Love can be a wonderful thing, whether it’s romantic love or the love we have for our parents, children, friends or even our pets. However, sometimes love makes us blind to a person’s faults and if we’re in a romantic relationship with the person, it can be difficult for us to really see them for who they are.
Love doesn’t always blind us in this way, but it can easily happen, and that makes it hard to identify when our relationship has become unhealthy or toxic.
Signs of a Toxic Relationship
Here are some of the signs that your partner doesn’t know how to have a healthy relationship.
Lack of trust
Trust is one of the cornerstones of a healthy relationship. People often take trust in a romantic relationship to mean that they trust the other person won’t be unfaithful, but trust needs to apply right across the board and trusting they won’t cheat is only one component. You also need to trust that they have your best interests at heart, that your relationship is a priority to them, and that you can depend on your partner in times of difficulty.
Healthy relationships require open, honest and safe communication. However, if your partner has a passive-aggressive way of dealing with relationship problems, this can make it incredibly difficult for you to deal with issues that arise.
Passive-aggressive communication might be your partner saying things are ‘fine’ when they’re clearly not and shutting down your attempts to discuss an issue. They may make thinly-veiled criticisms or ‘jokey’ remarks, or they may withdraw completely.
Need for control
Even in the most intimate of relationships, there is no requirement for you to share everything. If your partner wants to know absolutely everything you do and think, then you could be in a toxic relationship.
Your partner might also display controlling behaviours like trying to dictate where you go, who you see and what you wear. Controlling behaviours can come in many forms including limiting your access to money or always being present when friends or family visit.
A toxic partner may try to disguise controlling behaviours as concern for your welfare (such as not wanting you to go out alone) or deflect blame if you protest, for example, saying that you must have something to hide if you’re not happy for them to look at your messages.
Patterns of lying
Lies erode trust in a relationship, so even small ones add up over time. If you find yourself questioning whether or not your partner is telling you the truth, or looking for evidence that they’re lying to you, then you could be in a toxic relationship.
You’re scared of their reactions
If you’re afraid to speak up or be your normal self around your partners, that’s a sure sign that your relationship isn’t healthy. If you worry about how your partner might react if you bring up a concern or a request to do something differently, then your relationship might be toxic.
Letting Go and Moving On
Recognising that you’re in a toxic relationship is the first step to letting go but it isn’t always easy to move on from an unhealthy relationship or leave behind a toxic partner.
You may find that your partner’s behaviours escalate when you try to end the relationship or that they will continue to try and exert control over you even after you have left. It’s important to build a support network of friends, and family you can trust to help you move on.
If you’re married, you’ll also need to discuss the legalities around ending your marriage with a local divorce solicitor in Manchester. Toxic relationships can take their toll on your mental health and self-esteem and it’s important not to overlook the emotional damage your partner may have caused. You might also want to seek professional help from a counsellor or other mental health practitioner to help you let go and move on with your life in a positive, healthy way.