Being in a Toxic Relationship: How to Recognize the Signs
Without doubt, love is considered to be one of the most profound emotions among human beings. There is more than one type of love, even though most people seek an expression of it in a romantic relationship with a suitable partner.
As noted on Psychology Today, a romantic relationship is one of the deepest aspects of life because of its ability to create a sense of fulfillment. According to evidence, it appears that the capacity to be in a healthy and stable relationship is not inborn, but it actually develops through life and experience. It begins from infancy or during a child’s contact with their caregiver who meets their needs for protection, food, etc. These aspects are often the staple of how one relates to others later on in life. This being said, not every romantic relationship is successful, loving, and long-lasting and some relationships can be destructive, painful, and difficult.
To minimize the negative effects of being in a toxic relationship, it is important to be able to recognize the most common signs and try to improve it if possible or move on if not.
The Main Signs of a Destructive Relationship
As pointed out by Christine Coppa, romantic relationships exist to help us feel satisfied, loved, and safe. However, prolonged feeling of dissatisfaction with a romantic partner may indicate that it is time to reconsider our situation and do something about it. If you suspect a toxic relationship with your partner, take a good look at the list below.
A controlling partner
According to Andrea Bonior, author of The Friendship Fix, a controlling partner could be an issue. This does not always refer to a physically violent or threatening individual, but also to a partner with whom you do not feel free to share your thoughts and opinions due to being intimidated of how he/she will react.
Fighting all the time
An occasional disagreement with your partner is almost inevitable and it is actually healthy to a certain extent, as explained by Sue Kolod, a psychoanalyst from New York. However, fighting all the time and an increase in misunderstanding as the relationship progresses is not a positive thing and it should actually be the opposite- you should fight less and have more understanding for each other. Lack of quality communication is definitely an indicator of an unhealthy relationship.
Drama all the time
As noted on the Reader’s Digest, a balanced amount of screaming, words flying, and accusations is not always a sign of a bad relationship. What’s more, it has been found that people who are high expressers often enjoy a better sexual life than amiable couples, although they do have a higher rate of divorce. This being said, with dramatic behavior, it is easy to cross the line and increase the negativity in your relationship. Therefore, make sure you find a suitable balance.
A constant feeling of uneasiness
Sometimes, physical problems like pain in the chest, skin flare-ups, ulcers, etc. may be caused by an actual person, i.e. your romantic partner, a colleague, or a friend. Feeling uneasy in the presence of your partner is particularly concerning so you should stop and rethink about the underlying reason for this issue.
Isolation from others
Dr. Kolod explains that a partner who is persistent in ending your relationships with family and friends is a serious cause for concern. An upsetting try for control and manipulation is never a sign of a healthy and thriving romantic relationship.
Avoiding important topics
A quality relationship requires communication and daily effort, as previously noted. However, if your partner tends to avoid decisive topics that matter to both of you, like when to get married or when to have a baby and other future goals, it could be a major obstacle to the success of your relationship.
You do not feel happy
As noted on Elite Daily, happiness in a relationship should be mutual and each partner should do their best to make the other one as happier as possible. But, being constantly unfulfilled and getting no feedback while trying to make your loved one more content, is a reason for worry. To improve the situation, you can always express your thoughts and feelings to your partner and try to find a viable solution that will satisfy both sides.
Aversion to changes
In order to thrive, relationships need to progress and undergo changes. Nonetheless, a partner who is keen on “keeping things as they are” may contribute to a poor quality of the relationship and a feeling of “being stuck” in the other partner. Without doubt, after several months or years of dating, it is pretty normal and mature for an individual to want more from that relationship, asserts Myah Hollis.
You do not feel like yourself
Change and growth are an inevitable part of most romantic relationships. In a healthy relationship, partners should evolve together and become a better version of themselves. Nevertheless, feeling as if you are the only one who is changing or if you are losing your true self, you should definitely reconsider your current situation and discuss this concern with your partner.
Final Thoughts on Toxic Relationships
With certainty, being in a relationship is almost always a challenge because it requires many different factors to work together smoothly so that the relationship can prosper into something beautiful and meaningful. Sadly, not every relationship is bound to succeed and it can often become toxic for both partners and start posing a threat to their mental, emotional, and physical health.
To better your current situation and mend things, bringing your issues to light and working on them together with your partner is a pivotal step. Sometimes, a partner may be unaware of harming you with his/her actions and this is where proper communication with an appropriate dosage of dedication and effort can do wonders. However, in case you have been feeling unloved or constantly undermined by your partner instead of getting his/her support, it may be high time you revisited your relationship.