Relationships are hard work, but it’s not impossible to create a healthy environment for it to be successful. There will be ups and downs, but a genuine love never fades. However, if you start to see red flags cautioning that there is toxicity in the environment, it’s time to leave. Sometimes the signs aren’t always seen, but can very well be heard. Staying in a toxic relationship only depletes your happiness, self-esteem, and can lead to real health problems. It’s important to notice the way you feel if you know something isn’t right, destructive, and goes past just a rough patch. If any of these three signs sound familiar or relate to your situation, you may be in a toxic relationship.
You don’t feel supported emotionally
One of the most important things to have in a relationship is support. Your significant other should become your number one fan and vice versa. No matter the situation, the first person to be right by your side is your significant other. Your partner genuinely supports your dreams and your struggles. If you feel a change, check in with them to see why it has shifted. However, if you find yourself looking to other people for the support they’re not giving because you can’t talk to them at all, this isn’t a healthy environment.
This sign also relates to your significant other not allowing room for you to grow. We change, grow, and learn new things about ourselves in different phases of our life. We may want to do new things, try a new hobby, or even get new degrees. But when you meet resistance from your significant other in the form of jealousy or them feeling threatened by it, this is also a sign of toxic behavior. You should never be given an ultimatum to choose when it relates to something that makes you happy.
Your significant other doesn’t take responsibility
A healthy relationship knows how to overcome and communicate effectively when it hits a hard spot. Both people are able to take a step back and recognize what they have contributed and what they need to work on. If your partner chooses not to change or admit their wrongs, this is a sign of emotional immaturity and toxicity. You should not have to settle or make the “that’s just who they are” excuse for mistreatment when there is someone else who would do anything to fix the problem.
They play mind games with you
According to Psychology Today, “Gaslighting is an insidious form of manipulation and control. Victims are consistently given false information that leads them to question what they know to be true. Victims end up doubting their memory, their perception, and even their sanity.” When the relationship is no longer built on love and forms into power and control, the relationship is over. Gaslighting, manipulation, and mind games are all huge red flags of a toxic relationship and emotional abuse. This can be recognized when they’re showing a different face to others in public than they are with you. They will also manipulate you to stay with them or twist the truth to make them seem like the victim.
There are more signs of toxic behavior, narcissism, and emotional abuse, and it is important to always be aware when things start to change. Yes, relationships will go through phases, and will only continue as long as both people are learning, communicating, and doing the work. However, when it begins to affect your wellbeing, it is a toxic environment and should be left immediately.
If you or someone you know is experiencing violence in a relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. It is open 24 hours a day.