10 Ways to Tell You’re in a Toxic Relationship

Couple Fighting

You would think that someone would know they’re in an unhealthy relationship, but some signs may not be as easy to spot as others. Take note of the ten signs listed below. If any of them sound familiar to you, it just may be time to get out of that relationship you’re in.

10. You’re Not Happy

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A healthy relationship should bring joy and happiness. If not, then you’re likely in a toxic relationship. Here are some signs to look out for:

-Your relationship makes you feel sad, anxious, angry, or even drained (mentally, emotionally, and physically).
-You’re envious of happy couples.
-You fight all the time.
-Your health starts to decline–quite possibly because you’re not engaging in self-care, that is, you’re always putting your partner’s needs ahead of your “me” time. “Toxic relationships can literally make our bodies unhealthy—it’s vital to pay attention to these signs and to how our bodies are reacting,” Dr. Ginnie Thompson, a psychotherapist in Florida, said in a WomensHealth magazine article.

Remember, good relationships improve your life AND your health.

9. Your Partner is Selfish

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Chances are you’re in a one-sided relationship if your significant other:

-thinks only about himself or herself
-is unwilling to compromise
-always forgets the important events in your life (e.g. They forget that you’re being recognized/honored at a banquet.)
-doesn’t have your back
-manipulates or guilt-trips you into meeting their needs while ignoring yours
-doesn’t encourage you to grow as a person
-has a superiority complex
-is selfish in bed (This not only includes ignoring your needs, but also guilt-tripping you into intimacy.)

Remember, a healthy relationship is going to be balanced. You shouldn’t feel like you’re doing all the work.

8. Your Partner is Controlling

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That is, your significant other decides what you can or cannot do. For example, they may forbid you to go to certain places or hang out with certain people and then get angry or suspicious when you do. They might also be very manipulative. For example, making you think you’re just being paranoid when you have good reason to question their honesty or fidelity.

NOTE: Both of you should be free to pursue your own interests as well as hang out with whomever you choose. Just make sure you take each other’s needs into consideration.

7. There’s a Lack of Intimacy

Dont Touch
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Intimacy doesn’t just mean sex, although that certainly applies in this case. So, if there’s not a lot of touching going on, it could be a sign of an unhealthy relationship. Here are some other signs to look out for:

-A total lack of interest (You don’t talk to each other or do things together anymore.).
-You don’t feel like you can open up to your partner or discuss important things.
-Neither of you is willing to make the relationship better.

Remember, intimacy makes your relationship physically and emotionally satisfying.

6. Your Partner Likes to Play the Blame Game

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Not only will your significant other avoid taking responsibility for their own actions (e.g. not cleaning up after themselves), they will blame everyone else for their problems, too. For example, if things aren’t going well in their lives, they’ll say it’s their parents fault, or the boss’s fault, or even your fault. As a result, this could end up making you feel like you can’t do anything right. “Making someone feel like they can’t do anything right can be a serious sign of psychological abuse,” therapist and couples counselor Evie Shafner told Prevention magazine. “Your partner is supposed to be your biggest cheerleader, a soft place to land. If they’re not, buyer beware—and love yourself enough to leave.”

5. Your Partner Criticizes You

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This happens when they humiliate you, shame your looks, or make you feel bad for reaching for that second slice of cake. They may even shame your career choice. But, when you confront them about it, they just tell you that they’re only looking out for your best interests. According to Inc. magazine, however, they’re doing the exact opposite. It’s not about helping you but about boosting their ego. And, they do this by belittling you.

TIP: Don’t confuse criticism, judging, shaming and humiliation with being helpful.

4. Your Partner Doesn’t Respect You

No Respect
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Respect is the most important element of a healthy relationship. If your partner doesn’t show respect for you or what’s important to you, it may be time to get out of that relationship. You might also need to re-evaluate the situation if they have a lack of respect for making the relationship work for the both of you.

If you feel you’re constantly on the defense, it’s a sign that your significant other doesn’t respect you the way they should. “Defensiveness is a killer. It basically keeps us from solving problems and relationships are a never-ending series of solving problems,” Kevin Gilliland, executive director of the counseling service Innovation360, told MensHealth magazine.

3. You Can’t Trust Your Partner

Believe It Or Not
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If your partner is unfaithful, they lie about important things, or they hide things from you, it damages the trust in the relationship–and, sometimes that damage is irreparable.
Sometimes you may not be sure if you can trust your partner. Here are some signs:

-They don’t share their feelings with you.
-They never admit when they’re wrong.
-They don’t let you see their cell phone.
-They refuse to share a bank account with you (This usually applies to spouses).
-Their stories aren’t consistent.
-They are suspicious of you. (That’s because they’re often guilty of the things they’re accusing you of.)

2. Your Loved Ones Hate Your Partner

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If your parents and friends have been expressing concerns about the relationship you’re in, you might want to start paying attention. One reason is because people who are in toxic relationships are usually the last ones to realize it, Kristen Fuller, a California physician who specializes in mental health, said in a Time magazine article. “By the time I actually started realizing I was in something that wasn’t healthy, it was so normal to me that it didn’t seem like that big a deal,” chiropractor Heidi Westra Brocke said in the article. “You get paralyzed in it, because you’re just used to it.”

1. You’re Insecure

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That’s right–it could be YOU who’s sabotaging your own relationship (In fact, if any of the above applies to you and not your significant other, you’re the cause of the toxic relationship). According to Reader’s Digest, studies show that people with low self-esteem are less likely to discuss important things with their partners (e.g. their true feelings) out of fear of rejection.

-Speak up for yourself. Don’t be indecisive and wishy-washy. Make sure you’re honest and upfront with your partner.
-Take a break from relationships for a while so you can have time to work on yourself.
-Make sure you’re in a relationship with someone who acknowledges your value.


If you or someone you know is in a toxic relationship, please seek help from family and friends. If that’s not an option, you can always call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They’re available and ready to help you 24/7. Thanks for reading, and take care!