There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Even if you see a couple that you think is perfect, there is no doubt they don’t experience periods of conflict or misunderstanding. However, when these situations become repetitive, you might want to think about whether you are in a healthy relationship. Commonly, people are blinded by their partners’ toxic behaviors, making unhealthy relationships hard to recognize. Here are ten warning signs (red flags) that can help you identify if you are in a toxic relationship.
You are giving more than you are receiving
Do you find that your relationship is one-sided? Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like you are the only one listening or supporting your significant other? If you answered yes to these questions, these are just a few indications that you are in an unhealthy relationship. There are certain situations where you must be more other-oriented and be there for your significant other. However, when you find it is always about them, it can be exhausting and is one reason why it is so important that both people contribute to the relationship and not make one another feel left out.
They don’t respect your boundaries
Setting boundaries in your relationship is critical. We all know that everyone is different and can think differently, so setting boundaries helps draw the line on things you aren’t comfortable with. However, this becomes challenging when your partner continues to ignore your limitations and pushes your buttons. It can be very uncomfortable and quite upsetting, especially when you tell them to stop.
Lying and gaslighting
One of the more common signs of a toxic relationship is constant lying and gaslighting. If your partner seems to keep lying or hiding things from you, it could damage your relationship and mental health. Also, your significant other may make promises like “it won’t happen again” or “I’ll be honest with you from now on” but fails to do so. Aside from making these false promises, another major red flag is gaslighting. Gaslighting is a form of manipulation where it forces you to “question your own memory.” In relationships, your partner could manipulate you to avoid confrontation and blame. For instance, if you know your partner is cheating and they say, “I’m not cheating, it’s just all in your head,” it is a form of gaslighting.
Your partner damages your self-esteem
Sometimes your partner may pick at you and claim that it’s “just a joke.” However, this becomes more serious when they continue to point out things you aren’t comfortable with and purposely do it. If they make fun of your body image, appearance, or perhaps something you have done in the past, it can lead to several mental health strains. It is a good idea to have a conversation about how you’re not okay with what they’re saying and that you want more respect.
You feel mentally, emotionally, and physically drained
Toxic relationships may include behaviors that are controlling and are self-centered. As a result, if you are in a similar situation, you may feel mentally, emotionally, and physically drained. This can start from passive-aggressive behaviors like your partner calling you names such as you’re crazy, not stable, needy, or overly sensitive. Emotional and mental strains can also be caused by feeling alone, not loved, and when your partner persistently puts you down. It is also common for people to feel like they don’t have any more drive and have a consistent bad mood because you constantly hold all the weight in that relationship.
If you have checked off any of these warning signs in this article, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to end your toxic relationship. Trying to have an open conversation and seeing if your partner is willing to take the responsibility to work on themselves is a good option. However, if you find that things are getting out of hand, there are several resources you can reach out to for support like eMental Health, Crisis Services Canada, and Ontario Mental Health Helpline.