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Are You In A Toxic Relationship?

Can you recognize the signs of a toxic relationship? Do you know how to fix the situation?

Recognizing a toxic relationship

Many people have found themselves in what, in hindsight, was a toxic relationship, but it can be hard to recognize a healthy vs. unhealthy relationship when you’re in it.

“Often it isn’t obvious when things turn toxic, particularly if you don’t have a lot of experience in relationships, and the instinct is to minimize the issues,” she says. “It’s not uncommon for the non-toxic partner to justify the toxic behavior by focusing on the good things in the relationship or to blame themselves and think they are the ones who need to work harder or change.” Not all toxic people recognize themselves or their behaviors as such.

Toxic relationships take many forms

So, what is a toxic relationship? Defining what exactly makes a relationship “toxic” is tricky. “Toxic” isn’t a clinical word, it’s subjective, and there’s a wide range of unhealthy behaviors in relationships. On one end you have people who truly love each other but argue a lot, and on the other end, you have domestic abuse. The extremes are relatively easy to recognize but it’s that murky middle where people get confused.

“Relationships change over time and people are usually on their best behavior at the beginning,” she says. “As you progress some of that naturally wears off. Every relationship will have some problems, it’s not an issue of if you fight, but how.” (Here’s what you need to know about codependent relationships, and if you’re in one.)

Toxic relationships are hard on your heart and mind

The reasons people stay in unhealthy relationships are complex but it’s important to be able to identify when you’re in a toxic relationship because the effects can be far-reaching, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Staying in an unhealthy relationship increases your risk of heart disease and your overall risk of death .People in an unhealthy relationship experienced higher levels of depression, hopelessness, and suicidal ideation.

“Ultimately, a relationship is toxic if the bad outweighs the good, But while that equation is simple to understand, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to see. Here are the signs you’re in a toxic relationship.

Sign: Your partner has no friends—other than you

Relationships are stronger when each partner has friends and interests outside of each other. So if your partner discourages you from going to a girl’s or guys’ night out or will only do activities if you’re there with them, that’s a red flag. “This doesn’t mean that you don’t engage in activities with your partner or invite your spouse out with their friends. It just means you don’t feel obligated to do everything with your partner,” he says. “Interdependence, not dependence, is associated with successful relationships.” (Here are five other things linked to happy relationships.)

Sign: Hanging out with this person leaves you feeling tired and sick

Your body can give you important clues about your relationship that your mind may not yet recognize. This could include things like chronic stomachaches or headaches (a sign of anxiety) or simply a feeling of being unwell or not yourself. “Ask yourself, is your partner bringing out the best in you, or weighing you down? Do you feel energized or drained after being with them?” she says. “If you notice that you’re feeling constantly drained, exhausted, or on edge, that’s a sign something’s not right.” Note, non-toxic couples might experience events in their lives that make any relationship more challenging (and even result in feeling tired or sick), and so some self-reflection or therapy in either case would be useful.

Sign: Your partner criticizes you personally or calls you names

Personal attacks—denigrating someone’s personality, values, or physical appearance—are a hallmark sign you’re in a toxic relationship, “It’s okay to talk about things you’d like to change in the relationship but it should be focused on working together to change behaviors, not belittling or criticizing the person themselves.“Name-calling is always toxic behavior.” (These are the worst lies you can tell your partner.)

Sign: Your partner is constantly texting you to check-in

Staying in touch by sending silly memes or coordinating the kids’ soccer schedule are positive uses of technology, but toxic partners will employ that same tech to control you. This could include things like tracking your location constantly on their phone, asking you to text frequently or take pictures to prove where you are, or requiring multiple reassurances of devotion throughout the day. “Manipulative and controlling behavior of any kind is toxic.

Sign: They interrupt you constantly or give you the silent treatment

“If your partner is interrupting you that means they’re not listening to you. “Listening is such an important part of communication in a healthy relationship.” Interrupting you is also a sign that they don’t respect your thoughts or opinions. On the flip side, ignoring you or giving you the silent treatment is passive-aggressive and conveys the same message of disrespect and disdain and also stops helpful communication.

Sign: You’re always apologizing and you’re not sure why

“You make me so angry!” “Stop crying, you’re so needy!” “How could you be so insensitive?” One tactic toxic partners often use is making you feel guiltyand responsible for their feelings or they put all the blame on you for problems, Pileggi Pawelski says. You are allowed to have needs and wants without being guilt-tripped or shamed for them. Find out if a relationship coach can help you to better navigate these situations.

Sign: They want you to go on a diet, dye your hair, and get a new job

Your partner should love you for you rather than seeing you as a project or something broken they can fix. It’s okay to acknowledge a partner’s faults but it crosses the line into toxic behavior when they try to force or shame you into changing to be how they want you to be rather than listening to what you want. “In a healthy relationship, both partners work together to improve and are inspired to better themselves.

Sign: All of your partner’s exes are “crazy”

If your partner has one “crazy” ex, that’s normal, but if all of their exes are crazy the problem likely isn’t the past partners, Pileggi Pawelski says. “Toxic people will do anything to avoid accepting responsibility for their actions, including attacking and blaming current and past partners,” she says. (Here are 10 science-backed facts about breakups.)

Sign: Your partner is obsessed with you

This toxic sign often gets confused for love because at the beginning it can feel like real passion. After all, who wouldn’t want to be adored and showered with gifts and attention, Pileggi Pawelski says. Unfortunately, obsessive love is unhealthy and can lead to other toxic behaviors like jealousy, stalking, and abuse, she says. “It’s important for each partner to maintain their own individual interests, activities, hobbies, and friends,”

Stay Safe Be Well & Remember You Are Worth It !


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