A relationship can become toxic when one person starts to have more control than the other, and there is a breakdown in communication.
Someone may start to feel pressure from their partner or partners to behave in a certain way or do things they do not want to. A person may also experience dishonesty and inconsiderate behavior from their partner.
In this article, we will discuss the signs of a toxic relationship, how to cope, how to end the relationship, and more.
- being dishonest
- pressuring their partner into sexual activities
- being inconsiderate
- refusing to take accountability for their actions
- not communicating effectively
- trying to make most of the decisions
Toxic vs. abusive relationships
Both toxic and abusive relationships have power and control at their core.
A relationship may have become toxic if it no longer feels equal. A person may feel like their partner or partners try to make many decisions without consulting them first. They may also behave inconsiderately and dishonestly.
A relationship may become abusive if the imbalance of equality shifts even further and a person no longer feels safe. One individual may now make all of the decisions and pressure their partner to only spend time with them. Manipulation, shifting the blame, intimidation, and accusations are all signs that a relationship may have become abusive.
There are several signs of a toxic relationship that someone can look out for. They can then take steps to try and improve the relationship or end it if they feel that is the best decision.
Lack of support
In a toxic relationship, a person may not receive any support from their partner, which can feel isolating. It may feel like their partner focuses solely on their wants and needs.
In a toxic relationship, a person may easily become jealous of their partner and start to mistrust them. They may start to question where they are going, where they have been, and who they are spending time with.
Relationships can become toxic when a person no longer communicates in a direct and respectful way. They may start to communicate in a hurtful, passive-aggressive, or sarcastic way and may constantly find fault with their partner.
A person may start to feel resentment toward their partner. This can lead to a buildup of anger that may make a person lash out. If a person does not take steps to try and control their anger or cannot effectively communicate and work through why they might be feeling resentful, this can be a sign of a toxic relationship.
A person may feel like their partner is trying to make most of the decisions and is attempting to tell them what to do, what to wear, or who they can spend time with. This is controlling behavior and may be a sign of a toxic relationship.
A relationship can become toxic when a person starts behaving dishonestly. They may start lying to their partner, hiding information, and even stealing from them.
Patterns of disrespect
A relationship can become toxic when a person starts behaving disrespectfully. They may start using disrespectful language, mocking their partner, destroying their belongings, and doing whatever they want without consideration.
Ignoring each other’s needs
In a toxic relationship, a person may not make time to understand how the other individual is feeling and may ignore their wants and needs.
Walking on eggshells
If a person feels unsafe, their partner is frequently in a bad mood, or someone does not have the space to bring up concerns or issues without fear of an outburst, this may be a sign of a toxic relationship.
Toxic behavior in relationships includes power, control, and disrespect. Not taking the time to try and understand how their partner might be feeling, behaving without consideration, and being disrespectful or mistrusting are all toxic behaviors.
Healthy behavior in a relationship is respectful, honest, and equal. It makes the other person feel safe and like they have the space to be themselves without consequences. Healthy behavior means a person takes accountability for their actions in the relationship, considers the feelings of their partner, and speaks to them in a respectful way.
Toxic relationships can affect mental health. A person
A toxic relationship can make a person feel isolated and alone. Research suggests isolation can affect physical and mental health and lead to:
- cognitive decline
- heart conditions
- trouble sleeping
- a decrease in immunity
If a person thinks they might be in a toxic relationship, they can speak to someone they trust for support and advice. This could be a family member, friend, teacher, co-worker, or counselor.
If a person decides to leave a toxic relationship, they can talk with someone they trust for support.
They can make a detailed plan before they decide to leave the relationship, which may include:
- having somewhere safe to stay
- having a support network of people who know they are leaving
- unfollowing and blocking their partner on social media
- cutting off all contact
- journaling their thoughts and feelings to remind themselves why they want to leave
Toxic relationships can stem from an imbalance of control, mistrust, and disrespect.
Signs of a toxic relationship can include lack of support, jealousy, ignoring the needs of a person, and toxic communication.
If someone thinks they might be in a toxic relationship, they can seek support from a trusted family member, friend, or professional.
If a person wants to leave a toxic relationship, they can plan to have somewhere safe to stay and have a support network of people around them to help.