Making relationships work is hard enough without feeling that your partner may not be the one and is actually detrimental to your well-being. It can be made worse after seeing the red flags and still making excuses because you still love him or her but your gut is telling you that they are toxic to you.
While the following are some clues to determine whether you’re in a toxic relationship, you probably already know that you are but are unwilling to accept it because it would require you to do something about it.
Toxic relationship signs
1. Actions Speak Louder Than Words
People are good at talking a good game but their actions are really what show you how they really feel about you.
2. Verbal Put Downs
Putting you down privately or publicly is another indication that you’re in a toxic relationship. This signifies a lack of respect for you or for him or herself. This may even end up turning into verbal and/or physical abuse. Words hurt. The one you love and who says he/she loves you should not be trying to hurt you by putting you down in order to feel better about themselves.
3. Controlling behavior
If he or she is insecure, they will try to control you. He/she has to know each minute where you are, who you’re with and what you’re doing every second of the day. This does not a healthy relationship make. They may even start dictating what you are to wear.
Your partner will try to make you dependent on them as a way to control your every move. They want you to be financially dependent on them and may encourage you to leave your job or not look for work or not have a separate bank account. They may also slowly try to cut you off from all your friends and family.
5. You’re the problem
You’re in a toxic relationship if your partner tells you that things would be better and different if only you changed things about yourself to make them happy. They will say that they wouldn’t hit you or verbally abuse you if it wasn’t your fault. That you brought the abuse on yourself. As you soon find out, nothing can ever make them happy and they always have something to complain about causing you to always be walking on eggshells around them because you just know who you’ll be dealing with one moment to the next.
Being around toxic people or spiritual vampires can be extremely exhausting. They sap out every bit of life in you but they are never happy. Why have you been in a toxic relationship for so long or why do you seem to attract toxic people or spiritual vampires? Why did you return to the toxic person or spiritual vampire when you tried to get away? Why do you stay when you know you should leave?
Being in a toxic relationship is a vicious cycle. There is a period of calm or the honeymoon phase, followed by a storm, reconciliation and then another cycle begins of the same thing over and over until you don’t know which way is up.
At the beginning of the relationship you had no idea the level of toxicity that your partner was capable of. You were sucked in and now feel powerless to get out of this toxic relationship. You may have even gotten out only to return to the toxic partner after a few days.
One reason that you remain in the toxic relationship or seem to attract toxic individuals or returned to the toxic environment is that you may have grown up in this kind of environment yourself. This is what you are used to. We only do what we know. It will take a great deal of strength to break the cycle for good.
Another reason is that we don’t believe that we deserve any better and that this toxic relationship is what we deserve and all that there is for us. Others feel that they can change the other person and are always looking for a fixer-upper without realizing that the only one who can change another person is that person. The worst case scenario is when you actually enjoy the toxicity and dysfunction even when you tell yourself that you don’t.
The first step to getting out of a toxic relationship is to realize that you are not powerless. That you always have a choice. One choice that you have made was to remain in the toxic relationship. You can now make another choice and get out of the toxic relationship and away from the spiritual vampire. You deserve to be happy. Take the step. It’s not your fault. Once you know better you have to do better.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need help sometimes and it’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength to realize that you may not have all the answers. It’s possible to have a healthy relationship where you are valued just as you are.
It’s possible to break the cycle of toxic relationships and go on to a healthy relationship that leaves you fulfilled but you have to take the first step.
It’s also important to note that the toxic relationship can be saved but only if both people are ready to make a change. Counseling can help to deal with the insecurities and the feelings that cause both to think that toxic relationships are the way to go. If both people in the relationship are willing to make the effort to make a change, this toxic relationship can be changed into a healthy one. If not, it’s time to walk away.