A Guide To Identify If You’re In A Toxic Relationship
All relationships are beautiful for the bonds forged between people. However, it’s important to acknowledge that all relationships are not all sunshine and rainbows, it comes with its fair share of challenges. Now, how do you identify a healthy relationship from a toxic one? There are more evident signs that cross a line — like any kind of abuse, be it physical, emotional, verbal, or financial. Other signs are subtler — but can be just as problematic. Read on for the telltale signs.
Lack of communication
Candor and trust are keys to a healthy relationship. In a healthy relationship, trust builds over time and blossoms through communication. When you don’t communicate your issues, you're leaving room for negative emotions like resentment and anger to fester — and you don’t want that. You and your significant other won’t be able to come to a solution without laying out what concerns you, what’s on your mind and your feelings in the open.
You bury emotional issues
As aforementioned in the previous point, burying and not discussing emotional issues only leads to resentment, emotional alienation and issues that will eventually blow up over time. It's not healthy for you and your relationship to keep your emotions bottled in. Likewise, it's not okay to be brusque to a conversation your partner has mustered up to express their feelings. For example, if your partner doesn’t like it when you bring up their shortcomings in front of their family, allow him/her to let out what they’re feeling, while establishing a solution you are both happy with.
Toxicity breeds from negative acts like keeping secrets that you know would hurt your partner. While violating the trust of your significant other isn’t cheating per se, but casually spending time with your ex and keeping it a secret knowing that it would enrage them can lead to a relationship filled with toxicity and mistrust. Having personal time and some sense of personal life away from your partner is healthy, but engaging in activities that evokes guilt is not.
Your partner has control issues
Feeling the right or claim to your significant other’s emails, texts, Facebook messages and other aspects of life is the number one indicator of a toxic relationship. Another sign of toxicity is a person feeling trapped in their marriage or relationship, without the ability to talk to friends or family. They’re asked to report what they’re doing and where they are at all times, feeling like they’re walking on eggshells. If you’re experiencing this, it’s crucial to speak to a professional and seek their help immediately.
You feel like you’re always playing defence.
If you feel like you have to constantly put up your guard and defend every little part of your life from your partner, it goes to show that the trust between you has crumbled. It’s also a form of toxic behaviour that stems from a self-survival mechanism.
Deterioration of physical and emotional intimacy
If your marriage has been reduced to a state of autopilot, one of the first things to go is intimacy. Granted, marriage isn’t just defined by sharing your body, it’s about opening your heart and expressing love. When the intimacy that you and your partner once shared deteriorates in terms of physical proximity and emotional bonding, it can be used as an excuse for infidelity — which is wrong on so many levels. The healthy thing to do if you’re not feeling satisfied physically and emotionally is to talk it out. Women don’t ask for what they want with the perception that men should be doing these acts without them having to ask. Men, on other hand, respond well to action-based requests, so ask for that extra cuddle or sexy time and make time to talk to each other.
The relationship is emotionally abusive
Emotional abuse is just as grave as physical abuse, if not more. Even though there’s some inkling deep down about how toxic the relationship is, as women, we tend to disregard our intuition in hopes to salvage the relationship. If you don’t trust yourself enough to make the call, it’s best to extricate yourself from the situation and speak to a professional who can help. Seek comfort from your friends and family to help steer you onto a safe path for you.