the relationship or just because your partner is extremely insecure- having a total lack of privacy is never a good sign. If the excuse “it’s only because I have been burned in the past” is brought up and used- you have to remember, you are NOT responsible for your partners previous bad experiences in relationships, and you shouldn’t have to pay the price for them. If your partner is incapable of trusting you and unwilling to give you the benefit of the doubt, the relationship probably won’t last. A relationship without trust is like an engine without fuel. It just will not go anywhere. Honestly is important in a relationship, but a partner who demands to know each and every little detail of your day as it happens will make you feel smothered and more like you are in a prison system than a happy relationship.

Going through your phone and social media all the time or expecting you to give them a full running commentary every time you step out of your room is not healthy relationship behaviour. “It’s only because I love you so much” is a tired old excuse for this clingy behaviour, which actually has nothing to do with love at all, and everything to do with their own emotional baggage.

5. Your partner brings you down constantly instead of building you up

If you feel like your partner is always criticizing you and never has anything good to say about you, it could be time to pack up and leave. People who are very insecure with themselves often project by insulting others and bringing them down. This can also be a sign that your partner is threatened by you having confidence in yourself, as when you are self-confident, you are more likely to not allow anyone to control you and abuse you. They will start slowly breaking down your confidence in order to take control of you and make you feel as though you are somehow less worthy. That’s when they start with the phrases such as “you are lucky to have me. No one else would put up with you!” These are clever ploys to emotionally manipulate you into believing that you don’t deserve any better than them.

It is also vital to remember that no one has the right to insult your integrity as a person by calling you foul or derogatory names. A partner who frequently swears at you and hurls verbal insults at you clearly has no respect for you as a person.

6. Your partner is threatened by your success

A severely insecure partner with little confidence will often want a partner who is on the same level or below them. So long as you are miserable with them, they will be happy. But when you begin to meet with success and build yourself up in life, they may begin to fear that you will start to move away from them as you grow into a new and better future. If your partner ever belittles your success or tries to make you feel guilty for being successful or working towards an achievement, they definitely do not have your best interests at heart. They may guilt you for spending time studying instead of spending all of your time with them, or accuse you of being stuck up because you have ambition. This is merely them lashing out because they are feeling insecure about their own short comings and want you to remain on their level. Someone who truly loves you and wants to see you succeed in life will support you in all of your endeavours, and never make you feel guilty for chasing your dreams.

7. The majority of your friends and family don’t approve

Your closet friends and family are usually the ones who have your best interests at heart. If there is a pattern with the majority of them disliking your partner or your relationship, you should probably listen to what they have to say and the reasons they give for this. If you feel like you constantly have to make excuses for your relationship and the behaviour of your partner, it is probably toxic and harmful to you. They say that love is blind, and this is very true. For better or for worse. Sometimes you cannot see that the way in which a partner treats you is harmful until after the relationship has met a nasty end and you are forced to endure a chorus of “I told you sos”. Listen to friends and family who try to warn you, and don’t feel like they are doing so to attack you or your happiness.

A toxic relationship can really bring you down and have a lasting impact on your emotional well-being, so noticing warning signs early is extremely important. Don’t ever be afraid to leave a relationship you feel is doing you and your life a disservice, and always remember that you deserve the best out of any relationship that you choose to enter into.

By Rebecca MacFarlane

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