It’s happened to many of us. We’re attracted to someone and think perhaps this is the one I’ll be with forever. Then it changes. You begin to see things. Question things. Hear things.
Maybe you’re in a toxic relationship. Toxic may seem a bit harsh but a relationship can affect us just like the definition of the word; poisonous, virulent, noxious, deadly, dangerous, harmful, injurious, pernicious.
Here are just a few signs you maybe in a toxic relationship:
1. Do You Feel Crazy? Toxic people have a knack for making their partners feel crazy. If you feel this way get some validation from a couple of sane family members, friends or even a professional. You need to find out who is crazy.
2. You Are There For Them But….So your partner needs a ride to the car mechanic. Of course you’ll give them a lift. No problem. You, however, are having outpatient surgery. Your partner tells you to find a friend or relative to take you. You’re left feeling that you’re alone although part of a couple?
3. Are the Tips of Your Shoes Wearing Out? Are you nice and relaxed in your home? Then as you hear the garage door open you tense up and make sure all is in its place. You tend to tip toe around your partner in hopes there won’t be an ‘incident’?
4. Do You Trust Your Partner? Not trusting your partner has you on edge most of the time. Wondering where, what and with whom they are. The anxiety provokes a constant feeling of stress. Constant distrust distracts you from being in the moment and enjoying the good part of life which may be right in front of you.
5. Do You Need Reinforcement? Although you aren’t a needy person (be honest with yourself), with your partner, you tend to need reinforcement that they love you. Weather it’s telling you they love you, making love, taking you out, or simply engaging in a conversation. Do you find yourself on the up and down roller coaster of ‘he loves me, he loves me not?
6. Are you On Again, Off Again? Couples who break up and get back together deal with their issues by leaving them, cooling off, missing each other, and getting back together. Exhausting!! If you’re willing to get help to find out what part you play, then get professional help and do it. This is not a healthy pattern to continue. Again, it’s toxic. We also can’t rule out it may be following the Cycle of Abuse/Violence.
7. Did the Relationship Begin With Some Significant Lies? I can’t even begin to tell you the discoveries my clients make well after they marry their partner. Their partner has 2 small children being raised by their mother (for now)? They owe $54,000 in back child support for a child you didn’t know they had? Your partner’s parol record prevents them from leaving the state? That bachelor’s degree and master’s degree they had from Berkeley doesn’t exist at all? If it starts off with lies, don’t expect that to change. Besides, you’ll always be wondering.
8. Your Socially Abundant Life Appears To Have Died? Your partner doesn’t care for your friends so you don’t see them much anymore if at all. Your partner doesn’t like the way your family treats you so they make excuses for the two of you to not attend family functions. You’re beginning to realize that your partner is the only one he wants you around. You are being controlled. Be sure to answer the phone when your partner calls…that can lead to real issues.
When you are in love with someone you don’t tend to listen to those people who warn you against the relationship. Many times people cut off family members and long time friends for even saying anything negative about the person they are about to marry. The love heroine of a new relationship makes it almost impossible to see reality. I have worked with so many people in these situations that I have developed a quote that I ask all of my clients to strongly consider.
“If everyone who knows you and loves you the most is telling you the same thing, you may want to listen.”
– Leanne Hart, LMFT
Think about it. What investment does you mother, sister, best friend, doctor etc have in who you marry. They just love you and want to protect you. Perhaps they have nothing to gain by telling you the truth.
If you find yourself in a toxic relationship please get some help. It’s very hard to work with these partners on your own and you’ve probably tried. If any situation escalates don’t hesitate to call the police.
You can be in a healthy and happy relationship! You may have to work through or out of the one you’re in but you can do it. Solicit help from a professional. You’ll get there!