How To Know If You Are In A Toxic Relationship

Relationships aren't easy; they take work whether we realize it or not. It's no happily ever after like in the fairy tales once you meet your soulmate with whom you want to spend your life. Relationships can be complicated and require a fair amount of compromise from both parties. According to Psychology Today, you need to have a physical, emotional, and psychological connection to have a healthy relationship in which both parties fully respect each other.


Relationships are built on trust and open communication where both people appreciate each other's perspectives even if they don't always agree because it helps them grow. There are disagreements even in the healthiest relationships, and that's when you need to fight fair where you might need time to cool down and come back to discuss the issue without insulting the other person. Psychalive says some of the key characteristics of a healthy relationship are openness and honesty, but everything changes with time. When you start to notice controlling behavior — feeling more pressured or obligated than before — or any form of physical, emotional, or mental abuse, it means there is a problem.

The passion and excitement of a new relationship fade over time but shouldn't be replaced with constant sadness and a need for escape. Sometimes it doesn't take too long for a relationship to turn unhealthy, and while it's completely normal to have a little tiff sometimes, you need to do something about it if your relationship is in trouble. Here are some red flags that your relationship has turned toxic.


You don't trust your partner

Trust is the foundation of all healthy relationships; without trust, it's hard to feel secure and comfortable with your partner. In fact, Jeni Woodfin, a therapist at J. Woodfin Counseling in San Jose, California, told Insider, "When I see people in a mostly healthy relationship, there is a security that they have in the stability in their relationship." Woodfin added that if you don't trust your partner, you won't feel secure in your relationship as you won't know if they are cheating or what they're doing, and that's not a good feeling to have. You might end up constantly checking in on your partner and asking them where they are and who they're with, which could translate into a "manipulative and controlling behavior," according to Nina Vasan, M.D., the director of the Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation (via The Healthy).


This can add a lot of stress and anxiety to your life. The key to feeling secure in a relationship is trusting your partner completely. According to Healthline, if you can't trust your partner to be there for you, you can't count on them and won't feel supported. Therefore, without trust between partners, there's no sense of security, a crucial aspect of a relationship. Without trust, it'll feel toxic daily, and it's a sign to end your relationship.

You feel low energy after hanging out together

When a relationship is good, it simply flows, but when it turns toxic, it can be torture. According to therapist Jor-El Caraballo, "In a toxic relationship, you might consistently feel drained or unhappy after spending time with your partner" (via Healthline). This doesn't mean you no longer love each other, but something has changed that is leading you down a path of constant bickering and irritation over minor issues because of a bigger problem.


What's more, Nina Vasan, M.D., told The Healthy, "If you notice that you're feeling constantly drained, exhausted, or on edge, that's a sign something's not right." She added that your physical health is often an excellent indicator of what's going on in your mind, and if you're constantly getting stomach aches and headaches, it's a sign that your relationship is toxic. This is because the relationship is taking too much work and sucking your enthusiasm for life, which leads to you feeling low energy and drained all the time. 

Having someone to talk to or therapy might help you realize this issue. On this, sex and relationship therapist Kamil Lewis told Insider, "Working with a couples therapist or coach helps provide a neutral space to talk about issues, and a skilled and non-judgmental party to witness your challenges and help you find new solutions to old problems."


There's something wrong with all of your partner's exes

It's completely normal to date the wrong person once in a while or more, depending on the dating pool, but if your partner thinks there's something wrong with all of their exes, that could be a major red flag. It could mean that the problem is not with your partner's exes but rather with them. "Toxic people will do anything to avoid accepting responsibility for their actions, including attacking and blaming current and past partners," says Suzie Pileggi Pawelski, a relationship researcher and coauthor of "Happy Together" (via The Healthy). 


Suppose someone is always blaming the other for everything that went wrong in their relationship. In that case, you need to remember that every story has two sides with any amount of seasoning or pure honesty. If you've been together for some time, you probably know a bit of their dating history, but if they're constantly blaming their ex, that's not a good sign. People can use this excuse to skip telling you about their past, or they could just be playing the victim by making it seem like they're faultless, but it's a very manipulative way to describe or be in a relationship (via Elite Daily). It's only a matter of time till they're describing you like their exes to other people.

You hold too much resentment

Every relationship requires compromise; there are often times when one has to give up more than the other. When you feel like you're doing more or sacrificing more than your fair share, it can give rise to feelings of anger, disappointment, or built-up grudge that accumulate over time resulting in resentment. According to Psych Central, it's totally normal to have some bitterness in all relationships. However, if most of your interactions include passive-aggressive remarks, increased irritation, or lack of empathy towards your partner, you should take a minute to reevaluate your relationship. In fact, relationship therapist Jor-El Caraballo told Healthline, "Over time, frustration or resentment can build up and make a smaller chasm much bigger."


Psych Central recommends talking about issues as they happen instead of letting them fester as you might get to the point of no return. You can still salvage the relationship if you're mindful about it as it's happening and try to focus on your partner's good traits before it becomes a major issue. Perhaps you need to be more honest about your needs and expectations and understand how to compromise equally. If you no longer feel joy when being with someone, it's easy to feel resentment towards them. It's sad when you notice your once-happy relationship crumbling right before you. Therapy can be helpful in such situations.

There's too much hostility in your communication

Most relationships start out feeling very sugar and spice; over time, reality kicks in, and it's natural to have arguments. Some people are better at arguing constructively, while others might need to learn that skill or might not want to as they feel they're always right. Kamil Lewis, AMFT, a sex and relationship therapist in Southern California, told Insider that hostile communication could be anything from yelling at each other to saying hurtful things and being violent in their actions towards objects and the partner. Aggressive communication is never fun, but they can worsen if not paid attention to on time. When there's a lot of anger, it could lead to saying unkind words that can't be taken back and cause a rift in their relationship due to a communication gap.


Sabrina Romanoff, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told the outlet, "[Open communication] provides opportunities to provide and receive support between partners." She added the importance of reflective listening, where you listen to the other person's perspective while staying accountable for one's actions. If you want to save your relationship, both people need to put work in. However, there are some toxic relationships that are beyond their saving point. You simply need to take full stock of where your relationship is actually at before making a decision.