8 Red Flags That Point To A Toxic Relationship

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There are so many factors these days that we look over when it comes to our relationships. This isn't something new that is trending, but a sad reality that a lot of people face. Blame it on self-esteem, society, or slim pickings, but we start to turn a blind eye to things when we fall in love. In a past article, I talked about 5 signs that you might be in a toxic friendship. The question I am asking you now is, how do you know if you are in a toxic relationship? It isn't always a black and white answer.

I've been through my fair share of bad relationships. I'll be the first to admit that the problem was with me and the people I was choosing. I let my self-esteem (or lack thereof) pick people who were terrible for me. Through growth and learning who I am as a person, I have grown with my now significant other and created a healthy partnership between two people. Now that I have been in this relationship I can see when something is toxic or if a red flag is thrown on the field. If you are reading this to know if you are in a poisonous relationship, chances are you already know the answer.

Whether you are merely curious, wanting to know for a friend, or just want to be aware of the red flags before things get too dangerous, I have come up with some of the main components you should look out for when dating a potential husband or wife. Not every characteristic means the same to everyone. This isn't an article about what I don't like, but what no one should ever stand for. Trust me, there is a difference. The sad truth is, we don't always realize we are in a toxic environment until we are in too deep.

You are always to blame.
If your significant other just got into a fight with you for asking to take out the trash, chances are they need to go. They should be able to take responsibility for things whether they are big or small. If your partner somehow turns everything around on you, they are creating a toxic relationship. The list of excuses is endless. Maybe they had a long day of work, were behind a slow driver, or just woke up a little late. These excuses should not be a reason to start a fight with you over something as small as asking for a favor in cleaning the house.

Healthy relationships take feedback and constructive criticism. Without this, we will never grow and develop. If you are always to blame or continually being told you hurt their feelings, they are not taking into account what their actions are doing to you. Let's say you just worked a 12-hour shift and came home absolutely exhausted. Your partner had the day off, the house is a complete disaster, and only condiments are taking up space in the fridge. If they get mad at you for these things or, after you casually ask for them to grab some supper, end up yelling at how little you do around the house, you might have a problem.

You are doing all the work in the relationship.
A relationship is a partnership. End of story. You should not be the only one putting in all of the work. If you feel like you have to do all the flirting, start intimacy, pay the bills, clean the house, etc., it will begin draining on you fast. The great thing about being in a relationship is the fact that you have that person to lean on during the high and low points. Once that fades away, you can start to resent them and feel like all your work is going unnoticed.

One way to avoid this is to communicate with your partner correctly. If you think you are doing more than them, talk about it. A loving significant other will care that you feel this way and want to change. This doesn't mean everything has to be split in the middle, but there should be a balance. For instance, I am not bringing as much to the table financially since starting my writing career. Since my significant other has taken on more of the bills, I, in turn, took on more household duties. We also make sure to take turns planning out a date night as well as sending a sweet text each day. If anything, you should be appreciated for the work you put into this bond. Even if things aren't balanced (which does happen from time to time), if these things are not being noticed it can create toxicity within the partnership.

You find yourself making excuses.
“Oh, you just met him on a bad day. He had a lot going on at work and didn't feel well.” We all have struggled in life, but if you are continually making excuses for your partner's bad behavior, this should be a huge red flag. An off day will occur from time to time, but should not be a regular visitor. This isn't just making excuses to others either. If you are explaining their lousy behavior to yourself, it is time to assess your relationship.

I know when I have bad days. A lot is going on in my personal life or work starts to wreak havoc. On these days, I might say no to going out because I know I won't be much fun. I also make sure to not take this out on my boyfriend. It is not his fault for my poor demeanor. Don't make your partner create excuses for you. It is not fair to them and not fun for anyone involved.

They are always criticizing you.
Little constructive criticism is needed to better ourselves. If we get this every day, however, it can start to wear on our self-esteem. There is a difference between constructive criticism and just pointing out flaws. Can you do nothing right in your loved one's eyes? It might be time to rethink your partner, not you. Your significant other should help lift you up to be the best version of you, not make you feel pathetic and useless.

Challenging, lifting, and encouraging are all great qualities to look for in a healthy relationship. Asking if you should really be eating that second piece of cake does not fall under any of those categories. The best way to know this is how you feel after they comment on a particular topic. If you feel motivated to do better, that is a healthy approach. However, if you feel dirty and like you did something wrong, that is toxic.

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Their anger becomes aggressive.
We all know that abuse is a huge red flag that we should never stand for. The problem is, we don't always realize that violence is just turning your body into a punching bag. When your partner gets angry, do they ever punch a wall or kick an inanimate object? This is a characteristic of an abusive person. Eventually, that wall will turn into your face. If you feel like your relationship is nearing this path, it is time to seek help.

I know very well that this type of aggression can be scary to leave. You walking out could lead to even more dangerous scenarios that we see in the news and all over social media. If you feel like you are in danger, I urge you to reach out to authorities or the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233). You are not alone.

You constantly feel drained.
A healthy relationship should bring happiness and joy into your life. If you feel constant anxiety and physical/mental exhaustion, you are not in the right relationship. We all have struggled through life that can drain us mentally and physically. Our significant other should not be on that list. Do you ever stay at work longer to avoid your partner? Or say no to going out with a friend because you know the fight that will come from it?

You shouldn't live in fear of living your life or continuously second guessing what to do. This is a game that will never make you a winner. I was in a relationship some years ago where I was always wondering what actions would anger him. Every step I took felt like I was walking on eggshells. Not only was I physically tired, but my mind was constantly fogged up. This wasn't healthy for me and caused severe anxiety everywhere I turned. You should be drained from not getting enough sleep, not from being with the love of your life.

It is always about them.
Narcissism is no way to start a bond. If your partner always brings the topic back to themselves, puts their ego on a pedestal, or lowers your worth to make them feel better, you need to get out. There is a difference between pride and narcissistic tendencies. This type of relationship will never have any balance because they are always going to be the first priority when it comes to anything. If they want to be selfish, they shouldn't make a commitment to be with another person.

The drama is real.
Overdramatic is something I know all too well. I had a friend who was in a constant state of peril, and it became too draining to bear. A relationship should improve your life, not spiral it into chaos. For example, if they come home every night and talk about all the negative things that happened, it can put you in a stressful state of mind. While we like to rant on the bad days, our life should not revolve around that drama. A partner is there for communication, not to turn into an emotional punching bag.

Speaking of communication, do you have meaningful conversations? If you are always on their schedule, it can wreak havoc. Is their drama always put on priority over your life? Huge red flag. There should be a healthy balance of the good and the bad (from both people).

At the end of the day, a healthy relationship is two people in a mutual bond helping the other be the best versions of themselves. While fights do break out from time to time, it should not be a typical day in your household. By communicating, listening, and showing appreciation, you can grow a bond that will last forever. Let me know in the comments below what are some big red flags that you have seen in toxic relationships. Remember, if you feel like you are in a relationship that is dangerous, you should seek help. This could be from authorities, from professionals, or from loved ones. You deserve to be in a loving and caring relationship.




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