It pays more to be in a healthy relationship because of the numerous advantages of being in one. People involved in healthy relationships are at peace, more productive, happier, and are more mentally and emotionally stable than their counterparts in abusive or toxic relationships.
Although there are no flawless relationships, it is not difficult to know if you’re in a relationship that will head for the rocks because of the demeanor that you or your significant other exhibits. These behaviors oftentimes are dubbed as red flags because they leave you drained, anxious, unhappy, and most probably depressed.
Some people confuse toxicity for simple character flaws but it is important to identify toxic behaviors in others or self in order to save time, energy, and emotions. However, there are subtle or highly obvious toxic traits that you should know about before embarking on the journey of love.
The toxic signs are as follows:
Lack of support
Every relationship requires that people support their partners. The moment you sense a lack of support, or that your partner stopped having your back, then there’s a problem. You should want your partner to succeed, thereby, help them to take the steps they need to achieve their goals.
Instead of delivering only soothing words of kindness, affirmation, or acknowledgment, your conversation involves bluntness, hostility, and offensive sarcasm, you will gradually withdraw from each other.
We all have an innate nature of jealousy. However, if you feel bad about the success or impending success of your partner, then you’re being toxic towards them.
You should not always have your say or your way when you are in a relationship. Give room for the other person’s opinion or action. Trying to enforce only what you want on your partner amounts to toxicity.
It is better to lay bare your displeasure than bottle it up. Resentment soon builds a chasm between two people who can start acting toxic towards each other.
Every relationship built on lies will fall apart because you’d be telling more lies to cover the former. Dishonesty breeds mistrust.
Patterns of disrespect
Love and respect can never be divorced in a relationship and the moment your partner repeatedly disrespects you, then they may have begun withdrawing their interest in you. Imagine if he or she shows up late on dates every time, that’s likely a toxic behavior.
Negative financial behaviors
In the instance where you have a joint account and your partner withdraws some money without informing you. Or when they spend on personal stuff other than what you planned for.
It is very normal to have disagreements and feel a little stressed in a relationship but constant stress is unhealthy. If you argue and quarrel over almost everything, it is a pointer that the relationship is heading for the rocks.
Ignoring your needs
One of the ways everybody feels loved is when their needs are met by their partners. You really don’t need to ask for everything before you get them from those that love you especially when it is within their capacity to provide those needs.
Some people can make you stop talking to your immediate family members and close friends, this can make you feel lost and lonely. You should be able to visit family and friends even when you are in a relationship.
Lack of self-care
If you stop doing your normal routine like traveling, neglecting your health, or even shying away from your hobbies because you want to service your relationship, then you’re in a toxic relationship.
Hoping for change
Some people acknowledge their toxic traits but tell their partners they’d change. Alas, they even become worse in some instances. It is more profitable to leave a relationship than hoping your partner will turn a new leave because of you. It is only God that can change a man.
Walking on eggshells
If you are scared of bringing up problems for fear of further escalation, you’ll become conflict-avoidant and likely stay in the shell to avoid the problem.
How to Save a Relationship
It is always difficult to save a toxic relationship but toxic relationships are redeemable.
It takes willingness and the decision of the people involved to work their way out of toxicity. If one partner is only willing to work out the relationship, there’s almost no chance that the relationship will survive.
Let’s take you through signs that prove a failing toxic relationship will likely succeed.
Willingness to invest
It takes a measure of willingness to make every relationship work. People who are willing to be with each other naturally find a way to make things work between them. Willingness starts from having an open and honest conversation.
Acceptance of responsibility
Taking responsibility for disrespecting, misbehaving and other past behavior can help mend a broken relationship. When you take responsibility, it shows maturity and willingness to do and be better.
Shift from blaming to understanding
Instead of always point fingers, try and discover the motive for every action that was taken by your partner.
Openness to outside help
It is not a bad idea to seek some sort of help outside your relationship, like talking to a counselor or someone that you look up to.
How can we move forward from Toxicity?
Like I earlier posited, it takes willingness, decision, and commitment to be in a relationship. And in the instance of a toxic relationship, patience, diligence and time can make it work.
If you want to turn everything around in a toxic relationship, do the following
Don’t dwell on the past
Do not dwell on your past mistakes or that of your partner. If you continue to focus on the former misgivings of your partner, it will only cause more problems.
View your partner with compassion
Be compassionate towards your partner. Put yourself in their shoes to see how it feels to be at the receiving end of things.
No excuse for bad behavior but you must avoid blaming them for every wrong thing without first understanding their motives.
It would not be out of place if two love birds take the option of talking to a therapist. You cannot know it all and you certainly need to bank on the expertise and experiences of a therapist.
You may go for personal therapy or opt for couple therapy.
Other than therapy, partners in failing relationships can decide to ask their family and friends who are willing to listen to them for help.
Practice healthy communication
Spoken words are powerful and cannot be taken back. This is why it is important to pay attention to the types of words you use on your partner. Words can make or mar the emotional stability of people, so careful use of words is advised.
The moment you enter into a relationship, you are no longer on your own. You should account for how you spend your time, money, and all sorts to your partner.
During conversations, you must let your partner know all of the things that you did or didn’t do in their absence.
Hold space for the other’s change
In the instance where your partner has decided to work out the relationship, do not expect them to change over the night or grow suddenly. We all need time to grow.
If you recognize any of these in your relationship, it’s probably best to walk away.
Physical abuse must not be tolerated in all types of relationships. If your partner has hit you, slapped or even pushed you, it’s a sign that they are violent and abusive, you should run away from them.
Threats of self-harm
This is seen as manipulative and abusive behaviour. People who threaten to harm themselves mostly do so to pressurize their partners to give in to their demands.
People who try to control all the resources within a relationship have toxicity tendencies. Imagine when two people have a joint account but allow for only one party to keep the credit card and all the details there.
Gaslighting is a form of reverse psychology used to manipulate people’s feelings and sanity. For example, your partner may tell you that they do not have anger issues but when they get angry, they blame it on your actions or inactions.
Fear and intimidation
Insecure and toxic people are fond of intimidating their partners. They may refuse to allow their partner to leave the house in the instance of a fight.
Name-calling and put-downs
Name-calling and put-downs are forms of verbal abuse that aim to belittle other people in a relationship. For example, words like “you’re senseless” or “I don’t even know why I’m in a relationship with you” are abusive words toxic partners can use.
Separation from friends and family
If you disconnect from your family and friends because of your partner, you’re likely in a toxic relationship. Toxic partners have this way of manipulating people to think their family members are a source of their challenges.
Interference with work or school
Some people lack the ability to control themselves when they are exasperated. Have you ever seen a man or woman that is shouting at their partners in public places like schools, workplaces and so on? those people are toxic and you should run away from them.
Your significant other says things to you that make you doubt your intellect and abilities. When they run away from taking responsibility and blame you for everything that possibly goes wrong.
Chronic stress and anxiety
If you’re always feeling stressed or anxious as a result of dealing with your partner, then you’re in a toxic affair. Every relationship should bring you peace and joy, not stress and anxiety.