Relationships can be an amazing source of positive energy, and you do feel special in it. But, more often than not, many of us end up in demeaning toxic relationships that drain us of energy. These relationships sometimes prevail long enough to harm personal growth for the sole reason of their glorified status and fear of breaking it.
Popular culture shares a large part of the blame for the portrayal of great love stories as a saga of pain. Many women think that the greater their suffering is, the greater the love is. This could not be further from the truth. Similarly, many assume that they deserve less than their partner or that they have some qualities that are negative to have in a relationship. They wait to get rejected and accept rejection, though with mental pain.
People often do not understand how and why their relationship has gone from the giggling-like-a-teenager state to the stagnant, suffocating state. It is easy to overlook the reality because of the emotional take on the matter. But, mostly, it is because you don’t pause and take a look at the relationship and ask ‘is all well? is this what I want?’
If you are not feeling up to the mammoth task of analysing your entire relationship, look for these 10 signs that say you are in a relationship that is toxic.
Do you often feel like he is mad at you for some reason, but you can’t quite put your finger on it? Does he always brush off your efforts to find out and continues to act upset? If your answers are ‘yes’, you have got a case of passive aggression. It is the most commonly missed red flag in relationships. Many women alike dismiss this behaviour and justify it saying ‘He probably does not want to make a fuss about things?’
This kind of explicit silent treatments is not healthy behaviour. Your partner is choosing to leave you confused and is enjoying the suffering instead of communicating and resolving the issue that is bothering him. The passive aggressive behaviour is often accompanied by subtle insults, sulky behaviour, and stubbornness. It not only inhibits the growth of a relationship but traps you in a constant uncomfortable state.
Many are a little possessive about their partners. Not that anyone has to be, but you and your partner are humans. Many take it as a matter of pride and the partner’s commitment
The feeling of ‘ownership’ in a relationship can soon take an unhealthy turn. The line between ‘she is mine’ that stems from affection and ‘she belongs to me alone’ is thin.
An unhealthy possessiveness stems from insecurities and shows controlling behaviour. Similarly, jealousy is often mistaken to be love. But, if he cannot stand you talking to another guy, know that he doesn’t have faith in the relationship and distrust in a relationship is harmful and cannot sustain.
There is no way two different individuals can like everything about each other. But, you accept the imperfections in the other person too because you love the person and know that differences are natural. This will come with healthy criticisms and efforts to coexist without demeaning your partner. But, if you see contempt in his behaviour very often, it is not a healthy relationship.
If he constantly points out your lack of interest in watching his favourite channel or your enthusiasm for your favourite TV show, he hasn’t been able to like the differences in your personalities. There is a huge difference between someone trying to raise you up by encouraging you to be better and completely trying to change you. Contempt often comes with arrogance and explicit behaviour. If he rolls his eyes in disapproval every time you talk or move, you are undoubtedly in a toxic relationship.
There is nothing new about couples fighting. You fight because of the urge to make the other person understand your point. You want them to see your point of view. It is important to you that they see your perspective. But, if every argument you have is far from communication, and is a competition that only one of you can win, then you are not making any progress.
If he is arguing with the intention of countering you, the chances are high that you are in a toxic relationship. If you do not find a middle ground on the matter of discussion at the end of the fight, and only the bitterness from the fight is carried on, do not hesitate to call quits. These experiences are only draining you of energy and not doing you any good.
You cannot be in a healthy relationship unless you absolutely love yourself. The first person that must adore you for all your flaws and strengths is you. If that person is hidden in the relationship, you are probably in the wrong relationship. It is not necessary that your partner is at fault here. You could be faking it due to the fear of him not liking the ‘real you’. But, that doesn’t change the fact that his happiness is the only significant matter in the relationship. Unlike other signs, this is one that you can fix quickly and easily. All you have to do is to love yourself and let him love the real you.
If your partner doesn’t stand with you in crisis and acts like your issues are yours alone, there is no way to sugarcoat the fact that he is not your person. You don’t have to be in an extreme situation to test it out. If you have been taking responsibilities in every aspect of life including household, finance, and children, you are not in a healthy relationship. Disregarding his indifference to help you out as laziness or force of habit doesn’t change the nature of the relationship.
It is normal not to agree with everything he says or does. But, you are afraid of expressing your opinion. You don’t think he will understand why you said ‘no’. You are scared that if you disagree with him, he will break up with you. None of these is a healthy sign. Whether you are right or not, you should not be afraid to voice your thoughts. If you are judged for every single thing and cannot let your guard down for even a second, you are in a classic toxic relationship.
There is no way to plan your entire life. Developments and unexpected opportunities are part of your life. Some of them will turn out great and some won’t. But, you should always have the choice of chasing after your dreams. If you are not free to dream of a promotion that may require relocating to another city or applying for a PhD programme that requires a lot of your attention, you are not in a healthy environment. If his future plans are the only ones that matter and your opportunities of putting the best leg forward aren’t nurtured, you can do better in your love life.
Falling in love could be easy. But, making a relationship work takes effort. If neither of you is trying to make the relationship better or only one of you is trying hard, chances are that your relationship is at a dead end. Lack of effort indicates that either you are fed up or you don’t see any hope. If you are the only one trying, do not overlook his lack of efforts. You being a giver doesn’t make up for his indifference. You also deserve someone as dedicated as you.
This one is an immediate deal breaker. There is no way to justify any behaviour that can be classified as abuse. Be it physical, verbal, or emotional. Among these, emotional abuse is the hardest to identify. Anything that suffocates you or chokes you from inside is emotional abuse. His need for monitoring you all the time and inability to be happy for your success is emotionally abusive behaviour. If your attempts of working through these issues, with or without the help of a professional have failed, know that you are not obliged to stay in an abusive relationship in the name of love.