It’s no secret that all relationships have their ups and downs. It’s just the natural flow of life. But if you’re finding your relationship has more time in the ‘down’ zone than the ‘up’, then you might be in a toxic relationship.
Too often people brush toxic relationships off as ‘normal’, and use the excuse that all relationships are hard work etc… but that’s not the case at all. Sure, relationships require work, but they shouldn’t be hard work, all the time.
If you’re feeling like maybe you’re in a toxic relationship, check out these signs below. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but is certainly some of the most obvious and commons signs you’re in a toxic relationship:
1 – You’re Not Happy
Everyone has unhappy days, days when they’re sad, emotional, exhausted, over it… but if these days are the majority of your days, and you’re struggling to find happiness in your relationship, then this is a sign of a toxic relationship.
Your relationship should make you happy, it should make you smile and it should make you feel good. If you’re not happy when you’re thinking about your relationship then this is a sign of a bigger problem.
2 – You Can’t Talk Without Fighting
There’s this belief that all couples fight, but this is not true at all. Fighting is meant to make the other person feel bad, and you should never intend on making the person you love and are committed to feel bad.
Some couples argue, and this is completely different. You can disagree on a topic, argue your point and still have a respectful conversation. When you’re fighting, there is no respect at all.
If you can’t have a conversation without it turning into a fight, this is a big sign of a toxic relationship.
3 – You Avoid Sharing How You Feel
Your partner asks you ‘how are you’ and you avoid the conversation because you don’t want to share with them how you feel, you know if you do they will mock you, make fun of you or make you feel like you’re being silly.
If this sounds familiar, then you’re in a toxic relationship. You should always feel confident to share how you feel, knowing that you will be heard, loved and respected.
4 – Everything Is A Competition
A little competitiveness in a relationship can be fun, but if everything you do turns into a competition, then this could be a sign that you’re in a toxic relationship.
This is most prevalent in the ‘tit for tat’ type situations, where there’s fighting about who does more, who is more tired, who is more xyz. A relationship isn’t a competition, it’s a partnership. If your competitive side isn’t fun anymore and it just adds more stress, then this is a toxic sign.
5 – When You Feel You Can’t Say No
No is an important word in any relationship. It sounds boundaries, it allows for freedom to express yourself and it allows you to be able to pull back and retreat to your own safety.
In most relationships this can be as simple as saying ‘no’ to going out to dinner with friends, because you are tired from work and would rather stay home and rest. Or saying ‘no’ to intimacy because you’re not in the mood.
But this becomes toxic when you feel like you can’t say ‘no’ for fear of response or repercussion.
6 – You Feel Like You’re Always Walking On Eggshells
Do you feel like you have to gauge your partners mood before you engage in a conversation with them? Or do you feel like if you say or do the wrong thing they will just go off?
Walking on eggshells is not a nice feeling and is a sure sign of a toxic relationship. There’s a big difference between not wanting to upset someone, and fearing that you will say the wrong thing and your partner will go off. Their reaction is not your fault, and you shouldn’t feel like you can’t be you. Fear is a toxic feeling in a relationship.
7 – You Feel Like You’re Not Heard
A relationship is an equal partnership and as such, you have an equal voice and opinion. Your thoughts, feelings, concerns, aspirations and goals should all be heard and acknowledged.
If you feel like you’re not being heard, and your relationship is one sided, then this could be a sign of something more sinister. A toxic relationship starts with discontentment, and this is one of those subtle signs that starts out small and can build into something far more toxic.
8 – You Just Don’t Care
If you’ve reached a point in your relationship where you just don’t care, then you’re most likely in the toxic relationship territory. This is toxic for not only your relationship but also for your own happiness and wellbeing.
Relationships require 100% effort. They aren’t something you can half commit to and expect to have a happy and successful relationship. It’s up to you to choose whether or not you’re willing to put 100% effort in or not. And if it’s your partner that isn’t putting in the effort, then you can’t make them. It’s their choice.
A relationship where one person just doesn’t care is toxic and you both deserve to be in happy, healthy relationships where you are excited to give 100%.