Hostile communication can cause tension and create further distrust between partners. (Illustration)
The line between healthy and unhealthy relationships can be very thin and difficult to define, even when it comes to seemingly obvious signs.
Here’s how to recognize the 7 signs of a toxic relationship and how to deal with it
1. Lack of trust
Your partner is someone you can rely on, someone who is vulnerable and will always be there for you. In the absence of trust, none of this would happen.
“When I see people in a healthy relationship, there is a security that they have in the stability of their relationship,” says Jeni Woodfin, LMFT, a therapist at J. Woodfin Counseling in San Jose, California. its relationship. Without trust, and not only trusting that their partner will be faithful, but also trusting that their partner will behave in the best interest of the relationship’s arrangements, it is impossible to feel safe.”
2. Hostile communication
According to Kamil Lewis, AMFT, a sex and relationship therapist in Southern California, forms of openly hostile communication include:
– Calling names with other hurtful phrases
– Throw and break things
– Using your body for physical threats or coercion
According to Woodfin, more subtle signs of hostile communication include:
– Silent treatment
– Use ‘your statement’ or statement of blame
– Constantly interrupting
– Listen to argue instead of listening to hear and understand your partner
Hostile communication can cause tension and create further distrust between partners. Instead, healthy relationships are based on open communication, cooling off before things get too hot, and respect.
“Open communication offers the opportunity to give and receive support between partners,” says Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, clinical psychologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
3. Control the behavior
Your partner has no control over your actions or beliefs. According to Woodfin, one controlling behavior to watch out for is threatening to lose something, such as financial stability, time with children, or friendships.
“These threats scare a lot of people, and I see this as the reason why so many people continue to live in unhealthy, unhappy relationships even when they want the relationship to end,” she said. .
Other signs of controller behavior include:
– Tell you what is true.
– Threaten you.
– Need to know everything you do and the people you’re with.
– Try to manage your money.
– Isolate you from loved ones or always be present when you are with other people.
– Act like you don’t know what you’re talking about.
– Request access to your personal devices such as phone or email accounts.
4. Often lies
“Lies—no matter how small,” says Romanoff, “can erode credibility over time.
When a partner lies to you, it shows that they don’t respect you as a mutual partner that deserves honesty and care.
“Lying to your partner shows that your loyalty is to yourself, not the relationship,” says Woodfin.
5. Only receive but not give
If your relationship always revolves around things that make your partner happy and ignore your needs, it could be a sign of toxicity.
“Caring for your partner is one thing,” says Lewis, “but if you find yourself regularly saying no to yourself to say yes to them, you might want to consider setting some boundaries. If they dismiss, belittle, or level your boundaries, it could also be a sign of a toxic relationship.”
According to Woodfin, signs of a platonic relationship include:
– Always be the first to text.
– Long distance between sending message sent and response.
– Conversations are interrupted.
– Find yourself constantly asking your partner to change their behavior.
There is a significant unequal division of labor, responsibilities, or contributions to the relationship or household.
6. You feel exhausted
Think about the last time you did something for yourself, spent time with a loved one, or got a good night’s sleep.
“It’s helpful to examine how relationships outside of relationships and with yourself have been affected,” says Romanoff. Often, self-care and self-prioritization are overlooked. Time and mental energy in toxic relationships will often be spent with the other person – directly or indirectly through the backlash of unrelenting discord and conflict.”
Try channeling some of your energy to self-care and see how your partner reacts. If their reaction is negative, it signals toxic traits in the relationship.
7. You’re justifying their behavior
Do you often find yourself forced to protect your partner?
While it’s easy to fall into the ‘you don’t get them like me’ mentality, an outside perspective from someone you know loves you – such as a trusted friend or family member – can You can clearly see your partner’s negative traits that you would hardly admit to yourself.
If their reaction is negative, it signals toxic traits in the relationship. (Illustration)
Can you fix a toxic relationship?
It is possible to mend a toxic relationship under certain circumstances — and when each partner commits to trying. The relationship must become healthy and mutually beneficial in order for it to continue. If possible, meeting with a counselor is a great step to take.
“Working with a therapist or couples coach helps to create a neutral space to talk about issues and a skilled and non-judgmental side to witness situations,” says Lewis. challenges and help you find new solutions to old problems.”
General advice: Practicing reflective listening — the practice of understanding the other’s point of view — and accountability are ways to identify relationship problems and what each partner needs, says Romanoff.
If your motivation for staying in a relationship is not your interest in your partner, but rather fear or a reluctance to stay single, it may be time to leave the relationship. If a partner refuses to continue the relationship, repeatedly engages in bad behavior – such as breaking relationship agreements, or belittling – or is emotionally, physically, financially, or sexually abusive , then it’s time to make a plan to leave the relationship.
How to get help
There are clear signs of an abusive relationship with no healthy future. According to Lewis, signs of an abusive relationship include:
– Physical, emotional and sexual violence.
An intense fear of what might happen if you leave the relationship.
Create a safety plan that can reduce the risk of leaving an abusive relationship. Tools that can help you include the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the Sexual Assault Hotline.
Lessons from insiders
Toxic relationships are characterized by a lack of trust, controlling behavior, and frequent lying. Often a partner is preferred rather than coming together as a team. While toxic relationships can sometimes be mended, both partners must be willing to adapt and put in the effort for the relationship.
If you are in an abusive relationship and may be, reach out to a loved one for support and help make a plan to get out. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you being in an abusive relationship, and anyone who shames you is the wrong person.
“Try to be your full self in a relationship, and that includes your intuition,” says Lewis. Trust yourself to make decisions that will benefit your health not only in the short term but also in the longer term.”
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