When you’re in a relationship, it can be hard to tell if it’s toxic. After all, you’re investing your time and energy into someone that you really care about. It could take a friend or family member to point out that certain aspects of the relationship aren’t healthy for you at all. Even after you’re informed of this, it can be hard to accept that the person you love so much is actually putting a tremendous amount of stress on your heart and mind.
Toxic relationships can leave you drained in every way. When you’re in an unhealthy relationship, you can become physically exhausted, emotionally drained and mentally fatigued. It’s hard to think straight when you’re in this type of situation, and you may not think twice about the lack of emotional energy you now have.
No one likes to hear or to think that they may be with the wrong person. The point of getting into a relationship is to build a lasting bond with someone, so coming to the realization that it may not work out can be disappointing. However, it’s much more disappointing in the long run to be in a toxic relationship. Here are 10 signs that it’s time to move on.
10. One-Sided Authority
A relationship should be a partnership. That means one person shouldn’t run everything when it comes to the life the two of you share. Of course, you both have different talents and abilities, so if one person is in charge of the finances while the other makes sure the house is clean, there’s no problem with that, in and of itself. However, when one person in the relationship determines how the money will be spent, when the house should be cleaned, where the two of you will spend your weekends, and who you should hang out with, you could be in a toxic relationship. While it’s nice to have someone who makes life easier for you, you should never feel like it’s a problem if you express your own opinion. After all, you’re an adult.
9. The Desire For Completion
Due to the romanticized way in which relationships are sometimes portrayed, you may feel that your partner is supposed to make you feel whole. If you are expecting something and get disappointed each time your partner makes a choice that doesn’t make you feel “complete,” the relationship could be toxic. Likewise, if the person you’re with is extremely needy or controlling, he/she could be depending on you for their personal fulfillment. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to be disrespected. It just means that each person in the relationship should be responsible for his/her own personal growth. Making sure the voids in your life are satisfied is your job. It’s not anyone else’s responsibility to make you feel complete, even if you’re in a relationship. Two self-assured people who are willing to learn from each other can likely build a lasting and satisfying romantic partnership.
Yes, people in relationships should be able to rely on each other. Yes, you should be able to trust your partner with your biggest secrets. Your mate should be willing to help you through the difficult parts of life. However, when you make all your decisions based on your partner’s preferences and have no regard for yourself (or vice versa), you’re exhibiting codependency. This is very unhealthy. Likewise, when your partner can’t function unless you’re doing all the things he/she wants you to do (or vice versa), your mate is also codependent. It’s important to negotiate in your relationship, even on small matters. Each person needs to be heard and respected, in order to avoid resentment. The adjustments and changes you make for your mate, as well as the changes your mate makes for you, should never seem like a heavy obligation. You’re supposed to do those things out of love for each other.
7. Too Many Expectations
A healthy relationship consists of two people who are not perfect, and choose to love each other in spite of their imperfections. Your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend is not going to make perfect choices all the time. He/she may have done some things in the past that cause regret. Your presence in your mate’s life should send the message that you love him/her no matter what. You deserve to feel that same comfort and unconditional love as well. Also, it’s important not to be too idealistic. Your mate isn’t going to respond to life in the same ways that you do all the time. Don’t make him/her feel bad because he/she doesn’t respond the way you would to certain situations in life.
6. Bringing Up The Past
If your mate is always bringing up your past mistakes to justify their actions, you’re in a toxic relationship. Again, no one is perfect. Your significant other shouldn’t use your past as a way to manipulate you. It’s also not healthy to engage in a battle of who made the most mistakes in a relationship. This turns into one person feeling that he/she is owed more of an apology than the other. You don’t want to be on either side of that argument. If you can’t fully accept each other, mistakes and all, it’s best to end the relationship for the peace of mind of everyone involved.
A non-toxic relationship is built on the truth. If your significant other is lying to you, even about small things, this is a sign that the relationship is unhealthy. When your mate omits information when communicating with you, that’s the same as lying. Sometimes, people will repeat lies that they want to believe, in an effort to convince you that the lies are truth. If you know that your mate has been lying to you about something, even if it’s a minor issue, bring it to his/her attention. When a person lies to you, it means they don’t respect, trust or care enough for you to tell you the truth. That has no place in a fulfilling relationship.
4. Lack of Forgiveness
Once again, it’s important to keep in mind that neither you nor your partner is perfect. You’re going to make mistakes in life, and you’re going to make mistakes in your relationship. You need to be able to forgive each other and learn to rebuild trust again. The rebuilding of trust is not only necessary after a “big” offense like cheating (although it may be best to leave in these circumstances). Even when you or your partner need forgiveness for smaller issues, it’s important that you put the past behind you and start to reestablish trust again. If you find pleasure in bringing up the past to get the upper hand on your partner, this is toxic. If your mate won’t forgive you no matter how many times you sincerely apologize, this is also toxic. It’s time to work diligently on forgiveness, or move on.
3. Passive Aggressiveness
You and your partner are upset with each other. However, instead of talking openly about the issue, you harbor resentment and pretend that everything is fine. Then, the two of you start to punish each other in other areas of the relationship. For example, you’re angry with your spouse for not doing the dishes like you asked. So, when the two of you attend a dinner with his co-workers, you act cold and distant in an attempt to embarrass him. Or, you could be upset that a romantic evening didn’t go as planned. However, instead of talking about it, you “forget” to buy your mate a fresh bouquet of flowers the way you usually do every week. This is not an effective or healthy way to conduct a relationship. If you have to make annoying or petty gestures to get your partner to pay attention, so you can (sometimes) eventually get to the root of the problem, you’re wasting precious time and energy that could be spent loving each other.
2. Emotional Blackmail
If your significant other has a habit or character flaw that is causing problems in the relationship, you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to him/her about it lovingly. If you fear that they will get too upset, cry or start blaming you for things, you’re in a relationship where emotional blackmail has prevailed. You shouldn’t fear a penalty for being honest with your partner. If he/she truly cares for you, he/she will listen to your concerns with an open mind and at least make an effort to improve their behavior or compromise with you. It’s important to treat certain conversations with extreme care and consideration, but your partner shouldn’t use emotion as a way to blackmail you.
1. Not Making Time for Each Other
This doesn’t seem toxic until it’s either almost too late, or the relationship can’t be salvaged. We all get really busy sometimes. The longer you’re with someone, the more your lives and obligations intertwine. You may have children to raise together and businesses that you’re running. You may be helping each other take care of sick or elderly family members. However, don’t forget about your actual relationship. Relationships are a living thing, and they need care and attention in order to thrive. Make a conscious decision to spend quality time with your mate on a regular basis. This sends the message that you truly care about him/her, and that you prioritize the relationship. When you fail to do this, both you and your mate could start harboring feelings of resentment that could lead to the demise of the relationship.