Toxic relationships are harmful, destructive, and emotionally damaging partnerships that can make one or both individuals feel worthless, used and abused.
The partner who suffers more damage in these abusive relationships is usually the one who is more vulnerable to being manipulated, taken advantage of or exploited. In addition, there is a lack of romantic love and mutual harmony in toxic relationships.
- What is a toxic relationship?
- What makes a relationship toxic?
- The 8 Types of Toxic Relationships
- What are the warning signs of toxic relationships?
- Impacts of Toxic Relationships
- What should you do if you’re in a toxic relationship?
What is a toxic relationship?
How can you tell if your relationship is toxic? The answer depends on who you ask. To some, a toxic relationship is one where there’s constant fighting and arguing. Others think being in a toxic relationship is when one person maltreats another.
However, one of the best ways to know if your relationship is toxic is to look at how you feel about it. If you feel bad most of the time, depressed or anxious, then that’s a sign your relationship may be toxic.
What makes a relationship toxic?
Many types of relationships can be toxic. The most common type is when one person in the relationship makes the other feel bad about themself. That could include making them feel worthless or stupid.
The other type of toxic relationship is when there’s physical violence involved. That may include slapping, punching, hitting and even threatening to hurt you or themselves.
If your partner is doing any of these things, you need help.
You might feel like the only way out is to break up with them, but that’s not always the best thing to do. Instead, talk to a friend or an adult you trust about what’s happening.
If your partner is being mean to you and making you feel bad about yourself, don’t let them make you feel like you’re the one with a problem. Instead, you can talk to your partner about how they make you think, and if they don’t change their behaviour, it’s time to break up with them.
The 8 Types of Toxic Relationships
There are several types of toxic relationships. The common ones include:
1) The abusive relationship – in which one partner is violent or mean to the other, physically, verbally, sexually or psychologically. Abusive partners may also threaten their partners with harm or death.
2) The codependent relationship – in which one partner is a caretaker for the other, who is needy and unable to take care of themself. As a result, one partner is overly dependent on the other, and the other feels controlled.
3) The neglectful relationship – one partner does not provide for the other’s emotional needs. Negligent partners may be preoccupied with their problems and unable to give their partners the needed attention.
4) The exploitative relationship – in which one partner takes advantage of the other, for example, by taking their money or using them sexually.
5) The resentful relationship – one partner is angry and bitter, while the other feels victimised by their complaints.
6) The fearful relationship – in which one partner feels intimidated by the other whose actions sabotage their relationship.
7) The addicted relationship – one partner depends on drugs or alcohol, and the other feels compelled to take care of them.
8) The disengaged relationship – in which partners are emotionally distant.
What are the warning signs of toxic relationships?
You can use several signs to identify whether or not your relationship is toxic.
The following are some of the signs that your relationship is toxic:
1) Your partner puts you down constantly and makes you feel bad about yourself. That includes making fun of your appearance, intelligence, and even how you talk.
2) Your partner controls every aspect of your life, including what you wear, where you go and who you see. They also manage your finances and how you spend money.
3) Your partner makes it impossible for you to spend time with family or friends without them being present. That includes controlling who you can talk to and what you can say.
4) Your partner doesn’t respect you or your feelings. If your partner always puts themselves first and doesn’t care about how you feel, this is a big sign that your relationship might be toxic.
5) Your partner threatens to hurt themselves or even threaten suicide if you leave them.
6) Your partner controls the money, and you are not allowed to work or have a bank account.
7) You feel like your life is out of control or there is no way out of this relationship.
8) You feel like you have to “walk on eggshells” around your partner so they won’t get angry and hurt you.
9) If you leave, your partner threatens to hurt your family or friends.
10) Your partner tells you that you are nothing without them and that no one else would want to be with you.
11) You are afraid to talk about your relationship with anyone because of what your partner might do.
12) You are afraid to leave your partner because you fear what they might do.
Impacts of Toxic Relationships
Toxic relationships can have physical and mental health impacts. For example, research shows that unhealthy relationships are very stressful. Also, even thinking about one is linked to high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack, depression, and other health conditions.
Being in an unhappy relationship can harm you. And it’s true: if you are in a toxic, miserable relationship and get dumped, you have a higher risk of dying. But it’s not just the breakup that can wreck your mental and physical health.
What should you do if you’re in a toxic relationship?
Sometimes, we must accept that the relationship is toxic and there might not be anything we can do about it. If this is the case for you, cut your losses and stay safe, healthy, and happy.
You should contact the domestic violence hotline if your partner is abusive or violent. They will help you find a place to stay and a way to get help.
You can also check out the National Domestic Violence Hotline website.
If your partner is emotionally or verbally abusive, you might want help from a couple of counsellors or therapists. In addition, there are some outstanding books dealing with toxic relationships.
If you are worried about your relationship or have been abusive to your partner, it is good to talk to someone about it. There are some great resources to help you, and it is better to get help now than wait until your relationship has gotten so bad that things have become dangerous.
If your partner abuses you, you should know it is not your fault. You are never to blame for someone else’s abusive behaviour. The abuser may make you feel like the abuse is your fault, but it never is. There is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed if you are abused. You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity by your partner, just like anyone else.
If you are the abuser in the relationship, you must seek help as soon as possible. You may not be aware of how your behaviour is affecting your partner. You may feel like you are in control, but your partner likely feels controlled and manipulated by you. If this is the case, you must find a way to get help. It is not easy to change your behaviour, but it can be done with the proper support and guidance.
For a relationship to work out in the long run, both partners must be willing to work on it. If you are the victim in this relationship, you need to be honest with yourself and your partner about what is happening. You also should not feel like you must endure the abuse to keep the relationship going.
If you are being abused, it is crucial that you know you do not deserve this treatment and that there are people who can help you.
If you abuse your partner, you must take responsibility for your actions and seek help to change. Many resources are available to you, including support groups and a hotline.
Toxic relationships are those in which one person’s behaviour causes so much damage that it would be detrimental to another person’s well-being.
There are many different types of toxic relationships. Still, some common ones include those where one partner is physically abusive, mentally unwell, an addict, or is plain mean.
You may feel hopeless and alone if you are in an abusive relationship. You may think that no one else can help or understand what you are going through. However, there is a lot of support for people in abusive relationships.
In these situations, the best thing you can do is to take care of yourself and seek help from others as soon as possible. But don’t wait till it is too late. If your life is in danger, please call the Police. You may eventually have to get out of the relationship.
The abusive person often needs help for their issues- through a therapist, support groups or even with friends and family.
How healthy is your current relationship? Are you in a toxic relationship?
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Suppose you have found any points in this post confronting your marriage, past relationships or mental health. In that case, I urge you to call the Police, relevant hotlines, or your health practitioners.
Thanks for your time.