How do you know if your relationship is turning toxic? This post explains what toxicity looks like in a relationship and what you should do when you spot it.
Depending on the nature of the relationship, toxicity manifestations can range from being barely perceptible to being quite prominent, according to Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D.
You might not always be able to easily spot the early indicators of a toxic relationship when they start to emerge. Some of these signs, though, might exist in the relationship itself, in you, or in your spouse. The early signs of a toxic relationship can be detected when you’re familiar with the things toxic partners say.
You could make fun of them when they’re in another room by mockingly repeating what they said. You can simply begin ignoring their calls to prevent the ensuing conflicts and hostility that lead to toxic love.
Every little thing just kind of fits into a great marriage. You make these decisions together, just enjoy being with each other, and talk about any worries that come up. Of course, there may be an odd argument or another setback.
Another one is the problem of unhealthy unions. Jor-El Caraballo, a relationship therapist, asserts that in a destructive relationship, you might regularly feel exhausted or sad after spending time with your partner, which may be a sign that something has to change.
Even though you still adore your partner, the relationship may not currently feel particularly happy. You two constantly seem to irritate one another or can’t seem to stop arguing over trivial issues. You might even fear seeing them, rather than looking forward to it like you used to.
We’ll talk about some red flags of relationship toxicity before offering suggestions for what to do next if you or your partner demonstrate any of these behaviors.
1. Jealousy or envy
Jealousy is normal from time to time, but Caraballo warns that it can become a problem if it keeps you from being happy for your partner’s successes. The emotion of envy is comparable to this and is very common in humans. But if it makes things tenser and tenser, your relationship may start to get worse quickly.
2. Possessive habits
Does your partner ask you where you are all the time? Maybe they get annoyed or frustrated when you don’t reply to texts right away.
These behaviors could be brought on by jealousy, a lack of trust, or a desire for control, both of which can increase a relationship’s toxic elements. The occasional indication of abuse may also come from these control attempts.
Holding onto and allowing resentments to fester damages intimacy.
According to Caraballo, “over time, resentment or dissatisfaction can accumulate and widen a small chasm. Also, observe whether you tend to keep these grievances to yourself because you don’t feel comfortable expressing what bothers you. If you can’t trust your partner to listen to your worries, your relationship could become toxic.
You come to realize that you regularly make up lies about your whereabouts or the people you meet. Depending on your motivation, you might do it to avoid spending time with your spouse or because you’re worried about what they’ll say if you tell them the truth.
5. An attitude of disrespect
Being regularly late, casually “forgetting” events, and other behaviors that show disrespect for your time are warning signs. It’s important to keep in mind that some people may find it difficult to make and keep commitments on time, so starting with a discussion about this behavior may be beneficial. After you explain why it bothers you, things might get better if it’s not intentional.
6. Bad financial habits
When you share your finances with a spouse, you typically need to have some level of understanding regarding how you’ll spend or even save your money.
However, the relationship is not necessarily toxic if one partner chooses to spend money on items that the other partner finds objectionable.
However, it can be toxic if you and your partner have financial agreements but one of you consistently breaks them, whether it’s through extravagant purchases or excessive cash withdrawals.
7. Persistent fear
Common life challenges like a family member’s illness or a job loss can lead to some conflict in your relationship. However, being on edge constantly, even when there are no outside stressors, is a surefire indication that something is wrong. Because of this constant stress, you might feel sad, tired, sick, or have other health problems. You might also have problems with your physical and mental health.
8. Ignoring what you need
Going along with your partner’s wishes, even if they conflict with your preferences or level of comfort, is a clear sign of poison. Consider a scenario in which they planned a trip that will keep you away from home on your mother’s birthday. However, you emphasized that all dates were acceptable as long as you didn’t miss your mother’s birthday on the 17th when they asked you what days were convenient. You shouldn’t bring up this subject because you don’t want to start a debate.
Can a bad relationship be fixed?
Contrary to popular opinion, not all unhealthy relationships fail. The deciding factor for change to occur is there must be widespread support. If only one couple is dedicated to creating healthy routines, change is regrettably unlikely to occur. You’re on the right track if you and your partner both feel that your relationship could use some work and are committed to making it better.
She continues by stressing how important it is for both parties to acknowledge previous actions that negatively impacted the relationship. It shows that you want to be held accountable and aware of yourself. In other words, both parties must accept responsibility for their part in the toxic relationship, including any resentment, jealousy, or silence regarding worries and disappointments.
- Investing capacity
Are both of you prepared to make the sacrifices required to strengthen your relationship? That’s motivating. You could want to have more in-depth conversations or that you regularly set aside time to spend with each other in a good, quality way.
- Instead of blaming, try to understanding
If you and your conversation partner can steer the conversation away from accusing each other and more toward comprehension and instruction, there might be a way forward.
- Receptivity to outside assistance
Sometimes you need help to get things back on track, whether it’s through individual or marital counseling. When dealing with ongoing relationship issues, getting professional help is acceptable. Relationship counselors are qualified to give advice because there are times when you can’t see every bad thing about a relationship.
But you don’t have to watch helplessly as your marriage falls apart because of negative social interactions and conversations.
When both you and your spouse want to make changes, a relationship therapist can help you explore healthy, compassionate communication techniques and real concern as you begin to identify the fundamental causes of related negative effects.