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17 Signs Of A Toxic Relationship (& How To Know When To Break Up)

17 Signs Of A Toxic Relationship (& How To Know When To Break Up)
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Is your relationship hitting its sell-by date or is it fixable?

Being in a relationship can bring joy and bliss, but not all relationships are the same.

The signs of a toxic relationship can manifest themselves in various shapes and sizes. But, the end result is always that they diminish you instead of building you up.

It could be that you get along like oil and water or that the other person is not a nice person at all.

In fact, your relationship may not only be toxic but also abusive.

And sometimes you may be left wondering how to know when to break up with this toxic person.


When we say that someone is a toxic person, it doesn't always mean that they are evil or abusive. However, the traits and behavior listed below are evil and abusive.

Either way, wrong is wrong. Unhealthy relationships don't benefit you in any way, at all.

There are 17 signs that you are in a toxic and abusive relationship.

  1. You feel unable to express who you are.
  2. Your partner controls your finances.
  3. You are becoming isolated from your friends and family.
  4. You feel defensive as if you're continually hiding something to prevent a blowup.
  5. You feel that if you were different then things would improve.
  6. Your friends and family have tried to talk you out of the relationship.
  7. The relationship has hijacked you instead of adding to your life.
  8. You are "staying for the kids," or some other reason.
  9. They fight dirty and/or there is physical abuse.
  10. They are critical of you. This includes mean "jokes" made at your expense.
  11. You spend more time untangling disagreements than being happy.
  12. You don't like the person you are becoming.
  13. They make you feel small.
  14. Everything is about them.
  15. They treat you with contempt.
  16. To cope, you've checked out and ignored problems.
  17. One or both of you have/are currently cheating and work hasn't been done to get past it.

Does anything on this list look familiar to you?

If it seems like there is obvious signs of abuse (as in numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 13, and 15) or if your relationship has gone down a destructive path and abusive, I strongly urge you to leave.

Abusive relationships don't improve. The element of control does not get better.

That leaves the remaining problems, most of which center around "losing oneself" in a relationship.

There is a possibility that your relationship has become centered around your partner and a continuous conflict with them.

These problems are still serious, but there is hope to save things between you...if you want it.

There are 5 things you need to do to fix the relationship and make things better.

1. Get counseling

A professional can help you handle disagreements better and smooth out your communication.

They can also get you and your partner talking to each other again.

If your partner refuses to go to counseling, go yourself.

A professional can provide you with impartial insight into your situation.

They can also help you regain your voice if you've checked out.

2. Do something regularly that lights you up

This tip is good if you feel lost in your relationship. Sacrifice is so common that we often wake up and realize we feel like shadows of our former selves.

The upside is that you can change this problem by making sure that you're doing things to nurture yourself.

Creative pursuits, seeing your friends and family, sports, and hobbies are all ways to get your mojo back.

3. Try to put yourself in their shoes

One big reason for misunderstandings is that one or both people in the relationship don't make an effort to see things from another point of view.

Without empathy, disagreements quickly turn into extended exercises in the blame game. Try to see their side of things and empathize with them. Look for your part in disagreements.

4. Speak up

If you're hurting and you haven't told them, now is the time to sit them down and have a compassionate conversation about the way things are going.

You deserve to have a candid conversation about your relationship. If this is impossible, this leads me to my next point.

5. Decide whether or not your relationship is worth it

Only you can say for sure whether it's worth it to try and fight for your relationship or break up and call it a day.

Toxic relationships can break you as a person but there are ways to get your thoughts and needs across to your toxic partner.

However, in case of abuse, don't pass go, don't collect $200...just leave!

Elizabeth Stone is an author, relationship coach, and founder of Attract The One. Is your man losing interest in you? Does your relationship feel stale and disconnected? Get to the bottom of it with your free copy of Why Men Lose Interest and free daily email series.

Topic: #joy
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