Relationships bring a sense of belonging and companionship to the partners involved. If you were to ask any couple, they tell you that it is never as straightforward as it seems. A relationship can take a turn for the worst, either gradually with visible signs or abrupt with no manner of noticing it before it’s too late.
Young relationships tend to be less plagued by toxic traits because the more you get to know someone, the more you notice the things you like and dislike about them.
Signs of a toxic relationship
Violence could be any commotion between the two involved. Be it physical assault or verbal abuse. Violence is the most obvious sign of a toxic relationship.
It should be clear that it is not correct for either of the two to lay a hand at each other. No matter the circumstance.
If this is happening in the relationship, it is a clear indication that the relationship is unhealthy. Therefore, you should do something about it.
• One-sided relationship
Since a relationship involves two individuals, each of them has to carry their weight.
When a relationship reaches a point where all the effort and love expressed is shown by one person, then it means that the love that once was has worn out.
The imbalance will lead to one partner feeling left out and may start showing unwelcomed traits in a bid to gain recognition.
These traits may lead to unrest in the relationship causing it to become toxic.
• Lack of support
Couples are supposed to be there for each other in their times of need. In times of crisis or struggle, they are supposed to be your support system to get you back on your feet.
But when the significant other withdraws from being supportive and prefers to let their partners suffer in silence, this is a clear indication that the relationship is not as it was but has changed into something undesirable. Therefore, you should address it.
Mutual respect is paramount in a relationship. One is supposed to consider the feelings and beliefs of their partners without criticizing or mocking them.
Each partner should always mind how their better half is feeling and not toy with their emotions.
In a toxic relationship, the other individual shows disregard towards the other partner’s feelings and property. Disrespect is one obvious sign to look out for when suspecting that the relationship is going toxic.
The foundation of any relationship is trust and complete honesty. Without trust and honesty, no relationship would ever thrive.
So a couple must be honest with each other no matter how challenging the truth may be. A relationship that cultures honesty will always stand the test of time.
On the other hand, in a toxic relationship, one is bombarded with lies after lies. Dishonesty is often to cover up deeds that they would otherwise not want their partners to know. Lies beget lies, and it never ends well. Be cautious of partners that are constantly dishonest.
• Anger issues
Once in a while, it is usual to get angry when in a relationship. It could be what a partner says or does that makes you boil in rage.
Intense anger is understandable because people are different, and getting on someone’s nerves can be triggered differently.
As a couple, you should already know what makes your partner mad and try not to.
But if a person is easily infuriated by trivial things, that should work as a red flag. You should be conscious of this development.
• Constant drama
Misunderstandings are usual in a relationship. Sometimes, your partner might do things that you wouldn’t necessarily want them to do.
It is advisable to resolve issues calmly over a conversation.
In a toxic and unhealthy relationship, every little thing will be blown out of proportion and made such a big deal. If your partner starts coming up with reasons to start acting up, you should be aware that something is amiss.
A healthy relationship resolves their misunderstandings in a calm and collected way without unnecessary drama.
• Jealousy and envy
If there is ever a poison in relationships, it is jealousy. Again, a little bit of jealousy exists in relationships, but not to the extent of becoming obsessive and violent towards your partner.
If your better half exhibits traits like excessive jealousy over you hanging out with your friends, especially of the opposite gender. Stand guard as this is a toxic trait. Jealousy and envy affect both genders and may result from individual insecurities.
• Unhealthy communication
A conversation between a healthy couple will always be fluid and come out naturally without being forced.
Healthy communication is because both are at ease and are open to sharing anything.
On the other hand, a toxic relationship incorporates sarcasm, criticism, and passive aggression that you can read of between the lines.
You should note the tone and how your partner speaks to you because the pitch and manner will indicate how they feel. Lack of effective communication might be detrimental to the relationship if not tackled properly.
• Control freak
Both parties in a couple should have a significant say in what affects their lives. No one is superior to the other when it comes to making decisions.
If it is an important topic, then it should be discussed, and a solution that fits both parties selected.
Never should a single person dictate over everyone in the relationship.
If you have a controlling partner who does not listen to your opinion and considerations, then stay alert because this is an unhealthy practice in a relationship.
• Undermines your self-worth
We are all equal when it comes to relationships. No one is better than the other. A partner who looks down upon you for the things you lack or for the things you are insecure about usually attack your vulnerabilities.
Such behavior is questionable. Your partner should always strive to uplift you no matter what and not try to bring you down in any way.
• Change in mindset
When you are not the toxic one in the relationship, you might tend to feel a different type of way. Change of mindset includes: when you have had an undesired change in your thoughts and mood, being constantly sad, depressed, anxious, with lingering notions in your mind leading to constant stress and feeling drained. All these are detrimental to your health, and it would do you good to quit the relationship before it hurts you further.
Solutions to a toxic relationship
So you have realized you are in a toxic relationship and are wondering what you can do about the situation. The following are some of the solutions you could follow to help you get through this predicament.
• Look at the bigger picture.
When you have come to terms and wonder what to do, the first thing should be to look at the bigger picture.
Ask yourself if it is resolvable and if both parties are willing to fix the relationship.
If for any reason, the answer to any of those questions is no, then it is best to leave the relationship as it is before you hurt yourself.
• Open communication
Open communication is essential in rebuilding any broken relationship. Both of you expressing yourselves can work wonders. If there is a possibility of reaching an agreement, then you can salvage the relationship. If not, then it is best not to force.
• Know your worth
Once you understand that you are not worthless and you are the prize, you will not allow anyone to demean you, and you will get to know that you are just as important as your partner, if not more important. If you feel undermined, it is only correct that you walk away.
• Seeking external help
At times, toxic relationships stem from unresolved issues either partner experienced in the past. If so, the individuals in the toxic relationship should seek external help, from trusted friends or a professional therapist, depending on whom the affected partner feels comfortable with.
Regardless of whom you select, the individual should guide the couple to overcome this setback and have a fruitful relationship.
• Leave the relationship
When you have tried everything but still can’t reach an agreement, there is no shame in calling it quits before it affects both of you.
It is a difficult task to do, especially if you have been together for a while. However, it is for the best as it allows for healing and growth.
Relationships come with many ups and downs along the way. It may reach a point where the relationship does more harm than good to both partners.
At this point, it is best to evaluate your choices and determine the best course of action though it won’t be the easiest.
Always look after your happiness and never let anybody dictate it for you.
Remember to always think highly of yourself, never doubt your capabilities, and always go for what brings you joy.