There’s no denying the fact that relationships can be difficult and sometimes you will find yourself at odds with your partner.
But when these disagreements turn into arguments that make one party feel bad about themselves or their worth as a person, this is an indication that the relationship has become toxic.
And there comes a point when you have to ask yourself, “Is it worth staying in this relationship?”
Some relationships are toxic from the beginning, but others start off well and gradually become more negative over time.
The term “toxic relationship” is used by some people to describe an abusive relationship, but it is not limited to abusive relationships.
A toxic relationship can be between friends, family members, co-workers, or romantic partners.
A toxic relationship can be hard to define because it usually starts out with a lot of positive feelings involved.
But as time goes by, the negative aspects start to outweigh the positives and you find yourself feeling trapped in the relationship.
If you’re in a toxic relationship, you’ll probably feel negative emotions on a regular basis.
These emotions can range from sadness to anger and may cause you to think negative thoughts about yourself, your partner, and even your future.
While each relationship is different, here are some signs of a toxic relationship that can help you tell if your connection might be unhealthy:
21 Warning Signs of a Toxic Relationship
- You are constantly fighting
There is no way to have a loving relationship if you are constantly fighting.
The hallmark of a toxic relationship is endless fighting.
The two people can never agree on anything.
They are always arguing about some issue or problem in their relationship.
If you can’t remember the last time you had an enjoyable conversation with your partner without it turning into an argument, your relationship is unhealthy.
If you and your partner cannot seem to get along or resolve conflict, then the relationship is likely doomed.
2. You don’t trust each other
You don’t trust each other, so you constantly monitor their actions and words in an attempt to uncover the truth behind what they’re saying or doing.
You feel that if you can catch them out on one thing then it proves everything else that they’ve done is dishonest too—even when there’s no actual evidence for this.
3. You feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells
If you are in a toxic relationship, you will feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells.
You will start to feel that your thoughts and feelings do not matter and that you have to walk on eggshells around your partner.
This is because they are always on the verge of exploding and the last thing you want is to set them off.
When this happens, anything can ignite the fire; it may be something big or something minor.
If your partner has a bad day at work, they take it out on you.
Or if they had a fight with their mother, they’ll take it out on you.
4. You feel bad about yourself
In a healthy relationship, each partner makes the other feel good about themselves by building them up or at least supporting them no matter what.
We all have flaws and so do our partners but when those flaws are pointed out in a belittling way, it hurts more than helps.
Toxic relationships create an environment where they make you feel bad about yourself, which makes it hard for you to express yourself freely without fear of being criticized.
You may find yourself feeling as if there is something wrong with you or that there is something that must be wrong with you if your partner treats you badly.
This can lead to self-doubt.
5. Driven completely by emotions
A toxic partner is ruled by their emotions and not logic.
If they are upset about something, they will lash out at you without thinking about the ramifications of their actions on your relationship.
6. Always puts themselves first
A toxic partner doesn’t think about how their choices will affect you.
If they have to go out with friends one night and they don’t have the money, they will ask for yours so they can have fun instead of going out with you.
A toxic partner is selfish and doesn’t care about you.
A toxic partner might also be clingy.
They want to be around you all the time.
They may even call or text every hour to make sure you’re still together.
This is controlling behavior and a major sign of a toxic person.
8. Always wanting to be right
The problem with toxic people is they want you to always be wrong.
They want to be right and they want you to admit it.
If you don’t, they’ll make you miserable until you do.
They are often perfectionists who demand perfect behavior from everyone else in their lives — including you.
They expect things to be done in a certain way, usually their way, and if it’s not done that way, there must be something wrong with whoever did it differently.
9. Plays victim
They always blame everyone else for everything that goes wrong in the relationship.
They refuse to take responsibility for anything, which makes it impossible for them to resolve any issues that arise between the two of you.
10. Low self-esteem
Low self-esteem is so common in toxic relationships because your partner is always tearing you down and putting you down.
You begin to believe that all of the horrible things that they say about you are true and forget all of the good things about yourself.
11. (Isolation)You feel like there’s no one (or nowhere) to turn to
A toxic partner may try to isolate you from friends and family so that they are the only person who keeps you sane in their volatile relationship.
Eventually, this isolation will wear on your mental health and make it more difficult for you to leave the relationship
This is just one of the ways they control their partners’ actions and thoughts.
12. You repeatedly make excuses for your partner’s behavior
You might try to justify things to yourself, telling yourself it’s not that bad or it will get better soon.
But things remain the same or get worse.
13. They put down your friends or family members
People like to be accepted for who they are, so if your partner has put down your friends or family members from time to time, this should be a red flag.
It may seem innocent enough when your partner makes remarks about how bad your mother cooks or how obnoxious your best friend is.
But if your partner does this frequently enough that it’s normal behavior for them, then they’re not showing respect for your loved ones – which means they probably don’t respect you either.
14. Your partner ignores or dismisses your feelings
They never seem to listen when you talk and often brush off your concerns as unimportant.
This is a major sign of disrespect and shows that your partner doesn’t care about how you feel.
15. Minimizing or denying abuse
If your partner is minimizing or denying the abuse that happens in your relationship, it’s a sign that he or she doesn’t think what he or she did was wrong and will likely do it again if given the chance.
16. Subtle Threats
Your partner makes subtle threats about harming himself or herself if you try to leave the relationship.
This is a way of keeping you in the relationship.
He/she knows that once you start feeling guilty over the thought of making them suicidal, you would never break up with them.
If your partner is manipulating you into making decisions, this is an obvious sign of a controlling personality and can be dangerous in situations where this behavior escalates into physical abuse and self-harm.
18. Your partner is constantly critical of you
You know the saying, “It’s a fine line between love and hate.”
Well, that goes for relationships, too.
When someone is constantly critical of you, it can be hard to tell if it’s malicious or just plain annoying.
After all, a partner who doesn’t like everything about you wouldn’t be much of a partner at all.
Toxic partners make it their goal to find fault in everything you do and then make sure you’re aware of what they think of you.
They’re never satisfied with anything you do and are constantly criticizing or belittling your thoughts, opinions and beliefs.
In a toxic relationship, your partner may constantly criticize your appearance, personality traits, job, words, in fact, how you live your life on a daily basis.
You feel as if there’s no right way to do anything because the person closest to you constantly points out what you’re doing wrong.
You might also be criticized for things that aren’t even true.
Your partner may make up stories about things that happened between the two of you.
And then tell others about them without letting you know he or she has done so.
Especially if the story casts him or her in a more favorable light.
19. Can’t communicate effectively or listen to reason
Communication is the backbone of every successful relationship.
It’s also the first thing that goes down the tubes when a relationship turns toxic.
Your partner may be unwilling or unable to listen to what you have to say, which can make any discussion frustrating and pointless.
You might get into arguments over the most mundane things.
Not everyone handles conflict well, but if your partner refuses to work with you through issues, this is toxic behavior that could poison your entire relationship.
20. You feel drained after spending time with your partner
In a healthy relationship, you should feel uplifted after spending time with your partner.
In a toxic relationship, you may feel exhausted or even depressed after spending time together.
If you find yourself dreading the time you get to spend with your special someone, that’s a sign that it’s not healthy for you.
Even if your partner is genuinely great and does things for you that no one else does; if you feel like all the time spent together is draining instead of energizing, then something is wrong.
21. Toxic partners tend to overestimate their contributions and underestimate yours
This is one of the toxic patterns of codependency.
A lot of toxic relationships are accompanied by an imbalance of caretaking responsibilities — one person does more than their fair share while the other hovers in a dependent state.
This type of imbalance has been shown to cause negative effects on health, especially in women.
When both parties contribute equally and caretaking is a shared responsibility, it tends to be much better on both mental and physical levels.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs in your relationship, it may be time to rethink things.
Toxic relationships are not just bad for you – they’re also bad for your health.
Toxic relationships can trigger depression and anxiety, destroy self-esteem, and send you into a destructive cycle of negative thoughts.
If you’re not happy in your relationship, it’s important to take steps to change things for the better.
There’s no shame in ending a toxic relationship; in fact, it can be one of the healthiest decisions you could make.