14 Signs You May Be in a Toxic Relationship

It is often difficult to recognize the signs of a toxic relationship when you are in one. And, while no relationship is perfect, a healthy one will make you feel cared for, respected, loved, and free to be who you are.

You may be in a toxic relationship if:

1. Your partner does not listen when you say “no.”

Respect is a vital part of a healthy relationship. If your partner does not listen when you say “no,” he or she does not respect you.

2. It is hard to think of ways you have positively impacted each other.

In a healthy relationship, partners build each other up, experience new things together, teach each other, and help each other grow. If it is hard to think of ways your partner has brought positive change to your life, you might be in a toxic relationship.

3. It is easy to think of negative ways you have impacted each other.

In a healthy relationship, it should be easy to see positive ways your partner has impacted your life. If you experience a negative attitude more often than you used to, anxiety on a regular basis, or have picked up physically harmful behaviors like heavy drinking or smoking, you may be in a toxic relationship. A toxic relationship often provides an environment of negativity.

4. You do not feel comfortable in your own skin around your partner.

You should feel comfortable being yourself in a healthy relationship. If your partner is constantly pointing out flaws in your body and criticizing you for them, that can be a warning sign you are in a toxic relationship.

5. You have no sense of security in your relationship.

Healthy relationships do not involve harmful patterns. Toxic relationships may have a pattern of breaking up or almost breaking up over and over again. If you are always on the verge of breaking up, or if your partner often threatens to leave when you are having a disagreement that can be a sign of a toxic relationship.

6. Your partner dismisses how you feel.

It is not healthy for a partner to dismiss your emotions, especially fear. In a healthy relationship, your partner will take time to listen and understand how you feel, as well as comfort you and offer support.

7. You have lost confidence since your relationship began.

A healthy relationship should make you feel more confident and loved. You may be in a toxic relationship if you feel worse about yourself since the relationship began. Feeling defeated, unmotivated, or as if, you do not have any positive qualities can be an indication you are in a toxic relationship.

8. Your partner mocks, belittles, or ignores you.

Healthy relationships are built on trust and communication, not sarcastic remarks and disinterest in your successes. When you are not able to confide in or trust your partner, it can be a strong sign of a toxic relationship.

9. You are not sure if you could depend on your partner during a crisis situation.

Imagine there was a sudden death in your family, or a close friend is diagnosed with cancer. Would you be able to depend on your partner for emotional support? In a healthy relationship the answer should be yes. If your answer is no, you could likely be in a toxic relationship.

10. Your partner refuses to talk about your relationship.

Communication is vital for a healthy relationship. If your partner refuses to talk about important issues, like whether or not they want children in the future, this can be a sign you are in an unhealthy relationship.

11. It is difficult to think of you and your partner as a great team.

A relationship could be unhealthy if you are constantly arguing or do not support each other well on a regular basis. In healthy relationships, each partner puts time and effort into whatever they do together. They work well together, whether cooking meals or finding solutions to problems.

12. You feel trapped in the relationship.

A healthy relationship will not always be easy, but you will feel like equal partners in one. Feeling stuck or unable to get out is a common sign you could be in a toxic relationship.

13. Your partner is coercive regarding sex.

Someone who truly cares about you will not force or push you to do something you do not want to do. If your partner is manipulative when he or she wants sex, it is a sign of a toxic relationship. 

14. If you worry your partner will hurt you when he or she is angry, or if your partner has hurt you already.

Relationship violence is a definite sign of a toxic relationship. If your partner has physically abused you or is physically abusing you, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for immediate help.

If even one of the above signs applies to your relationship, it could be toxic. Remember that you are incredibly valuable, and you deserve to be in a relationship with someone who recognizes that and brings out the best in you.