A survey by Daily Mail found that 6 in 10 people stay in unfulfilling or toxic relationships.
There are many reasons why you might not want to leave a bad relationship.
Maybe you’re used to compromising. Maybe you have children together. Maybe you have other stakes in the relationship, like shared financial responsibility.
Maybe, just maybe, you hope deep down that things will work out, and you’re just not ready to let go.
But do you know how to distinguish between a healthy relationship and a toxic relationship? Use our toxic relationship quiz to help.
What is a Toxic Relationship?
Relationships don’t have to be physically abusive to be toxic. A toxic relationship is generally characterized by selfish, controlling, envious, or manipulative behavior that can cause mental, emotional, and physical harm to another person.
Many relationships don’t start out as toxic. But pent-up resentment, unmet needs, and unresolved histories could cause a toxic relationship between even the strongest people. This is why it’s important to recognize the warning signs early on.
Warning Signs of a Toxic Relationship
Sometimes, having one of these behaviors present in a relationship doesn’t always mean it’s toxic. It could just mean that you have an unresolved problem to work out.
However, if you notice several of these behaviors in your relationship, that could be a good indicator of its toxicity.
Imbalance of Power or Responsibility
Does your partner get the final say on what you wear, how much money you spend, where you go, what you eat, or who you see?
Moreover, are you the only one who apologizes or accepts the blame during arguments? Do you often feel like you constantly have to compromise to meet their demands?
These behaviors are often a sign of insecurity or jealousy. By being possessive, your partner may feel that they are less likely of losing you.
This jealousy could stem from their own deeper feelings of inadequacy or cognitive distortion. They may feel threatened by your independence due to a history of abandonment.
While these underlying causes don’t justify the behavior, they do make it easier to get to the root of the cause and address it properly.
Do your conversations always contain sarcasm, criticism, hostility, or insults?
Do you feel like your partner is “out to get you” with a scorecard of everything you’ve ever done wrong?
Moreover, are they unwilling to accept your criticisms?
Do they act as if they’re blameless?
Do you feel like you can’t say “no” to them without facing backlash or physical or emotional coercion?
Healthy communication in a relationship consists of mutual respect. Without it, you may find yourself avoiding conversations with the other person entirely.
Lack of Support
Does your partner support your goals, interests, hobbies, and friendships?
You don’t have to have everything in common with your partner to be compatible. A healthy relationship consists of two or more people with their own ambitions.
If your partner mocks or belittles your interests, or simply doesn’t care for them, this lack of support could leave you feeling neglected.
Dishonesty or Distrust
Does your partner lie to you about their whereabouts or other behaviors?
Similarly, do you feel like you have to lie to them to prevent an overreaction, even if you have nothing to hide?
Do they hide their phone from you? Do they demand to go through your phone?
Do they have access to your social media accounts, emails, or financial records?
Do you feel like you just can’t have any alone time?
Privacy is essential to every successful relationship, especially if you are married or live together. You deserve to set your own boundaries, and your partner should respect them.
Harmful Financial Behavior
Does your partner make reckless or impulsive purchases without keeping you in the loop?
Do you have unexplained debt or outstanding bills that your partner hasn’t told you about?
Does your partner encourage financial dependence, and hold money or gifts over your head conditionally?
Even if you don’t share a bank account, these behaviors can impact you negatively if you share responsibility for rent, water, electricity, insurance, car payments, or the Internet. It could also be detrimental if you have children, pets, or other family members to look after.
Diminished Sense of Self
Do you feel frustrated, depressed, or trapped? Are these feelings bleeding into other areas of your life, making it harder to focus and function?
Do you just not feel like you’re becoming your best self when you’re around them?
Every relationship is going to have its fair share of “bad days.” But if you begin to notice the bad days outweighing the good, it may be a sign that your relationship is holding you back from personal growth.
Intervention From Friends or Family
It’s one thing for your friends and family to simply dislike your partner. In some instances, it’s unjustified, especially if it’s based solely on their race, religion, gender identity, or other personal identifiers beyond their control.
Other times, they could have an intuitive sense that your partner may not be treating you fairly. If they notice warning signs of abuse or toxic behavior, don’t dismiss them.
What to Do About a Toxic Relationship
There is no one-size-fits-all guide to every relationship. After taking this toxic relationship quiz, if you if you’re still not sure, there are some behaviors you shouldn’t tolerate, including verbal, physical, or sexual abuse.
However, you don’t have to give up just yet. If you’re unsure about whether to leave, consider the following:
- What do you look for in your relationships?
- Do you share stuff or values with your partner?
- How do they generally make you feel?
- How is the sexual health of your relationship?
- Have you tried to work out toxic behavior before?
The first step toward working through a toxic relationship is honest and straightforward communication. Instead of piling on the blame, focus on how their actions hurt you, and what boundaries you think you need to correct it.
Sometimes, couples counseling is the only way to address the root causes of toxic behavior. It helps to have an objective third-party analyze ways in which both of you could improve your own behaviors.
But if you find yourself having this conversation too often, it may be a sign that it’s time to let go.
Did This Toxic Relationship Quiz Help You?
If you are in a toxic relationship, know that you are never alone and you do not deserve the blame. We hope that this toxic relationship quiz helped you identify red flags in your relationship and how to handle them. For more information about attachment styles in relationships, check out this attachment style quiz.
Looking for more relationship advice? Need help healing from a toxic relationship? Reach out today for a free 30-minute consultation; we’re here to help.
Katie – did you really want web to state; “This blog is designed to be an ultimate resource” ? Or did you mean; “……to be an intimate resource” ?!?
Just wondered. You know how rigid I always was. Happy Holidays
Thanks for pointing that out, Laura! xo