All relationships have their ups and downs. It is normal to argue once in a while or not agree on some things. But to a large extent, a healthy relationship makes you feel free to be yourself. In such relationships, there is love and respect on both sides, and both parties feel cared for by the other.
The case is different in toxic relationships, where one person feels unhappy and drained most of the time. The symptoms can most times disguise as a lover’s quarrel and might be too subtle to pick up on. But such relationships can interfere with one’s wellbeing and keep you from enjoying a healthy and enriching life. Fortunately, these relationships are not hopeless. There are many counselors and avenues to seek help, whether online or offline.
This article will shed light on five signs of a toxic relationship that may not be quickly noticed.
1. Constantly passive-aggressive
In healthy relationships, both parties know they’re safe to say how they feel, even when angry. Contrary to this open communication, one party becomes distant, sarcastic, or too quiet when they’re angry in a toxic relationship. Did you notice you or your partner often acting this way instead of speaking openly about your feelings? You may need help. As mentioned, you will find several couples therapists in Toronto who can assist you.
2. Repeated hostility when trying to communicate
If one or both of you are always yelling or saying hurtful things to the other during disagreements, this is a sure sign the relationship has grown toxic. Communicating without blaming, name-calling, or yelling at each other becomes difficult. This hostility can also take the form of the silent treatment. All these increase the tension and put a barrier between you and your partner. Open and respectful communication is one of the bedrock of a healthy relationship.
3. Control issues
The relationship is a partnership, and one person does not have the right to control the other’s life. Controlling behavior can look like threatening you with a loss of something if you don’t comply with their wishes. Or withholding affection or praise until you do as they please. There is always an element of manipulation and force. These are unhealthy patterns and signs that things need to change in the relationship.
4. Too many lies
Do you often catch your partner in a lie? Lies kill trust, which is a basic element of a healthy relationship. No matter how small the lie, it destroys a person’s credibility with time. In a healthy relationship, you trust and rely on your partner. You respect them enough to be honest, and open with them always.
5. All take, no give
Do you feel like your love and respect are not reciprocated? Do you feel the relationship revolves around your partner’s happiness alone? Does your contribution to the relationship outweigh your partner’s? These might all be signs of toxicity. Healthy relationships have boundaries. Both parties are equal givers, or at least, one does not feel like they’re giving too much and getting nothing back.
Some relationships have no future, and things may have started out wrong. But thankfully, most toxic relationships can be healed. It takes a conscious effort from both partners to work on the problem.