Spotting The Signs Of A Toxic Relationship
What should you look out for?
Relationships are tough. They will bring out the best and unfortunately, the worst in people. The signs of an unhealthy relationship are not always so clear, however. But, how do you know when something good has turned sour? When can you tell that enough is enough?
You’re Not Seeing Your Friends Or Family
Like family, friends form a glue in our lives that we need to stay grounded. If a relationship is beginning to interfere with your other relationships, it’s definitely time to take a step back. Ask yourself: why am I losing contact with my friends or family? Is it perhaps because you have forgotten about them? Of course, when we hit that honeymoon period and it’s the early stages of a relationship, we only have eyes for our partner! However, there is a fine line between enjoying time with them and growing obsessive. Remember, you need space to socialize with other people and so do they! Does your partner not value your relationships? Love is not shown through possessive behavior and your partner should not isolate you from seeing other people. You are not the property of anyone.
Arguments Never Feel Resolved
Avoiding conflict is sometimes the easier path to follow but it’s not always the right one to choose. If you feel that arguments go unresolved in your relationship, there is definitely an issue. Communication is key in any relationship and if little time is given to discuss your feelings, you and your partner will have no foundations for a strong future. Whoever you are with needs to respect your emotions and opinions – if they don’t, it will be nearly impossible to resolve any argument. If you are left feeling as though you always give in, don’t settle for that. Sometimes, you may be wrong, but you cannot take the blame for every argument just to avoid conflict.
You Have Changed Drastically
Of course, we pick up the mannerisms, slang, and habits of our loved ones. However, if you have changed drastically – e.g. your morals, your appearance, your goals – this may be revealing a problem. We all want our partners to remain attracted to us, but you shouldn’t change for someone. If a person has been attracted to you in the first place, they were obviously attracted to you for you. They should already appreciate you as a whole – at your best and your worst. If someone expects you to change after you have become a couple, it’s time to walk away. Equally, if your family and friends have noticed negative changes in you, it’s time to talk it out. Even though our partners are important to us, they do not have to become everything. You still have your own life with your own goals, values, and jobs – they have to integrate and become part of it. Don’t jeopardize any of these things for one person (even though you really love them). If they’re right for you, they will want you as you are.
You Feel Unsafe
A relationship is where you should feel the safest. There are no exceptions. A person who loves you will strive to take care of you and not hurt you. Things don’t have to get physical between two people to become abusive – manipulative and emotional abuse can leave many people in relationships feeling trapped and afraid to speak out. If the person you are with makes you feel vulnerable in any way – whether that be physically, emotionally or sexually – know that you do not have to stay with them. They are dangerous and do not deserve you or your love. Of course, it is easier said than done to walk away from someone, but confiding in a family member, friend or even counselor will be the first step to addressing the problem. Prioritizing your happiness and well-being is more important than a person who harms you.
Of course, this is worst case scenario and we hope you are save and in a healthy relationship. But in case you get ever really scared of your situation or your partner here are some hotlines for domestic abuse you should add to your speed dial:
National Domestic Violence Hotline —1-800-799-7233
Domestic Violence Helpline — 0808 2000 247
Hilfetelefon — 08000 116 016
1800 RESPECT — 1800 737 732
Dawn Canada — depending on your location
Women's Hotline in Beijing — 010-68333388
New Zealand Nationwide
Domestic Violence Crisis Line — 0800 733 843
The Purple Dial Sexual and Domestic Violence Hotline — 0120-941-826