No relationship is perfect—even if some couples’ pictures on Instagram would have you believe otherwise. It’s normal for couples to fight, disagree, and even go through the occasional rough patch. However, if your relationship feels like a constant struggle of arguments and emotional distress, it’s probably taking a serious toll on your mental health.
Relationships where there is a consistent feeling of competitiveness, jealousy, or one-sidedness are defined as toxic relationships. Unfortunately, they are fairly common. Often, people will enter (and remain a part of) these types of relationships as a result of past trauma, previous toxic relationships (either familial or romantic), or mental health issues. It can also be difficult to identify the toxicity of a relationship while you’re still in it. If any of the following warning signs are familiar feelings in your relationship, it may be time to move on for the good of your mental and physical health.
You can’t trust your partner.
If you feel that you need to hide things from your partner, such as conversations with coworkers or lunches with your close friends, then there is a clear lack of trust in your relationship. Alternatively, you may not feel that you can trust your partner to remain faithful or use discretion when discussing your personal life. In any case, if there is not trust between you and your partner, then the relationship will not grow and succeed.
You don’t feel supported by your partner.
One of the trademarks of a toxic relationship is an all take and no give mentality. It’s a problem if you can’t rely on your partner to support you through emotional turmoil or significant life decisions.
You frequently feel drained from fights and disagreements.
Ultimately, your relationship should make you feel positive feelings—happiness, increased self-confidence, productivity. If instead you tend to feel tired, drained, and down on yourself, then there is a problem in your relationship. You may even notice that your partner often makes comments to degrade your self-esteem, and physical abuse might come into the picture as well.
Your partner limits your social schedule.
Controlling partners can easily make toxic relationships. It’s common in these relationships for one partner to limit the social interactions of the other, limiting the emotional support he or she might receive from friends and family.
Your relationship isn’t stable.
If you feel like you are always trying to avoid your partner for fear of another argument, then it’s time to reevaluate. You might even have an on-again, off-again history that keeps you worrying about whether the relationship will come to an end.
It isn’t easy to confront a toxic relationship, and that’s especially true if your partner is putting you in physical danger or threatening physical harm. If this is the case, then one of your best resources is the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233). In some less extreme cases, it may be possible to work through toxicity in a relationship by addressing underlying issues together in therapy. Alternatively, you might consult a therapist on your own for guidance. Whether the right choice is to work it out or walk away, you should not simply wait out the relationship to see if it improves on its own.
Care for yourself and get the perspective you need on your relationship with counseling services from MeMD. With online appointments available within 24 hours, you can discreetly and comfortably speak with a licensed therapist on your schedule.