7 Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship (and What to Do About It

Relationships are meant to be a source of joy and fulfillment, but sometimes they can turn sour. A toxic relationship is one that leaves you feeling drained, unhappy, or even scared. If you suspect your relationship might be toxic, here are some signs to look out for:

1. Your partner constantly criticizes you: Whether it’s your appearance, personality, or behavior, if your partner is always finding fault with you, it could be a sign of a toxic relationship. Healthy relationships involve constructive criticism, not constant put-downs.

2. They control your actions: Does your partner try to dictate what you wear, who you hang out with, or how you spend your time? This kind of controlling behavior is a red flag. In healthy relationships, both partners should have equal say in decision making.

3. There’s no trust: Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. If you feel like you can’t trust your partner, whether it’s because they lie, keep secrets, or are overly jealous, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship.

4. Communication is lacking: Good communication is essential for building intimacy and resolving conflicts. If your partner doesn’t listen to you, dismisses your feelings, or refuses to communicate at all, this could be a sign of a toxic relationship.

5. The effects on your mental health: Being in a toxic relationship can take a toll on your mental health. If you find yourself feeling anxious, depressed, or stressed out around your partner, it could be a sign that something isn’t right.

6. Your friends and family don’t approve: Sometimes our loved ones can see things more clearly than we do. If your friends and family express concern about your relationship, it’s worth listening to them.

7. You feel trapped: If you feel like you can’t leave the relationship without fear of retaliation or negative consequences, then it’s likely toxic. No one should ever feel trapped in a relationship.

If you recognize these signs in your own relationship, there are several steps you can take to address the situation. First, talk to your partner openly and honestly about your concerns. Let them know how their behavior makes you feel and ask for changes. Second, seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. Having someone else to talk to can help you gain perspective and clarity. Finally, consider ending the relationship if nothing changes. Staying in a toxic relationship can have long-term negative effects on your physical and emotional wellbeing.

Moving forward after a toxic relationship can be challenging, but it’s possible. Take time to focus on self-care and healing. Surround yourself with positive people who lift you up and avoid anyone who brings negativity into your life. Remember that you deserve better than a toxic relationship and never settle for less than you deserve.