Relationships are known to evolve, they change, just like people change. Most often we don’t realize we’re in a toxic relationship because we always keep looking back at the lovey-dovey moments wherein you would smile ear to ear thinking, ‘OMG, we’re in so much in love!’
That’s the thing about toxic relationships—they have subtle signs but you’re never fully convinced till everything blows up completely. Sometimes it takes some people, two kids and a house loan to realize their relationship was never the paradise they imagined it to be. And sometimes relationships are doomed from the very beginning, but we’re too lovestruck and drowning in oxytocin to realize it.
So, what really is a toxic relationship?
A toxic relationship is something that meddles with your self-esteem, your confidence and happiness, the way you look at yourself and the world. Not every relationship is toxic from the beginning. Some relationships do start healthy, however, factors like long, unmet needs, bad feelings, bad history, compromises and lack of adjustments can quickly contaminate the relationship and make it toxic. It can happen to the strongest people, in very little time.
How toxic relationships affect your everyday life
Let’s face it, every relationship is worth the fight, until they’re not! A toxic relationship can affect you in more ways than you can imagine:
- Unhappiness, crankiness, anger, moodiness, and negativity become a part of your daily life
- You find it better to avoid each other as much as possible
- Your work-life also begins to suffer just like your relationship with other people
15 signs you are in a toxic relationship
It’s never that easy to leave a toxic relationship right away especially when you have a lot of history. However, being aware of its signs can help you be in the process of identifying what depth you’re in and how you can draw an exit plan.
It just feels bad all the time
You don’t feel excited about anything related to your relationship anymore. You wake up feeling a void from within just how you go to bed every night. You look at other couples and it’s like salt to the wounds as you wonder, why couldn’t you be as happy as them?
You don’t say what you need to say because ‘what’s the point’?
Every person has a set of needs and expectations from a relationship. Be it love, affection, sex, validation—when time and again these needs are mocked or unmet, you eventually don’t feel the need to convey your needs anymore.
There’s no effort
Just like posing with a camera doesn’t automatically make you a good photographer, being physically present in a relationship doesn’t validate a substantial emotional investment being made. When you see a lack of effort from your partner to love you, make time for you, or do something positive for you, you should know that it’s a subtle indication of your relationship getting toxic.
All the work, compromises, making-up, comes from you
A relationship requires efforts from both sides. When you notice that it’s just you who has been holding the thread for so long with zilch effort from the other person, it’s a sign you shouldn’t ignore.
You’re only accepted when you say ‘yes’
The art of saying ‘no’ is imperative. ‘No’ is not always a bad word. Sometimes, you need to say no when you feel things aren’t right. But when your partner only appreciates you when you say ‘yes’ to their demands and a ‘no’ brings in a wave of taunts and accusations, something isn’t right.
There’s always a scorecard of who is more wrong
It’s human nature to argue about things and bring instances where the other person has been wrong. Even the healthiest relationships go through this. But keeping a scorecard and bringing the old instances time and again to present-day arguments is not a good sign.
Physical, verbal, or emotional abuse
Absolute deal-breakers. No explanation needed.
You feel like you are always on your own
When you’re in a relationship, it always feels like ‘us against the world’ and ‘we’re a team!’ But when you start feeling like you’re absolutely alone, be it when you’re dealing with any comments from other family members or the public in general, you have a solid sign of a toxic relationship.
Manipulation of any kind is never good. ‘You go out with your friends while I just stay at home’—is a clear shade at you to make you feel bad about yourself for leaving the house. Some ill-intentions are also marinated with seemingly kind words like, ‘You seem so tired! Why don’t we cancel our movie date tonight? You take rest, I’ll just go meet Shweta for a while since she’s going through a rough patch after her breakup.’ Passive-aggressive behaviour should never be taken lightly.
No space, no privacy
Every person needs and deserves some privacy and space in a relationship. But when you see your partner constantly going through your WhatsApp messages, your Instagram DMs, your bills, etc. you should know that this kind of insecurity is never a healthy sign.
What are you going through? I’ve had worse!
Understanding is an integral part of every relationship. But when one makes the whole thing just about them, overlooking the other person—it’s not healthy! ‘Hey, I know you’re really sick but you HAVE to come with me to this party, I’ve given a word to Rahul and Neeta and can’t cancel!’
‘What are you talking about, huh? Please! I’ve had it worse! Your problem is nothing compared to mine!’—are all indications that it will always be just about them and never about you.
Nothing gets resolved, no matter what
A healthy relationship involves two people willing to bring out a peaceful conclusion when differences arise. In toxic relationships, nothing gets resolved, because every fight ends with another argument.
You’re not involved in the big decisions
When you share your life with someone, you naturally become a part of their big decisions. You expect them to keep you in the loop when something big is happening in their life. But when you’re the last one to know that they invested in a property or suddenly did a job switch—you know where you stand and where your relationship is headed.
Lies and lies
Trust is very fragile and when lies keep popping up, no matter how small or big, the trust simply fades off.
You become the bad guy!
Nobody wants code red on their ledger. A toxic partner aces the blame-game like no other and no matter what the argument, the burden of faults is always directed at you and you become the bad guy!
Lastly, the most important sign that something isn’t right in your relationship, comes from within. Human intuitions are almost never wrong so don’t ignore them.
When you feel you’re in a toxic relationship, it’s imperative to talk to someone because our vulnerability often clouds our judgment. If you need to speak to a professional about your relationship or any other concerns, you can now consult top psychologists and psychiatrists on the mfine app.