The feeling of being in a relationship is always reason to celebrate. The hallmark of being in a good one recognizes trust, honesty as being integral and where both partners mutually feel loved and respected.

If more than often you think your relationship doesn’t embody respect, trust, and affection you are more than likely in a toxic relationship. Toxic relationships can be hard to identify and come to terms with, as often one ignores vital signs and singles harmful behavior as a one-off incident or don’t believe they can be in a dangerous relationship. Such alliances are characterized by an, “All take and no give” attitude by one of the partners. While toxic relationships may seem manageable in the short term, in the long run they possess the power to cause complete upheaval and can lead to serious mental health conditions, stark personality changes and chaos.  Identifying signs of being in a toxic relationship early on can safeguard one from possible harm and havoc.

Here are common signs to be aware of:

Communication issues: The relationship is marred with communication issues and it seems to be only getting worst. This can range from subtle ways of being evasive, displaying passive aggressive tendencies, the silent treatment, interruption, blaming to more hostile forms of yelling, screaming, name calling or using hurtful phrases.

Lack of trust: When you find yourself constantly being lied to, being incessantly questioned about everything to an extent that you always find yourself walking on eggshells. You are constantly on edge not knowing what to expect and you find it difficult to share intimate information, problems, or be vulnerable with your partner. You constantly feel manipulated and played.

Keeping score: When you often find your partner bringing up past mistakes and continue blaming you for it or find a route to equate the action to their purposeful wrong doings the relationship devolves into a scorecard to see who has screwed up the most. By keeping score, the partner exhibiting toxic behavior brings up past guilt and bitterness to manipulate you to feel bad in the present.

Increase self-doubt: You begin to doubt yourself before every decision and action you take for multiple reasons. This may stem from your need to please or not to anger nor upset your partner. In severe situations one begins to hesitate as every decision and believe is controlled by the significant other in question. Incidents of gas-lighting can severely question one’s sanity and perception of reality

Less self-confident: Toxic partners enjoy criticizing everything you do, wear, say, eat etc. If you hear criticizing statements on a regular basis it will most likely strip away your self-esteem leaving you vulnerable and more dependent.

When relations make you feel exhausted, lonely, sad, and drained you are most likely in a toxic relationship. While several would consider these red flags and deal breakers there are those who continue staying with the hope of their partner changing. In other words, one sticks around in hopes that their partner will eventually stop whatever behavior is making things difficult. What people need to begin to understand is just because they can find some positive aspects of the relationship, doesn’t mean they should stay in it.

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