Sadly, many relationships are not as rosy behind closed doors as they may seem externally. If you think that you might be in a toxic or damaging relationship, then look out for these signs that your partner isn’t treating you the way they should be.
15 Signs You’re In A Toxic Relationship
YOUR SELF ESTEEM IS LOW
Your partner should be elevating your self esteem, not breaking it down. If you’re in a relationship with somebody who frequently makes nasty comments about your appearance, hobbies, interests, voice etc then you need to stick up for yourself and tell them that you aren’t going to tolerate this behaviour. Whether it’s a joke or not, if it’s affecting your confidence and happiness then you need to put a stop to it immediately.
YOU DON’T LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING THEM
If you find yourself dreading coming home from work and spending time with your partner, or you don’t want to make plans at the weekend to spend quality time together, then there is a good chance it’s because their company is not enjoyable. If you’re dreading seeing your partner then this is one of the first signs that you are in an unhealthy relationship.
Arguments, drama and misery caused by being in a damaging relationship can have a serious effect on our mental health and wellbeing. If you are continually feeling exhausted, it’s probably because this relationship is draining you mentally.
WORRYING THEY WILL BE ANGRY
Do you frequently worry what your partner will think of X, Y, Z. Decisions that are yours to make, you worry that they will judge your choices. Fretting that your other half is going to be angry at you for any reason is a very stressful way to live and you should never allow yourself to stay in a position where you are nervous to tell them about things.
Your other half should be your confidant, and you should be able to discuss anything with them without the fear of judgement or arguments over it. If they’re not fulfilling that role for you, or you for them, then you need to consider if you’re with the right person or not.
It’s very common for people to feel extremely lonely even if in a committed relationship. If your partner isn’t making you feel loved, safe and boosting your self confidence then they are not doing their job right. Part of being in a relationship with somebody is making that person feel happy, making them laugh and making memories together. So if you find yourself feeling lonely because they’re not spending time with you, or they’re emotionally unavailable then you’re best to get out.
YOUR PARTNER MAKES YOU FEEL STUPID
Being made to feel that your ideas, goals or beliefs are stupid is one of the first signs of a relationship which is taking a negative turn. They might laugh at your ideas, mock you, or flat out say “you can’t do that“, “you’re not good enough” or “nobody is going to want to work with you.”
Usually when a person puts others down, it’s because they are lacking confidence or self esteem in themselves, so remember that if the person who is supposed to love you is making you feel this way then they’re probably threatened by the idea of your success.
THEY DON’T ENCOURAGE YOUR SUCCESS
Similar to my last point, if your partner isn’t happy for you when you achieve something great, or something you have worked hard for, then they are not right for you. It probably stems from their own lack of self esteem but there is no reason to tolerate your other half being resentful when you achieve something that they want for themselves.
YOUR PARTNER MAKES YOU FEEL RELIANT ON THEM
They might say things like “you couldn’t cope without me” or “what would you do with your life if I left you?” What they are doing is chipping away at your self worth and making you feel as though you need them in order to be happy.
This is a common tactic used by highly manipulative people to try and hold onto a person that they are scared of losing. Tolerating this type of behaviour can have a serious and damaging effect on your mental wellbeing so if this is ringing any bells then you need to put a stop to it or leave the relationship as soon as possible.
YOUR PARTNER MAKES YOU FEEL AS THOUGH THEY CAN DO BETTER
In a healthy relationship, the person you are with should be making you feel loved, wanted and appreciated. If you feel like the opposite is true, and your partner voices their opinion that they think they can do better or says “you’re lucky to have them,” then this is emotional abuse.
Never allow yourself to feel like you’re second best or replaceable. Find somebody who is going to cherish you and make you feel as though you are the centre of their world. That is what you deserve.
THEY WON’T TALK ABOUT SERIOUS TOPICS – OR THE FUTURE
Not wanting to talk about the future is one of the first signs that the person you’re with doesn’t see this as a long term situation. People who are just in the relationship for the short-term or until a better option comes along will commonly avoid making plans, booking holidays and talking about the future. You can forget conversations about moving in together, marriage and starting a family.
YOU CATCH THEM LYING
There is never a good enough reason for your partner to lie to you. A healthy relationship is built on trust and loyalty. If your partner can’t be truthful with you, then it either means that they don’t feel they can confide in you, or they are hiding things that they know would upset you.
Either way, you shouldn’t have to put up with it. So confront your other half and see if you can resolve the issue, but if it carries on then it’s time to end things.
YOU LIE TO PEOPLE BECAUSE THE TRUTH MAKES YOU FEEL ASHAMED
If you lie to friends and family about things that are going on in your relationship, it’s most likely because the truth is shameful and you know that the people who love you might even worry about your safety or mental health if they knew what was really going on.
If you can’t be honest about what happens behind closed doors, then ask yourself what it is that you’re hiding? Could this be putting you in danger, or affecting your mental health? If the answer is yes to either of those questions then you need to leave sooner rather than later.
THERE IS A LACK OF AFFECTION
It goes without saying that two people in a healthy relationship, show their affection for each other in different ways: kisses, cuddles, holding hands and all the rest. If your partner doesn’t make any effort in this department then this can be a sign that their heart isn’t in the relationship anymore or they might be distracted by other things.
Unless you have decided mutually to have an open relationship, then cheating is completely unacceptable. If you are in a relationship, then you should be committed to that person, and that person only. If you suspect your partner is cheating on you then confront them, and if you outright catch them in the act, then kick them to the curb.
I have to include this in this list. Even know it might sound obvious, there are still so many people who put up with violence in relationships. Men and women of all ages can be the victims of domestic violence and there is never ever an excuse for anybody to physically abuse you. There should also never be any second chances.
If you have been the victim of violence in your relationship then you need to get out immediately for your own safety. Remember to also keep an eye on your friends and family members – if they seem withdrawn, shaken or you notice marks on them, then check in to make sure that everything is ok – you could save their life.
If you are currently in a violent relationship and you don’t know how to get out safely, there are organisations and charities that can help you. Unfortunately, this is such a widespread issue that there are numerous organisations dedicated to helping people in these situations in most countries.
I have left a list of as many phone numbers as I could find – if your country is not on this list then a quick search on Google should return an organisation who can help and please leave a comment with the contact details you find as this could help other readers too.
- United Kingdom: National Domestic Violence (Refuge & Women’s Aid) (0808 2000 247)
- United States: National Domestic Abuse Hotline (1-800-799-7233)
- Australia: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)
- Canada: Shelter Safe – leads to regional charities
- China: Maple (010-68333388)
- Japan: Tell (03 5774 0992)
- New Zealand: Women’s Refuge (0800 733 843)
- Taiwan: World Vision (133)
To Finish Off…
I hope that this post helped you, and allowed you to identify if there are any early warning signs of your relationship turning toxic. It’s better to be by yourself than to stay in an unhappy or even dangerous situation, so if you feel that you are not being treated the way that you deserve then leave the situation. It’s best for you and the other person involved in the long term.