When we enter a new relationship, we tend to put our best foot forward and really give it our all. Over time, relationships can change and the way you treat someone or how they treat you can also change. You never want to think of a relationship going sour, and typically it’s not something that just happens overnight. Instead, things start to fall apart and erode slowly over time, which can add to the frustration and confusion.
In more extreme situations, a relationship can actually become toxic, which is detrimental to your mental and physical well-being. What is a toxic relationship and what are the signs that you may be in one? Let’s take a closer look.
What Is a Toxic Relationship?
In order to identify if you are in a toxic relationship, it’s important you understand what it is. In a nutshell, this is a relationship that is unfavorable to you or another person, in other words, it is toxic to you or that other person. It doesn’t have to start out toxic; this can happen over time. Generally, this toxic relationship forms when there are two totally different personality types trying to co-exist in a relationship together. Once the relationship turns toxic, it can end up affecting you so much that it actually prevents you from living a healthy, productive, and happy life.
What Are the Common Signs?
There are a number of signs that you can watch for that may signal you are in a toxic relationship. These can include:
- Jealousy and the constant need to play the blame game with each other.
- One or both parties may be passive aggressive. This type of behavior shows there are anger and resentment, but the person doesn’t feel comfortable enough to voice their true feelings. This means they are lying to themselves and their partner.
- Communications can break down completely and only exist in the form of arguments and yelling once the relationship turns toxic. Of course, arguments never lead to any sort of productive solution.
- Constant contempt, criticism, and negative energy are all common in toxic relationships.
- You don’t feel comfortable just being yourself, or you feel as though you have changed and you’re not happy about the changes.
- Emotional abuse is taking place. Emotional abuse can include humiliation, isolation, verbal assault, confinement, bullying, and more. It’s verbal aggression and it can leave a person feeling completely beaten down, as the selfhealinginstitute.com discusses. The website actually has a simple questionnaire you can use to help determine if emotional abuse is taking place.
- The final sign is a couple that doesn’t want to spend time together and instead does everything to avoid seeing each other and having that one-on-one time.
Take Action and Make Changes
If you suspect you are part of a toxic relationship, doing nothing will only allow the situation to get worse and the suffering to grow deeper. Instead, it’s up to you to stop the cycle, speak to a professional, and get the help you deserve.