How To Know If You Are In A Toxic Relationship

Relationships aren't easy, and they definitely take work. Meeting your soulmate doesn't mean you're guaranteed to immediately experience your happily ever after. Relationships can be complicated and require a fair amount of compromise from both parties. According to Psychology Today, relationships require a lot of respect and connection from both parties. Each relationship is built on trust and open communication where both people appreciate each other's perspectives even if they don't always agree. There are disagreements even in the healthiest relationships, and that's when you need to "argue constructively," which is when you might need time to cool down and come back to discuss the issue without "derogatory and insulating statements." 

Verywell Mind explains that some of the key characteristics of a healthy relationship are openness, honesty, and affection, but everything changes with time. If you start to notice controlling behavior, feel more pressured or obligated than before, or feel any form of physical, emotional, or mental abuse, there's a problem that needs to be addressed if it can be done safely.

Other times, it doesn't take too long for a relationship to turn unhealthy, and while it is completely normal to have a little tiff here and there, you need to do something about it if your relationship has turned toxic. The passion and excitement of a new relationship fade over time but shouldn't be replaced with constant sadness and a need for escape.

Signs of a toxic relationship

When a relationship is good, it just flows, but when it turns toxic, it can be torture. In fact, therapist Jor-El Caraballo told Healthline, "In a toxic relationship, you might consistently feel drained or unhappy after spending time with your partner." This doesn't mean you no longer love each other, but something has changed that is leading you down a path of constant bickering and irritation over minor issues. If you no longer feel joy when being with someone, it's then easy to feel resentment towards the other person. Some signs of toxic relationships are lack of support, patterns of disrespect, constant stress, and lack of self-care where you are no longer doing things you used to love. It's sad when you notice your once-happy relationship crumbling right in front of you.

Both people need to put work in to save a relationship. While it's almost impossible to come back from certain toxic traits — like any form of physical abuse and ongoing emotional abuse — some toxic relationships can be saved. On this, Kamil Lewis, a sex and relationship therapist, told Insider, "Working with a couples therapist or coach helps provide a neutral space to talk about issues, and a skilled and non-judgmental party to witness your challenges and help you find new solutions to old problems." Sabrina Romanoff, a clinical psychologist, shared with the outlet, too, the importance of reflective listening, where you listen to the other person's perspective while staying accountable for one's actions. 

With these tips in mind, you may be able to save your relationship. However, do so with your own safety in mind, as certain relationships cannot be saved. If facing physical abuse, you can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.