Being in love or even just in a relationship isn't always easy and full of compromises. What truly makes it worth while though is that there are usually more good moments than bad.
As an outsider it's always easy to spot a toxic relationship. Isn't it funny how we are always quick to question and demand how and why that person is still in that relationship, but yet we are blinded by our very our situations. Sometimes blinded by choice or even can't see what's going on at all.
We are often blinded by love and hope that the person will and can change. Research has shown that we often have difficulty getting out of toxic relationships because unfortunately, negative relationship patterns feel familiar and therefore acceptable.
Firstly to be able to identify a toxic relationship you need to understand what one is. Just like a toxic substance it can cause you damage and is known to drain and deplete you.
I feel it is so important to identify a toxic relationship as it can irrevocably damage your sense of self and doesn't everyone deserve the best of love?
As we seem so unaware of our situation and potential toxic relationship, to the point of suffering in silence, I have outlined the points you should be looking out for below:
1. They never make you feel good enough about yourself
You never quite feel like what you do is good enough and find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth. You become addicted to their validation whenever you do something. If you manage to generate any sort of approval from them you feel relieved, and it gives you just enough rope to hang onto. You try even harder to get more of that feeling, and feel like a failure when it doesn’t come. You spend your time constantly living in unease and doubt. Trying always to be better and never feeling like what you do is good enough.
2. They make you feel put down
It is one thing to have a bad day and say something in the spare of the moment and another to be constantly putting your partner down. This actually is one of the greater signs of a toxic relationship and often you don't even realize all the ways they are putting you down. As sometimes it isn't straight out criticism but done in joke or indirectly.
Yes a relationship can be a period of self discovery but there is a huge difference between a partner who can point out your flaws in a loving way, a way that encourages you to grow, and a partner who does it from a place of contempt.
3. They refuse to change or talk about problems going on between the two of you
Don't get me wrong a relationship isn't about changing but definitely compromise and self growth. How can you possible adjust accordingly and avoid future issues if you don't talk about it. Now I know we aren't all the best communicators but in whatever it's form it is important in constructing a solid relationship of understanding.
Ask yourself these simple questions; Is your partner open to being influenced by you? Are they self-reflective? When you express how you feel and ask for what you want, do they listen and make an effort to meet your needs?
If they refuse to acknowledge that your feelings and needs are important, you may be stuck in a toxic relationship.
4. They have moods that are unpredictable and extremely negative
If you find yourself almost walking on glass, never knowing what mood your partner will have when they next walk through that door, then something isn't right. Now I am not talking about the relationships with a passionate partner but the ones where love and caring can quickly transform to hate and anger. Even though shifts in mood are perfectly normal depending on our circumstances, extreme changes can be a sign of a greater problem.
5. They are extremely nasty during fights
Now yes we can all say silly things in the spare of the moment, but when they are personal, specifically aggressive and on a regular bases then there could be a problem. Couples fight even the happiest of ones and over the smallest of things, but there is a difference between fighting to solve a problem and fighting to attack each other.
Toxic couples usually fight to win. They use fights as an opportunity to tear the other person down, to hit below the belt, to get out all the anger and resentment they feel. Dirty fights are a sign that the resentment level in the relationship has hit its limit. These fights are full of hostility and contempt, and each person is overcome by the desire to “win” and prove their case rather than work together to lovingly resolve the issue.
6. They make you not act like yourself
You change and adapt to them and to make them happy. Whether it is achieve their approval or avoid a fight this isn't healthy and you should never lose your sense of self and self importance. You feel like you need to think twice before you speak and that certain topics are off limits, that you have to act a certain way. You are afraid to bring things up to them because you don’t know how they will react, and saying nothing is better than saying something and having him get angry.
Now having seen the chooses outlined in black and white above sadly does not guaranty you will instantly recognize you are in a toxic relationship or even let yourself believe it. Even worse recognize the signs but do nothing, convinced you are just going through a rough patch and soon everything will be right.
No one is to say things can't change or be worked on, but one thing is for sure you need to recognize it first to something about it.