While all relationships have their ups and downs, there is such a thing as a toxic relationship, where one or both people are left exposed to extremely unhealthy behaviors that carry emotional and sometimes physical consequences.
Here are 3 signs that it’s time to sound the alarms:
Sign #1 – Control and Manipulation
While everyone may feel that their partner can be a little controlling on certain issues, there is a point where this behavior crosses a line. Controlling or manipulative behavior is a classic sign of a toxic relationship.
What may start small, can easily develop into abusive behavior. Does your partner try to prevent you from speaking with friends or family members? Do they pressure you into doing things that you’d rather not do? Do you feel like you need their permission to do normal things for yourself?
If you feel like your partner is meddling on your ability to live your life as you would like, then let them know. If they cannot respect your boundaries and desires – it’s time to pull the plug.
Sign #2 – Neglecting your needs
Does your relationship seem to be a one-way street? A relationship is a mutual love and respect for both parties and if you’re feeling neglected emotionally, it could be a sign of a larger issue.
A selfish partner is one that:
- Is solely concerned with getting what they want, when they want it – regardless of anyone else.
- Doesn’t respect or show interest in your thoughts or feelings.
- Never holds themselves accountable for anything that goes wrong, despite demanding to be in control at the same time.
- Takes you for granted.
A healthy relationship is one where both parties are committed to honoring one another’s needs. It’s having someone in your life that is looking out for you and supports you in your goals. Your partner should nourish and support you, not drain you.
Sign #3 – Making you fear for your safety
It may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how often people make excuses for their partner’s use of threats or violence.
There is never an excuse for violence in a relationship. There is never an excuse for someone making you feel afraid for your safety. A person who cared for you would never try to threaten you or use violence against you. It’s important to recognize this and it can never be tolerated – whether that means leaving the relationship or reporting it to authorities.
It’s very common to make excuses for this type of behavior, which keeps the relationship in a toxic cycle. Violence or threatening behavior takes the relationship from toxic to abusive – and it’s not okay.
What does a healthy relationship look like?
A relationship is a commitment between two people who want the best for one another. As mentioned earlier, no relationship is ever perfect, and all people have their flaws. Yet it’s important to recognize the signs of a toxic relationship so that they can be addressed.
If you’re ever confused or feel like you need some perspective, it always helps to talk to a trusted party who can give you objective feedback about your situation, thoughts and feelings.
One way to do this is through LARKR, an on-demand mental health care app that puts you in touch with qualified therapists no matter where you are. It helps you to get honest advice from a trained professional through your phone or tablet without having to travel or arrange an appointment that might not work for you. If you’d like to talk with someone, we invite you to give it a try. Never feel like you’re alone.
About the Author: Christianne Kernes is a licensed therapist and co-founder of LARKR, a health & wellness app that matches the user with a qualified therapist instantly and from any location. Having seen the struggles that so many Americans face with mental health, her dream is to provide high-quality mental healthcare to as many people as possible.