Nobody is perfect. And so does every relationship.
Ask anyone you know they will tell you this is true.
We live in a broken world. So, every one of us is broken to a certain degree and suffering from some form of “wound.”
That means we all have some level of toxicity in us.
You may not want to admit this, but it’s true.
that’s why in this article we would be exploring warning signs of a toxic relationship.
You’re probably asking lots of questions already.
I admire your curiosity; let me explain what I mean.
I believe you know “hurting people hurt others and are easily hurt by people.” And broken people do every possible thing to break others.
That’s what you get when you live in a broken and imperfect world.
Why is this so?
Because right from when we are young, we’ve had people (parents, teachers, etc.) speak negative words to us. These words lodged in our souls like a bullet fired to kill its target.
Some of the words were to break us intentionally; others were innocently spoken. However, the intentions, negative words kill. Not physically but psychologically and, in most part, emotionally.
Again, we’ve had bad experiences that affected how we view ourselves, others, and our world.
Every experience you’ve had –either good or bad, has affected your perception of the world.
This perception affects our beliefs and, ultimately, our behaviors towards others.
It’s who you are that you bring into any type of relationship, whether it’s business, dating, or any other relationship.
So, a relationship is as good as the two individuals in it.
No relationship is perfect. We are humans. We are bound to exhibit toxic behaviors, even to the one we love; that’s why every relationship is a work in progress and requires effort to take toxicity out.
I know this is difficult for you to grasp. Follow me!
Some relationships are just toxic from the onset.
Some relationships start great, but along the line, one or both of the partners begins to exhibit toxic behavior
Every one of us desires to love and be loved in return.
Love is one of the greatest emotional feelings anyone can experience, it brings excitement to the heart, but the same heart we use to fall in love can also hurt when the relationship ends.
The desperate search for love can be damaging. Many people have entered toxic relationships because they are in a hurry to start a relationship or married.
You’re probably asking already what does a toxic relationship really means?
I thought you’d never ask.
I’ll tell you.
But first, not without helping you understand what it means for something to be toxic.
“Having a quality that’s destructive or deadly to health”
So, a toxic relationship has a nature that’s harmful to your health. It could be physical, mental, psychological, emotional, or spiritual health.
It’s no wonder Apostle Paul wrote in one of his letters, “I wish above all things that you may be in good health even as your soul prospers.”
A healthy relationship is difficult when one of the two persons involved have toxic behaviors.
It takes healthy souls to build healthy relationships.
Let me drive this home for you.
When you or your partner displays a behavior that is harmful to your partner (or you) consistently, that’s a toxic relationship
As I said, we all have a level of toxicity in us.
A toxic relationship destroys your self-esteem, your happiness, and world view.
The moment your partner gives you the impression that you are not good enough then you should worry.
I mean, if he/she gives you the feeling That no matter what you do or the sacrifice you make to keep the relationship together, it’s just not enough to make them happy, that’s a toxic behavior.
For an in-depth understanding of toxic relationships, how it affects your sanity, and what you can do immediately to fix it, I highly recommend getting this book on amazon kindle.
So, let’s consider some warning signs of a toxic relationship.
Shall we? Let’s dive into it.
13 Warning Signs Of A Toxic Relationship You Must Know
1. The Scoreboard
We all make mistakes and err sometimes. The most learned, loving, and lively partners do dumb, hurtful, and stupid things sometimes. No one of us is above it. mistakes help you grow and gives you the insight needed to treat your partner better.
Yet, in a relationship where your partner keeps a record of your wrongs in a scorecard and presents them to you repeatedly is sure a toxic behavior. Such behavior kills the healthiest of relationships and demeans the “guilty” person.
If your partner continuously accuses you because of your past mistakes to shame you or make you bitter, then that’s a toxic relationship.
Healthy relationships focus on your strengths. Toxic relationships mock you with your weakness.
2. Unmet Needs
A relationship is about meeting needs. Some needs are so urgent that they can’t be neglected for too long. An example includes connection, sex, love, appreciation, affection, and validation.
In a situation where some (or all) these needs are mocked or ignored, the unmet needs’ emptiness leaves the person starving.
Any attempt to talk about your unmet needs results in a fight and, of course, empty promises. Some accuse you of neediness, insecurity, and jealousy and make you feel guilty.
When this happens over time, you’ll either learn to bury the needs or resent the fact that it’s been overlooked.
Attitude like this is one of the warning signs of a toxic relationship.
3. Physical or verbal abuse
What exactly do you want me to say about what you already know?
As you already know, this is among the most popular forms of abuse. Many people have died as a result – both physically and emotionally.
By the way, words give life and also kill – depending on how it’s used. Negative words can kill your dreams, aspiration, ambition, and shatter your self-esteem.
For reasons best known to them, some people (especially the ladies) believe that physical abuse is a sign of love.
Who bewitched you, thou ladies?
If this is how you interpret love, you’re nothing short of damaged and broken. Period!
See a psychologist ASAP!
People who have trust issues are often guilty of this.
Partners in a relationship deserve a certain level of privacy, except they have agreed to have no boundaries in their relationship.
It’s toxic to read through every text message your partner receives without permission or for your partner to explain every call or contact on their phone actions like this could give your partner the impression that they are in prison and needs freedom.
Lying dissolves trust in a relationship than any other behavior. when trust is lost, it becomes hard to gain.
You don’t gain your partner’s trust by telling them what they want to hear. You earn it by telling the truth. It requires some level of vulnerability.
Lies slowly destroys trust; it’s important to maintain trust in your relationship.
The chances that trust when broken can be repaired is very slim.
Don’t hang out with a girl or guy and lie about it; no matter your mistake, admit it to your partner.
If your partner forgives you, great; if not, learn the lesson and move on.
Lack of trust makes a relationship unbearable, and I know you don’t want that.
6. Love Yourself
Who told you that warning signs of a toxic relationship are entirely about partner’s behaviors?
As I said, we all have some level of toxicity.
Your behavior pattern can be toxic too.
Toxic behavior is when you don’t love or see value in yourself.
We live in a society that applaud “doing and achieving” over “being.” We hardly have nor create time for ourselves.
When you’re emotionally and mentally exhausted, you become cranky and can flare up quickly, especially when you keep giving and no one to fill your love tank.
You know it’s impossible to move your car without gasoline in its engine.
Same way when you’re emotional and your love tank is empty; you will be left with nothing to give; you really can’t give what you don’t have.
If you neglect time for yourself and drop your activities all to meet your partner’s schedules, it’s a sign of a toxic relationship.
7. Domineering, Controlling And Excessively Jealous
They’re some partners who are excessively overbearing and jealous. Whatever you have to say doesn’t count. They have the final word.
They’re the “god” in the relationship, and their opinion and words must be obeyed. And anything short of this pisses them off.
And of course, this behavior makes them appear to be powerful.
One more thing,
If your partner can’t comprehend the thought of you not always being available, you need to rethink that relationship
A partner who insists on doing everything together and being hyper-close, or doesn’t allow you to be by yourself or constantly monitor or question your whereabouts and intentions. This is one of the warning signs of a toxic relationship you must take seriously.
8. You Feel Insecure
When you are in a promising relationship, you feel loved, safe, connected, nourished, understood, cared for, and heard.
Both partners look for every opportunity to complement and make each other better. In this kind of relationship, you know you’re accepted the way you are.
Conversely, the opposite is always the case in a toxic relationship.
When your partner always makes you afraid, know that’s a red flag right there.
Because fear and love can’t co-exist – one will expel the other.
Perfect love drives out fear. Likewise, fear cast out flawed love. Beware!
9. When Your Partner Keeps Ignoring You
Misunderstanding is bound to occur in a relationship, but when your partner starts to give you the silent treatment when you bring up important issues that affect you or the relationship, that’s one of the warning signs of a toxic relationship.
Therapists call this kind of attitude stonewalling.
Stonewalling is when your partner ignores you when you bring up important issues; they either walk out on you or increase the radio volume to avoid talking with you.
A healthy couple wants to get feedback from each other. And thrives on consistent communication.
10. You always feel drained
These days most people (especially ladies) come into a relationship only with the mindset to get and not to give.
You might think I have something against ladies. Sorry to disappoint you, that’s not true. Some men are guilty of this too, but it’s more among ladies. Especially when it comes to finances
Who doesn’t hate the entitlement mentality?
Most people come in with a “transactional” mindset. That is, what can you do for me? Their focus is on how to cash in on the relationship.
That’s a toxic behavior.
But, a healthy couple builds a “transformational” relationship. The predominant thinking pattern is, ‘what can I do to improve this relationship and my partner?
If your focus is always on what you can get out of a relationship, know that lasting love will elude you.
But then, some partners know how to whine, nag, and complain. They drain us with their sour attitude and constant whining.
Toxic relationship saps our strength and sucks the hell out of us. It’s best to avoid such people.
“It is better to stay alone than to live in the same house with a whining and nagging spouse,” says King Solomon.
Hearken to King Solomon; he sure knows what he’s saying.
11. Playing The Blame Game
when your partner has the habit of always blaming people for their present situation even if its their boss or mom that’s a toxic sign.
An important trait of maturity is accepting responsibility, and if your partner can’t accept responsibility for the negative things in their lives, that’s a red flag.
12. You Are The Only One Doing The Loving
Two is better than one. And besides a healthy relationship team sport.
You can’t hold a relationship together if you are the only one doing all the work. It’s lonely, and it’s exhausting.
Let’s face it, give what you need to give if you aren’t able to leave the relationship but don’t give too much.
Stop dreaming that you can make things better if you work hard enough, try hard enough, say enough, do enough. Stop. Just stop. You’re enough. You always have been.
13. The Relationship Is Abusive
There’s a thin line between an unhealthy relationship and one that is abusive.
If you have a partner that’s making you feel lucky to be dating them or giving you the impression that they are just “managing” you.
When your partner tells you there are so many girls or guys to choose from, but they just managed to pick you or are the best man or woman you could ever date, that’s a toxic sign.
An abusive partner uses words such as “you can hardly find someone like me” these are toxic words aimed at reducing your self-esteem and manipulate you into doing whatever your partner wants you to do.
There are several other warning signs of a toxic relationship to look out for; some are very subtle to detect others are a little bit obvious to identify.
To know about toxicity, click here.