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 is 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 becomes traps. (‘Well would you rather go out with your friends or stay home with me?’) Statements becomes 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 constantly 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”]

226 Comments

Amy

Just had a baby girl a month ago…It might be the hormones or idk WTH is going on. I still feel pregnant and still can’t stand my husband. He is just too annoying I guess. He is a clean FREAK, and wants everything perfect, we renovated the house while I was pregnant and he was so stressed out he kept yelling all the time. I tried to be as patient as possible because of the baby. Still it seemed he was the pregnant one. Now, he is just too much into keeping everything neat. I have 2 kids plus a newborn, I do not have time to maintain the house. There is a little scratch on the wall? Oh he goes crazy! The girls drop food while eating? Oh he goes extra crazy on them. The other day I was giving a bath to the baby in the bathroom and accidentally spilled water and he went crazy! Like saying I don’t care about the house bla bla bla. I put the dishes in the dishwasher then he says that is not the way to put the dishes. He is too much OCD. He did not talk to me for 2 days then he pretended everything was ok. I barely talk to him, he is too much into his work and playing tennis or doing his workout. In the mornings he stays asleep not even care to help with homeschooling the other girls.
Then he asks: what’s for lunch?

I am BuSY homeschooling 2 children and handling a newborn who is fussy all the time and on top he wants me to cook! I just can’t…I ignore him because I have other important things to take care of but I do not like to be like this. He is a hard headed so do not tell me to talk to him because all he will say is the I am the bad person here because in his eyes he is perfect. So no, I can’t talk to him he takes everything I say wrong. It just seems he annoys me now because he is too annoying and worried about keeping everything clean while I barely have time to take a shower🥺 the only good news is that my mom is here who helps me with everything he is supposed to do as a father.

Long post but don’t have any friends neither. It’s sad I know. I quit my job to be a FTM so any words of wisdom will be appreciated. Thx

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Claudia C

My boyfriend pretendes I don’t exist when we are out with others or in public ! Whenever I try to talk he just shuts me down and make funny faces he won’t listen to anything I add to a conversation ! Some of my friends have notice and said he doesn’t seem to really care about me ! He just treats me like I’m invisible ! At home is like a puppy to me but in public he acts different he really pretends I don’t existe he even turns is back on me when he sits he won’t look at me he want even talk to me !
My voice and or any movement I do irritates him !

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Greg

Hi Karen
My name is Greg . I met a women 2 months ago it started with a moment at the beach .Than we met again on a dating site . Everything been great intill I learned more , ya see she has issue’s daddy issues , two ex’s issues , the third was her soul mate that cheered and left and claims that she was allways the giver in her relationships ! Now I’m with her ! I am an honest , caring , loving man who really likes this woman . She doesn’t want to date , doesn’t want a committed relationship but is interested in us , says I’m everything she would want in a partner, but allways wants me time ! She’ll spend four day with me and gone ten back for two and gone for five . I was understanding to her needs . Than she tells me she happy alone , but I still see her once a weekend for a day and a half . I’m thinking it’s a toxic relationship because I’m willing to work for a relationship but she puts little effert in and I’m putting my all in . Sex is great and when we have one on one time she’s the one for me . Recently I heard this saying.
Never make someone a priority who considers you an option and doesn’t want to commit to anything . She had plans all Friday night with her mom / canceled intill Saturday and I asked what time Sunday she would like me to come over for dinner on our two month anniversary she said 4 pm eat and watch a movie . I said I wanted to come over early and spend quality time together , talk , go for a walk . anything . She said she had things to do .I said what ? Clean , fiddle fart around watch a movie , what ever . Toxic & I’m an OPTION when she wants me there for whatever & sex . I guess it’s a different type of toxic w/ friends with benefits .But she says she doesn’t want to hurt me !!! As I write this I realize I have two options it in to it what I get back or get the hell out .

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Maddy A

Hello! Me and my wife moved in together not long ago. We used to be so close and she really made me feel better! But not it isn’t and I’m wondering why. She just isn’t what she used to be and is always leaving the house late at night. She is always complaining now “Why did I become a lesbian if girls are a pain in the a**?” It really makes me sad to see she doesn’t like me anymore but I love her so much. What do you suggest I do?

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Ashley

I met this guy online 7 years ago and we started talking. We have dated and I cheated on him as it’s been a long distance relationship. We separated. I contacted him after 2 years and we got back together. He proposed to me and I moved to his country to try to stay with him. I had to leave because of the visa problem and money. He hasn’t been working for more than a year. I have been always the one paying when we went out while I was in his country. Anyway I came back to my country to work and make money as I was running out of money and he can’t support us at all. Then we have our long distance relationship again. He always think that I am cheating on him and he always says disgusting words to me with no respect at all. We would get back together and he would say those words again and again. He would block me and then unblock me and said ok let’s move on. After awhile, he just mentioned the past and accuse me of cheating. When he doesn’t response to my text, it is fine to him. But when I just texted him good morning and good night, he thought I was dating my colleague because I didn’t text him during the day or during lunch time. I didn’t text him because he doesn’t response to my text so what’s the point of me texting him? He deleted his whatsapp and I have no way to find him. I truly love him. I know I did something terribly and wrongly but I have changed. But he doesn’t believe that and he doesn’t respect me at all and I know I was in a toxic relationship but I just don’t want to lose him. It’s been 9 days I got nothing from him even I sent him emails.

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Iva

Hi Ashley, I’m sorry and I feel you pain. I have experienced this in the past and my only advice to you is to remember who you are. You’re a kind and loving person who never meant harm. We are only human and we make mistakes. This doesn’t discount the fact that you cheated but I would get to the root of the problem and try not to focus on the symptom. You may have cheated to begin with because you didn’t feel safe or secure with this man. Because of that you may have subconsciously seeked out security from somebody else. This isn’t your fault but it is your responsibility to own. Try to see this man for who he really is and not as a symbol of God in your life. He is just a man. Be kind to yourself. What would the 5 year old Ashley do? Does she know she deserves better and relationship that is filled with support, love and care? Or does she believe she is only worthy of a one way relationship that is familiar to the pain she may have experienced growing up? I wish you all the best. Stay strong. All my love and support, Iva x

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rodney s

Been dating my gf for 1.5 yrs and she told me four-five months ago when I asked her what’s wrong she had been acting funny that her job was stressing her out and she missed her family who lived 2hrs away I asked her are you sure that’s all I feel like it’s me and she said no and that I couldn’t maker her happy she had too. Two months later she found a job closer to her family and the plan was for me to move out there and to be with her. Now she is working two jobs and trying to get a place and I haven’t had a solid job in close to a year because of the pandemic but she knew how hard I tried and I finally get a job in her area and was ready to move she hit me with she can’t trust that I’ll always be able to help finally which was a fair point.she also says I don’t listen to her and never has addressed that issue and she has felt alone and don’t think that’s going to change I have moved down the list of things she’s prioritizing. But just two months ago she was saying she still wanted to be with me and now she says she don’t think we should be together. I went and changed my status to single because I thought that’s what she meant she wanted but I’m not sure I got a new job and I message her every so often and she says she needs her space I’m so lost.

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Hannah R

My ex messaged me a few months ago he’d just lost his ex wife and mother to his three children to suicide. I obviously messaged back as we dated when we were younger and had stayed friends so we met up a couple of times. Although at the time I was with my current boyfriend and I didn’t tell him straight away till like 2 weeks after. Although I didn’t sleep with my ex my boyfriend still feels like I cheated on him. Yes I lied because I didn’t tell him straight away and obviously I have broken the trust. Do you think we’ll ever fix things? Like we’re trying to work things out and it has been a few months since it happened and I haven’t been in touch with said ex since but still at times it crops up and we end up arguing. How long will this last and is it worth sticking it out in the hope we’ll fix the broken trust?

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NARAYAN S

It is an eye opening article on how toxic people are instrumental in breaking the heavenly relationships. Since most of the people are so innocent when it comes to love and relationship that they fail to read the signs of trouble and the inevitable happens. I have shared this article to one of my friends whose marriage is going through a bad phase. I am sure it will help him. Thanks a lot.

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Love

Great read! I was thinking of the 80/20 rule. Giving 80 percent all the time but only expecting 20 percent. In reality, in any relationship there will be hard times. It is completely unavoidable and you will do and say things you don’t mean.

With that being said, there is a difference between hard times and a toxic relationship. I think you hit on some very good points that explain the difference.

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Raymond

I’ve been dating this girl for a while. Seriously wondering if it’s worth it anymore.

I had a shitty childhood with shitty parents who left me both physically and mentally damaged.

Abuse was an everyday thing.

She also had a bad childhood and bad early adulthood as a result of that childhood.

We can’t drink together without something going wrong. Yet she keeps getting drinks.

I hate seeing her drink so much that I drink too in order to cope with it.

There’s more than that but it just keeps adding up. It’s made me more bitter than I was before and I don’t know how much longer I can do this.

Is this a thing that can be fixed? Because I need answers.

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xXSxd_VixesXx

Everyone is going through worst then me but..I’m just a kid. 11 maybe? Yeah, u h- I’ve got a problem with my friend. I wouldn’t tell him my crush and he said “Fine don’t tell me you just don’t trust me” UGHHH- I already have Social-anxiety.. And maybe trust issues? And no, this is not a “Phase”. I’ve been already been avoiding a lot of people can’t feel how long I can do this.. feel very social in public and sad enough I’ve been thinking to kill myself..But hey! Life is just hard..Right?

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debra g

I have the most toxic ever this man does drugs, He has been persueing me for over three years and I wouldn’t give him the time of day! Finally after three years I woke up one day and I had these overwhelming feelings for him! Once I told him I liked him all hell broke loose. He told me he would never hurt me, treat me bad and leave me. And he hasn’t held up to one of those statements. He leaves for three to five days a week don’t call me texted me nothing. When he comes to see me he is so sweet and it makes up for everything! He’s always extremely tired fall asleep for two days, gets up and disappears for another two to five days! Swears he not fucking around on me! Then i find out that he’s signing up for dating website over 27 of them and in his tell us something about you he states that he’s in a difficult relationship and he’s looking for love. I mean wtf is up with that He says hes stop those website but has he really! It’s going on seven months now and he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing up his disappearing act. He tells me why don’t you come with me one day and ill show you what i do all night! I love him more than he deserves.. Im just enabling him to do this ive never closed my door on him! Cause i just can”t i dont want any feed back i know what i gotta do kick him to the curb!!

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Karma

This article is the Holy Grail. It really puts in perspective the reasons why I had to leave my relationship of three and half years. We met online and hit it off straight away (both going through a divorce and with young children). We talked for hours, went out a lot, traveled. He was interesting, sweet and affectionate. He was ‘careful’ with money and insisted on going Dutch every time but I didn’t mind, given his other qualities. Then, seemingly overnight, he became this other person. Or I guess the person that he was in the first place but managed to hide whilst we were still dating. His thriftiness became stinginess. We stopped going out. I cooked for him, bought the wine, several times a week, but he never felt he had to contribute or return the favour in any way. What made it harder to accept is that I am a single mum of three kids on a modest salary and he is an investment banker who makes eight times what I do. No kidding. In the name of saving money, he also never wanted to do anything, and the very few gigs we went on, I had to organise and paid for. He was happy staying in, eating my food, drinking my wine and renting movies he fancied…on my account. Once he invited me and the kids to his house (a rare event) for a barbecue and asked me to contribute financially to it. For birthdays and Christmases he gave me books, and seemed unfazed by the vast disparity in value with what I gave him (Montblanc pens, Apple watches, designer clothes). Whenever I tried and talked about his cheapness, his response was always passive-aggressive, dismissive or patronising.

The nail in the coffin was when he started making plans about our future together (all on his terms) and casually talked about what ‘we’ should do with my inheritance: my parents’ holiday home sold and something ‘more suitable’ bought in its place. So controlling as well as stingy.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I dreaded seeing him and hated sacrificing my precious little time off serving him. When I left, he had the cheek of calling me a failure, in virtue of my modest middle management job and salary. Nevermind I spent every last penny of it on him! A real life Mr Scrooge 🙁

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Cameron

With me my girlfriend heard a rumour that I was cheating on her with someone I dont really know and now she is thinking ever since Saturday it been getting a lot of tension between us since than and I’ve been given her space txting her twice to three times a day and she keeps crying and thinking what should I do?…

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jot

I am in love with a person who also have a relation with someone else and he hides all this from me. I know he talks to her every day and when i ask he always do not answer my question, its been 1 year with him but it is getting worse , that another girl is keep on demotivating ,me by saying me his time pass or just a temporary happiness his life. He even do not accept me in front of her because she is with him from his college time and he told me that she is his friend, i trusted him but now she trying to put me down by abusing my relationship. I am deeply in love with him and when i ask him he always say he loves me but i do not know how to tackle with this situation.

Every day i am getting mad on him everyday fights and abuse just made me so depressed i cannot concentrate on career.

I am from different community and that another girl is from his own community and keep on saying me that he will never be with me , i am just his temporary happiness.She always trying to put me down and i am getting demotivating and lake of confidence. I want yo get rid from all of this.

I do not know what to do please help me with this.

i want to be happy , stress free and depression free.

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Daria

so my current boyfriend and I are in a toxic relationship but he won’t allow me to leave. We tried setting good boundaries but within a day, he broke 3 of them. I can’t make him see my point of view, even though I always see his point of view. How do I make him see that we are at the point where we just need to stop dating?

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jamie m

I just read this bc of a argument this morning . Im now dating my bestfriend of 9 years and it has become horrible. Like who is he. He use to protect defend and build me up no matter what.
So far he has cheated on me w ex and said it was my fault bc I wS showing him sexaual attention but we were arguing all the time. We broke up and I got back with my ex and he did to. Then months later we tried again and now he leaves early in the morning on weekend i wake up he’s gone. He keeps his phones in him like they are gold if i was to even touch them. He says he’s not cheating talking to or meeting anyone etc. Etc. Etc. But come on. We recently got arguing bad and he called me a fat f%$k and that crushed me he bought me a chanel bag and told me it was a guilt gift for the name. I was in a car accident years ago and shattered some teeth but im o. A med. That excellerates decay. My teeth have got bad and my dentist said I neec to remove and get a permanent plate bc they are so damaged at the root that not worth trying to fix and do multiple root canals etc
Well the other day I took a friend to a wfare office and someone there looked at me crazy bc tbey thought o was picking up a assistant check and I got into a new a8 audi and they kinda gave me a look like really and he said they were probably wondering why u got car instead of your mouth fixed. It’s his car. Like that hurt. He told me I was a bad friend this morn. And I said u have nerve youveade it so everytime I look in the mirror I see a fat toothless slob who deserved to get cheated on. I take care of his ne his elderly father animals laundry etc a while going to my house every other day to love and feed my cat. Bc ge doesn’t want her here. My ac broke and ge had a air conditioner thats been in a box for 2 years collecting dust but ge would not hook that one up give me the old one to put at my house so my elderly cat would be comfortable. PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD DO. I have isolated myself complete I don’t talk , go. Or support myself at all anymore so if I leave im going toba real struggle. He payed the last 6 months of b rent and till nov for me but other than that I’m i. A bad position. Advice please….

Thank u

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Cecilia

Me and my boyfriend are working in the same company. Before he chase after me, he is on very close terms with another female colleague, such as daily lunch partner (only the two of them) and they also knock off together, sharing a close intimate relationship. After i am officially his girlfriend, about 4 months later, they do not hang out during lunch or knock off work together. I am not sure why but i always very insecure if the female colleague comes and look for him for work issues. Cause my boyfriend will be very eager to help her out and giving her attention although the task is assigned to her by our boss and not to my boyfriend. Not sure how do i untie this knot in my heart. Hope to have useful advices here.

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EJA

Well I can say for sure I have experienced a lot of toxic traits in the last four years of my relationship. Lying, manipulation, gas lighting, continually being cheated on, told how disgusting I am, emotional/verbal abuse and some physical as well. Gave tons of money to my husband when he wanted or needed it and basically demanded I give it to him or would throw huge tantrums in public. Finally I’ve reached a point where I admit I have chose to stay after being blackmailed/threatened but I don’t have sex with him because he cheats continuously, when he talks it goes in one ear and out the other, I don’t pay attention to him and do the bare minimum in this relationship. I use to be afraid to voice my feelings because who would always say I was trying to argue or always in a bad mood, none of my feeling ever mattered, none of my pleas for his drug or alcohol addiction or sex addiction were ever addressed. The reality is I just don’t care anymore, could care less, and sometimes I can relate to being the one stonewalling or withholding or being passive aggressive. But honestly I don’t care I’m numb and only stay because I’m cornered by not having a place to live with my kids and I don’t want them to be parented by this man child alone.

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Donae

I’ve been in my relationship for 6 years now. The first few months were beautiful! Until I started seeing yellow flags. But when I noticed I found out I was 3 months pregnant with our 1st child together. When I told him he was so disappointed. He just kept telling me I told you I didn’t want this. He has 5 children outside of me & I have 2 kids not by him. That was my first yellow flag. My whole pregnancy I was going through it. I’ve already been through domestic violence but I think my mistake was telling him I was a victim of it. I went to a phych ward the 1st pregnancy and was put down in so many ways my 2ñd and 3rd. Three out of five of my children we’re in NICU due to stress, depression and domestic violence. Before I found out I was pregnant with our 3rd child. I was done! But he wouldn’t let me leave I was trapped. I have no family or friends to run to. I broke up with him over and over. Well I tried to.. I got lost and was confused and started talking to other people. This guy seen me in pain and wanted to try to help me. I ended up catching feeling and you know how that goes. My kids father found out and it didn’t end well at all. Mind you our kids are seeing all of this. At this point I’m beating myself up and trying to hurt myself. Questioning myself. Why? Why can’t a man just love you for you?

We get into it over Sex and affection. But I don’t want it I’ve been hurt so much I’m just drained. I tell him NO I don’t want it & I’m still forced. So much has happened in between the years. I can’t even write it all. I don’t want to be the victim or any of that. I just want to know if I’m wrong for feeling the way I feel. I gave this man me, my trust, love, children, shelter..

Now here were today, Nose is broken and my kids screaming asking us to stop fighting. I just want to move on and be happy. My kids don’t deserve this! Am I wrong for trying to move on?? I mean we get into arguments over him getting no sleep. But I don’t understand I get no sleep. We have 5 children who are under 9.

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Trayci M

I am definitely in a toxic relationship, I have lost myself become depressed and even became suicidal. He broke me and left me everytime I needed him. He holds are relationship hostage and uses my last mistakes to disregard his own. We cannot communicate. I dont get any validation or appreciation when I have gave this man all of me not only to him but to his daughter. It caused me to become something im not and just make dumb mistakes that I ended up paying the price for by myself and was left alone to repair my own feelings about why I made those mistakes as a reaction to how he treats me. Its like yea i feel like I’ve given to much to leave but its literally killing me to stay.

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Annoymous

well how do I get out of it? I’m afraid of I try to end things they’re going to hurt themselves or do something.

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Leonardo C

The hard part is letting go, especially because of the love you have for your significant other and the time you have been together. I, myself, am having trouble with my boyfriend. I do not want to let him go, you know. He has been there with me during my darkest moments in life. He is my everything, you all; I love him so much. I am tearing up. I do not want to lose him. Yeah, there are many people out there, but there are no other people like him.

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Lexi

I totally understand. I am in the exact same position. Focus on you and don’t worry about him. It’s so hard bur freeing once you turn the attention back on yourself. Hugs to you.

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RMA

I totally understand how you feel. I love my boyfriend so much and there are so many wonderful things in him but he has another side, a broken and sometimes toxic one. I can’t seem to walk away but in my heart I know it can’t last without me sacrificing parts of myself.

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Today was an ending and a beginning. My darling girl finished year 12. The final year at school is tough enough, but this year was seismic. Our teens have moved through this year with the most outstanding courage and grace and strength, and now it is time for them to rest and play. My gosh they deserve it. 

It is true that this is a time of celebration, but it can also be an intense time of self-reflection for our teens. (I can remember the same feelings when my gorgeous boy finished so many years ago!) My daughter has described it as, ‘I feel as though I’ve outgrown myself but my new self isn’t ready yet.’ This just makes so much sense. 

There is a beautifully fertile void that is waiting for whatever comes next for each of them, but that void is still a void. At different times it might feel exciting, overwhelming, or brutal in its emptiness.

We also have to remember that this is a time of letting go, and there might be grief that comes with that. Before they can grab on to their next big adventure, they have to let go of the guard rails. This means gently adjusting their hold on the world they have known for the last 12+ years, with its places and routines and people that have felt like home on so many days. There will be redirects and shiftings, and through it all the things that need to stay will stay, and the things that need to adjust will adjust. 

To my darling girl, your loved incredible friends, and the teens who make our world what it is - you are the beautiful  thinkers, the big feelers, the creators, the change makers, and the ones who will craft and grow a better world. However you might feel now, the lights are waiting to shine for you and because of you. The world beyond school is opening its arms to you. That opening might happen quickly, or gently, or smoothly or chaotically, but it will happen. This world needs every one of you - your voices, your spirits, your fire, your softness, your strength and your power. You are world-ready, and we are so glad you are here xxx
When our kids or teens are in high emotion, their words might sound anxious, angry, inconsolable, jealous, defiant. As messy as the words might be, they have a good reason for being there. Big feelings surge as a way to influence the environment to meet a need. Of course, sometimes the fallout from this can be nuclear.
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Wherever there is a big emotion, there will always be an important need behind it - safety, comfort, attention, food, rest, connection. The need will always be valid, even if the way they’re going about meeting it is a little rough. As with so many difficult parenting moments, there will be gold in the middle of the mess if we know where to look. 
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There will be times for shaping the behaviour into a healthier response, but in the middle of a big feeling is not one of those times. Big feelings are NOT a sign of dysfunction, bad kids or bad parenting. They are a part of being human, and they bring rich opportunities for wisdom, learning and growth. .
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Parenting isn’t about stopping the emotional storms, but about moving through the storm and reaching the other side in a way that preserves the opportunity for our kids and teens to learn and grow from the experience - and they will always learn best from experience. 
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To calm a big feeling, name what you see, ‘I can see you’re disappointed. I know how much you wanted that’, or, ‘I can see this feels big for you,’ or, ‘You’re angry at me about .. aren’t you. I understand that. I would be mad too if I had to […],’ or ‘It sounds like today has been a really hard day.’ 
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When we connect with the emotion, we help soothe the nervous system. The emotion has done its job, found support, and can start to ease. 
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When they ‘let go’ they’re letting us in on their deepest and most honest emotional selves. We don’t need to change that. What we need to do is meet them where they and gently guide them from there. When they feel seen and understood, their trust in us and their connection to us will deepen, opening the way for our influence.
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#parenthood #parenting #positiveparenting #parentingtips #childdevelopment #neuronurtured #anxiety #anxietyinchildren #childanxiety #motherhoodcommunity #parenti
When they are at that line, deciding whether to retreat to safety or move forward into brave, there will be a part of them that will know they have what it takes to be brave. It might be pale, or quiet, or a little tumbled by the noise from anxiety, but it will be there. And it will be magical. Our job as their flight crew is to clear the way for this magical part of them to rise. ‘I can see this feels scary for you - and I know you can do this.’ 
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 #mindfulparenting #neuronurtured #parentingteens #neurodevelopment #braindevelopment #positiveparenting #parenting #parenthood #childdevelopment #parentingtip #adolescence #positiveparentingtips #anxietyawareness #anxietyinchildren #childanxiety #parentingadvice #anxiety #parentingtips #motherhoodcommunity #anxietysupport #mentalhealth #heyawesome #heysigmund #heywarrior
When our kids or teens are struggling, it can be hard to know what they need. It can also be hard for them to say. It can be this way for all of us - we don't always know what we need from the people around us. It might be space, or distraction, or silence, or maybe acknowledging and being there is enough. Sometimes we might need to know that the people we love aren't taking our need for space, or our confusion or anger or sadness personally, and that they are still there within reach.
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What can be easier is thinking about what other people might need. Asking this when they are calm can invite a different perspective and can give you some insight into what they need to hear when they are going through similar. Don't worry if you just get a shrug, or a disheartened, 'I don't know'. They don't need to know, and neither do we. The question in itself might be enough to open a new way through any sense of 'stuckness' or helplessness they might be feeling.
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#parenthood #parenting #positiveparenting #parentingtips #childdevelopment #parentingadvice #parentingtip #mindfulparenting #positiveparentingtips #neurodevelopment #parentingteens
Give them space to talk but you don’t need to fix anything. You’ll want to, but the answers are in them, not us. Sometimes the answer will be to feel it out, or push for change, or feel the futility of it all so the feeling can let go, knowing it’s done it’s job - it’s recruited support, or raised awareness that something isn’t right.

Sometimes the feelings might be seismic but the words might be gone for a while. That’s okay too. Do they want to start with whatever words are there? Or talk about something else? Or go for a walk with you? Watch a movie with you? Or do a spontaneous, unnecessary drive thru with you just because you can - no words, no need to explain - just you and them and car music for the next 20 minutes. 

The more you can validate what they’re feeling (maybe, ‘Today was big for you wasn’t it’) and give them space to feel, the more they can feel the feeling, understand the need that’s fuelling it, and experiment with ways to deal with it. Sometimes, ‘dealing with it’ might mean acknowledging that there is something that feels big or important and a little out of reach right now, and feeling the fullness and futility of that. 

Part of building resilience is recognising that some days are rubbish, and that sometimes those days last for longer than they should, but we get through. First we feel floored, then we feel stuck, then we shift because the only choices we have we have are to stay down or move, even when moving hurts. Then, eventually we adjust - either ourselves, the problem, or to a new ‘is’. But the learning comes from experience.

I wish our kids never felt pain, but we don’t get to decide that. We don’t get to decide how our children grow, but we do get to decide how much space and support we give them for this growth. We can love them through it but we can’t love them out of it. I wish we could but we can’t.

So instead of feeling the need to silence their pain, make space for it. In the end we have no choice. Sometimes all the love in the world won’t be enough to put the wrong things right, but it can help them feel held while they move through the pain enough to find their out breath, and the strength that comes with that.♥️

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