Many relationship experts believe that over half of people are in toxic relationships. Toxic relationships negatively affect your happiness and even your health. Could this be you? See if your relationship fits any of the signs below.
1. There’s a lack of mutual respect.
If mutual respect isn’t the foundation of your relationship, there’s a good chance your relationship is toxic. Does your partner criticize or demean you, especially in public? Do you feel like you’re not good enough because you’re constantly being compared to others? Are your dreams considered unworthy? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you might be in a toxic relationship. And if your partner ever ghosts you, even just for a few days, run.
2. You don’t trust each other.
Whether it’s jealousy or pathological lying, not being able to trust each other is never good. Trust is essential to any relationship. Lack of it will destroy not only your relationship but will eventually start to eat away at your souls. A relationship should be like a soft place you can land, and a lack of trust turns that place into a haven of anxiety and doubt. Don’t regard lies as protecting you, and don’t see jealousy as a sign of love. If there’s no trust, there is no love – at least, not any kind of healthy one, anyway.
3. Your fights are terrible.
Every couple fights, but healthy couples know how to do it well. You have to be honest about your feelings, without being passive aggressive. You have to confront your issues instead of sweeping them under the rug and hoping they go away. You have to attack the problem instead of each other, and you have to do it with grace – no name-calling allowed. If you can’t fight without resorting to dirty tactics, your relationship might be toxic.
4. You’re not allowed to grow.
Change is inevitable. In a good relationship, this universal truth is accepted and allowed. You may change and grow, but you do it together. But some people aren’t comfortable with change, and might attack you when you do it. They might mock you, insist that you were better before and do everything in their power to keep you the same. If that’s the case, you might need another change in your life: a new significant other.
5. Everybody hates your partner.
Don’t reexamine your relationship because one friend dislikes your partner. But if everybody you know hates him/her? Your relationship is worth a second look. Presumably, the people you surround yourself with love you and want you to be happy. So if everyone from your dad to your second cousin hates him/her, they’re picking up on something you’re missing. Love may be blind, but it doesn’t have to cripple you.
6. You’ve become a different person.
Yes, change is inevitable – and great when it’s on your own terms. But what if it’s not? Are you becoming someone else to please your partner? Do you feel like you’ve changed for the worse, instead of the better? Are you not comfortable being yourself? Does your partner dictate who you are and what you do? If you’ve changed dramatically in a bad way, it might mean you’re in a toxic relationship.
7. One person controls the relationship.
Unromantic as it sounds, every relationship has a delicate balance of power. But the key to keeping it healthy is to keep it balanced. Does one person control the relationship? Do you always feel like you’re compromising while your partner doesn’t have to change anything? Do you feel powerless? Do you feel like you can’t say no? You might be in a toxic relationship.
8. You need each other.
Needing each other might sound romantic, but in actuality it’s just destructive. You shouldn’t need but want each other. Needing someone else means that your life isn’t fulfilled on its own, and you want your partner to fill that hole. But you have to create your own happiness first. Your partner can’t fix your life, and expecting him/her to will destroy your relationship. So if you ‘need’ each other, it might be time to take a break.
A relationship that’s toxic isn’t necessarily doomed. But it does require a serious conversation and a dramatic change in your relationship. Just remember: no matter what happens, you will get through this. After all, you’re a superhero.