If you know what behaviors in a relationship are toxic, you’ll be able to recognize them in action. After all, knowledge is power, and being on the lookout for toxic relationships of all kinds will give you an advantage when it comes to avoiding them altogether.
- A relationship where one person wants to be in control If your partner is controlling, it’s definitely a huge red flag that your relationship will be a toxic one, if it isn’t already. It usually begins with small, unimportant things that even seem endearing at first, like your partner wanting to be in control of every plan or wanting you to call him every night before you go to sleep. However, if you’re too tired to call and fall asleep one time, or if you want to make the plans for a night out, he’ll likely become upset and maybe even angry. Do NOT put up with this.
- A relationship with someone who has serious mental health issues for which they make no effort to seek professional help Mental illness is common and it’s possible to have a healthy, happy relationship with someone who suffers from one. However, if your partner has a mental illness and doesn’t get treatment, it’s likely that the relationship will be toxic. It puts a lot of pressure on you because you’ll feel compelled to try and help them work through things when you’re not qualified and it’s not your responsibility. You might also feel guilty or nervous when it comes to being straightforward and honest about how you feel with if you think it might be difficult for them to hear or potentially make them feel worse.
- A relationship that is intended to complete you (and/or your partner) Any relationship where the people involved are reliant on their partner to complete them will be a toxic one. A relationship can—and should!—bring you happiness, but it’s completely unfair to rely on your partner to make you happy or fill any voids in your life, and vice versa. Everyone is responsible for their own happiness and it isn’t anyone else’s job to fix someone’s boredom, loneliness, and insecurities. It will lead to fights, stress, and toxicity when you and/or your partner realize that it’s impossible for a relationship to complete you.
- A relationship where someone uses the past to excuse bad behavior in the present If your partner uses his past, or yours, to justify emotional outbursts, behavioral issues, trust issues, or just plain not treating you well, the relationship will only become more toxic as it continues. We’ve all dealt with crappy situations and people in life, but that’s not an excuse to treat people who had nothing to do with them badly. You should not be an emotional punching bag for someone to take out his past issues and frustrations on.
- A relationship with someone who’s extremely insecure and jealous A little jealousy isn’t a bad thing in a relationship, but if your partner is so insecure and jealous to the point they’re always questioning you, accusing you, and making you feel like you’re doing something wrong when you’re not, that’s a relationship that is toxic. If your partner tries to make you feel guilty or bad because they’re insecure, that’s a red flag and a relationship you want to run away from ASAP.
- A relationship with someone who’s not open and honest If you find out that your partner has been lying to you or bending the truth, your relationship will inevitably be a toxic one. It’s possible that you’ll notice your partner lying to his family and close friends, and even if he claims to be telling you the truth, it should definitely be a red flag that your relationship is toxic. If he’s lying about silly, insignificant things that don’t really matter to other important people in his life, it’s only a matter of time before he starts lying (or you find out that he’s lying) about important things to you.
- A relationship with someone who has addiction and dependency issues It’s normal to enjoy a glass (or bottle) of wine some nights, but if your partner has to be drunk every day or has a tendency to self-medicate rather than actually deal with issues, your relationship will be a toxic one. You will feel drained, defeated, alone, and likely a little lost yourself if you stay in a relationship with someone who has addiction and dependency issues.
- A relationship that has any kind of physical or emotional abuse Any kind of physical and emotional abuse is a clear, definite sign that your relationship is a toxic one. Not only is your physical and emotional safety and well-being at stake if you continue a relationship with someone abusive, but the longer you’re in the relationship, the more difficult it is to leave. If a partner shows any signs of emotional or physical abuse, it’s time to cut him off, otherwise, you’ll find yourself in a toxic relationship.
- A relationship that is lacking in communication One sign of a toxic relationship is that you or your partner are more passive aggressive than straightforward. Communication is an important factor in relationships and without it, toxicity thrives and strengthens.