Good relationships are what everyone wants but warning signs of a toxic relationship always appear before a relationship goes south.
Good relationships are imperative for many different reasons such as increasing our emotional well-being, creating stability, having someone count on and trust, etc.
A toxic relationship is the direct opposite of all these values. It leaves you feeling bad, depressed, worthless, angry, is disproportionately negative, has some form of abuse, and so on.
Such behaviors occur as a result of a lack of empathy and often represent an inability to feel genuine understanding and compassion for the other person – whether that be demanding your partner live up to your expectations or refusing to see things from their perspective.
It keeps you from experiencing the best that life has to offer; love, joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness, fun, romance, intimacy, friendship, care, communication, growth, etc and contaminates your self-esteem, your happiness and the way you see yourself and the world.
They are usually emotionally and, not infrequently, physically damaging to you or your partner. Everyone wants a good relationship but always ignore the warning signs of a toxic relationship early on.
Thus, the warning signs of a toxic relationship below will help you identify if your relationship is a toxic one or not, so you can be guided.
25 Warning Signs You Are In A Toxic Relationship
1. Unkind Words
The power of words in a relationship is a subconscious energy that balances the relationship. The words you choose and the way you say something can make your lover feel closer to you or affect the person negatively and drift from you.
Instead of treating each other with kindness, you lash out at each other verbally. Most of your conversations are filled with sarcasm, criticism, or overt hostility and inflict pain.
You can’t have an honest discussion or speak about your feelings or needs openly without the fear of getting wounded with ugly words. Words like;
- ‘You are a major screw-up’
- ‘You disgust me’
- ‘You’re just too much work’
- ‘I don’t need you anymore’
- ‘Stop making a fool of yourself’
- ‘That’s the stupidest argument I’ve ever heard’
- ‘You’re not even worth listening to’
- ‘Get lost’
All these words are such that pierce the heart and weigh the soul. Thoughtless words such as these generally spawn disagreement which often cause an argument that derails the relationship.
2. Lack Of Support
Healthy relationships are based on a mutual desire to see the other succeed in all areas of life. They support each other’s goals and are happy when each has a win.
But when things turn toxic, every achievement becomes a competition. Instead of celebrating you for your triumphs, they become bitter, wishing they could have it and they feel compelled to drag you down.
You never turn to each other for financial, emotional, and mental support in times of need. You look to other people first and even when you do, the focus will always be on the other person.
So, if you cannot turn to each other, is there a reason to be in that relationship? Your relationship with your spouse is supposed to improve your life and not make it messier.
Therefore, the moment you start lacking support from your spouse is the beginning of the warning signs of a toxic relationship.
3. All The Love, Work, And Compromise Comes From You
Any relationship in which you experience withdrawals of energy without deposits will leave you in the negative.
You feel like you have to do all the emotional work in the relationship while your partner gets to be rude, cold, unreliable, unappreciative, or immature.
You are the one making all the plans, doing all the chores, making phone calls, working on your problems, and remembering his grandmother’s birthday.
You compromise your own values, interests, friendship, etc just to keep the relationship. You give and give with the unconscious expectation that the giving will be returned, but all these years over time, your partner never had those intentions. It’s one of the signs you are in a toxic relationship. Learn how to compromise healthily.
4. Feeling Drained
If instead of feeling happy and productive, you’re always mentally, emotionally, and even physically drained, it’s time to re-evaluate as this implies one of the warning signs of a toxic relationship.
You feel like the relationship is literally sucking the energy out of you. You mostly feel weak, depressed, or distressed around your partner.
All your energy has been sapped by trying to make them better. You cry often and constantly feel anxious or fearful.
Usually, your body feels tired and drained after an interaction with your partner as your conversations quickly devolve into frustration, exhaustion, and inability to stick to positive thinking.
Your minds feel like it can’t handle any more information as there are constant threats and crises. You’ve been beaten, kicked, and punched, and all you can think of is ‘what wickedness (partner) you’ve gotten yourself involved with’.
Then, I guess it’s time to think some more about whether you’re with someone who fits you because this is among the warning signs you are in a toxic relationship.
5. Persistent Self-Betrayal
You have opinions and likes and dislikes, but you find yourself constantly doing something other than what you feel is right, just to please your partner, because you do not want to make them unhappy.
You betray yourself by giving up your dreams and values just to satisfy the other person.
You try to become what you think the other person wants you to be rather than expressing your true self, going against your better judgment and gut instinct. All these are toxic relationship signs and you’ll better reevaluate at this stage.
6. Feelings Of Unworthiness
A romantic partner should build you up, not tear you down. If you feel like you are losing your self, your self-worth has dropped to an all-time low, and you carry a feeling of persistent worthlessness while being around your partner and they leave you feeling like you don’t deserve any better.
It’s not healthy. Your partner implies that you are stupid or that they are the smart one in the relationship, they try to dissuade you from trying something new because you probably won’t understand it.
They judge you and take a swipe at your self-esteem, suggesting you don’t measure up or that you’re less than because you made a mistake – whether by subtly making you feel less attractive than they are, constantly reinforcing their professional accomplishments as compared to yours, or even comparing you unfavorably to their exes, they want you to feel grateful that you are in a relationship with them.
All these and more are obvious toxic boyfriend signs and toxic girlfriend signs.
7. Excessive Jealousy
Excessive jealousy is a sign of a toxic husband or partner. If your partner can’t bear the thought of you not being by their side, then you’ve got a serious thing to think about.
A partner who insists on being hyper-close and doing everything together or doesn’t allow you to be by yourself and is constantly monitoring or questioning your whereabouts and intentions shows a lack of trust and that could be toxic.
8. They Always Find Something Wrong With You
This is one of the warning signs of a toxic relationship that makes you feel like you can never be correct or do things correctly. To them, nothing you ever do is right. They always have a comment about what you did wrong or how you could have done it better. You hear statements like;
- ‘You should have added more of these colors’
- ‘I don’t like that shirt’
- ‘I don’t like it like that’
- ‘Why are you laughing so loudly as if you are a child?’
- ‘What kind of hairstyle is this?’
- ‘You should have made this style look like that’
They even make you feel bad or guilty about your achievements. Instead of making you be the best version of yourself possible, your partner fuels your shadow self and seems to enjoy watching you self-destruct.
A partner who offers unsolicited suggestions for what you need to improve and fundamentally criticizes aspects of who you are is definitely toxic and one of the toxic relationship signs.
9. You Keep Waiting/Hoping For Them To Change
One of the harder places to be in any relationship is waiting for the other person to follow through with a promised change.
You stick around in hopes that your partner will quit whatever behavior is making things tough. The tricky part about toxic relationships is, most of the time you still have a great deal of love towards the other person.
So, you dismiss their abuse, give them chances, and keep hoping they’d change someday. You linger, hoping things will change because the love you have for them keeps you going.
Even the other person cannot commit 40% to your relationship and would care less if the relationship ended tomorrow. This is one of the worst warning signs of a toxic relationship.
10. You Feel Insecure
If you are in a constant state of insecurity around your partner, you are not in a healthy relationship. When they enter the room, your first thought is “God, what now?”
You find yourself walking on eggshells all the time for fear of upsetting them. You always feel a sense of endangerment around your partner as drama/chaos seems to follow them everywhere.
You’ve broken up or almost broken up numerous times. Then, that’s one of the warning signs of a toxic relationship.
11. You Have Trust Issues
In this warning sign, there is an implicit lack of truthfulness in your relationship. You wonder if you can believe what your spouse tells you.
Your relationship has become peppered with little white lies, simply because they don’t want to waste time explaining the truth.
Your partner gives you false information when you ask a question, in turn, you start allowing the truth to slide when you are asked a question, and then your relationship loses touch with reality, and then literally you have nothing worth holding on to.
Learn how to build trust in a relationship with these 5 simple tips.
12. You Are Happier When They Aren’t Around
When you are in a healthy relationship, you want to be with your partner. But one of the warning signs of a toxic relationship is that you’re happier when alone.
You think that you want to see them; you used to love spending time together, but now the reverse is the case.
You sigh in relief when your partner has to go out of town, you feel like your real self – you laugh, play, dance and you are generally happy about the present. But as soon as you sight them from a distance, you feel down and terrified.
13. Your Partner Never Remembers Your Schedule
He/she misses out on all important events in your life and really doesn’t care. They forget your birthday, anniversary, dates, etc and can’t seem to show up for even the smallest thing.
You can’t even count on them to show up for events they’ve confirmed and you know they won’t call you back even though you left ten voicemails. They are never available and never reliable. That’s one of the signs you are in a toxic relationship.
14. They Never Take Responsibility For Their Actions
Yes, it’s ok to make mistakes. Sometimes we screw up and do things that hurt or disappoint our partner but the ability to own up and accept our flaws makes us mature.
If people don’t own up, they are not learning, expanding, and evolving. They are defensive.
If your partner doesn’t take responsibility for their mistakes or keeps blaming someone else for why things aren’t going well – whether that person is you, their boss, their parents, their trainer, etc that can be a big sign of toxic behavior.
Rather than owning their own feelings, they will act as though the feelings are yours, as in, projecting their feelings and thoughts onto you.
For example, someone who is angry but won’t take responsibility for it might accuse you of being angry with them, or make you feel bad for being angry at them when they do you wrong.
15. You’re Always Making Excuses For Their Bad Behaviour
If you always find yourself trying to excuse or justify the selfish, immature or nasty behavior displayed by your partner – whether it’s their emotional unavailability, lack of empathy, the habit of being obnoxious to your friends, or lack of support – that’s a problem.
You try to lie to yourself “maybe he/she didn’t mean it that way”, ‘maybe I am the one overreacting (when it’s clear as crystal that you weren’t at fault).
You find yourself lying to other people because you are ashamed of your partner’s behavior and to cover up their flaws then you should have a rethink.
It’s never a good sign if the important people in your life are always questioning your decision to stay in the relationship.
Being selfish means things always have to be their way and they have to control every aspect of everything that happens in their life, especially their partner’s life, too.
It’s always about them. Your relationship is always about pleasing, listening to, or upholding the other person but they never return the favor.
Your partner is miraculously absent whenever you need something. You can’t recall a time when your partner has compromised so that you could take up an opportunity.
They always like doing things their own way or going to places they like even if you want to do something different. The time spent with your partner almost always requires their approval.
The way selfish people think is that they want to be put first. However, they are not satisfied with being the priority. They also want to put you down.
17. You Pretend To Be Happy
You pretend to be filled with so much joy even though you are just generally unhappy and negative. You keep posting how ‘Amazing’ your relationship is to everyone even on social media, telling your family and friends about your wondrous life meanwhile the reality is that of falsehood.
You fake a smile and act as if all is well just because you feel pretending to be happy is easier than explaining why they are not and because you don’t want anyone to notice your pain and call out to your spouse for treating you bad.
18. Persistent Disrespect
Mutual respect is the first requirement of a good relationship.
If your partner disrespects your opinions, your views, actions, and for no just reason in absolutely unnecessary ways, even when no fight is occurring; essentially implying that pretty much anything you say that expresses your ideas, beliefs, or wants is silly or stupid. There is a problem.
If they make fun of your flaws and sensitivities and can’t wait for the slightest provocation to call you all sorts of names, even in public and mocks you, such as poking fun at your voice or facial expressions in a mean way. There’s a problem.
If they make belittling comments about you but then claim they were just joking or try to make you look stupid or like you’re overreacting, there’s a problem.
Or makes jokes about leaving you or teases you about what their ‘second’ wife or husband will be like. There is obviously a problem. All these are warning signs of a toxic relationship.
19. Being Taken Advantage Of
Such partners especially at the beginning of a relationship, often seem to be very nice and pleasant individuals.
And they are, as long as they are getting everything they want from you. Your partner implies that they only value you for one thing, whether it be lovemaking, your looks, or your ability to earn money and takes advantage of you financially, emotionally, mentally, or sensually.
They make financial decisions, including purchasing big-ticket items or withdrawing a large sum of your money, without consulting you. One added factor that makes this relationship toxic is its one-way nature and the fact that you will end up never having done enough for them.
20. You Have No Say
In this warning sign, your opinion is never saught concerning any issue. Your words are seen as irrelevant and discarded.
In fact, they don’t even listen when you share. It is their opinions, feelings, and thoughts, that need to be acknowledged and understood, while you rarely feel heard or really taken into account.
21. Retrogress Instead Of Progress
One of the warning signs of a toxic relationship is that you practically do not move forward into the next level or phase of your relationship.
You can’t seem to move past the constant crisis you face in the relationship with your partner and these repeated challenges seem to take the spark of the relationship, even habits that you both should have grown past (nagging, yelling, keeping late nights, lying, cheating, etc) seem to never end.
You move backward instead of forward and your self-growth stagnates around your partner.
A relationship is not a competition between the two partners. It is rather a team game where both partners bring different things and make the relationship what it is.
That team game won’t work well when there’s an internal score being kept between the two. Scorekeeping is when you and your partner measure performance and actions.
It inhibits your ability to empathize with your partner and threatens to foster resentment in your relationship. There has to be a payoff for your partner to do anything for you.
For example, “I washed the dishes so you take out the garbage”, “I paid for the gas so you pick up the tips”.
This also implies that one person justifies their exploitations and abuses when you do something negative.
If your partner always keeps tally of every last interaction within your relationship, that is obviously one of the warning signs of a toxic relationship.
23. You Can’t Confide In Your Partner
To confide in someone is to be able to tell that person, personal and private things about yourself or something else.
But in a toxic relationship, you can’t talk to your partner or trust them with your issues or secrets. You are not sure if they’d react respectfully, or helpfully.
They frown, pass judgment, don’t practice empathy, are rude and unpleasant to whatever information you tell them, and sometimes blow it out in the open for everyone to see or hear.
24. No Positive Impacts
In a toxic relationship, you can’t think of ways in which your partner has positively influenced you to be better for yourself and the relationship.
You can’t think of ways in which you and your partner make a great team in promoting each other’s vision and values, rather, your partner has been a major source of negativity; influencing you into bad/dangerous habits, and pressuring you towards unhealthy behaviors like substance abuse.
25. You Feel Lonely
Affection is important and everyone needs some of it. It is the verbal and physical expression of the love, warmth, and care you and your partner feel for each other.
In a healthy relationship, couples strive to maintain these affections with each other, but the reverse is that of a toxic one.
There is no spark of playfulness between you, there are little or no displays of mutual gratitude, little or no touches, neither of you talk about your emotions (for the fear of being called names), and you have trouble listening to one another.
You feel lonely, ignored, unimportant, and unloved, seeing your partner distant, cold, and self-centered, and no one is “willing” to work on it, then resentment sets in and you drift further apart.
Warning Signs Of A Toxic Relationship – Recap
Woohoo! That was such a long ride but thanks for the reading!
When you notice these warning signs of a toxic relationship, whatever you do, keep in mind that you need to be treated nicely and that you can both work things out from changing these signs or behaviors to positive ones if and only if the ‘willing’ attitude is projected, and followed through.
You deserve better! Learn how to be better in your relationships with these ideas How To Stay Madly In Love With Your Spouse, Bedtime Routines To Make Your Love Stronger, and How To Attract The Man Of Your Dreams.
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