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How do I know if I'm in a toxic relationship?

283 Answers
Last Updated: 02/20/2022 at 7:27pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Jennifer Patterson, LMFT, ATR-BC

Art Therapist

Life can be messy. Sometimes you need a little support to make your way through it. I love to help guide people through their challenges & to find the beauty in our messes.

Top Rated Answers
July 13th, 2016 2:35pm
1. Passive aggression 2. Jealousy and the blame game 3. Criticism and contempt 4. Arguing without communicating 5. Negative energy 6. Avoiding each other 7. You’re not yourself 8. Feeling like there’s no point 9. You only think about making him or her happy 10. You can’t seem to do anything right You’re just not happy anymore
July 11th, 2016 4:31pm
You spend more time hurt than happy. You will find yourself making excuses for their behaviour. You start to lose confidence in yourself and distance yourself from your friends
July 8th, 2016 2:29am
If you are dreading the relationship and you are not happy being in it then you are definitely not in a good place in your relationship. The relationship becomes toxic when someone is cheating on the other, there is no trust and respect between both parties, abuse is in the relationship.
July 16th, 2016 4:01am
If the person isn't treating you the way you deserve to be treated. If someone is taking advantage of you or your feelings, you are in a toxic relationship.
July 27th, 2016 1:54am
When you wouldn't treat yourself the way your partner treats you. That's when you have to reflect and see if you would want someone like that in your life.
February 3rd, 2018 11:36pm
There are questions to ask yourself and be brutally honest. For example : Am I walking on egg shells? Do we have separate lives including friends, hobbies, things we enjoy doing apart from our relationship? Does my partner allow me time to spend with friends, family? During arguments do you feel afraid for your safety or the safety of others around you (including pets in the house)? Do you feel like your partner is respectful of your boundaries (including saying no to sex)? Has your partner ever slapped, hit, punched, kicked, spit on, degraded, yelled at you or ever made you feel afraid? Toxic relationships literally suck the life out of a person. You can't see it but others can see the light inside you dim until it's finally gone. You look in the mirror one day and don't recognize who you have become.
July 15th, 2018 6:17pm
It's hard to see what's best for yourself when you're invested in a relationship. It's not always easy to remember who you are and what you want. You can start to lose yourself and forget to make yourself and your happiness a priority. There is a lot of sh*t we put up with because the pain certain relationships bring us is less intimidating than the pain of letting go of the person you love. There's nothing wrong with admitting a relationship has run its course. Even if you can't conceptualize your life without that person, with time and distance, you'll be able to see the relationship for what it was: toxic as hell. 1. Passive aggression The whole "I hate it when you do that, but I'm just gonna keep it to myself and throw you shady little side glances" thing is unnecessary. Once you're not comfortable being direct with your SO, you've lost that bond on which your relationship was initially built. 2. Jealousy and the blame game We're all only human, so jealousy will happen on some level. But, excessive jealousy is never okay. If you don't have trust in a relationship, you literally have nothing worth holding on to. 3. Criticism and contempt No one is perfect, and the closer you become with someone, the more conspicuous his or her imperfections will become. There is nothing wrong with criticism that comes from a positive place. When criticism is used as a channel to express contempt or disdain for someone else, it can make the other person feel unvalued and worthless. It's hard for a relationship to come back from that. 4. Arguing without communicating We all know that yelling over each other won't get you anywhere. It's natural to get upset and argue, but if there's no exchange of communication and neither party conveys why he or she feels how he or she does, nothing will be solved. 5. Negative energy Feeling uncomfortable or tense around someone is just your body reacting to the negative energy surrounding the two of you. Negativity can drain you mentally, physically and emotionally. We're forced to deal with this stuff, but your SO should be a reprieve from that type of stress. 6. Avoiding each other At the bare minimum, you should be able to tolerate your SO's presence. If you can't even bring yourself to be around him or her, you should really just call it quits. 7. You're not yourself Change will happen regardless. When you're in a relationship, even if you both change, you should be going in the same direction. If your relationship changes you, it should only make you a better version of yourself. If you feel like you're losing yourself or you don't recognize who you are anymore, it's not healthy. 8. Feeling like there's no point There is a difference between staying in a relationship because you're comfortable and staying because you truly want to be there. If you feel like your relationship isn't going anywhere, why waste the time? That's time you'll look back on with regret, but that you'll never be able to relive. 9. You only think about making him or her happy Once you hit your 20s, relationships are a trial run for marriage. You should be able to see potential in spending the rest of your life with your significant other because if not, what's the point? You should want to make your SO happy, but it should be a two-way street. Your happiness should mean his or her happiness and vice versa. If you're constantly trying to make them happy, but you're not getting anything in return, then something in the cycle is disjointed. Happiness should be mutual. 10. You can't seem to do anything right Once you get to the point where you feel like everything you do upsets him or annoys her, and you're tiptoeing around in your own relationship, you need to understand that you aren't the problem. There is something with which your significant other is unhappy and he or she isn't communicating that to you. Until he or she is honest with why he or she is really frustrated, nothing you do will seem to be enough. 11. Growth and change are seen as negatives Relationships have to evolve in order to last. The whole "why can't things just stay like this" mentality isn't conducive to a long-term relationship. At some point, someone will want more. That's not a bad thing, but both parties must be on the same page. There's nothing wrong with taking the next step; doing so is a sign of maturity. 12. Reminiscing on the beginning instead of looking toward the future Memories of the honeymoon phase are not enough to sustain you. You can't relive the past. Relationships develop, but not always for the better. Fantasizing about what used to be is not living in reality. 13. You're just not happy anymore What it really comes down to is happiness. You don't have to justify why you aren't happy anymore. It isn't realistic to expect to be happy in every moment of your relationship, but as a whole, this person should make you happier. He or she should make you feel supported and capable of doing whatever the hell it is you want to do. You should know that even though you don't have control of every aspect of your life and things will fall apart, this person gives you stability. He or she helps you rebuild and gives you hope that things can be the way you think they should be. If you don't have that, is it really worth it?
July 6th, 2016 2:36pm
You can tell if you are in a toxic relationship when you ask yourself: Am I being hurt or am I happy. Always remember that if you are not consentually being in that relationship then you need to call the police or a trusted adult.
July 13th, 2016 9:24pm
Any relationship that does not make you (or the other person) happy to be in is an unhealthy relationship. The relationship is toxic when the one partner is "above" the other, and/or is causing negative feelings to the other.
July 11th, 2016 9:50pm
A healthy relationship will make you feel like you are safe and free to be yourself. You'll never feel trapped with your partner, and they won't ruin your chances at being happy. A toxic relationship will, however, give you bad self esteem, make you feel unsafe, misunderstood or caged.
July 8th, 2016 6:12pm
If you feel anxious or unsure about being around the person you are with, it probably is not making you happy. Any relationship where you cannot full trust the other person or where you do not feel happy or secure with that person could possibly be a toxic relationship. Also, if you are giving your all to the relationship and not getting as much back, try talking to that person about it.
July 7th, 2016 1:13pm
Being in a toxic relationship is often a major blockade for us on our personal growth path. Often times we find ourselves in these relationships because we are good people, who want to see the best in others. And in doing so, we also need to understand that sometimes we can do better if we do good for ourselves as well, by staying out of a toxic relationship. You can easily tell if a relationship is toxic by asking yourself these questions, and answering honestly - You only have to answer to You, after all. 1: Am I enjoying my time with this person? 2: Do I feel like I want to avoid this person at times? 3: Does this person treat me the way I want to be treated? 4: Am I happy in this relationship and can I see myself being happy in the future? In the end, while it may be hard, you could very well find yourself in a toxic relationship. If you are, talk to someone you trust, and think about solutions to your predicament. And if you need to, you may feel like finding a new friend is the best solution. Never be afraid to remove yourself from a toxic relationship, and always remember to contact the proper authorities if you require their assistance.
July 20th, 2016 6:56pm
I think you can tell a relationship is toxic when the other is trying to turn into a person you're nt , or trying to get you do things you wouldn't usually do because you find it either way dangerous or stupid.
July 21st, 2016 3:48pm
Whenever you feel like the relationship is hurting you and not meeting your needs, that's probably a good first test at least.
July 31st, 2016 4:51pm
When you two are together, you will have unexpected negative thoughts about that person and feel unhappy and uncomfortable with him/her.
August 3rd, 2016 7:50pm
If you find yourself asking, am I in a toxic relationship, the chances are quite high, you are in one. Trust your instincts. We intuitively know when things are bad for us mentally or spiritually. Listen to yourself.
August 25th, 2016 2:01pm
Try to take a step back and look at the relationship from the outside. Is there a healthy amount of compromise? are both partners having there needs met by the other? Or is the relationship very onsided? One person is doing all of the compromising and the other isn't giving any ground. A healthy relationship is founded on honesty, trust and sharing.
March 2nd, 2019 5:01pm
Ways to know that you're in a toxic relationship, is that you feel like you are "walking on eggshells", you always have to be so careful in what you say or do. You feel like you're being taken away from your family and friends. He/she wants you all to themselves and will get jealous if they see you talking to someone of the opposite gender. You feel more drained even though you were just with that person. They can possibly make you turn away from friends and family. They make you believe that you are the problem, you don't know what's right or wrong anymore. You start to get a low self-esteem. Those are some ways that you can be in a toxic relationship.
July 7th, 2016 7:04am
Your partner controls who your friends are and where you can go. Your partner controls all of the money. Your partner can get violent and might hit you. Your partner doesn't let you out of their site. This are just one of the many things that you might see in a toxic relationship. If you're scared of your partner, then your relationship might be toxic.
July 10th, 2016 6:19am
Where you feel you're no longer be yourself and you feel lack of love. And when you feel you're better when you're not in that relationship,it's time for you to realize you're in toxic relationship
July 27th, 2016 2:13am
You always know when something isn't right for you, you just have to take the time to really sit down and notice it.
July 30th, 2016 6:35am
Does your partner make you feel bad about yourself? Are they purposely putting you down? Do they even attempt to apologize after doing so? When in a relationship you should always respect the other person, if they are treating you poorly and making you feel less of yourself then you're most likely in one.
July 30th, 2016 6:54pm
He/she is using you: asks you for things a slave would do. He/she uses you and shows off with you in front of others.
July 31st, 2016 2:14pm
If you feel they're hurting you on purpose in any way, they might be toxic and you should try to talk to them about it. If they keep acting that way you should break up with them.
August 21st, 2016 2:26pm
If you ever feel that you are not being your original self for your s.o. and they fail to recognize the effort then you may be in a toxic relationship
June 22nd, 2018 2:04pm
How do you mostly feel in their company? How do you feel after you go back home after you spend a day with them? Positive and cheerful? Or stressed out? If its the latter then you're probably in a toxic relationship
July 31st, 2016 8:09pm
Listen to your inner voice! My dear you'll get the answer. :) if person makes you love yourself then my friend you're not in toxic relationship :)
July 31st, 2016 9:00pm
There are usually some clear signs to indicate whether or not your relationship could be bad for you. Do you feel safe with your partner? Do you trust them? If not, are these things you could discuss and solve with them? If not, this could be a sign that this relationship is not right for you.
August 6th, 2016 1:52am
The relationship is toxic if your partner is ALWAYS following you or is relatively protective. For example your bf or gf always is looking through your phone or not letting you talk to anyone. Even same gender friends.
August 11th, 2016 12:44am
When you don't feel yourself, when you feel unsafe, trapped, hurt. When you aren't happy, when you are getting abused in anyway mentally, emotionally and/or physically. When you are always depressed, when you are always sad, when you are always making excuses for them, when you always blame yourself and put yourself down, when they put you down.