Being in a toxic relationship is a lot like wearing shoes that are two sizes too small. The pain is excruciating and you know it’s bad for you, but you wear them anyway because you love them so much. Sound familiar?
A toxic relationship can be emotionally, mentally and physically draining. And the longer you stay, the more difficult it becomes to leave.
In the long run, toxic relationships can lead to some serious health issues, from disturbed sleep to chronic headaches to depression to high cholesterol to increased risk of heart failure and other heart problems.
Could you be in a toxic relationship and not even realize it? Here are seven ways to find out!
- You’re a different person around your partner.
In a bad way that is. Do you suddenly feel angry when you’re around him or her? Do you feel like you have to change your thoughts and opinions whenever he or she is around? If you can’t be yourself when you’re with your significant other, that’s an unhealthy relationship. Both parties should be able to express their thoughts and opinions without being fearful of how the other person may retaliate.
- He/she fights dirty.
Yes, all couples argue and yes, it’s healthy because that means there’s honesty in the relationship. But, if name-calling and/or hitting below the belt is normal to you, that’s a major sign that you’re in a toxic relationship. Fighting dirty is never the way to resolve conflict, and it absolutely destroys the intimacy and connection in the relationship.
- He/she puts you down.
If your significant other is constantly criticizing, demeaning or embarrassing you in private or in public, you’re relationship has “dysfunctional” written all over it. Your significant other is supposed to uplift you and make you feel loved and amazing, not do or say things to make you feel inferior.
- He/she is controlling.
Does your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife have a say-so over everything in your life, including your career, who you hang out with, where you go and what kind of clothes you wear? If your answer is yes, this is not the type of relationship you want to be involved in. Not to mention, controlling behavior is often one of the first signs of an abusive relationship. Get out while you can!
- He/she makes you feel guilty about everything.
If your partner is notorious for laying on the guilt every time you say no, spend time apart from each other, or for whatever other reason, that’s a definite sign that your relationship is toxic and he or she is no good for you.
- You’re constantly living in fear.
You should feel at ease whenever your partner is around. If, instead you feel afraid, stressed or tension and/or there are more bad moments than there are good moments, then you don’t need to be with that person. Simple as that.
- You aren’t allowed to grow.
It’s a fact of life. The sky is blue, the sun rests in the west and people grow – they change. There’s nothing wrong with that! If the person you’re with is constantly shutting down your dreams and goals, trying to hold you back, and is never happy to see you succeed, you’re better off without him or her.