The Subtle Signs Of A Toxic Relationship
A toxic relationship doesn’t have to involve screaming matches in order to be considered bad. Many times, it’s not obvious either. At first, being in a toxic relationship is very subtle. There’s a small hint here, a thought there, a general negative feeling that you can’t quite put your finger on, but one that you can still sense at the back of your head. One day, when you least expect it, you find yourself stuck, or screwed, or both.
Don’t wait until you’re already wondering what’s wrong.
Relationships are important and they should propel you forward; and if you feel like your relationship is not enriching your life in some way, it’s time to take a step back and either fix it, or in worst-case scenarios, reconsider being a part of it. Whether you are married or in a stable relationship, the warning signs are usually the same.
You Have No Idea Where This Relationship Is Going
Unless you and your partner have made a deliberate choice not to commit to a future, a relationship should have a steady path and you should have a good understanding of where you’re going with it. Sure, we all have periods when change is occurring and things may be in the transitional phase for you as partners; but if it’s been a while and you still don’t know what the future holds, or you haven’t made a plan to tackle the future as a couple, it is toxic on the long run. This is because if you’re uncertain, you cannot make other decisions that can affect your life positively. Stability is an important aspect of a relationship because without it, no matter how rich, how good-looking, and how spontaneous you are, it will one day fall apart.
Your Discourages You From Doing What You Want
Does your partner always try (nicely, mind you) to discourage you from doing what you like? Does h/she always have a better idea, or worse yet, if you don’t cave in, they are they “letting” you do what you want while waiting for you to fail? If you always have to do what your partner suggests, and you always expect an “I told you so”, this is another sign of a toxic relationship. As an individual, you have your own hobbies, interests, and ways of doing things. You have a right to make mistakes and entitled to an opinion. Always expecting backlash for your choice or constantly just doing what your partner wants is a sign of selfishness, and can be a subtle warning sign that your partner either is not interested in respecting your decisions, or that s/he is threatened by your choices.
A Toxic Relationship Is Designed To Keep You In The Dark
As a couple, you are sharing your lives and that means being able to reasonable connect with your partner in terms of your general whereabouts, activities, and interests. However, when you don’t really know your partner’s lifestyle or your partner makes it a point of not letting you know, the warning bells should start sounding. Each marriage and relationship is different; some couples need to check in on each other every other day, and some like to connect daily, even multiple times. It is one thing to maintain personal privacy, and a whole other to purchase a car, adopt a pet, vacation by yourself, and make major, life-altering decisions like moving to a different state or a taking up a new career prior to discussing it with your partner.
You’re More Relaxed When Your Partner Isn’t There
Remember the excitement you used to feel during those first dates with your partner? The passion may not be the absolute same, but it’s not good when you start to tense or even feel resentful when your partner is with you. We all have our times when we want to be with other people, socialize, and be by ourselves. There is however, something wrong when your first instinct is to roll your eyes when your partner calls, or when you “didn’t hear the phone ringing”. When you feel happy that your partner is leaving, actually start smiling when they are gone, and you feel calm when they aren’t there; stop kidding yourself; something’s wrong.
You’re Just Not Happy
Apathy is the most dangerous perspective to view your partner through. When you see other couples and you wish you were like them, that is a problem because there is absolutely no reason for you not to have a good relationship. None. The most beautiful thing about life is that we can always start over. In the pursuit to make others happy, we lose sight of our own happiness and one day, we get old and realize that we could have lived better. You don’t have to settle, the relationship should bring you some sort of happiness. Happiness can be in stability, in a shared interest, in a kiss on the forehead after a long day, and even in being able to talk to her or him about absolutely anything; from your love of feta cheese to your deepest, darkest, ugliest secrets. If there is no more joy, no smile, no passion anymore, you have to take a step back and figure out why you’re settling, because this just might be a toxic relationship.
Do something about your relationship if it is not one that brings you value in the form of happiness, love, or whatever you want to get out of it. If you’re always making excuses about how right now, it’s not so good because of this or that, or you have a lot of “if only’s”, start over by identifying what’s wrong. Maybe things will work out; maybe you’re just settling because you’re comfortably numb. Why be numb when life is short?