Toxic Relationship: Am I In One? - Femanin

Toxic Relationship: Am I In One?

It can be really difficult to accept that you find yourself in a toxic relationship. The saying ‘love is blind’ really is the absolute truth for most people.

When you’re in a relationship with someone you see as the love of your life and your whole world, you might find that you look at your relationship with rose tinted spectacles.

What is a toxic relationship?

Relationships change and evolve and sometimes they don’t evolve in a positive way, unfortunately. Some couples grow together and others grow apart.

A toxic relationship can damage our self-esteem and the way we perceive the world. When things turn sour in our relationships and we begin to fight against our partners rather than with them, this is when we need to seriously re-evaluate why we want to be in the relationship in the first place.

Sometimes a relationship can turn toxic because one member makes it toxic e.g. being physically abuse which is never, ever acceptable.

A good relationship can become toxic and unhealthy over time if negative feelings and unresolved issues are allowed to build. Once a relationship turns toxic, it is very difficult to fix it.

No relationship is perfect and you can’t have all the good and no bad. However, there are certain signs of a toxic relationship that you should be aware of…

1. You Feel Unsupported By Your Partner

You should always feel like your partner supports you. If you feel like you are on your own a lot of the time in the relationship, that isn’t right! If you have a problem, it should be the two of you against the problem. You’re a team.

If you partner feels uncomfortable when you open up about things that bother you, this something that you need to work on together. Openly communicating issues rather than being passive aggressive is the way to deal with issues you face.

If it starts to feel like a one-player game, this might not be the relationship for you.

1. You Feel Unsupported By Your Partner

You should always feel like your partner supports you. If you feel like you are on your own a lot of the time in the relationship, that isn’t right! If you have a problem, it should be the two of you against the problem. You’re a team.

If you partner feels uncomfortable when you open up about things that bother you, this something that you need to work on together. Openly communicating issues rather than being passive aggressive is the way to deal with issues you face.

If it starts to feel like a one-player game, this might not be the relationship for you.

toxic relationshipImage Source: /unsplash @anthonytran

2. You Feel Insecure Around Your Partner

How does your partner make you feel about yourself? Des your partner make you feel happy and loved? Do you feel safe? Sometimes, feeling insecure is more to do with ourselves than anyone else, but it can also be made worse by your partner’s words and actions.

If your partner belittles you or makes you feel like your issues and worries are ‘all in your head’, then this gives the impression that they do not value your opinions. Anyone who cares about you SHOULD care about how you feel.

If you are feeling bad by the way your partner treats you, you should seriously consider whether staying in a relationship where you feel that way is what you truly want.

You should never allow yourself to feel belittled or weakened by the person who is supposed to support you.

man shouting at woman

Image Source: /Fierce – Mitú

Rachel Sussman, LCSW says:

‘When you’re in a healthy relationship, there’s a significant back-and-forth where you’re complimenting each other, bringing out the best in each other, and letting each other know ‘I care about you. I’m here for you and this is why.’

Gary Lewandowski Jr., PhD also states:

‘A partner who offers unsolicited suggestions for what you need to improve, doesn’t support your interests or hobbies, and fundamentally criticises aspects of who you are is definitely toxic.’

Image Source: /VideoBlocks

3. Does Your Partner Make You Feel Reliant On Them?

If your partner makes you feel as though you have to rely on them and that they are your ‘everything’, that is the definition of toxic behavior. You are an independent person and your partner should make you feel strong, not weak!

Becoming unhealthily attached to one person is not going to make for a healthy, happy relationship. If you find that your relationship is more restricting than freeing, then you you might be trapped in a toxic relationship.

Lewandowski says:

‘Ideally, relationships are a union between equals. Surely, every aspect of a relationship won’t have perfectly balanced power dynamics [or at least not all the time], but overall, it should balance out.’

woman upset

Image Source: /unsplash @kaimantha

4. You Feel Like You Have To Do All The Work

Do you feel like your partner doesn’t invest as much in the relationship as you do? If the answer is yes and you always seem to be the one planning everything that you do, then it might be time to rethink things.

According to psychotherapist Ginnie Love Thompson:

‘A healthy relationship is a partnership, with both of you co-creating your fulfilment. If you feel like you’re suddenly doing all the heavy lifting, especially if your partner doesn’t seem to notice, the balance has become toxic.

‘Make sure you’re not the only one contributing to the day-to-day activities or long-term vision of the relationship.’

man and woman fighting gif

Image Source: /Giphy

Relationships are always going to have their ups and downs but you should always feel valued and appreciated in spite of the unhappy times. Life is too short to spend our time in bad relationships full of negative energy.

Sussman says that our partners should bring out the best in us:

‘The best you could be is someone who is really confident and is a lot of fun, and doesn’t have trust issues. But if you become the opposite of that when you’re around your partner—you have low self-esteem, you don’t want to do fun things, you’re doubting everything they say—you might want to reassess your relationship.’

If your partner exhibits controlling behaviors or you feel drained, that’s a red flag and you should definitely re-evaluate things. If you feel unable to your partner, talk to friends and family. Alternatively, there are helplines available.

Also, remember that you should never feel like you have to stay with a toxic partner. Toxic people can only fix themselves. Domestic abuse is NEVER okay and you should never have to put up with it. There is always help available. You can contact the 24 hour Domestic Abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247 or you can contact Women’s Aid and Mankind.

Do not suffer alone.