9 Signs of a Poisonous Relationship

Is your relationship turning sour?

Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt something was off? Maybe you didn’t have great communication with your partner or you felt they held you back from growing. These are signs of a poisonous relationship, and they should always be taken seriously.

A healthy relationship will be filled with fun dates, positive emotional growth, and a feeling of true happiness in your heart. Unfortunately, not all relationships can be this way. When your relationship becomes a source of intense stress and drama, there is something wrong. Sometimes these signs can be difficult to spot, so people might not even be aware they’re in a bad relationship. When you love someone, it can be hard to admit to yourself that there are any real negatives. But it’s important to always be looking for someone who brings out the best version of you.

Here are nine red flags of a toxic relationship you should be on the lookout for.

1. They don’t support your dreams or desires to grow.

couple couch fight

Instead of being supportive of your dreams, they will see growth and change as a negative. The fact is people change over time as they learn new things and opinions evolve. However, your partner will see that as flawed and diminish your achievements. They are insecure in the relationship, and will see your hobbies and interests as threatening. In a toxic relationship, you will feel that you are being held back by the partner. Growth is incredibly important for any person and for romantic relationships as well. Healthy relationships will promote growth of yourself and the couple as you actively explore things together.

2. They avoid meeting your family and friends.

friends at dinner

A toxic partner is not worried about building a foundation with your friends or family. Instead of treating the experience like an opportunity to strengthen the relationship, they will view it as an unnecessary obligation. At every turn, they will tell you how much they are giving up in order to spend time with your loved ones. They might say things like “I guess I will tell the boys they can’t count on me for poker night.” In addition, they might make you feel like you owe them for taking up their time. When they do finally meet your family, they will be distant, rude, and not put any effort to developing friendships.

3. They take their bad days out on you.

Outside divorce

There will be bumps in the road of any relationship, but one red flag of a poisonous relationship is if your partner regularly takes out all their bad days on you. Everyone has crummy days, but that isn’t an excuse to take out your anger, sadness or frustration on those you love. Even on the worst days, a healthy partner will resist the urge to take out their bad feelings on a partner or will apologize sincerely when they do. An unhealthy relationship will be filled with arguments due to this. The toxic partner will not open up in their relationship and communicate their negative feelings.

4. They withhold or demand intimacy.

Couple fighting in bed

Different libidos in relationships are normal, but it’s how you and your partner work to respect each other’s desires that matter. A healthy relationship accepts that you both inherently will have different needs romantically, and you work together so that both connection and physical intimacy desires are met. It becomes a good compromise for each party. Toxic relationships, on the other hand, will have one partner demanding sex with their partner isn’t interested or withholding sex and intimacy all together. It shows an inherent lack of respect for the other person when this is done.

5. They keep score.

Hurt Relationships

This is something many people in relationships do without even realizing it and it can be incredibly toxic to relationships. Couples who keep score set themselves up for a lack of trust and negativity. We shouldn’t be thinking of our close relationships as playing fields where parties can rack up points and penalties; we should want to do things that help our partner out of love and respect. Keeping score causes you to sweat the small stuff that shouldn’t be worried about. It also sets up a situation where you feel you are competing against an opponent to see who can tally up the most contributions to the relationship.

6. They threaten to break-up with you.

Fighting Couple

Is your partner constantly threatening to end things with you? This is a huge red flag of a poisonous relationship. It creates an environment where you are fearful that the smallest argument or crisis could cause them to leave. Instead of having constructive arguments with them, you choose to let things go out of fear you will lose them. In healthy relationships however, each party is able to express negative thoughts and feelings in a way that doesn’t cause commitment issues. Partners that do this are trying to keep control over their significant other and discourage them from speaking up.

7. They call you names and make you feel less-than. 

Fighting Couple

If your partner makes you feel stupid or regularly calls you names, there is something very wrong going on. A partner should lift you up and not tear you down. They should never make you feel bad about your interests, beliefs or hobbies even if it’s different form their own. No one is perfect, but unnecessary criticism to make you feel insignificant is not something you should tolerate in a relationship. Healthy couples never make the other person feel unvalued or worthless. If you have asked your partner to cease this kind of behavior, but they still actively make you feel less-than, it might be a sign to move on quickly.

8. They do not have any positive communication with you. 

unhappy marriage

We all have learned that yelling at people almost never ends in positive results. It is natural to get upset and argue, but if there is no real communication about the problem then nothing will change. Couples have to work hard to learn how to have effective communication with each other if they want to survive for the long haul. If your significant other avoids any real discussion, then you might be in a poisonous relationship. A bad partner may be very distant after an argument or refuse to take any responsibility in the relationship. This will cause your relationship to break down very quickly.

9. You feel like you’re walking on eggshells.

sadman

In a poisonous relationship you might feel that you are never able to do anything right. No matter what actions you take, your significant other always seems to find a flaw. You get to a point in the relationship where everything you do upsets them and you’re tiptoeing around trying to avoid problems. You have to understand that you are not the problem. There is something else going on that is making your partner unhappy, and until they communicate that with you there is nothing you can do that will be enough. This is completely unfair to you and causes unnecessary pain and stress.
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