15 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

15 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

Toxic relationships will cause monumental breakage to people, families and workplaces, but they aren’t necessarily the territory of the weak, downtrodden or insecure. Strong, healthy, independent people can find themselves in the white-knuckled grip of a toxic relationship. Similarly, relationships that seem to begin strong because ‘omg we’re soooo in love you guys,’ can dissolve into nothing but ash and legal fees that could have bought a castle on the river Seine, if they weren’t being used to divide half your assets more ‘half-ly’.

Relationships evolve. They change and they grow. Sometimes they crash and they burn. We never know how things will look when each other’s less adorable, kind of awful habits start to show themselves publicly, or under the influence of alcohol or in-laws.

Some relationships are all shades of wrong from the outset (‘Darlin’ you’re so pretty. You’re the image of my ex. See? Here’s her photo. You can keep that one. I have plenty – in my wallet, as my screen saver, on my bedside table, at my mum’s house, on my desk, on my fridge and yeah, all over the place. Sometimes I just, like, hold it in front of me and run backwards and pretend like she’s chasing me. Wanna get some tequila baby?’) Some start off with promise and with all the right ingredients, but somewhere along the way, the right ingredients get replaced with resentment, jealousy, history and hurt.

We love love. Of course we do. Love sends us to joyous, lofty heights that we never want to come down from, but the same heart that can send us into a loved-up euphoria can trip us up and have us falling into something more toxic. The hot pursuit of love can be blinding. Even worse, sometimes it’s not until you’re two kids and a mortgage into the relationship, that you realise something has been missing for a while, and that something is you.

What is a toxic relationship?

A toxic relationship contaminates your self-esteem, your happiness and the way you see yourself and the world. A toxic person will float through life with a trail of broken hearts, broken relationships and broken people behind them, but toxic relationships don’t necessarily end up that way because the person you fell for turned out to be a toxic one. Relationships can start healthy, but bad feelings, bad history, or long-term unmet needs can fester, polluting the relationship and changing the people in it. It can happen easily and quickly, and it can happen to the strongest people.

Can I fix it?

All relationships are worth the fight, until they’re not. In a toxic relationship there will always be fallout:

  • moodiness, anger, unhappiness become the norm;
  • you avoid each other more and more;
  • work and relationships outside the toxic relationship start to suffer.

If the relationship is toxic, it is highly likely that all the fight in the world won’t change anything because one or both people have emotionally moved on. Perhaps they were never really there in the first place, or not in the way you needed them to be anyway. Even worse, if your relationship is toxic, you will be more and more damaged by staying in it.

Fighting to hold on to something that is not fighting to hold on to you will ruin you. Sometimes the only thing left to do is to let go with grace and love and move on.

What are the signs that I’m in a toxic relationship?

Being aware that the relationship is toxic is vital in protecting yourself from breakage. To stay in a toxic relationship is to keep your hand hovering over the self-destruct button. Not all toxic relationships are easy to leave, but being aware of the signs will make it easier to claim back your power and draw a bold heavy line around what’s allowed into your life and what gets closed out.

Toxic behaviour exists on a spectrum. All people and all relationships do some of these things some of the time – but that doesn’t make them toxic. A toxic relationship is defined by the consistency, the intensity and the damage. Here are some of the signs.

  1. It feels bad. All the time.

    You fall asleep hollow and you wake up just as bad. You look at other couples doing their happy couple thing and you feel the sting. Why couldn’t that sort of love happen for you? It can, but first you have to clear the path for it to find you. Leaving a relationship is never easy, but staying for too long in a toxic relationship will make sure any strength, courage and confidence in you are eroded down to nothing. Once that happens, you’re stuck.

  2. You’re constantly braced for the ‘gotcha’.

    Sometimes you can see it coming. Sometimes you wouldn’t see it if it was lit with stadium floodlights. Questions become traps. (‘Well would you rather go out with your friends or stay home with me?’) Statements become traps. (‘You seemed to enjoy talking to your boss tonight.’) The relationship is a jungle and somewhere along the way you’ve turned into a hunted thing in a skin suit. When the ‘gotcha’ comes, there’s no forgiveness, just the glory of catching you out. It’s impossible to move forward from this. Everyone makes mistakes, but yours are used as proof that you’re too uninvested, too wrong, too stupid, too something. The only thing you really are is too good to be treated like this.

  3. You avoid saying what you need because there’s just no point.

    We all have important needs in relationships. Some of the big ones are connection, validation, appreciation, love, sex, affection. When those needs are mocked or ignored, the emptiness of that unmet need will clamour like an old church bell. If your attempts to talk about what you need end in a fight, a(nother) empty promise, accusations of neediness, insecurity, jealousy or madness you’ll either bury the need or resent that it keeps being overlooked. Either way, it’s toxic.

  4. There’s no effort.

    Standing on a dance floor doesn’t make you a dancer, and being physically present in a relationship doesn’t mean there is an investment being made in that relationship. Doing things separately sometimes is healthy, but as with all healthy things, too much is too much. When there is no effort to love you, spend time with you, share the things that are important to you, the relationship stops giving and starts taking too much. There comes a point that the only way to respond to ‘Well I’m here, aren’t I?’ is, ‘Yeah. But maybe better if you weren’t.’

  5. All the work, love, compromise comes from you.

    Nobody can hold a relationship together when they are the only one doing the work. It’s lonely and it’s exhausting. If you’re not able to leave the relationship, give what you need to give but don’t give any more than that. Let go of the fantasy that you can make things better if you try hard enough, work hard enough, say enough, do enough. Stop. Just stop. You’re enough. You always have been.

  6. When ‘no’ is a dirty word.

    ‘No’ is an important word in any relationship. Don’t strike it from your vocabulary, even in the name of love – especially not in the name of love. Healthy relationships need compromise but they also respect the needs and wants of both people. Communicating what you want is as important for you and the relationship as communicating what you don’t want. Find your ‘no’, give it a polish, and know where the release button is. A loving partner will respect that you’re not going to agree with everything they say or do. If you’re only accepted when you’re saying ‘yes’, it’s probably time to say ‘no’ to the relationship. And if you’re worried about the gap you’re leaving, buy your soon-to-be ex some putty. Problem solved.

  7. The score card. Let me show you how wrong you are.

    One of the glorious things about being human is that making mistakes is all part of what we do. It’s how we learn, how we grow, and how we find out the people who don’t deserve us. Even the most loving, committed partners will do hurtful, stupid things sometimes. When those things are brought up over and over, it will slowly kill even the healthiest relationship and keep the ‘guilty’ person small. At some point, there has to be a decision to move on or move out. Having shots continually fired at you based on history is a way to control, shame and manipulate. Healthy relationships nurture your strengths. Toxic ones focus on your weaknesses.

  8. There’s a battle – and you’re on your own. Again.

    You and your partner are a team. You need to know that whatever happens, you have each other’s backs, at least publicly. In healthy relationships, when the world starts throwing stones, the couple comes together and fortifies the wall around each other. Toxic relationships often see one person going it alone when it comes to public put-downs. Similarly, when attempts are made from outside the relationship to divide and conquer, the couple is divided and conquered as easily as if they were never together in the first place.

  9. Physical or verbal abuse. Or both.

    These are deal-breakers. You know they are.

  10. Too much passive-aggressive.

    Passive-aggressive behaviour is an indirect attack and a cowardly move for control. The toxicity lies in stealing your capacity to respond and for issues to be dealt with directly. The attack is subtle and often disguised as something else, such as anger disguised as indifference ‘whatever’ or ‘I’m fine’; manipulation disguised as permission ‘I’ll just stay at home by myself while you go out and have fun,’ and the worst – a villain disguised as a hero, ‘You seem really tired baby. We don’t have to go out tonight. You just stay in and cook yourself some dinner and I’ll have a few drinks with Svetlana by myself hey? She’s been a mess since the cruise was postponed.’ You know the action or the behaviour was designed to manipulate you or hurt you, because you can feel the scrape, but it’s not obvious enough to respond to the real issue. If it’s worth getting upset about, it’s worth talking about, but passive-aggressive behaviour shuts down any possibility of this.

  11. Nothing gets resolved.

    Every relationship will have its issues. In a toxic relationship, nothing gets worked through because any conflict ends in an argument. There is no trust that the other person will have the capacity to deal with the issue in a way that is safe and preserves the connection. When this happens, needs get buried, and in a relationship, unmet needs will always feed resentment.

  12. Whatever you’re going through, I’m going through worse.

    In a healthy relationship, both people need their turn at being the supported and the supporter. In a toxic relationship, even if you’re the one in need of support, the focus will always be on the other person. ‘Babe like I know you’re really sick and can’t get out of bed but it’s soooo stressful for me because now I have to go to the party by myself. Next Saturday I get to choose what we do. K? [sad emoji, balloon emoji, heart emoji, another heart emoji, lips emoji].’

  13. Privacy? What privacy?

    Unless you’ve done something to your partner that you shouldn’t have, like, you know, forgot you had one on ‘Singles Saturday’, then you deserve to be trusted. Everybody deserves some level of privacy and healthy relationships can trust that this won’t be misused. If your partner constantly goes through your receipts, phone bills, text messages this shows a toxic level of control. It’s demeaning. You’re an adult and don’t need constant supervision.

  14. The lies. Oh the lies!

    Lying and cheating will dissolve trust as if it was never there to begin with. Once trust is so far gone, it’s hard to get it back. It might come back in moments or days, but it’s likely that it will always feel fragile – just waiting for the wrong move. A relationship without trust can turn strong, healthy people into something they aren’t naturally – insecure, jealous and suspicious. The toxicity of this lies in the slow erosion of confidence. Sometimes all the fight in the world can’t repair trust when it’s badly broken. Know when enough is enough. It’s not your fault that the trust was broken, but it’s up to you to make sure that you’re not broken next.

  15. Big decisions are for important people. And clearly, you’re not one of them.

    If you’re sharing your life with someone, it’s critical that you have a say in the decisions that will affect you. Your partner’s opinions and feelings will always be important, and so are yours. Your voice is an important one. A loving partner in the context of a healthy relationship will value your thoughts and opinions, not pretend that they don’t exist or assume theirs are more important.

I think I might be in a toxic relationship. What now?

If it’s toxic, it’s changing you and it’s time to leave or put up a very big wall. (See here for how.) Be clear about where the relationship starts and where you begin. Keep your distance emotionally and think of it as something to be managed, rather than something to be beaten or understood. Look for the patterns and look for the triggers. Then, be mindful about what is okay and what isn’t. Above all else, know that you are strong, complete and vital. Don’t buy into any tiny-hearted, close-minded push that would have you believe otherwise. You’re amazing.

And finally …

There are plenty of reasons you might end up in a toxic relationship, none of which have nothing to do with strength of character or courage.

Sometimes the toxicity grows and blindsides you and by the time you realise, it’s too late – the cost of leaving might feel too high or there may be limited options.

Toxicity in any relationship doesn’t make sense. In an attempt to make it make sense, you might blame history, circumstance or your own behaviour. The truth is that none of this matters. It doesn’t matter where the toxicity comes from or the reason for it being there.

Love and happiness don’t always go together. The world would run so much smoother if they did, but it just doesn’t happen like that. Love can be a dirty little liar sometimes. So can commitment. Staying in a relationship should never have losing yourself as one of the conditions. You’re far too important for that.

It’s important to make sacrifices in relationships but your happiness, self-esteem and self-respect should always be on the list – always. If a relationship is built on love, it nurtures, restores, replenishes and revives. It doesn’t diminish. It isn’t cruel and it doesn’t ever violate a warm, open heart. Everything you need to be happy is in you. When you are with someone who suffocates those precious parts of you, be alive to the damage they are doing. You owe them nothing, you owe yourself everything. You deserve to thrive and to feel safe, and you deserve to be happy.

[irp posts=”1602″ name=”When It’s Not You, It’s Them: The Toxic People That Ruin Friendships, Families, Relationships”]

302 Comments

Sasha

I loved reading this page. I am confused totally confused.

I am dating a man for the past 1 year. And he loves me dearly. I failed to be honest in this relationship and it took me some months to disclose my secrets, my past relationship to him. He probed into me and i ended up telling him the truth . He was deeply hurt and i didn’t want to hurt him more so avoided telling him everything. It took me months to confess him all the truth of my life. I told him i dated men and was into a relationship with another man for 5 years. He feels being cheated . But i told him i have changed completely and have nothing to do with them. He confronts saying that they are around me, they slept with my woman i cant accept this. But at the same time doesn’t want to leave me because he loves me truly. he says he is too possessive about me and is obsessed with me cant share me with anyone.Where he fails to understand that it was my past. he dwells daily in the past and we have arguments over it.
He makes me feel miserable and says i want you to repent , i want my happiness back. i want them to pay back want to take revenge.
I really dont understand what to do. One thing i am sure of he loves me very much and if i walk away from him he will die .

Reply
Issues

O he will survive don’t worry. Self orientated,possessive,insecure,pathetic little man. Run while you still can…it will only become worse…btw…he don’t love you…her loves how you make him feel

Reply
Rachie

I have been dating a guy for 3 years this December. We have nothing financially together, he sends all of his money except what he uses to pay his portion of bills, to Mexico. He is super cheap and I mean super cheap. He started randomly disappearing on the weekends earlier this year. He would turn his phone off or would ignore my calls. And not come home for two days. He has all kinds of excuses under the sun. This year we have had sex a total of 6 times (maybe less). He had every excuse under the sun. I have left him twice and both times has begged me to take him back. He says he loves me, I dont know why I stay with him. He gives me nothing. 😑😑😑

Reply
Fox

If it was my case if i was him i wouldnt care about oast, but in my case my wife cheated me after 9 years of relationship, she is the only girl that i had in my life, she is begging me all the time for forgiveness and saying that was once and will not do it again and if i break up with her she will kill herself and etc, the day that i discovered this i became like numb the entire day, and the day after i only felt angry and purely hate over her and also felt so small and miserable im still feeling this, its the 4 day that i discovered, i cant sleep well, im still with her because because she seriously looks like will really really do sometjing crazy like that , but at the same time im feeling like going mad, i didnt layed a finger on her after that, to hit or even yelled at her, but my mind… its way different and i dont have friends and etc to talk to so im saying it here, i dont know what to do but im feeling that im becoming something very very dangerous , im feeling like now like if i am in a conflict with myself, like if i splited in two halfs and both are fighting against each other 24hours day, and this makes me feel crazy i cant sleeo i cant work cant concentrate myself in anything, i lost my motivation my apettite, what should i do?

Reply
Donn

I’ve been in the same situation. My girlfriend cheated on me again after our 6th year of relationship. That was the second time she cheated on me and I can say that I really don’t know why I’m still here. But now, I made my decision of calling it quits because I realized that she can do it over and over again after promising me everything, like what she did on the first time she cheated. You will also get to the point that you can’t trust her at all which is really not good. Because it’s so nice to have a relationship with someone whom you trust so well that wherever you may go, you know that her heart belongs to only you. I felt like I’m in prison that is so hard to move and always scared because of what you can see in your surroundings. And I want to escape badly because you will feel the suffocation and realized that your relationship is already toxic. You cannot be at your best and will lack motivation because of the anxiety you feel. We deserve happiness and it’s never too late. We cannot rely our happiness to a person who is really not the right one for us.

Reply
Friday

I’m not the best with advice and am not really good articulating my thought but I’ll try. Number one you can’t do this alone it’s impossible. All of those emotions your dealing with you need to find the proper outlet. Maybe that’s a friend/stranger but you need to rely on someone but it can’t be her. Please don’t try to move on without properly dealing with this it’ll only make things worse. Whether you choose to be with her or move on you need help!!!

Reply
Dave

You need to leave. Do not tolerate this. A woman who has an affair does not love you, no matter what she says after it. Yes, she is sorry (she got caught). Yes, she is guilty (duh!). So what?

Granted, it is devastating to you to feel all of what you are feeling (been there, done that). But no amount of bargaining with her or ruminating over the situation will ever change what she did and your subsequent feelings about her. This event is chiseled in stone. Any honest person will tell you the same. And for those who say this advice is unforgiving, you’re right. You are exactly right.

I am removing the gray area cheaters like to operate in, that being, “he’ll forgive me if I plead my case.” I don’t think so Sis. And lest you attack me for my rigid attitude, refer to my previous sentence.

Nevertheless, do not confuse your feelings FOR her – with your feelings ABOUT her.

They are different.

To hang onto this relationship is to punish yourself. Plainly put, if you want to imagine some other dude sticking his Johnson in her every time you want to have sex, go ahead, stay with her.

But the right thing to do FOR YOU is to maintain your dignity as a man and break it off, divorce her. Trust me, there are other women in this world who don’t find it necessary to stray.

To be honest, this is very common. You are not the only one. In fact, I read once in the U.S. divorce/child custody statistics, one little ugly truth is, on the average, 1 out 4 kids are not his.

Think about that for a moment.

Lastly, do yourself a couple of favors.

1. Don’t paint all women with a broad brush, they don’t all do this.

2. Never ask what to do in this situation again; you know what to do. In fact, you’ve known all along. The moment you found out you should have been packing.

But it is not too late. Pack your clothes and things and leave. Yes, it’s going to leave a hole in your life.

Better that – than a marriage of constant paranoia, anger, contempt and distrust. The hole and your disgust for all this will heal if you let it AND you leave intact with your dignity.

Reply
Mj

Please offer to get her help. Making someone stay out of guilt never ends well. She crossed a boundary and you get to decide if you forgive(FREE WILL!), if not then you have the right to leave. A mature person doesn’t threaten someone to stay and if you have become doing things that are unhealthy, you must ask yourself why?
If this person can push you to these extremes, that is not a relationship that you want to be in! Every relationship has some kind of issues and how the couple deals with these issues is what makes ilthe reltionship healthy or not

Reply
Ron

Been going out with this woman close to two years now. Was in very toxic relationship for 30 years. It took so much therapy to finally get myself out of it.
Now I’m in a relationship with this woman who embarrassed me in front of her friends. She told her friends that I said she was fat. Never had I said this. She is the one who complains about her weight. I care for her and try to support her when she does not feel so great about her appearance. I cook healthy meals for her and she appreciates the kindness I put forth. Then if we go out the first thing she does most of the time she will order is fried pickles or French fries. I don’t say anything as I know this will upset her and I’m not trying to change her as I do care for her and there is a good possibility I might even love her but I’m hesitant to go down that road again. I’m being very cautious and she understands and does not push me to commit any more then I can commit to.
What I don’t understand is why she said this in front of her friends. Her friends all looked at me.. (there were 4 of them )and asked .. did you say this? I said no. never did I say this. My girlfriend never said nothing and left me there in a den of Wolfe’s. I felt betrayed and hurt. I also don’t understand if she felt as though her body was bothering me why didn’t she say this to me in private where we could of had a conversation. I must be putting out vibes where she feens as though her body bothers me. All I want is for her to feel good about herself. I make love to her . I give her massages that last well over 1 hour. I tell her she looks beautiful but when she said this to me I was truly taken back and wondering if I should invest any more of my time with this lady.

Reply
John

Nope, really a low blow to lie in order to make you look bad. Trying to embarrass you in front of her friends. Even telling the truth to embarrass you would be quite bad.

Reply
Moose

It is a know fact that a lot of people who have had 20 to 30 other dicks in them,will all ways be comparing the man that they are with to the other guys that she has had,and now that you have told him what you did,will only make it worse. This is one of those things that should have been worked out before you got married, because now he feels trapped. He has been hurt down to his very soul and it just mite be some thing that he can’t handle. WHEN he looks at you he will most likely feel disgust and anger toward you,and it will all ways be there,so you will not have any peace about it. It most likely would be better if you left,because sooner or later he will get to the point that he will hurt or kill you
.

Reply
Michael v g

I just want to say that if these sights didn’t post there negative or even just their own opinion not everyone’s lives are the same and because its easier thats the way it has to be and the omg and I can’t live with out you, when it was the mistakes that happened and the things and words that word said to compound the already damaged marriage and these are great for your own personal lives but when you Instill a sense of false courage and that person relies on everyone else but the just that one person ,, that us ok right , I wish people would stay out if things and wait for the party involved to be able to decide , not throw all the obstacles and heart pounding take it worse ,, Fuck

Reply
Sasha

Hey i feel like sharing my grief too. Very confused to where I am heading? Very unsure of myself at this juncture.
I have been dating this man past 10 months. We started off well but i hid my past from him. Slowly as months passed by I started disclosing it to him. I had a 5 years of intimate relationship with a man I disclosed it to him and that has come as a shock to him and he cant accept it . He says i cheated on him but hiding facts , i agree. He loves me dearly , he is scared of losing me but every time I get close to me he feels cheated , he feels i have nothing to offer him and feels rejected. He feels i have broken his trust. But we both love each other . I don’t understand how do i get him out of this . When this pain gets over him he is deeply hurt an reminds me of everything i did him in a past calling me whore , his keep.. It hurts me more but i am still afraid of losing him.What do i do?

Reply
Rose

The first sign is the LACK of FREEDOM
This is the most important thing to me – if you are afraid to express your feelings, thoughts or desires freely, at loud, it means your relationship is going nowhere!

Reply
Catherine F

i had a horrible childhood , never knew my parents, and i grew up without the knowledge of who they were and were they are and what happened to them, so it was not easy. I grew up as an orphan. I was adopted by a childless couple when i was 7 years old. I graduated from North Carolina High School ( a public school ) and received my commission, I later joined the United States Army Academy because I could not go afford the University at that time so the US Government took care of my tuition. After my Graduation, I joined the US Army and have been doing great until this position. I also hold a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Maryland USA.I was raised by my adopted parents, though they were rich, i suffered a lot but i’m always grateful to them because they gave me life, may be without them i will be dead by now

Reply
John

Catherine, You sound very smart and have parents that truly love you. It’s ok to feel doubt once in a while but you really should be happy that you are a survivor. Find love and live your life : ) you are worth it.

Reply
Lacey

This comment is so so very late but I just wanted to write my experience as a way of therapy. I have been with my husband over 20 years will be married 10 this year. When we first got together it was special, young love. However without it faults. First inciden (a minor one) I remembered complaining as to why he wasn’t holding my hand, he then proceeded to grab my hand and march through the shops pulling me. We use to constantly argue and break up but got back together. There were couple of physical ncidents which required me to wear a sling, I stayed. I was not a shrinking violet by any means and had been violent towards him later in the relationship. I could be cruel with my mouth and as the years went by this worsened. We had a child together, a beautiful girl. When she was 3 (she will be 16 end of this year) I found out he had been sexting a friend for months and I knew nothing. I threw him out but he was back in a week. Subsequently this behaviour manifested itself firmly in our relationship as he continued with the same behaviour up to this year, like an idiot i forgave as I didn’t want to be a single mum and fracture my daughter’s life. For the last two years we have slept together approximately 20 times. I have been toxic also particularly with criticism (I feel disgusted by this). I also slept with someone else, have never done this before and I didn’t go looking for it but I felt special and thaty needs were important Now I feel that we definitely have to end our relationship….I have not told him about my infidelity I’m scared to

Reply
Goody

You have nailed it all, after reading this, it becomes clearer to me what a toxic relationship looks like!

Reply
scoopsfeed

One should get rid of toxic relationships as soon as possible to attain mental peace, staying single is much better than being in a toxic relationship where your thoughst are not taken into considerations,fight happens often.
these things destroy the mental peace

Reply
maya

im in high school and ive only been dating my boyfriend for a little over a month. in that time he has made me feel like a fat, and ugly girl. i know that a month long relationship in high school seems like nothing compared to some of the stories people have posted on here, but he has somehow already managed to wrap me around his finger. on rare occasions when i catch him in a good mood, he tells me that he loves me and im perfect and all this other bs. as someone who has struggled with my body image for sooo long it was really different to hear someone tell me that they think i am beautiful. so i let myself think that he was being honest. but he always cancels our plans if better things come up, he tells me that he doesnt care about me. i know that he doesn’t love me and this whole comment probably comes off as super dramatic and cringy but i feel so stuck. everyone told me to not get involved with him but i thought i would be a genius and do it anyway. now here i am. i know i don’t really love him and it is not healthy to be with him, but just as i get ready to break up with him he will either refuse to break up, or tell me that he loves me and i am his dream girl and then i feel bad. i can’t do this. i have a lot of other stressors in my life and this is too much. i don’t know why i can’t just break up with him since i know that i need to, i just let him get me so upset and chicken out of confronting him. also, he has some “blackmail” to use against me. (nothing super serious, i don’t feel the need to go report him or anything., but humiliating enough that i do not trust him with it) i had some videos against him, but he deleted them off my phone so i won’t have anything. please help me find a way to cope with the breakup. i get such strong feelings of worthlessness that i find myself not wanting to break up with him becuase he makes me feel like someone may actually care about me. he is so overproctetive of me he calls me a sl*t when i talk to other boys, even boys that i’ve grown up with and are like brothers to me. i am scared about how my mental health will be if i break up with him. i don’t want to go back to my old self destructive habits, but if i stay with him i will probably end up with different sets of problems. i just need someone to tell me what they would do in my situation. i don’t know if anyone will see this or respond, but if you do: thank you very much (in advance). i truly appreciate it. i don’t have anyone else to talk about this stuff with. i do have a therapist, but as this is a cringy month long high school relationship i feel like an idiot telling her about it.

Reply
Leah

I honestly would break up with this guy, he doesnt sound like a very nice person. Do whats right for you. What does your heart tell you? Trust your instincts. He doesnt want you sounds like hes just a bully. And a controller. Trust me youll feel so much better and itll feel like so much weight has been lifted off you. And then put a restraining order on him. Thats how id go about doing it.

Reply
Cesar M.

I was in a toxic relationship/friendship and i’m now just realizing that it was a toxic relationship. We became friends about 20 months ago. We met at just the right time in our lives when we both were in need of something… I was in a troubled marriage and had been very lonely and starved for affection and attention; she was new to the country and had no one. We became best of friends almost overnight. After a few months she was diagnosed with skin cancer and since she had no other family here, and less than a handful of friends, I took on the role of caregiver and then from there my life became about her. Ultimately i fell in love with her. I was blind to her narcissistic tendencies; I wanted so hard to believe she was the perfect person for me. as time went on, i started to notice how I was never really 100% happy in that friendship, but I continued to hang on because I was blinded by my ‘love’ for her. she became my world, everything I did was for her and because of her. I have to admit that she did teach me a lot about spirituality; in fact I do believe god sent her to me to teach me lessons I needed to learn. Long story short, I the friendship became very one sided with her taking advantage of my affection and willingness to do just about anything for her. She played on that and was always able to get me to do what she wanted. I was always trying to do little things for her to demonstrate my affection and love, but I never really got anything in return. My other friends would often tell me i was in a toxic relationship but I never believed it… to me a toxic relationship was one where there was physical, emotional and mental abuse. No way would a sweet beautiful, spiritual person, would in my eyes, be toxic.
but that’s what I ultimately realized; and while she’s not necessarily a bad person overall, when a relationship becomes too one sided and there really is no effort from the other person to reciprocate, that also can lead to toxicity in a relationship.
This past weekend I made the decision to walk away from this friendhsip. it wasn’t easy, and I miss her to death.. but at the same time I have noticed that even though it has only been a few days, it is not as hard as I thought it would be. it gets better each day.

Reply
Meechy3k

I know this is a late reply but perhaps I can help someone.
This story is so similar to mine.
I hooked up with an old friend from my teenage years ( he had actually been best friends with my ex husband since childhood at one time) something just clicked and we started spending a lot of time together. At one point we were talking about what is going on with us. We decided we were in a relationship. I told him just think, so many weeks ago I was single and now I have a boyfriend. Nothing I would have expected months before.
A few months later he had a heart attack (we were in our early 40s) and needed a quadruple bypass. He was in the ICU for a long time and I never left his side. Several times his breathing tube was taken out and he only wanted me and even asked me to marry him (yes I realized he didn’t really understand what was going on) but I told him if he listened to the doctors so he could get well then yes I would. He had surgery and only had 30 % chance to survive. He did.
After he told me every time he woke up he was afraid it was a dream! I assured him I was here to stay.
I was involved in every doctor appointment, asked all the questions and knew about the meds he was on.
What I did not know was that he was an alcoholic. Didn’t see him drink so when he wasn’t acting right I panic and ran him to the ER. Once I knew what he was doing I got on him for the drinking. 2 doctors had told him you drink, you die .
The 3rd year of the relationship he attacked me one day. Physically and was saying that he was going to kill me. Kicked him out and he went to his sister. She allowed him to drink as much as he wanted and he ended up in the hospital calling me for help. His sister said she would pick him up when he was discharged, didn’t show up and didn’t call. I let him come back, the whole time he was gone I was doing everything I could to get him back anyway. Life went on then 2nd attack. Was on the phone with a friend who called 911. They came, we said we were ok but they saw marks on me and charged him with assault. His sister bailed him out and he stayed with her again, but I still longed for him and took every call and let him back. So it happened again. I also learned that he had been calling his ex. I catfished him as her and I was so hurt by the things he said. He said should I care when I told him. Yup let him back again. He was shaking and said he thought he had lost me. Things were great for a few weeks. My grandaugter, age 2, spent the night. Next day was fabulous. He loved her very much and laughed and played with her. At one point he left the room. My son came to pick her up. He needed to use the bathroom and apparently my boyfriend was in there. I knocked and told him. No answer. I tried the knob and it was locked so I kicked in the door to find him hanging. I tried to save him. I couldn’t.
So my problem is it’s been a few years. My grief was horrible and a black time for me with horrible guilt. It’s been 4 years and I still have the guilt but I am also angry with myself for letting him treat me like that. I had divorced my husband of 16 years for betraying me. I don’t put up with that shit but I did with him! What I am going through right now is a mixture of guilt, shame and anger for letting someone treat me that way….

Reply
Simon J

The third point: “You avoid saying what you need because there’s just no point” resonates with me a lot because I’ve personally experienced it multiple times.

Reply
Shaunika

I done been married for 4 1/2 years all I done is good to him even when I felt like living I stay to help him. And ima smart woman by putting call recording on his phone. When he think he deleted everything!!! He talk with alot of females tried to meet up an everything with them. My oldest daughter even caught him with our neighbor from across the street from our house driving her car. And not only that she was 7 months pregnant by him. I divorce him in 2018. Gave it a couple more years tried to date again. Everything went well for a couple of years until I found female underwear in my van an then lie saying it’s mines lol…. smh… mens come up with da worse lie!!! So I test him… I’m not a stupid female!! I put all of my makeup in there my sunglasses on the rearview mirror just to see if he move it are not. Answer yes he did. I ask him why??? He got a nerve to say cause I had my home boys in there an I diding won’t them to steal it!! Come on now use makeup yea right, My sunglasses wat that have to do with it?? Nothing. I caught him with a female an I left him for good…. I guess it’s a warning for me to stop looking for LOVE cause i would not find anyone on my level. And not only that that’s all i hear people’s cheating, people’s having affairs in my eyes it’s more of that going on every day. No one knows the meaning of being faithful are honest, loyalty, trustworthy ETC…. I’m done in relationships an dating.

Reply
Anna

This is one of the most helpful articles I’ve read. Written with such compassion and wisdom. Really helped me to clear my head and understand what was going on when I was struggling to make any kind of sense. I will be forever grateful for these words.

Reply
Samantha L

This article helped confirm what I was feeling. My husband and I dated for 8 years straight, high school sweet hearts. I trusted him whole heartily. I found out on the 7th year, he was cheating on me since day 1. Even during my fathers illness and passing. There were so many red flags but I was blinded by love and I trusted him, no questions asked. He promised, he wouldnt cheat on me again and that he loved me.. we got engaged 1 MO later, said he couldnt lose me. 5MO later, got married (June 2018) Im on cloud 9 thinking, ok, he may have treated me bad all these years but hes changed so much.. Oct 2018, Im 7MO pregnant and find out he cheated again. I was so scared, barely married, 7MO pregnant, I stayed with him because I didnt know what to do and I love him so much even though he hurt me.. now almost a year later. Its a million times worse, he hasnt cheated and is changing but now I feel I am falling out of love with him each time I think about all the things he has done to me.. and let me tell you.. it was so many women.. on my birthday.. he would leave my house to go see them.. point is.. I cant let anyone step on me anymore, I dont deserve any of this. Life just sucks so much right now

Reply
marina

Hi your story sounds almost exactly like mine, so sad hope you have found the guts to leave him that is what i am working on myself.

Reply
Anonymous

I’m currently in a relationship and I’m starting to think its toxic but it’s hard for me to figure it out. Our relationship started out bumpy, my mother didn’t approve of him and eventually after all the nagging (on both ends) I moved in with him. That made things good for a little bit but then he became more controlling in the aspects of who I could hang out with and when. He doesn’t want me talking/texting men and if there’s a guy that shows any type of friendliness towards me he calls them “my boyfriend”. He made me block high school friends because they weren’t “healthy” for me. He even made me block my bestfriends little brother because he was my first kiss in middle school. Overall now I resent him and I want to leave and be alone because everytime we have a conversation it turns into an argument and I’m always sad. When I cry he says I’m getting my period and that I’m bipolar. I don’t know what to do. I love him but it hurts.

Reply
Bert

Yes that’s a toxic relationship based on control by psychological damage. Leave him, he will never change and he will do it again yo you and he will do it to the next one

Reply
Felicia

I believe my relationship to be toxic my husband of 29 years is very critical of me we have never cheated on each other but other things have happened it is hard for me to hold down jobs if the job has me multitasking too many things at once I just cannot do it I get overwhelmed and anxiety sets in and I forget what I started then I feel like bosses get frustrated with me so I try harder then get more frustrated this leaves me feeling stupid so I quit or get released this has happened a lot anyway the last job I had last year ended in June of 2020 not by fault of my own I was injured tire hamstring and injured my sacroiliac joint by lifting too heavy anyway he understands this but he will constantly bring up the past and say I want a woman who holds down a job when I do work I also maintain the home run errands do laundry do the cooking while he works then comes home watches TV or plays video games he will do the outside stuff but will never help me I will help him anyway he is very critical he accuses me of never listening to him when he talks which really is untrue I always take time to listen and talk with him I am very compassionate and caring always been there for him through his 2 back surgeries I was working and caring for him and everything else he just holds things over my head and brings up past junk even when it is not part of the conversation I know my job record stinks and I do feel for him that way because he is pulling all the weight financially right now we both need to change thing but I do not know how I am injured going through a work comp case with an attorney not sure when or if I can get back to work yet it has been since June 2020 he spends his time up in his bedroom playing video games I watch TV down stairs sleeping in the recliner it is more comfy for my back at this point but I feel at this point we are roommates

Reply
QUEEN INDIA

YOU KNOW YOU MADE A MISTAKE WHEN YOU ARE NEVER HAPPY
WHEN YOU CRY EVERY DAY
AND THE PEOPLE YOU CARE SO MUCH JUST USE YOU FOR THEIR MATTERS
MAKE YOU FEEL GUILTY AGAIN AND AGAIN WITHOUT FAIL
THEY MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE GARBAGE AND USELESS
WHEN THEY KNOW THE REASON YOU ARE SUCH IS THEM
YOU WASTED YOUR TIME AND LIFE DREAMS DESIRES FOR THEM AND ALL THEY GIVE YOU IS
PAIN AND HURT

I HATE IT WHEN MEN THINK THEY ARE GREAT AND MORE SUPERIOR THAN WOMAN
WHAT DO THEY KNOW
EVEN GOD FAILED TO UNDERSTAND US
THEY ONLY SEE US AS THEIR PUNCHING BAG
YOU DONT HAVE YOUR SPACE
YOU CANNOT DO WHAT YOU LIKE AND MUST ANSWER PEOPLE FOR YOUR WISHES
I WISH I WAS FROM A RICHER AND WELL BEHAVED BACKGROUND SO NOBODY
WOULD DECIDE MY UPBRIGINGS

FOR THE GUY THAT ONLY HURTS YOU AND TAKES YOU AS PIGGY BANK
OTHERWISE YOURE VALUE IS FOR HIS KITCHEN
HE WHO ONLY DEGRADES YOUR VALUE
LEAVES YOU AT THE TIME YOU NEED HIM MOST
BACKS OFF FROM YOUR FEELINGS AND EMOTIONAL NEED
BUT REQUIRES YOUR PRESENCE WHEN HE NEEDS YOU

HE SCOLDS ME AND IF ANYTHING IS WRONG
IM THE PROBLEM
MARRIED BUT DENIED LONELY AND TRYING TO MAKE MY OWN LIFE
BUT ALWAYS INSULTED

Reply
Felicia

I hear you my husband also very critical emotionally I am alone even in marriage he expects dinner every night I take care of the Bill’s house ect… when we talk he can never stop bringing up the past we never cheated on each other just things like jobs that haven’t worked out for me I have high anxiety he just says get over it he does not understand this at all yet he can come home and complain but I should not it gets frustrating I am ready to leave after 29 years he tells me I will never make it right now I am home due to a work injury so i am stuck but sometimes i wonder if his sly comments are affecting me i have trouble holding down jobs

Reply
Eric

5 months out of an emotionally abusive relationship with a controlling female. Finally recovering myself worth and self esteem. I couldn’t do anything right, she was a perpetual victim and if I didnt go along with her program, she would makes serious threats.

All I can say, and I cannot emphasize this enough, if you find yourself in an emotionally abusive, one down relationship GET OUT pronto!!!! Recovering was the fight of my life (and I quit drinking 15 years ago and thought that was hard).

Life is too short and I PROMISE that you will find another in due time, that will love and respect you for you.

Reply
Claire P

I totally agreed before breakup i was into toxic relationship as mentioned in above article u have disused all the situations i have gone through ..really helpful article…keep going

Reply
Darrick g

Ian there. Very deep. I may have the record of having my guts and all taken out and let out for days. Dead and flies on my skin I get kicked around. Accused for drug use and cheating. Iam an awesome single father. My boy just hot student of the month… for compassion,respect,and going above all means to help other people. Plenty of love and emotions here. 6th grader and he even tells me to run. Ian going to. I have to. I love her and she is sick,booze everyday,ect

Reply
Jessica

I have been dating my head hurts girlfriend for 3 years and She saids I need to tone it down a bit Bc I give her too much affection an she saids that I’m never grateful for anything when I feel as I am I feel so insecure am I constantly feel sad but I love her and she always puts me last I feel like she doesn’t love me an she recently told me she’s 99% sure that she won’t leave me but I’m 100% sure that I wouldn’t leave her for anyone in college because we’re going to college an I got her a promise ring Bc I love her an I feel like she only got me one because she knew it would make me happy but she always tells me that I need to tone it down and that I need to chill out because I talk about marriage with her a lot and she Says she would want to but then she says mean stuff to me like that An I feel like she never consider my feelings and whenever we argue she asks if I want to break up I don’t know what to do I love her but she makes me so as I feel like she doesn’t love me

Reply
Michael

What’s keeping you in this situation? If someone loves you it should feel like they love you. That’s right. Think about it. If you’re feeling insecure then there’s a reason. You must trust your gut and at this point I think yours is literally screaming at you. It really shouldn’t be that hard in a relationship. If the woman wants to be with you she will find the time and make it happen. People tell you who they are by their actions not by their words. PAY ATTENTION. Also, if you’re constantly feeling confused and uncertain and emotionally off balance then that’s a sure sign that you’re dealing with a game player “cluster B” type personality. Save yourself…. RUN FAST!!!

Reply
Mauby

Thank you for this reply, because after reading your blog I started thinking maybe I could be the toxic one, quickly forsaking the fact that I’m on this site for a reason. My boyfriend is a taker that never gives. Oooh he’s such a stingy lover.

He drives my emotions crazy, I’m always confused and feeling unloved. He never does anything with me, it feels like he’s hiding me. The scumbag never wants us to break up. He NEVER does anything nice for me. After we make love he always turns the other way. He never cuddles me, and now he’s withholding sex from me with his endless excuses. He criticizes me but never compliments me. When I tell him that he doesn’t love me he says he loves me a lot and I’m just being negative and I think a lot.

I’m always the one working on fixing our relationship, all he does is make one empty promise after the other. He disgusts me because he holds an angelic facade while he’s pure evil. I gave him everything, he had nothing when we met and now he treats like I’m worhtless. I just don’t understand why such cruel people exist. He has hurt me so much I’ve lost so much weight and so much of myself trying to make him love me.

And now I have mend my broken heart. And I hate that I still love him. But I know I am better than this shit!

Reply
anon

If there are no kids, pets, shared assets (like a house, for example), then get out now while you still can, otherwise it becomes even more difficult later on when your lives are completely enmeshed with one another’s.

If it makes you feel any better, my situation is similar, my girlfriend takes a lot, but does not give anywhere near as much. And yes, these problems can persist indefinitely. We’ve been together almost 10 years, and the improvements on her end have been very very very slow in comparison to the amount of work I’ve put into trying to improve the relationship.

If you can leave, do it now.

Reply
Kristina B

Im in the same situation, my bf has left me 3 times, his communication with me gets smaller and smaller. I go hours without hearing from him. Hes currently living on his sisters floor.I gave hime my heart my soul, he had nothing but his clothes on his back and broke down car and an old truck. We were very happy untill i caught him after a year e-mailing another old friend that he ran into. He failed to tell me and i found out thru email.when i confronted him he took off..3 days lived in his car then i took him back..the 2nd time he left was because he was searching for senior living..wow we just signed a lease that time gone 4 months then the last time was cause i put a camera on my sick cat and when i was at work he was talking about my cat said if he dont die he was leaving..i confronted him after i also heard him call me a crazy bitch..hes been gone a month now..i love him no matter he comes around whenever he finds time for me..he doesn’t answer my call sometimes and 1 day 14 hours went by before i heard from him..he was with me last night and im noticing that hes being cautious about his phone..last but least i saw where my name wasnt even in his phone..wtf..so im at my wits end with all this what do i do?

Reply
anon

This is a very good post. Could not agree with you more. Look at the actions, not the words. My girlfriend has broken so many promises regarding things that are so important to me; almost to the point that I pretty much expect disappointment now right away. It’s not a fun way to live and I am not all that happy in this relationship either. If we did not live together and share pets, I would have left quite a while ago, if I am being totally honest.

Reply
Havingahardtimegirl

Hi. I’m in a long distance relationship with this guy. I’ve never really had a boyfriend before. But I had one girlfriend. Yes, I think I’m a bi. And I’ve been with her for almost 5yrs since Idi was college but I broke up with her because I really can’t see myself like having a future you know its complicated girl girl and my family is against it so I broke up with her. She still loves me but I’m the one who really changed… And so I started to meet people online like dating app. Then so I met this guy. He’s so jealous. We talked for about 6months before making it official but when I met him like first I already had this impression of him that no I don’t like this guy.. And then things happen, life. He’s the only one I’m talking to etc etc.. So fast forward we are dating for almost 1 and a half year noe he was supposed to visit me but the pandemic happen.. The few months were fine.. But he is very jealous. Like I cant even talk like I normally do because he thinks I’m flirting. Even to my cousin he would ask if I’m blood related to them like I’m getting a massage and he would ask me questions such as do I let them touch me etc etc. It’s crazy. We always fight I’m so frustrated that sometimes I’m hurting myself. He is older than me and been married before. Has kids. But he is only 30.. And divorced. He kept saying that I don’t know how to handle men like i dont respect men because ive never been with a man before.. I kept breaking up with him but everytime that I do it he keeps on telling me he will change he will understand. One time I broke up with him and he tried to sleep with someone else. It’s crazy. I learned about it maybe after 10days idk hoe I just kept asking him and then I feel like crying that there’s something wrong and then he told me maybe he felt bad bc I kept crying and asking him if he did something wrong or bad and he did. And I can’t even like I’m still shocked i couldn’t believe it because why? I don’t understand he said he tried to forget me because I broke with him but wth on the same day.. And he said its not cheating because technically we broke up.. And he kept telling me that its my fault too that I should show him that no matter what I love him I wont leave him and I sjould stop blocking him. One time he even told me he would shoot himself etc. Its crazy. I kept telling him all I need is trust and faith and if he gave it to me all those fights wont even be happening. I just want to be trusted I admit I’m very independent. I dont like explaining so much but I am very loyal and I only want to have a better stable life get married have kids and thats it. But its so hard. He is not financially stable, emotionally not as well. Idk. What do I do. I really want ti break free from this relationship. I’m really hoping that it will get better when we see each other but idk anymore. Should I stay or should I really walk away and comoletely just dont read no respond anything. And yes I forgave him for what he did. Even though he’s the one who always accuse me that I’m gonna do bad things. I still forgave him. I’m really stupid arent I. 😔😔😔😔 Its so hard.

Reply
Amy S

Reading this has honestly made me realise I deserve better. And that all my thoughts and instincts were true. The relationship I am in is not healthy. She is my first love. And I didnt know what to expect from a relationship, but I now know it is not this. I am slowly losing myself with each day that we are together. I left them once because I couldnt take how low I was feeling. But then I saw them again and they said all these things and we decided to give it another go. But the more days that pass, the more I realise I had been right the first time in ending things. That my mind knew what I needed and now I am just waiting for my heart to understand and let them go. I need tk love myself more than I love them. Thank you for this great read. I have learnt some things and I hope it helps others in finding their own inner strength. Wish me luck

Reply
Jackie

I am in a yo-yo toxic relationship. When we met my mother was in hospice so some of the red flags were over looked. He was grabbed by a strange woman at the state fair and he stepped all over me and pushed me til we got away. He says he didn’t know her. I am not so sure. The always accuses me of cheating and not loving him til I explain myself and over compensate him with all my time. He has met my family but I have only met his mom on rare occassions. The went on a dating site twice because I was processing my emotions over my mother’s illness and didn’t respond to him and he saud I made him do it. He goes through my phone to see who I have texted or talked to. He doesn’t want me to talk to anyone but him. He even called me a liar when I said I was going to shower but went to sleep instead. I heard a woman on his end of the phone and he called me crazy. I know I what I heard. He said I didn’t heard it on the phone but voices in my head. Everytime I want to talk about my feelings, he thinks I am trying to start a fight. I wanted to volenteer and he said that I would do anything to take time from him. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I shut down and get the strength to leave then I get reeled in again.

Reply
James

I don’t even know where to start, I met my girlfriend 5 years ago in College, I was dating someone I didn’t truly love at the time, and then I met her and fell in love with her, cheated on my ex-girlfriend with her and the broke up with my ex-girlfriend to be with her. I’m not gonna pretend here to be the good guy, I mean I’m good, I care for her and love her, but before I came into the relationship with her, I and my friends had been boys that take pleasure being with different women and that behavior seemed to have taken a hold in me, even when I got in the relationship with her. I found myself trying to get other girls attention if I found them attractive, and even slept with a few of them. My girlfriend has caught me texting a few of them over the years, and each time was a bad fight. She cries, I show remorse and she forgives me, I tell myself that I’ve changed, but then a few months later, I get that urge again when I see a cute, beautiful girl and I try to get to know her. 4 years into our relationship, I find out that my girlfriend cheated on me with a close friend of mine, I was hurt and couldn’t believe she’d done that. I cried a bit, asked her how could she…but she begged me, told me that she didn’t know how things ended up that way with him, but it was never going to repeat itself again. I forgave her, time passed and
we were as happy as usual. Thing is throughout the course of this relationship, it appears she has lost trust on me, sneaking at night to check my phone, accusing me of looking at girls when we’re driving on the road or walking through the mall (when I’m not doing so), even when I try my hardest to be good and curb my bad behaviour, she accuses me of these wrong doings..and I know I caused this, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s happening and I don’t like it. A friend of mine has a girlfriend that she doesn’t like, and whenever that friend wants me to hang out with him and my girl feels like his girl’s gonna be there, she throws a fit. She ticks of a lot of points talked about in this blog, like, Number 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13. Goes through my phone and if she seems someone she doesn’t know, she asks in an accusatory tone “Who is so-so person?”. I tell her, “when you’re done please drop my phone” and she does so with an attitude. She always wants me to do what she “WANTS” me doing e.g. “Babe leave what you’re doing in the parlor, come cuddle me to sleep” and she knows I don’t sleep early and once I’m cuddled with her, I fall asleep instantly, but she insists and puts up an attitude, she constantly tries to trap me with questions and statements, and it starts to feel like I’m more at peace (enjoy it more) when she’s asleep than when she’s awake.
I’m not from the wealthiest of homes, and she’s from a very wealthy home, but every money I hustle for, or my parents give me, I put it into the relationship, but because her parents are wealthier, she ends up putting more. She liked to buy things for me before, but when she gets mad she destroys them (that behavior stopped after a lot of talking with her), now what she does is that when she gets mad, she writes a list of all the money I’m owing her, including things she bought for me, and tells me to pay up, I find that disgusting. So what I started doing, I started limiting her getting things for me. So when she goes out and buys 4 sneakers and says “Bae don’t you want one?” I say, “nah I’m good, thanks” or when she buys something for me without me knowing, I say, “you really shouldn’t have”. I’m AS and she’s AS (genotypes) and I have a feeling this can cause problems with our parents later on, if we decide to forge ahead towards marriage, they might not be accepting of it because of the possibility of SS kids. I’m 24 now, and I’ve found myself thinking, have I possibly damaged her too much that it’s unfixable? Should I just be decisive and end this for both our sakes, and hope things turn out well for both of us. I still look at her and feel love for her like “Damn this girl’s so cute, I love her, she’s so homely, she’s wife material (a good woman and a good cook)” but all these other behaviours “insecurity, pride, ego, stubbornness, feeling of wanting to get back at people, always questioning my every move and decisions(i really don’t like being questioned in accusatory manners) and I lowkey feel like she judges me for not doing as much as other rich boyfriends (for example, right now I’m trying to save up money so that I can use it to start lucrative ventures, so I sold my car, but as soon as my friend’s girlfriend(mentioned above) bought a car, she started lowkey saying that I should use my money to get another car (apparently she doesn’t like the idea of my friend, who lives real close to us by the way, using the car to help with some of our transportation)…….all these behaviours, make me question if spending a lifetime with her is the best outcome for my life, If this relationship has become too toxic (maybe my fault) to continue staying in.

P.S. I try to advise her about her stubbornness bcos it’s not only with me, she gets mad at her friends at the slightest thing and can keep beefs with them for months, and I try to advise her about not letting outside influences (other people) affect her internal peace…or when she’s getting insecure or mad at someone, I try to talk with her and make her see things logically, try to better herself, but it always repeats itself again, like she’s okay the way she is.

Reply
anon

Definitely get out of that now if you can. Especially if there are no kids/pets yet involved. Sounds like way too much damage and insecurity at work here, in addition to cheating which has occurred which is even worse. You’re a young guy, take this as a learning experience and start over. Just my two cents. Don’t persist in a 10+ year relationship like me that should have been over a while ago; most people do not change. Some do, but most won’t. Keep that in mind. Good luck man.

Reply
Alice S

Sometimes one may have a pattern of toxic relationships, even starting in the childhood, in general early in life. Their parents have toxic behaviour and the child reproduce some of them throughout their lives. People accept and stay in toxic relationships because they’re mostly scared of being alone. If there is no happiness, joy, respect, affinity and love, a relationship can show up signs of constant disagreements, exchange of words, grudges, rancour, resent and anger. One can notice and finally accept of the ‘not happy’ it is! Take action, change or get out.

Reply
Honey J

It is really difficult to see for yourself when you are in a toxic relationship sometimes, I know I have been there. No matter what your friends and family might be telling you, if you’re in love, you won’t be honest with yourself. But this article is really good, all the points and the signs are absolutely right. I hope it will help a lot of people.

Reply
Samantha

Got married to my husband, he married me for papers, then had a kid, got kicked out twice and then he came back I said no.. he was so abusive, so why am I suddenly feeling guilty after 4 years of being separated

Reply
Jason C.

Some people are hardwired to blame themselves regardless. Perhaps feeling responsible for the transactional nature of the marriage (for papers). Perhaps wishing it would work out for the child. Either way…walk away and don’t look bad.

Reply
Kat

Any input on my marriage of 14 years? I find myself longing for other men that hold qualities that i would love to see in my husband. My husband is 11 years older than me. we have a long story so long story short, Im always wrong he’s always right, my past gets rubbed in my face constantly making it so what I want does not count, we argue a lot, I try to get out of the arguments before they start but he has to make sure it ends bad. he doesn’t respect my religious views which Ive had since he met me(all my life and I don’t ask for much). Everything we(kids included) are things he likes to do but not things we like to do. I have bent in his direction in every way but he only bends in mine just takes teensy weensy bits in little steps that he really doesn’t want to take but has to for the sake of not looking like an ass in front of everybody. I am a different person because of him. I am so stressed and anxious all the time my doctor has prescribed me medication for it. My kids don’t respect him anymore, he has to drink and use some kind of substance as soon as he gets home from work, he doesn’t like anybody including my family. I do the man work in the house, I do all the work in the house and with the kids, the house is NEVER clean enough, he doesn’t allow me to go back to school and doesnt care to see me become successful at anything, I get in trouble for every penny I spend including groceries(I have 3 kids 9, 13 and 15). there are so many other things. On a positive note, we care for each other and love each other, sex is insane, he’s loyal, he’s a hard worker and a great provider, he still comes to church with me but its the bare minimal. Please excuse my punctuation, I gave up!:)

Reply
Cali

This doesn’t sound loving. Also how do you know he’s loyal and is it just because hes old tired and cheap? And how can the sex be that great? Sounds like you have no real intimacy. I dont know what else to say but this sounds lonely abusive and hurtful.

Reply
Nicky r

I’m convinced my husband is toxic and a narcissist,he’s constantly putting me down and our sons,he feels he’s the better person and he wants to be the centre of attention and that we’ve ruined his life. I dread going home and I’m sick of walking on eggshells. We haven’t had sex for over six years. He binge drinks at the weekend and go through fifteen cans a night,then come the morning he starts again. I hate being around him, he’s selfish, ignorant and is unable to show feelings other than anger or disappointment.Sorry this is long winded.

Reply
Jason C

That sounds eerily like my experience…only the gender roles were reversed. Married seven years and I went from being on a pedestal to being marginalized and soul crushed. To make matters worse…the relationship had “just enough” tender moments that I stayed longer than I should have vainly hoping it would get better (it didnt).

That’s the quandary you’re in. Is the glass half empty or half full? Is my partner Dr. Jekyll or Mr.. Hyde? If he’s a narcissist…he’s the latter not the former. Narcissists are masters of manipulation…they’ll leave their partner starved for affection but drop just enough bread crumbs to keep that person from leaving but never enough to feel secure. If their partner is an empath or an optimist…these bread crumbs will give that person vain hope that the relationship can be fixed (when most of the time it can’t).

Bottom line. You have to decide if your life is better with him or without him. If this dismissal of your feelings and that if your children is a phase or simply who he is. If it’s who he is…time to seriously consider a different path.

Reply
Kim

So I’m 4 months pregnant with my partner’s baby. My emotions are all over the place anyway but I keep telling myself that it will get better when the baby arrives.
I’ve always been such a positive person and I enjoy making others happy. I’m very social and work in public house. My partner doesn’t like this.. he doesn’t seem to like me having any sort of realtionship with anyone but him.. if I organise a day out for us both with a friend his face drops and he says it’s fine but I can tell that he doesn’t want to do it. But yet if I leave him to organise something it doesn’t get done and we end up playing separate video games and barley talking to each other.. The longer this has been going on the more distant I have become and j find it harder and harder to talk to him because he gets so defensive and he ends up raising his voice and then in return so do I. He’s constantly making digs at the things I do and instead of pointing out the positive he always bring up the negatives in what I’ve done. For example: you’ve done really well stopping the drinking but, that one pate sandwich you had is going to ruin our babies health and it will be all your fault. Obviously he doesn’t word it like that but that is the underlying dig.
Don’t get me wrong I am no angel myself. I am quite defensive over the things I care strongly about, but he knew who I was before and everybody else seems to think I am a good person and I am so proud of myself on how far I have come (we both used to drink and smoke quite a lot before we found out we were pregnant) and I’ve always had insomnia but have stopped my treatment incase it causes growth problems, but he doesn’t praise me on this he makes me feel bad about having the odd cigarette yet he hasn’t cut down on cigarettes at all!
I feel like I can’t say anything because I am being selfish and eveytime I bring something up I am the bad person even though in feeling so bad inside he makes me feel like I’m in the wrong for feeling that way.. am I in the wrong for feeling that way?
He says he loves me and will ‘change’ but that makes me feel so guilty because I fell in love with the carefree fun person. Not this miserable negative person who puts me down.. and the longer this relationship has been going on the more toxic I have become towards him.. even to the point that I no longer want to have sex and will bottle it up so much that he starts Getting upset.. but yet the more he gets upset now, the more it frustrates me and annoys me that we can’t have an adult conversation without him getting petty and emotional.. I know he is a sensitive person but sometimes I wonder wether it’s just his way of using it against me to make me feel even worse about everything. I guess I’m looking for someone to come forward and tell me that I’m just worrying too much about this whole thing. Is it me? A response would be appreciated, I have gotten to the point where suicide though enter my thoughts most nights.

Reply
Jennifer Q

Kat. My life seems to mirror yours down to the time married and the ages of the kids. I’m spooked. If you could email me at ( Qualls.jen at Gmail) I would genuinely appreciate someone who understood and could be a source of validation. What has happened for you in the past year?

Reply
Bryn

Honey, you need to ask yourself a few questions.
Are you happy with him?
Can you see yourself with him forever?
Do you love him unconditionally?
Does he make you feel happy and special and lucky to have him?
Are you staying just because you have a child with him?
If all of them are no, you need to evaluate your relationship with this guy.
I’d you are thinking of suicide, don’t do it. There are people who care about you.
Even me, a random person on the internet who read your comment and wanted to try and help..
The bible says this about love. Love is patient,love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, and it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, and it is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs.love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, and always hopes and always perseveres.
Is your love for each other like that?

Reply
Joy

Sadly, I am in this type of relationship. I live with my partner since the day I got pregnant and we both live with my parents. We are not married yet And I don’t even see myself getting married to him at all. Our son has just turned 1 year old. He is very controlling. He decides what dress I wear, to whom I hang out with, he decides who I make friends and not make friends with. He even made me choose between him and my longest time girl BFF! He makes me feel like I owe him a lot! When it fact we were both depending on my parents since he was just a student and I just graduated college. He is 19 and I am 21. I don’t want my son to grow up without a dad since his been doing a good job taking care of him, and I just don’t see other people if ever I will meet another person someday that would care of my son as much as a real parent would. My only problem is that he is very controlling and I’m afraid to make a mistake I’m not even guilty of. I want to end our relationship as early as possible but how? We were both too attached to both our in-laws and relatives. And it would break them if we split up.

I know that some of you will say we can still fix this or what but I feel like I deserve better. He disrespects me most of the time. I feel like I’m changing and I don’t think I love him that much anymore. All is left was hatred. I want to fix it but I don’t want my son to grow up in a toxic relationship. How should I end this? How to make our parents understand? Please give me an advice. I dont have anyone to talk to since he doesnt like me to talk to my bff behind his back.

Reply
Jaime

Hello, I for sure am in a toxic relationship..it didn’t start out that way, he is a stand up guy…but just not right for me.. we have a 13 month old together and he fathered my oldest when he was 2 years old..he is now 8 and still has no idea that his daddy isn’t his biological dad and is unaware of who his DNA dad is.. my question is…how do you get out of a toxic relationship when kids are involved?

Reply
Faith

Hi Kim. What you’ve described is not a healthy relationship. It’s not just you. Your feelings are valid and important. Whatever you do, do not let him isolate you from friends and family. Keep in touch with the people you are close to. It sounds like he has some of the same issues that I experienced with my son’s father. After I had the baby it only got worse because I got postpartum depression and I just felt myself giving in more and more. Reach out to friends and family. It would be good to talk with your doctor too, maybe they can refer a counselor. You want to be as healthy as you can for your baby physically of course (kudos to you for cutting down on the smoking and not drinking!! :), but you also want to be emotionally and mentally healthy for your baby’s sake and for your sake. You’re a wonderful person and will be an awesome mom. Good luck to you!!! Xo

Reply
Alida

I guess it’s clear that I am in a very toxic relationship every time I try to get love I’m always let down instead then tell her to fix my problems in my situation and I’m also so how can I show you love is when a happy or comfortable I feel went into relationship if you’re not happy and comfortable those are things that we work on because we’re trying to grow together not down me because you feel like I’m not taking care of it the way they would It’s frustrating it’s hard and very exhausting

Reply
Chelsea

Well the outing part. If that friend is not a friend of his then things will be awkward for him though. I mean I wont like to go out with my bf and another friend of his who I barely know.

Reply
Cheekycara

I was a child growing up with a mother who was treated as you now are. Hurtful, belittling, bullying, controlling, did everything and nothing good enough and it also transferred to me and my siblings. I, as are my siblings are mentally scared from this and no amount of counselling with heal the wounds.

He too has good qualities and my closest friends have no idea but the environment was so toxic and we were always afraid of his mood. Think of your kids and the impact on them if you can’t think for yourself.

Reply
Marina

I am reading these comments and have seen lots of what i am going thru was he your father or step father. I feel my kids are afraid of him like you say

Reply
Confused

Hi after reading your page,i did not note am in a toxic relationship been with my guy four years but he changed canceling our dates lies.he says he is busy now we see each other months n he refuse I go to his place instead he insist he will come.communication became less and if we talk we end up arguing. I end up so sad that he chose his best friend over me and says every fight i start is that I don’t trust him

Reply
Rosh

I went thru every single one of those stages.. she left me and moved on to someone new..she even called me and compared how great this girl is. then strung me along txting me while with this girl telling me she still loves me and that she’s confused. She’s very manipulative..I hate that I still love her. Deep down I want her back. How do I shake that feeling off! I feel poisoned by her

Reply
Surya

Hi,

I am also in the same situation where my fiancée is very toxic she always tells a lie and over her boyfriend she broken marriage before one day blaming me in the public again she came back with her parents and then she started the same things. I really always tired or exhausted she never loved me she always threatens me to leave the relationship. But now I tired and said to her No so my dear friend I say come out from such relationship.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Follow Hey Sigmund on Instagram

Our children and teens can feel anxious, and do brave - but they don’t need to do it all at once. They can happen in tiny brave steps, one after the other. 

Start by encouraging them to notice the difference. Some things that feel scary will be best avoided - dark alleys, snakes, walking alone at night. Sometimes though, those things that feel scary will be growthful and important - exams, school, trying something new, approaching a challenge, taking a safe risk, separating from you when there is another loving adult who will take care of them. These things are scary, but safe. For sure, they might come with failure, or humiliation, or they might not work out as planned, but they are safe. 

Part of living bravely is having the confidence that even if my ‘what if’ happens, I’ll be okay. I can take safe risks, because whatever happens, I’ll be okay. I can do hard things, because whatever happens I’ll be okay. And we know they will be. Actually they’ll be better than okay because most times, enough times, they’ll shine.♥️
When children are in big feelings - big anxiety, big anger, big sadness - it will be really difficult for them to bring themselves back to calm without us. This is because the part of the brain that can calm big feelings isn’t quite built yet. Until it is, they’ll be looking to us for a hand. Even as adults with fully developed brains, we sometimes need the loving presence of our special person or people to help us through those big times. 

When children are in big feelings it’s less about what you do and more about who you are. They are looking for an anchor - a strong, steady presence to help bring their their world back to steady. When you calm your breathing, it will calm your nervous and let you guide theirs back to calm. 

This is NOT rewarding big behaviour. In fact, it’s doing the opposite. The brain learns from experience, so the more we guide them back to calm, the more they develop the capacity to do it on their own.♥️
Brains love keeping us alive. They adore it actually. Their most important job is to keep us safe. This is above behaviour, relationships, and learning - except as these relate to safety. 

Safety isn’t about what is actually safe, but about what the brain perceives. Unless a brain feels safe and loved (connected through relationship, welcome in the space), it won’t be as able to learn, plan, regulate, make deliberate decisions, think through consequences.

Young brains (all brains actually) feel safest when they feel connected to, and cared about by, their important adults.  This means that for us to have any influence on our kids and teens, we first need to make sure they feel safe and connected to us. 

This goes for any adult who wants to lead, guide or teach a young person - parents, teachers, grandparents, coaches. Children or teens can only learn from us if they feel connected to us. They’re no different to us. If we feel as though someone is angry or indifferent with us we’re more focused on that, and what needs to happen to avoid humiliation or judgement, or how to feel loved and connected again, than anything else. 

We won’t have influence if we don’t have connection. Connection let’s us do our job - whether that’s the job of parenting, teaching - anything. It helps the brain feel safe, so it will then be free to learn.♥️
.
.
.
#parenting #parentingforward #parentingtips #mindfulparenting #neurosequentialmodel
Children are born whole and with the will to do good, but none of us are born knowing what to do or how to do when things feel big. That comes with time, lots of practice, and the loving leadership of adults who have been there before.

It can be tempting to hurry their development, or measure our own parenting by how well our children behave but development  just doesn’t work this way. Like all good things, it takes time to be able to manage big feelings or unmet needs enough so they don’t inflame big behaviour. Even as adults we won’t always act in adorable ways. (Oh don’t I know it!)

Learning how to manage big feelings without sliding into big behaviour is like anything hard we or our children learn - how to play tennis, play the guitar, read, cross the road. None of these are learned through punishment or harsh consequences. They’re learned with practice and the steady guidance of adults who ‘do with’ and take the time to show us how. The time it takes and the bumps along the way are no reflection on the adults doing the teaching, or the children doing the learning, but a reflection on the magnitude of the challenge. It’s big!

The more we take it personally when our children don’t behave as we (or the world) would like, the more likely we’ll move into shame and judgement (of them and ourselves). Ultimately this will impact our capacity to actually give them what they need, which is patience, trust in our leadership our capacity to guide them, and our strong loving presence.♥️
.
.
#parenting #positiveparenting #mindfulparenting
When we punish, or do anything that drives emotional separation (shame) or physical separation from us, it teaches our children to avoid us, or please us. It teaches them that failure, falling short, or making a mistake is shameful. It doesn’t teach them anything about what to do instead, or how to learn, or how to deal with things not going to plan.

Rather than, ‘What punishment do they need to do better?’ try, ‘What support do they need to do better?’ What they need - what we all need - is someone who is calm, strong, loving, and who can handle them enough to stay when them and guide them through the tough stuff. When we focus on the relationship, it opens the way for us to guide behaviour.♥

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This