A toxic relationship is best described as a relationship which is emotionally and most of the times physically damaging, it hurts your soul, your mind and your body, it is wearying over all. It is the worst form of a dysfunctional relationship.
They are pretty much like the dementors in Harry Potter movies who suck all the happiness out of a person, leaving them in despair. So in order to keep your sanity, here are some ways to help you identify a toxic relationship.
1. If you aren’t yourself around them
If you become a completely different person in your partner’s presence so that you can have their approval or skip doing something you really want to in order to avoid making them angry, it’s like you put a mask on. You are not able to recognize yourself around them, neither can your best friend. Your partner should accept and love you for who you are instead of you constantly trying to change your to impress them and keep them happy. That means they are in love with this image of yours instead of the real you. You don’t feel free to express your mind, you have dual personalities.
The above mentioned behavioral patterns can occur in any relationship every once in a while but in a toxic relationship these become a norm and not an exception, the difference between normal and toxic relationship lies in the severity and frequency of the occurrences. If your partner has one or more of these damaging habits then it’s time to think about things seriously and make the required changes.
2. If the relationship is over all exhausting
We always know when our relationship has reached the stage where the only solution to make things bearable is by ending it, but we tend to cling to it anyway. A healthy relationship has a positive impact on your life, the happy moments always outweigh the sad ones. Just ask yourself how your relationship makes you feel?? and if the thought of your partner fails to put a smile on your face then you have your answer right in front of you.
The negativity of your relationship doesn’t stay confined to the boundaries of your relationship only, instead it affects your general mood, your performance at work, your health and your relationship with other people. If you always find yourself complaining, fighting, obsessing over something your partner said, thinking and rethinking before sending a simple ‘did you eat?’ text, if you feel drained or too worked up after an interaction with your partner and want to avoid dealing with them, then it’s time to make a change.
3. If they are way too possessive
A little jealousy is healthy in any relationship but if it becomes a constant reason of fights over and over again, then there’s something wrong. If the jealousy is so strong that your partner can’t stand even if you courteously smile at a waiter of the opposite sex. In some cases it is so bad that they restrict you from meeting your old friends and family. They check your messages, ask all kinds of questions if you stay late for work, want you to restrict your contacts with people, in short they want to own you, you’re their property. All your efforts of trying to show your love and commitment towards them go in vain and they continue to suffocate you. They want to isolate you from all your connections and call it their love for you. It isn’t love, its obsession and their behaviour is nothing but paranoid.
4. If your partner is manipulative
If you ever want something different from your partner but somehow end up going your partners way without an apparent fight then you are in a relationship with a manipulative partner. These people pull all your strings either through emotional blackmail or sending you on constant guilt trips. They try to control you by inducing guilt about something you did ages ago, they play you like a puppet without you even realizing it. They can also do this by seemingly supporting your choice but their behavior will subtly make you feel guilty enough to revert your decision and you’ll be played by them thinking it’s the right thing to do.
For example, you think of starting a business, they’ll seem all supportive about it and as you go forward they’ll start with small hints, like they gave up all their savings for you, or didn’t buy the shoes so that you have some extra money for business and soon you’ll start thinking how nice of a person your partner is to support you and you’re the bad person for making them go through this.
5. If there is a lot of anger and ugly fights
If your partner has a lot of angry moments and you feel scared of them or expressing yourself in front of them, their presence stresses you out, you are on a constant watch when they’re around as to what might trigger their rage and try to control your behavior around them to avoid an outburst, you’re literally walking on eggshells around them. This is also known as ‘control by intimidation’, a classic behavior of a toxic partner. Every couple has their moments of heated fights but if these fights become a norm and their intensity keeps on getting worse, for example if name calling is involved if you cannot discuss anything with your partner because you know eventually it will turn into a crazy fight. There is just too much screaming, fighting, anger, impatience, blaming etc.
6. If you’re never good enough
If you partner continuously puts you down in person, makes fun of you in public or generally mocks you every chance they get. It just feels like whatever you say is either ‘silly’ or ‘stupid’. This type of a toxic relationship involves an extremely controlling partner, they want everything to be their way and in order to do that they want you to keep your self esteem as low as possible by constantly telling you how wrong your choices are, how you can never come up with any good ideas and how you always need their help to make decisions.
They make you feel so little that you start to doubt even the smallest of decisions, like what colour to wear, whether your partner would approve of blue or not. They take over your thinking capability and you start feeling ashamed of yourself. There is a major lack of respect in this case.
7. If it involves physical abuse
Any mature person can identify physical violence as destructive behaviour, such relationships need immediate intervention, it goes without saying that it has to stop at all costs! If it isn’t reparable even after a lot of counseling then its best to simply walk out of it, but there is no way this should be deemed acceptable. You cannot keep walking on broken glass and expect that one day you’ll start walking on it without getting hurt. This is hands down the worst kind of a toxic relationship.
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