7 Signs of a Toxic Relationship: Make Your Escape if You Recognize Any!

You’ve probably felt that gut-wrenching sense something’s off in your relationship. There’s a name for that: it’s called a toxic relationship. 

When you’re in a problematic relationship, it’s normal to have an off day now and then, but we’re talking about patterns that consistently make you feel awful.

Let’s examine all the warning signs. Recognizing these red flags can be your first step toward a healthier life.

7 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

1. Lack of Support

Are you having a tough day, and there’s no one to talk to about it? That’s often what happens in toxic relationships. The support you need just isn’t there. Your partner should be your cheerleader, not someone who sits on the sidelines — or worse, roots against you.

If they don’t celebrate your wins or offer a shoulder when you’re down, that’s a big red flag. It feels pretty terrible. You might share good news only to get cold looks or offhand comments. Or maybe during hard times, instead of getting comfort from them, all you hear are crickets — ouch! 

Support is like the glue in any healthy bond; without it, things start falling apart fast.

2. Toxic Communication

After discussing how a lack of support can hurt, let’s discuss another warning sign: toxic communication. It can be tricky because it doesn’t always mean someone is being mean on purpose. But wow, can it make you feel small? 

We’re not just talking shouting matches – this also includes those sneaky comments that sting and times when silence says more than words ever could.

Let’s face it: feeling ignored or joked about harshly? That’s rough.

What makes toxic talk even worse is that it can happen without anyone noticing at first. Maybe your partner always puts down your ideas or mocks the things you say with a laugh as if they’re kidding around.

Or perhaps every time you share something significant from your heart, they barely look up from their phone. These moments add up, and before you know it, chatting with someone close feels like walking through a minefield – never knowing when the next explosion will happen.      

3. Jealousy and Envy

Toxic communication often leads to feelings that can eat away at trust — like jealousy and envy. These emotions are big red flags in relationships. They show up when one person doesn’t feel secure.

Think about it. If your partner gets jealous over small things or continuously checks up on you, that’s not okay. This isn’t just being protective; it’s a way for them to control who you talk to and what you do.

What about envy? It’s normal to want good things like someone else has sometimes. But in a toxic relationship? Envy turns into somebody wanting what you have all for themselves or putting down your achievements.

So watch out — jealousy and envy can lead folks to do mean stuff, like spreading rumors or lying, to make themselves feel better by knocking you down a peg.

4. Controlling Behaviors

Does your partner always seem like they want to be in charge? Do they try to choose who you can hang out with and even get upset if you have fun without them?

These actions make up controlling behaviors — a big red flag in any relationship.

That kind of control isn’t love; it’s like being locked in an invisible cage. Control and manipulation twist relationships into unhappy ones where one person holds too much power over another.

Everybody deserves freedom within their close connections — nobody should call all the shots.

5. Resentment and Dishonesty

Feeling controlled can often lead to bitterness, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Resentment creeps in when you feel undervalued, or your partner keeps bringing up past mistakes.

It’s like a poison that makes trust disappear and turns minor issues into enormous fights. Meanwhile, dishonesty starts small, maybe with tiny lies about what they spent money on or who they were chatting with online. But soon, it grows until you can’t count on anything they say.

No one deserves to have to be involved in this kind of mess. 

Suppose promises are broken time after time, and excuses replace genuine apologies. In that case, honesty has left the building and taken respect with it.

With each lie told or each secret kept, your bond weakens. Those secrets pile up; before long, your gut tells you something is wrong because actions no longer match words.

They say one thing but do another — ringing alarm bells inside your head that shouldn’t be ignored.

6. Disrespect and Negative Financial Behaviors

Just like resentment and dishonesty chip away at trust, disrespect can show up in ugly ways. Maybe your partner laughs at your ideas or says you’re not smart. 

It gets worse if they start messing with your money. Maybe they’re blowing cash without telling you or making you feel bad for how you spend yours. This kind of mean behavior is a big red flag. 

Sharing money talks isn’t fun, but it’s part of being a team. If someone takes control of the cash to make all the choices alone – that’s not fair! They could say things like “I earn more, so I decide,” or hide what they spend from you.

Now, that messes with their respect for you and hurts your self-esteem, too.

You should always stand up for yourself and watch these sneaky signs – nobody should mistreat you or play games with your wallet.

7. Constant Stress and Ignored Needs

Sometimes, life seems to run on empty, and nobody listens or cares about what it takes away from you. That’s a major red flag in a relationship.

If every day feels like a battle and your life is accompanied by constant worry or stress, then it shouldn’t be like that.

And then there are your needs – everyone has them. It could be a bit of quiet time to read a book or someone simply asking how your day has been going. But suppose those things keep getting brushed off or ignored by someone who’s supposed to care about you. In that case, you should reevaluate your relationship.

When nobody listens to what fulfills or strengthens you, it gradually wears away at your emotional well-being and health. It begins with the fact that these needs should be seen and heard – do not accept less.

The Impact of Toxic Relationships on Mental Health

What happens inside a person because of toxic relationships? These unhealthy connections can do actual harm to your mental health. Constant stress from dealing with negative behaviors like criticism and lack of support wears you down.

It’s tough. Your mind feels tired, your confidence might drop, and finding joy gets harder.

Staying in bad relationships where trust is rare and mutual respect is a dream can change how you see yourself. 

Over time, you may not feel good enough or doubt your worth – that’s low self-esteem sneaking in.

This gloomy feeling doesn’t just stay put; it follows you around like a shadow, even affecting new friends or romantic partners you meet along the way.

5 Steps To Cope With a Toxic Relationship

Trying to cope with a toxic relationship can be difficult, but it’s easier when you’ve got practical steps to guide you through. Keep reading for a nudge toward positivity.

1. Acknowledge the Issue 

You must see the problem before you can fix it. Spotting those warning signs — like constant stress or feeling ignored — is your first step in dealing with a bad relationship. It’s like realizing that the cough you’ve been ignoring is something serious.

When respect takes a back seat, and boundaries get crossed without a sorry, you know there’s trouble.

After acknowledging the issue, muster up the courage to face what’s happening.

2. Identify the Toxic Behavior

Toxic behavior is when someone makes you feel small or says mean things to you. That’s verbal abuse, and it can really mess with your head.

These behaviors might not always be on purpose, but they don’t help make things healthy between two people. Sometimes, this includes yelling or name-calling; other times, it’s more sneaky, like someone always putting themselves first and ignoring what you need.

Remember that just because somebody acts toxic doesn’t mean they are aiming to hurt you. But whether they mean it or not, it doesn’t change that it can be rough for your heart and mind.

It’s tricky since some of these actions may seem normal at first — like getting jealous — but if it keeps happening and starts feeling like too much to handle, that’s a huge warning sign.

3. Take Accountability

It’s tough, but facing the fact that you’re in a toxic relationship is like the first step up a steep hill – hard but necessary. 

You may have noticed that your partner often ignores what you want or feel. Or maybe friends keep saying they’re worried about you — they might be onto something. 

Look at your own actions, too; are you making excuses for someone’s bad behavior? If it sounds familiar, it’s time to sit down and take a serious look at what’s really going on.

Owning up to the problem gives you the power to make changes or even to say goodbye. 

You can’t fix things if you don’t acknowledge that there’s something wrong. But think of how wonderful life will be when you no longer meet tension at every turn.

You will be empowered to assume control – deciding which people get close and determining how much space is healthy for each participant.

4. Communicate the Issue

The next phase is discussing the issues. You might be afraid to tell your true feelings or worry about how the other person will feel. However, it is vital to keep an open line of communication. Just tell your partner honestly what the problem is, but be kind about it – no shouting or pointing the finger.

How about if things get a little intense when talking? It happens! Just keep calm and focus on the main ideas.

If they shut down or fight back, don’t give up just yet; some folks need time to think things over before they can chat adequately.

Keep trying for that good communication — whether with friends, family members, or your dating partner.

Suppose talking doesn’t help, and nasty stuff keeps happening. In that case, it might be time for more severe steps like setting healthy boundaries or even waving goodbye to the toxic partner in your life.

Your well-being comes first, always!

5. Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is like building a fence in your life. It marks what’s okay and what’s not. You might say “no” to someone who keeps asking for money or decide you need an evening alone instead of always hanging out with friends.

Drawing these lines can feel challenging, but it stands up for your own needs — like making sure you have time to relax or saying you won’t put up with yelling.

You start by figuring out what matters most to you. Maybe respect means a lot, so you tell others they can’t make fun of how you look or talk. By being clear about your limits, people learn how to treat you right — and that helps everyone get along better.

Sticking to these rules isn’t mean; it’s taking care of yourself!

How To Leave a Toxic Relationship

Breaking a toxic relationship might seem challenging, but you’ve got this. Here are the ways to exit the toxic relationship in the healthiest ways possible:

Seek Emotional Support

It’s essential to have someone to speak to. Lean on close friends and family who all care about you. Tell them what’s happening, and let them be there for you.

It’s never easy to deal with heartache, but know you are not alone. There are community groups where people with similar experiences help each other.

These can be groups of people somewhere in your town or those that you find online. Their advice may be the very words you need to hear.

Get Additional Support

So, you have your loved ones who support you and care about your feelings. That’s great! 

But sometimes, ending a toxic relationship requires more support.

Find people who can give you different types of help. You can also speak with someone well-versed in relationships or trained to handle difficult emotions.

It is also okay to seek professional assistance if the situation feels too burdening for you. Sometimes, talking with a counselor or a therapist could be just what you need. 

If you break up with your partner and need somewhere safe to stay, many friendly services and hotlines are ready to support you.

It’s not weak to reach out. It’s brave! No one should go through these things alone.

Stick To Your Boundaries & Cut off Communication

Boundaries – they’re like invisible lines that keep you safe and secure. They tell people how to treat you well. Toxic relationships can be extremely difficult to walk away from, and it’s essential to stick to your boundaries when dealing with them.

If those boundaries get crossed too many times…time out! That’s when you need a plan to take care of YOURSELF.

Keep those boundaries strong – it’s all part of ensuring no one else gets to call the shots in your life.

Cut off all communication if you have to. That means no texts, phone calls, or visits to their social media profiles. It would help if you did not try to maintain a friendship with them. 

Right now, focusing on yourself and cultivating happiness within yourself is crucial.

Seek Therapeutic Support Afterward

Exiting from a toxic relationship is not always easy. But you don’t have to do it all by yourself! Speaking to a therapist can be tremendously helpful. They listen and take in what you are dealing with and then offer solid advice on healing and moving forward.

Therapy is like a sanctuary where it’s all about you feeling better and finding peace.

Suppose your heart is still hurting from having to say goodbye to your previous relationship. In that case, it is high time you reach out for therapeutic help because that might be the best thing for your emotional health.

This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks

Author: Iva Ursano

Iva Ursano is a solo female traveler originally from Canada currently residing in Guatemala. After hitting rock bottom in 2013, she completely reinvented her life at 52 years old, packed up two suitcases, and bought a one way ticket to Central America. She runs a website for women over 50 to help them make the rest of their lives, the best of their lives, while feeding street dogs and helping the less fortunate in the town she now calls home, Panajachel. You can follow her on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram (Street Dogs of Guatemala) (Women Blazing Trails)